How to choose the ideal VPN for your business

surfshark VPN
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Businesses of all sizes find plenty of benefits to using a VPN. While larger enterprises often justify the cost of running their own facility, smaller and medium-sized companies find it advantageous to use a dedicated business VPN service provider.

Thankfully, there are plenty of providers to choose from, and at affordable costs, too. However, not all of them are focused on the business market, or provide the optimal protection that the business environment requires. Here are the features to look for to choose a great VPN for your business.

1. Platform support 

Businesses use various devices, so be sure to choose a VPN that protects them all. This includes your business’ Windows computers, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets - and don’t forget about Chromebooks, a router, or the random Blackberry or Linux device.

Any decent VPN will have a list of supported devices, so be sure that they all are covered. And some consumer-facing providers, like Surfshark, will even cover unlimited devices on one single subscription (more on which below).

2. Flexible billing plans

Cash flow is critical to any business, so find a VPN that has both an affordable plan, and one that gets paid out on a frequency that makes sense. While a home user may prefer to purchase their VPN on a quarterly or even annual basis for a discount, many businesses would rather pay for their suite of VPN coverage on a monthly basis, so be sure to research this point.

3. Number of simultaneous users

Some individual VPN plans limit the user to just a few devices, especially on the lower tier plans. With each employee using multiple devices, and multiple employees, choose a plan that will encompass all the devices that need to access the VPN. Many business VPN accounts will charge in tiers as you increase the number of employees accessing the VPN.

4. Support

Business gets conducted at all hours these days, especially with many folks working from home. Be sure to choose a VPN that has options for support - email, phone, online portal chat - that offers options for your employees, and is available at the times that they work.

5. High level of security

A great advantage of a VPN is the protection from viruses and other malware on the internet. Be sure to choose a VPN that supports 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN standard.

6. Account management

 A business VPN provides an account management screen, which allows an administrator to add and remove additional users as needed. If this is an important feature for you, be sure to look for a business VPN that provides this as individual plans will not have this functionality. 

ExpressVPN speed test

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

7. Fast speeds

Not all VPN’s are created equal when it comes to throughput, and there is no point in paying for a fast internet speed from your ISP, and then being slowed down from your VPN. Look for a VPN that has an abundance of servers, and particularly where your business is located, as a good sign that the service is not ‘oversold.’

In the screenshot above, we can see how ExpressVPN actually offers a Speed Test that shows the various speeds to the servers offered. This enables the user to then choose the server with the fastest throughput, and the lowest latency for the best connection.

8. Excellent stability

No business wants to tolerate downtime in anything that it does as this is potentially lost revenue. Go with a VPN with a good reputation, and track record of providing what they promise - that's where our guide to the very best business VPN services comes in.

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Jonas P. DeMuro

Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.