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5 Best VPNs for Remote Working in 2017

Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

November 1, 2017

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) were invented to protect company information when the corporate network extended beyond the office walls. The initial scenario that VPNs catered for was companies that connected distant offices into one private network, with the information flowing between each location over the internet. The telecommuting concept effectively gives an office lots of remote locations – the home of each telecommuter becomes an extension of the office. As such, the privacy of that network has become an important issue.

Take a look at our list of the five best VPNs for telecommuters to fulfil these needs.

Best VPNs for Telecommuters: Summary

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
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  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Apps for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Linux
  • Customer support via live chat 24/7
CONS:
  • Quite expensive

ExpressVPN offers fast connections and has servers in 94 countries. This is an excellent option for a rapidly expanding virtual office. Those high speeds will enable your team to communicate through chat systems even if they live in less well connected areas of the world. This is because ExpressVPN can actually speed up slow international connections.

Telecommuters can install the ExpressVPN app on Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS, as well as on Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS Linux. Thus you won't have to limit your hiring to just those people who have a particular type of computer. If you have contributors who like to work from cafés, or sales teams that are always out in the field, the automatic WiFi protection and kill switch of this app will prevent your data from being stolen over insecure or fake WiFi hotspots. The standard ExpressVPN package only offers three simultaneous connections per account. However, take a look at the business packages to get more coverage. You get a discount if you buy five or more plans together.

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IPVanish Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 60 countries
  • Fast speeds
  • Kill switch
  • Network protection
CONS:
  • Customer support is slow

IPVanish has a very fast network. It is based in the US. The infrastructure of this VPN provider is top of the range and is all managed in-house. There are no third-party companies involved in providing this VPN service. That increases the security of the system. IPVanish gives you an allowance of five simultaneous connections. That should be enough to cover a small team. You can then take out multiple plans as your business grows.

Security measures in the IPVanish app include a kill switch to prevent apps from connecting to the internet without the VPN engaged. This VPN implements a network block, which acts as a WiFi protection mechanism.

NordVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 61 countries
  • Allowance of six simultaneous connections
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Kill switch
CONS:
  • Customer support can be slow

NordVPN allows you six simultaneous connections, making this a great option when you want to include telecommuters in your business. If you want more connections, you need to buy multiple accounts. Rather than just filling in the account application form on the main site, contact support because they'll give you a discount for purchasing multiple accounts. You can install this VPN on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Linux operating systems. The VPN network includes servers in 61 countries.

Your team will find this map-based app incredibly easy to use. The app includes a kill switch and automatic WiFi protection.

AirVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day refund guarantee
  • Cheap three-day trial account
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Gets around the Great Firewall of China
  • Uses OpenVPN multi-lingual interface
CONS:
  • Difficult to set up

AirVPN is a very technical VPN. Its app isn't that easy to use, so this VPN is more for the technically minded. If your team includes a lot of techies it could be perfect, but creative staff may find this VPN difficult to use. You get an allowance of three simultaneous connections with AirVPN. The only way to get a higher connection allowance is to buy several plans.

If telecommuters in China are part of your team, this VPN is an excellent choice. The Chinese authorities try to block VPNs. They've also made many attempts to break VPN encryption. However, AirVPN is very adept at avoiding detection in China. The OpenVPN app that AirVPN uses includes skins for many different languages, so this would be good for a team where the staff don't all speak English.

VPNArea Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Kill switch
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Allowance of six simultaneous connections
  • Servers in 68 countries
CONS:
  • Live chat for support not available 24/7

VPNArea is another service that has almost never been blocked in China. The team that created and supports VPNArea is very competent. You get an allowance of six simultaneous connections with this VPN, which is enough for a small team of telecommuters. This VPN has servers in 68 countries.

VPNArea's security measures include the option to switch to a method called an SSH tunnel. This is a good alternative to the VPN's standard method of protection, which is OpenVPN. VPNArea recently increased the length of key that it uses for session establishment when rumors circulated that the Chinese authorities were close to cracking this encryption when shorter keys are used. This shows that this company will keep improving its services to keep your team of telecommuters protected.

VPN for Remote Working: Considerations

How a VPN can help remote workers

When a company has its network within the walls of its office building, there are physical protection systems that prevent people walking in off the street and connecting to the network. These measures include security guards, locks with access cards, and identity badges. When the network extends out beyond the office walls, that physical security vanishes. The network manager can’t guarantee that the line that communications travel over is physically secure. The internet is made up of connections between networks, which other companies own. There’s no way to guarantee that the owners of the networks don’t peek at the data that travels through their hardware.

