Aditya is an Azure DevOps and Infrastructure Virtualization Architect with experience in automation,... | See full bio
What is a Cloud VPN? [A Complete Guide for Beginners]
Updated · Aug 17, 2023
Florence is a dedicated wordsmith on a mission to make technology-related topics easy-to-understand.... | See full bio
Hi, I'm Hijab Shaikh, one of the co-founders of CXI Solutions, a leading company that specializes in... | See full bio
As more employees work remotely, the demand for reliable and protected access to company resources has grown.
Cloud VPNs address this demand by offering a secure and flexible means of accessing resources. It works by providing worldwide access to private networks through cloud-based resources.
In this article, you will learn what a cloud VPN is, how it works, its benefits, compatibility, security risks, and more. Let’s start.
A cloud VPN is a virtual private network with a cloud-based structure that provides secure and private access to cloud-based resources.
Cloud VPNs are user-friendly and scalable, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes.
It is best suited for remote-friendly and cloud-first organizations.
One of the most significant advantages of cloud VPNs is that users and devices can securely access company resources from anywhere.
Cloud VPNs have good security features, but how securely they work depends heavily on how end-users act responsibly.
What is a Cloud VPN?
Cloud VPN is a virtual private network using a cloud-based infrastructure to deliver VPN services. It is also referred to as a hosted VPN or as a service (VPAaaS).
In principle, cloud VPN services aren't much different from traditional VPN services. However, unlike traditional VPNs, a cloud VPN enables a secure connection without management and can be rapidly deployed globally.
👍Helpful article: To read more about VPNs, check out Techjury's articles on Is a VPN Worth It? [The Only Guide You'll Ever Need] and What Is Double VPN? [An Easy-To-Digest Guide]
Cloud VPN uses the internet as the primary transport medium to connect remote users to cloud-based resources.
The purpose of a cloud VPN is to provide a secure, private, and reliable connection, as if networks were on the same LAN.
The typical components of a cloud VPN include:
- VPN Gateway - The VPN gateway serves as the entry and exit point for the VPN network.
It secures connections, encrypts and decrypts data, authenticates users, establishes tunnels, and routes data to its intended destination.
- VPN Clients - Known as client apps, these programs run on end users’ devices and allow them to access the private network securely.
- Control Panel - It is an interface provided by the cloud VPN service provider. This allows administrators and users to manage and configure the cloud VPN settings.
A cloud VPN is for anyone who needs to access their network resources from a remote location securely. It is suited for those who are adopting:
- Remote-friendly organizations - A cloud VPN creates inexpensive mobility for organizations that utilize hybrid work.
- Cloud-first organizations - Cloud VPN is best suited for organizations that rely more heavily on cloud-based resources.
- Contractors and outsourcers - It is simple to add new users and authenticate their devices to access company resources. Cloud VPNs ensure confidentiality and enable seamless collaboration from anywhere.
🎉Fun fact: Did you know that 67% of enterprise infrastructure is cloud-based? To know more, read Techjury’s article on 34 Heavenly Cloud Computing Statistics for 2023.
In the next section, you will learn how a cloud VPN works.
How Does a Cloud VPN Work?
Cloud VPNs secure the cloud environment and encrypt the connection between you and your private virtual cloud (PVC) network. Traffic and information are encrypted and decrypted.
Here’s how a cloud VPN works:
1. It Secures the Cloud
VPN connects an organization's cloud resources to remote users, contractors, or on-premises networks securely and encrypted.
🎉Fun Fact: Choosing the cloud over local data is one of the top trends in privacy. To know more, read our article on Global Online Privacy and Security Trends to Follow in 2023!
2. Enables Remote Access
It allows authorized users, regardless of their location, to securely access the company’s cloud-based services, applications, and data.
3. Encrypts Transmitted Data
All data transmitted between the user’s device and the cloud resources is encrypted. This keeps data unintelligible and secure, even if intercepted over the internet.
Types of Cloud VPN
There are two main types of deploying VPN connections over a public network. These are remote access cloud VPNs and site-to-site cloud VPNs.
Here are the two types of cloud VPNs below:
1. Remote Access Cloud VPNs
The remote access cloud VPN connects individual users to specific host networks. Remote employees use this connection to review files in the central hub, which is temporary rather than permanent. It is often used to facilitate remote workers.
