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How to choose the best VPN for your start-up

Virtual private networks could offer your start-up privacy and security. Learn more about how they can impact your business here.

A VPN has become an essential fixture for both personal and professional online browsing over the past few years. Offering a level of protection not available through ordinary internet activity, a VPN – or virtual private network – works to screen your identity and protect your data.

Initially used as a business tool to protect workplace networks and enable remote working, VPNs have since surged in popularity. One of their more common uses in today’s culture is as a tool for unlocking streaming services in other countries.

In this page, we have rounded up some of the top VPN providers out there, so read on to find out more. If you want to get a little more background information, simply visit our what is a VPN page – and to compare costs across these top providers, you can check out our VPN costs page.


Which VPN is best for me?

Deciding on the best VPN for you isn’t as simple as choosing the cheapest option, or the one with the most features. The best way to decide is by taking a look at what is on offer, and comparing that to what you need.

Though many VPN providers will offer similar packages, some may perform better in certain areas than others, making them more or less suitable for your needs.

VPN ProviderTop featuresBest for
PureVPNVPN hotspot allows multiple devices to join your networkBest all-round VPN for Windows
NordVPNFast and powerfulBest for power and value
IPVanishFilled with features offering total controlBest for experts who want more control
TorGuardImpressive performance and global coverageBest for users who need global coverage

This isn’t an exhaustive list of providers, but between them, they represent some of the most popular options available. Depending on whether you need a VPN for business or personal use, one may be a better fit for you. For more detail on each of these options, simply read on below.


PureVPN

PureVPN is an easy-to-use VPN that offers a number of options for users who like to be able to customise their experience a little.

PureVPN offers a range of ‘modes’ designed to make your experience as simple and easy as possible, including a ‘Privacy’ mode, which hides your identity when you use file sharing networks. This VPN also includes a ‘Streaming’ mode, which is perfect for online viewing – it actually allows you to unlock Netflix in other countries, which is a service not offered by every VPN on the market.

One standout feature of PureVPN is its ability to set up a VPN hotspot, which other devices can connect to. This is useful in various settings, but could be an especially valuable tool for businesses who want multiple team members to browse online securely.

PureVPN offers a range of plans, including a 1-week trial so that you can test the product before committing.

Try PureVPN today


NordVPN

NordVPN is a fast and powerful option that also doesn’t break the bank. For the best value, you will need to commit to a longer-term plan, but the same is true of most VPN providers on the market.

What makes NordVPN stand out is its use of 256-bit AES encryption, which is military grade and among the most powerful options available. This feature enables you to maintain your online anonymity and security in any situation, no matter where you’re browsing.

NordVPN also has the ability to use two VPN links simultaneously to access the privacy-centric TOR network, and has 3,600 servers in 62 countries, offering a truly global experience.

And what's more, for what you get, NordVPN is very well-priced.

Get the right NordVPN plan today


IPVanish

IPVanish is a strong option with more advanced users in mind, making it a good choice for businesses with IT professionals on-hand to support setup and use.

With over 1,000 servers in 60 countries, IPVanish offers an excellent level of global coverage, meaning that whatever it is you need, there’ll be a server to help you. Additionally, IPVanish has a strong record of performance, with speeds less likely to drop than with some other brands.

IPVanish also has one of the cheaper monthly packages, though it pans out as slightly more than its competitors when you choose a longer-term plan. Even so, the difference is only a few pounds a year, so shouldn’t put you off. If customisation is key for you, and you want to be able to use advanced options, this may be the best choice.


TorGuard

TorGuard VPN is a great choice, with a huge range of options to get into if you know what you’re doing. This VPN is also recognised for its speed, and excels when it comes to privacy. If you want power and control, TorGuard is the way to go.

TorGuard is certainly a great choice if speed is your main concern. It works well over short and long distances, which can be a deal breaker for businesses that rely on such functionality.

TorGuard is good in terms of value, with an about average monthly cost, and a cheaper than normal cost when you go for a longer-term plan.


How to choose the best VPN for business

With so many options available, it’s important to know what to look for in a VPN. Though many options share similar features and pricing plans, the importance of security in business mean that you should consider carefully which option is going to be best.

In the sections below, we’ve outlined some of the key factors to consider.

Customer support

As with any service, you may need support from time to time, especially when you first onboard a software. This is doubly the case if you haven’t got much experience with a VPN, or if your business has not previously needed one.

Take a look at what support a provider offers, and make sure it suits you. Live chat and email are the most commonly used, but if you don’t feel comfortable with that approach, you may prefer a provider with a phone option. It’s also worth noting where your provider is based – do they have down-times in their support schedule? If it doesn’t match up to your timezone, then this might be a problem further down the line.

Location

As well as having possible implications on customer support, the location of your VPN provider may also dictate where their servers are located, and how this will serve your needs. Most VPN suppliers – including the ones listed on this page – have servers around the world, meaning that this shouldn’t be an issue. But it is an important consideration nonetheless if you decide to choose a supplier not listed here.

Connection

Connection is perhaps the most important factor. If your device has to connect to a slow server, or to a server that’s on the other side of the world, then you need to know that performance won’t be affected. If speed is vital to you – and why wouldn’t it be? – then you should make sure that the VPN you choose works well in your location.

Cost

Cost is another undeniable factor in any purchase or subscription. All of the providers listed on this page offer a range of plans to suit any budget, but it’ll depend on your situation – or the situation of your business – as to which is best. Value for money is obviously essential, but it’s worth bearing in mind that for most VPNs, you will have to opt in to a longer-term plan to get the best deal. Visit our VPN costs page to find out more.

Ease of use

If you haven’t used VPNs previously, then you may want the simplest option. However, this shouldn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the quality of service. Most providers will ensure that you’re set up with the right service, without too much fiddling about. On the other hand, if you want to be able to customise your experience on the fly, then don't rule out choosing something more advanced.

Privacy

Privacy is the key reason that most people purchase a VPN. If your provider doesn’t offer this, then they aren’t worth choosing. One area to look into when selecting a supplier is the type of logs kept by your provider – some only keep connection logs, which detail when you connect to it, while others actively record your activity.

Compatibility

You need a VPN that works with the operating systems your business uses. If you use a combination of Macs and Windows computers, as well as smart devices, then you’ll want a provider that services all of them simultaneously.

Security

Likely to be a focus, alongside privacy, for anyone interested in a VPN, security is essential. Take some time to look into what security features are offered, and how they can help you. How is your online identity protected? How is your data protected? There are a number of questions that you should consider – think about how the VPN is going to be used in your business, and make sure you don’t leave anything uncovered.

Bryn Glover
Bryn Glover

Editor

As Editor of Startups, Bryn runs content strategy and our annual campaigns. A lover of small business, you can find him writing about exciting entrepreneurs and UK industry trends.