Definition: VPN is an acronym that stands for virtual private network. A network of this type encrypts the transmission of data and still is able to use the publicly accessible telephone network. A dedicated leased-line was previously the only way that secure telecommunications could occur. An information infrastructure that is protected by an encrypted telecommunications link makes it possible to assure one of the fastest growing trends in business and commerce, working remotely. There are both hardware and software solutions that can provide for this type of network.

Its Relevance: Dedicated or leased lines are very expensive. A mechanism that makes it possible to use the publicly available Internet is much more affordable. Encrypted networks support and secure mobile computing which can give an organization and business a competitive advantage.

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