Best VPN for Business in 2021: Keeping SMB Data Safe

In a perfect world, the internet would be a safe haven, free from threats. Alas, in the real world, insecure public WiFi networks abound, and the internet is replete with bad people wanting to take advantage of an unwitting business. The best VPN for business can protect your company data and keep your remote workers from leaking sensitive information.

Jacob RoachAleksandar Kochovski
By Jacob Roach (Writer) & Aleksandar Kochovski (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-07-28T21:02:25+00:00

Virtual private networks were born for businesses, and though they’ve evolved beyond that into the consumer market, they’ll invariably be tied to business. That said, they aren’t the easiest thing to deploy, especially if you run a small business with a limited number of employees. There’s no need to worry, though. The team here at Cloudwards.net is here to help you find the best VPN for business.

Key Takeaways:

  • A business VPN can protect your company network from outside intrusion by implementing special business-focused solutions.
  • NordVPN Teams is the best VPN for business, offering an account manager and over 20 different dedicated server locations.
  • Despite not being a VPN for business, ExpressVPN is a good choice if you’re a small business that needs fewer than five active connections. It offers a large number of servers spread across 160 server locations to ensure a stable connection wherever you are in the world.
  • A zero-trust network is the best thing your business can do to keep company data out of the wrong hands. Assume that every employee could be a security liability and only give your workers the access permissions they need to do their own job.

In this guide to the best business VPN service, we’re going to give you five business-focused solutions that will be easy to set up and deploy in your company. Before diving into our picks, we’ll discuss the criteria we used to make our selections, and afterward we’ll treat you to a brief lesson on why your business should be using a VPN.

If you’re looking for a short answer, NordVPN is the way to go. Not only is it an excellent consumer VPN, but it also offers a fantastic business service. If you want more options, though, read on.

  • In short, yes. Your business needs a VPN if you do literally any kind of work online. That said, if you’re a mom-and-pop store with no sensitive data to speak of on your network, a VPN might not be wholly necessary, but even then, your bank account information could be stolen on an unsecured connection.

  • A business VPN provider should offer user access management and oversight, as well as a special customer support rep to help you manage accounts. Dedicated servers are also high on the priority list, as they ensure fast speeds and allow you to deploy special software securely. Of course, it should also offer standard VPN security features like a kill switch and AES 256-bit encryption.

  • Depending on the service, a business VPN could cost your company as little as $7 monthly per user (what NordVPN Teams charges). Of course, even within a single provider there will be different payment plans that come with different management and security features, and most VPN providers will even create a custom plan for your company.

  • Setting up a VPN for your business shouldn’t be a big deal, but some VPN providers make the process a bit more complicated. The most important thing is to set the right access permissions for your employees’ accounts, and some services can provide a dedicated account manager to help guide you through the process.

  1. 1
    • : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
    • : 6
  2. 2
    • : PayPal, Credit card
    • : 8
  3. 3
    • : PayPal, Credit card, Wire Transfers
    • : 5
    • : No
  4. 4
    • : PayPal, Credit card, UnionPay
    • : 30
  5. 5
    • : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
    • : 5

What Makes the Best VPN for Business

For the most part, choosing a business VPN is similar to choosing a consumer VPN. There are a few key differences, though. For example, ExpressVPN is the best of the consumer VPNs we’ve tested, but its limit of five simultaneous connections and lack of user control features mean that it’s only useful to small businesses.

Instead of recommending tools that only an IT department can use, we chose consumer options that have reached into the business world, meaning anyone — even someone with limited technical experience — can stay protected. Here are our top business VPN services.

  1. NordVPN Teams — Excellent account management features
  2. TorGuard — Detailed overview of your employees’ VPN use
  3. Perimeter 81 — Advanced WiFi security measures
  4. VyprVPN — Blocks unwanted access to your company data with a NAT firewall
  5. ExpressVPN — A consumer VPN with blazing fast speeds fit for a small business

Most importantly, business VPNs need to be able to connect multiple users with a simple way to manage them. In terms of technical capability, speed is among the most important things to look for. Dedicated business VPN servers ensure that crucial speed for your company, and allow you to deploy business software solutions like Salesforce with VPN protection.

Customer support is an area that regular users overlook, but it’s very important for businesses. Some services go the extra mile, offering a dedicated support representative to help you manage your user accounts.

