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Technology keeps civilizing as the time passes. In the 20th century many advances in the field of communication technology had taken place. But, the greatest of all the advances is internet. Now-a-days, wireless internet is used in every field of science like mobile phones, or patients getting treating from the doctors from remote locations. Communication has become very easy through internet. The service provider with the help of co-axial cables provides internet to the required location. Considering the current situation, we are using wireless mobile phones which perform the operations of landline telephones. In the same way a device called router (wireless) is introduced into this technology world to perform the operations of wired router (Dangol, 2009).
A router is a device which is used to join two networks like Wide Area Network (WAN) or in Local Area Network (LAN). Wireless router performs similar operations as wired router but, with a wireless access point from rest of the devices can exchange data through this point. It is just like a gateway between the broadband connection and the home network. This reduces the cost or wires but at the same time there are more chances that the hackers will enter the network and steal the data. The only reason to go for wires routers is that it offers mobility for the users (Dangol, 2009).
Routing and switching are the two different things which are complicated to distinguish. Switching is transferring the data packets among the devices on the same network. Routing is moving the data packets from one device to another device among different networks (Huggins, 2005). While moving in the network the information will come across at least one intermediate node. Since the network can have many paths, the path to send the packets can be chosen. Routing protocols are used for moving information from a source node to destination node. By measuring bandwidth, reliability, delay, current load on the path, routing protocols decides what path will be the best for a packet to travel (IIT Kharagpur, 2009).
A Local Area Network provides networking facility to a group of devices (computers) for shorter distances. Generally a LAN is built for exchanging data, printers, scanners, video games etc (Mitchell, 2010). In the same way VLAN works like ordinary LAN, but physical connection with the wires is not required to be connected to the same segment. Irrespective to the location of the clients and servers, they can be connected together by VLAN technology (Network World, 2006).
In this way, technology has undergone huge changes and gained popularity too. After the VLAN technology routers are supporting a new technology called VPN. VPN (virtual private network) is a one of the technology which is being adopted by most of the companies in the present market. This technology helps the company to expand their networking capabilities and also reduce costs. VPN is used in the places where the workers need to access the company's network safely. The company can limit the access of the Information for the workers. Frequent travelers who work for such kind of company use VPN and come to know the jobs to be done. There are used for accessing networks which are at very long distances. The company doesn't need to depend on any service provider. By using internet and the username, password, VPN technology can be used by the users from long distances (Mitchell, 2010).
VPN need authentication to make sure that the entity is communicating with the required user. Authentication can be applied to the organization employee or the VPN device. For example, the VPN device can recognize the user's IP address and allow the user to access it. Data privacy can be obtained by encryption. Encryptions are of two types:
Symmetric encryption: This type of encryption need same key (kind of security which changes data, images, programs into unreadable code by using some algorithms) an encryption key for both encryption and decryption. Generally these are used to encrypt the message content. There are two types of symmetric encryption algorithms:
DES, 3DES and AES.
DES, 3DES: DES stands for Data Encryption Standard. This is the most broadly used symmetric encryption algorithm. This is basically a 64 bit block code and it works on a 8-byte data block. The result code has the similar 8-byte data block. The algorithm applied to encryption is also used for decryption but with the reverse key.
3DES has a key length of 168-bits. 3DES executes DES three times and with 3 keys. 3DES uses the key 1 for encryption, key 2 for decryption and key3 for encryption (Huang & Frahim, 2008).
Asymmetric encryption: This type of encryption needs different keys for encryption and decryption. One of them is public key which is known to public domain and the other is recognized only by the vendor of the two keys.
The technology behind VPN is using network protocols called PPTP, L2TP, IPsec, SOCKS.
IPsec: It is protocol which permits two or more users to communicate in a protected mode. IPsec has two sub-protocols. They are:
ESP (Encapsulated Security Payload), which guards the IP data packet for unknown user, by changing the contents to a unreadable way by using the algorithms like DES.
AH (Authentication Header), which guards the IP packet header from the unknown user by a protected hashing function (conversion of variable text field to a fixed size string is called hashing).
VPN tunneling is nothing but to set up and sustain a network connection. This is done to ensure that the data is accesses by authorized users and avoid hacking. The data packets in this connection are put in a shield and protected with a protocol and later exchanged between the VPN user and server. There are two types of tunneling which are commonly used. They are:
Compulsory (Mitchel, ND).
Two networks can be connected on an intranet by using a router-to-router VPN connection. In the organizations where a department wants to secure the sensitive data, disconnects the network connection with the rest of the organization's intranet. This might cause problems to some users who are not connected to a separate network. With the help of VPN connection, the organization's intranet is connected to the required department's network and disconnected from VPN server (Microsoft, 2005).
Extranet VPNs facilitates the user to the selected data and secure the sensitive data. It provides more flexibility to the consumers by implementing many technologies to built large VPN. It allows many departments of an organization to have access to the VPN.
Along with the advancements in the internet technology, security issues are growing day-by-day. In the VPN technology there is problem in providing the authentication for the users. Advancements are needed in VPN technology to avoid data theft.