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I've been reading up on VPNs for a while now and I feel like I've done circles in understanding. No one at the business has experience with networking outside of very basic home router setup. Neither is anyone very tech savvy and need the kind of simplicity of one-click VPN apps.

The primary purpose is security through encrypted traffic when using public networks, and maybe remote connection to computers in the office. Almost all of our work is conducted through cloud services like dropbox and web-based database software. We don't have our own web or mail servers, etc. We do store some info on hard drives like exported/imported spreadsheets, among other things.

 

Solutions suggested:

  • A firewall device (it's expensive, no one knows how to set one up, and I live in a different state)

  • An OpenVPN server hosted by cloud like AWS (there are guides, I've looked and they all seem to require some knowledge of linux commands and networking, otherwise I'd just be following copy paste directions without understanding, and if it broke or the server went down it seems like I'd be screwed while trying to figure it out)

  • An OpenVPN ACCESS SERVER (it seems like the same as the previous, except the setup is already done for you, but I can't seem to find a clear explanation other than their support pages which are almost indecipherable to me with terminology and no number to call and ask)

  • A reputable VPN provider

 

A VPN provider seems like the simplest solution but almost every topic I've come across is aimed at consumer VPN for privacy purposes.

 

  1. Guides I've read suggest free or low spec AWS servers, because it's for a personal VPN. What kind of spec would be needed for 10+ simultaneous users?
  2. Is a reputable VPN provider for a small business a viable solution instead?
  3. Some VPN providers offer business packages, with dedicated IP, and dedicated server. Are these important necessities for this use case?
  4. If using a VPN provider solution, how would connecting remotely into office computers work? Or would it not, and we'd instead have to use remote desktop or some app?
  5. If the VPN provider has a limit of say, 6 devices and 3 users, couldn't we just use the same user login for multiple people?
  6. If we can't, then we'd need to purchase multiple VPN subscriptions, correct?

 

Trying to understand by reading a lot hasn't helped me come to a conclusion, thank you

Edit: To clarify, we want encrypted traffic when using public wi-fi and remoting into the office. No one at the office knows how to set up or configure a VPN or firewall device. We looked at VPN provider's "VPN for business" with dedicated server and ip. Is this a reasonable solution, given the lack of technical knowledge of anyone in the office?

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    Your question sounds like you don't really know what you need or want a VPN for, other than maybe connecting to remote computers in the office. Why don't you tell us what you think a VPN would be useful for in your case? – joeqwerty Apr 25 at 21:03
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VPN software or hardware appliance that do it, is a way to make a secure tunnel from your device to your office. Any data that travel is encrypted, and it allow easy map to your remote resources, as such your computer will have a routing table to address your workspace gear from the VPN gateway.

In your home in example if your LAN is 192.168.1.X, and your office LAN use 10.0.0.X, the VPN allow you to map or use any service from your office, like if you were standing in your office.

As such, it could answer that need;

We do store some info on hard drives like exported/imported spreadsheets, among other things.

If you are already cloud based, that need to share file, can be answered by the dropbox use, but again to analyze your need or not is out of scoop of serverfault, my post is more aimed to show you want the VPN allow you to do.

A note, A lot of VPN service that are offered on the internet is intended for privacy issue. They offer a remote server where you connect to, and it allow you to bypass country rule/block and to hide your identify. It's not the same type of VPN you need, you need to look to host your own VPN.

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