Guide to VPNs for remote working

Business Acronym VPN as Virtual Private Network

The number of people who work away from the office is set to grow as everyone seeks a better work-life balance – are you ready for the remote working revolution?

If you have employees who work from home or travel a lot and need access to company files, a virtual private network (VPN) is a great way of allowing them to do this securely.

Remote working has surged over the past decade, with 4.2 million UK adults regularly working from home last year.

Being able to offer remote working is a way for employers to recruit and retain top talent.

What is a VPN and how does it work?
A VPN enables remote users to connect to a central network from wherever they are. Employees can access work emails, databases, printers and websites, and share data to carry out their day-to-day duties.

It’s a secure system because the VPN encrypts your data so it can’t be intercepted. If you’re using Wi-Fi in a hotel or coffee shop, you don’t have to worry about hackers snooping and getting access to your passwords.

VPN is available for almost all devices, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Things to consider when choosing a VPN provider
• Cost – Price is important, but not the be all and end all when opting for a VPN service. It’s more important to choose a provider with an excellent reputation. Be wary of free packages as they might not be quite as private as you think. There are many vendors offering affordable packages from around £4 a month. Most will allow you to pay for a full year’s service rather than a monthly subscription, reducing the overall cost. They usually offer free trials so you can test the water first.

• Speed – Internet speed is often reduced with a VPN due to the distances travelled and the processing demands of encryption. You don’t want one that’s too sluggish.

• Privacy – When you sign up for VPN, you’re trusting your provider with your data. All VPN providers promise privacy, but some will keep a log of your data. Make sure you know your provider’s logging policy beforehand.

IT security for global organization to prevent network breaches

• Security – Using a VPN is very secure but that doesn’t mean it’s foolproof. You can still be vulnerable to a cyber attack. The strength of security on your network is only as strong as its weakest link, so you still have to ensure passwords are strong.

• Mobile apps – If you’re going to invest in a VPN service, you should be able to get a consistent experience across all your devices. These days, most providers offer desktop and mobile solutions. You should be able to use the same VPN account across all your devices.

• Customer support – Expert knowledge can be invaluable if things go wrong or you need a question answering, so look for a provider with good customer service reviews.

Which service provider should I choose?
It all depends on your particular needs, but we’ve come up with a couple of suggestions to guide you.

CyberGhost has built up an excellent reputation for security over the years. It’s known for its ‘military grade’ encryption to keep your data safe from hackers.

• How much? £3.74 per month for Premium; £5.83 per month for Premium Plus

Nord VPN is easy to set up and use. Its servers are operated under the jurisdiction of Panama, which doesn’t require internet providers to monitor user traffic so doesn’t collect logs.

• How much? From £4.34 per month

Posted by The Secret Businessman