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Perimeter 81 VPN Review

Perimeter 81 VPN is an interesting business VPN that thrives on the fronts that matter most for companies in different industries. There’s a lot to like about this feature-rich VPN, from security to speed, but it has some minor flaws, as you can read in our Perimeter 81 review.

Samson Max
By Samson Max (Writer, Linking Editor)
— Last Updated: 2022-08-04T18:01:15+00:00 Facts checked by Elisabeth Ivey

Perimeter 81 is a comprehensive business security platform that offers robust tools to secure applications, local networks and cloud configurations. One of the key features that come tucked away in the suite is the business VPN, which we’ll focus on in our Perimeter 81 VPN review.

The Perimeter 81 VPN is an enterprise-level virtual private network that’s subtly different from consumer VPNs like ExpressVPN, our best VPN provider. Besides the usual features, the VPN provides an array of extra tools to manage user groups and enable remote staff to securely access a company’s intranet resources regardless of their location.

Key Takeaways:

  • Perimeter 81 VPN is blazing fast and has the features you need to secure access to your most valuable company resources.
  • It integrates seamlessly with cloud apps like Microsoft Azure and Google Workspace, and it requires no hardware or manual configurations to work. 
  • Perimeter 81 VPN is GDPR- and HIPAA-compliant and is ideal for businesses that require adherence to these compliance standards.

We’ll evaluate this business VPN’s performance on various fronts such as features, speed, pricing, security, user-friendliness, customer support and HIPAA compliance. Read on to learn more about Perimeter 81 VPN capabilities.

  • Yes, Perimeter 81 is HIPAA-compliant and ideal for businesses in the healthcare sector.

  • Perimeter 81 VPN is highly rated because it goes beyond the traditional business VPN in terms of features. However, if you want a VPN for your distributed workforces, TorGuard is an excellent option.

  • Perimeter 81 VPN is a corporate VPN service for businesses that want to secure access to their network resources and systems.

  • Yes, Perimeter 81 has a 30-day money-back guarantee available on all its plans.

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Strengths & Weaknesses

Pros:

  • Ease of use
  • Advanced DNS filtering
  • HIPAA compliance 
  • Broad public VPN network
  • Single sign-on integration
  • 24/7 live chat & phone support
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Over 700 public servers in 35 locations
  • Ability to create private servers

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speed
  • Not the best for streaming

Features

95 % – Excellent

Perimeter 81 VPN provides a decent array of features you need to secure access to your network resources and manage user accounts.

Perimeter 81 features
With its broad set of tools, Perimeter 81 delivers stellar security while streamlining the management of user groups.

It uses robust encryption protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard to establish a secure tunnel between your office servers and employee computers. Routing traffic via an impervious tunnel improves security and can help you sidestep the malicious attacks that have become so rampant.

There’s a kill switch, which shuts down inbound and outbound traffic when the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, protecting data from temporary exposure. Plus, the automatic WiFi feature auto-connects the VPN to secure your company’s digital assets and data when an employee uses an unsecured WiFi network.

What’s more, split tunneling enables IT administrators to configure a specific subnet to bypass the VPN tunnel. This comes in handy for low-risk tasks that require increased speeds through reduced latency.

Advanced Security Features

Another nice touch is the “always-on VPN” feature, which offers a nice way to ensure employees are always using the VPN when accessing company resources. When you enable the feature, your employees can’t disconnect from the VPN. It deactivates the “disconnect” button, forcing employees to use a unique code to disconnect the VPN.

On top of that, there’s advanced DNS filtering, which adds an extra layer of security and helps minimize distractions at work. With it, you can create an allowlist of websites that employees need to get a job done and a blocklist of malicious domains that pose a security threat to your organization. 

Even better, DNS filtering also gives you fine-grained control over content filtering. With category-based filters, you can add popular websites by predefined categories like social and gaming sites. Doing so is particularly helpful in restricting content on work-from-home employees’ devices to cut distractions during work hours. That’s not all.

Perimeter 81 offers single sign-on integration with popular identity providers like Microsoft Azure, Google Workspace, Active Directory and SAML to simplify policy-based access. Not to mention the two-factor authentication, which adds an extra level of identity verification during login.