Most important, though, is user management. As with business password managers (read our best password manager for small business guide) the key difference between a corporate and consumer product is user management. Like an all-seeing eye, a strong user management system allows you to see how your employees are using the service.

Besides business-specific features, our usual VPN criteria apply. Every VPN on this list offers all the standard VPN security features, such as AES 256-bit encryption and a choice of several secure VPN protocols, like the standard OpenVPN. Plus, all but VyprVPN offer two-factor authentication. We won’t be talking about these features as they’re standard, but rest assured that your data is in safe hands.

The 5 Best Business VPNs

We’ve got a lot of experience reviewing VPNs here at Cloudwards, and the following service is frequently near the top of our lists. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the best VPN for your business — NordVPN.

1. NordVPN Teams

NordVPN Teams windows app
NordVPN Teams offers dedicated servers in over 20 server locations.

More details about NordVPN Teams:

  • Pricing: $7 per user per month on the yearly plan
  • Provider website: nordvpnteams.com

Pros:

  • Large network
  • Dedicated account manager
  • User management features

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speeds across long distances

NordVPN is ranked second out of all the VPNs we’ve reviewed, and for good reason. Though there’s inconsistency across its network, it’s a feature-rich, inexpensive and powerful option for consumers. That said, with a souped-up list of features and special integrations, its business version — NordVPN Teams — is a great choice for companies, too.

NordVPN Teams’ core business features are quite impressive. Each account on your plan can get a dedicated IP address for consistent and stable access to company databases and services. Plus, you can control all your employees accounts from a centralized control panel with an easy-to-use interface. It even offers single sign-on via Google, Azure AD and Okta.

Manage User Accounts With Ease

If you opt for one of the two higher priced tiers, you get access to a dedicated account manager. No matter how large or small your business is (NordVPN asks that you have at least five accounts), you’ll have a dedicated line for issues. It isn’t just a direct line to customer support, either. Your account manager can work with you to deploy configurations that would otherwise be impossible.

NordVPN Teams homepage
NordVPN Teams pack quite a few features in a relatively cheap package.

In terms of pricing, NordVPN Teams has three plans. The affordable Basic plan costs $7 per user per month and comes with all the most important features, while the more expensive plans bring goodies, such as an account manager, priority support and a dedicated business VPN server in one of 20 server locations. NordVPN also keeps billing simple with centralized payment for all your users.

Basic:$7 per user per month (billed annually)
Advanced:$9 per user per month (billed annually)
Enterprise:Request a quote

Sitting just shy of ExpressVPN, NordVPN is the best VPN we’ve tested overall, and its Teams version — catering to corporate markets — makes it a perfect choice for your business. You can learn all the reasons we love the commercial version in our NordVPN review or get in touch about setting up a business account to see how you like it.

2. TorGuard

torguard-slider1
TorGuard offers a detailed control panel for managing your employees’ VPN use.

More details about TorGuard:

  • Pricing: $32 per month for five users
  • Provider website: torguard.net

Pros:

  • Highly configurable
  • Fast
  • Custom business solutions

Cons:

  • Difficult to use

TorGuard, the runner-up on our list, offers premade business plans that will give you several user packages, dedicated IP addresses and email addresses. Unlike NordVPN, you aren’t simply purchasing a VPN subscription. Rather, you’re purchasing a package of secure email, dedicated IP address and the VPN.

One of the reasons we love TorGuard is how fast it is. It ranked fourth in our fastest VPN guide, just behind Surfshark (read our Surfshark review). Our test results were close, so small variations in speed could push TorGuard even higher in the ranking, depending on how far from TorGuard’s servers your business is.

A Bird’s-Eye View of Your User Accounts

Of course, TorGuard wouldn’t rank second without user management controls, and thankfully it satisfies on that front. The VPN control panel allows you to manage employees, track your dedicated IP addresses, set up encrypted email and more. With it, you’ll be able to get a detailed overview of how your business is taking advantage of TorGuard.

torguard vpn pricing
TorGuard offers several preset pricing plans depending on the number of users you have.

TorGuard has four preset plans varying in user count. They’re all fairly affordable — with Business VPN Starter costing $32 per month for five users, which breaks down to $6.40 per user — though you don’t get as many features as with NordVPN Teams.

