To VPN or not to VPN: That is the question

Posted on May 29, 2024 by Steve Hearst

Today’s businesses are constantly bombarded by IT threats – hacker attacks and privacy issues abound, putting your IT safety at risk. Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a software application that keeps your internet activity private and secure. Sound good? Well, there are some pros and cons that you should consider before taking the leap. This article points out when a VPN makes sense, and when to beware.

What does a VPN do?

When you have a VPN application installed, it channels your web traffic through a safe VPN server before forwarding it to the website or application you’re trying to reach. This route through the secure VPN server prevents third parties, like your Internet Service Provider (ISP), from tracking and logging your online activity, as well as blocking hackers from accessing your internet data transfers.

Advantages of a VPN

  • Protect your web traffic from Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

With encryption, a VPN masks your browsing history and the IP address of your device, protecting your business’s privacy and reducing spam from unwanted websites.

  • Shield data transfers on public WiFi networks

Data transfers on public networks can easily fall victim to hackers. A VPN encrypts all data transmitted via public WiFi sites, so your workers can work remotely, more safely.

  • Protect your data

Other than encryption, VPNs have protocols to ensure data integrity. If data is compromised, the VPN can detect and prevent the altered data from being accepted, stopping the cyber-attack.

Even though VPNs offer protection against fraud and piracy, there are some disadvantages that all businesses should be aware of.

Disadvantages of a VPN

  • Slower internet speed

Due to encryption, routing, and server capabilities, a VPN can sometimes slow down your internet speed.

  • Increased latency

Activities that require real-time communication or fast data transmission, such as Zoom calls, can experience increased latency, or “ping.” This is the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the server. A VSP server that is not nearby can cause noticeable delays.

  • Anonymity and safety are not total

Remember that there are other ways that your online activity can be tracked, including traffic analysis reports and browser fingerprinting. Also, VPNs should always be supplemented by trusted antivirus software and malware protection.

While VPNs offer a lot of advantages, there are potential downsides, too. Smart businesses will weigh the pros and cons and work with a trusted IT partner to evaluate whether a VPN makes sense for their situation.

TTG is a trusted business partner that provides full-service IT resources. Contact TTG and we’ll help you protect your IT and find out if a VPN is the right answer for your business.

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