Tunneling is used in information technology (IT) to move data or communications across a network using protocols that are not compatible or supported by that network. Learn more about tunneling protocols and their various use cases in this definition.
In this definition...
A tunneling protocol is a communication protocol strategy that allows IT teams to share incompatible or private information across a network via communication “tunnels.” This is done by wrapping or hiding the data packets inside other data packets.
The most widely used application of tunneling protocols is in virtual private networks (VPN). Concepts of data encapsulation and data layering are used in tunneling protocols to safely carry data through a non-secure network or environment.
Tunneling protocols are most commonly used for third-party data protection, online streaming, hiding IP addresses, public Wi-Fi use, or bypassing any bandwidth throttling imposed by internet service providers (ISPs). A more advanced use case for tunneling protocols supports remote user access to corporate networks.
Tunneling protocols can also be used for malicious intent. For example, malicious actors use tunneling protocols to circumvent the firewall in an operating system.
These are a few of the key benefits that can come from applying tunneling protocols to enterprise networks:
VPNs are some of the most popular applications of the tunneling protocol. Learn about the Best Enterprise VPN Solutions here.