What is a business VPN?

Benefits of VPN for Business, use cases explained


Virtual private networks (VPNs) have existed almost as long as the modern Internet. VPN technology was created in 1996 at Microsoft by an employee who developed the peer-to-peer tunneling protocol (PPTP) to establish a more private and secure connection between a computer and the Internet.

The purpose of a VPN is to establish an encrypted tunnel between a device or endpoint (like a laptop, mobile phone, or desktop) and one or more Internet-facing servers. For a business, a VPN ensures that a user can connect to a company's internal private network and securely connect to the public Internet.

What is a business VPN?

  • When we hear the term VPN, many automatically think about a commercial VPN used for personal or home use. While there are many similarities between commercial (or personal) VPNs and a business VPN, it is crucial to understand the difference.


    While both types of VPN create an encrypted connection between a private and remote network and offer an additional layer of privacy, the reasons for using one are not the same.


    Typically, the most common use case for a business VPN is to allow employees to securely connect to their company’s internal network. A business VPN also provides a secure connection to facilitate transferring sensitive business information over the Internet.

  • A personal or commercial VPN, on the other hand, connects the user to a remote server (or group servers) to interact with the Internet on the user’s behalf. The main reasons people use commercial VPNs are to hide their geographic location and access restricted content, protect their privacy at home, or bolster their security while using public Wi-Fi.


    Generally speaking, a dedicated VPN allows organizations to manage various employee access levels, restrict access to data or resources, and protect data while traveling over the public Internet.


    Especially in today’s hybrid workplace, businesses are deploying VPN to give remote and work-from-home employees access to internal applications and data. Organizations also use a business VPN to extend their network by creating a secure tunnel between multiple office locations.


    Overall, the purpose of a VPN is preventing data from being snooped upon, stolen, or manipulated by bad actors.

What is a Virtual Private Network?

New technologies emerge everyday. Each transformation more complex than the last.


High-level benefits of VPN for business

  • Protecting your sensitive data is the primary reason for using a business VPN. It’s also the main benefit. But the benefits of a business VPN go beyond protecting data.


    Here are a few benefits and use cases that you should be aware of.


    Safety when using public networks

    With a business VPN, employees can safely connect to your private networks from a coffee shop, airports, hotels and more. Anyone traveling or working remotely in a public setting can first connect to the VPN to secure the traffic traveling across the public network, thwarting attackers from snooping on the data.



    Business VPNs offer pricing options to suit all organizational types and sizes. Even small businesses with limited IT budgets can afford to implement a business VPN solution. Best of all, VPNs don’t require any physical infrastructure. Even if you choose to host the VPN server yourself, maintenance and setup is typically simple. For medium-sized businesses with more substantial budgets, a managed VPN service is an affordable option.

  • No geographic restrictions

    For any business that requires travel to foreign countries with national Internet restrictions, access to some websites and even certain corporate resources may be blocked. With a secure VPN employees can access the Internet as if they were connecting from their home country.

    While this benefit may not apply for some small organizations, it can be crucial for employees who travel.


    Increased security

    The extra layer of security and safety from a VPN can make a tremendous difference to your business, especially as more workers connect remotely, and more resources are moved to the cloud.


When a Business VPN may need more consideration

  • Despite all the benefits mentioned above, there are certainly caveats and potential considerations for businesses that wish to leverage a VPN solution.


    Most prominent is the age-old scenario of VPN lag or latency. Unless it's running fast and efficiently, a slow VPN will create a bad employee experience. Some business VPNs may offer speeds up to 100Gbps, but this may not be a common option. When the VPN is slow (and some solutions are prone to this), employees are more likely to “hop off” the VPN in order to be more productive. Finding the right balance between productivity and security is essential.

Here are several other scenarios you should know about

  • Common security risks: If a hacker manages to compromise an employee’s VPN credentials, they could gain access to whatever data the employee has rights to. Stealing login credentials or credential stuffing can apply to every access type, but it’s important to note that VPN credentials are not immune.


    When your workforce is more reliant on mobile devices than laptops: VPNs are designed with the assumption that when a user initiates the VPN sequence, the connection is expected to last as long as the user is “live” on the network. However, mobile changes the game. Whenever a mobile device goes to sleep or changes networks, the VPN connection can be interrupted. Once the VPN is disconnected, the user must reconnect. Considering how often we interact with our smartphones each day, the number of potential reconnections is countless. Moreover, many mobile apps are not built with VPN in mind.

A business VPN solution

Build a highly secure and scalable Virtual Private Network (VPN) that will grow with your business.


How to choose the right VPN

  • First and foremost, unless your business is a one-person operation, you should avoid personal or commercial VPNs for business use.


    When evaluating Business VPN solutions, be sure the solution you choose checks these boxes:


    It’s scalable. If your business is growing, you need to ensure the business VPN can keep up with the new additions (or any access removal). Plus, as you grow, you’ll need more VPN connections which may bring about bandwidth and latency issues that must be addressed. Managing access should also be simple.


    It has a simple dashboard that provides visibility. Any security or cybersecurity solution, including VPN, should boast a well-designed and easy-to-use dashboard for managing access privileges and accounts.


    It’s secure. Yes, we’ve said this before. But your business VPN provider should include robust encryption, authentication, two-factor or multi-factor authentication, leak prevention and modern open-source VPN protocols.


    It offers excellent support. Especially if your business lacks the technical resources, you need a provider that excels in customer support and has the expertise to back up their solution.

Protect and grow

Protect and grow your business with Business VPN Solutions

  • If you’re a small-to-medium business or enterprise wanting to better support your workforce, customers, and locations, we can help. Our professionals can demystify the technology for you and get you up and running with emerging technology and other solutions for your business. To learn more, visit VPN solutions for business or contact your local AT&T Business sales representative.


    Related Resources


    Boost your network security with a virtual private network (VPN)


    How a virtual private network (VPN) protects you from criminals


    (Further reading: Deploy SD-WAN Services with the right hardware, top tools, and best management)

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