Thankfully, all accounts come with an account manager who can answer questions and help you troubleshoot if anything goes wrong. That said, a custom solution may be best for you, to get access to a dedicated server.

Business VPN Starter:$32 per month5 users
Business VPN Small:$69 per month10 users
Business VPN Medium:$100 per month15 users
Business VPN Large:$169 per month20 users

Though it may not be as attractive as NordVPN, TorGuard can definitely play ball with the big boys. Between its speed, configurability and long list of features, it’s a great choice for your business. You can read our TorGuard review to learn more or check out the preset plans to see what works for you.

3. Perimeter 81

perimeter 81 desktop and mobile app
If monitoring your network activity is important to you (and it should be), Perimeter 81 might be right for you.

More details about Perimeter 81:

Pros:

  • Dedicated gateways available
  • User groups
  • Automatic WiFi protection

Cons:

  • Small number of shared gateways

The next entry on our list is Perimeter 81, a VPN built for business. Perimeter 81 is a fine VPN choice for companies, providing excellent security and fast speeds, but to make the most of the VPN you’ll have to spend a few more dollars for the Premium plans.

For business features, Perimeter 81 offers everything we want. You can manage team members by assigning them certain permissions and selecting them for user groups, as well as monitor the resources and bandwidth they’re consuming. Perimeter 81 offers one of the most complete ways to view your network activity. Only the custom pricing plan gives you a dedicated account manager, though.

A Secure Connection Wherever You Are

Perimeter 81 offers uncommon features, too, most notably activity reports, single sign-on integration and automatic WiFi security. The latter is great for remote workers or employees who travel frequently because the VPN will automatically detect unsecured public WiFi networks and protect the connection before anything can go wrong.

perimeter 81 request demo
Perimeter 81 packs a few business-centric features in a relatively inexpensive package.

Perimeter 81 VPN gives you access to shared gateways in 35 locations, but you can purchase dedicated gateways for $40 per month. Your employees all get unique email addresses and user licenses. Each license is good for up to five connections, meaning your employees can keep desktops, laptops, phones and tablets protected at no extra cost.

Essential:$8 per user per month (billed annually)
Premium:$12 per user per month (billed annually)
Enterprise:Request a quote

Perimeter 81 offers the flexibility of other business VPNs, plus a few tricks of its own. Although this guide focuses on consumer VPNs with business versions, if your company is already familiar with full-on business VPNs, Perimeter 81 could be a great choice. You can read our Perimeter 81 review to learn more about the platform or request a demo of Perimeter 81 to try it yourself.

4. VyprVPN

Vyprvpn Russia server (faked)
VyprVPN’s Chameleon protocol lets you use VPNs even in countries where they’re banned.

More details about VyprVPN:

Pros:

  • Dedicated servers offered
  • Chameleon protocol
  • NAT firewall

Cons:

  • Slow

VyprVPN offers two plans for business users: VyprVPN for Business and VyprVPN for Business Cloud. The latter is definitely the more interesting option because it allows you to take advantage of a dedicated server. Plus, VyprVPN for Business Cloud is expandable, allowing you to scale and control the service in the way that works best for your business.

Our favorite features from the consumer app are available for business users, too. VyprVPN lets you use Chameleon, which is a proprietary protocol based on OpenVPN. It connects in a similar way, but obfuscates your packets as they’re being sent, so you can bypass deep packet inspection. Chameleon was one reason VyprVPN made our best VPN services for China list.

Make Sure Only Your Employees Can Access Your Network

With VyprVPN for Business Cloud, your employees can take advantage of the NAT firewall. Like any firewall, it’ll block requests based on a list of rules, which means it will block any incoming traffic that wasn’t requested by a computer on your network. It runs on VyprVPN’s servers, meaning the incoming threat is identified and blocked before even making it to your machine.

torguard vpn pricing
TorGuard offers several preset pricing plans depending on the number of users you have.

Though price wasn’t our primary concern when reviewing these VPN services, VyprVPN is inexpensive. Business plans start at just a few hundred dollars per year — breaking down to $25 or $29 per month for all your employees — and VyprVPN will even give you a free trial to see how you like it. It’s an easy-to-deploy, no-nonsense solution that still provides a lot of power.

