(also VPN gateway appliance, VPN gateway)
VPN appliance definition
A virtual private network (VPN) appliance is a device that provides secure remote access to a private network using VPN technology. A VPN appliance is usually placed at the edge of the private network to allow authorized users to safely connect to internal servers from remote locations.
How VPN appliances work
Once the user authenticates themselves to the VPN appliance (for example, by entering their password), the VPN appliance establishes an encrypted tunnel between the user’s device and a private network. Data encryption ensures that any information transmitted between the two endpoints is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.
VPN appliances route all traffic between the two connected endpoints, allowing remote users to access private network resources as though they were physically on site. VPN appliances may also include access control features to define who can access the private network and what services are available to them.
Types of VPN appliances
- Hardware-based: Hardware-based VPN appliances are physical devices installed on-site, often designed to handle high volumes of VPN traffic. Hardware-based VPN appliances come in different forms, including standalone appliances, rack-mounted units, and modular chassis.
- Virtual: Software-based VPN appliances can be installed on virtual machines. Virtual VPN appliances offer the same functionality as hardware-based VPN appliances while being easier to deploy and manage.
- Cloud-based: VPN appliances hosted in the cloud, typically by third-party providers. Cloud-based VPN appliances allow organizations to ensure secure remote access to their networks without having to manage VPN appliance hardware or software.