The Difference Between a VPN and VLAN

by Tashina

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network or VPN is an high security connection since it allows one to transfer data in a more private environment. You can connect to a VPN through an insecure network such as the Internet; however, your messages and data will benefit from further encryption when sent through a VPN. Furthermore, to add more to the improved security, VPN also keeps your location private. Thus, you can surf the web without giving up your true IP.

What is a VLAN?

Virtual Local Area Network, also known as VLAN, is a connection between computers, servers, or other devices such as printers without any concern for the location. LAN allows people to connect and transfer data only if they connect through the same broadcast channel and are in the same physical location. However, VLAN overcame this, and it can connect people in different physical places with the help of virtual networks. A logical group of people from different locations is made, and they are put in a separate virtual network.

Difference between VPN and VLAN

There are several differences between VPN and VLAN, as they are two different concepts. However, people tend to confuse the two because they relate to each other. Some of the differences between VPN and VLAN are as follows:


VPN gives you remote access to a company’s network, whereas VLAN is to group workstations that are not in the same physical location. Thus, it will broadcast them from the same domain via a virtual network.


VPN is a means of communication with improved security, whereas VLAN is a subcategory of VPN.


A VLAN joins different location networks without physically segregating them with a switch, whereas VPN connects two points in an encryption tunnel.


VLAN is a two-layer structure, whereas VPN ranges from layer 1 to layer 3.


VPN has improved security compared to VLAN because the former uses an encryption tunnel for communication, whereas there is no encryption for VLAN. No intruder can read the VPN tunnel data, but this does not imply that VLAN is entirely unsafe. VLAN slices up your logical connection to provide you with a secure and manageable network.

Reason to Use

People prefer VLAN when they need to connect to someone from a remote location, which cannot be done without VLAN. You will require special permission of access to use VLAN. However, people use a VPN when they have to communicate with someone safely in an unsafe environment.


Both VPN and VLAN have reliable network switches or routers because of which people trust them for communication. You can choose the one which best suits your needs.
For penetration testing of either a VPN or VLAN contact Aardwolf Security today!

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