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 that 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.
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 Wi-Fi hotspot internet connection at the coffee shop safe from prying eyes.
Here are the 6 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 6 VPNs provide the best features for use by small businesses. Here’s a summary:
- Perimeter81: 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.
- NordLayer: 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: 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: 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: This is another bargain-priced provider. It also has 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.
- IPVanish: Allows P2P activity on all of its servers, making it an optimal solution for businesses with a mobile workforce. The provider’s well-encrypted connections keep your workforce safe when connecting from the road.
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
Here’s my list of the top 6 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 4 devices that businesses most often use. Manual configuration instructions are available for all 4 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 support 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 4 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 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 in to 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 very scalable.
- 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 risk-free 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.
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 65+ 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.
A strict no-server-logs policy and cryptocurrency subscription payment options provide comprehensive privacy protection.
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 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 support 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 94 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, Android, Android TV, Linux, Chrome OS, and Amazon Fire TV devices. Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browser extensions are also available.
For devices not on the above list, or for businesses that require more than 5 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 support 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
- Only 5 concurrent connections allowed
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 boasts a global server network that includes over 7,000 servers in 90+ countries. The provider limits P2P traffic to a select number of servers (in around 25 countries).
CyberGhost offers 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-tier 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 7 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 support 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, no-risk money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
IPVanish is an optimal choice for business users looking for a VPN that delivers security features not available from other VPNs.
The provider delivers above-average global server coverage, with more than 1,900 servers in 55+ countries around the globe. Every server in the network supports P2P file sharing. The provider has announced that it will be expanding its global server network during 2021.
IPVanish’s server network is where the extra layer of security and privacy comes in, thanks to its owning and operating every server in its network, ensuring that no third-party contractors have access to your precious information.
IPVanish’s connection speeds can easily handle audio and video conferencing, file downloads, and any online app or service you throw at it. The provider imposes no data caps or bandwidth restrictions to get in the way of the business of business.
In addition to owning and operating all of its servers, the connections that this provider offers deliver protection with government-degree encryption and kill switch protection. The provider is in the process of rolling out the WireGuard protocol to its users.
Meanwhile, a strict no-logs policy means there are no records to be exposed when it comes to your online travels. Unfortunately, the provider lacks a Bitcoin payment option.
IPVanish has all of the major device platforms covered, with apps for the Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, and Amazon Fire TV device platforms present and accounted for.
An unlimited simultaneous connection allotment should be enough for many small businesses, but the service’s comprehensive router compatibility is there if you need to protect devices not on the provider’s apps list. (Pre-configured routers are available.)
Customer support is always available via IPVanish’s 24/7 live chat feature. Email support is also available, or do-it-yourselfers can search for answers in the provider’s support library.
- Optimal security and privacy
- Owns and operates its entire VPN server network
- Excellent native app and customer support
- No browser extensions
- No Bitcoin payment option
HIGHLY SECURE:IPVanish keeps things well undercover thanks to its optimal privacy and security precautions, which include owning and operating their entire server network. Fast download speeds and optimal app and customer support round out an attractive package. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
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 business. 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 provider are usually easier to set up and manage. Many cloud VPNs also allow 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.
- Best VPNs for Small Businesses
- 1. Perimeter 81
- 2. NordLayer
- 3. Surfshark
- 4. ExpressVPN
- 5. CyberGhost
- 6. IPVanish
- 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
- Which VPN Has a Strict No Logs Policy and No Exposed User Files?
- What Is the Best Free VPN for Small Business?
- What Is the Best VPN Router for Small Business?
- How Do I Set Up a VPN to Use for My Business?
- What Features Should I Look for in a Business VPN?