Talk:Virtual private network

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Missing a "History" section[edit] (talk) 04:56, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Guess you're right. As I'm not an expert on this, can somebody draft at least a basic history of VPN? 1618033goldenc0ntr1b5 22:22, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

security mechanisms -- TLS[edit]

"An SSL VPN can what the hell locations that restrict external access to SSL-based e-commerce websites without IPsec implementations." This sentence does not make sense. What I believe it is trying to say is that IPsec is frequently blocked at public locations such as hotels and Starbucks, whereas SSL VPNs can connect. (IPsec also has issues with NAT traversal, but it's too soon to got into that. I am not actually sure we should even be doing pros and cons here)

I am going to change it so that it reflects my understand, because I do know for a fact that the above statement is true, but someone should review the change in case some other meaning was intended.--Elinruby (talk) 17:49, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

May I offer a suggestion about this article -- Under History, referring to the bullet:

"The tunnel's termination point, i.e., customer edge or network provider edge"

I recommend a hyperlink defining the terms "customer edge" and "network provider edge" and possibly "tunnel" and "tunner termination point." I have an interest in this article, but I'm not a technology person, so defining the above type of jargon would be very helpful. Thanks, Chris Chris Langello 14:18, 30 August 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Langello (talkcontribs)

The whole security section seems to read as if all VPNs include encryption, could use some clarification, but I dont know how to put that in without cutting content that is useful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Is any connection using a tunneling protocol a VPN? Or does it require that you either have a fixed line or you use encryption? I have heard that the former would be correct, even though VPN is often used in a more narrow sense covering only the latter solutions. This should also be said in the article. --Parodi (talk) 14:33, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

With respect to the comments concerning simplifying this article: Unfortunately VPN's are one of the "geekiest" subjects which the general business computer user encounters. I am somewhat knowledgeable about VPN's and have successfully implemented the IPsec flavor numerous times. But I would place a sizeable bet against myself on the probability that I could get an SSH or other VPN protocol up and running in less than a day of beating my head against the nearest wall. — Preceding comment added by Lahhtims (talkcontribs) 11:42, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

This article is garbage[edit]

"Secure VPNs use cryptographic tunneling protocols to provide confidentiality by blocking intercepts"

Nobody says that. You don't "block" intercepting. They can still intercept the traffic, they just might not be able to decrypt it.

"Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) can tunnel an entire network's traffic" And so can TCP, IP, UDP, ARP, ... what's your point? TLS is not a VPN.

"Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS), is used in Cisco's next-generation VPN product" Wtf is this shit? Cisco advertisement? How can something be technically defined as "next-gen", especially when it's a simple VPN protocol?

Agreed. It's mostly buzzwords, with very little actual explanation. Sad (talk) 06:47, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
The first and last complaints have already been addressed. TLS is used as a secure tunnel for some VPNs. TLS provides secuity. The section is called Security mechanisms. I don't see any foul on the second point. ~Kvng (talk) 14:09, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

On the tag "This article has multiple issues"[edit]

It is said: "It may be confusing or unclear for some readers". That's euphemism; as an IT guy myself, I would say the article is totally undecipherable and thus USELESS to 99.99999999999999999999999999999999% of the population on the face of this planet, and by the way, of any other planet known and unknown to mankind as of this day, and for the rest of the foreseen and unforeseen days to come, in the 2, 3, 4 and more dimensions. Get your act together guys! AlainR345Techno-Wiki-Geek 05:51, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

here's an idea for you: if you don't like the article or you don't find it to be useful, then stop wasting your time writing hyperbole and instead devote that time to editing/improving the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Unfortunately, I have no idea what VPN is, and came here to find out. I still don't know. In particular, I still want to know why I can't ping a remote server (even by its IP) without VPN, but I can when I authenticate to with VPN. And has a unique IP, not some 192.168.* thing. (I guess that doesn't matter, though, does it?) Is it some DNS thing? Is it some gateway thing? Is it magic pixie dust? I read (or tried to read) the entire VPN wikipedia article, and I still don't know. (talk) 23:46, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand it either - can someone create the Simple English version so that the general population can make sense of the topic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Part of the problem is that the term VPN is misused. Almost always when you hear someone saying they "want a VPN" what they actually mean is that they want to use a proxy of some kind so they can hide their real IP or appear to have an IP in another country in order to use a service that's only available in that country. There may be a VPN involved with such a proxy service in that the traffic between the user and the proxy may be encrypted but the correct use of VPN is nothing to do with proxies and is just to do with sending private traffic over a public network using encryption and other techniques to make sure it remains totally private even if it is intercepted or spoofed. Naturally this article makes little sense if you are expecting an explanation of IP changing/obscuring services. BrianDGregory (talk) 12:47, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