VyprVPN for Business:$299 per year
VyprVPN for Business Cloud:$349 per year

That said, VyprVPN isn’t perfect. Speeds are lower than we’d like, but it’s still a solid choice for businesses. The privately owned network means no third parties will be messing with your business data and the long list of features means you can configure the service how you want. You can learn more in our VyprVPN review or reach out about a free trial to see how you like it.

5. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN for business
Although it’s not a corporate VPN, ExpressVPN is a great alternative for small businesses.

More details about ExpressVPN:

  • Pricing: $6.67 per month plus three months free on the yearly plan
  • Provider website: www.expressvpn.com

Pros:

  • Unlimited devices
  • The fastest VPN out there
  • Cheaper than most business VPNs

Cons:

  • Not technically a business VPN
  • Limited to five simultaneous connections

Alright, so ExpressVPN is technically a consumer VPN, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good for business users. In fact, it’s probably better than any other dodgy corporate VPN service if your business is small enough to deal with its limit of five simultaneous connections. Here at Cloudwards.net, we use ExpressVPN extensively, so it can certainly find its place in your business, too.

Although ExpressVPN doesn’t offer account management or a dedicated support rep, it does offer 24/7 chat support and email support. It’s secure too, with an internet kill switch that kicks in when your VPN connection drops to prevent any unprotected downtime. A strict no-logs policy ensures your company’s data stays private.

Guaranteed Speed With ExpressVPN

One advantage that ExpressVPN has over business VPNs is the sheer number of server locations it has. ExpressVPN has over 3,000 data centers in 160 server locations, spread across 94 countries. 

Besides the regular speed guarantee that comes with this top-tier VPN, the number of servers alone should be enough to assuage any fears of diminished speeds, even without a dedicated VPN server.

expressvpn get started
ExpressVPN is a bargain compared to other business VPNs.

ExpressVPN might be pricey compared to other consumer VPNs, but in the business VPN world, it’s a steal, with a single license covering five simultaneous connections. Long-term plans offer increasing discounts, and the annual plan comes with three extra months for free on top of that. There’s a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, which is plenty of time to test it out.

Out of the non-business VPN solutions, ExpressVPN is the one to beat. Even our usual qualms about its pricing are irrelevant here, as it’s a downright bargain compared to most business VPN services. However the lack of business features, like a dedicated IP address, means it’s just not a good option for larger companies. Read our ExpressVPN review for more info.

Why Businesses Should Use a VPN

VPNs have long been a business tool, well before the consumer options came to be. For business, they’ve been used to connect remote workers, allowing employees to access essential files and applications from outside the office.

In most cases, you’ll need to configure a VPN manually to let remote workers access your company’s files, but with the rise of secure cloud storage, access to files is cheaper and easier than it has ever been. That said, cloud storage doesn’t account for the other upside of using a business VPN, and that’s a secured connection (read our best VPN for cloud storage piece).

For security, the value is clear. If you have, say, employees dealing with sensitive documents on public WiFi, a VPN is essential. Because your connection is encrypted, network snoopers won’t be able to intercept your traffic and steal sensitive information.

Plus, VPNs have practical uses for business. Maybe you have to access a website that’s only available to IP addresses in a certain country, or you need to conceal your source IP address if you deal solely online. VPNs are security tools as much as they are practical ones, and once you sign up for a plan, you’ll notice situations where they’re useful.

The Zero-Trust Network Approach

Despite all the hubbub we raised around VPNs, ultimately, it will all be for naught if you don’t manage your users’ permissions correctly. A zero-trust approach supposes that no one in your company can be trusted with full access to your entire company network, and it’s the best way to make sure no sensitive company data gets leaked.

Within a zero-trust network, all users have permission to access only what they absolutely need to. A business VPN service with comprehensive oversight and user management abilities will allow you to implement zero-trust even for your remote workers. A dedicated account manager will help sort out user permissions, so look for a VPN that offers one, like NordVPN Teams.

Final Thoughts

Putting together your own VPN is costly, time-consuming and unreliable. The options above give you the benefits without many of the drawbacks, providing large server networks and the ability to integrate with other platforms. NordVPN Teams should be your go-to if you need an inexpensive and easy-to-deploy VPN. If you’re a small business owner, ExpressVPN could be for you.

Which VPN are you using for your business? Did we miss your favorite business VPN? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.