Ultimate Guide to Business VPN
As more people spend more time online shopping, chatting, and working, so also are cybercriminals setting traps and waiting patiently for their victims to fall into their trap. Their attacks include stealing your data like banking details and credit card information.
That could also get hold of your home address or take control of your system for malicious purposes. Businesses make use of VPNs to ensure a secure connection and protect all sensitive data as about the business and clients. So if you are a business owner, and you are worried that you might be attacked or confidential and sensitive emails may be intercepted, then you need to use a business VPN to stay secure.
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Using a VPN is a protective and preventive measure as it keeps your device and data safe from the attacks of cybercriminals. Imagine the repercussion of having your financial details or even your home address stolen. That’s why it’s better to always use a secure connection before submitting any sensitive information online, or before sending emails that contain sensitive data.
Installation and the use of VPNs are very easy, and they give you peace and security.
What Is A VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is meant to provide an internet user who connects through it with security and privacy. On its own, the internet doesn’t provide you with any form of security. The priority of the internet when it was first developed was to be reliable and send packets of data as most nodes often went down. So the internet’s protocols were made to route around failure rather than provide security.
Every internet application; email, internet browser, social media apps, etc. were all built on the same core internet protocol. Even though they have been improvements over the years, security isn’t assured as some apps still transmit data without encryption or any form of security. This act puts users and their data out there for cybercriminals to feast on, and for the government to eavesdrop on. In other words, it leaves you vulnerable for the taking by whoever is interested.
A VPN creates a private tunnel that encrypts everything you send through it to ensure that even if your requests are intercepted, they would not be useful to the attacker.
How Does A VPN Work?
To have a proper understanding of how a VPN works, we would first have a general overview of internet communication. Imagine you are at work and you want to access Facebook, your computer would first initiate the process by sending packets. The packets would travel through switches and routers on your LAN before being transferred to the public internet via a router.
On the public internet, the packets are sent through a series of computers with a separate request being made to name servers to translate the DNS name to an IP address. The information is sent back to your computer, which then sends the request again through a series of computer networks to the public internet. It finally reaches Facebook which routes all the packets and sends the requested page back to you.
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Since every internet request involves many computers and nodes communicating with each other, a VPN encrypts the packets at the origin. This way it not only hides your data but also your identity online (IP address). From your device, the VPN software sends the packets to the VPN server for decryption before reaching the public internet.
Why VPN Solutions Are Important for Your Business
1. It Solves Your Worries of Confidentiality
Using a business VPN takes care of the worry of a third party intercepting sensitive and private data when you share it with your employees. The military-grade encryption ensures that every information between you, your employees, and clients are secure. You can also use your device in public places via public Wi-Fi hotspots without fear of data theft or other malicious attacks.
2 . No Restrictions
Internet restrictions won’t stop you as you can have access to content that is reserved for only a particular region from anywhere in the world. Your internet access won’t also be restricted if you go to a region with tight internet policies.
3. Safe to Use Free Wi-Fi
It’s common to see workers working in their favorite coffee shops while connected to free Wi-Fi. This can make you vulnerable to man in the middle attack and put your business at risk. But with your use of a VPN, you can work in public places with public connections and still be safe.
4. You Can Do Anonymous Market Research
Most businesses need to collect data and do research before creating and launching new products. With your company’s IP address or details, you can be fed false information by your competitors but with anonymous details, your identity would remain confidential. You can also connect to a server in another country to access their online markets and research the demand for your product in that region.
What Are the Two Main Types of VPNs?
LAN is the private network that is used in a particular location like a building or office. Many businesses have branches in multiple locations and need to share information amongst themselves, giving rise to multiple LANs. Data can be leaked or hacked into in this case and that’s why some companies lease private lines to connect the LANs of their various offices. Its an expensive procedure and the cheaper alternative is to connect the different LANs via a public network and set up VPNs between the offices. This type of business VPN is called a corporate or enterprise VPN. your data would be secure if your company controls both the originating and endpoint of the data.
