What is VDI and what is the key difference with a VPN

We have at our disposal many tools with which we can improve privacy on the network and also remotely access systems and equipment without compromising security. In this article, we are going to talk about what is VDI and how it differs from VPN. Both solutions can be used for teleworking, something that has recently gained a lot of importance among users. It should be noted that our personal data have great value on the Internet, so it is always advisable to keep them safe and not make mistakes that may affect our day to day. However, between these two options there are differences, as we will see.

What does VDI mean

VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. It is a term that has appeared in the times, closely related to teleworking. Allows you to host desktop environments on a central server. Basically we can say that it is a form of desktop virtualization. Desktop images run in virtual machines and are delivered to end clients on a network. We can say that these end terminals can be a computer, tablets, mobile devices or any other.

There are different characteristics that are common in a VDI. The virtual desktops are present in virtual machines on a centralized server. In addition, each desktop includes an image of an operating system, which can be Windows. These virtual machines are host-based and end clients have to stay constantly connected to that centrally managed server.

Therefore, we can say that with a VDI each user will have their own dedicated system with the ability to configure themselves in a personalized way according to their interests. Through the client software they have, they can access the desktop from anywhere and at any time. Hence, it is very useful for teleworking, something that is increasingly present and many companies have this possibility for their workers. But for this to be done it is necessary to have certain programs and services.

How a VDI works

The way in which a VDI works is the following: a user logs in to the desktop through that software that we have mentioned, the connection agent authenticates him and accepts the connection. As we can see, first we will see that there are differences with respect to a virtual private network.

That same connection broker analyzes that request and sends the user to the corresponding desktop. On the servers there are virtual machines created where this desktop is hosted.

Keep in mind that the administrator could turn off that virtual desktop when the user is not using it. This allows more users to take advantage of the maximum capacity of that server. Resources are limited and this would allow to make the most of them.

Advantages of a VDI

What is VDI, virtual desktop infrastructure
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

As is often the case with all types of services or applications, there are different positive and negative points. Let’s see what are the main advantages of VDI that we can find when using it. Let’s see which are the main ones and in this way see if we are interested in using this system or not:

  • Access : undoubtedly one of the main advantages is being able to access from anywhere and at any time. Having this possibility opens up a wide range of options for users who work remotely, for example.
  • Security : security is also a factor that is present in a VDI. They store the data in an encrypted way, without worrying about possible losses or leaks. It is something very important and that we must always take care of.
  • Multiple Devices – A VDI can be accessed from different types of devices. The desktop is not linked to a specific hardware, so we can access it from any computer, anywhere.
  • Reduced costs : it must also be taken into account that it represents a cost saving. We have a cloud system, so it eliminates the cost of hardware.

Differences between VDI and VPN

VPN tunnel

VPN tools are widely used and available on all types of operating systems. Also for teleworking they have gained a very important weight in recent times. However, we are going to name what are the main differences between a VDI and a VPN.

  • Processing : One of the most marked differences is that the processing in a VPN takes place on the user’s own device. This can happen on a computer or mobile where we have installed it.
  • Cost : there are also differences in terms of cost. In the case of a VPN, it is less, since it requires a minimum of hardware and can take advantage of what most mobile phones or computers have. It can be a major difference for many users.
  • Configuration : a differential point is the difficulty to correctly configure a VDI and VPN. In the first case, it is necessary to use many different virtual machines and thus be able to support the user base. A VPN is simpler, more adapted to home users who do not have great knowledge.
  • Troubleshooting : VDIs are generally less nimble in order to resolve issues that appear. Also to correct vulnerabilities and release patches.
  • Applications : in this case the applications are already installed on the remote desktop, while in the VPN we would have to install them on the system.

Ultimately, these are some of the main differences between a VPI and a VPN. As we can see, both cases are widely used for teleworking. They are very useful nowadays and they have more and more users. We live in an age when our privacy is very important. Our data has great value on the net and can be used by hackers to carry out attacks, send us targeted advertising, put us on spam lists or even sell it to third parties. All this means that we must always keep our privacy safe and not make mistakes that put us in danger. It is something that we must apply to all types of devices and operating systems that we are using.

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