Are you looking for a way to keep your online connections secure and protect your data while working remotely?
Well, you’ve landed in the right place.
I’ll discuss the best VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) for remote workers.
Whether you’re working from home or on the go, a VPN with excellent features can help keep you protected from cyber threats so you can focus on getting your work done.
Grab your drink, and dive in to find the perfect VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPN is an abbreviation for “virtual private network.”
It’s a service that lets people connect to websites safely and confidentially.
It makes sense to be concerned about information security nowadays, especially if you’re a remote worker.
Accessing sensitive company data from off-site locations is a must now that telecommuting is the norm.
With a VPN, you can stop worrying about data breaches and other cybercrimes from any location.
It will encrypt your data whenever you can access public WiFi in hotels, airports, and coffee shops.
How Long Have VPNs Been Around?
VPNs sprung from the point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP), the old way of implementing private networks.
It was a Microsoft employee who started developing VPN tech back in 1996.
Some companies caught on because VPNs allow workers to access their network securely as if sitting in the office.
Eventually, the average internet user started using VPNs to protect their online privacy.
Some wanted to bypass internet censorship.
These days, you probably hear of people using it to access blocked content in their region.
How Does a VPN Work?
Here’s a neat way to think about VPNs.
Let’s say you want to write a letter to a friend.
Of course, you don’t want anyone else to see it before your friend does.
So, you use a sealed envelope that only your friend should be able to open.
The folks at the post office won’t be able to tamper with it, then.
You’ll also have to put a stamp on the letter.
That’s how a VPN works.
It conceals the data that you send from your computer.
This includes URLs you visit.
It transfers the data through a protected “tunnel” that no unauthorized parties can access.
You and whatever website you visit communicate via a private channel.
Now, let’s hop into the best VPNs for remote workers.
The Best VPNs for Digital Nomads
NordVPN is an industry LEADER.
It has been reliable for many years, and its extensive server network remains stable and fast.
It presently has OVER 5,500 servers running in 60 different countries.
It bypasses firewalls in China and other places where VPNs are banned.
The number of security features offered by NordVPN is exceptional.
Some features include powerful encryption, complete forward secrecy, a kill switch in all apps (except Android), leak protection, and automated WiFi security.
You can leverage its many obfuscated servers to dodge web filtering methods like deep packet inspection.
With NordVPN, there is a strict policy of ZERO log retention.
There will be no record of your activities.
A SINGLE NordVPN account can be used on up to six devices simultaneously.
You’ll probably also be able to hook up your home router too!
ExpressVPN is a speedy option if you need a VPN for remote work.
You can trust that it will keep your data safe while working efficiently.
ExpressVPN offers split tunneling, a router applet, and the usual yet effective kill switch.
The latter simplifies the process of installing a VPN on a router.
According to an audit conducted by an outside party, ExpressVPN doesn’t take logs.
There is ZERO monitoring of DNS lookups or other browsing data.
You can choose not to use your information for service enhancements if you want to go further.
ExpressVPN ensures a smooth experience, maintaining an average speed of 77% of your original connection.
Thanks to its sizeable sever fleet, with roughly 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries.
You can connect up to five devices under one account, making it an economical choice.
If you’re on a tight budget, Surfshark is your safest bet.
It has quickly established itself as a significant player in the market thanks to its lightning-fast speeds, superior streaming features, and robust security.
It’s got over 3,200 servers in over 60 countries.
It also unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video without a hitch.
The current features in its security suite are as follows:
- 256-bit encryption
- Flawless forward secrecy
- Automated WiFi protection
- Split tunneling
- Kill switch in all apps
- Leak protection
No information about our users is ever stored in a log on Surfshark.
A NEW feature automatically allows you to change your IP address at predetermined intervals.
You’ll also have access to real-time chat support as a customer.
Surfshark may be directly configured on some home routers, and there are apps for Windows, macOS X, iOS, and Android.
Another BIG benefit is that there is NO limit to how many devices can be hooked up simultaneously!
CyberGhost’s certified no-logs policy and extensive server fleet make it worthwhile to consider as a remote worker.
