3 Best VPN Solutions for Small, Medium & Large Businesses

In this article, we look at how small to medium businesses (SMBs) can benefit from commercial VPN services. But let’s start with some definitions.

What is a business VPN?

The terminology around this subject can be rather confusing, not least because there are no standardized uses of the term “business VPN.”

There are, traditionally, two kinds of Virtual Private Network (VPN):

1. Corporate VPN intranets

As the reason VPN technology was first developed, these systems allow remote workers to access corporate intranet resources securely from the internet as if they were sitting in their business HQ and physically connected to the office LAN network.

This kind of VPN remains popular in the business world, but its benefits are usually only available to large corporations. This is because the cost of setting up and maintaining dedicated VPN servers (plus the cost of paying full time highly specialized staff members to do this) is prohibitively expensive for most SMBs.

2. Commercial personal VPNs

Over the last few years, increased demand for improved personal privacy on the internet has driven demand for third-party commercial VPN services.

These have repurposed VPN technology to allow them to operate VPN servers located around the world, which allow customers to access the internet from these server locations in a way that greatly improves their privacy on the internet.  

This kind of VPN network has become so popular that it is now what most people mean when they talk about “VPNs.”

So what are “business VPNs?”

Full-scale corporate VPN intranets are developed in house and are therefore beyond the scope of this article. Most “business VPNs” we discuss, therefore, fall into the second category; they are commercial VPN services that sell bulk personal VPN licenses so that businesses can ensure their workers benefit from the advantages of using a VPN. We discuss these advantages below.

There is, however, a new breed of business VPN which offers something of a hybrid experience, blending traditional corporate and third party personal VPN services. Perimeter 81 is by far the most prominent of these, although we expect this new market to expand dramatically over the coming years. 

3 Best Business VPN services

1. Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81 is a versatile VPN service that's kind to your wallet

  • Pricing

    From $10.00 /month per user + $50/mo per gateway
  • Available on

    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows
    • MacOS
    • Linux

Perimeter 81 represents a new breed of business VPN. Rather than cleaving to traditional definitions of what a VPN service is, it is a network management and security tool that offers businesses a modern cloud-based alternative to the traditional corporate VPN model.

Although it also works as a traditional commercial VPN network (with access to public servers in 35 countries), Perimeter 81 allows you create on-the-fly private VPN instances, each of which can be linked to a range of company LAN and cloud resources. 

Fine-grained group and permissions management allows for granular access to these resources, making Perimeter 81 a flexible, highly scalable, and powerful alternative to the traditional corporate internet model. And because it doesn’t have the high costs usually associated with such setups - such as maintaining self-hosted VPN servers and the tech personnel needed to run them, it makes corporate intranet functionality an affordable reality for even modestly sized SMBs. 

That Perimeter 81 offers HIPAA Compliance for healthcare companies and full data protection for finance companies is evidence of the professional-grade service this company provides. 

2. VyprVPN for Business

VyprVPN's regular service is bundled into a business package, complete with an administrator Control Panel

  • Pricing

    From $25.00 / month

VyprVPN for Business is a straight bulk-license deal for giving team members access to the regular VyprVPN network.

Administrators have access to a web Control Panel that allows them to invite new members (and remove them). Team members can be designated Admin (who can add or remove other admins and users) status or User (can edit name and password for their user account) status, but that is about it.

If your business VPN needs are modest, though, this may be all you need. VyprVPN is, after all, a top-of-the-range premium VPN service, notable for being only one to publish a full independent audit of its zero-logs service.

3. HostNoc Business

HostNoc is a server hosting company that aims to simplify the process of renting business VPNs

  • Pricing

    From $4.99 /month per user

HostNoc is primarily a server hosting company and if you want to keep things very simple (and low cost), then this company has you covered. For a very reasonable $4.99 per month, you can rent a private company VPN server (set up on a VPS instance on shared server space) for the exclusive use of your team members.

Servers are available in Canada, the UK, and Germany. At present, these can be accessed via PPTP or via third party OpenVPN apps such OpenVPN GUI or Tunnelblick, or OpenVPN for Linux. A new custom app is promised in April, however. 

We strongly recommend avoiding using PPTP as HostNoc’s use of the PAP Authentication Protocol makes connections even less secure than PPTP usually is! The OpenVPN settings used appear to be secure, however.

Honorable mention

NordVPN is one of the big names in the personal VPN space, notable for its large server network, polished software, and focus on privacy. It has a new business VPN product named NordVPN Teams, which appears to offer similar features to those offered by Perimeter 81. 

Although currently advertised on its website, NordVPN has told us that the product requires an extra month or so testing before going live. We look forward to reviewing it when it does, and assuming it is any good, will add it to this page in due course.

Why use a business VPN?

This general section discusses the advantages of using a bulk-purchase personal VPN license for your SMB staff members. Perimeter 81 can be used in this way, but it also does lots of other things that are outlined in its summary above or are discussed in more detail in our full Perimeter 81 review. 

Protection when using public WiFi

When using a VPN, the connection between a device and a VPN server is securely encrypted. In the past, this has made VPNs an invaluable tool for protecting sensitive data when team members work from cafes, airport lounges, and the like.

Wide-scale deployment of HTTPS over the last few years has greatly reduced the danger of leaking sensitive data to hackers when using public WiFi hotspots. They might be able to see which HTTPS websites your team member visit, but won’t be able to see anything they do on them.

That said, some websites remain defiantly HTTP-only, so using a VPN still has some value in this regard. It is also useful, more generally, for preventing tracking for advertising purposes my commercial WiFi hosts.

Protection against ISPs seeing sensitive data

Internet providers (ISPs) can usually see all data that passes through their servers - including potentially sensitive company data. As with public WiFi, however, the spread of HTTPS has greatly reduced the threat posed by rogue ISPs. 

It should be noted that when using a VPN the need for trust transfers to the VPN provider, which can now see your insecure internet communications in the same way your ISP could. A big difference, though, is that most VPN services make it their business to protect your privacy in a way that ISPs simply don’t.

Geo-targeted marketing

VPNs allow you to research international ad campaigns as if you were inside the target country. This means you can perform SEO research using native online platforms, bypass any censorship performed in your own country, and easily check that ads are being correctly viewed by your target audience. 

Geolocation spoofing

If your team members regularly travel abroad, then a VPN can allow them to access local websites and streaming services as if they were at home. This can be a great comfort and convenience for workers who spend a great deal of time away on business.

Written by: Douglas Crawford

Has worked for almost six years as senior staff writer and resident tech and VPN industry expert at ProPrivacy.com. Widely quoted on issues relating cybersecurity and digital privacy in the UK national press (The Independent & Daily Mail Online) and international technology publications such as Ars Technica.

3 Comments

Arthy
on July 26, 2019
Reply
We were using a VPN router in our office for some time and then upgraded to NordVPN teams. I think it's better for a company to be using a business VPN package and having everything in one place.
Kevin
on September 28, 2017
Reply
How these VPN can work for small business, if we setup firewall with specific IP address as whitelist, then any customer on the same box with our employees will also able to access our intranet resources! I don’t get how these public VPN can fit small business VPN requirements?
Douglas Crawford replied to Kevin
on September 29, 2017
Reply
Hi Kevin, What these packages are offering is bulk multiple simultaneous connections so that companies can ensure that employees are all protected by a VPN. They are not cooperate VPN networks that allow employees to dial-in remotely in order access company intranet resources.

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