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A guide to VPN for businesses

Ever heard business people talk about 'getting on their VPN' and wondered what they were on about?

Maybe you’re a small business that’s started to expand the workforce, or you’re thinking about introducing flexible working. In that case, this guide will help you understand what a VPN is and why you might want one.   

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is essentially just that: a virtual network of computers, linked together to share files, data, and applications. It’s private so it’s secure. Only people with access to your VPN can get on it, even though it connects to the world outside your company over the internet.

The VPN links your users together across the [public] internet as if they were connected directly to your private network. Users can send and receive data securely with the confidence that no-one outside of the VPN can access it.

Why would I use a VPN?

VPNs allow you to connect all of your workers, wherever they are, to your secure internal network. This means that even if they’re working remotely on the other side of the country, they can access all of the systems and applications they’d normally be able to if they were in your main office, say, including your intranet.

 It’s cost-effective. You can connect sites together – wherever they are – without having to fork out CAPEX on a private network.

A VPN also enables flexible working practices, improves efficiency, and means you’re not tied to only employing people local to your sites. If your ideal candidate lives too far away to get in the office, a VPN takes away that barrier. 

What are the benefits of a VPN?

Here’s a quick run through of why we think a VPN is a good thing:  

  • You can connect geographically dispersed offices with a secure network
  • They’re great for flexible working
  • People can use the intranet while they’re travelling
  • VPNs are quick to deploy so you can get new people up and running in a jiffy
  • They’re scalable, so they can grow with your business and future-proof your network
  • They’re cheaper than implementing a WAN over a private network

A VPN from BT Business

Of course, we can help you set up a VPN for your business. Take a look at our Ethernet VPN page for details about:

  • Access technologies: Generic Ethernet Access (GEA) or Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM)
  • Flexible speeds: only pay for the bandwidth that you need
  • Latency (the split second lag between pressing the button on an application and the command being actioned at the other end), backed by Service Level Agreements
  • End-to-end secure connectivity to your network
  • Resilience options, giving you back-up solutions
  • Our two service offers: wires-only (unmanaged) or managed service

Does my business need a VPN service?

If you’ve got more than one site, or people working outside the office who need to access the office systems, a VPN is a must-have. 

A VPN will give everyone access to your secure, internal network from wherever they can get an internet connection  – the middle of the city, a windblown corner of an industrial estate, or in a bucolic idyll in the countryside. It makes flexible working a more attractive proposition, and it’s scalable so that the network can grow with your business.

Find out more about how a BT Business VPN could help your business by calling 0800 707 6315 and talking to one of our Networking specialists.

VPN in a nutshell

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, connects all the people in your business, regardless of their location. On a VPN, your remote workers can access all your office systems and applications. They’re secure, easy to set up and operate, and cost-effective.


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