What is a VPN?

From hiding your identity to improving your Business security, learn how a VPN works and how to choose one.

Table of Contents

A virtual private network (VPN) provides you with a secure private network connection and anonymity to the public internet by encrypting your data. The added security layer helps safeguard all online activities from cybercriminals. 

The purpose of a VPN is to protect your privacy online and gain complete access to worldwide content. Thanks to VPNs you can sit at any remote location, such as a cafe or at an airport, and connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots without the fear of someone stealing your sensitive data or infecting your device with malware. 

With growing concerns of identity theft, fraud, and malicious attacks on the rise, more people are relying on VPNs to keep their private information safe. In fact, over 1 out of 4 (26%) internet users rely on a VPN service provider. 

VPNs make browsing much safer and allow you to bypass certain restrictions such as government censorship and to stream content from sites like Netflix and YouTube when traveling. VPNs also secure sensitive data from the hands of cybercriminals. 

Organizations use a Business VPN to secure staging servers, company databases, cloud-based resources, and to keep employees safe no matter if they are on-premise or working remotely. It is estimated by 2025, 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month.

Looking for a Business VPN ?

VPN History – The Early Years 

The roots of a VPN can be traced back to 1996, when a Microsoft employee developed what became known as the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) or Peer-to-Peer tunneling protocol (PPTN). It is the most basic form of secure data transfer. However, in more modern times, people use newer protocols such as OpenVPN, as it is the most secure.

VPNs were originally developed for governments and businesses, however as the internet started booming and more websites were developed, malware started spreading, and VPNs allowed end-users both in governments and businesses and the general public to encrypt their traffic and hide their IPs. 

VPNs really started taking off around 2006 and 2013 around the time of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, when people started realizing that their private data could be compromised at any moment. The public learned that both governments and policies were collecting data and spying on them. 

What this did was give people a new perspective on online privacy, and they started to investigate and use VPNs. It also paved the way for the VPN industry which is expected to hit a jaw-dropping $107.6 billion by 2027 fueled in part by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting around 2010, certain countries such as China and Russia started taking severe measures against the use of privacy. This made the public want to use VPNs even more, and this made these governments impose serious measures against people using them, as well as censoring more websites. 

Other countries such as Iran, Iraq, the UAE, Turkey, and Egypt started banning certain sites, and a lot of other countries began restricting certain sites and content as well.

Turkey, for instance, can finger you as a person of interest for law enforcement and has banned any use of a VPN and Tor – which is a free open-source software used to typically explore the dark web.

How Does a VPN Work?

A VPN uses an encrypted virtual tunnel through which all your data traffic is routed. It hides your IP address, as well as your virtual location. In order to ensure the security of each data packet, a VPN wraps it in an outer packet, which is completely encrypted through encapsulation. 

Once the data arrives at the server, it is then decrypted to see what information is passing through before establishing a secure connection between two different devices and is once again encrypted to allow the requested data once the server receives it.

VPN providers support these protocols, such as OpenVPN, which is the most popular protocol used by many enterprises across the globe. OpenVPN is extremely configurable and offers efficient security, low latency, and the ability to utilize it on both UDP and TCP ports. 

IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Version 2) is another VPN tunneling protocol that is commonly paired with IPsec for the purpose of encryption. It has excellent adaptability to any changes within the network, which is great when business transactions are done over mobile devices, and especially for users who often switch between their mobile connection and a Wi-Fi setting.

VPN Access

Most people can access a VPN for both private and business use. However, those playing around with the dark web also utilize VPNs to protect themselves and the actions they implement on the dark web in order to remain anonymous. 

It’s important to use a Tor browser with a VPN for dark web surfing, as it enhances the security, as well as the anonymity of your connection. 
There are many dangers to using Tor without a VPN for the dark web:

  • Tor encrypts the connection, not the data, therefore any data sent over its network has to be encrypted, otherwise, Tor’s exit nodes are left vulnerable. Users will be able to access any information that is confidential while the data is on the last node.
  • If you’re using an old version of Windows OS, your identity may be revealed while using Tor to access the internet. This can present serious issues as there are many illegal activities taking place. A secure VPN solution can prevent your ID from being exposed.
  • VPNs don’t prevent cookies from tracking you, however, once you use a VPN you’re connecting with foreign servers and your IP address is hidden, which will give a certain amount of false information to the cookies that track you.  
  • If using HTTP sites, as opposed to HTTPS sites, people can access your information at the time that it is on the endpoints. Credit card details sell for as little as $14 on the dark web, CVV included.  

A word of caution to check your security settings before using the Tor browser to enter the dark web. A few other helpful tips include:

  • Know where you would like to go and avoid dangerous and illegal activities 
  • Place a piece of black tape across your laptop camera for extra security measures
  • Make sure your security settings are up-to-date
  • Use cryptocurrency for any transactions as information is kept hidden
  • Close all windows and tabs once you are finished accessing the dark web

Looking for a Business VPN ?