Perimeter 81 is compatible with the whole spectrum of devices your employees use. Whether you have field teams using mobile devices (Android or iOS) or remote employees working on desktops (Windows, Mac or Linux), you can cover them all.

Perimeter 81 Features Overview

General
Payment methodsPayPal, Credit card, Wire Transfers
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections 5
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period30 days
Worldwide server amount700 servers in 35 countries
Desktop OSesWindows, MacOS, Linux
Mobile OSesAndroid, iOS
Browser extensions
Can be installed on routers
Streaming
Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video
Security
Encryption types256-AES
VPN protocols availableOpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included
Support
Live Chat24/7
Email support24/7
Phone support24/7
User forum
Knowledgebase

Pricing

80 % – Good

When it comes to pricing, Perimeter 81 VPN plays by a different set of rules. Unlike consumer VPNs, pricing doesn’t vary based on the length of the subscription period. Instead, the amount you pay depends on the number of users per subscription and the features you need. 

There are four subscription plans: Essentials, Premium, Premium Plus and Enterprise, each offering monthly and annual rates. The annual billing cycle provides 20 percent savings.

Perimeter 81 pricing
Perimeter 81 charges you on a per-user basis, making it an excellent solution for teams of all sizes.

Essential, Premium, Premium Plus and Enterprise

The Essentials plan — the cheapest Perimeter 81 plan — costs $8 per user per month (billed annually) with a minimum of five users. While it’s cheap, the plan omits essential cloud VPN features such as public server network, always-on VPN and DNS filtering.

To get all features, you can subscribe to the Premium plan at $12 per user per month (billed annually) with a minimum of 10 users. The Premium Plus plan charges you $16 per user per month (billed annually) for the same VPN features, but allows you to secure more cloud-based apps.

To put this in perspective, NordVPN Teams costs $7 per user per month on the annual plan and it includes a kill switch, two-factor authentication, auto-connect, 33 server locations and single-sign on integration with Google, Azure AD and Oktafor. This means you can find these features missing from Essential plan with other business VPNs for a cheaper per-user-per-month rate.

Finally, the Enterprise plan is for a company with more than 50 employees. It has a custom pricing model and gives you access to all the Perimeter 81 features.

Each pricing plan offers unlimited bandwidth. Sadly, Perimeter 81 provides no free trial or a free plan. If you’d like to take it for a spin risk-free, you can do so with the VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

User-Friendliness

80 % – Good

Perimeter 81 user experience from the billing to download is pretty straightforward. Installing the client is a cinch, too. Once you sign up, head over to the admin console, select “devices” and click “download.” Download the app of choice and double-click on the download file to install the client.

Perimeter 81 download
It’s a breeze to download and install Perimeter 81 apps on desktop and mobile devices.

Logging into the desktop client is a tad different from consumer VPNs. When you click “sign in to Perimeter 81,” a new browser tab will open. Follow along with the sign-in wizard and click “open Perimeter 81 app” to access the desktop app.

Perimeter 81 Apps

The desktop interface is basic, with the main area on the right and the menu options on the left. The “home” tab displays the network or public server you’re connected to and your public and internal IP. The “change network” button takes you to the easy-to-use location and network picker.

Perimeter 81 Windows app
Perimeter 81 is easy to use on all devices for all employees, including the non-techies.

By default, the “network” tab gives you access to the available private networks but doesn’t display the public VPN servers. You can enable the public servers from within the management console. To do so, select “device” followed by “user configuration,” “select a profile,”  and “client configurations.” Then, simply enable the “public VPN locations” option.

The “settings” button, located at the bottom left, gives you multiple useful features. You can set the client to start minimized, connect on launch, or run on startup. Moreover, you can change VPN protocols, enable automatic WiFi or specify trusted WiFi networks.

Perimeter 81 settings
You can tweak the setting on the apps or admin console to gain complete control of your network.

Mobile apps are trimmed-down versions of the desktop client. They are easy to use and have useful security features like a kill switch and automatic WiFi. However, a few desktop features are missing, like connecting on launch and setting up trusted WiFi networks.

