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Book details of 'Building Linux Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)'

Cover of Building Linux Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
TitleBuilding Linux Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Author(s)Oleg Kolesnikov
PublishedFebruary 2002
PublisherNew Riders Publishing
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Score: score: 2.5 ***--  Vote for this book

The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Building Linux Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)':

Reviewer wrote:
A virtual private network (VPN) enables computers to access remote resources--like the mail store on another office's mail server--from a geographically remote location. Rather than access the files over a private (and expensive) wide area network (WAN) link, however, a VPN makes its data transmissions across the open Internet. The magic is in making the communications secure, a critical job that requires a tunneling protocol that implements encryption. Building Linux Virtual Private Networks shows you how to set up VPNs without spending a lot of money, and without compromising ease of use or security. Oleg Kolesnikov and Brian Hatch emphasize network-to-network connectivity--fixed links between sites--rather than network-to-client connections. They show you how to use Linux to build a secure system of permanent--yet virtual--data links. There's coverage, for example, of the PoPToP daemon for handling Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), but there's no coverage of non-Linux clients with which to connect it. There's a nice balance of managerial information (useful for justifying a VPN, and a Linux one in particular, to your boss) and technical details in these pages. Each of the covered packages gets nice documentation, complete with listings of configuration files and explicit statements of console input and output.

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
Like "Practical UNIX and Internet Security" (see reviews) this book so thoroughly covers its general field, in this case virtual private networks (VPNs), that it is useful to security people regardless of whether or not they use Linux. There are abundant practical considerations in this work that other volumes ignore. Part one deals with the basics of VPNs. Chapter one is a good, readable, realistic introduction (and we will accept the mention of 40 bit DES in IPSec as a typo: it is listed as such in the errata at the associated website, The title of chapter two, VPN fundamentals, is oddly both true and not: the items mentioned are not factors of VPNs as such, but aspects and considerations of VPNs that influence network choices, and network configurations that impel VPN architecture. Part two covers implementing standard VPN protocols. Chapter three provides a detailed and clear explanation of PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) over SSH (Secure Shell). PPP over SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)/TLS (Transport Layer Security), in chapter three, outlines the basics, increased security, and scripts for troubleshooting. Excellent coverage of IPSec in general, plus some implementation details in Linux, is in chapter five. Chapter six explains FreeS/WAN from philosophy to source to configuration. There is good analysis of the design and weaknesses of PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol) and how to run it on Linux, in chapter seven. Part three examines the implementation of nonstandard VPN protocols. Chapter eight looks at the design, options, and setup of VTun. The lightweight cIPe is covered in chapter nine. Designed for user level rather than kernel operation, as well as more modern and robust cryptography, tinc is explained in chapter ten. I have not found, to date, a book that does a better job of explaining the concepts and operations of virtual private networks. This should become the classic text. copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002

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Book description:

Building Linux Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) covers the most popular VPN technologies available for the Linux platform. In the early chapters the theory behind VPNs is discussed, including needs and uses. Common network and host configurations are also covered. Subsequent chapters drill down into the implementation and configuration of specific software packages. Specific, detailed instructions are included as well as troubleshooting information. This book will be an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to implement a Linux-based VPN. This book will meet the needs of anyone, from the Linux user to the experienced administrator to the security professional.

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