What are VPNs and why are they important?

Virtual private networks are essential tools for anyone who values their privacy and security online. Whether you want to prevent your ISP from looking at what you’re doing online or you want to ensure your connection is secure when using public Wi-Fi, VPNs have a lot to offer.

What is a VPN?

Usually, when a device connects to the internet, it directly communicates with online servers. So, for example, if you load a website on your laptop, your internet browser converts the URL into an IP address and then connects to the server associated with that IP address.

A VPN consists of an encrypted communications tunnel and an intermediary server. When you connect to the internet through a VPN, your device sends encrypted instructions to a VPN server. It is then this server that connects to and communicates with the wider internet. The result is that the websites and online services you connect to see the IP address of the VPN server you use, not your device.

What are the benefits of using a VPN?

VPNs greatly improve user’s online privacy and security. All your communications with the VPN server are encrypted, so they can’t be intercepted and read by anyone else. Public Wi-Fi networks often feature little to no security, and intercepting traffic passing through them is trivial for anyone with the right tools.

Another advantage of using a VPN is the ability to change your apparent location. For example, if you connect to Netflix from the UK via a VPN server located in the USA, Netflix will think you are connecting from the USA. VPNs can therefore enable users to circumvent geographical region blocking and access content and services that usually aren’t available to users in their country.

VPNs are also essential tools for businesses. Many businesses require their remote working staff to connect to their corporate network through a VPN. This requirement ensures that any sensitive data passed between their staff’s devices and their corporate servers is secure and encrypted.

Site-to-site VPNs

Also known as network-based VPNs, site-to-site VPNs connect two networks together. Many organisations utilise site-to-site VPNs to create a secure internet connection for private traffic. For example, businesses that want to connect offices in different geographic locations can link their networks with a site-to-site VPN. These networks can similarly be linked with the main corporate network, meaning it all behaves as one contiguous network.

Organisations using site-to-site VPNs need to configure their own endpoints, the devices responsible for encapsulating and de-encapsulating the encrypted data that passes through the network. They also need to decide what authentication method to use and set the rules governing how traffic flows through the encryption tunnel. – Read more

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What are the benefits of infrastructure-as-a-service for businesses?

The proliferation of on-demand cloud services represents one of the most significant technological advances of recent times. Businesses and organisations can now access highly specialised software and hardware remotely while paying a recurring subscription fee that is a fraction of the cost of bringing that same infrastructure in-house. Infrastructure as a service is a hot trend in cloud computing right now, offering enhanced performance, better security, and a high degree of scalability and support over equivalently-priced local infrastructure.

catalyst2 are able to assist you with all your IaaS requirements, please feel free to contact us.

Improved performance at a lower cost

One of the most prominent benefits of IaaS over local hardware for businesses is the enhanced performance despite the lower cost. Under the IaaS model, a business’s infrastructure is provided and maintained by a cloud service provider. The provider shoulders the costs of setting up the infrastructure and takes responsibility for ensuring it is well-maintained and always available.

Businesses can expect better performance from cloud-based infrastructure because providers can achieve a more reliable and robust setup in a data centre than would be possible in an office environment. They will also have redundancies in place to ensure they maximise their uptime and avoid service interruptions.

Not only are the upfront costs of IaaS virtually non-existent compared to buying, installing, and maintaining hardware locally, but the ongoing capital expenditure is much lower. Most cloud service providers agree to provide a certain performance level as defined in their Service Level Agreement. – Read more

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Cloud Hosting – The Solution Of The Future?

Cloud Hosting – The Solution Of The Future? - SaaS - Serchen.com

For those of you that are experienced website builders, it will come as no surprise to hear that getting your page online is not as simple as clicking a button. There are various processes which have to be taken care of in order for a successful outcome to come to fruition. Web hosting companies are slowly-but-surely becoming highly sought-after, and there is a good reason for this. After all, these types of firms are able to revolutionise and optimise the way that your website operates, and this change can be primarily attributed to the hosting options being offered. Cloud hosting is typically regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in the technical world currently.

Whilst it is true that there are various other options which can be taken advantage of, the benefits of this type of service truly elevate it to another level. Here at catalyst2, we have invested a significant amount of time and effort into refining our cloud capabilities, and as such we are ideally-placed to provide a comprehensive guide to everything that you need to know. If you would like to hear our thoughts on the matter, feel free to continue reading below.

A Brief Introduction to Cloud Hosting.

When it comes to locating a flexible type of server which can be tweaked in a moments notice, and does not force you to break the bank to afford it, the only service that you need to know is that of cloud hosting. At first glance, you may be slightly sceptical of its capabilities, not least because of the amount of media coverage that cyber attacks and hacks have had in recent times. The catalyst2 team are pleased to be able to shed some light on the matter; these packages and plans, contrary to popular belief, feature some of the most advanced security measures. The sensitive information of both you and your clients will be well protected, and you won’t need to lose any sleep over fear of being compromised.

Although you may not realise it, cloud hosting is a relatively simple service – the account manager that you are assigned to will have a control panel, and this can be used efficiently-and-effectively in order to maintain and improve performance levels as-and-when it is required. Should you be looking to transition from an existing arrangement to a package which involves the cloud, you will undoubtedly be glad to learn that the process is not only simple, but incredibly easy.

As you may expect from a system which predominantly utilises the Internet, backups take place on a regular basis. Disaster recovery has become an increasingly prevalent service over the past decade, and this is because the alternative is nothing short of catastrophic. If you were to lose your data, there is no-telling as to how long your website would be down. This, in turn, could lead to you losing business on a daily basis, and cause your revenue and income to plummet simultaneously. Understandably, you will want to do all that you can to avoid this type of situation – this is why cloud hosting comes in tandem with a failsafe that ensures that you won’t have to deal with this scenario. – Read more

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