At a Glance
A small business can be the accountant who does your taxes, the insurance agent down the block, or the information technology firm made up of 30 IT professionals who fix the things that go wrong with your network.
Small businesses need to remain competitive with their larger brethren in order to attract and keep customers. In order to do this, they need to keep costs down, while still requiring access to files, apps, and other vital aspects of their day-to-day operations.
Many small businesses do not have the financial resources to set up their own servers for apps, file storage, and databases. Many of these firms use peer-to-peer file sharing to transfer files between employees. Security is a top concern for all of these activities.
Why Should Small Businesses Use a VPN?
A VPN offers small business users the ability to use an encrypted connection to securely access online resources, protecting their own – and their customers’ – sensitive data from prying eyes.
While file sharing is a valid need for businesses, Internet Service Providers sometimes block peer-to-peer file sharing due to its use by many to share copyrighted content. A VPN encrypts a user’s connection, hiding P2P sharing, ensuring that it isn’t blocked.
VPNs also allow users to access information in other parts of the world that might normally be blocked by geographical restrictions placed by content owners or government agencies.
When businesses have employees on the road, visiting customers, or working off-site for other reasons, a VPN offers an encrypted connection to much-needed online resources. For many small businesses, their “home office” is the nearest Starbucks. A VPN keeps their WiFi hotspot internet connection at the coffee shop safe from prying eyes.
Here are the eight best VPNs for use by small businesses.
Best VPNs for Small Businesses
I ran my usual group of VPN providers through a battery of rigorous tests. The results proved these eight VPNs provide the best features for use by small businesses. Here’s a summary.
The best VPNs for small businesses:
- Perimeter81: Top small business VPN. This business-focused VPN provider takes the top spot in this roundup due to its “Advanced Cloud VPN” feature. The service offers numerous business-friendly features like private servers, static IP addresses, and team member management. Risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- NordLayer: Powered by NordVPN. This new provider comes from the same parent company as NordVPN and offers innovative access management and security for hybrid systems that go beyond the boundaries of a traditional VPN service.
- Surfshark: Best budget-priced VPN. This provider’s reasonable price makes it an excellent selection for small businesses being run on a shoestring. This provider offers one other feature that should prove to make it popular with business users, and that is its unlimited concurrent connections allowance.
- ExpressVPN: Premium VPN for business. This provider’s large global server network and fast connection speeds are excellent for file sharing and other online-intensive tasks. The provider’s security and privacy protections are also impressive.
- CyberGhost: Easy-to-use VPN apps. The provider’s apps have the attraction of being easy to install and use, so small businesses with users who might not be so tech-savvy will appreciate its simplicity. Fast connections help keep things moving when updating files on the road.
- Private Internet Access (PIA): Reliable business VPN protection. PIA provides security and privacy for your entire company, with no limits on connections. The provider also provides dedicated IP addresses, which come in handy for accessing financial sites.
- PrivateVPN: Small but mighty business VPN. PrivateVPN may have the lowest number of servers on this list, but it offers reliable access to the internet while also protecting against various online dangers.
- Atlas VPN: Unlimited protection for your connected devices. Atlas puts no limits on its customers’ connections, allowing business users to connect and protect all of their devices and computers.
I evaluated and ranked the top small business VPNs using the following criteria:
- Global server network
- Allows P2P traffic on at least some servers
- Connection speeds
- Strength of privacy and security protections
- Multi-platform support
- Concurrent connections allowance
- Customer support
WANT TO TRY A TOP BUSINESS VPN RISK-FREE?: The top-notch business VPN service providers on this list all offer no-risk money-back guarantees of 30 to 45 days. If you subscribe to one of these providers and find that it does not meet your needs, you can easily request a full refund before their money-back guarantee period has elapsed.
Here’s my list of the top eight VPNs to enhance and protect your streaming sessions.
