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Hardware Virtual Private Network (Hardware VPN)

Definition - What does Hardware Virtual Private Network (Hardware VPN) mean?

Hardware virtual private networks (hardware VPNs) exist on single, standalone devices that contain dedicated processors, managing authentication, encryption and other VPN functions along with providing hardware firewalls.

This is a much more secure networking infrastructure is available in than software VPN's but can be expensive in terms of installed hardware costs.

Techopedia explains Hardware Virtual Private Network (Hardware VPN)

Hardware VPNs are often used in enterprise where a number of employees need network access rather than in a branch office or small business/home use as the number of users can be firewalled effectively by a single router which can provide the same network security without an expensive dedicated server.


Hardware VPNs are much more advantageous than software VPNs as they provide network load balancing which keeps network bottlenecks to a minimum and allows quality of service control (where bandwidth can be assured to everyone on the network). This is important to a large office where network delay is time wasted on wages for unproductive users. Load balancing allows everyone to keep working without interruption by higher bandwidth users

There are many advantages to a hardware VPN but the cost of ownership has to be considered when deciding if it is an appropriate hardware solution.

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