Over the last few years, a VPN has become the first port of call for those looking to achieve optimal online security and privacy. After all, using a VPN means that internet users have the ability to mask their true IP address, bypass geo-restrictions, and enjoy many other benefits. Particularly due to the fact VPNs are legal in most countries, it’s highly likely that they will continue to grow in popularity – so long as cybercrime and geo-restrictions continue to be a problem. But, are VPNs a blessing or a curse for businesses? In the following article, we’ll answer that very question. Why a VPN is bad for businesses Inaccurate tracking of user data It can be said that VPNs could potentially cause businesses to report inaccurate data when attempting to keep track of user habits. Why? You ask. Well, it’s largely down to the fact VPNs allow for complete online anonymity, meaning that users don’t leave behind a trail as they visit websites. Whereas without a VPN, this wouldn’t be the case. In turn, this means that businesses could potentially obtain data that paints an inaccurate picture of their performance, as the true IP address of those using a VPN will be hidden. In that regard, a VPN can have a negative impact on numerous businesses around the world, at least to a certain extent. Poor internet speeds and performance While a VPN can undoubtedly enhance the online privacy and security of your business, there is a chance that it could reduce the speed of your internet connection. This is because you will no longer access a website directly, with traffic processed via your chosen VPN server instead. More often than not, this leads to longer page loading times which could effectively reduce productivity in the workplace. In spite of this, not all VPNs will slow down your connection considerably. This is why it pays to do your research beforehand so that you can choose a VPN optimized for the best speed and performance. Benefits of a VPN for businesses Optimal protection of sensitive data As the years have gone by, instances of cybercrime have increasingly taken their toll on businesses and individuals alike. As the sophistication and severity of online attacks becomes more of an issue, the need to take precautions has never been greater. This is where a VPN becomes incredibly useful, as it helps to considerably enhance online security and privacy and ensures that it will become a far more difficult task for cybercriminals to get their hands on private data. More secure remote working capabilities Whether it’s to improve productivity, lower costs, or otherwise, there’s certainly no denying that an increasing number of businesses are choosing to allow their workforce to work remotely or hire remote workers to complete tasks. This is indicated by Global Workplace Analytics data which discovered that a staggering 4.3 million US citizens work from home at least 50% of the time. However, this poses a security risk in that private data often needs to be shared outside of business premises. In many cases, remote workers may even be using an unsecure network, such as one that can be found in a coffee shop. A VPN becomes useful in that regard as it effectively eliminates the potential dangers of open WiFi networks by encrypting the connection between servers. This ensures that any third-parties cannot access any sensitive information as it is processed over a network. Bypassing geo-blocking practices In the current day and age, it’s certainly not uncommon for websites and services to implement geo-restrictions. This can often prevent a business from accessing the content they need simply because of their geographical location. Thanks to a VPN, business users will have the ability to get around geo-blocking practices and access websites and services which would otherwise only be available to users in certain countries. It does just that by ‘spoofing’ your location, which makes a website believe that you are based in a particular country, even if you are based on the other side of the world! Conclusion To conclude, it would be appropriate to suggest that it has become more difficult for businesses to accurately track their users due to the increasing number of VPN users across the globe. As VPNs continue to grow in popularity, this will only become more of a problem for businesses as the years go by. However, a VPN can also be an incredibly useful tool for businesses that are looking to take their online security and privacy to a whole new level. After all, the large number of sensitive data businesses handle nowadays needs to be protected at all costs. With that in mind, it’s clear that investing in a VPN is the perfect way to secure private information, with a wealth of security and privacy features ensuring that internet-connected devices remain protected from the growing threat of cybercrime.