Does a VPN Use Data?

Yes, a VPN uses data. When a VPN is being utilized, it counts against all the data limits on the devices using it. A mobile VPN can eat up to 20% of data usage with 4% being the minimum amount it uses. You should always turn off your VPN when not in use to conserve data and also avoid additional roaming charges on your monthly phone bill. 

Data usage can skyrocket if you keep the VPN on for several hours at a time streaming a movie on Netflix. Although a VPN helps lift restrictions when viewing certain content such as films, it also increases the amount of GB and data, particularly for High Definition (HD) videos.

Does a VPN Slow Down Your Internet?

When using a VPN, it has the ability to slow down your internet. On average, speeds that are between 10% to 20% slower will be experienced while a VPN is in use. Often, this won’t be noticeable, and the pros with regards to anonymity and safety definitely outweigh the cons. 

However, when using a VPN service of superior quality, where programmers and software engineers constantly maintain and optimize the servers, this loss in speed isn’t so apparent. 

Data packets that have to travel from one end of the globe to another, such as New York to India or Austria can cause high latency issues. Perimeter 81 has 40+ global data centers which help reduce latency issues, unlimited bandwidth, and can be easily configured across any network. 

Sometimes, a VPN can speed up your internet due to the fact that your regular ISP may cap, throttle, or limit your bandwidth. However, when using a VPN, all those restrictions can be freed. It’s important to test your VPN by running a speed test as it can show you how fast or slow your internet connection is, as follows:

What Is a VPN Connection?

A VPN connection creates a secure connection between you and the internet. All the data traffic you have gets routed through a virtual tunnel that is encrypted when using VPN client software.

You can establish a virtual private network VPN connection, and it will disguise your IP address, making you invisible to any prying eyes that may be lurking out there. This connection guards you against external attacks. 

Advantages of VPN Connection

Having a VPN connection has many advantages, some you may not even have considered. Whether you run a large enterprise or head up a small team of five, these are the advantages that having a VPN will bring into your digital world:

A VPN Accesses Websites that are Blocked

Certain countries, such as China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, and Egypt block a lot of content on the web. If you happen to live in or visit those countries for business or pleasure, you will be able to access content from anywhere in the world without the worry of anyone knowing about it. 

A VPN Secures All Online Data

A VPN provides the peace of mind you need, allowing you to visit any HTTP site without the worry that your data will be compromised. Not all sites use HTTPS. This means that you are vulnerable to attacks of all kinds, and other non-malicious third parties can view your personal data that you may prefer to have hidden. 

Even applications are not 100% secure, and using a VPN on your phone increases your security, so that you can feel safe while operating your device. All your internet traffic is encrypted, so you can access cloud documents and shop with credit card information.

A VPN Assists in the Avoidance of Government Surveillance

Whether you like it or not, the government is able to watch you and monitor your data traffic when they want. Even in London today, there are video cameras everywhere on the street that the police use with biometric software to catch criminals (and the data isn’t even always correct). The point is “Big Brother is Watching,” but why let him? 

A VPN stops those entities within the government from spying on you and seeing what websites you visit. It can be a really scary thought when imagining that the government is tracking all your online activity, especially in countries such as China where online activities are heavily restricted.  

Without using a VPN, your fate could be in their hands and that might be exceptionally dangerous. A very unsettling thought is the fact that these governments sometimes share your data with other countries. How safe do you feel now?

A VPN Protects You from Any Harm When Using File-Sharing Services (P2P)

When working in an organization, you may distribute software that is open-source or public domain content like videos. You may also share big amounts of internal information or push service updates. 

This all constitutes peer-to-peer services. In general, ISPs set bandwidth limits, therefore discouraging their users from such services. By utilizing a VPN, your internet service provider can’t see your traffic or limit any of your P2P sharing

A VPN Provides Protection Against Unsecure Connections

Whether you’re sitting in a cafe enjoying a cup of espresso or waiting in the lounge at the airport waiting for your flight to be called, you’re most likely going to be working on your laptop or mobile device. 

The Wi-Fi connections here are available to everyone, meaning none of your data is safe. Anyone who is capable of both stealing your data and putting malware on your devices can do so from these places. 

Perimeter 81 offers Automatic Wi-Fi Security to protect your remote workers from potentially dangerous and unsecured Wi-Fi connections which can lead to malicious attacks such as man-in-the-middle attacks and evil twin attacks.

How Do I Know if My VPN Is Working?

If you’re uncertain whether or not your VPN is working, you will need to run a VPN test to ensure that everything is set up correctly. 

There are certain VPN leaks that need checking:

  • IP address leaks 
  • DNS leaks
  • WebRTC leaks

Let’s explore each one in a bit more detail:

IP Address Leaks

Devices communicate with one another online through IP addresses. Each device connected to the internet has an IP address. IP addresses link to geographical locations, and one of a VPN’s biggest responsibilities is to hide your IP address so that people cannot track and monitor all your activity that takes place online.

