The VPN router is a type of device which has network interface cards that provide support for an Internet protocol. At the bare minimum, it will need to have two network interface cards, but can use more than this.
It is responsible for figuring out how to transmit IP packets, and will connect networks to other networks such as the Internet. When a network sends data, or communicates, it will do so in packets. The VPN router will analyze the IP packets, and will figure out the best way to forward it.
This type of router will generally function on the network layer within the OSI reference model, and can connect networks to the Internet. These routers are essential for any group of networks.
The router will obtain the packets from the Interface card, and will analyze the address for the IP packet. Once it has done this, it will transfer it to the proper network interface for output. Prior to sending the packet, the link protocol will need to be replaced with the router.
The packets will be transmitted based on the IP destination address that is associated with them, as well as the routing information. The routing table will define the IP address on the network which is known through the proper interface card, which will be used with the packet to reach the proper destination.
With the LAN routers, they will decide if the packet is for the regional computer, or the internet. This determination will be made based on the IP address.
VPN Router Features
Inside the LAN network, the VPN router will make a separation between the LANs, and will be responsible for balancing the traffic among workgroups. It will also filter the incoming traffic to ensure security.
The VPN router will typically be used on the network's edge so that it can make a connection to offices which are remote, or so it can make a connection to an ISP. When it comes to large corporate networks, the VPN router will act as the connection for every internal network through Ethernet.
Connections can be made to the outside network via cable modems, T3 connections, or ATM. This basically means that the VPN router can be an important switching point for every packet inside the network.
VPN Router Advantages
One of the biggest advantages that the VPN router has over other router types is that it can allow network connectivity to be maintained over very long distances. This basically means that VPN could be thought of as a Wide Area Network. It allows for activities such as video conferencing as well as the sharing of files.
While VPN routers don't offer anything which is substantially different from other router types, the biggest advantage that it has is that it offers them with a much higher level of efficiency, and it can also do it very cheaply. Not only can this type of router function with public networks, but it can also work with private networks as well. To do this, it makes use of a method called tunneling.
This basically means that it uses the identical hardware infrastructure that the intranet or Internet uses.
VPN Router Issues
VPN routers have a number of limitations. They require a deep knowledge of network security, and they must be installed properly. If they are not installed property, the organization can be vulnerable to hackers or various types of network attacks.
The second big issue that comes with VPN routers is that the organization doesn't have full control over its performance, especially when its Internet based. The VPN router will largely be dependent on the ISP and its reliability.
The third issue that is often encountered with VPN routers is compatibility problems. Because many VPN products are sold through different vendors, issues have occurred when it comes to technology standards. With VPN, mixing and matching products is a bad idea.