Perimeter 81 mobile app
Perimeter 81 enables your remote teams to access company resources on the go via Android and iOS apps.

Management Console

It’s easy to tinker with the options on the client’s interface, even for the non-techies in your workforce. The management console is where you can fiddle with the intricacies of your system configuration, as well as manage your team. However, it’s not exactly a playground for newbies. 

The breadth of options you have to explore and set up means the learning curve on this end is a bit steep, even though the company offers tutorials and a video guide on its website.

There’s a stack of options to manage your team (users), control permissions, create and manage private access gateways, manage devices and monitor system activity, to name a few.

By default, employees can alter most of the preferences you set on the admin console. Thankfully, you can force them to use options that you think align with your company’s network security. 

Speed

95 % – Excellent

While security is a top priority when looking for a business VPN, it shouldn’t come at the expense of speed. Speed is of the essence, mainly if you want smooth performance regardless of where your team members are.

To test how fast Perimeter 81 VPN is, we performed a series of speed tests using the Ookla speed test tool on a 3 Mbps internet connection.

We connected via the WireGuard protocol, which is efficient and delivers optimal speed and security.  First, we measured the speed of our unprotected internet connection, then connected to five public servers in different regions. The results were impressive.

Speed Test Results

LocationPing
ms
Download
Mbps
Upload
Mbps
Unprotected213.133.01
Johannesburg, South Africa
80
2.9
2.93
Singapore, Singapore
161
2.88
2.91
London, United Kingdom
180
2.87
2.88
New York, United States
257
2.91
2.85
Sydney, Australia
258
3.05
2.91
Average
187
2.92
2.9

There’s some good news if your remote team performs tasks that require low latency, like making calls via VoIP software. Perimeter 81 doesn’t weigh down your internet connection, as it increases latency ninefold. Now, that might sound like a lot, but it’s not — we have seen solutions like BullGuard VPN increase latency more than twentyfold.

Moreover, the download and upload speeds are consistently high, so your cloud apps should work optimally. This is music to your ears if your remote workforce needs to share large files to keep operations ticking along. With excellent speeds, data should load in real time whether you’re monitoring foreign markets or conducting QA testing remotely.

Security

95 % – Excellent

Perimeter 81 VPN is specially designed for protecting your company’s networks, resources and cloud-based apps. On this front, it hits the right notes.

Whether you permit the bring-your-own-device model or require remote staff to access resources on company devices, you have the features to fine-tune and enforce an effective security policy.

Protocols and Encryption

Perimeter 81 security
You can configure Perimeter 81 security to achieve maximum data protection on all devices.

First, you can choose between “automatic” or the three VPN protocol options: OpenVPN, WireGuard and IKEv2. As we mentioned earlier, the protocols help create an impenetrable tunnel between the company’s systems and remote employees’ devices. However, the levels of security and speeds they deliver can differ. Read our VPN protocol guide to learn more.

OpenVPN is a tried-and-tested protocol that delivers top-level security and is as stable as it gets. One quibble though: when using OpenVPN with Perimeter 81, we could only connect to some of the private servers and public servers we tested.

WireGuard is also secure and fast and has an advantage over OpenVPN in that it’s lightweight; hence it offers encryption with less overhead and can establish connections pretty fast. IKEv2, on the other hand, meets privacy demands like most protocols and works seamlessly on non-mainstream operating systems like Linux and BlackBerry.

Second, Perimeter 81 VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption — the gold standard of VPN encryption. It obscures data in transit, making it undecipherable and unreadable to hackers and other malicious snoops.

In the healthcare industry, it enables you to encrypt electronic protected health information (ePHI) to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) criteria. This, coupled with the two-factor authentication, may be critical if you want to achieve HIPAA compliance.

Privacy

80 % – Good

The most reliable VPNs (privacy-wise) boast a strict zero-logging policy and a host of other privacy features. Does Perimeter 81 VPN fit that profile? 

We did a quick search over the web about Perimeter 81’s zero-logs policy, and the results were worrisome. We contacted customer support, and the agent told us that Perimeter 81 doesn’t collect or log user traffic.

While perusing through the privacy policy, we found details contrary to the agent’s claim. The “collection of information” especially drew our attention.

