VLAN Vs. VPN: What is the Difference?

A local area network is a group that is in the same area, and this means that when a user broadcasts any data on the LAN, all users on the LAN receive the transmission. But the problem with LAN is that if two people send data simultaneously, a collision will occur, and the transmitted information will be lost. The area where the information is transmitted is called the broadcast domain, but everyone in the local area network must be in the same area.

As the popularity of the internet has grown, many corporations are seeking approaches to extend their own networks. First came intranets, which are websites designed for use by company employees. Nowadays, the majority of businesses are creating their own virtual private network or virtual local area network to accommodate the requirements of remote employees and distant offices. This is where VLAN allows the network administrator to efficiently segment a LAN in many broadcast domains, and it is not important that workstations are physically located together.

VLANs and VPNs are different technologies with some similarities. VPN services connect authorized users to corporate network resources, while VLANs connect geographically separate devices.

What is VLAN?


A VLAN is a collection of networking devices on one or more LAN configured to communicate and interact with each other at the data link layer as though they share the same physical location. A virtual local area network is based on logical instead of physical connections with excellent flexibility. A VLAN network defines broadcast domains in a Layer 2 network. A broadcast domain is the group of all devices performed to receive broadcast frames originating from any other system within the set. It is bounded by routers since routers do not forward broadcast frames.

When a local area network is divided into segments using a switch, with each port serving a small number of network nodes, the chances of collision reduces. In addition, the devices that usually communicate with one another are placed in one segment so that the requirements for forwarding the data packets to other ports get reduced. In some situations, machines that need very high bandwidth are connected directly to a switch port, thus enabling them to have the complete bandwidth of one segment dedicated to them.

Benefits of VLAN

  • Improved security
  • Ability to set up virtual workgroups
  • Reduces administration
  • Allows easy broadcast control and segmentation
  • Performance improvement
  • Minimizes the need for router deployment
  • Reduces deployment costs

What is VPN?

A virtual private network is a corporate network that is built around the communication infrastructure of the internet. Since the internet is a free medium where internet traffic is prone to interception or modification, security problems play an important role in the implementation of a VPN, unlike the privacy provided by dedicated leader circuits. However, a VPN is highly cost-effective, as dedicated lines are needed only to connect the corporate network to an internet service provider.

Businesses worried about the security and safety of their information take a VPN connection to share the information and other network resources with people located in remote areas. A virtual private network connection reduces a business’s network cost and removes the need to have a leased line to connect the business’s network in various locations.

Benefits of VPN

  • Offers high-level of security through encryption
  • Ensures confidentiality and privacy
  • Eliminates censorship restrictions
  • Allows to improve the overall efficiency of a network
  • Allows anonymous file sharing

Comparing VPN Vs. VLAN


To sum up, the differences between VPNs vs. VLANs is everything; these are completely different technologies used for various reasons. However, the two technologies share similar security goals to enhance security and offer some control over network traffic.

  • A VLAN is a subcategory of a virtual private network. A virtual private network is a technology that develops a virtual tunnel for safe and secure data transmission over the internet.
  • Businesses use a VLAN to group devices that are scattered across multiple physical locations into one broadcast domain. Virtual private networks are used for safe data transmission between two offices of one firm or between offices of separate businesses. It is also used by individuals for their private requirements.
  • A virtual private network is a more advanced but more expensive choice since it offers encryption and anonymization. A VLAN is perfect for splitting a network into logical parts for better management, and it does not provide any of those security features a VPN has.
  • A VLAN reduces the need for routers and expenses on router deployment. A VPN improves the overall efficiency of a network.
  • A virtual private network operates in an insecure online environment. A VLAN is used to connect two devices when one of the systems cannot establish an external connection. It needs special permission before granting access.
  • A VLAN is used when it is essential for a person to connect with someone who cannot be connected from outside the VLAN. A VPN is usually used to communicate safely in an unsecured environment.

Frequesntly Asked Questions

A VPN is a technology that creates a virtual tunnel for secure data transmission over the internet. A VPN operates in an insecure online environment. A VLAN is a subcategory of VPN and is usually used to connect two devices when one cannot establish an external connection.

A VLAN is helpful for organizational use because it can segment a more extensive network into smaller segments. It can limit user access to a specific VLAN, allowing only authorized users to access networks with highly sensitive data.

VLANs offer several benefits such as ease of administration, confinement of broadcast domains, reduced broadcast traffic, and enforcement of security policies.

Compared to LANs, VLANs have the benefit of reducing network traffic and collisions and being more efficient. Moreover, a VLAN can also bring added security.


Both VPN and VLAN may be perfect solutions to meet your demands. It all depends on the functionality and the level of security you need to have. Both VLAN and VPN are extended communication across multiple business choices with secured and fast connections. Businesses looking for smaller networks over their existing networks and needing to safely and securely access remote company networks can use VPN and VLAN. Both VLAN and VPN have different functions and helps in managing the internet connection and offering a secure environment for data transfer.

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