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Five of the best value VPNs for freelancers and small businesses

A VPN is an essential tool in maintaining privacy while online and securing your laptops, phones or tablets while on the move. As both an internet user and computer support tech, I cannot stress enough how important I regard using a VPN to be. Even if you think you have nothing to hide, ISPs sell your data, governments and corporations seem to enjoy harvesting as much data as possible and hackers would just love to see what’s going on in your business.

All good reasons why you should secure your internet traffic with a VPN. They are cheap, easy to use and offer the flexibility to work anywhere, at any time securely. I regard a VPN as mandatory for anyone using the net.

How a VPN can protect your business

A VPN, Virtual Private Network is a secure tunnel created between the VPN app on your device and the VPN server. Your traffic enters the VPN server and then exits the other side. That exit traffic is unencrypted but cannot be linked to your connection. The VPNs I have selected are ‘no-log’ VPNs which means there is no evidence to link either side of that connection should law enforcement or anyone want to investigate.

If you send all your web traffic through this tunnel, it is secure with strong encryption. This prevents anyone from seeing what you’re doing or what data you’re sending.

That means your ISP cannot see what you’re sending or where you’re browsing, governments cannot see your data, corporations cannot see it and hackers cannot see it. If you use a laptop, a VPN is even more important to protect you while on the move. It can secure your data against fake WiFi hotspots or hackers trying to listen in to the wireless data and can stop infected ads reaching your computer too.

In my opinion, every freelancer or business of any size should use a VPN solution to protect their traffic. Here are five you could try. Each is secure, is simple enough to be a computer support tech’s dream and get the job done while staying out the way.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a trusted name in VPNs and has been around for years. It works with Windows 10 and Mac OS and has mobile apps too. There are 148 VPN locations across 94 countries meaning you should always be able to find a low ping server so your traffic remains fast. ExpressVPN seems to have a very robust network and is one of the faster VPN solutions out there.

ExpressVPN uses AES-256 encryption, which is standard across all of these services. It’s strong and would take a supercomputer to crack. More importantly, the company keeps no logs. This means there is no way to link your encrypted connection into a VPN server with the unencrypted traffic leaving it.

NordVPN

NordVPN is another viable option for securing your business. It is also well established and has a track record of reliability. It has over 5,000 VPN servers in 62 locations, meaning you will always be able to connect somewhere. It is also no-long VPN that uses AES-256-GCM encryption to protect your data while on the move.

The NordVPN app is small, easy to use and quick to connect. Once connected, traffic seems fast, with little slowdown due to VPN or traffic. The app isn’t as slick as the others here but the quality of the service and range of servers make it well worth considering.

IPVanish

IPVanish is another VPN worth checking out. It is also well established, works on almost every device and seems very reliable. The service has over 75 locations with 1,300 VPN servers, keeps no logs and uses 256-bit AES encryption to protect your traffic. The network seems reliable and as fast as these other VPN services.

The app is simple and does what you need it to do without any fuss. Connections are fast and stable and the entire process is very straightforward. The downside of IPVanish is the lack of free trial but if you don’t mind that, this is a viable option.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is also a very good VPN service. It is also one of the easiest to use and live with. The app is very intuitive and can connect with a single click and maintain that connection all day long. It will automatically select the fastest server available and connect or you can manually connect to a server in one of the many countries covered.

PIA has over 3,300 servers in 32 countries and uses AES-256-GCM encryption. It’s a no-log service too. The ease of use and relatively low cost while offering excellent protection makes this well worth trying.

Cyberghost

Cyberghost is my final recommendation for a small business VPN. It’s cheap, easy to use, offers industry-standard features and keeps you protected. The service has over 3,500 servers in 60 locations and is a no-log VPN. It uses 256-bit AES encryption to protect your traffic at all times.

The Cyberghost app is easy to use and works very quickly. Connections happen in seconds and you have a lot of configuration options for making the VPN work with any specific app or programs you might use.

I’m not going to recommend any particular VPN out of these options as they are all of a sufficient standard to deliver what you need. Each works slightly differently and has different strengths and weaknesses but all will encrypt your data using industry-standard 256-bit encryption and all are stable enough for business use. Plus, as a computer support tech, I am biased towards security and encryption rather than ease of use which might not work for you.

Choice will likely come down to look and feel and perhaps price. As most of these offer a free trial, you can try before you buy so you can ensure all your apps and productivity programs will work with your VPN and that rerouting traffic through a different location doesn’t stop cloud logins or email from working as it should.

Every freelancer and business should use a VPN to protect themselves from surveillance or hacking. For less than a cup of coffee or two per month, you can do just that with one of these five services.

If you need any help with computer support, networks, security or VPNs, contact New Jersey Computer Help today!

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