VPNs: What Do They Do, and What Don’t They Do?
I don't have the time or the patience to discuss every detail of VPN's in this article, but I can definitely fill you in on what you need to know.
Quick answer: You need one.
They create privacy when transmitting data Every time you connect to send data through the internet (ie visiting Google or sending an email) you are transmitting data over the public Internet. It is like driving a car; you are using public roads. A VPN “tints the windows,” so as you data travels along "public highways", a hacker/snooper can not see what the data consists of. That data is encrypted by the VPN. This is especially important if you connect to things like Hotel Guest Wifi Networks or Starbucks Wifi networks.
It hides your location – A VPN routes traffic in a different way and some services can help you fool the destination about your location. For example, I connect to a US VPN when I am in Costa Rica so that I can still watch "The Americans". That title isn't available in Costa Rica. I think because the US government fears it will give Costa Rican's ideas about spy on America for Costa Rica. But I could be wrong.
Control your employees and protect you data (just like the SEC tells you to do). If a VPN is required to connect an employee to your server then the CCO can also cut him off from network access immediately in the event that employee gets canned. Unauthorized connections from former employees can easily be controlled with the click of a mouse.
Now, Im sure that all sounds great. But let's talk about the shit that a VPN can't do and set the record straight.
It will not prevent you from being hacked. For instance, if you are using Office365 and your password is "Password" then I am getting in. No VPN is going to prevent that. Hell, I might even get in if you use a complicated password like "Pa55word". A VPN won't fix stupid.
It will not prevent you from being phished.
It will not improve speed or network performance. In fact, you will probably notice a slight bottleneck. For me, the security benefits far out-weight this problem.
It won't protect you from insider threats. Your stupid employees are still going to act stupid...even with a VPN. When you give someone VPN access to the network, you are giving them the keys to the caste. Make sure you trust them.
I hope that helps. In the past I have used PIAVpn, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN. I have had success with all three of those. Currently I use ProtonVPN which has been my favorite. And full disclosure, no-body paid me to say that shit. I am just sharing my experience.
I hope that helps.