One technology that’s gained in popularity due to the pandemic is a virtual private network (VPN). With so many people now working remotely from home, VPNs provide an important way to secure the extended business network that now reaches into employee homes.
Home networks are generally less secure than business networks and are sharing a network with many non-business devices (like streaming stick or a teen’s mobile device.) To help secure those connections, many companies have begun using VPNs for employees.
Between March 8-22, 2020, VPN use in the US skyrocketed 124%.
What Does a VPN Do?
While your office firewall can help protect all devices connected to your wireless network, what happens when employees are working from home or on the road, connected to a completely different network to access the internet?
A VPN is one of the ways to secure those connections, even if someone is connected to a public Wi-Fi.
Here are some of the main things that a VPN can do:
- Encrypt data connections for security
- Hide your home’s IP address
- Allow you to access geo-blocked resources (like the UK version of Netflix)
- Be used for both computers and mobile devices
- Access a business network safely while traveling
- Keep browsing activities from the watchful eye of an ISP
- Speed up internet connections (in some cases)
- Keep track of user access to company resources
Before you decide which type of VPN to use for your Orlando business, it’s important to know the difference between a personal and business VPN account. Often the same providers (like NordVPN) will offer both types.
Personal VPN Account
If you are simply getting an account for yourself and no one else, then the personal VPN account would be fine for you.
It allows you to protect your devices by encrypting your internet connection. The plan you get dictates how many devices the VPN can be used on.
You will typically have a dynamic IP address, meaning this will change each time you connect. Dedicated IP addresses are usually reserved for business accounts.
Your account controls will be more limited and you’ll most likely be relegated to choosing from different personal VPN servers, which may not have the same speed as servers used for business accounts.
Why not just have your remote team all use personal VPN accounts?
If you have your team use personal VPN accounts, you’ll end up with less control over your network and less visibility into VPN security. You also will not be able to add users or use advanced business features.
If you have more than one employee, then it makes more sense to use a business account, which allows several users.
Business VPN Account
A business VPN account allows you to add multiple users and grants you more control over your network security. You have full visibility into who is using the VPN and can ensure each employee is protected.
If you’re relying on employees to sign up for their own personal accounts, they may or may not get around to it, leaving your data at risk of a breach.
Some of the benefits that will typically come with a business VPN account include the following.
Dedicated IP Address
Having a dedicated IP address is an important feature for a business. It ensures that only your company is using that particular IP address, giving you a dedicated virtual location.
This is especially important when it comes to things like domain reputation. If you’re on a shared IP address that’s gotten a bad reputation due to a spammer, your email could also be tagged as spam. A dedicated address means you can better control online reputation.
Better Customer Support
Business VPN accounts will typically have better customer support options. For example, ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support for business users. NordVPN offers dedicated account managers for business accounts.
This means you get help when you need it and aren’t relegated to sending and email and never getting to interact with a live person, which can be the case if you use a personal account.
More Control Over Accounts & Permissions
You get a more sophisticated control panel for your VPN when you have a business account. This includes the ability to control user permissions, manage user accounts, create gateways, and more.
Depending upon the service you use, you can have your traffic directed to servers that are specifically for business clients. This means they may have better security and faster speed because they need to accommodate the online needs of corporations, government users, and other types of business users.
How Secure Is Your Remote Team?
C Solutions can help your Orlando area business put safeguards like VPN in place for your remote teams to extend your network security strategy, so your data stays protected.
Schedule a free consultation today! Call 407-536-8381 or reach us online.