What Is a VPN Concentrator?

A VPN concentrator is a device that extends a VPN router’s capabilities and ensures a secure connection between a company’s remote endpoints and its data and resources.

Although it creates secure VPN tunnels and secure connections, a VPN concentrator can handle a much larger number of remote connections than a standard VPN router. 

Because some businesses have so many remote workers, they need a solution that can handle large numbers of connections without becoming overwhelmed — providing remote workers with a reliable connection to company resources.

Benefits and Features of VPN Concentrators

Here are the biggest benefits and features of VPN concentrators.

Centralized Network Management

VPN concentrators bring all connections to a single, central location, which makes it easier to monitor and manage those corporate network connections. If you have a cloud-based VPN concentrator, a good solution has additional management features to help you further secure your cloud data and single network.

Secure Connection for Remote Users

VPN concentrators ensure that no one using the VPN has issues with efficient online access, which can happen when there are too many connections for a standard VPN or Wi-Fi network. This is vital because remote users are one of the largest security risks for companies.

So it’s extremely important to ensure that their connections are secure and that no one can infiltrate a company’s servers.

Scalability and Simultaneous Connections

Especially when the VPN concentrator is cloud-based, your operations are highly scalable. Thousands of users can connect at once, which means you can grow your company with confidence. A good solution will have instant onboarding and should provide alerts when unusual activity occurs.

Robust Security and VPN Protocols

Effective VPN solutions will incorporate strong encryption protocols, like:

  • OpenVPN

These security protocols (which are some of the most common protocols) will hide your IP address, confuse trackers, and ensure that your communications with the company servers are secure no matter what type of Wi-Fi network you find while away from the office.

VPN concentrators do all of this for a much larger number of people.

Types of VPN Concentrators

There are two major types of VPN concentrators:

  • Hardware-based
  • Cloud-based

While they function similarly, their impact on your organization will likely be different, and one may be more suited to your needs than the other. 

Hardware-Based VPN Concentrators

A hardware-based VPN concentrator is a traditional solution.

While it was effective when most servers were on-site at a company’s office, it has become less relevant as more businesses have migrated to cloud infrastructure. There are software-based concentrators available, but they are much less common than hardware-based VPN concentrators. 

Cloud-Based VPN Concentrators

Generally offered as part of a remote access VPN solution, cloud-based VPN concentrators are large-scale VPN solutions offered by a provider as part of a broader network security suite.

The VPN service functions the same way as a VPN concentrator, but it doesn’t require any hardware investments for your business and is much more scalable. 

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Considerations for Choosing a VPN Concentrator

Here are some things to consider when choosing a VPN concentrator.

Network Size and Capacity

The number of VPN connections that your solution can handle depends on the size and capacity of your central network. If your private network can only handle 50 connections, it doesn’t matter how many connections your VPN concentrator can handle. They will get bogged down in your network.

To get the most out of your VPN solution, ensure your network is equipped to handle expected network traffic, and match your concentrator’s capacity to the entire network.

Integration with Existing Infrastructure

If you have no cloud-based infrastructure, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a cloud-based VPN solution.

On the other hand, if your infrastructure depends heavily on cloud resources, a cloud-based, business-grade VPN is likely the way to go. 

Security Requirements and Protocols

Ensure that the VPN provider you choose is transparent about the protocols that the VPN uses.

Avoid free VPNs as they likely will not use stringent protocols (and may even sell your data).

Keep employees trained on best practices to minimize human error and ensure the VPN is being used for every access attempt. 

Scalability and Performance

Your virtual private network concentrator should help your VPN perform as well with 100 employees as it does with 1000, at least ideally. While both hardware and cloud VPNs can handle a large number of users, cloud-based solutions are much more easily scalable, and they will likely cost you less, especially in hardware investment. 

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Best Practices for Using a VPN Concentrator

Here are the best practices for using a VPN concentrator.

Regular Updates and Patches

Regular updates and patches are essential to continued security.

Attackers are constantly trying to access your sensitive information and infiltrate your environment, so ensure that high-risk vulnerabilities especially are addressed right away. 

Monitoring and Auditing

Although a VPN contributes significantly to decreasing the risk of unauthorized access, it is still a possibility. Using a VPN concentrator will be most effective if you’re monitoring where the connections originate and how users behave once they access company resources.

Good VPN solutions will include firewall policies and automated alerts to help you along. 

User Security and Access Controls

Zero-trust is important considering that the majority of security incidents are caused by insider error.

Interestingly, most of these incidents do not come from malicious insiders; rather, they originate with typically well-meaning employees. To limit this, provide training in best practices and the best way to use a VPN. If employees don’t know how to use it, they won’t.

Additionally, be sure to only allow employees to access the resources and information they need.

If they don’t need the resource, they don’t get access to it. This insulates your network somewhat in case an attacker compromises an employee’s credentials and then makes it past other security measures. 

Create a Bulletproof Security Strategy with Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81 offers a bulletproof remote access VPN. This is a cloud-based solution, which means that you can scale as needed without investing in expensive hardware, and you will get the same (or better!) protection as you would from a hardware-based solution. 

To learn more about our VPN and how it can help your business keep remote work secure, contact us today.


What’s the difference between a VPN concentrator and VPN router?
Here are the differences between a VPN concentrator and a VPN router.

VPN concentrator: Designed for businesses with numerous remote workers (remote workforce). Manages complex network setups with multiple remote sites and offers advanced features like transport mode and UDP port management.
VPN router: Suitable for a single user or small network. Offers basic functionality for secure remote access with a single user’s IP address.
Is VPN concentrator good for home use?
Generally not. VPN concentrators are powerful tools for businesses to handle numerous users and simultaneous VPN connections. For home use, a simple VPN router is sufficient.
What are simultaneous VPN connections?
This refers to the ability of a VPN concentrator to securely connect multiple remote users with individual user IP addresses to a central network at the same time.
What’s a tunnel mode?
Tunnel mode creates an encrypted pathway (tunnel) between a remote user’s location and the network. This secures communication by scrambling data as it travels over the public internet.
Does a VPN concentrator have an IP address?
Yes, the VPN concentrator has a public IP address that remote users connect to. It then assigns private IP addresses to each user for secure access within the network.

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Supercharge your Security today with Perimeter 81.