These days, keeping your business safe requires a lot more than running an antivirus program now and again and praying for the best. One of the most important tools your company can employ is a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. A business VPN is more than just geo-blocking, it’s an absolute necessity for business these days.
Although the basic operating principles for Virtual Private Networks are the same regardless whether you’re using it for personal web browsing or as the backbone of your company’s online interaction, selecting the right business VPN for your particular purposes relies on vastly different criteria.
A business VPN needs to:
- Provide secure access to company resources and cloud services by employees and business partners;
- Protect sensitive information accessed from out of the office;
- Protect against data collection by ISPs or even foreign governments;
- Provide account management, central billing, and malware protection;
- Filter content such as streaming or social media, whether for time management or security; and
- Do it all quickly and efficiently.
So what are you looking for when choosing a business VPN?
It might seem to go without saying that if you’re looking for a VPN for your small business, you want something secure. All of the VPN providers included in this review provide excellent protection for your organization’s data. Some, however, place a premium on having the best available security. If getting the absolute best encryption is a priority for your company, you’re likely going to have to accept a few trade-offs, especially your connection speed and the availability of extra features.
Speed & Quality of Connection
Probably the most important thing to look for with any VPN is one that provides a high-quality connection between your devices and your network, wherever those devices are being used. As such, the “fastest” or “best” connection for your particular purposes will be highly dependent on where and over what distance you and your employees conduct your business.
If your business operates primarily in one city, for example, you’re going to want a VPN that has servers as close as possible to that city. That way, the latency on the connection doesn’t cause your connection to be unnecessarily slow. On the other hand, if your employees are frequently accessing your network from all over the country or world, you will want a VPN provider that has as many server locations as possible.
The biggest difference between a personal VPN service and one for your small business is based on management. Most of the VPN services discussed in this review have tools that will allow you to manage the access and use of the VPN, while allowing you to go back and audit historical use and manage your company’s cybersecurity.
Along with some of the special features, the nature and extent of the available management tools is where you will find the biggest differences between the VPN services discussed below.
When you’re talking about personal VPNs, whether and to what extent the VPN service provider maintains logs of your internet access is one of the most important criteria to investigate. While generally not as important when examining VPN services for small business, it’s certainly not unimportant, either.
Remember, your company data is only as protected as those who store your data can make it. Most of the VPN services discussed below keep only minimal logs of your company’s connections. However, make sure you know what those logs are, and that you are satisfied that they can keep that information safe.
Available Customer Support
One huge difference between personal VPN services and small business VPN services is the availability and quality of customer support. Most personal VPN services are designed to be incredibly easy to use, requiring little in the way of assistance to set up or maintain. However, given the complexity of trying to connect multiple employees to your network efficiently, oftentimes over a large geographic area, you’ll be thankful that quality customer support was among your criteria.
If you have in-house IT help or only have a few employees, the level and quality of customer support may not be as important in your selection. Don’t overlook it, though, because even very small businesses still need reliable internet access!
Probably the most interesting way to differentiate the small business VPN services is by the unique features that each one provides. The great thing about having so many companies competing to offer your company these services is that they have a built-in incentive to come up with new things to improve your experience.
Regardless, don’t fall for special features simply for the sake of having them. Remember, your small business VPN service is one part of keeping your company and your company’s data protected and having a flashy-but-underused set of features won’t matter if your employees can’t consistently access your network.
The Best Business VPN Services
Hotspot Shield Business VPN
Speed Test Rating: 2 out of 7
Hotspot Shield offers a complete set of apps for all major platforms, including Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. Unfortunately, Hotspot Shield does not offer a user management platform, relying entirely on the admin console built into the apps themselves. On the downside, the plans only allow for a maximum of 20 connected devices, so businesses with more than 10-15 employees will need to look elsewhere.
Rated #2 overall in our performance tests, you won’t find a much better value when it comes to speed vs. price. Although Hotspot Shield boasts more than 2500 server sites, their international availability is considerably lower – only 25 countries – than other services on this list.
While sparse on the bells-and-whistles, Hotspot Shield’s business VPN service includes dedicated VPN servers for your business, which means that the quality and speed of your connections won’t be at the mercy of the gamers down the street.
Hotspot Shield has dedicated customer service representatives for their business customers, with 24/7 availability, although no dedicated representative is provided.
- $39.99/month (billed monthly) OR
- $19.99/month (billed annually)
IVPN for Teams
Speed Test Rating: 6 out of 7
Simple and secure apps and platforms for all major operating systems, including Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. Add users and monitor access and privileges via online portal.
IVPN Teams was the poorest performing business VPN service that we tested. IVPN does rely on “multi-hop” connections, which do provide an added level of security, but may be the cause of the reduced performance during testing. However, given the extreme variability based on locations, it is recommended that your company perform a local test rather than rely on our testing protocols entirely.
