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Summary: Differences between VPN and SSH

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Secure Shells (SSH) are two network technologies which are widely used to enhance privacy, security and data integrity while communicating through the internet. While both these technologies achieve similar goals, their functioning and underlying technology varies greatly and influence which one is preferred by a user. With full knowledge of these two technologies, IT companies in Ottawa can help both small and large businesses maintain and uphold network security within their networks. They can also guide businesses on selecting the more appropriate and cost effective technique to secure their data.

The most fundamental difference between a VPN and an SSH tunnel is how each of these technologies operates. With VPN tunneling, alterations are made to the data packets which are being sent by encrypting them and encapsulating them into a new network protocol. This encapsulation allows data packets to go through an unsecured network without being interfered or tampered with. For SSH tunneling, data security involves setting up an encrypted private network within a public network connection so that data packets can be sent securely. The data packets themselves don’t have to be encrypted because the network through which they are passing is.

Another key difference between VPN and SSH tunneling is that VPN runs on the transport layer while SSH runs on the application layer of a network. Because VPN deals with the network itself, it can function as a completely separate network while still utilizing resources within a public network. This is advantageous to network support services that offered in Ottawa because it allows for multiple computers to share information with one another easily. While SSH can also run many services on a remote host, it requires that each of these services is defined in a unique port and that maintenance on the port forwards is made for each service. IT companies in Ottawa must determine how many services run through a network to determine which data security technology will be more appropriate to set up.

Each of these technologies has its advantages and disadvantages. For VPNs, encrypted data can be encapsulated and disguised as usual traffic. However, VPNs require routers and software to run which makes it a more costly solution. For SSH tunneling, the option to encrypt only some services within a network can prevent networks from slowing down too much. However, SSH requires that each service is configured and maintained separately, and this can take a lot of effort to set up and maintain. Both technologies offer security for a company’s data. By determining the nature of services being run by a client business in Ottawa, network support can be enhanced and selecting a technology for securing data becomes easier.

Articles in this series:

How to Set Up an SSH Tunnel
What is SSH Tunneling?
How to Setup an Office VPN
What is VPN Tunneling?