Virtual private networks (VPNs) have existed for a very long time. However, their use has only become popular over the last few years. Nowadays, it seems like everywhere you look there’s an advert for a VPN service.
What exactly is a VPN?
Effectively, it’s a service that helps you stay more secure and anonymous online. A VPN gives you an encrypted way of accessing the internet, letting you hide your IP address.
The uses of a VPN are diverse, but why should businesses use them? If you’re wondering how to switch your Netflix region, you’d need to use a VPN to make it seem like you’re in a different location. This is one of the most popular reasons for people to use virtual private networks. However, it doesn’t really showcase the true power of a VPN, particularly for businesses.
Instead, a business can benefit from the following features of a virtual private network:
This is something that’s really important in modern times when businesses have employees all over the world. There’s a chance that some of your employees in different countries might be unable to access your website or services. Why? Because these things might be blocked by the government where they live. So, it’s impossible for them to actually do any work.
With a VPN, they can easily set their location to your home country and access all the sites and services they need. It’s called geo-independence because you’re not geo-locked and can surf the web wherever you are. For global businesses, this feature is absolutely essential.
One of the main reasons businesses use VPNs is to give them an extra layer of security.
First of all, will VPNs protect your business from every cyberattack you can imagine? No, they won’t. VPNs won’t protect you from malware or phishing, and they don’t 100% guarantee that your network won’t be hacked.
Nevertheless, they will give you an extra layer of security to protect your data when online. Because a VPN is encrypted, it means your IP address and your details are all hidden. It is impossible for websites to see your personal and private business data unless you give it to them. Therefore, it is harder for you to be hacked or for your information to be stolen. Needless to say, a business needs extra protection wherever they can find it.
Safer browsing on public networks
Have you ever been in a situation when you need to work outside of the office? You’re not even working from home; you’re working from a coffee shop or a train. As a result, you have to connect to a public WIFI network. Naturally, this is one of the unsafest things you can possibly do. Public networks have no security and are where most hackers hang out. If you access the internet and log into business applications on public WIFI, you’re asking for a problem.
With a VPN, you can use public networks securely. All of your information is hidden, so you don’t have to worry about safety concerns at all. It turns into a simple case of using free WIFI!
Remote access to internal applications
This is similar to the first point, but with a slight twist. Here, we’re talking about internal applications that are available on devices within an office. Let’s say you or some of your employees are working from home. Usually, you’d be unable to access these internal applications as they are on a local network.
However, with the power of a virtual private network, employees can now access all the internal apps and software. In essence, it makes it easier for people to work remotely while maintaining a high degree of safety.
Overall, there isn’t really a reason for a business NOT to use a VPN. Most providers are relatively affordable, and the benefits they provide outweigh the costs. There are some concerns that a VPN can slow down your network performance, but this is only the case if you use a bad service provider. If your internet is already fast, and you use a decent VPN, there will be no performance issues.
Mostly, businesses need virtual private networks for added security. Whether this is in the office or when accessing business information on public networks, a VPN really helps. But, it can also be super useful to help employees access things from remote locations. As far as modern business technology goes, this is something that will surely help your business avoid cyber threats and be more productive.