Connecting to CyberGhost immediately encrypts all of your data using military-grade AES technology.
Additional security features include dedicated servers and protection from unwanted content.
It also comes with a kill switch.
If you manually control which apps to connect to the VPN, you also have a split tunneling option.
CyberGhost’s privacy practices ENSURE that none of your data will be recorded on your IP address.
Don’t worry; their policy has been subjected to third-party auditing, so it’s airtight.
Its WireGuard system allows it to maintain an average of 84% of the speed of the original connection.
How does it manage to do this, you ask?
Well, CyberGhost boasts over 9,700 servers in 91 different locations!
Best of all, the service is affordable while allowing up to SEVEN connected devices.
IPVanish is another excellent VPN service for telecommuters and home-based workers.
This VPN is ideal in many situations because of its high speeds and consistency of service.
IPVanish’s extensive network spans over 60 countries and 2,000 servers.
It might also be worth noting that the Chinese government has blocked access.
IPVanish has always prided itself on providing a confidential experience.
It PROTECTS your privacy using 256-bit AES encryption, flawless forward secrecy, leak protection, and a kill switch in the desktop programs.
Due to its firm no-logs policy, you won’t have to worry about your activities.
It has dedicated Windows, Max Os, iOS, and Android apps.
It’s also compatible with certain home routers.
You can link an UNLIMITED number of devices under one plan.
The service also provides round-the-clock live chat support if you encounter any issues.
If you value privacy, you’ll love ProtonVPN.
The company made a lot of noise with its outstanding product called ProtonMail.
Since it is based in Switzerland, you can rest assured that your data is safe and private with Proton.
Its VPN is compatible with multiple systems and has a handy config files generator.
That makes it IDEAL for use with DD-WRT routers.
The desktop app is impressive.
It strikes a balance between simplicity and flexibility required by power users.
With it, you can have streaming and torrenting-optimized profiles, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
Its Secure Core for added security tunnels your VPN connection through an additional fleet in Switzerland and Iceland.
You can use P2P here; Tor-optimized VPN servers are available for your streaming pleasure.
Although Netflix is a NO-GO.
Proton has a FREE version if you want to explore how it works.
Windscribe works well in a business setting and is also surprisingly affordable.
It’s EASY to use and comes with tools for overseeing staff.
That’s why managers love operating a brand office from AFAR.
A good example is the AutoPilot add-on, which uses your current location to determine the best server.
If you want to hide your digital footprint, you can use an extension like Split Personality, which randomly changes your user agent.
The app is compatible with multiple platforms, including iOS, Windows, macOS X, and Linux.
Additional BENEFITS include support for infinite concurrent connections, split tunneling, a kill switch, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
As you can see, Windscribe’s paid version adds excellent value to a company.
As of now, Windscribe supports 63 different countries.
Atlas VPN is another AFFORDABLE VPN service that meets the needs of remote workers thanks to its high level of security.
There is also a free, bare-bones version available.
Atlas VPN includes the innovative SafeSwap function.
This tool enhances online anonymity by randomly assigning a NEW IP address to your device.
The last thing you want is prying eyes snooping into your personal or professional files.
Also included are helpful EXTRAS like a kill switch, security against DNS and IPv6 leaks, and 256-bit encryption.
If you’re concerned about your PRIVACY, you can rest assured that Atlas VPN has a strict no-logs policy.
Since it does not collect your data, it CANNOT reveal your online activities to third parties.
Like many other speedy VPN services, Atlas VPN uses the WireGuard protocol.
Because of this, it can keep up to 80% of its original connection speed even after being idle for some time.
Plus, it has over 750 servers in 38 locations.
Although those figures aren’t as impressive as the others on this list, they can provide highly HIGH speeds.
This is why you can watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max with complete peace of mind while connected.
And the best part is that you can connect as many devices as you like.
Do you want a robust VPN that won’t let you down?
Then check out Hotspot Shield.
A single account can connect up to 25 devices to the VPN service.
It works with a WIDE range of platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Chrome.
Though its logging policy leaves room for improvement, Hotspot Shield’s streaming capabilities and huge server network are commendable.
