Demystifying VPN: Exploring the Differences between Personal and Business VPNs

Demystifying VPN Exploring the Differences between Personal and Business VPNs

The surge in cybercrime is an ongoing trend predicted to continue in 2021, with global losses surpassing $1 trillion—an alarming increase of 50% since 2018. Consequently, the adoption of VPNs has reached an all-time high, and the industry is projected to reach a market value of $75.59 billion by 2027.

VPNs serve two purposes: business and personal use. A business VPN is primarily used as a corporate tool, whereas a personal VPN is commonly associated with leisure-related activities.

VPN, or virtual private network, establishes a secure connection between a user’s device and a server, whether on the internet or a company’s network, by creating an encrypted connection.

The main distinction between these two types of VPNs lies not in the technology they employ but in their intended usage. To understand which VPN is right, let’s explore the use cases for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) VPNs.

Differences between Personal VPNs and Business VPNs

While serving the same fundamental purpose of providing secure and private internet connections, consumer and business VPNs have some notable differences. It’s important to note that the specific features and offerings of VPN services may vary among providers, so reviewing the VPN offerings is recommended to find the best fit for your needs.

Here are the key distinctions between personal VPNs and business VPNs.

 Business VPNPersonal VPN
Target AudienceOrganizations with multiple usersIndividual users
ScalabilityBuilt with scalability for securing all endpoints in an organization’s networkTypically designed for one user and one device, sometimes usable on multiple devices
Use CaseIt provides protection to the company’s network, allows secure remote connections for employees, and encrypts all trafficUsed for personal purposes such as creating a VPN tunnel, hiding IP addresses, and changing geo-location
ManagementCentrally managed from a console by an administrator, with the ability to create, edit, and audit user accountsThe user has complete control over the VPN account and settings
IP and Server SharingDedicated IPs and servers for better security (depending on the provider)Shared IPs and servers, unless using a premium service
Subscription OptionsCustomized plans and features to meet business needsSingle subscription model with limited options

How does a VPN work?

A VPN operates by establishing a secure and encrypted connection between two points. Prior to setting up the VPN connection, the endpoints involved in the connection establish a shared encryption key. This can be achieved by providing a user with a password or using a key-sharing algorithm.

Once the encryption key is shared, it encrypts all data transmitted over the VPN link. For example, when a client machine sends data, it is encrypted and forwarded to the other endpoint of the VPN. The data is decrypted at that endpoint and directed to its intended destination. Similarly, when the destination server responds, the entire process is reversed.

Types of VPNs

VPNs can be utilized in various contexts, providing private and encrypted connections between different points:

  1. Site-to-Site VPN: This type of VPN establishes a secure connection between two geographically separate sites. Most security gateways, including next-generation firewalls (NGFW), include built-in VPN functionality. Traffic from one site passes through the gateway, which encrypts the data destined for the gateway at the other site. Upon reaching the other gateway, the data is decrypted and forwarded to its destination.
  2. Remote Access VPN: A remote access VPN securely connects remote users to a corporate network. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations utilized remote-access VPNs to facilitate secure connections for remote workers accessing critical business operations at the corporate site.
  3. VPN as a Service: VPN as a cloud VPN is hosted in a cloud-based infrastructure. It allows client packets to enter the internet from the cloud infrastructure rather than the client’s local address. This model is commonly used in consumer VPNs, enabling users to protect their connections while accessing the internet via insecure public Wi-Fi and providing anonymity.

Benefits of a VPN

VPNs offer several advantages for users and organizations, including:

  1. Secure Connectivity: The encrypted connection provided by a VPN ensures that third parties cannot eavesdrop on the connection without knowledge of the secret encryption keys. It adds an additional layer of security to protect data during transit.
  2. Simplified Distributed Networks: With site-to-site VPNs, networks can use private IP addresses for internal traffic, even from public internet access. This allows for the simulation of a direct connection between the networks, streamlining communication and eliminating the need for public IP addresses.
  3. Access Control: VPNs enable remote users or sites to access internal resources within an organization’s network. Since the VPN endpoint resides inside the network firewall, authorized remote users can securely access specific resources without making them publicly accessible.

By providing secure connectivity, simplifying distributed networks, and enabling access control, VPNs offer valuable benefits to individuals and organizations seeking enhanced privacy and security for their network communications.

Wrapping Up

While cyberattacks threaten individuals and businesses alike, small businesses are particularly vulnerable. 46% of cyber breaches target organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees. Astonishingly, in 2021, 61% of SMBs in the United States fell victim to a cyberattack.

As an individual responsible for ensuring secure remote networking within your organization, it is crucial to understand the appropriate type of VPN to choose in order to safeguard your data and protect your employees.

Get in touch with us to learn more about a corporate VPN solution.

About author

Carl Herman is an editor at DataFileHost enjoys writing about the latest Tech trends around the globe.