Jurisdiction and Logs

The section outlines the type of information Perimeter 81 may collect. Under the “service use data and logs,” we learned that the service gathers user data and logs, including:

  • Administrator actions: which includes logs of any activity the administrators perform on the management console.
  • Team member actions: which includes login timestamps, connection timestamps, the server you’re connected to, original IP addresses and device location.

The section further clarifies that Perimeter 81 logs the original IP address over private servers but not on public access gateways.

However, some of this data collection is understandable. After all, it allows a manager to track employee activity, which is a plus when it comes to business VPNs.

Luckily, the company is HIPAA-compliant, which means it’s certified as secure enough to hold sensitive medical information. Another positive thing about Perimeter 81 privacy profile is that the company is based in Tel Aviv, Israel. The country has favorable data protection laws that limit the government’s powers to spy on user data.

Streaming Performance

85 % – Very Good

Perimeter 81 VPN doesn’t plaster its streaming capabilities anywhere on its websites — most business VPNs don’t. It’s easy to understand why. Since it’s meant for business use, the streaming capability is most likely of little significance. Besides that, businesses won’t allow staff to stream videos on Netflix during office hours, so this isn’t a feature many might prioritize.

However, maybe a team member wants to unwind on a lunch break, so we decided to test it anyway and we hoped Perimeter 81 VPN could get us into popular streaming websites.

Perimeter 81 for streaming
Although it’s meant for business use, Perimeter 81 VPN supports streaming on popular sites.

Interestingly, the VPN unblocks BBC iPlayer without a hitch on the streaming-optimized and regular UK servers. The case was the same for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. With all streaming services, we were able to watch HD videos without interruption. Be sure to check out our best VPN for streaming if you want even better performance.

Server Locations

70 % – Decent
Perimeter 81 servers
Perimeter 81 allows team members to access private and public servers to accomplish tasks online.

Perimeter 81 VPN stumbles out of the gate when it comes to the public VPN server network — access is hidden behind more expensive plans. It has a total of 700 public VPN servers spread across more than 34 locations around the world, which isn’t the best even by business VPN standards.

Europe has the best coverage with servers in 21 countries; Asia-Pacific has six locations and North America has three locations. In addition, there are two server locations in South America and one in Africa. Do note that connecting to public VPN servers doesn’t unlock access to your company’s internal resources.

Most importantly, Perimeter 81 has a unique feature you don’t usually get with consumer VPNs. It makes it possible to create private servers in 30 locations worldwide, so you can lock high-risk resources down to dedicated IP addresses and hide confidential data from the public network.

Customer Support

90 % – Excellent

If you run into trouble when using the service, you have an abundance of options on the support center page. There are how-to guides, API documentation and videos tutorials to help you solve minor usability or configuration problems on your own.

Perimeter 81 support
Support is a click away to help employees solve issues that might impede productivity.

If you encounter a more complex issue, you can reach out to support via email, phone or 24/7 live chat. We tried the live chat option, and we were impressed with the quality of service we got. The agents responded in under five minutes, which is superb. They also proved to be knowledgeable and provided helpful solutions to the issues we threw at them in a snap.

To make the process even friendlier, Perimeter 81 allows you to get directly to various support options from within the Windows client. When you click “support” on the main window, you can access live chat and user guides. The third option, “diagnose issues,” allows you to run in-depth troubleshooting and automatically creates a support ticket.

The Verdict

That’s it, a detailed Perimeter 81 review. As you have already learned, the cloud VPN offers useful features to help you protect your company network. It also simplifies remote access and has excellent speeds that allow employees to enjoy smooth performance regardless of their location.

That said, there are a few things that need a revamp. We hope Perimeter 81 will rework its privacy policy and add more VPN servers to its public network.

It’s a solid business VPN option if you don’t mind shelling out a few more dollars for the Premium plans. Plus, you can take advantage of Perimeter 81 VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to get a firsthand feel for the security platform, risk-free.

Have you used Perimeter 81 VPN before to secure your network? Which business VPN do you use for network security in your organization? We would like to hear about your experience in the comment section below. As always, thank you for reading. 

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