Virtual Private Network (VPN)
With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic many employees are now home working on a temporary basis for the first time. As a result of this VPN’s are essential however selecting one for your business can be complicated. At The Cloud Consultancy we have conducted our own research on VPN’s; below are our findings and product recommendation.
What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
In summary a VPN creates a secure connection with another network point and then encrypts all the traffic between those two points.
VPN’s are a core requirement for employees working from home or travelling.
Reasons for using a VPN
- To access work related websites, files and services
- To protect privacy whilst on public Wi-fi networks
- To communicate more securely
- To avoid bandwidth throttling (Service providers limiting internet speeds)
- To browse the web anonymously
- To access better entertainment content
- To hide browsing activity from the government
- To get deals and discounts when buying online
- To access restricted download, streaming and torrent sites
- To access a Tor browser
Which VPN to use for employees working from home or travelling?
Having reviewed multiple products, The Cloud Consultancy recommend, market and support NordVPN Teams to protect a company’s network. Employees should use this when working from home or whilst travelling.
- Protect desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles connected to your network. NordVPN Teams apps are available for Windows, Android, macOS and iOS devices.
- Whether working from home, a shared workspace, whilst travelling or at a conference, NordVPN Teams ensures secure access to your business data
- Reach content in 31 countries
- NordVPN Teams encrypts all internet traffic with AES 256-bit encryption with one click
- Get an additional layer of security on NordVPN Teams with two-factor authentication. Access the app using Google Authenticator, Authy, or phone-based authentication (Note: April 2020 – this is coming very soon)
- If your connection drops for a second a kill switch will cut off all the internet traffic on your device, ensuring none of your information ever gets exposed online (Note: April 2020 – this is coming very soon)
- No need to create yet another online account. Use your existing credentials to log in to NordVPN Teams with Azure AD, GSuite, Okta, Sami and OneLogin.
Reasons not to use a free VPN?
As ever nothing is free in life and this is particularly the case when selecting a VPN.
We strongly recommend avoiding free VPN’s. Why you may ask? Some of the downsides include:
- The report revealed nearly 60% of popular free VPN apps were secretly Chinese-owned and that nearly 90% had serious privacy flaws
- The report showed 85% of 150 Android apps tested to have unsafe permissions or functions; 25% exposed users via DNS, WebRTC or IP leaks
- Many free providers contain malware
- A major reason you use a VPN is to protect your privacy while browsing the internet. Its therefore ironic that the same study found 72% of free VPNs embed third-party trackers in their software
- Netflix, along with all major streaming sites, use the toughest ‘geoblocks’ ( when content is not available due to your geographic location) in the world. Even premium VPNs struggle to break through them. Only a few succeed
- Some of the most popular free VPNs limit the amount of data you can use. They do this to entice you, then push you into upgrading to a paid plan out of sheer frustration
- Your privacy can be impacted more by using a free VPN than by using nothing at all
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