Don’t Use the First VPN You Come Across — How to Find the Right VPN for Your Business
It’s not hard to find a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a service that creates a virtual tunnel for your business’s transmissions on the internet, encrypting your data to provide the high-level security you need. But finding the right VPN that provides exactly the features you want can be a bit more difficult.
How do you find a VPN you can trust? Will the VPN you choose actually provide the privacy and security your business requires? Is it worth it to consider a free VPN service? These are all good questions — take a look now at some steps to finding the right VPN for your business.
Find Out If The VPN Logs Your Traffic
Many VPN services (particularly free ones) log the Internet traffic of their clients. This practice raises the question: what are these VPN providers doing with that logged information? If you care about user privacy where your business is concerned, look for a VPN that makes a specific promise not to log clients’ Internet traffic.
Some VPN services will insist that they only log a small portion of the transmissions they handle. But you don’t have to settle for that. Many of the largest, most reliable VPN providers promise zero logging, in part because they’re handling so much traffic that they can’t set aside server space for logging. That’s the kind of service you’re looking for.
Check Out the Precautions the VPN Takes to Protect Your Privacy
Do you know where your VPN’s servers are located? If they’re in certain countries, they may be required by their governments to collect and share information on their clients — and you might be surprised at what countries are involved. If the utmost of privacy matters to you, look for a VPN whose servers are not in:
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
You should also gather data on the VPN providers you’re considering to see if they’ve experienced any leaks of IP (Internet Protocol) or DNS (Domain Name Servers). To protect your own business’s privacy, you want to see a leak count of zero.
Decide What Type of Account Management Features You Need
Business VPNs need different features than VPNs for individuals, who may only want to beat website geo-blocking so they can watch streaming content in other countries. If you have a large company and you’re concerned about the potential for employee misuse of your VPN, you may want to work with a company that provides activity management controls. Think of these as the business version of parental controls, designed to keep employees from using your VPN to access sites featuring adult content, social media, or malware.
Key management may also be a feature you want for your business. If you have key management, you’re in control of the encryption keys your company uses, rather than your VPN provider being in control. This may allow you to keep up-to-date with the compliance regulations you face, or just help you feel a little extra peace of mind because of the added layer of security.
Make Sure the VPN Provides the Support You Need
If your business needs tech support around the clock, you don’t want to be isolated away from your data over a long weekend. On the other hand, if you never need IT support on weekends or holidays, why should you pay for it? Ascertain that the VPN provider you’re considering can deliver tech support when you need it.
Understand What VPN Protocol Your Provider Is Using
In most cases, the VPN protocol you want for your business is OpenVPN. This protocol provides top levels of encryption and cybersecurity without much compromise in the way of speed. But it’s not the only protocol available — that’s why you need to do a little research.
Other common VPN protocols are PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and SSTP. Avoid PPTP under all circumstances, as it’s an out-of-date protocol that has experienced major security breaches in the past. In fact, a good VPN provider will warn you away from PPTP (watch for this!).
If your business handles a large amount of traffic over mobile devices, L2TP/IPsec could be a good choice for you. That’s because the iOS and Android platforms don’t provide native support for OpenVPN without bringing in third-party apps — but they do support L2TP/IPsec.
Why does it matter so much that you choose the right VPN for your business? It matters because your VPN provider will have access to your company’s data. That’s why it’s important to do research and ask every question to make sure you feel confident in the VPN provider you ultimately choose.