infoTECH Feature

March 17, 2020

The Most Important Features of a VPN for Those Working Remotely

Even before the coronavirus outbreak,having avirtual public network (VPN)had beenimportantfor anyone using the Internet, for reasons detailed in this VPN guide. But with the virus now forcing people to work remotely at an unprecedented rate, VPNs have becomean essential tool. However, with so many VPNs to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which VPN is right for you.

In this article, we will describe the most important features in a VPN for those who work remotely.

Many Nearby Server Locations
Speed (or the lack of it) is one of the chief concerns when using a VPNto do your work. Selecting a VPN thathas many server locations near you is one of the best ways to assure optimal network speed, as a server near you will typically offer better performance than one that is far away.You also want to make sure that the VPN offers a sufficient number of these nearby servers, because if a server becomes overloaded with traffic, this, too, can significantly affect network speed.

Finally, you should manually select a server close to you instead of having the service automatically find one for you.

Support for All Your Devices (Including Mobile Ones)
The days of people using only Windows PCs in their work are long gone. Today, many use Macs in their jobs as well as Linux devices. They also use mobile devices, too. So, it is important that the VPN you choose supportsthe wide range of devices that you use now as well as those that you might use in the near future.

You should further check to see how easy it is to install the VPN on your devices.

Router Support
One of the more interesting options for those using VPNswhile working remotelyis router support. With this feature, instead of installing a VPN on each of the myriad of devices that you use, you install it only on your router. Afterward, every device that you connect to your network will automaticaly use the VPN.

Keep in mind that the VPN must not only support routers in general but your specific model of router. You should also understand that installing the VPN on your router will likely be a little more difficult than installing it on a device. But remember that you only have to do this once.

OpenVPN Support
Most VPNs offer a variety of user-selectable protocols for securing your data, such as SSTP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP. But at a minimum you want to make sure that it supports OpenVPN and that this is set as the default. This protocol uses 256-bit encryption keys and high-end ciphers to protect you against a variety of attacks.It also supports perfect forward secrecy, which makes it difficult for hackers to decode your data. What’s more, OpenVPN runs on just about every platform available and adds no cost to you.

Split Tunneling Support
Split tunneling lets you specify which apps and/or websites use the VPN and which use normal Internet connections. This is animportant feature because using a VPN can slow you down, and you can often correct this by using the VPN only for critical activities in which security is paramount, such as sending data to and from your company’s website,while avoiding using it when performingless critical activities,such as streaming video.

You should further make sure that your VPN not only supports split tunneling, but that it also supports this at both an app and website level. This means that you can turn on and off the feature for programs and forthe sites that you access within these programs.

Selecting a VPN is more than just finding the cheapest service. It is about finding the service that includes the features that will make you as productive as possible.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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