Perimeter81 is SaferVPN’s business-focused VPN offering. The service provides numerous features that make it the best choice for small businesses in search of reliable VPN services.
The provider’s global server network includes 400+ servers spread amongst 30+ countries around the globe. While that doesn’t sound impressive, the provider’s network offers business-friendly dedicated servers that solely your company may use, with static IP addresses, which can be vital for some business applications.
The VPN also allows monitoring of all network activity, including activity and bandwidth consumption. Administrators can also manage team member access and team permissions via a single unified portal.
The VPN provides fast connections, meaning it can easily handle large file transfers, streaming video (such as video conferencing), and any other business-related online activity you throw at it. No data caps to worry about here.
This top-tier VPN provider uses banking-grade encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection via custom DNS, a split tunneling feature, and more.
The provider does save some connection information, which is accessible through the customer’s management portal. Save information includes the team member, the date of their last activity, their latest activity on the platform, and the server location they connected to.
Payment options that the provider accepts include credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, and wire transfers. They can also work with you if you have specific billing requirements.
The provider offers native app support for the Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows device platforms, covering the big four devices that businesses most often use. Manual configuration instructions are available for all four platforms, as well as Linux and Chromebook.
Pricing is on a per-user basis, so your simultaneous connections allowance is limited only by the number of users you subscribe for.
24/7 chat, email support, a trouble ticket system, and a searchable support library make up the provider’s round-the-clock customer support.
- Business-friendly dedicated servers
- Static IP addresses available
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- Administrator console for employee usage monitoring
- Fast connection speeds
- Native app support limited to the big four platforms
BEST VPN FOR SMALL BUSINESSES:Perimeter81 is my top choice to protect your small business’ online activities. The provider’s dedicated servers offer static IP addresses, which are useful for numerous business applications. A risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of SaferVPN (Perimeter81’s parent company).
NordLayer is a network security package from Nord Security, which is the company behind the NordVPN system. NordLayer offers a new type of security system that has recently evolved to meet the needs of businesses that operate multiple sites, have remote workers, and frequently access cloud services.
You might operate a small office network and require your users to log into a desktop computer that gives access to the LAN. You probably also have applications accessible over the network and separate data stores that require logins as well. If you use cloud-based services, such as Microsoft 365, your staff will need to log into your accounts there.
What you have there is a Zero Trust Access system, which challenges your users to keep logging in again for every service. This repeated credentials requirement might just be because you haven’t got an expert on staff to work out how to connect all of your systems together. However, technology has come around in a circle to make your current strategy the right one.
After the Covid lockdown, you probably still have quite a few staff who work from home, and, no doubt, you have provided those people with a VPN to securely access the network and they log into that. Sometimes, they don’t log into the network but log into cloud services instead – such as a Microsoft 365 account.
NordLayer implements security for all of the above. However, the action of logging into the VPN app flows through credentials to all resources, so the user doesn’t have to keep logging in all the time.
The tool that is a VPN app with NordVPN becomes a Single Sign-On access agent with NordLayer. This is what is known as a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) package. That sounds high-tech, but it’s just an access rights manager built into a VPN service.
Put that NordLayer app on the desktops of your office workers and then everyone is treated the same, whether they are in the office or accessing from home. Users access on-premises and cloud-based services seamlessly without having to re-login to another system.
The price for NordLayer is a subscription per user, which makes the service quite scalable.
Parent company NordVPN’s owned and operated servers keep third-party contractors away from your personal data. The provider also runs all of its servers solely from volatile RAM, writing no data of any kind to a physical storage device, so all data is automatically and completely wiped whenever a server is restarted or powered down.
- Single sign-on for access to all the company’s services
- Equal treatment of in-office, remote, and roaming workers
- Integrated identity and access rights manager
- Two-factor authentication
- This is a platform of security tools rather than a fixed system security package
SECURITY FOR HYBRID SYSTEMS:NordLayer offers a new approach to system security that takes into account that your users and your applications might be on-premises or off-site. This cloud platform ties together access to your business applications. Try it with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark is the best VPN option for small business owners operating on a shoestring thanks to its low subscription price. The provider delivers champagne service on a beer-bottle budget.