Test for an IP address leak

  1. Turn off your VPN, and type “what is my IP address?” into any search engine you are using. This will display a certain number such as, “2.57.169.64” which is an IP address for Toronto, Canada. Write down your IP address as you will refer to it later.
  2. Connect to your VPN. Once it is working, type “what is my IP address?” again. If it is the same IP address as before, you’ll know that your VPN is not working, as it is not masking your IP address.

Fix the IP Address Leak

If your VPN is not hiding your IP address, it is very likely you are using a free VPN service or a VPN that isn’t very reliable. It’s best to choose a secure VPN provider that’s highly recommended so that you can constantly feel safe knowing your IP address will always remain hidden and your data kept safe. 

It’s also important to note that certain VPNs don’t cover IPv6 connections, and will let your IPv6 traffic pass through. Always make sure to choose a VPN that supports IPv6, as it will automatically support IPv4.

DNS Leaks

A DNS (Domain Name System) has the job of matching a website’s IP address to its URL. Your router’s DNS settings can be viewed and edited in its admin menu. When operating without a VPN, your ISP takes care of all your DNS requests, and every single website you visit is able to see exactly where your DNS requests come from. 

When in doubt, you can always perform a DNS leak test to ensure that all traffic is being properly routed through its anonymous network.

Test for a DNS Leak

  1. Turn off your VPN and click on DNSLeakTest. This shows your IP address and (general) location.
  1. Connect to your VPN and reload the same page. Your VPNs IP address should show here.
  1. If both IP addresses match, your VPN is not working. If you need more information, click on “Standard Test” or “Extended Test” under DNSLeakTest.
  2.  Should these tests show DNS addresses that are connected to your ISP, then you will know that your DNS information is being leaked by your VPN.
Fix a DNS Leak

Should a DNS leak occur, contact the customer support of your Cloud VPN provider as they may be able to assist. If that doesn’t work, you might want to invest in a much better VPN provider that has its own encrypted DNS servers or private DNS configuration. Once that is done, your VPN will not reveal your DNS information, all of which is used to locate the address of your IP.

WebRTC Leaks

WebRTC stands for “Web Real-Time Communication”. WebRTC is a free solution and open-source. It gives websites and applications the ability to host real-time videos as well as audio communications, provide live streaming, and enables file sharing without the use of any third-party software such as plugins or extensions. 

When a leak of this kind occurs, your browser will reveal your real IP address while making WebRTC requests, even though you’re hooked up to your hosted VPN. A VPN that is really focused on security won’t let this happen.

Test for a WebRTC Leak
  1. Turn off your VPN and click on BrowserLeaks (a website that tests your VPN for WebRTC protection similar to a DNS leak test). It will show you your real IP address next to “Public IP Address.”
  1. Connect to your VPN and reload the page. It should show you your VPN IP address in the same place.
  2. If it matches your VPN IP address then it is working, if it shows your actual IP address, your IP address is being leaked while making WebRTC requests through your web browser.
Fix a WebRTC Leak

It’s important to use a VPN provider that protects against this, which offers businesses of any size a modern VPN alternative that is cloud-based. This is particularly important when dealing with WebRTC where a lot of communication takes place in the cloud. 

You will also need to test the speed of your VPN. If your VPN constantly delivers a slow speed, try connecting to a different geographical location. If that doesn’t help, perhaps you should consider a more efficient VPN.

What is The Difference Between a Consumer VPN and a Business VPN?

Single vs. Multiple User

When using a consumer VPN, only one person is using the VPN client software. They have full control of their account. Their main interests may be general privacy, the ability to stream content from other countries, and bringing their favorite local shows with them when traveling.

When dealing with a business VPN, many people are accessing it from many places around the world. All employees will have the username and password connected to the VPN and will connect to the servers they choose. In the business world, the account manager will have complete control over the VPN business account.

Account Management Function

A consumer VPN allows the consumer to have complete control over their VPN and control every device connected to the private server. 

The account manager controls all employees’ use with regard to the business VPN. They have the power to both add and remove whomever they need, according to their company’s needs, and are able to change all the global settings pertaining to the VPN and set it across the company or organization.

Regular Vs. Business Servers

Users accessing consumer VPNs connect to servers that are used by all the users of that specific VPN. A lot of sharing takes place, and that can lead to server overload which can affect quality, performance, and speed. 

The convenient thing about business VPNs is the fact that they usually have their own servers that are structured in a way to meet the needs of business users. The performance and quality will therefore be of a higher level when compared to regular consumer users.

Difference in Dedicated IP Address

Consumer VPNs allow users to connect to IP addresses located around the world that will be shared with many other users. These IP addresses also regularly change, even if the same server is used every day. 

Business VPNs use dedicated IP addresses in single servers. Therefore only one organization will use a particular IP address that other businesses can’t access. Every employee within the organization will share the business IP address when utilizing the VPN.

