A businesswoman working in modern open office works on a laptop with coworkers nearby.
A virtual private network, or VPN, establishes a private connection between your devices and the VPN server so that any information sent via an internet connection remains private. — Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt

A VPN — a virtual private network — is a must-have tool in your digital security arsenal. VPNs create a private connection between your devices and the VPN server to ensure that any data transmitted over your internet connection remains private. VPNs are essential if any members of your team work remotely, connect to the company network via public Wi-Fi, or use a personal device to access company data.

There are many VPN software providers that can help keep your valuable company information safe from hackers and malware. It’s worth noting that business VPNs differ slightly from those used for personal browsing. Unless you’re a sole proprietor, a business VPN is likely your best option; these plans can be used by multiple employees.

Here are a few affordable options that provide VPN software to small businesses.

NordLayer

NordLayer’s business VPN is designed to work with businesses of all sizes and integrates with your existing tools and applications. It allows for single sign-on, an easy, secure login method that encourages your team to keep using their VPN regularly. NordLayer connects to VPN servers in 30+ countries.

“NordLayer checks all the boxes, allowing work-from-home individuals to connect to the corporate on-site network over an encrypted tunnel, as well as providing site-to-site and dedicated IP options,” wrote ZDNet. Pricing starts at $7 per month.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has historically come highly recommended by IT security experts; however, the company suffered some reputation damage in the last year after a controversial acquisition and new leadership. Nevertheless, the product offers best-in-class encryption, servers in 94 countries, and 24/7 customer support. ExpressVPN does not have a specific business product, but it offers volume discounts for companies purchasing its software for multiple employees. Pricing starts at $8.32 per month.

[Read more: 7 Tools That Will Help You Work From Home]

Unless you're a sole proprietor, a business VPN is likely your best option; these plans can be used by multiple employees.

Mullvad VPN

If privacy is your chief concern, Mullvad VPN might be the best option for you. PCMag notes that Mullad VPN is “fanatically dedicated” to keeping its customer data private. In practice, this dedication to privacy means the software company does not keep activity logs, provides a random number instead of a login or username, and encourages anonymous payments via cash or cryptocurrency.

This aspect can make it difficult to manage from a business perspective; you will have to get each individual employee their own Mullvad subscription. “Mullvad cannot be used for accessing corporate resources and does not offer dedicated servers,” noted PCMag. But if you work in a highly regulated industry, the privacy of Mullvad may be right for you. Pricing starts at 5 euros ($5.61) per month.

[Read more: 5 Must-Have Technologies for a Brand New Business]

Perimeter 81

Despite the fact that Perimeter 81 bills its product as a “VPN alternative,” it provides the same functionality as a traditional VPN (and then some). The main difference between a traditional VPN and Perimeter 81’s software is that it’s cloud-based and uses multiple protocols, including IPSec and WireGuard. In addition to VPN software, Perimeter 81 also provides malware protection and network segmentation. Note that Perimeter 81 requires a minimum of 10 users for each subscription; sole proprietors won’t be able to sign up for this option. Pricing starts at $8 per user per month.

Surfshark

Surfshark is one of the top-rated VPN providers by PCMag, TechRadar, and CNet. Surfshark has VPN server connections in 100+ countries and is compatible with all the major operating systems and apps for multiple devices. It also includes an ad blocker to help your team mitigate the risk of social engineering and phishing attempts.

While it doesn’t offer a unique business VPN, Surfshark does allow teams to connect to the VPN using unlimited devices. It’s a solid, affordable VPN software option for small businesses looking to secure their data. Pricing starts at $2.30 per month.

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