A VPN (or virtual private network) is software or a service that provides an encrypted connection between a user and public networks over the internet. It secures traffic by routing through the VPN first. This helps with resource distribution for remote work, avoiding content or video restriction, preventing tracking. IT can also help business secure traffic and financial transactions, help maintain network and access control, and improves remote work.
Learn more about using a VPN or hosting your own.
1. Free and Paid VPN Providers
When choosing the right VPN provider, make sure to research and read helpful reviews. There can be free and even premium providers that can possibly track and sell data to 3rd parties, sometimes to offset the cost of providing it at a low or no-cost or can suffer a cyberattack due to weak security. This defeats the purpose of a VPN. A provider may also suffer a cyber-attack due to weak configuration or a data breach, such as in the case of the LimeVPN breach in June 2021 where sensitive customer information was stolen and sold.
There are many service providers that have free and paid plans offering connection to their VPN servers in different locations. This is a good option for regular users who want a VPN just to browse, work, or stream when their on to go.
If you’re looking for a secure and fast VPN that is free or has great premium plans, you can try ProtonVPN. Proton’s VPN protects online browsing and activity with advanced encryption, doesn’t keep logs, and is an award-winning, globally recognized service with over 3 million users. They also have a free plan. Learn more about their VPN and how to get it here.
Another good option is AtlasVPN, another freemium with free and premium versions, encryption and servers around the world.
2. Self Host
For home and small businesses, you can also self host a VPN service on a physical or cloud server. This is a crucial option when handling customers’ personal data or taking financial transactions so both your customers’ and business’ data is protected in transit. Setting this up may sound difficult, but many providers make it easy to spin up a server in seconds.
DigitalOcean is a cloud provider allowing you to create and scale on demand. They have ready-made images where you can choose software to be set up automatically. Their marketplace images include OpenVPN Access Server, which provides a free license for up to 2 users and is a great option to secure work and financial transactions.
If you’re not sure where to start, need help getting set up, or are looking for a custom solution that fits you or your business needs, contact us!