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MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: How to Determine Which VPN is Best

Tip of the Week: How to Determine Which VPN is Best

Many computer users are afraid for their privacy--and judging by the discussions surrounding the FCC and Net Neutrality, they should be. Now that users are responsible for the privacy of their online activity, they are finding new ways to make sure that corporations aren’t taking advantage of their Internet activity--namely through the use of a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.

VPNs are nothing new for businesses. Organizations have so many moving parts that it can be overwhelming--especially in this age of mobile devices and remote access software. A VPN works by using a powerful encryption protocol that keeps data both sent to and by a device secure while it’s in transit. This keeps any onlookers from spying any sensitive information that’s sent through it. More than anything, though, it keeps data privacy the way it should be--without the Internet companies’ special interests in mind. Plus, since a VPN uses a different computer’s IP address rather than yours, you’ll have even more privacy.

You still need to carefully vet your potential VPNs, though--especially for business purposes. Here are some features to consider when looking for the best VPN for your needs.

Reputation
A third-party VPN could potentially be funneling all of your data through their servers, which is why it’s so important that you know who you’re trusting with this responsibility. You don’t want your VPN to go through a company that shares your personal information with the NSA or advertising organizations. A VPN provider should pride themselves on security and privacy, so look for those that have solid reputations in both. Online reviews are quite helpful in this regard.

Logging Policy
Your Internet service provider logs your activity and tracks communications with your network. Naturally, you’d expect something a little different from a VPN provider. You’ll want one that sticks to a strict zero-logging policy that keeps your activity as private as possible.

Jurisdiction
Where is your VPN company located? Unfortunately, depending on the location, they may not have your privacy as a priority. This isn’t necessarily their fault--in fact, due to legislation, they can’t. You want to avoid companies that have to abide by the laws put into place by Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes countries--those found in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Encryption Standards
Most VPNs you find will use OpenVPN protocol, but will offer increased security features at the expense of bandwidth and speed. You can choose between SSH or SSL tunneling, depending on the needs of your organization. Just remember that you deserve the best privacy settings for your business’ important data.

A consumer-grade VPN will only suffice for your personal browsing needs, but it won’t be enough to keep your business safe. To learn more about a business-grade VPN, reach out to us at (757) 420-5150.

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

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