What is IP-VPN? | Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network Explained

What is IP-VPN?

  • Neos Networks

What is IP-VPN?

For multi-site businesses that share functions and resources, Wide Area Network (WAN) technology can be hugely beneficial. Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN) is one of the many types of WAN technology available.

You may have used a Virtual Private Network (VPN), a solution that lets users access a network remotely via a public internet connection, before – and IP-VPNs work in a similar way. Unlike VPNs, IP-VPNs use multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) technology to avoid connecting via public gateways, which in turn increases the security of your network.

Because they connect via public gateways, VPNs are at risk of something known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks that can take your network offline and decrease speeds. But by connecting with MPLS, your business’s internet usage gets prioritised while third-party (and potentially malicious) traffic is left to wait until the network is less busy.

It can solve the key technology challenges, boost applications’ responsiveness, speed up transmissions and ease network congestion. IP-VPN offers numerous, business-changing benefits including:

Robust, tried-and-tested technology: IP-VPN’s use of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) means it provides resilient and efficient network traffic flow.

A completely secure network: This means enhanced protection from IT and OT cyber threats that could cause costly downtime. This is particularly important for businesses that support critical infrastructure – like those in the energy and utilities sectors.

Total control: You can tweak and improve application performance; prioritise data traffic according to business need; and run historical reports to analyse bandwidth, statuses and usage statistics.

Superior performance: IP-VPN guarantees bandwidth for demanding applications like HD video-conferencing, and offers low latency and packet loss, meaning consistently high quality of service for you and your end-customers.

VPN usage statistics

As the number of internet users grows exponentially (standing at 4.1 billion users, according to January 2020 research from Best VPN), so do hacking opportunities. The same Best VPN study found that 82% of businesses have employees who do not follow data privacy policies. This underlines the need for organisations to implement strong security measures.

Many individual and business users, though, are more vigilant. According to Statista, from 2017 to 2018, the number of VPN users grew by 165%. The Covid-19 pandemic meant more people were using the internet at home, triggering a rapid increase in VPN usage. Atlas VPN found that from 8 to 22 March 2020, numbers of users rose by 124%. Statista project that the VPN market will be worth almost £76 billion by 2027, up from £25 billion in 2019. 

With the rise of VPNs though, hackers will be striving ever harder to find ways through them. The need for a higher level of security then, is evident, encouraging more and more organisations to turn to IP-VPNs.

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  • MPLS vs SD-WAN

     

    Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) has been popular for a number of years now and is very good at providing robust and reliable connectivity as well as ensuring critical business information continues to flow, but it’s flexibility has also become a limiting factor. It's important to be aware of what the differences between MPLS vs SD-WAN are in order to make the best choice for your business needs.

  • What is a Wide Area Network (WAN)?

     

    A single geographically distributed private telecommunications network that is made up of Local Area Networks (LAN) in the form of private lines, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), virtual private networks (VPNs), wireless (cellular) and the Internet. Its architecture, protocols and technologies have evolved to become SD-WAN.

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    Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) is a specific application of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology applied to WAN connections, which are used to connect networks – including branch offices, headquarters, cloud platforms and data centres – over large geographic distances. SD-WAN distributes network traffic across the WAN which automatically determines the most effective way to route traffic to and from site locations and data centre sites.

     

  • What is a Local Area Network (LAN)?

     

    A LAN covers a limited geographical area and provides networks within a single office building or campus. A LAN comprises cables, access points, switches, routers, and other components that enable devices to connect to internal servers. Two of the most common LANs are Ethernet and Wi-Fi.

     

  • What is IP-VPN?

     

    Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN) is one of the many types of WAN technology available. Find out more on what is an IP-VPN and the business benefits that could help your organisation.

  • What are the benefits of SD-WAN?

     

    An SD-WAN service can optimise traffic flows to improve performance and cost at branch sites. This enables businesses to dynamically route traffic across a hybrid-WAN based on the current network status by utilising multiple connections. Learn more about the benefits of SD-WAN.

     

  • What are the benefits of IP-VPN?

     

    Aside from the security benefits of using an IP-VPN, this system has various other advantages for organisations. Since it’s based on MPLS, the network traffic can be monitored and managed for quality and efficiency, as well as usage.

    What’s more, IP-VPNs give businesses the ability to adjust the network performance to meet business needs, pushing certain traffic to the front of the queue as required. It’s also possible to access – and learn from – historical reports on usage and bandwidth statistics. Find out more here.

  • The importance of managed WAN services

     

    With a managed wide area network, your network will be monitored and managed from an operations centre. Your provider will ensure secure traffic management across multiple sites, making certain that your network is performing at its best. Some providers allow you to view your network’s performance in real time. You’ll be alerted when there’s an issue, and kept in the loop while the problem is fixed. Managed WAN services also let you choose between different bandwidth and transport options, keeping your business agile.

  • What is hybrid WAN and what are the benefits?

     

    Simply put, a hybrid WAN uses two different WAN circuits to transmit traffic between an organisation’s sites and data centres. These circuits can be used in a variety of combinations: a broadband and an MPLS circuit, a broadband and a cellular circuit, an internet and MPLS circuit, and so on.

    The secondary circuit can be used to provide backup in case the primary circuit fails or is performing badly due to congestion. Or the secondary circuit can play a more active part in a network strategy, supplying additional resiliency and reliability. Hybrid WANs do, however, need managing if they are to use the secondary as anything other than a failsafe. Find out more here.