The combination of a network access server and the cloud VPN app installed on the user’s device ensures secure remote access to a private network.
2. Site-to-Site Cloud VPN
Also known as gateway-to-gateway VPN, site-to-site VPN enables secure communications. It establishes a secure connection between two networks, creating a shared network or connection to a central hub.
It works best when deployed on-site, with employees sharing lots of data from different locations.
Benefits of Cloud VPN
A cloud VPN is a distinct anonymity and cybersecurity solution that differs from a traditional VPN. It requires no hardware or IT support, making it a unique cybersecurity solution.
Here are the top benefits of using a cloud VPN:
Access From Anywhere
Traditional VPNs use hardware and networks on-premises, whereas users can access cloud-hosted VPNs anywhere. Cloud VPNs enable users and devices to access company resources securely from anywhere.
This feature benefits remote workers who need to access company resources from their homes, coffee shops, or public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Cloud VPNs are designed to work with many different devices and operating systems, which makes them flexible.
These include desktop computers, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones. Moreover, most VPN providers have integrations with many cloud services.
Traditional VPNs have limitations, such as network latency when accessing cloud-based resources.
Cloud VPNs, on the other hand, provide secure direct access to cloud-based resources such as:
- Virtual machines
These cloud-based resources are hosted on the VPN service provider's platforms. Direct access reduces latency and ensures that cloud resources work as well as they can.
Flexibility and Scalability
Cloud VPNs are more flexible and scalable than traditional VPNs, which are hard to set up and are permanent.
Businesses can easily adapt network configurations to changing needs, handling more connections and bandwidth with ease.
Disadvantages of Cloud VPN
While cloud VPNs address some of the problems associated with traditional VPNs, they have their own drawbacks.
The following are some of the disadvantages of using cloud VPNs:
While cloud VPNs come with solid security features, their effectiveness heavily relies on the responsible behavior of end-users. A malicious actor could access all network resources using a user's smartphone or computer's VPN client software. This could result in data breaches and other security risks.
Therefore, companies must educate employees about Cloud VPNs' vital role in network resource security. Each user's access point security becomes crucial in preventing potential vulnerabilities and ensuring the overall safety of the VPN.
🎉Fun fact: Did you know that 75% of companies say a data breach has caused a material disruption to business processes? To know more about data breach statistics, check out our article 50 Data Breach Statistics to Help You Be Prepared in 2023
Aside from security risks, here are other cons to using cloud VPNs:
- Visibility - VPN gateways publish their presence on the public internet to connect client apps. With this visibility, cyber criminals may be able to find VPN gateways and use them in attacks.
👍Helpful article: Techjury has a guide article on cyberattacks. Check out our article What Is a Cyberattack? [Beginner-Friendly Guide]
- IPsec Complexity - Cloud VPN solutions use IPsec protocols to protect site-to-site and remote access connections. However, IPsec is so complex that any mistakes in its configuration could provide an opening for an attack.
- Permissive network connections - VPN treats the user's device as a second network for remote access. Cloud VPN users can gain access to the protected network.
When user credentials are compromised, this can result in data breaches and compliance issues. With this in mind, the best thing to do is set up access controls and check the firewall rules often.
- Availability of an internet connection - A stable and fast internet connection is vital for cloud VPNs to work effectively.
Any disruptions or outages in the internet connection can impact the service. If your internet connection fails, you may lose access to the cloud VPN, disrupting your work.
👍Helpful article: If you want to know more about VPN protocols, read our article on Understanding VPN Protocols: Which One is the Best?
Cloud VPN services work similarly to regular VPNs but with a cloud-based infrastructure. They provide businesses of all sizes with secure and convenient remote access. Cloud VPNs boast simple setup procedures that require no technical expertise to maintain.
As cloud-based solutions, they are flexible and can connect many devices in different places around the world while keeping security high.
Can I have a static IP address with a cloud VPN?
Yes, getting a dedicated IP with a cloud VPN is possible. Cloud VPNs are more agile than hardware VPNs and must support static IP addresses for cloud app support.
Are there free cloud VPNs available?
Yes, some cloud VPN providers have free plans with limited functionality. You should also take advantage of a free trial offered by various VPN providers.
Can I use a cloud VPN on my smartphone?
Yes, many cloud VPNs are available on iOS and Android apps, which makes them easy to set up and use on your mobile device.
Your email address will not be published.