Currently, Surfshark has 3,200+ servers based in 100+ countries around the globe. The provider allows P2P traffic on its network. When the service detects P2P activity, it will automatically transfer your connection to a P2P-optimized server.
Users shouldn’t worry about Surfshark slowing their speeds a painful amount. If your ISP-provided connection can handle video conferencing, sharing large files, and gaming (you know your employees will be doing it), Surfshark connections can handle it. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about data caps or bandwidth-throttling with this VPN.
Those speedy connections are well-protected from prying eyes thanks to the provider’s use of banking-grade encryption, kill switch protection, and DNS leak prevention. You can also use Surfshark to block ads and trackers, and benefit from malware and phishing protection.
A MultiHop server option routes your internet activity through two VPN servers for added encryption and anonymity.
The provider also offers dedicated IP addresses. A dedicated IP address is a unique IP address that only your business will use. Every time you connect to your designated VPN server, you will get assigned the same IP address. With a dedicated IP, you won’t have to worry about other users who share an IP address engaging in activities that will result in an IP address being blocked on some services.
Surfshark currently has dedicated IP servers located in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Italy, Canada, South Africa, and Hong Kong.
The provider also offers servers that provide static IP addresses, which, while shared with other users, grabs the same IP address any time you connect to the server.
A strict no-server-logs policy and cryptocurrency subscription payment options provide comprehensive privacy protection. The provider also runs all of its servers 100% from RAM, ensuring that all data is wiped from a Surfshark server whenever it is rebooted or shut down.
No matter which devices you use, there is a good chance Surfshark has you covered. Apps are available for Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, and macOS (with native Apple Silicon support). Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions are also available.
The provider also works with numerous router makes and models to provide comprehensive protection for all of your devices through a single point of access.
It doesn’t matter how many VPN connections you need for your workers, as Surfshark offers an unlimited concurrent connections policy, meaning you can connect all of your online devices to Surfshark VPN servers at once, no matter how many devices that might be.
Surfshark customer support is an around-the-clock proposition thanks to 24/7 chat, email support, and a searchable knowledge base.
- Top-notch online protection
- Value pricing
- All of the concurrent connections you need
- Fast, well-protected connections for most devices
- Not many advanced options
BEST FOR BUDGET-MINDED BUSINESS OWNERS:Surfshark is an excellent option for small business owners looking for a reasonably-priced way to offer top-notch online security for their employees’ internet activities. Connect as many devices as you need to its servers at once. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
ExpressVPN offers fast connection speeds, comprehensive security, and a P2P-enabled global server network.
The provider’s global server network is made up of over 3,000 servers, stationed in 100+ countries. P2P file-sharing is allowed on all servers.
ExpressVPN’s connection speeds provide plenty of speed for file sharing, connecting to file and application servers, video conferencing, and much more. The provider doesn’t place any monthly data caps or bandwidth restrictions on their customers’ accounts.
Military-level encryption protects all users’ internet connections, and privacy is also well-protected thanks to the provider’s strict no-logs policy and Bitcoin subscription payment option. The provider’s proprietary Lightway protocol is optimized for security and performance. Plus, the provider runs all server operations 100% from RAM, with no data whatsoever being written to a physical hard drive. So, all data is wiped from the server whenever it is restarted.
ExpressVPN’s multi-platform support offers native apps for Windows, iOS, macOS (with native Apple Silicon support), Android, Android TV, Linux, Chrome OS, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV devices. Brave, Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions are also available.
For devices not on the above list, or for businesses that require more than eight simultaneous connections, the provider is compatible with numerous makes and models of routers, making it easy to protect all of the devices in your office via one point of access. Pre-configured routers are available.
