VPN 'Kill Switch' and other Top Features Every VPN Users Should Know About
Looking for a viable way to protect your sensitive business data transfers on the internet from unauthorized monitoring? Virtual Private Network or VPN encrypts connection over the internet between a device to a network, ensures safe transmission of sensitive data. In competitive corporate environments, VPN has effectively solved the threat to security in conducting work remotely, blocking all ways of eavesdropping on the traffic.
Why Add a VPN to Your Corporate Network?
Adding a VPN to your corporate setup will extend its network by the means of ciphered connections on the Internet.
From the entrepreneurial point of view, it’s a big win-win scenario, as the scope of your search for remote workers can greatly expand. Multiply your team size by easily adding freelancers to the team and cut down on work-space costs, security threats to of unauthorized data transfers notwithstanding. VPN allows smartphones and tablets to connect in the corporate network too!
Rest assured VPN technology puts a device through stringent screening before allowing remote connection. What is known as the ‘posture’ of each device-- subject to elaborate checks before allowing the connection basically contains specifications for authenticating the user of the network?
Two Categories of VPNs
If you are looking to accommodate your remote employees and traveling personnel on the company network, Remote Access VPN is probably the smartest choice. Secure connections could be used over distances by plugging indirectly to the network’s servers. An organization ideally requiring a remote-access VPN is a firm with a large sales team in the field.
You would need to understand two components for this type of VPNs-- a Network Access Server and the other is client software. The NAS pronounced informally as “nazz” works as a kind of media gateway for professionals. NAS demands the users to provide the credentials required to immediately sign in to the VPN enabled network. Primarily, NAS employs its unique authentication process to scan the user’s credentials. Sometimes separate authentication servers are also being run on the network, thus enabling a double check.
Client software --the second component of Remote Access VPN authorizes employees to use the network from their devices through pre-installed software. Most OS-es today come with a built-in configuration for accommodating remote-access VPN connections, unless the VPN in question requires a specific application. The software enables tunneled linking to a NAS. With the software, the connection’s encryption is also managed, thus ensuring full security. Businesses often outsource remote-access VPN requirements through an Enterprise Service Provider (ESP). However, in organizations that have their own IT team, remote-access VPNs are purchased, installed, and maintained for comprehensive use.
It is advisable to install remote-access VPNs for the ease of individual employees but might fall short of accommodating expansive branch offices. The second type of VPN is better suited for this set-up.
Designed to fit the business model of an organization connected over several branches, the site-to-site VPN accommodates network access from multiple locations. Secure connections are held across distances, allowing professionals to transfer data round the clock. Ideally, this VPN is perfect for a corporation in the growing stage, having scores of branch offices at different locations.
Interestingly, you can use this VPN in two configurations- the intranet-based and the extranet-based. Let’s find out what these are--
- Intranet Site-to-site VPN- Intranet allows companies with multiple remote location employees on the loop can accommodate everybody joining in on a private network by creating an intranet VPN. In this type of network, each separate LAN could be connected to a single WAN.
- Extranet Site-to-site VPN- This configuration is best for companies involved in the partnership with other companies and in need of exchanging data every day. It could also be a company serving as your supplier or customer. The requirement for steady transfers between parties through a secure network is fulfilled by building an extranet VPN enabling them to work in a shared environment. At the same time, access to the individual intranets of these parties is strictly prevented.
Top VPN Features you need for Ensuring Secure Transfers and Smooth Business Functionality:
Wide Compatibility Across Devices and Platforms-
Cross-platform compatibility is the first feature you should be looking for when implementing a VPN for the workspace. Whether you are adapting to the Virtual Private Network system for the ease of your employees working remotely or focusing on entrepreneurial priorities to stay connected with partnering companies, multiple device compatibility is much needed.
Taking into account, in the modern age, every professional owns around three different connected devices to stay on top of a competent working environment, you must ensure that your VPN connectivity works across a range of OS-es and devices.
From the perspective of safeguarding your transfer of data too, it is practical of no use to cloak yours or your employee’s digital footprint from one device only. When purchasing from your VPN provider, make sure of the following clauses-
- The VPN being run on mobile devices allows a safe and encrypted linkage with public Wi-Fi networks. Check that this applies to connection on unsecured Wi-Fi networks as well. Your remote employees might need to work from a cafe somewhere far away, allow that provision!
- Make sure the VPN can be configured on your router. This feature will allow connected devices in the workspace or your house to avail of the VPN security when accessing the web. Thus, working on sensitive subjects like online banking from the phone is given an extra layer of security.
- Depending on the nature of your business, you may need a VPN to run on media streamer websites such as Hulu or HBO Go. It may be essential to your team on board with VPN to have access to geo-restricted content. Make sure unblocked content is available on a variety of devices.
Simple Interface and Easy Startup Option-
Many businesses and individual enterprises looking for VPN do not have a tech-support team to help out with the configuration and installation procedures. This may be extremely problematic for implementing VPNs with complex user interfaces.
What you require to reduce installation issues is a super-simple user manual and customer-service support by your VPN provider. Providing one-click startup options is now common among the most competitive providers of VPN. Easy interfaces don’t mean advanced options like kill-switch or DNS leak protection would not be available in these VPN configurations.
VPN Kill Switch-
VPN connectivity has sure made way for safer and more supported environments for business use and personal needs for data security. However, the provision of fully-encrypted private internet connection with the promise of anonymity has turned into a weak link in case of malfunctions. To strengthen security against these odds, modern VPNs are equipped with ‘kill switches’.
A VPN kill switch is inarguably one of the most essential features you need on your Virtual Private Network strengthened work environment. It can save you from direct susceptibility when your VPN malfunctions and the safeguard of anonymity breaks. It is important to always remember that no service on the internet is can be foolproof.
There are several risks of malfunctions that are outside the control of the user. These include traffic being sent over a slackened connection, and more often-- a sudden disconnection without prior warning. When such disruptions take pace, the VPN retraces to its default internet settings, meaning revocation of anonymity and security from eavesdropping monitors. Unencrypted default settings throw open your data to a world of potential risks, and as it commonly happens, the user is often not aware of the lapse! It is a stressful potential problem that needs to be addressed and secured before you buy your VPN system. Providers are therefore taken an initiative to install a built-in cautionary self-destruction option right into the software. This is the ‘kill switch’.
The main features of kill-switch enabled VPN are-
- Constant monitoring of the health of your VPN connection will be provided.
- The checks run silently in the background, with no pop-ups or upgrade requests.
- The kill-switch is not to be brought separately; it is in-built and added based on the client application.
- Detection of a problem triggers the switch and temporarily the entire flow of traffic from your device is halted or killed. This also means, your downloads will stop midway.
- After the disabling of your internet, functions will stay off until the VPN is restarted. The time needed could be a few seconds, or you may need to start the reconnection process manually.
- An easier way to restore your internet connection is by switching off your VPN app, however, keep in mind, you are no longer protected upon turning it off!
The kill-switch auto-abort feature might be annoying for users in many instances, but it’s a necessary tool in the light of security issues. Conceive of highly sensitive data transfers as relevant in the field of journalism. In such cases, even for a minute, you cannot afford your activities on the go unprotected. The auto-abort procedure simply ensures you are never monitored or stolen from!