It also comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee and round-the-clock customer service.
The LACK of a third-party audit of the system’s infrastructure and the limited availability of WireGuard are TWO insignificant drawbacks.
If you can do without these, Hotspot Shield is worth considering.
With over 20 server locations, Freegdome is a speedy and trustworthy VPN service.
It DOESN’T track user behavior and has limitless bandwidth.
It works with ALL major platforms, so it won’t be a problem if you work on different types of devices.
Freedome is one of the most REASONABLY priced VPN options available right now.
And it has MOST of the functions that the AVERAGE digital nomad needs.
Freedome’s strength lies in its simplicity.
It features a straightforward interface and can be used on its default settings with no problem.
It even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 5-day free trial.
As implied by its name, VPN UNLIMITED offers a LIFETIME plan.
This is an investment if you foresee using a VPN as long as you’re online.
This is a top-tier VPN service that HELPS bypass censorship, safeguard your personal information, and AVOIDS slowdowns from your Internet service provider.
Plus, there is no logging, and you can get assistance around the clock.
It also works with ALL major operating systems.
CactusVPN is one of the MOST viable options available today if protecting your online privacy is one of your priorities.
They only use 20 servers across nine locations, making them a cost-effective and efficient choice for many.
The service can access regionally restricted content by masking the user’s location.
It may not have the bells and whistles the other services on this list have.
Still, it’s a neat solution to spoof into your home base.
With ZERO-LOGGING, military-grade encryption, and SmartDNS, they provide unbreakable protection.
Nothing to worry about here.
Why You Need a VPN as a Remote Worker
Now that your options are laid out, it’s time to explore why you need a VPN.
Some think it’s not a necessity.
But if the average internet user benefits from a VPN, that’s all the more reason why you would need protection as a remote worker.
Let’s get into the details.
It keeps you safe whenever you need to go on public WiFi.
If you can work remotely, you can set up an office wherever you choose.
Every once in a while, you probably need to get out of the house for your sanity.
Maybe you like frequenting your local cafes, or you want to travel a lot.
The MOST economical way to stay connected to the internet is to use public WiFi hotspots.
That sounds cool, but how safe is it to use these?
At this point, it’s common knowledge that hackers SPECIFICALLY target folks using public WiFi to get their info for malicious purposes.
If you’re a remote worker, these people could even gain access to your company’s network.
This will almost certainly happen at some point if you’re using an unprotected connection to your company’s servers.
That’s why a VPN will be your BEST friend if you’re on public WiFi often.
With one, you’ll be vulnerable to various threats, including evil twin attacks, hackers, and exploits.
Don’t RISK having your entire online identity stolen when you can connect safely with a VPN service.
It increases productivity.
Sometimes, you might want to get a headstart on specific projects.
You’d have to wait to get to the office in the old days.
Cybercrime threats need not compromise your freedom to choose when and where you perform your tasks.
So, if you’re the type to thrive outside a busy office setting, a VPN is a MUST.
Employers require it.
Many businesses and organizations had to reassess the advantages of remote labor after COVID-19.
Many companies refused to hire remote workers pre-pandemic because of the associated risks.
In the day, companies opted to keep their personnel under a single roof.
This is for accountability, information security, and centralized management.
But because of the lockdowns, working from home became commonplace and essential.
Lots of things can go wrong when you work from home.
It allows hackers to access data they shouldn’t have access to.
That’s why it’s so important for remote workers to have a RELIABLE VPN to protect them from threats like these.
Your data will be ENCRYPTED by the VPN server, making it UNAVAILABLE to any potential hackers.
If they manage to intercept it, they cannot decipher its contents.
If you’re currently working for a company, they likely have a dedicated VPN for their employees.
If they don’t, it would still be prudent to sign up for a secure VPN service and continue working.
It’s not ideal, but you would be liable for hacking.
It would also protect your personal information, which criminals are not above stealing.
It would give you peace of mind as you work.
If your job takes you away from the office, a VPN can let you stay connected to your work computer.
In this way, you won’t have to worry about jeopardizing your organization’s safety in any way, shape, or form.
