What Is A VPN Concentrator? How Does The VPN Concentrator Work?

What Is A VPN Concentrator? How Does The VPN Concentrator Work?

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If you have your private VPN network, there’s no doubt you’re reaping the rewards of being able to access your business or home files remotely. With a VPN network, it is nice to know that you can access your files safely without worrying about malicious attacks from third parties

Despite having these perks, there comes a time where you need to upgrade your system to get better access to your files from wherever you may be. This is where VPN concentrators come in. If you have been using a VPN router, it might be time to start considering a VPN concentrator.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about VPN concentrators and compare it to a VPN router so you can weigh the pros and cons of both devices to decide if an upgrade is worth it.



Vpn Concentrators: Definition

what is concentratorSome IT experts refer to VPN concentrators as VPN routers on steroids that come with the ability to manage more VPN connections. However, that is a much-simplified definition.

The technical definition of a VPN concentrator is; a networking device that creates VPN networks to facilitate communication between different VPN nodes. At its core, a VPN concentrator is a router that is specifically designed to create and manage VPN network infrastructures.

In case you are wondering why you should spend more on a VPN concentrator instead of sticking with your VPN router that has been serving you well, the answer is very simple.

If you need to manage thousands of more VPN connections remotely, a VPN concentrator is the best choice you can make. In truth, the initial definition by IT experts is overly simplified. VPN concentrators are much more than just VPN routers on steroids. They also offer administrative capabilities such as establishing VPN tunnels, authenticating members, and establishing VPN tunnels.


How Does The VPN Concentrator Work?

VP concentrators are designed to handle thousands of clients remotely through encrypted VPN tunnels. VPN concentrators have many uses such as in the military where soldiers in battlefields can send and receive messages securely.

At large institutions, thousands of employees can use a concentrator to log in to their servers remotely at the same time.This guide will only concentrate on the applications of VPN concentrators in business/corporate environments;


Uses Of VPN Concentrators In A Business/Corporate Environment

It is important to note that VPN concentrators and Wireless routers are not the only technologies that provide access to private networks remotely. Remote desktop is another technology used but unlike a VPN concentrator is far easier for hackers to crack.

Unfortunately, many homeowners and small business owners use remote desktop to access their private networks remotely. As stated earlier, it is easier to crack its password and steal data while undetected, especially when the user fails to close the server client.

The main difference between remote desktop and VPN concentrator is that remote desktop uses static IP to login to private networks while VPN concentrators use dynamic IP to login to private networks.

Static IP in remote desktop means that the system uses the same IP address every time a client logs into their private network. When hackers or other threats figure out the IP address, they only need to crack the password, and they will have full access to the private network.

Having dynamic IP means that VPN concentrators use a different IP address every time clients log in to their private networks. Since VPNs provide the capability of masking their IPs, they make it hard for threats to break into their private networks because the IP address keeps morphing with each login.

Corporates and large firms don’t want their sensitive documents leaking to unauthorized personnel. For this reason, they opt to go for VPN concentrators to protect their ultra-sensitive data.


Vpn Concentrator Vs Vpn Router: Is A Vpn Concentrator Different From A Vpn Router?

Undoubtedly, both devices operate in the same way but also differ in many other ways. For instance, a concentrator can handle thousands of VPN clients making it ideal for corporate environments where the employees can safely access their private networks remotely.

The brutal truth is that you don’t need a VPN concentrator for your home. The sheer cost of buying and installing the device at your home makes no financial sense at all. Not unless you live in the Whitehouse or are a top-level government official with lots of state secrets.

On the other hand, VPN routers are ideal for home use and small businesses where only a few individuals have access to your private network. Other advantages of VPN routers is that they are cheaper than VPN concentrators and you get all the features you’d normally get with a normal router including Ethernet ports, USB ports, wired and wireless connectivity, among others.

To wrap this section up, we have established that VPN routers and VPN concentrators are mostly similar devices. Their only difference is the magnitude in which they execute their tasks. If you were to view these devices politically, a VPN router would assume the role of a governor while a VPN concentrator would assume the role of a president. That simple.

VPN concentrator SSL vs. IPSEC encryption

VPN concentrators encrypt files using either SSL or IPSec encryption. When encrypting files with IPSec, a client software is required to access the private network. While IPSec requires more technical skill and man-hours to configure, it offers two advantages, a high level of security encryption and configurable local address and security layers.Together with its difficulty in setting up, IPSec encryption is suited for fixed remote locations such as your home’s internet network. That means it would be impossible to access your VPN network if you are away from home. For instance, if you are using a restaurant’s Wi-Fi, your laptop or smartphone will not access your VPN network because the restaurant’s Wi-Fi is not configured to accept IPSec traffic.

When you compare IPSec encryption and SSL encryption, IPSec provides a more secure encryption but is a pain in the butt to configure and does not offer the level of versatility SSL encryption offers.

On the other hand, SSL may not offer the same level of security as IPSec encryption but makes up for it with its versatility. Unlike IPSec encryption, SSL encryption does not need fixed remote locations for clients to access their private VPN files. With SSL clients can access VPN files from any location using any device as long, it’s connected to the internet.

Before setting up an encryption protocol on your VPN network, consider all your business needs and then determine which encryption suits your business best. That said, we’d recommend SSL encryption for all businesses as it’ll be less of a pain in the butt for everyone intending to use the VPN network.


Conclusion: Why It’s Important For Small Business Or Corporate Environment

There are many reasons why companies or corporates should invest in VPN concentrators. First and foremost, they provide a private network that is secure and nearly impossible for threats to break into. In a scenario where a company does not have a VPN set up, a concentrator becomes important because it will enable the company to set up a VPN network.

The network will give the company’s employees access to their private network remotely. With a concentrator, employees will be able to log in to the company’s network and access files securely from anywhere in the world.

For growing companies that have a VPN network and are using a VPN router, it reaches a point where the company’s VPN router cannot allow all company employees to access the company’s private network which may slow down the company’s productivity.

For growing companies, VPN routers offer limited capabilities where they only provide employees with limited access to the company’s servers. When this happens, it may be time for the management to start thinking about upgrading their VPN service. Setting up a VPN concentrator will give all employees access to the company’s servers from anywhere in the globe.

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