In a world where technology is advancing at such a high speed, it becomes hectic to keep up with security. Securing yourself from people trying to access your email, your bank and even your own identity is hard enough. Securing a whole company has become something of a nightmare. Organizations, businesses and individuals continue to lose data because they forgot to update their security measures or used an unsecured network.
Just recently, a ransomware called WannaCry affected over 250,000 machines in over 150 countries. Think you’re safe? Think again.
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With increased availability of Wi-Fi access in public places like hotels, airports and coffee shops, it has become convenient for people to work from anywhere, but it's also more problematic. This is especially the case with businesses that allow employees to work remotely. How secure are their networks? A single mistake by an employee could put the whole company at risk.
So, how do you enjoy the benefits of the internet without compromising your security?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that allows you to use a secure connection between the internet and your computer. It allows you to browse securely and privately from any place of your choice, hiding your actual location and data from malicious websites.
When using a VPN, you can access your email in the UK while your IP shows you are browsing from New York.
So, why is a VPN important for your business? Using a VPN gives you these benefits;
- Protects your privacy by hiding your real IP address
- Provides safe access to both public and private Wi-Fi connections
- Gives you access to geographically censored sites
- Keeps all your important data private and secure
Paid versus unpaid VPN services
When you are considering which VPN service provider to use for your business, the pay factor should be the most important determinant. It’s not about the money you spend or save, it’s about the quality you’re going for. With VPN, you must pay to protect your data. There is no shortcut to it.
This means that even if you feel that you or your small business does not have a budget for VPN services, you should not use free services -- not for a mobile application to use on your phone or tablet or one for your PC.
Most businesses feel like they’re doing just fine without the protection, but the truth is they are really not. So, quickly subscribing to a free VPN provider doesn’t help things. In fact, it could make them worse.
A VPN is important for two major things: privacy and security. In order to pick the best VPN service provider, traffic logs should play a big role in your decision. The reason you are thinking of using a VPN in the first place is to ensure that no one collects your data or makes it their business to tamper with your business.
Your specific needs
Everyone is unique with their needs, and so is every business. Do you want to use a VPN to connect to your home network? If so, then you don’t really need a VPN service provider -- you need a VPN router that you can easily connect in your home. You can also consider a simple program that can be operated on your computer.
But, if you need it for secure browsing on a private or public Wi-Fi connection or to achieve anonymity and hide your location, then a VPN service would be necessary.
Look for VPN providers that offer the exactly what you need. For instance, if you are in Japan and need to access a US site that is restricted in your country, a VPN provider with servers in the United States would be most resourceful. Also, note that as a business, you will have many reasons to use a VPN. Take all of them into account when making this important decision.
What security protocols do each VPN provider use? Some communication protocols are more secure than others, and some VPN providers may not necessarily use the same protocols. You want to choose a provider that uses OpenVPN to connect all of your devices. It is considered one of the most secure.
But, if you want to use a different security protocol on Windows, SSTP should be an ideal choice for your needs as it’s also another highly secure option. You will want to avoid providers that use PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol) as it is the most vulnerable of all available protocols.
When selecting your VPN provider, you should also consider the capacity being offered. You don’t want to reach your limit at a time you need the service the most. Look at the details the provider includes on how much data is available with each subscription.
The best VPN service providers offer unlimited capacity, but others have set packages. Conduct detailed research on available providers to ensure you choose the ideal provider that meets your needs.
Before choosing a VPN provider for your business, do your due diligence. You don’t want to end up with a service that steals all your data instead of protecting it. You also don’t want to pay for a service that allows malicious websites to penetrate because their security protocols are not top notch.
Do your research on different providers available and make sure you don’t end up with a fake service provider. Also, just because a VPN provider is not free does not necessarily mean they are trustworthy. Read reviews on available VPN providers from trusted sites and make an informed decision.