IVPN Teams’ multi-hop technology sends your internet traffic through multiple VPN servers, ensuring that even if one endpoint is compromised by a cyber criminal or other intruder, your data will remain protected.
IVPN Teams includes 24/7 monitoring and customer support but lacks a dedicated customer representative.
- $500/year (1-5 users) to $3,750/year (41-50 users)
Speed Test Rating: 5 out of 7
Client apps are available for all major platforms, including Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. There is no dedicated user management software or platform, but the admin account provides use and management of user permissions.
Although the performance for NordVPN Business was somewhat disappointing, particularly given the large (and growing) number of servers NordVPN has available, the quality of the connections and high level of security tend to make up for it. As a very privacy-focused company, NordVPN does not keep any logs of user activity, and doesn’t even require your business details to sign up.
Every NordVPN Business account includes a dedicated IP address to allow for consistent, stable access to various services and databases, and each company gets a dedicated business VPN server for internal use.
A NordVPN Business account includes a dedicated account manager, and you receive priority support 24/7.
- Only available as individual quote.
Perimeter 81 by SafeVPN
Speed Test Rating: 3 out of 7
Perimeter 81 has well designed clients for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, plus single-click web management console.
Solid performance ratings, even with less server coverage than many of the business VPN services on this list. A strict no-logging policy is in place, and with a reputation for taking privacy seriously, you won’t have any concerns with what information Perimeter stores.
Perimeter 81’s special features include dedicated private servers and static and virtual VPN endpoints – which is basically a fancy way of saying they can put their VPN connections as close to you as possible to improve the quality of your connections and the privacy of your data – and on-the-go Wi-Fi protection that ensures your business VPN security is enabled anytime your employees access an unknown or untrusted network.
Although your company will enjoy priority customer support, available 24-7, Perimeter 81’s support lacks the dedicated assets others on this list offer.
- Business: $8/month per team member
- Enterprise: Custom
PureVPN for Business
Speed Test Rating: 7 out of 7
With a dedicated admin control panel, you’re able to create and assign dedicated IP addresses and manage the permissions and access of all users.
Our ability to test PureVPN was limited, so this should really be more of an incomplete grade than last place. However, PureVPN is a widely-trusted and used VPN system, and the lack of data should not reduce its potential for your company.
PureVPN for Business boasts a significant number of additional features accompanying its accounts. Its NAT Firewall blocks unrequested inbound traffic while you’re using PureVPN, and the built-in kill switch makes sure your connection remains secure even when the VPN drops. Options for split-tunneling allow you to use your regular ISP connection for certain traffic, but the VPN for others, allowing you to prioritize your security. PureVPN also comes with intrusion detection and prevention, helping to limit access to your system by unauthorized users.
Although there is no dedicated representative, PureVPN for Business does include 24/7 technical support.
- VPN for Teams: $300/year (5 users) to $2,550/year (50 users)
- Dedicated IP VPN for Teams: $419.40/year (5 users) to $3,744/year (50 users)
TorGuard Business VPN
Speed Test Rating: 4 out of 7
TorGuard’s Business VPN has apps and platforms for all major operating systems, including Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. In addition, TorGuard Business VPN also includes a dedicated VPN management portal for admins.
Not the fastest of the business VPN services on this list, and with more than a few latency issues despite a huge number of servers, TorGuard makes up for some of the performance hiccups by having some of the best security available.
In addition to the standard security, TorGuard’s “Stealth VPN” option allows you to avoid deep packet inspection that is designed to block the use of VPNs, meaning you’ll have access to all your apps _and_ be able to access your company’s network securely from anywhere.
TorGuard Business VPN comes with a dedicated account representative, and 24/7 support, which is integrated into the VPN management portal.
- Up to 10 users: $69/month
- Up to 15 users: $110/month
- Up to 20 users: $169/month
- Custom plan
VyprVPN for Business
Speed Test Rating: 1 out of 7
Easy-to-use and intuitive software and apps available for all major platforms, including Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. The user management administrator interface allows easy addition and removal of users, as well as control of access by privilege level.
VyprVPN was the top overall rated business VPN system in our test of connection speed. Vypr advertises that they own all their own servers, which allows VyprVPN to guarantee higher speeds than other business VPN services, while maintaining security.
VyprVPN includes unique security features like their NAT Firewall, which blocks unrequested inbound traffic when you’re connected to VyprVPN, and an additional proprietary protocol – Chameleon – that blocks deep packet inspection, which some services use to block or throttle VPN systems.
In addition to 24/7 customer support, VyprVPN business accounts provide a dedicated account manager to help resolve any issues quickly.
- VyprVPN for Business: Starts at $299/year
- VyprVPN for Business Cloud: Starts at $349/year