What is a VPN?
A VPN is a "Virtual Private Network" and it is meant to extend/create private network access over a public network. It allows for users to send and receive data over a public network securely, as if they were connected to a private, password protected network.
Why Might I Need a VPN?
Users who are trying to connect to their Summit Hosting server might need a VPN for a few different reasons, but the most important being that they need to access their server without the risk of compromising any of their company data.
At Summit Hosting,we think that the security of your server and your information is the most important thing that we can offer to our clients. While you are able to connect to your server from virtually anywhere within the continental US and Canada, you might not be able to connect while traveling or living outside of North America. Our firewall systems are set up to block a great number of countries and regions outside of our borders and we do this to minimize the risk of any compromises. For these reasons, you might find it useful to have a VPN service on your local computer when traveling and needing to connect.
To check in advance if the country or region you plan to be in is blocked, please see this list in our Knowledge-Base.
A VPN service can allow you to connect to your Summit Hosting server from anywhere in the world, and it does so by creating a private network that masks your computer from any outside threats while connected to a network that might not be secure. When installed and configured, your VPN can give your computer a secure IP address that is actually from the US or Canada, and in turn that will allow you to connect to your Summit Hosting server and access your information.
When it comes to VPN services to choose from there are all sorts of companies that offer great VPN software's, but the one most commonly used by clients (and Engineer's) at Summit Hosting is called Private Internet Access. This VPN service gives you a completely private and secure connection to the internet, and allows you to pick a location within the US or Canada in order to connect to your Summit Hosting server without issue.
How do I get it and Set it up?
Private Internet Access (PIA), if you choose to use this service, can be purchased on their website here. Once you've selected the plan that is right for you, you will be able to download the software and get started on the set up.
While Summit Hosting won't be able to assist you with the set-up and configuration of your VPN software, we can at least point you in the right direction in order to get everything configured properly. Below are links to PIA's set up guides depending on the operating system of your computer:
Windows Client Installation Guide: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/helpdesk/guides/desktop/windows/windows-client-installation
Mac OSx Client Installation Guide: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/helpdesk/guides/desktop/windows/windows-client-installation
If you have any other questions of problems, the PIA Support team would be the ones to turn too. They provide excellent customer service, offer a vast knowledge-base for their end users, and are the experts when it comes to the software and how it works.
After you have your VPN installed and configured to connect to either the US or Canada on your local computer, you should be able to connect to your Summit Hosting server without issue! If you do continue to have issues even after getting your VPN setup and connected, then please let us know by submitting a ticket with us at ticket.summithosting.com and we will be happy to help in any way that we can.