You may already know what a VPN (virtual private network) is; the chances are that you have encountered the large-scale corporate VPN technology that allows staff members to access company’s digital resources remotely and securely. Another option for entrepreneurs is smaller-scale B2B VPN services, which are valuable for multiple purposes, particularly in small or medium businesses.
A VPN connects a user to the Internet through an encrypted tunnel. The VPN server acts as a relay between the Internet and a computer, so no third parties can see what data the user transmits through the web. A VPN service provider, such as NordVPN, may offer numerous benefits to entrepreneurs and small-to-medium businesses, some of which we’ll discuss here.
A VPN service will secure your employees’ Internet connection with a layer of heavy-duty encryption. Although defending from malware and viruses will require different tools, a VPN will protect sensitive data from hackers. That is especially relevant if you and your team work remotely or take frequent business trips and use untrusted networks. Reading your emails at a coffee shop or using your phone’s Wi-Fi to log into Facebook at an airport can potentially put you at risk, so encrypting your communications is essential.
If your employees go on regular overseas trips, they need to be able to access all the same websites and services they work with usually. However, many countries restrict locally accessible Internet content in one form or another.
For instance, messaging apps and VoIP services are often blocked in the Middle East and Asia to protect local telecommunication companies, and social media networks face frequent interruptions in countries with authoritarian governments. Even traveling to a neighboring country may obstruct you from accessing some regional content.
A VPN service allows you to get round the majority of such restrictions. It connects you to a server in your home country, so your IP address will look as if you are currently in that country, while you actually may be thousands of miles away.
The range of modern online crime means that you have to be cautious at every turn: manage your passwords, sign out of your accounts after each session, apply tools to protect your systems from viruses and malware, and so on. A VPN service is one of the methods to secure your online activities, and it’s a necessary one, providing an extra layer of encryption for your browsing activity, financial transactions, etc.
Furthermore, bear in mind that not all VPNs have the same features. Look for one that offers reliable security protocols, such as OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPsec, and has extra security options, like malware or botnet blocking.
If you own a coffee shop or another business where offering free Wi-Fi to your clients is a good idea, monitoring the security of the network is vital for preventing the public Wi-Fi pitfalls mentioned in section 1. The best way to do so is setting up a VPN service to secure your router and encrypt your customers’ online activity. Although not all VPN services provide this option, NordVPN has a guide on how to configure VPN on your router and even offers its own branded routers. That is a sensible policy, which will help you gain trust and appreciation of your clients.
Many Internet websites and services display different results based on where you are located. For instance, Google’s interface and search results vary depending not only on the country but even on the precise locality. A VPN service allows you to hide and replace your IP address so you can seem to be browsing from another country. That helps you make sure that any location-based services you’re using are working correctly.
Demand for VPN services has been growing steadily over the years, owing to the rise of the Internet usage as well as the increasing number of online threats. The importance of data security and privacy for both businesses and individuals is likely to continue rising in the future, with governments and advertisers inventing more sophisticated ways to track Internet users and cyber criminals exploiting any available security gaps. High-scale hacking scandals have also contributed to the increasing realization that strong encryption is just as vitally important as anti-virus software and firewalls.
Meanwhile, VPN providers strive towards products that are easier to use and more approachable for users who are not all tech-savvy and do not wish to delve into the intricacies of encryption protocols. While strong security now comes at a price of lower connection speed, this tradeoff is likely to become less significant as technologies improve.
However, waiting for a better moment to join the VPN trend may not be wise. The sooner you secure your online communications with a VPN for business, the better it is for your company.