Virtual private networks, more often known as VPNs, have become more widely used over the past few years. Recent studies show that up to 41% of internet users in the United Kingdom and the United States use a VPN at least once a week.
But this technology hasn’t only become more popular for personal use. Companies are beginning to use these programs, as well, discovering that a fast VPN also has a wide range of applications in a professional context.
To find out more about what business VPNs are, as well as how they can be used and what their limitations are, read on.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is a tool that allows people to connect to other networks over the internet while maintaining security. They encrypt these connections so that their users can enjoy true anonymity and privacy while on the web.
Individuals may use this technology to protect their location, encrypt information, and browse the web without giving up any data.
What are business VPNs and how do they differ from personal ones?
Personal and corporate VPNs operate in the same way. The only real difference between them is the different ways in which they are used.
Using a personal VPN allows internet users to access remote networks, meaning they can connect to servers on the other side of the world.
On the other hand, corporate VPNs allow people to connect with the internal network of their company. This enables employees to work remotely while remaining connected. Users can therefore access their corporate network from anywhere in the world, so long as they have a working internet connection.
Types of business VPNs
Corporate VPNs can be broadly divided into two separate categories. These are:
- Remote access: These connect individual users to a single corporate server and are especially popular due to their high degree of security. By encrypting network traffic, company employees can safely access information, applications, and other resources that are part of the data center.
- Site-to-site: Rather than allowing single users access to a corporate data center, this type of VPN connects multiple networks. This is a popular choice for companies with numerous locations across different areas since they allow multiple offices to share resources on one server.
Both remote access and site-to-site virtual private networks have their uses. If you are considering using a business VPN service, think carefully about which would suit your needs the best.
What can business VPNs be used for?
A VPN for enterprises can fulfill several important functions. These include:
- Increasing security: Because VPNs encrypt your connection to other networks, they can help safeguard company data. Both the business and its employees are also allowed a greater deal of anonymity when accessing the web through these means.
- Remote access to company data: Using a business VPN also makes it easier for employees to work remotely. With this technology, they can access data from the main server no matter where they are. Furthermore, if you have multiple business locations, all your employees can log into the same server, no matter where they’re based.
- Fewer restrictions: When you use this type of service, you are subject to fewer restrictions than you would be using the open web. If employees need access to content that isn’t in their area, they can use the VPN’s location masking functionality to access it.
What are the limitations of using a VPN for business?
As useful as VPNs are, they do come with a few limitations—some more restrictive than others. Here are a few limitations to be aware of:
- Safety risks: It’s true that using a VPN increases your security; however, like any piece of technology, they aren’t completely infallible. If a hacker can get their hands on log-in credentials for your server, they will be able to access all the content on it.
- Maintenance: To operate at their best, VPNs should undergo frequent maintenance, with all software being kept up-to-date. The problem is, this can take up a lot of time and can draw attention away from other important aspects of your company.
- Low speeds: Various factors can impact VPN speed, including the volume of data traveling through the network, your internet connection speed, and the encryption method it uses.
This article has explained what a business VPN is, including how they differ from personal VPNs and in what ways they can be used. We have also covered the various limitations of using these services in a corporate capacity.
If you run a company, you may want to consider using a business VPN. However, make sure that you take the limitations into account before committing to using one.