Small business is not off the radar of hackers. In fact 36% of small businesses faced a data breach in 2019. Small businesses have more data than individuals and lesser security than big companies, that’s why malicious hackers love to target them. A virtual private network (VPN) allows you and your employees to access the Internet privately, via an encrypted tunnel.
The VPN market is flooded with options, and every VPN provider claims to be better than others. To help you make an informed decision, I have created this brief small business guide to buying a VPN.
Without further ado, let’s dive in:
Understand Your Need
People use VPNs for multiple purposes. So, you need to better understand your need first. Doing so will help you make the right decision.
Following are some common reasons why people buy a VPN:
- Anonymous browsing
- Geo independence
- Plausible deniability
- Secure file sharing
- Securing remote access
Small businesses often buy a VPN to secure remote access, keep browsing private, and secure file sharing. Quite often, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) throttle down the speed of the Internet based on the content. Some small business owners also buy a VPN to solve this problem.
Have you decided yet why you want to purchase a VPN?
Clear Connection Protocols
In simple words, a VPN protocol determines how your data transfers between your computer and VPN server. There are different VPN protocols, and each of them serves different purposes. Some VPN protocols are good for the Internet speed, while some protocols prioritize on privacy and security.
Here are some common VPN protocols:
Image Source: PureVPN
Most virtual network providers, but not all, offer you an option to choose a protocol that you want to connect with. This option lets VPN users to have optimum speed while doing different tasks, such as streaming, pear-to-pear activities, etc.
When you are exploring different VPNs, you should make sure that the VPNs you narrow down give you an option to choose a protocol along with a clear explanation.
Having hundreds of servers is a marketing point for most VPN provides. They advertise their VPNs stating hundreds of servers spread across different countries.
Well, you should not fall for this marketing hype. Instead, you should go for a VPN provider that has a server near your physical location because it is one of the many factors that contribute to VPN speed.
Also, you should make sure that the VPN you are going to choose has enough servers to get you covered.
As a small business owner, if you travel a lot and want access to online content that is only available for your home country, you should go for a VPN that comes with the SmartDNS capability.
Now the question comes why you would need a SmartDNS capability in addition to a regular VPN.
The answer is ‘speed’. A VPN always takes away a fraction of the Internet speed. because it encrypts all the data. But SmartDNS allows you to access geo-restricted content without the loss of speed.
Not all VPN providers offer both SmartDNS and a VPN service in the same package. So you should carefully examine the features of different vendors.
You never know when you will need technical help. Therefore, it is imperative that you should choose a VPN that offers top class customer support.
It goes without saying that emails and tickets sometimes take hours to resolve the issue. So you should always choose a VPN that offers 24/7 phone or chat support.
Also, going with a VPN provider that offers a free trial or money back guarantee is always a safe bet.
Compare Different VPNs
Of course, the best way to get the best virtual network provider is to compare different VPNs and pick the one that serves your objective well.
Now you must be wondering about the parameters you should choose to compare different VPNs.
Some important points to consider are mentioned below:
- Speed of virtual private network
- Number of server locations and servers near your physical location
- Extra features
- Logs policy and jurisdiction
- Money-back guarantee or trial period
- Number of devices allowed
- Customer support
It is imperative that you should carefully read logs policies of VPN providers. And make sure that the VPN you choose comes with a zero log policy.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all virtual private network. To get the best out of a VPN, you need to buy a VPN that can meet your requirements. The above-mentioned pointers will help you narrow down your choice to make an informed decision.
Sandeep Rathore is the founder of QuickScream, a platform to learn online marketing tips to grow your small business. He loves writing on topics related to small business success, personal branding, and cybersecurity. Contact him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
VPN stock photo by Jirsak/Shutterstock