What are the three types of VPN?

There are three kinds of virtual private networks (VPNs). The most common ones are remote access VPNs or virtual private dial-up networks (VPDNs). These are user-to-LAN connections used when employees of a company who are in remote locations need to connect to the company's private network. A company that wants to set up a remote-access VPN usually outsources to an ESP or enterprise service provider. The ESP sets up a NAS (network access server) and also provides remote users with the software they need for their computers. Then users simply dial the NAS using a toll-free number and access the network via their VPN client software. VPNs offer a good third-party service for encrypted, secure connections between remote users within a private network.

The other two types of VPN are both site-to-site, meaning that multiple fixed sites are connected over a public network (like the Internet). A site-to-site VPN requires large-scale encryption and dedicated equipment. An intranet (password-protected site for company employees)-based VPN connects LAN to LAN when a company wants to connect multiple remote connections in one private network. An extranet-based VPN connects LAN to LAN between multiple companies (such as customers and suppliers) so that they can work in a shared environment.


The benefits of an intranet VPN are that it is low-cost and offers a lot of services. With a remote access VPN, though, you do end up saving money because of the toll-free calls. An intranet VPN is best for remote offices within the same company, while a remote access VPN makes the most sense for a mobile employee within the company. An extranet VPN is the way to go if you want to be able to connect with people in other businesses.

Frequently Answered Questions

Which type of VPN is best?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on your specific needs. Some people may prefer a VPN that offers more security, while others may prefer one that is faster and more reliable.