Software Installation

When installing a consumer VPN that is used by thousands around the world, the installation process is pretty uniform. The same software is used with variations depending on the platforms.

What’s great about business VPNs is the fact that they are so exclusive. The VPN software normally comes customized depending on the needs of the particular business, and the installation process is normally carried out directly by security experts from the VPN provider.

It’s like being bumped up from economy to business class when flying, you get exclusive VIP treatment.

Personal Vs. Business Use

When using a consumer VPN, personal interests are being addressed, such as privacy and security when dealing with online banking and shopping. Entertainment interests are also being addressed, such as accessing streaming channels that are only available in other countries such as Peacock and Hulu and even sourcing more content from popular streaming channels like Netflix. 

Consumer VPNs are also used by people who travel and still want access to their home-based local websites that may be blocked in the country they’re visiting, especially if they are traveling for lengthy periods of time.

Business VPNs are used for business purposes. They are mainly used to secure the safety of the organization, as so much sensitive data is passed on between employees throughout the day. One false move can wind up costing a company upwards of $4.24 million. Avoiding a breach is the top priority for any organization and having a business VPN greatly reduces that risk.

Individual Vs. Business Privacy

People using a consumer VPN may initiate activities online that they don’t want others to see or monitor. They may visit websites with a lot of private content, and the last thing they want is anyone being able to monitor their activity online. 

A business VPN provides complete privacy to employees. All major assets and data will remain safe, and employees are able to view sites without other employees or senior executives monitoring their online activity. 

However, the main objective is the safety and security of the business. In fact, no serious organization should run any data online without using a secure VPN. In addition to a business VPN, organizations are quickly adapting to the Zero Trust approach which enforces tighter security policies across the network.

Looking for a Business VPN ?

Benefits of a VPN

There are so many benefits to using a VPN, the main benefit being to make sure that your online activity remains hidden from prying eyes or government bodies. Here are a few advantages of what a VPN can offer:

  • Secure all data 
  • Prevent data throttling 
  • Hide private information 
  • Increased network security
  • Lower latency
  • Secure file sharing
  • Improve performance
  • Access to censored or blocked websites

Why Do You Need a VPN?

A VPN opens up the web in ways unimaginable. It allows you to access content from almost anywhere in the world and makes the process of obtaining foreign information and content that much quicker. It also provides enormous security.

What Can I Do With a VPN? 4 Cool VPN Hacks 

There are other really cool things you can do with a secure VPN: 

  1. Do all of your online shopping without changing your billing address or details.
  2. Mask your GPS location if you want to play online games.
  3. Get cheaper flights on travel sites by changing your IP address and clearing cookies to prevent being tracked and paying more for tickets.  
  4. Post ads in multiple cities on Craigslist (think real estate agents).

There are so many benefits of using VPNs as you can see.

How to Change Location

Unlock Geo-Restricted Content

It’s really simple to unlock geo-restricted content. If you happen to travel to the UK and want to access a streaming channel from the US, simply connect to your VPN client software, and it will give you the option of changing locations.

**Note that for the few seconds when it changes locations, your privacy may not be safe.

There are so many benefits of using VPNs as you can see.

Watch Netflix and Other Streaming Sites Without ISP Speed Issues

Make sure your VPN download for Stranger Things or The Crown occurs before traveling. Then get the best VPN location according to your streaming preferences. 

The U.S. opens up a plethora of streaming sites, some of which are free. There is no end to the amount of different movies and series you can watch on Netflix with a VPN.

Watch Free Streaming TV in Other Countries

By having a VPN many streaming channels that are free will be open to you, whether you’re home-based or traveling for business. Your favorite shows are just a click away.

Reduce Travel Costs

When traveling, you may need to subscribe to certain local networks to receive content. However, when you have VPN access, you connect to a VPN IP address that allows you to have (relatively) any content you please.

When traveling, you may need to subscribe to certain local networks to receive content. However, when you have VPN access, you connect to a VPN IP address that allows you to have (relatively) any content you please.

Stay Incognito When Researching Your Competitors

If you run a business, the last thing you want is your competitors to know that you are researching them. Stay “cloaked” and go incognito when looking them up, and relish in the fact that they’ll never know you’ve been putting so much work into finding out all about them.

Safer Online Shopping

From Amazon to eBay, and other e-commerce sites, by using a VPN your personal details will remain safe. After all, you’re sharing things like exact location, email, phone number, and credit card information – all within reach of an anxious hacker without a secure VPN. 

By using a VPN, shopping online remains safe and secure – especially with sites that use HTTP and not HTTPS. Hackers can easily perform an HTTP flood DDoS attack and overwhelm your servers if you are not using a secure VPN.

Privacy and Security

How Does a VPN Protect You?

Does a VPN protect you from hackers? Well, that is the age-old question and one of the main reasons users (both private and business) actually use a VPN. The truth is, a VPN protects you from most criminal cyber activity and attacks that require access to your IP address. When you’re using a VPN, potential hackers can’t see your online activity due to VPN encryption, limiting the possibility of an attack.

