Virtual Private Networks

Front Cover
O'Reilly, 1998 - Computers - 177 pages

Historically, only large companies could afford secure networks, which they created from expensive leased lines. Smaller folks had to make do with the relatively untrusted Internet. Nowadays, even large companies have to go outside their private nets, because so many people telecommute or log in while they're on the road. How do you provide a low-cost, secure electronic network for your organization?

The solution is a Virtual Private Network (VPN): a collection of technologies that creates secure connections or "tunnels" over regular Internet lines -- connections that can be easily used by anyone logging in from anywhere. A number of products now exist to help you develop that solution.

This book tells you how to plan and build a VPN. It starts with general concerns like costs, configuration, and how a VPN fits in with other networking technologies like firewalls. It continues with detailed descriptions of how to install and use VPN technologies that are available for Windows NT and UNIX.

Topics include:

  • How the VPN compares to other available networking technologies
  • Encryption, firewalls, and other technologies that let VPNs work
  • VPN configuration (sample included)
  • Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Level 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
  • The AltaVista Tunnel
  • The Cisco PIX Firewall
  • Maintenance and trouble-shooting
  • Upcoming technologies like IPsec and S/WAN

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Contents

Why Build a Virtual Private Network?
1
Basic VPN Technologies
11
Wide Area Remote Access and the VPN
42
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Charlie Scott is the senior vice president of OuterNet Connection Strategies, Inc., an Internet Service Provider and outsource company based in Austin, Texas, specializing in innovative and emergent technologies. At OuterNet, he helps create and implement new products for their network operations center and co-location facilities. While an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, Charlie was a research assistant in a cognitive science lab, and planned on going to graduate school in that field. He was eventually able to get his B.A. in psychology. But he always enjoyed working with computers, and his exposure to the Internet at UT deviated him enough to abandon all plans for graduate school and start working with computer networks. The next few years saw him at Texas Instruments, IBM, and Wayne-Dresser before he helped found OuterNet. Charlie has also coauthored a half-dozen Internet-related books (many with Mike and Paul), on topics ranging from electronic commerce to CGI programming. When he finds spare time, Charlie likes to write (as of yet unpublished) fiction, read, and go to the gym. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Mary, and their four beautiful felines.

Charlie has also coauthored a half-dozen Internet-related books (many with Mike and Paul), on topics ranging from electronic commerce to CGI programming. When he finds spare time, Charlie likes to write (as of yet unpublished) fiction, read, and go to the gym. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Mary, and their four beautiful felines. Mike Erwin is the president and chief executive officer of OuterNet Connection Strategies, Inc. Mike has served these posts for the last four years, during which he also worked for Apple Computer, Inc., architecting and implementing connectivity, application, scripting, and development support for Apple's Worldwide Support Center. Mike is the coauthor of several other works, including the CGI Bible, Building Web Commerce Sites, and the 60 Minute Guide to VRML. Mike's technology related interests involve encryption algorithms, super computing, Distributed Operating Systems, universe game simulations, and building secondary securities markets on the Net. Before becoming completely immersed in work, Mike used to find that his hobbies included playing hearts, drinking cheap vodka, staying up until dawn, and doodling with oil paints with his left hand. Mike's current favorite things include dabbling with theoretical and particle physics, martial arts training, gambling, securities prospecting, and, of course, sleeping.

Charlie has also coauthored a half-dozen Internet-related books (many with Mike and Paul), on topics ranging from electronic commerce to CGI programming. When he finds spare time, Charlie likes to write (as of yet unpublished) fiction, read, and go to the gym. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Mary, and their four beautiful felines. Paul Wolfe has done everything from driving M1A1 tanks in Desert Storm to slinging computer chips for Motorola. He now divides his time between his family and OuterNet, as well as writing. He has written four books in the last two years covering such topics as Windows NT Web servers, Internet commerce, VRML, and Virtual Private Networks. He dreams of restoring his 1986 Toyota Tercel to its former glory and racing it on the stock car circuit.

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