Customer support is handled by 24/7 chat, email support, a trouble ticket system, and a searchable support and troubleshooting library.
- Connection speeds easily handle online business activities
- Top-notch security and privacy protections
- Wide-ranging global server network
- Allows P2P file-sharing on its entire server network
- Priced higher than other VPN providers
WIDE RANGING SERVER COVERAGE:ExpressVPN enhances and protects your small business’ online activities. Fast and reliable connections ensure you can get your business done online, and the provider’s excellent security and privacy protections keep your business information safe from outsiders. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost is the best option for small business users who might not have much experience with VPNs. The provider’s easy-to-use, yet powerful software ensures even rookie owners have top-notch VPN protection.
The provider currently boasts a global server network that includes over 11,500 servers in approximately 100+ countries. The provider allows P2P traffic on servers in more than 85+ countries.
CyberGhost boasts fast connection speeds, offering plenty of horsepower for any business-related online activity.
No need to worry about having your VPN connection shut down in the middle of a Skype conference call thanks to the provider’s lack of data caps and bandwidth limitations.
Those connections keep your online activities undercover thanks to government-grade encryption, as well as kill switch protection. Privacy isn’t an issue, as the provider keeps no logs of any kind, and accepts Bitcoin, offering the option to keep your payment information completely incognito.
Easy-to-use apps are available for Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV devices. While seven simultaneous connections may be sufficient for many small businesses’ needs, the provider is also compatible with numerous router makes and models (pre-configured routers are available from FlashRouters.com).
As well as excellent VPN service, the provider offers a password manager. In addition, an ID Guard feature alerts users when their email address is included in a data breach. The provider’s “Security Suite for Windows” offers antivirus, malware blocking, the ability to customize how much personal data Microsoft has access to, and a utility that scans your PC’s hard drive for vulnerable versions of applications.
Live chat, a searchable support library, and a support ticket submission and tracking system are available in your time of need.
- Servers cover the globe
- Perfect for beginners
- Excellent privacy and security protections
- Apps lack options preferred by advanced users
- Does not work in China
BEST FOR BEGINNERS:Many business users might not have much experience with VPNs, and CyberGhost is the best choice on this list for users who are new to VPNs. Easy, one-click connections make it simple for users to protect their online activities. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
Private Internet Access (PIA) boasts an impressive global server network, including 3,300+ servers located in 90+ countries.
PIA provides well-protected connections, using military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak prevention to keep your online activities undercover. The VPN also provides blocking of ads, trackers, malware, and dangerous websites.
All PIA servers are run free of user logs, so there are no records to be had of any of your business’ online activities. The provider also accepts Bitcoin payments, keeping your payment information incognito.
All of the provider’s servers are run 100% solely from volatile RAM, writing no data whatsoever to a physical hard drive. This guarantees that all data on a PIA server is totally wiped whenever it is rebooted or shut down.
While PIA’s connection speeds are not exactly blazingly-fast, they provide more than enough bandwidth for business-based online activities (as long as your usual connection speeds are up to it). The provider never limits your VPN usage with data caps or bandwidth throttling.
PIA’s native app support includes options for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux device platforms. Chrome, Opera, and Firefox browser extensions are also available, as is compatibility with select router makes and models.
There is no limit on the number of devices that users can simultaneously connect to its servers, making it an ideal VPN solution for small businesses.
PIA’s support department offers live chat, a trouble ticket system, and a support library.
- Large global server network
- No limit on simultaneous connections
- All servers run solely from RAM
- No file-sharing-optimized servers
- Has some issues working in overly restrictive countries
RELIABLE SMALL BUSINESS VPN:PIA provides reliable VPN protection for small businesses. The provider’s global service network covers 90+ countries around the globe. PIA’s comprehensive online privacy and security protection keeps your business-related online activities undercover. An unlimited number of devices can be protected at once. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
PrivateVPN has the lowest server count among the VPN providers on this list. However, the provider distributes the 200+ servers in the network among 60+ countries around the globe.
