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As a business owner, is there anything more important than online security? Having something happen to your data, whether due to a mistake or a cyber attack, is never something you want. While looking for ways to improve your online security, you might have stumbled upon VPNs, most people’s first line of defense against cybercriminals. But did you know that there are advantages to getting a VPN for your company? Our article will break down all ups and downs of having a VPN and help you decide whether it’s an option you’d want to invest in.

What is VPN?

Before we get into discussing the advantages and disadvantages of having a VPN, you should first have a clear understanding of VPN and know what it is and what it’s used for.

VPN, short for a virtual private network, encrypts your data and allows you to stay hidden from third parties on the internet. Not being visible and not sharing information with others ensures you stay safe while surfing the web. When you visit a website with your VPN turned on, you will connect to a private server first instead of the server where the website is hosted. This ‘scrambles’ your data and practically makes it impossible for third parties to find your whereabouts online.

To explain it in the simplest way possible, a VPN gives you a brand new IP address that doesn’t even have to be located in the same country as you are. Having a unique IP address gives you a ton of possibilities, which is why VPNs are massively popular among casual users as it allows them to:

  • Unblock popular streaming platforms (e.g., Netflix)
  • Put an end to online tracking
  • Access a private network
  • Surf without being worried about cyber attacks

Apart from enabling casual users to indulge in all sorts of activities online, VPNs are also incredibly desired in the business world.

What Does a VPN Do Exactly?

Before you connect to a website, all of your data goes through an encrypted tunnel. You practically mix up this data by turning your VPN on, which can be decrypted only with a proper key. Think of a VPN as a safety lock for your bicycle that can be unlocked only with your own key. But what kind of data do VPNs hide? Perhaps you know, and perhaps you don’t, but your browser carries a lot of valuable data about you, such as:

  • Time zone
  • Content-Language
  • Content encoding
  • Operating system
  • Screen resolution
  • Permissions
  • Battery level

This doesn’t seem like much, but the collection of data your browser carries is unique to you, and hackers, government agencies, and advertising companies can use it to identify you – this process is called ‘browser fingerprinting.’ So, if you want to ensure that your browser metadata and your ‘browser fingerprint’ is hidden, you should use a VPN, as then not even your internet provider will be able to tell what you’re up to online.

Benefits of VPN for Business

Now that you’re familiar with what a VPN is, how it works, etc., we’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages of getting a VPN for your business.

Improved Online Security

Although it can’t be compared to having an MSP dedicated to keeping you safe 24/7, having a VPN can enhance your online security and protect your data. Being safe on the internet is crucial, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, as they’re the most common targets of hackers, whaling phishing, ransomware attacks, and all other types of cyber attacks.

When your VPN is turned on, cybercriminals won’t be able to find out your original address, and it will be impossible for them to target you.

Safe Access to Files in Public Networks

As we’re living in an age where remote work is more popular than ever, the chances are that your company has some employees that prefer working outside the offices. By providing them with a VPN, you will protect them from having their info stolen when they’re working from coffee shops, libraries, or even co-working spaces, which are often a target of cybercriminals. With a VPN on, your remote workers will be able to access their files safely because no one will be able to access their device other than themselves because the data will be traveling safely and soundly through an encrypted tunnel. This also increases the productivity of your remote workers, as they’re more likely to do their job better when they’re not constantly worried about leaking important data.

Allows Your Remote Workers to Travel

Remote workers are the type of workers who love traveling more than anything, so you should provide them with a VPN. You will help them access corporate websites that might be blocked in some countries by getting them a VPN. They’ll also be able to watch Netflix in countries that don’t allow it, which can always be a way to unwind after a long day’s work.

Enhances Your Client’s Data Security

One of the most important things when running a business, if not the most important thing, might be the safety of your client’s data. Storing your own or your client’s data on the cloud might be enough to keep the data safe, but having a VPN only adds another layer of protection, which can never be bad.

To top it all off, your clients might feel safer knowing that you use a VPN, and the chances are that they’re most likely to work with you if they see that you’re taking extra steps to protect your data.

You Get a Lot for a Small Amount of Money

Unlike other security tactics that you can employ to ensure your business is safe, a VPN is relatively cheap, making it an investment that’s more than worth it. There are numerous VPN providers out there, meaning that you can find one that suits both your needs and your budget. Ask yourself: would you rather pay around $10 monthly on a VPN to keep your data safe or spend big bucks recovering from an IT disaster?

Easy Setup and Low Maintenance Cost

Setting up a VPN won’t require you to do any physical work or install any other support software or whatnot. To use a VPN, all you need to do is subscribe to it, install the software on your devices, and turn it on. Once you set up your VPN, you’ll never have to worry about maintenance, as it will only cost you your monthly subscription!

Disadvantages of Using a VPN

Potential Decreased Speed

As VPNs work by rerouting your internet connection through a server, you might suffer speed drops. This isn’t a problem for casual users, but if you’re running a business, every kb/s counts.

Still, this problem can be avoided by getting a quality VPN with fast speeds that won’t slow your internet.

Possible Connection Breaks

Most VPNs come with a kill switch. This is a super useful feature that turns off your connection to the internet in cases when the VPN server drops. The kill switch prevents you from using your actual IP address even when the VPN is down, which can save your data.

If you get a high-quality VPN, this will rarely happen, if ever. Even then, you can always turn this feature off and use the internet endlessly.

It Can Be Difficult To Find a Solid VPN

Finding out whether a VPN provider will fulfill what they promise will do is hard. You can only determine whether they’re true to their word when something goes wrong. Getting a VPN with top-notch encryption quality, fast speeds, etc., is a must. Having an MSP look things up for you and check whether a certain VPN will fit your company is always recommended. To end the article, we’ll tell you what you should look for in a VPN if you don’t want to waste your money.

What to Look for in a VPN

If you’ve decided to get a VPN for your business, you should know what to look for in one. Here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a VPN:

  • Server selection – This one is logical, but the more servers you have, the more options you have to choose your virtual location.
  • AES-256 encryption – Stay clear from VPNs that use PPTP or L2TP protocols as they’re outdated. Nowadays, the standard protocol in the industry is AES-256 encryption.
  • Lightning speeds – A slow VPN will slow down your internet connection, so you should choose a VPN that offers the fastest speeds.
  • No-logging policy – Although VPNs hide your data with an encrypted channel that doesn’t mean most of them aren’t taking your information. You should get a VPN that’s got a no-logging policy, which won’t keep your personal info.

Can’t seem to decide whether getting a VPN is the right choice for you? Don’t worry – our team of IT experts can help. Feel free to schedule a free consultation, and we’ll help you figure out if you need a VPN for your company and provide you with advice on choosing and using the best one for your business!

About the author

Slobodan Krsmanovic, the CEO of TechProComp, brings over 25 years of deep-rooted experience in the IT industry. As the author driving our insightful posts, Slobodan embodies a steadfast commitment to client-centric service, fostering respectful and secure collaborations across all business scales.

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