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Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are encrypted networks that create secure tunnels for communication via the internet. They allow users to connect to the internet securely and privately. However, depending on the needs of the user and the grand purpose the VPN is expected to serve, different VPN types are best suited for specific goals.

To discuss this a little deeper, it is important to highlight the different types of VPNs.

Types of VPNs

Generally, there are two main types of virtual private networks. They are categorized based on how they operate and the specific markets that they serve. The remote access VPN is the most popular and serves individuals by providing secure and private access to the internet while a site-to-site VPN is common in the corporate sector and is more of an extension of an organization’s intranet.

Remote Access VPN

A remote-access VPN grants the user a secure and private remote access to all its services and resources through encrypted communication tunnels. This type of VPN is the most popular in the market and is widely used by individuals rather than teams. It is the ideal type of VPN for those looking to access the internet securely and privately at home.

Users can also take advantage of the anonymity that is provided by a remote-access VPN to access location-filtered content and blocked websites. This type of VPN can also be used in isolated cases by employees working from home to access company data securely without putting the information in jeopardy of a potential cyber attack.

Most VPN service providers operate in the remote access VPN market with some of most popular products as discussed on this website tailor-made for individuals and small businesses. Large corporations tend to use site-to-site VPNs.

Site-to-Site VPN

A site-to-site VPN also known as router-to-router VPN is widely used in large companies and multinational corporations. Basically, corporations use this type of VPN to connect operations of different branches thereby allowing employees to share information and data securely.

When data sharing is restricted to the branches and offices of one company, this is called a site-to-site intranet VPN. However, if information sharing is extended to the offices of another company, then it is called a site-to-site extranet VPN. In the latter case, this could include a business sharing information directly with customers via an application programming interface (API) or with its creditors.

In this type of network, one router acts as a VPN client while the other acts as the VPN server. This is how it earned its alternate name router-to-router VPN. Authentication must be validated between the two routers for secure communication to start.


In summary, depending on the type of customer and purpose that the VPN is intended to serve, some VPNs are better suited for specific purposes. For instance, you cannot use a site-to-site VPN to serve the same purpose that a remote-access VPN serves by connecting users to the internet.

A site-to-site VPN works better in large organizations by facilitating information sharing while a remote-access VPN provides a secure and anonymous bridge to the internet.