Does a VPN protect you from viruses?

Although a VPN protects you from attackers requiring your IP address to carry out attacks, you can still receive emails with malicious links containing viruses, and sophisticated hackers still have ways to apply ransomware to your machine. In fact, a new ransomware attack will take place within the next 11 seconds.  

The best security measures include using a VPN together with anti-malware software. The two go hand in hand. You also receive identity theft protection with VPN but need to up your security measures as well.

What Does a VPN Protect You From?

A VPN helps keep your online activity private and in the prevention of identity theft. It also protects against government surveillance, so if you’re a journalist in a foreign country, you’ll always need to use a VPN. 

However, it will not protect you against taking certain actions like giving sensitive information to unencrypted sites or accidentally downloading malicious software. 94% of malware is delivered via email, so take extra caution before clicking.

Does a VPN Hide Your IP Address?

One of the main reasons behind using a VPN is for hiding your public IP address. Every time you choose a different geo-location on your VPN, your IP address will change and your true location will remain hidden. 

Although a VPN can help protect your IP address, you still need to take preventative measures to enhance your online security. A few tips include: 

  • Creating strong passwords and changing them frequently
  • Avoid phishing attacks by not opening suspicious looking emails 
  • Update your PC as often as possible 

Secure all of your cloud applications with a Corporate VPN

Can I Hide My IP Address Without a VPN?

A trustworthy VPN gives the most secure protection with regard to IP address privacy. However, there are other ways to hide your IP address:

  1. Use a secured Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)
  2. Renew your IP address
  3. A proxy can hide your IP address
  4. Your ISP can change your IP address
  5. Unplug your modem (however this is not guaranteed)
  6. Change your network
  7. Tor can hide your IP address

You need the best VPN for privacy, especially when dealing with sensitive data such as financial and health information, and any data that is on your business network to prevent compliance breaches and hefty penalties.

Can I Hide My IP Address Without a VPN?

A VPN hides:

  1. Your location
  2. Your IP address
  3. Your online activity 
  4. Your personal data
  5. It can even hide itself

Can You Be Tracked with a VPN?

An inefficient VPN service provider or free VPN will often track and log your activities through their own VPN tracking cookies. They then sell your private data to third parties. However, if you use a high-level, efficient, paid-for VPN service, this shouldn’t happen.

Does a VPN Block Cookies?

A VPN is an amazing tool for keeping online anonymity, however, cookies can still track you. But because you are using a VPN service, certain false information will be provided to the tracking cookies. Certain VPNs have an option in their settings to prevent this, but in the case of cookies, it is best to clear your browser and go incognito.

Certain countries such as North America, South Africa, Israel, the United Kingdom, Australia, and more allow the usage of VPNs. Other countries such as China and Russia restrict its usage and even ban it

Back in 2010 there was not a lot of censorship being used in China. However, these days, China censors a lot of content. The Great Firewall blocks Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo, Twitter, Slack, and even Google. Certain foreign news sites, such as The Wall Street Journal, the BBC, and The New York Times, cannot be accessed.

VPNs are banned in China and their access is tightly restricted. By using a VPN in China, a fine of between $145-$2,200 may be imposed. Foreigners who travel to China are not allowed to use a VPN for their business needs, even when it’s just the usage of a mobile VPN. 

China is extremely strict with regard to compliance with data privacy laws. In 2017 a man in China received a sentence of five and a half years imprisonment for selling VPNs and was also fined $76,000.

Defeat Censorship

There are certain countries where VPNs are banned or restricted for various reasons and some of these countries convict those that use a VPN. These countries are:

CountryLegal StatusConviction
ChinaTightly Regulated$145-$2,200 Fine
RussiaComplete BanUser $4,783 Fine, VPN Provider $11,160 Fine 
BelarusComplete BanLarge Fine
North KoreaComplete BanSmall Fines to Capital Punishment
TurkmenistanComplete Ban / IllegalFine
UgandaComplete BanUp to 7 Years Imprisonment
IranComplete Ban91 days – 1 Year Imprisonment
IraqComplete BanPunishment
UAETightly Regulated – Corporate entities are able to use certain VPNs$136,000-$544,000 (if used to commit a crime)
OmanComplete ban except those permitted by the Sultanate$1300 Fine
Protect VoIP Communication

A VPN allows you to use VoIP communication whether you’re using Skype, Zoom, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp. A VPN will allow all VoIP traffic to pass through encrypted tunnels and allows you to keep in touch with loved ones anywhere in the world.

Anonymous Commenting and Publishing

Journalists in foreign countries must be extra careful as there have been cases where commenting and publishing work has got journalists arrested, some with severe punishments. It’s best to use a VPN to comment and publish anonymously when it comes to certain regions in the world that are really sensitive to such things.

