Nathan Hughes, Secure Thoughts
In recent years, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have been gaining attention. As our work continues to digitalize, cybersecurity has become an essential practice for all businesses.
If you want to ensure personal safety, as well as privacy amongst your employees, then additional online systems are unavoidable. A VPN is one of the most efficient ways of ensuring security.
This comprehensive guide covers everything needed to transform your digital workspace and protect your business.
What Is a VPN & How Does It Work?
Once installed, your VPN mimics a private network and encrypts your internet connection. It allows you to hide your data, location and activity, making it the perfect tool for staying safe on shared networks. The application works by rerouting your connection via the VPN server before connecting to your ISP. This creates an initial tunnel that is impenetrable to third parties.
This added protection layer is formed using a range of algorithms, depending on VPN type. While some use cryptography to create a certificate of authentication, others use a tunneling tactic to connect a remote user with a private service. The latter is the most common option available. The use of a VPN is legal in most places, although some countries, such as Iran and China, try to put blocks on usage.
Who Can Benefit from VPNs?
There are numerous uses for a VPN; maintaining privacy, bypassing censorship and security from hackers are just a few advantages. For business professionals, there are many reasons to add a VPN to your arsenal. Not only does it keep all your company data safe, but it also means you can share work with remote employees without worrying about interceptions. It also allows you to overcome geo-blocking in countries with strict internet regulations—ideal when traveling for business!
If you are a larger company, corporate VPNs are perfect for creating a secure internal network. However, opting for a commercial VPN is the best choice for personal security.
Why Use a VPN?
There are endless ways a VPN can aid your success. They afford you a high degree of privacy from the government and ISP, as well as securing you from hackers on public WiFi. Add a VPN to your mobile device and log into your work domains on-the-go without worrying about sensitive data.
However, while this software provides a degree of anonymity online, it’s worth noting that the provider will still have all your details. Most won’t keep all usage data, but they will track a basic connection log—who you are, where you are and when you connected.
How to Choose the Right VPN
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best VPN. Price, speed and efficiency are all important. Some of the more expensive options offer a wide range of potential server locations and guarantee a constant and fast connection.
While there are free options available, what you get in value is lost in performance. These types of VPNs will often drop in and out, and you may even have to wait in a queue to get connected. Dealing with this is a potential nightmare for business owners who are already on a tight schedule.
If you want a more comprehensive explanation of differences, as well as reviews of some of the best options, this article covers all you need to know.
Are There Disadvantages?
Like all technology, a VPN is far from perfect. The few disadvantages aren’t enough to nullify the benefits, but they are worth noting. First, a strong encryption often leads to lower internet speeds. If you chose a low-quality provider, then this will only be magnified.
If you have strong privacy concerns, it’s also worth reiterating your VPN provider will still see your activity. Some companies offer an anonymous usage scheme, but it usually costs more. Similarly, it will not protect you from the authorities; no confidentiality laws protect you or your VPN company of choice.
In summary, a VPN is an essential addition for any business professional. Cyberattacks have become too commonplace not to take security measures. Plus, it provides the added benefit of allowing you to bypass restrictions and access websites when overseas.
If you have not yet investigated using a VPN on your personal or company network, then now is the time to do the research and see the benefits.