8 months ago

Defending Your Data: A Guide to VPNs

In today's increasingly digitised and connected world, businesses rely heavily on the Internet. Whether you use the Internet to communicate, share files, or work collaboratively, you must take your data security seriously. That’s where Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can help.

What is a VPN?

You may have heard about people using virtual private networks to magically access Netflix’s American offering from the other side of the Atlantic, but there’s much more to VPNs.

A VPN is a mechanism that creates a secure connection over the Internet. It allows users to establish a private network connection, even when using a public or unsecured Wi-Fi network. A VPN uses data encryption to protect information transmitted between your device and the server from outside interference or interception. The VPN server effectively acts as a safe conduit by rerouting Internet traffic through a dedicated network.

Because a VPN conceals your IP address, you can hide your actual location and identity while online. This means that a VPN can add an extra layer of privacy for your business, enabling you to avoid monitoring by advertisers, governments, or anyone with malicious intent.

Which is the Best VPN for Your Business?

Although the best VPN for your business depends on your needs, the following selection includes some of the most popular VPNs available today:


ExpressVPN logoBest for Small Business, Sole Traders and Partnerships

ExpressVPN Pros

  • Server locations in 94 countries

  • Dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

  • Use on up to eight devices simultaneously

  • 24/7 support

ExpressVPN Cons

  • No dedicated business solution

  • Reportedly slower than some other VPNs

ExpressVPN Monthly Pricing

  • From £6.67 to £10.38

One of the most popular VPNs in the world and the go-to sponsor for countless YouTube channels, ExpressVPN is offered by Express Technologies, a company based in the British Virgin Islands.

ExpressVPN has been tech pundits TechRadar’s pick of the available VPNs for some time, combining ease-of-use with solid security features.

NordLayer (NordVPN)

NordVPN logoBest for security-conscious businesses wanting the option to scale

NordLayer Pros

  • Security-focused business VPN solution

  • Can integrate into company resource access policies

  • Device and VPN use monitoring tools available

  • Designed to scale with your business

NordLayer Cons

  • Fewer server locations (30+ countries)

  • Unclear pricing options

NordLayer Monthly Pricing

  • Quotes available upon request

Digital security company Nordsec, headquartered in Panama with offices in the UK, offers a variety of online security products, including the consumer-focused NordVPN and its business counterpart, NordLayer (formerly known as NordVPN Teams). A popular choice among those concerned about secure data storage.

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81 logoBest all-rounder business VPN

Perimeter 81 Pros

  • Team and network management controls

  • Customise plans to suit your requirements

  • Highly configurable VPN options

  • Apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS

Perimeter 81 Cons

  • Minimum of 10 team members

  • Some may find the interface over-complicated

Perimeter 81 Monthly Pricing

  • From $8 per user plus $40 per gateway to $20 per user plus $50 per gateway (enterprise option also available)

Perimeter 81 aims to help companies break free from legacy hardware and easily manage their networks and security from a single, seamless, cloud-based service. Although they're a relatively new company founded in 2018, Perimeter 81 has quickly grown to become one of the most popular business VPN providers.


Twingate logoBest VPN alternative

Twingate Pros

  • Designed for IT teams as well as users

  • Peer-to-peer connection protection

  • Set access levels with as much granularity as you want

  • Deployable to AWS, GCP, Azure or Linux servers

Twingate Cons

  • Not actually a VPN

  • Reports that support could be better

Twingate Monthly Pricing

  • Free option available, then from $5 to $12, with an enterprise option available upon request

Unlike the other VPNs on this list, Twingate isn't a VPN but can function as a VPN replacement. Twingate still allows users to remotely access office networks, cloud services, and other online restricted access services. However, it uses a Zero Trust Network Access solution to keep your business safe instead of a VPN.

