A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a method for extending a secure access tunnel to a private network over an insecure public network like the Internet. VPN’s allow remote access to networks and allow interactions as if the client was directly connected to the private network, but over the Internet. VPN connections can be on demand for users who need to use them when required, or they can be permanent when connecting remote branch offices over the public internet.  Many types of VPN connection exist but all provide the same basic features. There are also VPN like solutions that provide similar functionality but in other ways. For example, Microsoft Direct Access.