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Difference Between VLAN and VPN

vpnVLAN vs VPN

Networks have grown astronomically over the years and has eventually led to development of the internet which spans the whole world. But having an extremely big and unsecured network means that a lot of people are able to gain access to any unsecured network and traffic. Most companies hide their local networks behind a firewall among other security mechanisms to ensure that they are safe from malicious attacks. But it is often beneficial for companies to let their employees access the company’s resources from outside the local network. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is a method of simulating a private network that is operating on top of a larger network like the internet.

A VLAN or Virtual Local Area Network is a subcategory of VPN. Where VPN constructs range from Layer 1 to Layer 3, VLAN is purely a layer 2 construct. A VLAN makes it possible to group computers that are not necessarily connected to the same switch and make them act as if they were. VLAN makes it possible to relocate computers geographically while still maintaining the same connections and resources like shared folders and others. VLAN can also be used to segregate computers in a bigger local network into smaller networks for each office or department and shielding the data so that they do not act as if they are on same network even if they are in the same switch.

Despite having a much larger range of applications, VPN is commonly related to technologies that allow company employees remote access to the company’s resources like file and email servers. VPN also employs security mechanisms so that the data is not compromised once it goes out and travels through the internet. Users often need to authenticate their identity via a user name and password in order to gain access. Other networks also require that the device the user is on has been labeled as a trusted device before allowing access. Those who are not on a trusted device are not given access even if they have the right user name and password.

Summary:
1.VPN is a method of creating a smaller sub network on top of an existing bigger network while VLAN is a subcategory of VPN
2.A VLAN is used to group computers that are not usually within same geography into the same broadcast domain while VPN is most commonly related to remote access to a company’s network


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