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How do VPN concentrators and network access servers (NAS) differ?

Is a VPN concentrator the same as a network access server (NAS)?

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A virtual private network or VPN appliance is a device that functions as an access control point for users in remote locations connecting to a company's internal network or to an ISP.

Also called a media gateway or a remote access server, a network access server or NAS may include its own authentication services or rely on a separate authentication server. Both of these are separate services that are integrated tightly to each other providing reliable and secure remote access.

For more information, view my response on how a VPN concentrator works.

This was first published in January 2009

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