The VPN creates the same level of privacy that private networks enjoy. That’s despite the VPN network being composed in part, or entirely, of publicly-accessed hardware. Secure connections encrypt the contents of all messages so that no-one can read them. However, the connection data that creates links between distant computers can provide a lot of useful information. As such, VPNs take that encryption one step further and encrypt all of the admin data as well.

The concept of VPNs makes it impossible to detect which bits of information crossing the internet are destined for which address. Therefore, it’s completely impossible for a rival company or an industrial spy to single out and read (or modify) a company’s internet traffic.

VPNs not only secure data. They also protect against fake messages being injected into exchanges. They remove the danger of hacking methods, such as “man in the middle attacks,” where each correspondent in a connection is actually communicating with an interloper, while believing that they are communicating with each other.

There are many benefits to hiring telecommuters, as laid out later in this report. However, if you want exploit this convenient method of working, you need to put appropriate security measures in place. That means removing the risks that conducting your business over the internet can bring. This is why we’ve compiled a list of the best VPNs for telecommuters. With a VPN to keep your communications private, you can use telecommuting to expand your small enterprise into a multinational corporation.

VPNs: Good for Remote Workers & Businesses

When compiling this list, we took into account some of the key features that telecommuting businesses need from a VPN. These include:

  • High speeds that support video conferencing apps
  • Strong security to block snoopers
  • Automatic WiFi protection to cover wandering workers
  • Group rates and multiple device allowances, to cut costs
  • Ease of use for non-technical staff
  • Good customer support in case things go wrong
  • Global coverage to support a far-flung team

You can quickly expand your small business by using telecommuters. You may need people with foreign language skills to promote your goods or services abroad. Where better to find those people than in the target countries?

With a global marketing effort, employing telecommuters around the world, your small website or niche operation can attract customers from overseas. Another huge advantage of employing people who work from home is that you don’t have to put them on the payroll. Most telecommuters are happy to be paid by the hour or per piece of work, so you don’t have to budget for non-wage labor costs.

Telecommuters enable you to cut costs. You don’t have to offer big city wages to workers who prefer to raise their kids in the countryside, or on some foreign beachfront. Telecommuting enables you to employ the best talent in the world at a fraction of the costs of employees.

Another huge advantage of using telecommuters is that no one has to waste time and money getting dressed up in business attire and traveling into the office. This can enhance productivity. It also helps the environment. You don’t need to rent offices or pay for office furniture. You don’t even need to pay for an office network, because the internet provides all the connections between workers that you need. Finally, you don’t need to buy or maintain expensive networking or computer equipment. Instead, each telecommuter has his/her own office equipment at home.

Telecommuting Security Issues

Unfortunately, the big risk of telecommuting lies with the security of your data. You don’t know who has just dropped in on your graphic designer. Nor can you be 100 % sure that your accounting exec won’t leave his laptop on the bus. If a thief breaks into a telecommuter’s home and  steals their equipment, that will include all saved work. There’s then a risk of hackers accessing your business data. As such, you need procedures for all of your telecommuters to follow. You need to create access levels to cloud services and storage, so that you remove the need for telecommuters to install software or store local copies of sensitive data. All of these connections to remote services create more opportunities for information leaks, making the protection of VPNs even more important.

VPN for Telecommuters: Conclusion

Telecommuters enjoy the flexibility to raise kids or look after relatives with health conditions while still maintaining a career. Those who are sick of the stress of the daily commute no longer have to give up the idea of a high flying career just because they want to live where the air is clean.

Businesses reap huge rewards when they use telecommuters because they don’t need to provide office space, buy equipment, or pay heating, lighting, or maintenance bills. Telecommuting staff don’t require social security payments, sick pay, or vacation allowances. Nor do you need to offer them pensions or employment incentives, such as gym membership, subsidized transport season tickets, or works outings.

These days, businesses can source the best talent from around the world without having to worry about visa or employment rights. You just get in touch with your staff over the internet and communicate through chat, email and work planning software. However, you do need to put security in place for your global office. A VPN will provide you with your own private network over the internet. A VPN can enable your business to expand.

Best Remote Working VPNs: Side-by-Side Summary

IMAGE CREDITS: Twinschoice/Shutterstock.com

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