Getting Access to the News

Keeping on top of world events is essential, especially if your country, or the country you are visiting, is a war zone. Having access to a VPN will open you up to essential news broadcasting channels such CNN, BBC News, Sky News, RT News, and more.

How Secure is a VPN?

The level of VPN security you have is dependent on the VPN service provider you use. Traffic in a VPN is encrypted so that all data looks scrambled and is unreadable. The VPN connection you have hides your IP address, making sure your online actions cannot be monitored. 

You will never have complete security with free VPN services, as they typically offer their services for free to sell your private data to third parties and data brokers. That’s why it literally pays to have a reputable VPN service provider with transparent pricing to meet your unique needs.

Private VPN Search Engine – Alternatives to GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft)

GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) rule search engine world today, however, the top private VPN search engines that respect your privacy include:

  1. DuckDuckGo
  2. Qwant 
  3. Disconnect Search
  4. Wolfram Alpha
  5. Mojeek
  6. Startpage
  7. Swisscows
  8. Ecosia
  9. Metager
  10. Searx

Does Your Search Engine Matter When Using a VPN?

A VPN will hide your IP address, however search engines are still able to record data with regards to your searches or device. For that reason, it is good to use a search engine that doesn’t track you, such as DuckDuckGo.

Can Google Track You With VPN?

The short answer is yes. Even if you use a VPN and it changes your IP address, Google will still be able to know that it is you operating your device.

Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report

Google’s security team built Safe Browsing in order to identify unsafe websites and notify both users, as well as website owners, of potential harm. It offers a Google Transparency Report.

Block Adware & Other Forms of Malware

Adware is malicious software that remains hidden on your device, disguised as advertisements. Some adware monitors your behavior so that it can hit you with ads that appeal to you. Adware also contains ads that, when clicked on, download viruses onto your computer.

In order to block adware, a free extension such as Adblock Plus can be used, and it also disables tracking. In order to block other forms of malware, it is important to install anti-malware software onto your device and use it in conjunction with a VPN for an added layer of security.

Multi-Factor Authentication

One of the biggest precautions one can take against cyber harm is the use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). This requires a user to identify themselves using two or more pieces of evidence, such as biometric data as well as user ID, password, and sometimes even answering a personal question.

Data Encryption

VPNs guard your privacy so well due to data encryption. They encrypt all your data so that anyone trying to monitor you can’t view your actions or the websites you visit. Once they encrypt your data, it passes through the tunnel only to be decrypted when it reaches a secure destination.

How To Check if Your VPN Connection is Actually Encrypted

VPN service providers offer VPN client software where data is encrypted and travels through secure tunnels. If you need to check if your VPN account and the connection is encrypted throughout the IP tunnel, you will need to run an encryption test using Wireshark. Here is a step-by-step process: 

  1. Install the Wireshark software on your device
  2. Look for web pages that are not secure and start the data analysis process
  3. Next, open Wireshark and click the “Capture” option, then press “options”
  4. Click “Ethernet” to view the IP address of the router
  5. Click “start” and reload the web page you were testing
  6. Click the Red Cross button which can be found at the top of the “Capturing from Ethernet” tab
  7. You should now see various Protocols 
  8. Click on different captures and start viewing the details

What Does a VPN Do?

A business VPN encrypts connections between company networks and remote users. The VPN technology and  VPN software involved here is more customized and sophisticated than consumer VPNs. 

A consumer VPN encrypts data so that online activity cannot be monitored, and lots of entertainment content can be unblocked. Consumer VPNs are great for booking online tickets, as prices may vary depending on the IP address.

Safe Wi-Fi Connection

It is unsafe to assume that the traffic passing through Wi-Fi connections in hotel lobbies, cafes, or even airport lounges are encrypted, and many use WEP (Weaker Encryption Protocol). This means that your device can be attacked and cybersecurity breaches may occur. 

A safe Wi-Fi connection is what is needed in every workforce and for individual use of the internet. Perimeter 81’s Automatic Wi-Fi security takes security measures to a steeper level and ensures your device will be safe no matter where you are working (or browsing) from.

Prevent Throttling Faster Internet Access

A quality VPN prevents throttling so that you will have faster internet access, as it hides the content being accessed from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Looking for a VPN ?

Types of VPNs

There are many different types of VPNs available. Here are just a few of them:

Remote Access VPN

More employees today are working remotely, and cloud transformation is on the rise, creating a shift where organizations have moved to cloud infrastructures. Employees are able to access secure connections with remote access VPNs. 

Remote workers can securely connect with a remote computer network and have the ability to access resources that are on the network, just like if they were plugged into the network’s servers. Perimeter 81 offers a Remote Access VPN which allows businesses to both maintain, as well as protect their private cloud resources.

Open Source VPN

Open source VPN is where the VPN is configured to access facilities remotely. What it does is secure site-to-site information and the SSL/TLS protocol utilized amongst many for key exchanges. It ports, as well as embeds, a great number of systems like a DD-WRT, VPN, SoftEther, and so on. 