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The second type of VPN is a consumer VPN. it’s a software as a service offering and provides a secure tunnel between your device and the VPN service data center. So they only protect your request transmission from your location to their location, and not to the destination app you are using. so in essence what happens is that the VPN service provider encrypts your data from your device as it passes through the secure tunnel until it gets to the VPN server. From here, the encrypted data is decrypted and sent to its destination. At this point any of the following two things would happen:
If you are using an HTTPS connection, your request would be encrypted by both your browser and the VPN service. So when the VPN decrypts the data just once, the encryption by the HTTPS connection would remain.
Also, even if the app you are communicating with doesn’t see your IP address, it sees the IP address of the VPN service you are connected to. So you have anonymity and security in one. This is why you can trick an app into thinking you are in a different location than you are located in.
Benefits of A VPN
1 . Data Encryption
With a VPN, every communication and information transfer that occurs between your device and the internet is encrypted. What this means is that when you send out data, it is scrambled as it passes through the secure tunnel your VPN service provides and only your device can unscramble it. So you can send and receive data without fear of it getting into the wrong hands as it would be useless to anybody who intercepts it.
2. Work from Anywhere
Businesses make use of VPNs to protect business information and data and keep business transactions secure. If you run your business online from home or a public place, you need a VPN to ensure that your work is safe and secure, and every information stored retains its integrity.
3. Improve Your Gaming Experience
You can enjoy so much more you play online games by using a VPN. the lags you experience and slow game download could be because your ISP is slowing down your bandwidth as games use a large amount of data. With a VPN, your gameplay would be disguised and your ISP won’t be aware of your actions.
You can also connect to servers in other regions to access games that are only available in those regions. If you want to be the first to download a game once it’s released, you can also connect to areas where it would be first released so you can download it.
With a VPN you are protected from DDoS attacks as hackers can force your server to go down and steal your data, leaving you vulnerable to online hacks.
4. Peer-To-Peer Torrenting
Torrent websites are generally unsafe and so if you must use them, you need to use a VPN to protect yourself. Your ISP would throttle your bandwidth if they discover you are torrenting, leading to slow downloads and that’s another reason why you need a VPN. VPNs increase the speed of your downloads by masking your activity.
5. Faster Browsing Speeds
Data throttling can be because of several reasons especially if your ISP senses huge data usage from you and they will deliberately make your connection to be slow. With a VPN, they will not be aware of this and you can have as much bandwidth as you need for your activity.
6. Private Browsing Activities
In public places, you are vulnerable to attacks when you connect to the public Wi-Fi as its unprotected. Hackers can steal your private information and use it to your detriment. So you need a VPN to send every request through the secure server before you access the internet to protect yourself.
Your ISP may also be spying on you and would provide all your details to a third party when they are demanded by law to do this. Using a VPN hides your activities from your ISP so they have nothing on you.
7. Stream Content from All Over the World
Some content is available for a particular region only, and it can be annoying when those blocks pop up. With a VPN, you don’t need to travel to that location to be able to have access to the video you want to watch. All you have to do is connect to the server in that location that has access, and you would be able to stream the video of your choice.
8. Save Money On Charges and Bills
Do you know that hotels and airlines charge differently for the same service based on location in some cases? This is to mention but a few services that have different prices for different users. You can take advantage of this by switching between servers to get the best price.
Things to Note When Making a Secure Internet Connection
1 . Choose Homemade or Paid VPN Service
After making up your mind to use a VPN, go for a paid service, or make your server. Using free VPN services are unreliable and expose you to risk.
2. Avoid Free Proxies
Free proxies can serve as the backdoor through which an attacker can have access to your database and collect information.
3. Use Strong Passwords and Key Files
When using homemade VPN services, enable maximum security so that unauthorized access would be denied. A strong password is one way of securing your data, and the use of an OpenVPN server with a strong key file is another good step.
4. Only Visit Secure Websites
A lock symbol at a website’s URL shows that the site is secure with SSL protection. You are less likely to lose data on such sites.
When Should I Use A VPN?
There are several scenarios in which you should use a VPN.
It’s important to use a VPN when connecting offices. If you have multiple LANs that need to communicate with one another, you need to do it over a VPN so that all business data would remain confidential.