In basic talk... VPN is a way to access files remotely. Lets say on your computer at home you have a file you want to retrieve, VPN will allow you to see all files on your network at home using high security methods so that no one else will be able to retrieve the files your looking at or using. think of it as "tricking" the network into thinking your right there at the computer on the network looking at the files. Now the word "Tricking" is used VERY LOOSELY because the network does know your VPN, thats just the best way I can explain it to someone who is not accustomed to I.T. Anyone can set up VPN, with the right equipment, most older modems/ routers do not support VPN access. but with a few changes in your Network settings and some reading, it is possible for anyone to do it. DeepEmissions (talk) 17:48, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

"In basic talk... VPN is a way to access files remotely." That is a horrible way to describe VPN. It has nothing to do with accessing of *files*, it has to do with accessing of *hosts*. (talk) 06:20, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

I too came to this page to understand VPN and find it wanting. In particular, I need to know if VPN is a file transfer protocol only or if it "contains" functionality to rendor the graphics. I too want to know how it is different than ftp. Is it just the kind of security? Leeteleetlink (talk) 23:51, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Instead of worrying about the whole article, let's focus on the lead section first. I'm a software developer and I agree that reading the article lead gives 99% of the population no idea of what a VPN is or why it's notable. —Mu Mind (talk) 06:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I reworked the lead section a bit to make it less wordy and use a little more plain, understandable verbiage. I also moved some very specific details out of the lead and down into other specific sections. It's not perfect, but I'd say now the article would benefit most from massaging the main sections and adding some basic context in each one before drilling down into the details. Also, the History section could be expanded to have referenced, interesting information like when the first VPN's appeared, where the term originated, or stats about the growth of VPN usage. —Mu Mind (talk) 07:38, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

fixed incomplete edit (?)[edit]

I removed the following text from the end of the History section:

VPN technology used in 1990. VPN stands for virtual private network. There are two protocols in use in VPN:

Transparent mode
used in remote technology
Tunnel mode
used in local network

I believe it's left over from someone's revision. Elinruby (talk) 22:38, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

In light of the NSA revelations[edit]

Shouldnt a section be created with the concept that VPN networks arent as secure as perceived? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:44, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

this article is dangerous[edit]

This article is so bad that some of the advice it gives borders on dangerous and irresponsible. VPN often implies but does not require or necessarily have some sort of traffic obfuscation/encryption. In cases where specific VPN protocols are mentioned, obsolete (dangerously so) protocols are sometimes mentioned as having parity with less broken protocols.

Someone's wrong on the internet, and I might finally make a wikipedia account to fix it :/ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

VeVeMe (talk) 12:16, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Word! (talk) 01:53, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
There have been a lot of improvements since VeVeMe left this comment. ~Kvng (talk) 14:09, 4 August 2020 (UTC)

Suggested sources[edit]

I suggest adding the VPN comparison - - to references so readers can go and read about newest VPNs. More and more VPNs appear on the market every month, and I think such information would be really useful for understanding how technology changes / evolves.

VPN comparison sites should not be added as a source since most are paid off for their rankings. Also, this article is very outdated being 4 years old and only being about Windows-specific VPNs. If we were going to add information about VPNs it should be objective and updated frequently, so instead it should be linked to this page. --Kegnome (talk) 03:30, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

Handle VPN technology in this article and split off a new article for VPN Service Providers?[edit]

The complexity of VPNs is daunting to consumers who just want some information about the kind of services they can get to get better security e.g. over wifi. Would it make sense to have a different article to focus on the VPN Service Provider issues specifically, and leave the underlying technology and complexities of using VPN to merge two networks etc to this article? Or at least we could carve that stuff out in this article. It's like separating TCP/IP from ISP. What is the best terminology to use? See Wikipedia:Splitting ★NealMcB★ (talk) 17:33, 27 May 2016 (UTC)

Listen im being hacked n i cant seem to stop this person. As he is coming to this site and using whats in here to alternate all of my damn. Devices i can see all what he does in here as he logs in my account as i see im blocked from google apps n blackberry sites for support as i seen it inhere — Preceding unsigned comment added by Canada17977 (talkcontribs) 03:36, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Rewrite and Split[edit]

