Top VPNs for Startups
Best VPN Service Overall
Private Internet Access
Norton Secure VPN
A VPN software can add a significant layer of online privacy to any business activities you conduct. By encrypting your data and transferring it to a server privately held by the VPN company, these services hide your activities from your internet service provider (ISP) and any other prying eyes. Advertisers and others with questionable motives will have a lot harder time tracking your business activities with a VPN.
In this review, we’ll look at 10 different popular services to help you find the best VPNs for your small business needs. We compare key features, including security levels, price, interface, ease of use, and more. By the end of this review, you should have a clearer picture of what VPN service is right for your company.
The following VPN providers are the best we have found for startups. Read on to learn more.
Best VPN Services:
Best VPN Software: Surfshark
Surfshark offers the best VPN services because of its user-friendly interface and variety of helpful features
1. Surfshark: Best VPN Service
There are few brands as well-known in the VPN industry as Surfshark, and for a good reason. The reliable and trusted company has done a good job providing features you don't get with a lot of other companies.
The split tunneling tool gives you the option to pick and choose which websites you want full protection on with your SurfShark VPN. You can also carry your protection over to unlimited devices across your entire network.
These features come at a cost, though, as the tool is one of the most expensive in the industry. Startups who deal with sensitive data or just want to ensure their company has full protection will appreciate the extra security as it’s one of the best VPN services for startups.
Surfshark costs $12.95/month, but if you're looking for some significant savings, you can opt for the yearly price packages. One year of Surfshark paid upfront will cost you $59.76 or $3.99/month, and you can also choose to pay for two years of Surfshark upfront, which comes out to $2.49/month.
- Split tunneling tool
- Kill Switch
- Easy to use interface
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Expensive pricing
Get started with Surfshark today.
2. NordVPN: Best for Additional Features
When most business VPN services are looking to focus on one or two features, NordVPN takes a different approach by providing an abundance of features that make it a great VPN for startups. This includes NordVPN's CyberSec feature, which actively blocks ads, malware, and phishing attempts.
In addition to its CyberSec feature, NordVPN also offers obfuscated servers and a strict “no logs” policy. You can connect up to six devices simultaneously with NordVPN making it a great VPN provider for small businesses.
NordVPN offers three different pricing plans that can be paid monthly, in an annual payment, or a biannual payment. The one-month plan is $11.99, the annual plan is a one-time payment of $59.88, and the biannual plan is a one-time payment of $78.96.
- Split tunneling
- Tor connections
- Utilizes WireGuard technology
- Includes a multitude of features
- Numerous VPN server locations
- High price
Get started with NordVPN today.
3. Perimeter 81: Best for Scaling
If your startup is growing fast and you realize the need for more online protection, Perimeter 81 is a great option. The service is designed for businesses of all sizes and features a simple-to-use interface.
Perimeter 81 is one of the first-ever Business VPNs to streamline SASE because of its unified security stack and ease of use. You'll be able to move resources to the cloud and manage team member access from anywhere in the world.
Perimeter 81 doesn't just offer calling opportunities, but it's very easy to set up and use for companies that haven't used a VPN connection or set one up before.
You can save 20% on Perimeter 81’s VPN service by selecting an annual plan; the Essentials plan costs $8/mo per user and requires a minimum of 10 users. The Premium plan costs $12/mo per user with a minimum of 10 users. The Premium Plus plan costs $16/mo per user with a minimum of 20 users. See more information about each package.
- Firewall as a service
- Device posture check
- Web filtering
- Easy to scale
- User-friendly interface
- Dedicated servers
- Not as many VPN server locations as some competitors
- Advanced features limited to their more expensive plans
Get started with Perimeter 81 today.
4. ExpressVPN: Best for Server Options
What makes ExpressVPN special compared to other VPN providers is its far reach of servers to utilize. Whether you want to appear logged in from your own country or others around the world, you can find what you're looking for with ExpressVPN.
The steep price for ExpressVPN knocks it down a couple of places on this list because it doesn't have the number of features other VPN companies have that charge a similar price.
ExpressVPN still limits the number of devices you can simultaneously log on from, but they seem to be moving away from this model as other brands are more competitive.
ExpressVPN has three different pricing options you can choose from. You can pay for one month at $12.95/month, six months for about $9.99/month, and 12 months for about $8.32/month.
- Connect five devices simultaneously
- Split tunneling
- Large number of VPN servers
- Great customer support
- No multi-hop connections
- Expensive for features offered
5. OpenVPN: Best for Full Customization
OpenVPN takes on a different approach to security by offering an open-source platform that can be edited and improved by anyone. This makes it a great VPN company for startups who want to have more control over their security.
OpenVPN also offers a variety of features such as military-grade encryption, support for numerous devices, and a strict “no logs” policy. You can connect up to five devices simultaneously with OpenVPN, so small teams should have no issues getting logged in and set up.
Because OpenVPN is an open-source platform, it is free to use for up to two servers. Prices will vary depending on how many extra server connections you need.
