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Time: August 2nd, 2023

This explainer is all about VLAN vs VPN and how they compare to each other. Here we explain their definitions and how they work. 

What is VLAN?

VLANs are also useful when you're dealing with multiple devices in different locations or departments within the same building. You may have an office on one side of the building that's dedicated to salespeople and another office on another side where engineers work; these two offices would need their VLANs so that they could communicate with each other without interfering with each other’s work environments (for example, someone in Sales might need access only through this specific path). 

A VLAN is a separate logical group of devices on a single physical device in the same layer 2 as that device. VLANs are used to create virtual networks within a single physical network, which allows you to separate the traffic for each group of devices to optimize performance and increase security. They're used to segment a network into groups and can be used to separate devices on the same network, such as computers or storage systems, while also isolating them from each other. VLANs are managed using switches, which create subnets by default; however, you can create your subnet manually with the IEEE 802.1Q standard (see below). 

For example: if your company has 100 offices across the globe and each office needs its IP address, but there isn't enough bandwidth to assign each office its dedicated IP address (and therefore also means they will share their default gateway), then you can use VLANs instead. This way everyone gets their unique IP address but still uses the same default gateway so all data is routed through one server/switch rather than being sent over different ones around town each time someone logs onto Skype or sends an email from Gmail. 

What is VPN?

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are used to connect remote sites to a local network. They allow you to access the internet from a remote location and are often used by companies with multiple offices in different locations, or those who want a secure connection between their home and office computers. A VPN service allows you to create an encrypted tunnel between your computer and our servers so that you can access all of your data on both sides of this link—your computer's hard drive as well as any files stored on our server (like email). It's used to connect two networks, such as your home network and the internet.  

When you connect to the internet through your router, it acts as an intermediary for traffic that would otherwise have to go through your ISP—and that can introduce additional overhead on both ends of your connection (your ISP has to pay for this additional bandwidth). A virtual private network (VPN) is essentially a secure tunnel between two devices so they can communicate securely over public networks like the Internet or corporate intranets.VLANs are a technology layer that provides network connectivity to connected devices.  

A VPN can connect your computer to another network which ensures that your data will go through a secure connection to reach its destination. The most common use of a VPN is to connect you from one network to another, such as from home or work, but it's not limited in this way. Some people use them for security reasons as well. For example: If you want to access files on an office server remotely without having access yourself and don't want anyone else to know what you're doing (example), then using a VPN will help keep the information private between computers using different protocols and encryptions. 

VLAN vs VPN, Key Differences:

Both technologies provide security, scalability, and flexibility. Although the two technologies are similar in some ways, there are also key differences that you should consider before deciding which one is right for your business.


VLANs differ mainly in their ability to handle traffic between different networks (or subnets). The most basic type of network is a local area network (LAN), which connects computers directly together using cables or wireless connections like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. A router can be used to connect two or more LANs into larger networks called wide area networks (WANs). 


A VPN differs from VLANs by allowing users to access their data remotely via the internet rather than being limited by their location or physical proximity (as with a traditional Ethernet switch). This allows employees at different locations around the world to share documents via satellite connections, for example.


Wrapping Up:

This concludes the comparison of VLAN vs VPN and their definitions. A VPN is designed specifically for remote business use and will differ from a VLAN in certain ways. The most important difference is that VPNs are used to connect to the internet, while VLANs are used specifically within an organization’s network.



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