The provider also has the slowest download speeds on this list. That said, its connections can easily handle most online activities, providing more than enough bandwidth for business-related uses. No worries here about getting cut off in mid-Skype calls because of data caps or bandwidth throttling.
PrivateVPN keeps your online activities private by using banking-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak prevention, and more. A handy “Stealth VPN” feature keeps your VPN usage hidden by making it appear to be normal browser traffic.
A strict no-server logs policy ensures that there are never any records of your online activities. A cryptocurrency payment option also keeps your payment information undercover.
PrivateVPN native app support includes offerings for Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows devices. Although the provider doesn’t offer browser extensions, select routers can be used with the provider.
Up to 10 devices can be connected at once to PrivateVPN servers.
Messaging, a support request form, and an FAQ page are available when you need assistance.
- “Stealth VPN” keeps your VPN usage undercover
- No data caps or bandwidth throttling
- Comprehensive online protection
- Needs more servers
- Needs better app support
“STEALTHY” VPN PROTECTION:While PrivateVPN has a low server count, the provider’s server network delivers reliable access to websites and content in over 60 countries. A “Stealth VPN” feature disguises your VPN usage as regular browser traffic. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
Atlas VPN has a mid-sized global server network, made up of 1,000+ servers, located in nearly 50 countries around the globe.
The provider scores quite well in the connection speeds department, providing blazingly-fast connections. There are no data caps or bandwidth throttling to worry about when using Atlas VPN.
Atlas VPN’s speedy connections are well-protected with military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection. The provider’s “Safebrowse” feature protects against online dangers, as well as pesky ads.
Atlas VPN servers run completely free of user logs, meaning there are no records of your online antics. Cryptocurrency is available as a subscription payment option, protecting your financial information.
Atlas native app support options include offerings for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV devices. Browser extensions and router support are currently not available.
Atlas VPN customers can simultaneously connect as many devices as they’d like to its servers.
Live chat is limited to paying customers, while everyone has access to a contact form, email support, and a support library.
- No limit on server connections
- Blazingly-fast connections
- Top-notch online protection and privacy
- Live chat limited to paying customers only
- Lacks browser and router support
NO LIMIT ON VPN PROTECTION:Atlas VPN has an unlimited simultaneous server connections policy, meaning everyone in your company can protect their devices any time they’d like. The provider’s fast connections provide well-protected access to content in close to 50 countries. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Atlas VPN
Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Small Businesses
Small business owners are looking for a VPN to protect themselves and their employees against online dangers while also providing reliable access to online websites and content. Users should carefully research any VPN’s offerings before subscribing to it, to ensure that the VPN fits their needs.
These are the features you should research when choosing a VPN for small businesses:
- Connection speeds: A fast connection is your friend, and that is especially true when it comes to conducting business online. The VPNs on my list all offer fast connections, verified via my regular connection speed tests.
- Server network: A server network that covers a good part of the globe provides flexibility when accessing websites and content in other countries. Multiple servers in each country are also a plus, as it helps prevent individual servers from being hit by too many users at once.
- Value: A VPN provider’s true value can be determined by weighing their asking price against the features and performance they provide. Each VPN on my list offers an excellent return on investment.
- Ease of use: A VPN should offer native app support for multiple device platforms and should also be easy to use. All of the VPNs on my list offer a good selection of intuitive apps.
- Security and privacy: A VPN should offer multiple protections, including well-encrypted connections, a kill switch, and DNS/IP leak prevention. Any other protections are a bonus. A no-logs policy is also a must.
The list above includes just some of the features I research as a part of my comprehensive VPN testing methodology. My data-driven research method provides a true understanding of each VPN provider, ensuring that I only recommend VPNs that are a good fit for my readers’ needs.