This article needs a complete rewrite and possibly a split, and I'm not the guy to do it. As it stands it is far too technical, and gives the even the astute reader no insight about the contemporary lay of the land. (For that matter, what is the provenance of the term itself? Who first came up with "Virtual Private Network"? Was the brow of Zeus somehow involved?) kencf0618 (talk) 00:56, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Seconded! I've been making some edits to improve the article but I'm realizing it's fundamentally garbage. Why? Initially VPNs did not use encryption, and thus did not provide strong security, and I recall there were tons of such built, for medium to large businesses. Then, years later, it became the norm to build such networks based on one of a few encryption protocols, and replace the earlier VPNs that used leased virtual connections to connect office networks. Then years later, it became the norm for small businesses and individuals to use mostly those same protocols to encrypt traffic as it left individual users' machines. (And there's far more complexity to that history.). One article for all three results in a terrible article. Much of the article is wrong. There's not much that can be said about VPNs that is true for these types. (I'm even wondering if moving it to draft space for now makes sense, but then someone with no knowledge of this history is most likely to start recreating it.)-- (talk) 01:53, 2 August 2020 (UTC)
It is my observation that independent editors who fly in and say articles need to be written rarely produce a rewrite and never produce a rewrite that is better than the published version. Editors making incremental improvements bring things around gradually and quietly. Some very experienced editors have worked on this article and presumably still have it on their watchlists. Moving this well-developed article to draft space does not make sense. ~Kvng (talk) 14:09, 4 August 2020 (UTC)
Shame. That's nothing but an ad hominem attack with a loose mesh over it. "independent editors who fly in" - wrong - I teleported, LOL. Shit argument.
However, a revert of all the "improvements" you just linked to would result in a decent article, and the current article could be used as a starting point for a new page on VPN Services. Your link appears to be inadvertently helpful. Respond to my argument, not my identity. (talk) 07:34, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
Agree with A fundamental problem with the Internet right now is that certain terms get hijacked usually because they involve using a common technology and suddenly all search engine usage refers to the "new" definition. IPSec is a hot mess too if you want a second example (and ironically IPSec is no longer possible to find information about because... some people decided to use it as part of a VPN stack.) There needs to be two articles - VPN (Access to private networks) and VPN (Privacy Proxies). I'm sure the first can be better named but everything I can think of ends up ambiguous and could apply to "Third parties who sell SOCKS proxies." 2601:584:300:B0A0:BDA5:807F:9488:E83A (talk) 15:54, 11 October 2020 (UTC)


It's awful! Let's see if the project that marked it of high importance cares...-- (talk) 00:37, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

Articles needs to explain commercial VPN's vs private VPN's and the various reasons why some people subscribe to commercial VPN's.[edit]

We need a section that explains commercial VPN services available to the public vs private VPN services run by a corporation/business or an individual. We also needs a section explaining the reasons people sign up for commercial VPN services (or set up their own VPN) such for greater security when traveling such on hotel WiFi, to get around region blocking for streaming services, to get around censorship in certain countries, and so fourth. --Notcharliechaplin (talk) 15:58, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

The problem with commercial VPNs is that they are not always VPNs in the pedantic sense. All a commercial VPN needs to do is to go out to the Internet via a different location, not create a little network where users can see each other and use each other's printers and file shares. --Artoria2e5 🌉 07:38, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

By definition, VPNs require encryption (the private part)[edit]

The opening paragraph states that "Encryption is a common, although not an inherent, part of a VPN connection". The source for this is a CISCO book[1] which does not state anywhere what is written in the wiki article. CISCO defines a VPN as requiring encryption[2]. The CCNA course on VPNs defines a VPN as requiring encryption[3]. It is possible to use VPN software to define a VPN without encryption (set encryption to null) but what is produced is a virtual network, not a virtual private network. A VPN without encryption is a virtual network. I intend to delete and update this section. Please discuss here before reverting. Munchingfoo (talk) 11:58, 5 February 2021 (UTC)



I've simplified the beginning as a start to your marathon editing here. I think the following sections (the technical sections) need a lot of work and it's a bit beyond me. It's far too techie. Much of it seems to be written either by a Cisco employee or someone who's swallowed the Cisco bible. I hope I've helped and haven't made things worse but I do think a simple plain English start will help. If I've oversimplified I apologise but you shouldn't need a Phd to understand this and we also need to know about how we got here and how the market is developing (not just the nitty gritty tech). I also think that having China called out for anti VPN stance looks really biased - need to give a rounder picture of regimes that object to VPN use...SandrinaHatman (talk) 19:12, 10 February 2021 (UTC)