Imagine you’re a high-profile executive in a large company. You use your company’s VPN to connect to the corporate VPN, which then lets you access all your company’s confidential data. You log in, and everything looks normal – until someone realizes there’s been a massive data breach. Suddenly, everything seems to turn against you.
Unauthorized Connection Detection Alarms
Chances are you won’t be the only person accessing the corporate network from China. Your employees might be based there, or have families there, or just visit the country frequently for business reasons. Any of these individuals could potentially access your company’s data, whether intentionally or unintentionally. And when they do, they’ll probably try to hide their activities by connecting to your company’s VPN. If they use a free third-party VPN like Express VPN, they could set off alarm bells due to the fact that these services frequently log user activity and share their data with third parties.
Worse still, if you use a free, third-party VPN and they detect an unauthorized connection to your company’s VPN, they’ll issue you a warning. At this point, you’ll have to deal with the possible security breach, either by resetting the VPN for everyone (which isn’t very corporate) or by closing down the unauthorized connection (which, again, isn’t a very viable option).
Less Support and More Blocking
Your best option is to pay for a dedicated IP address with a VPN company that doesn’t log user activity. However, even with these additional costs, you’ll likely still encounter problems. The primary reason being, as stated by FreeVPNComparison, almost all free VPNs are inherently insecure and don’t offer the best encryption standards. What this means is that none of your data will be as secure as when you’re using a VPN company’s paid service, especially if someone gets hold of a free copy of the VPN software. In these situations, the best option is to block the user from accessing the VPN, or limit their access to only certain IP addresses.
Finally, bear in mind that a VPN can be a cost-effective solution in certain situations. If you’re already paying for wireless services, or you’re paying for a dedicated line to connect to the Internet, setting up a VPN isn’t a bad option. You can also ask your Internet service provider (ISP) whether they offer any VPN services, as some do and can be used for free.
In most cases, though, using a VPN isn’t a cost-effective solution. The reason being that most VPNs are designed for individuals who need to secure their personal data while using public Wi‑Fi connections. What this means is that you’re likely connecting to a VPN just to connect to the Internet. In these situations, it’s generally better to invest in a dedicated line or hire a private connection to work with.
The Bottom Line
With all that said, using a VPN can still be beneficial, albeit in specific situations. If you’re looking to secure your personal data while using public Wi-Fi, it’s best to look into mobile VPNs and apps. These can be extremely useful when connecting to unfamiliar or untrusted Wi-Fi hotspots. As for connecting to a VPN within your own company’s network? That isn’t exactly worth it, unless you need to connect to a server located outside of China (which, again, isn’t a very viable option since most VPNs are based in this country). Instead, consider investing in a dedicated line or paying for a VPN that offers a dedicated IP address.