Back in the old days, businesses used to buy specialised hardware and pay for software licences so that employees could securely connect to the company network remotely. These days, however, many smaller businesses have turned to the cloud to store their data and even run their apps, such as Slack, Office 365 and G Suite.

This means there’s little need to invest in an on-site data centre and the associated firewalls and VPN routers. Instead, it makes a lot of sense to use a modern VPN service which sells just the software part of the equation and manages its own network of servers in the cloud.

Indeed, with flexible working becoming the norm and workers able to do their jobs remotely (whether from home or while travelling) it’s a very good idea for them to use a VPN on their laptop and phone. And that’s all the more relevant given that many of those devices are personal and aren’t managed by the business.

Plus, a VPN offers protection for all internet activity, including when connected to open – unencrypted – public Wi-Fi.

Just as with consumer VPNs, business VPN services are very easy to use and offer security when connecting to cloud resources as well as privacy and protection for company information contained in documents or in instant chat messages.

Technically, a business VPN service is really the same as a consumer version except that the focus is on supporting the business. That means better customer service (even dedicated account managers), centralised billing, a way for IT staff to manage employee accounts and potentially view logs, set filters to stop them using certain websites and even apps.

While businesses don’t need to unblock Netflix, a VPN’s ability to get around blocked content can still be useful. Accessing Google services from China, for example, is impossible without a VPN.

Here, you’ll find a selection of the best VPN services suited to small businesses.

1. Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81

  • 700+ servers in 35 locations
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Web-management console
  • Single sign-in

Perimeter 81 is our top pick for a business VPN. It ticks all the boxes, not just from a user’s perspective, but also the IT administrator's.

There’s a choice of sign-in providers, including Google and Microsoft, and support for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.

Perimeter 81 also offers huge flexibility in how the VPN is configured. You can opt for instances on your premises or in the cloud. Admins can audit VPN traffic and view activity logs via the single-click web-based console.

There’s a sizeable network of servers in many countries – not the largest selection, but certainly enough for most businesses – and a choice of encryption protocols (though users need not worry about any configuration).

Perimeter 81 has two plans, both which come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The plan that’s relevant here is the Business plan which is $8 per month per user, with a minimum of five users. This offers servers in 35 locations.

If you need more, such as VIP customer service and custom configurations, there’s the Enterprise plan which is custom-built to suit your business.

2. VyprVPN for Business

VyprVPN for Business

  • Dedicated server & IP addresses
  • 100% owned & operated servers
  • Dedicated account managers
  • Free trial

VyprVPN is well known for its consumer VPN, but it also offers two tiers for business users. The first is simply VyprVPN for Business, starting from $299 per year, and includes a dedicated account manager, servers around the globe (which it owns and manages) plus easy user management for your IT staff.

It could be a good choice if you have travelling or remote workers in particularly restrictive countries. This is thanks to its proprietary Chameleon protocol which is designed to disguise VPN traffic to avoid blocking.

There’s 24/7 support, too.

The second option is VyprVPN for Business Cloud. This is more expensive at $349 per year but comes with your own dedicated server and IP address, as well as seamless access to your existing apps such as Salesforce.

Each account allows up to 10 concurrent connections, and you can add more if you need them (and the same goes for dedicated servers).

3. PureVPN for Business

PureVPN for Business

  • Dedicated server available
  • Dedicated IP addresses

Boasting over 2000 servers in 140 countries, PureVPN offers more choice than some rivals. It also has three pricing tiers. It starts with the VPN for Teams package which costs $8.45 per month per user, with a minimum of five users.

It offers an admin panel, apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux and there’s a generous 31-day money-back guarantee.

Next up is the Dedicated IP VPN for Teams which works out at $9.99 per user (which is $49.95 per month for five users). It gives you five dedicated IP addresses and for their locations you can choose between UK, US, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, Malta and Singapore.

If you need a dedicated server, that comes in the Dedicated VPN Server for Teams tier that starts from $399 per month.

As you’d expect, there’s 24/7 support via live chat if you run into any problems.

4. NordVPN Teams

NordVPN Teams

  • Dedicated servers and IP addresses
  • Dedicated account manager
  • 24/7 support
  • Double encryption

NordVPN is huge in the world of consumer VPNs but also offers a business package called Teams. It mostly uses Nord’s vast network of over 5000 servers in 60 countries, but it’s possible to have dedicated servers if you need them. That costs more, of course, but it means each user will have the same IP address each time they connect which can help when authorising users on a corporate network or for any site or service that requires an IP address in a specific range.

Help is available 24/7 via live chat, and you get a dedicated account manager. Your IT staff can easily manage teams, permissions and more using the Control Panel. For example they can set default servers so users will be auto-connected to a particular location when they launch the NordVPN Teams app, or when they turn on their device.

Apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows and macOS and they’re simple to use with a unified login.

One of the highlights is Double VPN, the option to double up on encryption by routing the connection through two servers.

Pricing for this service is bespoke, so get in touch with NordVPN to find out more.

5. Hotspot Shield Business

Hotspot Shield Business

  • Up to 20 team members
  • Dedicated servers available
  • Good-value pricing

Like some of its rivals here, Hotspot Shield started out as a consumer VPN service and is best known for its free offers. The Business version is relatively new and is much the same as Hotspot Shield Premium, even using the same app.

But when you sign up for the Business package you get various extras such as a web-based management console where IT staff can add and manage users, the option of a dedicated server, 24/7 live chat support and priority email support.

There aren’t a whole lot of locations to choose between – just 24 – but speeds are fast and unless you’re based somewhere obscure, there should be a server nearby for a low-latency connection.

One account can support up to 20 users, so it’s designed for small businesses.

Hotspot Shield runs a zero-logs policy, which is useful as it’s based in the US rather that outside of the 14-Eyes.

Prices are certainly affordable, and if you pay in advance for a year’s subscription it works out at $19.99 per month, or just $1 per device per month.