- Open-source VPN
- Safe protocols
- Very powerful and flexible
- Can install on a variety of operating systems
- Need significant technical knowledge for advanced features
6. CyberGhost: Best for Large Teams
Startups that are gaining momentum and have a few employees added to the roster will enjoy CyberGhost's seven simultaneous device connections. CyberGhost also has one of the largest server fleets of any VPN company.
For the hefty price tag, you would assume it has just as many features as other companies, but it falls short in that category. To make up for it, CyberGhost offers more tools than security protection you can take advantage of.
There are several options available for payment depending on if you want to pay in advance to save or by the month. One-month payments are $12.99, one-year payments are $51.48, two-year payments are $78, and three years and three-month payments are $89.31.
- Secure NoSpy servers
- Malware and ad blocking
- Split tunneling
- Huge server fleet available
- Includes helpful add-ons like antivirus
- Great speed test
- No third-party audit concluded
- Lack of features for price
7. StrongVPN: Best for Simultaneous Connections
StrongVPN is best for startups who really need multiple connections, as it offers an impressive 12 simultaneous connections. You'll also get options for connections to servers in underutilized regions. The interface isn't nearly as modern and easy to use as other brands, so it might take some getting used to.
With over 650 servers in more than 20 countries, StrongVPN is one of the largest providers on the market. In addition to its large server selection, StrongVPN also offers great features like additional privacy and security tools that could come in handy for a startup looking for everything in one place.
StrongVPN makes it easy to choose your pricing plan by offering two options at signup, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. The monthly plan is $10.99/month, while the annual plan is set at a lower price of $43.99 for the first year and $79.99 after that.
- 12 simultaneous devices
- Underutilized server regions
- Large number of servers other companies don't offer
- Can connect with up to 12 devices simultaneously
- Additional security and privacy tools offered
- Outdated interface
8. Private Internet Access: Best for Ease of Use
Private Internet Access is best for small businesses that want an easy-to-use interface. The dashboard displays everything you need to know clearly and makes it accessible. You don’t have to be a tech wizard to have control over your VPN.
Another major plus for Private Internet Access is its longevity. This is one of the oldest surviving VPN services out there, which means it has withstood the test of time. If you care about working with a well-established company, this option will appeal to you.
You get up to 10 simultaneous connections with Private Internet Access, which is more than competitive compared to most other services.
Like most providers, Private Internet Access gives a significant discount for longer-term agreements. A year of service is $39.95, while a month-to-month plan is $11.95 per month. The best deal is for three years of service for only $79.
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Split tunneling and multi-hop
- One of the most well-established services
- Third-party audits to ensure transparency
- Strong speed test scores
- More expensive than some competitors
- Price has gone up significantly in recent years
9. Norton Secure VPN: Best for Existing Norton Users
Norton has been a mainstay in the antivirus field for years and is well-known among just about anyone who has owned a PC in the past few decades. It has recently entered the VPN market with Norton Secure VPN. This service, developed by Norton, is easy to use but not without its flaws.
Norton Secure VPN has a slick interface that gives you simple tools to control your VPN. Unfortunately, it is lacking some important features that users expect. For instance, you can’t select servers in specific cities, only by country. All the best VPNs let you select cities for more control and transparency. Independent testing by reviewers at CNET also showed security vulnerabilities in this VPN.
Considering that you can get more for less from other providers, Norton Secure VPN is not something we would recommend unless you want to stick with the Norton brand.
Norton’s pricing is based on the number of devices you want to use. One device is regularly $49.99 per year, discounted to $29.99 per year currently. Five devices are normally $79.99 per year, discounted to $39.99 per year. 10 devices – the maximum available – is normally $99.99 per year, discounted to $59.99 per year.
- User-friendly platform
- Ad-tracking blocker
- Ease of use
- Familiar, longstanding brand for computer security
- Security vulnerabilities
- Can’t select city-specific servers, only country
10. Hotspot Shield: Best for Bundled Services
Hotspot Shield is a mixed bag when compared to some of our other favorite VPN services for business. One of the things we like about it is all the included security services. A paid subscription includes Robo Shield ad blocker, 1Password password manager, and Identity Guard theft protection.
Hotspot Shield also offers a free service tier, so you can get a VPN for free. However, it’s heavily throttled – making it very slow – and hits you with targeted ads which begs the question of how secure the free tier really is.
There are some issues with Hotspot Shield worth mentioning. Many VPN services have third parties conduct security audits of their services to demonstrate transparency and a commitment to customer security. Hotspot Shield does not do this. We also think it’s problematic to offer a “free VPN” that’s monetized with targeted ads. If they are targeting you with ads, how anonymous is your activity?
You can get a free VPN from Hotspot, but it’s not one we would recommend due to its 500 MB per day limit and ads. The Premium tier costs $12.99 per month and gives you access to all of Hotspot’s security features, five simultaneous connections, and no data limit. The highest tier, Premium Family, costs $19.99 per month and gives you 25 simultaneous connections and up to five member accounts.
- Free option
- Numerous server locations
- Multiple security services included
- Free VPN (low bandwidth and ad-supported)
- Servers in 80 countries
- Includes password manager, identity theft protection, and an ad blocker
- Free version is slow and has ads
- Gathers a lot of data (anonymous)
Our review methodology for VPN services covered the key factors that matter most when considering a software. Using these criteria, we determined what services were the best for our readers.
