VPN Advantages for Business or Personal Use: Is It Worth It?


Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have been around since the 1990s and continue to grow in popularity today. Both individuals and organizations use VPNs to safeguard their personal and corporate privacy, networks, and resources from cybersecurity threats. The global VPN market is expected to reach over $77 billion by 2026.

VPNs help protect your privacy and anonymity online and prevent third parties from collecting and using your data for targeted advertising or malicious purposes.

Advantages of Using a VPN for Individuals 

VPNs offer a reliable solution for people who want to enhance their privacy online. For individuals, there are several key benefits of using a VPN.

Secure Network and Greater Privacy

A VPN provides a secure tunnel for data to move between your device and the internet, masking your IP address and making it harder for third parties to monitor your online activities. This is especially important when using public Wi-Fi networks, which are often unsecured and can be easily infiltrated by cybercriminals.

Limited Data and Bandwidth Throttling

Internet service providers (ISP) can intentionally slow down your internet connection during peak hours or if you’ve used a certain amount of data. This strategy, called data throttling, is meant to prevent network congestion and ensure all users get a fair share of the bandwidth. A VPN can prevent data throttling as it hides your device’s IP address, so your ISP can’t see how much data you use.

Access to Geo-Blocked Sites and Services 

VPNs can help you bypass geographic location-based restrictions by masking your device’s IP address which hides your location. People use VPNs to access various content, such as another country’s Netflix library or sporting event, region-restricted YouTube videos or news broadcasts, or content available at home while they travel.

Better Deals in eCommerce 

VPNs can help you save money by allowing you to access region-specific deals and discounts, like a lower-priced airline ticket at a lower price from a different region. Masking your IP address can also prevent retailers from tracking your online activities and targeting you with personalized ads or pricing that may be higher in some locations.

Higher Data Security 

By encrypting your internet traffic, VPNs make your data unreadable to anyone trying to intercept it. Some VPNs also offer built-in firewall protection, which helps prevent unauthorized access to your device and network. 

Advantages of Using a VPN for Businesses

As businesses rely increasingly on digital communication and data storage, protecting sensitive information is now a top priority. VPNs provide a secure and efficient solution for enterprises to connect with remote employees, collaborate with partners, and safeguard data from cyber attacks. 

Network Scalability 

A cloud VPN service can also connect multiple locations and offices, so businesses can easily scale their workforce, expand operations, and manage their networks without worrying about significant hardware investments or limitations on physical infrastructure.

Affordable Security Solution with Lower Support Costs

With a VPN, IT support staff can focus on managing a single secure connection instead of worrying about multiple connections and devices – and reduced complexity means lower support costs. IT support staff can remotely access employee devices and troubleshoot issues, minimizing or eliminating on-site support and travel expenses. VPNs cost less than firewalls or security appliances. Typically, they are managed by the provider, so you won’t need to pay in-house IT teams for maintenance tasks.

Improved Data Flow

VPNs allow businesses to transfer large amounts of data securely and efficiently without the risk of interception or unauthorized access. Employees can easily share resources across different sites, improving collaboration and productivity within organizations.

Secure Support for Remote Work

VPNs play a crucial role in supporting remote work and a globalized workforce. With a remote access VPN, employees can access company resources and sensitive data securely from any location – without compromising the organization’s security. Additionally, VPNs can also help companies maintain compliance with data protection regulations by ensuring only authorized personnel can access sensitive information.

Secure Support for BYOD Policies 

A VPN supports BYOD policies by ensuring only authorized devices and users can access the network. For further security, some enterprise VPN solutions allow businesses to manage devices, wipe data from lost or stolen devices and restrict access to certain apps or data.

Strengthened Data Privacy

VPNs help businesses control who gains access to their network and what resources they can access. Additionally, encryption means that even if data is intercepted, it will be unreadable without the decryption key.

Quick Implementation on New Devices

Connecting your business to a VPN is usually straightforward. With automated configuration tools, businesses can quickly configure the VPN on multiple devices simultaneously. 

Easy Maintenance and Support 

Business VPNs require less configuration and ongoing maintenance than other security options like firewalls or intrusion detection systems. Central management tools enable administrators to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot the VPN from a single console and include automatic software updates and security patches. 

Compatibility with Legacy Systems

Modern VPNs are designed to function with a wide range of operating systems and devices and can be configured for use with older equipment without upgrading hardware or software.

Boosted Employee Productivity 

An Always On VPN connection provides a fast, secure, and reliable way for remote employees in multiple locations to share files, communicate, and work together more effectively. 

Increased Security for Traveling Employees

By using a business VPN, employees can access company resources securely and without exposing their login credentials or other sensitive information to potential hackers – even while traveling or working outside of regular business hours. Two-factor authentication can provide an additional layer of security by requiring employees to enter a code or use a token in addition to their username and password to access company resources.

