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Exploring the Most Secure VPN Technologies for Small Businesses

  • 30 Jan 2024

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In today's interconnected world, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have emerged as essential tools for businesses seeking to safeguard their data and ensure secure network access. With various VPN technologies available, it can be overwhelming to determine the most secure and best type of VPN for your small business. In this article, we will delve into the world of VPN in networking, exploring the different VPN architectures and protocols that cater to the unique needs of small businesses.

This article will expound on the main types of business VPN technologies that prioritize data confidentiality and provide peace of mind for your organization's remote access needs.

The Growing Relevance of VPNs in Networking

VPNs have become essential business tools with the increasing adoption of remote and hybrid work models. According to a recent report, the global VPN market is projected to reach USD 45.89 billion by the end of this year (2022) and is expected to continue growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.7% to reach USD 91.20 billion by 2026. The rising demand underscores the importance of understanding VPNs better. In this article, we will delve into the functioning of VPNs and explore how they ensure secure connections.

At the core of VPN functionality lies tunneling technology, enabling remote users to access packets from internal networks through the internet. This encapsulation process ensures the secure traversal of packets across public networks. Encryption, another vital aspect of VPNs, renders data unreadable to unauthorized entities. Even if threat actors intercept connections, they cannot extract valuable information, ensuring data remains safe and inaccessible.

Empowering Small Businesses with VPN Technologies

For small businesses, implementing VPN technologies is paramount to enable secure remote access for their employees. A reliable business VPN allows remote workers to access internal servers, files, and printers as if they were physically present within the company network. This extends the capabilities of the private network, offering flexibility and convenience.

Exploring the Three Main Types of VPN Architectures

VPN architectures come in three main types, each serving distinct purposes:

Remote Access VPN

The remote access VPN architecture comprises external users and an internal network shielded by a VPN gateway or server. External users connect to the VPN gateway on the network, often referred to as the Site, using a VPN client installed on their devices. This client-based VPN is commonly known as a client-to-site VPN.

Remote access VPNs are particularly beneficial for businesses with remote users requiring access to the internal network from various locations. Users can easily connect to the company network when working from home, a hotel, or an airport.

Host-to-Host VPN

Like remote access VPNs, host-to-host VPNs rely on VPN clients on one end. However, instead of a dedicated VPN gateway, the other endpoint provides the VPN service, usually in the form of a server running the VPN software.

Host-to-host VPNs are an excellent choice for granting secure access to highly-sensitive servers. Only authorized users with configured VPN clients can gain entry by locking down the server and limiting access through the VPN.

Site-to-Site VPN

A site-to-site VPN, or a gateway-to-gateway VPN, establishes a connection between two separate networks. Setting up this architecture necessitates VPN gateways or servers on each network. Unlike remote access VPNs, site-to-site VPNs do not require client software installation. Once the VPN gateways are connected, users can access resources in the other network seamlessly.

Site-to-site VPNs are ideal for connecting branch offices to the main headquarters or facilitating connections between a company's network and a trading partner.

Demystifying VPN Protocols: The Most Secure Options

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) employ various protocols, which are sets of rules that devices and applications follow to communicate with each other securely.

Here are the six most commonly used VPN protocols, their advantages, and disadvantages to identify the best type of VPN for your networking needs.


OpenVPN is one of the most popular SSL VPN implementations, known for its open-source nature and strong community support. Offering two editions - OpenVPN Community and OpenVPN Access Server - OpenVPN is more affordable if your team is already familiar with its open-source infrastructure. It provides high customizability and versatility, making it suitable for site-to-site and remote access architectures.

However, going the open-source route can be expensive if your organization needs more in-house talent to set up the required infrastructure, and deploying and maintaining an OpenVPN infrastructure can be challenging.


IPSec VPN, known as Internet Protocol Security, is the most extensively utilized VPN protocol in business settings. Unlike a single protocol, IPSec comprises a suite of protocols that combine to bolster security functions, such as authentication, data integrity, and encryption. Thanks to its seamless interoperability features, this well-regarded VPN technology is especially favored for site-to-site applications. However, its complexity becomes challenging when used for remote access, and configuring it can be daunting.


SSL VPNs provide security at the transport layer of the TCP/IP model, distinguishing them from IPSec VPNs that secure the network layer. Despite being known as SSL VPNs, most deployments no longer rely on the outdated Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol due to serious vulnerabilities like weak cipher suites and POODLE exploits. Instead, they utilize the more secure successor, the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. SSL VPNs are favored for their ease of implementation in remote access scenarios, requiring only a web browser for user access. However, they may encounter interoperability issues in site-to-site architectures, making them less suitable for connecting with trading partners.


Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) was once a popular VPN protocol, predominantly used because it came bundled with Windows. However, serious vulnerabilities, including compromised authentication protocols like MCHAP and easily obtainable RC4 keys for encryption, render it unsuitable for secure production environments. While PPTP is easy to deploy and readily available, it is now considered obsolete and should be avoided in favor of more secure alternatives.