You can also use a VPN if you want to have access to content that is unavailable in your location. What you need to do is connect to a server in the location with access.
Connecting to a public Wi-Fi is one of the riskiest moves to take online. A public network is usually unprotected and even if you try to avoid this, you can’t help it in most cases as you may have to work in a coffee shop or your hotel room. even if the Wi-Fi has a password, you can’t completely trust it as you have no idea who else is on the network and monitoring your traffic.
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Even if you are connecting to the Wi-Fi network of someone you know, use a VPN. their device may have been compromised, and connecting to their network without any form of protection also puts you at risk.
For the sake of privacy, you need a VPN. you mustn’t be indulged in illegal activities before you have something to hide. You may have confidential information you don’t want another person to discover and the best way to protect it is with a VPN. you may also need to protect your identity in a country with great internet restrictions. So if you must go online, you need a VPN.
Are Free VPNs Good?
Yes, they are some good free VPN services, but its best to avoid them for very good reasons. It’s quite expensive to maintain VPN services and infrastructure, and if users are not paying for this, it would be paid for somehow. In most cases, its paid for by advertising, data gathering on users, or some other process that may not be in the best benefit of the users.
Another reason to avoid free VPNs is that hackers and malicious groups have set up free VPNs. So if you fall prey to this trap, they will offer you no protection, and steal your data for their malicious purposes or sell it on the black market.
What’s The Best Way to Choose a Good VPN Service?
Even though free VPNs are not good, it doesn’t mean that all paid VPNs are good enough, the best way to check for a good VPN is to read user reviews. Here you will get first-hand information on how their services work and know if it’s what you need. Also, check its features and compare it with that of other VPN services. A good VPN will always strive to give you more.
Does A VPN Guarantee Privacy?
A VPN only helps you stay safe from the reach of hackers as you send traffic from your computer to a website. It doesn’t influence the activities of the website such as recording information about your preferences. A VPN can’t also protect you against websites that choose to sell your email address.
Don’t think of a VPN as an almighty shield that gives you ultimate privacy. It only helps you stay safe.
Can A VPN Slow Down My Computer?
There is no single answer to this question. The process of encrypting and decrypting your traffic usually causes some lags, especially in older CPUs. New models can handle the load so if you use such you may not experience any lags.
Also if you connect to a server that’s far away from you, you will experience slower loading as compared to connecting to servers that are close to you. so your VPN speed is completely dependent on several factors.
Do VPN Providers Limit Usage?
Some VPNs give limits, and some don’t. some providers will limit the amount of data you can use in a month or a session, while others will limit your connection speed. In either case, your connection speed would be below optimum and it would be impractical to use some services such as streaming.
You will experience such limits mostly with free VPN services. Paid services will offer you a free trial period with limits above which you will need to subscribe to a payment plan. This is a cool feature of most VPNs as you can access their service and know what you are going in to.
Many good VPNs like LimeVPN give you unlimited bandwidth, so you would have no issues of slow loading or restrictions when online.
What Happens If A VPN Connection Fails While I’m On a Remote Connection?
This depends on the type of VPN you are using, how the VPN is set up, and where you are connecting to. Once you connect to the internet through a VPN, your traffic would be encrypted and your real IP address would be replaced by the IP of the server you choose. So the online application sees you as coming from another location, while your data remains protected.
If a VPN connection drops, you may still retain your internet connection as your computer will try to reconnect since the internet is made to bypass such failures. By bypassing the VPN, your traffic will be unencrypted, your IP address would become visible, and you will be exposed to attackers.
A good VPN will protect you from such scenarios with their kill switch. A kill switch prevents you from having an internet connection if your VPN connection fails so that you won’t leak any information or get exposed to attacks online.
Once you connect to the internet, you are exposed and vulnerable to attacks. For individuals, the attacks may be mild, but when businesses are involved, the attacks are usually severe. Businesses have many points through which an attacker can gain access, and so every business owner must use a business VPN through which every internet connection goes. Apart from security, a business VPN allows good market research to be done anonymously across various markets to ensure only the best decisions are made.