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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Which Server Solution Is Best For High-Traffic Websites?

When you come to catalyst2, you have the opportunity to collaborate with a company that, thanks to twenty years of experience, has a keen understanding of this particular field. Being providers of top-tier UK dedicated servers means that unlike some of the other data centres in the country, we can offer insightful advice on the best course of action. Should you wish to educate yourself further on this matter, feel free to familiarise yourself with the words of wisdom imparted by our experts below.

Flexible Server

The moment that you start your company, you will undoubtedly be looking to try and enhance the way that you attract new customers – this is particularly true of those firms which are competing against a saturated market. Some of the other options, whilst technically superior, can take an extended amount of time to set-up, hence why you may not pay them much heed. However, there are ways in which to get around this; case-and-point, flexible servers are seeing their popularity spike, and it is not difficult to see why.

Many people believe that the most important advantage associated with flexible servers is the fact that you can create a bespoke agreement which adequately caters to your needs. This is a service which does not force you to continuously pump money into a service which does not directly benefit you. The contracts are a minimum of one week, meaning that you can use this service as a type of stop-gap prior to entering into a long-term deal. These offers are dedicated to those companies which are perhaps struggling to determine the direction that they are going in.

Unlike the majority of the other options listed below, what allows the flexible server to stand apart from the rest is the fact that you can continuously adapt and change. If you are thinking that more could be done to improve your campaigns, you can request that your assigned technicians pay closer attention to the typical accomplishments of your website. This type of information can serve to provide insight into what needs to be improved.

Cloud Hosting

In recent years, you may have noticed the fact that there have been significant advances in our technical capabilities. This can be seen in various aspects of modern-day life – from the smartphones that we use on a daily basis, to the compact-yet-powerful laptops which we utilise, the changes are evident. The evolution has also impacted the manner in which people host their business websites – one such innovative change has come in the form of cloud-based systems.

In essence, this is a service which looks to minimise the expenses of smaller corporations, whilst not impacting the way that their websites run. In times gone by, the only option for you would involve storing your data on a piece of physical hardware – these types of services are still available, as you can see from the other options listed.

There are few services in the modern technical world which can match the level of cyber security which is apparent in cloud-based systems. Due to the fact that they are based solely on the internet, without adequate protection they would be targeted by those with nefarious intentions. Not only will state-of-the-art firewalls be in place, but virtual LANs mean that sensitive client data cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties. Problems relating to malware will not be something that you will lose sleep over, and you can be sure that this will probe to be invaluable. A little-known fact that will also put your mind at ease is that you are capable of integrating bespoke software that has been designed in-house. – Read more

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