What are the Limitations of VPNs? 

While VPNs add an extra layer of security and play a crucial role in supporting remote work, they are neither foolproof nor do they provide full cybersecurity protection for businesses. To make informed decisions about whether VPNs are a viable security solution for your business, it’s important to be aware of their potential limitations.

Reduced Internet Speed 

VPNs encrypt all data traffic and route it through a remote server, so they can sometimes slow down internet speeds, especially for data-intensive applications.

Complex Configurations 

The complexity of configuring a business VPN can vary depending on the specific VPN solution chosen and the needs of the organization. However, modern business VPNs are typically designed to be relatively easy to set up and configure, even for non-technical users.

Monitoring Limitations

VPNs encrypt all data traffic between a user’s device and a remote server, but they don’t protect endpoint monitoring, such as keyloggers or spyware. They also can’t stop ad-targeting if you have cookies enabled.

Content Access Issues

While VPNs can help users bypass geo-restrictions, some streaming services and websites have implemented measures to detect and block VPN connections. Additionally, some countries have strict internet censorship laws that prohibit the use of VPNs or restrict access to VPN services.

Weak Internal Security Controls 

If a VPN is outdated, uses weak encryption and authentication methods, or has vulnerabilities, your sensitive data may be exposed to attackers.

Risk of Untrustworthy Providers

A free VPN may seem like the right choice when you’re on a budget, but these services may store your personal information and sell it to third parties. They may also serve up ads that could contain malware. Paid VPN services are safer and more effective.

Perimeter 81, for example, takes your privacy and data protection seriously, using bank and military-grade encryption and tunneling protocols. And we never share your data with third parties.

Increased Data Costs 

Encrypting and routing data through the VPN server may increase the amount of data transmitted and received, resulting in higher data usage and charges with ISP. Some VPN providers may also impose data caps or bandwidth restrictions on their services, which can result in additional data costs for businesses that need to transfer large amounts of data. 

Lack of Suitability for Some Threats

While VPNs can provide a secure and private way to access the internet, they are not a panacea for all cybersecurity threats. VPNs cannot protect against phishing or other social engineering attacks, malware such as ransomware, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, or Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).

To protect against these types of threats, businesses may need to implement additional security measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, or anti-malware solutions.

Extended Management Time

A VPN provider that offers managed VPN services can help with features such as complex configuration, automated software updates, 24/7 support, and proactive monitoring and management of the VPN infrastructure.

How to Find a VPN Solution that Works for You? 

Understand Your Privacy Concerns 

Different organizations have different concerns and must mitigate different types of risks. By identifying your specific privacy concerns, you can select a VPN that provides the level of protection you need.

Client vs. Router Security 

There are two main types of VPN setups. A client VPN runs on individual devices such as laptops or smartphones and provides strong security for individual devices. Router VPNs, in contrast, provide VPN protection to all devices connected to the network, offering network-wide protection without the need to install VPN software on each device.

Check Performance 

It’s important to test the VPN’s performance before you commit, as a slow or unreliable connection can significantly impact your online activities. Free trials can be a great way to evaluate performance before purchasing.

You can also use online speed test tools to measure the speed and latency of your internet connection before and after connecting to a VPN to see how the VPN affects your network performance.

The Type of Encryption Offered

VPNs use several different types of encryption. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the most common, typically used by government agencies and banks. Other types of encryption include Blowfish, Camellia, and 3DES. Most VPNs use 128-bit or 256-bit encryption keys. While 128-bit encryption is generally considered secure, 256-bit encryption offers even stronger protection.

Extra Security Features

When looking for a VPN, there are several extra security features to consider, depending on your security needs and concerns, such as:

  • Kill switch – automatically disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops
  • Double VPN or multi-hop servers – route your internet traffic through additional VPN servers and multiple server locations, making it difficult for hackers and other third parties to track your online activity
  • DNS leak protection – protects your IP address and location by ensuring all DNS requests are routed through the VPN
  • Malware protection – prevents installation of viruses and other malicious software on your devices
  • Ad-blocking – improves your browsing experience and helps protect your privacy

Value vs. Price 

Price isn’t always the most important factor in determining the best VPN for your needs. You’ll also need to consider:

  • Available features, such as strong encryption and a large server network
  • Connection speeds to avoid data or bandwidth throttling
  • Quality of customer support
  • Provider reputation and reviews

While you don’t want to overpay, it’s also important to remember that a cheap VPN may not provide the level of security and features you need. 

Secure Your Online Business Activity with a VPN

A business VPN safeguards your network connection and sensitive data as part of your overall security strategy. VPNs provide secure access to your online resources, no matter where your workforce is located, how often they travel, or which device they use. Perimeter 81 offers a robust and versatile VPN solution for businesses of all sizes.