How to Protect Your Business-Related Activities With a VPN
Enhancing and protecting your internet-related business activities with a VPN is easy:
- Subscribe to a VPN.
- Install the VPN’s app(s) on your employees’ device(s).
- Log in to the app to enable VPN protection.
- Select a VPN server.
- Start your workday!
Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Protecting My Small Business?
No, and I’ll tell you why.
The hidden costs and “features” of free VPNs are not conducive to doing business successfully in the internet age.
Freebie VPN providers are known to throttle their users’ connections, slowing their download speeds. They also usually place daily or monthly data caps on their users’ connections. You do not want to be bumping up against a data cap when you’re trying to conduct business.
In addition to the above restrictions, “free” VPNs are known to have hidden costs. Most of those costs relate to your online privacy. Privacy is of the utmost importance when it comes to conducting business online.
Many sans-cost VPNs are known to track their users’ online travels, save the information, and then sell it to the highest bidder. That highest bidder could be an advertiser, or it could be a competitor.
Other free VPNs insert unwanted tracking cookies and advertisements into a user’s web browsing sessions. Again, not good.
When your business is online, the “Private” part of “Virtual Private Network” is of utmost importance. That’s just not there when using a “free” VPN provider.
Small Business VPN FAQs
Which VPN Has a Strict No Logs Policy and No Exposed User Files?
NordVPN is your best choice for a VPN with a strict no logs policy, with no exposed user files. The provider uses government-grade encryption and offers kill switch, DNS leak and IPv6 leak protections. The provider also accepts Bitcoin as an anonymous payment option, making it your best and most private choice.
What Is the Best Free VPN for Small Business?
There’s no good free VPN for small businesses. Free VPNs throttle your bandwidth, limit your data usage, make you wait in queues, and monitor and sell your data. For the privacy and security of your business, choose a paid VPN solution.
What Is the Best VPN Router for Small Business?
The best VPN router for your business depends upon multiple factors, such as the type of business, how many users you need to cover, etc. PC Mag suggests the Linksys LRT224 Dual WAN Business Gigabit VPN Router as the best for small to midsize businesses.
How Do I Set Up a VPN to Use for My Business?
You can use a VPN in your business in multiple ways. First of all, if your business has a physical presence, such as a store or an office, you can set up your router to use the VPN provider, which will protect any device you connect to the network. If your business involves plenty of mobile use, such as with laptops, smartphones, or tablets, you can install the VPN app on the devices, allowing your employees to protect and enhance their online activities, no matter where they are.
What Features Should I Look for in a Business VPN?
Is the VPN cloud-hosted or self-hosted? Cloud-hosted VPN providers are usually easier to set up and manage. Many cloud VPNs also allow the hosting of files and apps, allowing remote employees to easily access both. Also look for a management dashboard, which allows you to monitor usage, make changes in access, and much more.
Also, look for a VPN that allows a large number of simultaneous connections to ensure that everyone has access to VPN protection when needed.
Small business owners who are searching for the best way to keep their business-related internet activities safe from observation and theft are strongly recommended to subscribe to a Virtual Private Network service.
A VPN provides the best protection available, keeping your business-related information safe from prying eyes while enhancing your employees’ online activities.
Perimeter81 is the best VPN for all-around business use, providing reliable, dedicated servers with static IP addresses, fast connection speeds, and top-notch privacy and security protections. Throw in the service’s excellent administration features and 24/7 customer support, and you have the best VPN for your small business.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the Perimeter81 website.
- At a Glance
- Why Should Small Businesses Use a VPN?
- Best VPNs for Small Businesses
- 1. Perimeter 81
- 2. NordLayer
- 3. Surfshark
- 4. ExpressVPN
- 5. CyberGhost
- 6. Private Internet Access
- 7. PrivateVPN
- 8. Atlas VPN
- Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Small Businesses
- How to Protect Your Business-Related Activities With a VPN
- Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Protecting My Small Business?
- Small Business VPN FAQs