WorldCom broadens its VPN services

WorldCom has announced a series of additions to its global virtual private network (VPN) offerings, including an IP-based VPN...

WorldCom has announced a series of additions to its global virtual private network (VPN) offerings, including an IP-based VPN service that uses routers made by Cisco Systems.

The new capabilities include a service that provides access to frame-relay networks via WorldCom's IP-based UUnet network, plus Ethernet and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) access options for VPN users.

Such services were designed to widen the VPN choices available to the struggling company's customers, said Jim DeMerlis, vice-president of product management at WorldCom. "There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all VPN," DeMerlis said.

The Cisco-based IP VPN is available immediately in the US for a monthly fee of $1,895 (£1,216) per site for a T1 link. WorldCom has been offering an IP VPN service that uses routers made by Lucent Technologies for the past three years. But DeMerlis said the Cisco technology should expand the service into more applications.

Daniel Mittler, director of technology and systems at Realm Business Solutions, said the developer of applications for real estate agents has been using WorldCom's IP VPN service on Lucent routers since March. Using the VPN instead of frame-relay connections lowered Realm's monthly network costs from $45,000 (£28,883) to $12,000 (£7,702), according to Mittler.

Mittler said it might make sense for Realm to switch to the Cisco routers since Realm is, primarily, a Cisco shop. But he said there is no urgent need to change the VPN at the company.

Mittler said he is pleased with WorldCom's service levels, despite the network operator's financial difficulties and Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.

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VPNs typically require remote users of the network to be authenticated, and often secure data with encryption technologies to prevent disclosure of private information to unauthorized parties.

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Now a days, most internet users use vpn services to connect remote datacenters, and individuals can use VPNs to get access to network resources when they're not physically on the same LAN (local area network), or as a method for securing and encrypting their communications when they're using an untrusted public network.

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