CryptoSeal, a Y Combinator company from the summer class of 2011, has launched its VPN as a service to help companies protect back-end administrative information from intrusions.

Virtual private networks are inherently complex to set up, often requiring someone from IT operations to configure on a networking appliance. The cost and complexity can be prohibitive.

But making direct connections to the network is risky and bad practice, CryptoSeal Co-Founder Ryan Lackey said in an interview today. CryptoSeal solves the problem with a service that puts on-premise VPN into the cloud.

Here’s how CryptoSeal works:

  1. Sign up online and set up users on
  2. Set up VPN software for your servers (install software on the server, or use Amazon VPC which lets people using AWS configure it in one-shot).
  3. Download the VPN client to your desktop or mobile for all employees — they support Mac, Windows, Linux/bsd, iOS, and Android.

Y Combinator Partner Garry Tan sums up the service pretty well when he says that once set up, a company has a private network between all its clients and all its servers, which is particularly important these days when highly mobile employees, even systems administrators, may be logging into critical systems from the Wi-Fi at the local coffee shop.

He added that for power users with offices, CryptoSeal can help set up and configure Internet Protocol security gateway hardware so the whole network can connect to remote servers without on-premise hardware installations.

CryptoSeal charges $99 per month for five users. VPN services are still quite nascent. Companies such as Cisco and Juniper sell their equipment for IT to set up VPNs, but these hardware companies don’t specialize in what CryptoSeal does.

Potential competitors are the telecommunications companies and a provider like Cloudflare, which now offers similar services on the front-end to protect web sites from attacks. CryptosSeal and CloudFlare are compatible, but Cloudflare could begin offering security services on the back-end, as well.

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