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5 Ways a VPN Solves SMEs Problems

Virtual Private Networks, or “VPNs” have come a long way from their early days as a tool only used by twenty and thirty-something hackers living in their parents basements and running credit card schemes (among other things!)

They’re now a common tool used by online surfers and budget-minded businesses looking for more privacy while browsing the Internet. As an added bonus, a VPN can help get around country-specific sanctions against social media networks, banned websites, and streaming providers.

Consider Netflix and how they’re forced to limit those not residing in the U.S. access to much of the third-party content they’ve purchased for their users, such as popular television shows and movies.

Netflix proxy error message

Netflix’ black screen of doom

Even though the streaming giant does everything it can to limit content and/or block IP addresses from unapproved countries – “tricking” non-techie users by displaying an error message in the process – it’s ridiculous how easy it is to fix Netflix Proxy Error by using a VPN service:

  • Sign up for a VPN service.
  • Download software to your PC or device.
  • Load a U.S. proxy server.
  • Enjoy streaming American Netflix content!

Using a VPN is so easy a chimpanzee could do it! (well, maybe not, but you get the point…)

VPN

Virtual Private Networks and how they benefit SMEs

As an SME owner, you might think a VPN has no use to you at all. Your employees never stream or (gasp!) download torrents from their workstations. You’re not worried about Uncle Sam or the like monitoring your staff while they make changes to your ecommerce store, or while posting updates on the company’s social media accounts.

Right?

Of course not. If you’re on the up-and-up, it doesn’t really matter if the government, police, etc., can see how you conduct your business online. The real benefit of a VPN for a small or medium size business isn’t just the anonymity, it’s all about the encryption, productivity increases, improved client trust, and all-round low cost security benefits they can offer.

1. Main VPN benefit for SMEs: Low cost security option

If you’re like most SME owners, you’ve probably never thought of this benefit. Consider how much money can be spent on security software, data centers, intranets, and the support staff necessary to run it (VPN providers handle infrastructure maintenance). Ask yourself how often has McAfee, Avast, Symantec, or your ISP’s “bulletproof” security solutions let a bug through after claiming to be 99.999% secure?

A VPN works differently than all these solutions because when you’re on a VPN, you and your employees are invisible while you’re uploading, downloading, and sharing sensitive company data. Since your activity and data is 100% encrypted, even if a cyber-criminal gets a hold of that information, they won’t know what to do with it. Best, this heightened security means you’re more likely to be compliant with your local and international information privacy laws regarding the storage and movement of client data.

2. High performance, high security access for remote employees

Whether you work with VAs all over the globe, or your office and sales staff need to access your private network from a Starbucks in a different state or province, a VPN allows them access to company data without fear of data theft or corruption.

VPNs also help to interrupt ISP throttling activity, which can be a real issue when your employees are using remote (questionable) ISP connections to access to your private company network.

3. Productivity increases when your company uses a VPN

Several countries restrict access to certain sites and networks, meaning remote or traveling employees may not have access to critical social media platforms, or other sites. China for instance, doesn’t allow Facebook access to their citizens (meaning all their citizens need to use a VPN to gain access!)

Productivity as a whole will obviously increase with the ability to shift to a U.S. based IP as needed. Not to mention the fact that your in-house online data security obligations will decrease when you adopt a VPN, leaving more time to get other things done.

4. Increased client trust

No two clients are 100% alike, and many who work in business will have experienced online data theft at some point in their career. When your company uses a reputable VPN service, clients can communicate with you online and share their data with confidence, including the ability to host private, encrypted conference calls using your preferred video chat software.

You can add new users and groups, and remove them easily following the setup documentation provided by your VPN provider.

5. Low maintenance costs

Once you’ve signed up and got onto a VPN plan, you and your company are all set. No need for IT and cybersecurity professionals to do this, that and the other thing, like they would if you built your own private network.

With prices starting in the low double digits per month with many VPNs, you’ll not find a cheaper way to implement encrypted and scalable security into your business model.

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photo credit: Frédéric Poirot / Flickr

VPNs Are so Easy to Use. Seriously.

Implementing a VPN into your business couldn’t get any easier than it is today. While they used to be rather clunky and unreliable for the average user to work with, VPNs can now be switched on and off just as easily as the wireless connection on any computer or device.

When you make the switch, let everyone in the company know why using a VPN is so important and ensure they understand how to use and troubleshoot their connect, in order to maintain the level of security and peace of mind a Virtual Private Network offers your business.

About author

Ivan Widjaya
Ivan Widjaya 2650 posts

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of Noobpreneur.com, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.

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