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What is a VPN and how can it help your flexible workplace?

A VPN. It's possible you've heard this term before - especially if discussing employees working remotely, disaster recovery plans or even IT hardware like Firewalls. But what actually is a VPN?

In short, a VPN or Virtual Private Network is a group of computers and other hardware networked together over a public network (like the internet) using a secure encrypted connection. This group creates a virtual version of a secure, physical network to allow users to easily access applications and share information. Essentially, a VPN ensures a secure network connection over an insecure channel (like the internet).

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So how does this apply to you? You've probably taken steps to secure your network at your office - you've password-protected your wifi, restricted access and permissions to certain files and applications and encrypted all of the data you can. This all works great when your team is in person at your office, physically connected to your network and collaborating together. But what about when they're not in the office?

A VPN will allow your team to remotely connect directly into that secure environment - granting them that same access as if they were physically in your office - from anywhere they can get an internet connection.

As workplaces become more an more flexible, tools like a VPN will allow employees to perform their job functions easily from home - or anywhere. A VPN can be simple to set up and a great tool to enhance your employees' day-to-day lives.