Business or Personal VPN: what’s the difference?

By Egle Rivera
Mar 2, 2021
6 min read
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Cyber-crime is on the rise and expected to continue as we move through 2021. Global losses now total over $1 trillion — an increase of 50% since 2018. It’s no wonder then that VPN usage has also spiraled to an all-time high, with the industry market value projected to hit $75.59 billion by 2027

You may have heard that there are different types of VPNs but not sure which is the right one for you. Basically, VPNs are used for two main purposes – business and personal. A business VPN is a corporate tool, whereas a personal, or home VPN focuses on leisure-related uses. The purpose of a VPN, or virtual private network, is to securely connect a user to the Internet or a company’s network by creating an encrypted connection between their device and a server. 

The main difference between the two types of VPNs is not the technology but the desired use. Let’s have a look at the use cases for business (B2B) and personal (B2C) VPNs to help make sense of which one is right for you. 

Business VPN: when do you need it?

Business VPN enables employees working remotely to securely access a company’s resources. It also allows organization leaders to control user access to certain information and even monitor their service activities from a centralized panel. 

Let’s have a closer look at some of the corporate VPN solutions and their benefits to businesses:

  • Enable remote access 

Nobody expected remote work to become a new norm almost overnight. The possibility to work from homes, cafes, co-working spaces, and hotel rooms in various destinations has allowed us to have more freedom and flexibility. For many of us, remote work proved to be pleasurable and productive. But it brought along new challenges, including increased risks of cyber-attacks. For example, your employee, working from a cafe, may expose your company’s data to bad actors simply by connecting to a corporate network via public Wi-fi. 

Business VPN enables remote access by creating an encrypted data tunnel between a remote worker’s device and the company’s network, leaving no chance for a hacker to decipher the data — even if they are lucky enough to steal it. That way, remote workers can securely access their company’s intranet, emails, applications, and other resources from anywhere in the world.

  • Avoid data breaches 

Data breaches can be devastating to both small and large companies. They not only result in financial losses but may seriously damage a company’s reputation and even put it out of business completely. 44% of customers would stop buying from a company that fell victim to a cybercrime. Last year, data breaches cost companies an average of 3.86 million dollars, 40% of it due to lost business.

You can protect your company by using a strong password management tool and setting permissions that allow users to access certain data and apps, rather than the entire network.  A business VPN enables you to manage employee’s devices centrally. If you are looking for specific functionalities, NordVPN Teams can provide you with custom solutions. 

  • Manage member access 

Some business VPNs provide the possibility to buy dedicated servers with static IP addresses assigned solely for your use. NordVPN Teams does this to ensure flexibility, security, and access control. It allows an organization’s admins to create various teams and gateways as well as assign specific servers to specific users. Allow-listing IP addresses helps filter unauthorized access and segment network access. This means that certain teams can only access certain resources that they need to do their job specifically. 

  • Access home content from anywhere 

Some regions have internet restrictions and can cut you off from accessing tools and services needed for work. Fortunately, a VPN has the power to unblock the content regardless of your location.

So, next time you go abroad on a business trip, use a business VPN to bypass geographical restrictions. By connecting to a VPN server closer to your home country, you can make it appear as if you are in an unrestricted area and regain access to all needed documents, databases, and services.  

Advanced secure remote access solutions 

Some providers, such as NordVPN Teams, offer much more than just secure access to a company’s internal network. Our advanced secure remote access solutions include secure internet browsing, DNS filtering, malware protection, access to private networks/apps, and more. As an alternative to traditional VPN, we provide a cloud-based VPN that doesn’t require infrastructure on a user’s end and can be deployed in just a matter of minutes. 

Personal VPN: when do you need it? 

A personal, or consumer VPN is a service designed for securing your own devices and online activity outside of work. One in four internet users have utilized a VPN at least once. Common reasons to use a personal VPN are mostly to protect data online, enjoy more privacy, and access global content. Here’s a detailed rundown of the main reasons to have your own VPN service for personal use:

  • Safely connect to public Wi-fi 

Every café, airport, and shopping mall offers public Wi-fi but connecting to it might be risky. That’s because cyber-criminals may be peeping at your internet traffic intending to empty your bank accounts, steal your login details, or even identity. 

When you enable VPN on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet, your internet traffic is encrypted, making it inaccessible to criminals or anyone else. The encryption provided by VPN helps secure your online activities, from sending emails to checking your account balance and shopping.   

  • Unlock content  

Some content is only available in specific regions. For example, you may realize that your favorite social media, gaming platform, or news site is not available in the country you’ve traveled to. To avoid such disappointments, you can click on a VPN server close to your home and enjoy the content as if you’ve never left. That’s because the sites you want to access will see the IP address of the server you’re connected to, and not your real one.

And who doesn’t love a good deal? As an extra bonus, a VPN can help you save money on things like plane tickets, hotel rooms, and car rentals. Often, the prices increase because the website knows you have checked their product before. Next time you’re buying something online, try connecting to various server locations to find the best deal. 

  • Browse privately 

Every time you go online, your internet service provider (ISP) ensures you have an internet connection. As all your web traffic goes through their servers, the ISP can see everything you do online, and share this information with advertisers, corporations, and governments. A secure VPN prevents your ISP from tracking your online moves so you can browse the internet privately.

NordVPN Teams vs NordVPN 

To highlight the key differences between the two types of VPNs, let’s compare NordVPN Teams (business) and NordVPN (personal).

As you can see, you need a personal VPN to protect your data online, have more privacy, and access global content. But using a personal VPN won’t cover the complex needs of an organization and won’t provide you with benefits such as scalable user license management, Single Sign-On, and centralized billing.

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