Developed by Microsoft as a response to the rising popularity of SSL VPNs, Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol VPN (SSTP VPN) is designed for remote access architecture, specifically point-to-site connections. SSTP VPN uses port 443, the same as HTTPS, making it immune to most firewall-related issues. However, its limitation lies in its inability to support site-to-site use cases, which may be a drawback for specific networking scenarios.


Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) was initially introduced as a replacement for PPTP and was integrated into leading operating systems. However, L2TP lacks security mechanisms and is typically paired with IPSec to achieve encryption and data integrity capabilities. Although L2TP and PPTP were historically utilized to achieve interoperability, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) now deems them outdated and deprecated VPN protocols. This classification stems from their substantial vulnerabilities, making them unsuitable for modern security standards.

With a comprehensive understanding of the various VPN protocols, businesses can make informed decisions regarding the most suitable VPN type for their networking requirements. Factors such as the nature of use cases, risk tolerance, administrative capabilities, and long-term security goals are crucial in selecting the most secure VPN protocol.

By aligning your networking needs with the strengths and weaknesses of each protocol, your business can build a robust and resilient VPN infrastructure, safeguarding data and communication channels against potential cyber threats. Ensure the seamless integration of VPN technologies into your networking strategy, and empower your small business with the highest data security and privacy levels.

Choosing the Most Secure VPN for Your Company

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become indispensable tools for businesses seeking secure remote access to their internal networks in the dynamic networking world. As you embark on the journey to select the most suitable VPN for your company, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with different VPN types and protocols. By following these three best practices, you can make an informed decision and ensure your VPN infrastructure's optimal security and efficiency.

Identify Your Specific Needs

The first step in selecting the right VPN is identifying your company's requirements and intended use cases. Consider how you plan to utilize the VPN - to provide secure network access for remote workers or establish a secure connection between a branch office and your HQ network. Understanding your specific needs will significantly narrow down the array of VPN options available.

For instance, a site-to-site VPN architecture would be ideal to interconnect two separate networks. In this scenario, VPN protocols like IPSec and OpenVPN emerge as top choices due to their excellent interoperability features. On the other hand, if you focus on facilitating remote access for off-site employees, a remote access VPN should be your priority.

Evaluate Your Risk

When transmitting data over public networks, security becomes a paramount concern. The last thing you want is to compromise sensitive information due to an obsolete VPN protocol. Therefore, it is crucial to assess your risk appetite and prioritize the security of your VPN infrastructure.

For instance, if you provide remote access to highly-sensitive servers, it is imperative to avoid VPN protocols like PPTP and L2TP, which are known to have serious vulnerabilities. Instead, opt for more secure protocols like IPSec or OpenVPN to ensure the highest level of data protection.

Consider Your Administrative Capabilities

Deploying and managing a VPN infrastructure can be a complex task that requires technical expertise. Assessing your company's administrative capabilities is essential, and determining whether you have the in-house talent to handle a highly intricate VPN setup.

For instance, if your IT team is comfortable with open-source solutions and possesses the necessary expertise, OpenVPN would be a viable choice. On the other hand, if you lack the resources to manage a sophisticated infrastructure, opt for more straightforward options like SSL VPN or SSTP VPN, which come with built-in support and are more practical.

Once thoroughly evaluate these key criteria, you can delve into less critical factors such as cost, interoperability, technical support, and ease of use. Combining all these considerations will lead you to the most suitable VPN solution tailored to your company's unique requirements.

Wrapping Up

VPNs are pivotal in safeguarding your company's data and communication channels. Understanding the various VPN architectures and protocols empowers you to make an educated decision and establish a robust and resilient VPN infrastructure.

Remember to prioritize security, assess your administrative capabilities, and align the VPN type with your needs. Following these best practices, you can confidently select the most secure VPN, ensuring seamless and protected remote access for your business operations.

So, take the plunge into the world of VPN technologies, explore the diverse VPN architectures and protocols, and equip your small business with the utmost data security and privacy. Your journey to an optimized and secure VPN infrastructure starts now.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does a VPN service entail?

A VPN service is an infrastructure managed by a third-party provider offering secure virtual private network solutions. While some VPN services come free of charge, more advanced and capable options typically require a monthly or annual fee. Opting for a VPN service can be advantageous for businesses looking to avoid the upfront costs associated with owning and maintaining a VPN infrastructure.

What is a No-Log VPN and its purpose?

A No-Log VPN is a virtual private network that refrains from storing traffic logs. This approach is adopted to enhance user privacy and security. Certain countries, such as Switzerland, have laws that restrict servers from storing log traffic, making No-Log VPNs an excellent choice for businesses aiming to comply with such regulations.

WARP vs. VPN: Which offers superior online security?

WARP, a service provided by Cloudflare, is a cloud-based solution that focuses on web performance and security. While WARP, like a VPN, safeguards user privacy, it falls short compared to a full-fledged VPN in terms of security. WARP prioritizes speed over privacy. You can refer to our detailed article for a more comprehensive comparison between WARP and VPN.

How does using a VPN benefit remote workers?

Utilizing a VPN ensures a secure connection when working remotely, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. VPNs offer remote workers protected access to critical files, applications, and resources within their corporate network. For a more comprehensive understanding of the topic, we have an article dedicated to remote workers and the advantages of using a VPN.