Proton VPN

Proton VPN logoBest for a one-stop secure email, calendar, cloud storage, and VPN solution

Proton VPN Pros

  • Allows you to get multiple services from one provider

  • Apps are open-source and audited

  • Very focussed on privacy

  • Fast VPN speeds

Proton VPN Cons

  • Support isn't 24/7

  • Pricing unclear on business offering

  • Proton VPN Monthly Pricing

  • From €6.49 to €12.99, with quotes for enterprise available upon request

Switzerland-based Proton offers a range of security and privacy-focused products for consumers and businesses under their Proton for Business brand. With a focus on ease of use, privacy, and fast speeds, Proton isn't just worth considering as a VPN provider; they also have a lot to offer with their other online services.

Why Your Business Should Invest in a VPN

Implementing a VPN could bring a host of benefits to your business. Even for a small startup, a well-implemented broadband solution can enhance your business’s security and overall efficiency significantly.

Computers in a public libraryBesides security, which is the main priority of a VPN, another key feature is the ability to access resources securely from anywhere in the world. Whether your colleagues are working from home, on a work trip, or at another office, some VPNs will provide a secure channel for them to connect to the network with the push of a button.

VPNs keep your business’s online activity from prying eyes and potential cyber attackers. VPNs offer an added layer of privacy by masking the user's IP address and encrypting their data. This function is particularly valuable when using public Wi-Fi networks, which are often vulnerable to hackers.

In the same way that home users use VPNs to access region-locked content on services like Netflix, businesses with international operations can benefit from VPNs by accessing region-specific resources. For example, you could use a server located in a particular country to access content that would otherwise be restricted to your UK-based IP address.

If your office wants to restrict access to information and services to a few specific locations, but your team members want to access from remote locations, a VPN can allow you to do this. Crucially, your business will have total control over the users and IP addresses that are given access, helping you maintain the security of your network.

Types of VPNs Available

Various types of VPNs cater to different requirements. A site-to-site VPN enables secure communication between the local networks of multiple offices, allowing for the seamless sharing of data and resources.

If your business has many remote workers or some that travel regularly, you'll need to pick a VPN that supports remote access. Remote access VPNs - sometimes called client-to-site VPNs - allow your team to connect to the corporate network wherever they are.

Extranet VPNs can establish secure connections between a business's internal broadband network and external users, such as partners, suppliers, or customers. Going down this route would give your business control over access to specific resources for authorised third parties. These solutions typically provide suppliers access to inventory platforms or customers access to self-service portals.

A more traditional type of VPN, often used by large corporations, is the Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) option. This technology provides secure communication between locations by using dedicated private networks. Despite not being as commonplace as the aforementioned VPN types, MPLS is still in use by some companies with complex network infrastructures.

Woman using a laptop and phone on a trainLastly, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) networks use a web browser as the client interface, making them more accessible to the everyday user. This functionality makes SSL networks a simple solution for securely accessing web-based platforms and intranet portals.

Choosing the Right VPN

To help you choose the right VPN for your business, you should assess its requirements across several criteria. Security should always be a top priority. You should consider the sensitivity of the data you share, the potential impact of a data breach, and any regulations around data privacy. If your business deals with highly sensitive information, you may need a VPN with stronger encryption standards and robust security features like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

You should also consider the number of employees accessing the VPN at any one time. Having an idea of the number of VPN users you'll need will help you select a VPN solution that can handle the traffic and provide sufficient bandwidth to meet your needs while providing a reliable connection. You should also double-check that the VPN solution supports all the devices and operating systems your team is using.

Aside from your business’s technical requirements for the VPN, you should consider the level of customer support you expect from the provider. Most reliable VPN services now offer 24-hour technical support to help resolve issues promptly. Do some research and read reviews from other businesses to make a judgement on the provider's track record.

Finding the Best Broadband Solutions

At BusinessComparison, we can take the confusion out of business broadband comparisons, making it easier for you to find the right option. You can rest assured that you'll find the optimal solution within your budget, saving you time and money.

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Sam White