If you’re running a business in Wales, or anywhere else for that matter, you need to at least have a think about data security. Even if all your internet traffic is contained to checking your bank account online every now and then, this is valuable information in the wrong hands and so needs to be secured. This is where virtual private networks come in.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a cybersecurity tool that routes your regular connection through a server the provider owns, and also encrypts the connection at the same time. This has a few advantages, most importantly that nobody will be able to track your online movements so you’re in effect invisible while browsing, staying off the radar of marketers and cybercriminals alike.
It’s not the only way to keep yourself safe while online, of course, but does tick a lot of the boxes. As long as you’re hidden from view, nobody can come after you and the few threats that do slip by you can easily counter with an antivirus solution.
However picking the right VPN for your needs can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure where to start. Below, we’ve selected three services from a list of the best VPN providers that we feel would stand Welsh business owners in good stead.
The two main downsides of VPNs is that they cost money and that your internet speed will suffer when using them. Our main criterion is thus whether or not there are servers in the UK to make sure the speed drop won’t be too bad. We would have preferred suggesting only VPN services that offer locations in Wales, but sadly none worth mentioning do.
Price is a little harder to control, but none of our favourites will break the bank, either.
Let’s take a look at them.
Our top pick for Welsh small business is ExpressVPN, a powerful, versatile and easy to use solution. It has several servers around the UK, the closest to Wales being the ones in Manchester and Berkshire, meaning that your connection speed shouldn’t have to suffer too much.
Even if you do connect a little further away, Express is the fastest VPN on the market bar none, so you won’t be doing much waiting around with it connected. It’s also very easy to use, even the biggest technophobe can handle it. Just click on the massive big button in the center of the display and it will connect you to the closest available server, so no fiddling with settings.
The biggest downside to ExpressVPN is its price, which comes in at around £80 per year. As VPNs go, this is pretty high, but you do get a good value for money. Another, smaller, downside is that you can only connect up to five devices at the same time, meaning that larger companies may want to look elsewhere, or get somebody tech-savvy to install it on the office router.
NordVPN is another excellent VPN that has a few advantages when compared to ExpressVPN. For one, its price is a bit friendlier: the same £80 gets you three years of service rather than one. It also offers six connections, so that may work out a bit better for some businesses.
It’s also pretty easy to use, but in a different way than ExpressVPN. It offers a map of the world, from which you can connect to specific locations. If you’d like a particular server in a certain location, you have to go into a menu and pick from a long list. This is also where the overall user experience breaks down: if you need a specific server, be prepared to spend time looking for it.
You will need to look for specific servers often, too. Generally speaking, NordVPN servers are an inconsistent lot, so speeds can fluctuate rather badly. If you can deal with that on a weekly basis, though, it’s a great service, especially for the price.
We’ll finish up our recommendations with CyberGhost, which also offers three years for about £80, but is a bit more consistent and might actually be a better deal for Welsh users than NordVPN.
This is due to it having a slightly more spread out UK network, as well as on the continent, so you have more geographical locations to choose from. On top of that, its servers are more dependable, so you should have an easier time using it. However, operating it might not be everybody’s cup of tea.
CyberGhost works through a list and tile--based interface with really tiny print, so people with poor eyesight or without patience for scrolling through entries may want to skip it in favor of Express or Nord.
VPNs are your first and best line of defence against cybercrime, and we recommend you use one any time you send any sensitive information over the internet. Any of the three services mentioned above will do you well, and all have generous refund periods so you can try them out at length at no cost toy yourself and your business.
Blog by Fergus O’Sullivan Cloudwards.net