A community develops and maintains open source software, as opposed to a single enterprise. It is often free or much cheaper in comparison to other types of VPN.

SSL VPN

An SSL VPN is a Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network that is created with the use of the SSL protocol. It creates an encrypted and secure connection over the internet and enables users to gain access to a company’s network, directories, client-server applications, and internal network utilities without users needing specialized software to do so.

SSL VPN

Site-to-Site VPNs provide secure access to assets that are sensitive, as well as network resources, including local file storage, SaaS apps, and internal customer and sales systems for all employees who need to access them from any device they may have using Wi-Fi connections that are potentially unsafe.

Establishment occurs once a connection between two gateways in separate locations is made through the internet, networks that are private, or networks that are outsourced using the IPSec protocol 

Client-to-Site VPN

A Client-to-Site VPN connection allows clients from the internet to form a connection to the server in order to access the LAN (Local Area Network) or corporate network behind the server, and at the same time maintains the security of both the network, as well as its resources.

What Are VPN Protocols?

VPN protocols are a set of specific rules that determine how your data routes your device and the VPN server. VPN providers need these protocols to make sure secure and stable connections are established. The following are VPN tunneling protocols:

IKEv2

Microsoft and Cisco developed Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), which doesn’t have encryption and has to work together with IPSec. It’s a protocol that is both fast and secure and excellent for mobile devices, as it can move between connections and still keep a secure connection. It’s supported natively on Windows, iOS, and Blackberry.

IPSec 

An IPSec VPN is in the Internet Protocol (IP) or network layer and allows remote computers to get access to whole networks elsewhere, in place of just one device or application. It establishes authentication between two agents and uses secure keys, as well as cryptography to make sure all data and traffic remain private. It is one of the oldest and most trusted protocols.

OpenVPN

OpenVPN service is exceptionally popular and one of the most highly recommended protocols. OpenVPN security is extremely secure and it is an open-source platform that is highly configurable. It works best over UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and this is the reason that its open-source VPN server initially attempts to form UDP connections. The majority of VPN providers automatically offer OpenVPN over UDP. 

It utilizes AES 256-bit encryption and is excellent at bypassing firewalls. It works on all major platforms but it has to be added to devices through a third-party VPN client download, due to the fact that it isn’t naturally supported on any platform.

Perimeter 81 offers an OpenVPN alternative that doesn’t require extensive configuring, offers a secure connection for remote work, and is highly scalable, as well as cost-effective.

WireGuard VPN

WireGuard VPNs run on an encryption protocol called WireGuard that is different from protocols like IPSec and OpenVPN. It has a smaller codebase – just 4,000 lines – which makes it simple to implement, as well as a security audit, and is extremely fast and efficient. It’s great for business, as it doesn’t put much strain on the network, and offers the best security with regards to encryption.

SSL VPN 

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and SSL protocol encrypts traffic between users and all the different resources they need in order to carry out their jobs. These solutions include SaaS applications that are web or cloud-based, as well as client-server applications.

An SSL VPN doesn’t require downloads of software clients to establish connections that are encrypted, and therefore are cost-effective, lightweight, and a great option for scaling security with the growth of organizations.

How to Choose a Business VPN

When it comes to VPN service providers, business VPNs are different from private use VPNs. The need for VPN privacy extends to all those within organizations, and therefore a lot of sensitive data needs to be encrypted every day. 

Perimeter 81 is one of the business market’s leading top VPN providers, and their top-rated VPN services have been noted by the cybersecurity business world. Perimeter 81 offers everything one needs to look for in a business VPN:

  • Automatic Wi-Fi security
  • Private servers that deploy with a simple click
  • Unlimited data and bandwidth
  • Dedicated VPN servers that are hosted in 35 geographical regions 
  • Single cloud management platform
  • Activity and audit reports
  • User friendly apps (for Mac, iOS, Android, Windows)
  • All important 24/7 customer support

What Is a No-Log VPN?

When dealing with a no-log VPN, the VPN doesn’t log or collect any data or information that is passed through the network. This adds an added layer of privacy, as nobody, not even your VPN provider, can log your information, and you have your ultimate privacy and anonymity. 

However, a no-log VPN doesn’t make sense in the business world. Logging and monitoring is an important part of the cybersecurity functioning of business, and there are many tools out there specifically for this. Also, logging is needed with regard to compliance laws and regulations.

How to Set Up a VPN

Setting up a VPN is easy, you just need to purchase the VPN server software and download it. Then follow the instructions to set it up. It will require a user name and password for your VPN login details to access it in the future.

How to Connect to Office Network from Home Using VPN

If you are working remotely and are using a VPN at home, you just need to access the company VPN. If you don’t have the company VPN access details you need to contact the account manager who is in charge of the business VPN. 

You will then be able to navigate on your browser with your home VPN and connect to the business network with a secure VPN connection.

