Virtual private circuits connections are created from standard internet connections. Unlike “real” private circuits, they use shared resources (ie the internet). Despite this, they look like “real” private circuit in terms of creating a dedicated point-to-point and point-to-multipoint secure connections and networks.
Their use of public internet services usually makes a virtual private circuit significantly cheaper than its real alternative. Virtual private circuits are therefore particularly suited for low demand connections where a “real” private circuit can’t be justified on cost grounds.
Examples of virtual private circuits would be connections to employee homes, or connections for road warriors who need to connect to the enterprise network from a variety of locations such as hotel rooms. Virtual private circuits are also used to create permanent connections to enterprise networks from relatively small sites.
Virtual private circuit connections can be created by a combination of software and hardware.
They can be created on demand by clicking an icon on a computer desktop, or they can be created by applications running on mobile devices such as soft-phones, or they can be configured to be permanently available using settings in terminal equipment such as routers and network switches.
A virtual private circuit is usually configured to be secure with all traffic hidden from other internet traffic using a variety of encryption and tunnelling methods.
The main drawback of a virtual private circuit is that its performance is dependent on the performance of the underlying internet connection. It is therefore necessary to choose internet connections that meet the required performance standards in terms of speed, availability and quality of service.
It is also necessary to manage user expectations by making them aware that connecting to the enterprise network from home or via an airport wifi hotspot is not going to deliver the same performance as that which is available from their desk in their office.
Despite their drawbacks there is no doubt that virtual private circuit connections have had a significant impact on extending the delivery of enterprise data communication services to locations that were previously prohibitively expensive to connect.
Get in touch with us if you have a specific requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.