Work From Anywhere: How A VPN Can Help You

Jason Cooley is Support Services Manager for Tech Experts.

Work. Most of us have to do it and, typically, we spend around a third of our lives doing it. While you are already dedicating a third of your life to your job, sometimes there is a need to get more work done.

The old statement that “there aren’t enough hours in the day” really applies to a lot of hardworking people who go above and beyond the expected contribution.

The dependency on technology is constantly increasing and, because of this, many of us have jobs that depend on computers.

Often, these jobs require us to be at work in our office, whether it be to run applications hosted on the work server or to access documents.

So, say you have a few extra hours of work to do. You need to use a program at your office or maybe just some stored documents. Now, you have to go in to the office on a day off… unless you have a VPN setup.

What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. The internal network at your office would be considered a private network.

The IP addresses are not broadcasted for everyone to see and there is almost certainly some sort of security device keeping unwanted traffic out.

With a VPN, it creates a tunnel from your computer to your office, creating the illusion that you are actually inside that private network.

The VPN program will put your computer on the network virtually, hence the name Virtual Private Network.

The concept of a VPN and how it works is fairly straightforward. You may be asking yourself how safe it is. A VPN is typically viewed as one of the best layers of protection, not just for connecting to a network offsite, but for also hiding the data transmitted while doing so.

In theory, data transmitted over a VPN cannot be accessed or intercepted. This is why a VPN is viewed as a simple and safe way to access your private network, as well as to browse the Internet privately (private does not mean anonymous).

What are all the things a VPN can do for you?
A correctly configured VPN can put you on a network from anywhere where you have an Internet connection.

With a VPN setup, you can now work on those documents. You can use your software that is only available in the office where the database is hosted. You can even send print jobs over the VPN to a printer in your office. A fellow staff member needs a document printed and you are at home? No problem, you can send the request just like you were at your desk.

Who needs a VPN?
While a VPN doesn’t benefit everyone, it sure can make your life a little easier if you’re a road warrior, and maybe even score you some more time at home.

The cost and setup of a VPN is not at all daunting, making it a viable option for anyone with a need to access files and programs they normally couldn’t without being in their office.