How to Set Up a VPN on Your iPhone or Android

If you are working remotely and are using a VPN at home, you just need to access the company VPN. If you don’t have the company VPN access details you need to contact the account manager who is in charge of the business VPN. 

You will then be able to navigate on your browser with your home VPN and connect to the business network with a secure VPN connection.

How to Manually Set Up a Mobile VPN for iPhone

Here are the steps In order to manually set up a mobile VPN for any iOS device:

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Choose “General”
  3. Choose “VPN”
  4. Choose “Add VPN Configuration”
  5. Choose “Type” (This will be either IKEv2, L2TP, or IPSec) (L2TP automatically includes IPSec)
  6. Fill in the server address offered to you from your VPN service provider 
  7. Fill in the account name
  8. Fill in the remote ID (for IKEv2) or alternatively, pre-shared key (for IPSec or L2TP) (You’ll be able to find your remote ID or key in your customer profile/account)
  9. Tap on “Done”
  10. Should there be more servers that need setting up, these steps will need to be repeated

How to Manually Set Up a Mobile VPN for Android

Here are the steps In order to manually set up a mobile VPN for  an Android phone or device:

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Choose “Wireless & networks”
  3. Choose “More”
  4. Choose VPN
  1. Click the “+” sign and add a VPN
  2. Fill in the server address from your VPN provider
  3. Fill in your name and password
  4. Fill in a pre-shared key
  5. Press “save”
  6. Repeat the above steps for all the servers needing setup

How Much Does a VPN Cost?

VPN ProviderVPN Cost Per MonthVPN Cost Per Year
Perimeter 81 Business VPNFrom $10/User + $50/GatewayFrom $96 + $40/Gateway/Month
Surfshark$12.95/User$59.76/User
Express VPN$12.95/User$99.95/User
StrongVPN$10.99/User$39.99 (For 1 Year) & $79.99 (After 1 year)
NordVPN$11.95/User$59.00 

Are Free VPN Services Worth Compromising Your Security?

Although free VPNs seem like a nice idea in theory, practically they’re not the answer if you’re looking for a serious security strategy. Often free VPNs sell your private data to third parties and other issues can occur, such as virus attacks that come with it.

Free VPNs come with a list of security issues which, ironically enough, you can pay for. 

Some of the drawbacks of using a free VPN service:  

  • You Are Being Tracked – Free VPNs often track your online activity using third-party tracking software. Did you expect secure online browsing for free?
  • You Might Get a Malicious Surprise – Yes, you read correctly. Some free VPN service providers deliberately infect your device with malware which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a VPN, doesn’t it? 
  • Limited Data Usage – Free is free, so don’t expect unlimited data. Some trusted VPN providers such as TunnelBear offer 500MB per month on the house. Don’t expect to stream the Friends reunion with this option. 

Ads, Ads, and More Ads – You’ve probably seen a site full of suspicious looking ads if you have used a free VPN provider. Not only can these ads slow down your internet speeds, but they can also infect your device with malware.

Here are the steps In order to manually set up a mobile VPN for any iOS device:

How Perimeter 81’s Business VPN Protects Organizations of All Sizes

A VPN has many uses. From secure Wi-Fi access to viewing restricted content in foreign countries. But traditional VPNs just won’t cut it when you’re dealing with hundreds if not thousands of employees and sensitive client information. A single data breach could set you back millions of dollars and have a severe impact on your reputation. 

Perimeter 81 provides companies of all sizes with a cost-effective enterprise VPN solution. Employees can feel confident when working from outside of the office as Perimeter 81 offers secure network connections at remote sites.

Whether they are enjoying the beautiful sunset from a beach or behind their desktop in their living room, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your data is not exposed to external threats. 

Perimeter 81 also offers the best VPN solution for small businesses.
See a case study of how one of our clients was able to deploy their entire organization in less than 15 minutes and grow their account by almost 75% by enabling secure remote access.

Don’t take any chances with your network security. Get a business VPN.

VPN FAQs

What is a VPN?
A VPN or virtual private network provides a user with anonymity and protects your online privacy by establishing a protected network connection when using public internet connections.n.
How does a VPN work?
The right to be informed
VPNs route traffic through an encrypted and secure virtual tunnel between your device and internet service provider (ISP).
What does a VPN hide?
A VPN can hide your search and browsing history from your ISP via encryption. 
Can you be tracked if you use a VPN?
A VPN can mask your location and all online activities via high-level encryption, however you can be tracked if the VPN is poorly configured or low quality.

How do I choose a VPN?
There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing a VPN. These factors include: 
-Number of servers
-Number of unique countries
-Pricing
-Speed
-Number of unique IP addresses
Is using a VPN legal?
It depends on the country where you live.
Using a VPN is completely legal in the U.S. provided that you are not doing any illegal activities.
Using a VPN in Russia, China, Iran, UAE and Turkey is absolutely forbidden.

Looking for a Business VPN solution?

Simplify your network security today with Perimeter 81

Font Resize