We evaluated the best VPNs based on the following criteria:
Ease of Use
VPNs are created using complex technologies, but so are many of the tech tools we use today. A user-friendly solution simplifies the process of connecting and securing network traffic, allowing employees to focus on their tasks rather than grappling with complex configurations.
The most important features of a VPN service include encryption,no-logs policies, simultaneous device connections, speed, number of servers and server locations, third-party security audits to verify the quality of services, and more. We looked for all the features that were most vital for a VPN and rated offerings accordingly.
VPNs have all gone up in price over recent years, but some more than others. It’s still possible to get a great solution for very little money, which is why we were particularly critical of services that cost more than they should.
When you have a problem with your software, you should be able to get help in a timely manner. The best services include high-quality customer support that is thorough and accessible.
What to Look for in VPN Services
We want to be sure that you get the best provider for your needs. To help with that, we recommend you look for the following in VPN service providers:
Security is usually the most important consideration when choosing a VPN provider. If you didn’t care about security, you wouldn’t bother with one. Some of the most important security considerations include a no-log policy (not keeping records of what you do online), IP hiding, and refusal to cooperate with inquiries from outside parties.
The best VPN providers all take basic security measures like the ones above. If they don’t, they are not worth your money and could actually pose a risk to your security.
Security is very important, but it also needs to be fast enough to use regularly. Some VPNs are much faster than others, so this is a factor that can really set a provider apart.
Some VPN services are way too slow to use. Take Hotspot Shield’s free VPN service. It’s free, but it also crawls along so slowly it’s not practical to use for most people. If it takes minutes to load a webpage, you are going to quickly get tired of using the VPN and go back to regular internet use.
We always recommend trying a VPN provider out for a short period of time before committing to a year contract. You might not like it, or it might not work for your needs. Ideally, the software should offer a money-back guarantee so it’s easy to get a refund if you aren’t happy.
Fortunately, most VPN providers offer a money-back guarantee. Some are a full 30 or 45 days, while others are just a week or two. Be sure to check the length of your guarantee when you sign up so you know when you have to make your decision.
Most providers offer a set number of simultaneous connections. The number they offer is the number of connections you can have to the VPN at the same time. For example, you might want to use the VPN for your laptop and your mobile device.
Some VPN providers offer unlimited simultaneous connections, which is a feature that could be quite handy for some small businesses. Before you choose a provider, make a quick tally of all the connections you will possibly need at the same time. Generally, it’s better to look for a provider that offers more than you need now so your business can scale with the provider.
Encryption is one of the cornerstones of the security a VPN offers. If the encryption is not strong, it’s easy for hackers to break and expose your traffic as a result.
The industry-standard encryption is currently 256-bit, which is what you should expect from your provider. Some providers only use 128-bit encryption, but there is no reason to settle for that when you can easily find 256-bit encryption from multiple providers.
Dedicated IP Address
A dedicated IP address means you are the only user of an IP address. This is important for accessibility and security. It’s also required for some services, so it’s worth demanding from your provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for “virtual private network.” A VPN encrypts your data and sends it through a protected tunnel, so it’s very hard to spy on. It also hides your IP address and protects your data while you are using mobile hotspots.
Why do startups need a VPN service?
VPN services allow a startup to connect to a remote network securely and privately. This is important because it can help keep your business data and communications safe from hackers and prying eyes. In addition, it can help you access blocked content and websites while traveling or working in other countries.
How does a VPN work?
The way a VPN works is by creating a secure connection between your device and the VPN server. This encrypted tunnel keeps your data and activities safe and private. When you connect to a VPN, you will be given a new IP address that masks your real IP address.
How do I choose the right VPN provider for my startup?
The right VPN provider for your startup is one that offers everything you need for your business. Security, speed, simultaneous connections, encryption level, and a dedicated IP address are all important features.
Do I need a dedicated IP address?
You should demand a dedicated IP address from your VPN. A dedicated IP address ensures access for your business and makes it easier to secure your data.
What is the best free VPN service?
Free VPN providers rarely offer high-quality services, certainly not to the standard that you would find from a respected paid service. OpenVPN does offer free VPN services for up to two connections, but we recommend paying for a service for optimal features and security.
Can a remote worker use a VPN?
It's possible for a remote worker to use a VPN, but it depends on the type of service and configuration. In most cases, a remote worker will need to install and configure the VPN software on their device before they can start using it.
How do I use a VPN to access streaming services?
To use a VPN to access streaming services, start by logging into your streaming service. Then, open your VPN and connect to a server. Open the streaming site in your internet browser and start streaming the show of your choice.
What is a VPN server?
A VPN server is a combination of physical hardware and VPN software. It’s essentially a regular server running VPN protocols and set up to facilitate the security of those using the VPN service. Some VPN servers are in physical locations, while others are created virtually.
What is a VPN protocol?
A VPN protocol is a set of rules or procedures that dictate how a user’s data is routed between devices and VPN servers. Some providers use their own proprietary protocols, while others use OpenVPN protocol which is open-source.