This article was originally published in April of 2020.
The sudden rise in employees who work-from-home, given the shelter-in-place orders around the country last year, means many organizations have increased their security risk factors. With employees accessing the company’s network and sensitive files from at-home networks, the risk of a compromised connection is elevated.
One way to combat this issue is to use a virtual private network, or a VPN. A virtual private network (VPN) connection extends a private network connection across the public network, enabling remote workers to securely send and receive files across a shared network as if they were doing so via a private network.
With companies starting to make expanded remote-work standard policy, we wanted to help bring some clarity to what are the best VPNs available to businesses at this time.
Are All VPNs Equal?
There are dozens of VPN providers on the market, but they do not all provide the same level of security and privacy. For one, some VPN providers market themselves as free, and some of these are outright scams. Other VPN providers may provide a functional service but also track your information. Many are capable of delivering a malware payload.
How We Picked The Best VPNs Of 2020
So, what do the best VPNs offer beyond just functionality?
- Strong encryption algorithms
- Malware-free installers (this should be obvious, but this is actually pretty common)
- Customer support
- An actual VPN; not a proxy service or Tor connection
- A demonstrated commitment to the security and privacy of user information.
We used this information to gather our short-list of the best VPNs on the market.
#1: Cisco AnyConnect
Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client is our top pick for the best VPN in 2020, especially given the added support from Cisco during the coronavirus outbreak. You can read more about how Cisco is helping address technology needs at this time in their recent announcement.
AnyConnect goes beyond simply providing a secure connection; it embeds multifactor authentication for endpoint devices to improve the overall security of the VPN client. With strong encryption and flexibility, AnyConnect works for companies of every size, from the small business to the enterprise.
- Easy to use
- Excellent customer support
- Supports multiple VPN profiles
- Automatic software updates
- Supports access across device types
- Simple, minimalistic, unobtrusive
- High-speed connection
- Frictionless experience for novice users
Get started with Cisco AnyConnect. Find out more.
In terms of an all-around good VPN client, ExpressVPN delivers. It runs on almost any platform and delivers high-speed connections. To add to this, ExpressVPN also receives top marks for 24/7 customer support and encryption. The easy-to-navigate interface makes it a good option for a range of technical abilities.
However, ExpressVPN cannot deliver for large-scale operations. With a maximum connection limitation, many organizations struggle from a policy management perspective to utilize this service.
ExpressVPN is also expensive compared to many other VPNs on the market.
#3: Perimeter 81
As one of the best management VPNs, Perimeter 81 scores well with policy management, customer support, and ease of use. They provide team and network management dashboards, customer support via email, and single sign-on. Perimeter 81 also has a software-defined perimeter and 2FA add-ons. Perimeter 81 features a comprehensive web management console, and enables controlling access to networks, gateways, and apps.
You can only have 5 team members with Perimeter 81, which makes it untenable for many organizations. It also has only 35 server locations, so sometimes the connection can be a little slower – though not irreparably so. Some users also complained about inconsistent performance.
#4: NordVPN Teams
With over 5600 servers spread over 60 geographic locations, NordVPN Teams is fast and reliable. It is also regarded as one of the most secure; however, a 2018 reported data breach of its consumer-geared VPN counterpart, NordVPN, may add a healthy dose of skeptism for NordVPN Teams users. Additionally, reviewers balked at a sometimes cramped looking interface and higher than typical price-point.
Regardless, NordVPN Teams claims many security features, including double data encryption and a kill switch.
Looking for speed? VyprVPN is the fastest VPN on the list. VyprVPN achieves this by managing all of its 700+ servers. It’s also easy-to-use and intuitive, which is ideal for the less tech-savvy user. With strong security measures in place, including technology that prevents deep packet inspection and VPN blocking, VyprVPN can be a great option.
The downside of VyprVPN is that the company hasn’t quite made the purchase and implementation easy. While they offer a free trial, there isn’t a lot information available to help businesses understand the overall investment and support available. At a time when companies are quickly adopting remote work policies and seeking support with VPN implementation, VyprVPN fails to bring clarity to the process.
Choosing The Best VPN – For You
Every business is different, and the technology needed may vary accordingly. While there are some overlapping features and comparisons between the different VPN options available on the market, the weight and value of each may vary.
Mindsight has always offered free whiteboard chats with our engineers. Now more than ever we hope businesses will take advantage of our expertise to make decisions that reduce risk.
Like what you read?
Contact us today to discuss the best VPN for your business.
Mindsight is industry recognized for delivering secure IT solutions and thought leadership that address your infrastructure and communications needs. Our engineers are expert level only – and they’re known as the most respected and valued engineering team based in Chicago, serving emerging to enterprise organizations around the globe. That’s why clients trust Mindsight as an extension of their IT team.
Visit us at http://www.gomindsight.com.
About The Authors
Eric White is Chief Technology Officer and VP of Consulting Services at Mindsight. With over ten years of experience in information technology and leadership, Eric excels at implementing network and data center technologies, designing high-yield solutions for the business. Holding professional certifications from Microsoft, VMware, and EMC, as well as the Cisco CCNP, Eric is an expert at solving business realities with a client-centric focus that delivers.
Siobhan Climer, Mindsight’s Technology Writer, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. With over a decade of experience communicating complex concepts around everything from cybersecurity to neuroscience, Siobhan is an expert at breaking down technical and scientific principles so that everyone takes away valuable insights. When she’s not writing tech, she’s reading and writing fantasy, hiking, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.