You’ll minimize stress, knowing that there is a FIREWALL between your device and anyone wanting to take advantage of your data.
Paying for a VPN is Cheaper Than Commuting
Using a VPN to work from home saves time and money compared to daily commuting costs.
Rarely do you find a VPN service that doesn’t have affordable subscription fees for any budget.
Some even offer a BASIC version of their services for FREE.
Considering the cost of gas and parking, commuting by VPN is more cost-effective than working from home.
And as you minimize expenses, you can also spare the mental bandwidth you spend on these logistics.
Your company’s IT department may even hook you up with a VPN so that you can access the office remotely.
It’s Especially Useful for Digital Nomads
If you travel for work or don’t like being tied down to one location, a VPN will significantly benefit you.
Overseas Online Banking
Some banks don’t allow access from server locations other than your home region.
VPNs EFFECTIVELY address this issue.
You can connect to a server within your country even while overseas.
ANY problems you may have with online banking should be resolved.
It will even SAFEGUARD your bank information when you’re trying to access it publicly.
Did you know that airfare costs depend on where you live?
A FEW airlines use regionally specific websites to inflate pricing for passengers artificially.
How do you bypass this?
With a VPN, try switching to:
- The airline’s home country
- The country you’re heading to
- Some developing country
It’ll take some fiddling, but you can save money playing with your VPN.
How Do You Use a VPN for Remote Working?
VPNs can seem confusing if you’ve never used one before.
But don’t worry!
Setting one up is as simple as it can get.
You’ll find the primary method OUTLINED in this section.
- Choose the BEST provider that fits your requirements. Make sure it has a subscription plan that works for your budget.
- DOWNLOAD its native app on your device. If you work on a desktop device, it will be on the service’s website. If you work on your phone, you’ll find it on its dedicated app store.
- LAUNCH the app and log in using your username and password.
- You’ll have the option to choose the location of the server you want to connect to. You’ll want to go for a server that’s geographically close to you for faster speeds. You can also choose one based on some location-specific content you want to unlock.
You’re all set!
You can now safely access websites, download files, and watch videos online.
REMEMBER that if you encounter any problems, you can contact a support agent or consult the troubleshooting guides on your provider’s website.
Is a free VPN enough for remote working?
Some of the VPN services I included above have FREE versions.
While these are tempting to you, I generally advise against them.
Free VPNs will likely present issues, and you might end up with a headache you could have avoided.
These businesses use their free versions as a business strategy.
You end up being the product since you don’t have to pay anything.
You’ll probably see a TON of intrusive adverts.
The provider may even track your online activities to build a user profile to sell to other parties later.
You’ll probably also miss essential features like leak protection and kill switches.
A free VPN’s encryption standards won’t measure up to a paid one.
Even worse, some might even contain MALWARE, which you did not sign up for.
Free VPNs have very low data limits, severely restricting what you can do with them daily.
For example, video calls might suddenly drop, or page load times might be slow.
This won’t do in a work-from-home situation.
Spending a few dollars monthly on a respected VPN provider will benefit you in the long run.
It can safely say that it’s worth it.
Are all VPNs essentially the same?
Well, they’re technically all supposed to do the same thing.
However, some VPN providers offer extras as incentives.
The market is competitive right now since everyone must be safe online.
As for VPNs for businesses and individuals, there are some differences there.
Consumer VPNs can be helpful for people needing extra protection for everyday needs like public WiFi.
On the other hand, enterprise VPNs offer much more, including scalability for remote personnel.
What does encryption mean?
Encrypting data is similar to using a secret code to ensure that only the intended recipients may decipher it.
You’re essentially converting data to only register on its intended gateway.
With a VPN, your data will be scrambled and unusable even if someone hacks into your system.
A VPN is an absolute necessity for those who work remotely in today’s world.
With the right VPN, sensitive data transmitted over the internet can be safeguarded for you and your employer.
Using public WiFi networks becomes risk-free as hackers cannot access your data.
You can conceal your online footprint by MASKING your traffic and IP address.
Now that you know the best providers out there, it’s just a matter of picking the right one that matches your needs perfectly.
Stay safe out there!