An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Small Business VPN
Today, demand from businesses and individual users who want to use private VPN networks is growing. Read the complete guide to small business VPN here.
Cybersecurity has become one of the most pressing concerns facing businesses. Almost 80 percent of small business owners feel it’s tough to keep up with changes in cybersecurity.
One simple way to step up security in a small business is to use a virtual private network or VPN. Demand for VPNs has been growing over the last few years, in line with an increased focus on making businesses more secure.
What are the benefits of small business VPN, and how can you get one for your business? Our guide answers both these questions and more. If you’ve wanted to learn anything about VPNs, you’re in the right place.
What is a VPN?
So, what exactly is a virtual private network anyway?
The VPN works with your existing Internet connection to provide a secure connection. You can think of it as a sort of tunnel between your location and the Internet. All your data flows through this tunnel.
Much like a tunnel, this reduces your exposure and visibility on the Internet. Your IP address, for example, is no longer readily accessible to other users.
If you want to see how easy it is for others to find this information, you can use some simple steps to find Mac IP address. Google will even show you your public IP address if you search “what is my IP address?”
The VPN changes your IP address, which makes it much more difficult to locate you or your device.
The VPN also uses encryption to keep the data flowing through it more secure. This provides added protection against hackers and cyberattacks.
There is one trade-off for using the more secure VPN. That’s speed. Since the VPN is encrypting all data flowing through it, it moves at a slightly slower speed.
Increasing Security with Small Business VPN
Now that you understand what a VPN is and a little bit about how it works, you probably have some more questions. One of those may be, “How does a VPN help my business?”
VPN for small businesses have some pretty major benefits. The biggest one has to be improved security.
As you know, the public Internet isn’t exactly a secure place. Every time you access it, you’re exposed to threats. Whether it’s a malware program or a hacker who steals your credit card information, you’re at risk on the Internet.
There are many precautions you can take to reduce these risks, but they aren’t always enough.
You may not even need to access the Internet through a browser to be at risk. Any machine connected to the Internet is at risk of attack. That means devices like smartphones and servers are constantly at risk.
You can’t just unplug everything from the Internet though. You may need your servers to deliver an app or power your online store. You’re probably going to need to access your email or send documents to one of your colleagues at some point.
Using a VPN can provide added protection to online transactions. If you need to communicate with your servers or a colleague, then the VPN can secure your messages. Hackers won’t be able to intercept your communications or your documents.
If you and your colleagues exchange sensitive data or information, this is important. The VPN also protects against people trying to gain access to your device.
VPN for Small Business Allow Remote Access
The VPN also offers major benefits to workers who travel a lot or work remotely.
Thanks to technology, today’s office has gone mobile. Many of your workers may telecommute to the office, working from home or on the road with ease. They may use mobile devices or public WiFi, especially when they’re on the road.
This can cause all kinds of headaches for small business owners. Your employees need to access company infrastructure while they’re on the road or working from home. You need to make sure that your data stays secure.
The VPN provides the solution. With stronger encryption, your employees can securely access company infrastructure.
The VPN may also help in situations where content or access is blocked. If an employee is traveling somewhere Google is banned, they may not be able to access their Gmail account.
That’s a problem for your business, especially if the trip is a longer one. The VPN masks location information, which allows your employees to use the tools they need.
Some business owners also use VPNs to get around Internet throttling. ISPs may slow some websites based on geographic location, making them take longer to load. Since a VPN hides geographic location, you can access websites without concern about throttling.
VPN Solutions Are Cost-Effective
The other major advantage of VPN solutions for small business is the price. Most VPN plans are reasonably priced, and there are many different providers.
VPNs are also simple to use. After signing up for a plan, you’ll need to turn on the network and choose your country settings. Once that’s done, you’ll be ready to enjoy the enhanced security the VPN can provide.
That’s a lot less compared to installing new cybersecurity measures. It’s also less costly than upgrading existing network infrastructure. While a VPN shouldn’t be the only cybersecurity measure you use, it is an easy way to increase security right now.
Small business plans are often structured to reward longer contracts. You may pay as little as $2 or $3 per month with a 2-year term.
Of course, pricing depends on the provider and the features of your plan. The best VPN for small business usually comes with a host of features.
How to Choose a VPN Provider
As we mentioned, there are plenty of VPN providers out there. It’s almost certain you can find a plan that will meet your needs. The challenge is researching and comparing the offers from so many different providers.
There are a few features you’ll want to look for in your VPN. These include:
- Customer support
- Network speed
- Number of devices allowed
- Number of server locations
You’ll also want to ask about your proximity to any of the company’s servers. Even if the network is relatively fast, you may notice lag if you’re located quite far from the servers.
Another reason to ask about server location and company headquarters has to do with legality. VPNs are excellent tools because they can help you become more anonymous on the Internet, as well as providing more security.
The VPN may collect data on your Internet activities, which could jeopardize your business and data security. Jurisdiction matters here, because you may not have any legal recourse against a VPN that exposes your data.
Most VPN providers are in the business of providing good service to their clients. A company that stores logs, experiences privacy breaches, or doesn’t deliver good service won’t be around for long. It’s in a provider’s best interest to protect your business and be honest with you.
Ask about Extra Features
There may also be extra features you’ll want to consider with any VPN plan. An example is a SmartDNS.
SmartDNS services aren’t always offered with VPN plans. Some providers do bundle them together. The SmartDNS is a tool that can help you access content in your home country, even while you’re traveling.
The VPN will let you access this content too, but there’s a trade-off. The VPN’s encryption offers better security, but it also slows down the network.
A SmartDNS lets you browse content in your home country without sacrificing speed.
Another feature may allow you to choose your connection protocol. The protocol essentially tells the VPN how to connect and transfer data.
Depending on the activity you want to complete, a particular connection protocol may be a better choice. For example, SSTP may be a good choice if you want to transfer large documents. A different protocol may be better for streaming.
Being able to choose the connection protocol is important. It ensures you and your team can always use the optimal connection. This helps to make up for the VPN’s loss of speed due to encryption.
Step One in a More Secure Business
Maybe your employees are on the road, or maybe they share sensitive documents across an Internet connection. In either case, a VPN could be a smart investment. Small business VPN provides plenty of advantages for entrepreneurs like you.
In fact, adding a VPN to your business could be the very first step in a better cybersecurity plan for your business.
Looking for more cybersecurity tips for your business? We have plenty of informative guides to help you create a safer, more secure business.