With remote work becoming increasingly more important, it's critical that you have the equipment you need. Alongside other factors, a good VPN gateway for remote work is essential in enabling your team to securely connect to the office network and work from home productively.
This guide takes you through everything you need to know about choosing a VPN gateway for remote work, as well as how to set up your VPN on your chosen device...
What do I need to move my team to remote work?
Before we begin, let's quickly review what you'll need to get your team working from home:
A VPN Gateway connected your internal network
Each employee uses their own Internet Connection
The employee connects via a VPN Client such as VPN Tracker 365 running on their Mac
What to look for in a VPN gateway for remote work
While there is no "one size fits all" solution, here are some key factors to think about when weighing up your options:
You can typically find two types of VPN gateways: All-in-one routers with VPN support, or dedicatedVPNfirewalls.
Dedicated VPN Firewalls typically offer more advanced security features and are designed for larger offices. For a smaller office, an all-in-one router with VPN support is easier to configure but will mean replacing your existing equiment.
Action: Decide whether a router or firewall is better suited to your current network setup.
Business vs. Consumer
VPN gateways tend to vary between business- and consumer-level and offer different features respectively. If you're a small team with 1-3 people connecting, a consumer-level router with VPN support may be enough for your needs. For larger teams, you'll want to look for a business-level product that has more processing power to support more VPN users simultaneously.
Action: Weigh up your business' needs and determine which type of VPN device you are going to search for.
How many users are supported?
Many businesses will have to configure more than one VPN connection to suit different users and their specific use-cases. If this is the case for your business, it is important that you check whether the VPN gateway offers support for multiple connections.
Action: If it is likely that you will be setting up more than one VPN connection, make sure to look exclusively at VPN devices which support multiple connections.
VPN gateways differ massively in terms of their technical specification. Depending on the size and nature of your business, many of the more advanced features offered may not even be relevant.
Action: List the features which are most important for your company and cross-reference these with the gateways's spec.
As well as multiple connection support, some other important features to look out for may include:
Supported VPN protocols: E.g. IPSec, OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, etc.
VPN throughput: The higher the throughput, the faster and better the connection will be.
Processor: The faster your VPN gateway's processor, the better. A fast processer will make sure your device can handle the demand and allow remote workers to make full use of their internet connection speeds.
VPN gateways vary in price, costing anything from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on how many users they support, their performance and other features.
Action: Be sure to shop around and compare prices of multiple retailers.
Finally, your VPN gateway is a crucial part of your company's network infrastructure. Should you encounter any issues, it's important that you are able to quickly get the guidance you need from the manufacturer so you can get things up and running again.
Action: Check the support options on the manufacturer's website and try to research customer reviews before making your final decision.
Which options are out there?
When it comes to finding the best VPN gateway for remote work, there are many options to choose from. Below we've listed some of the most popular choices among our customers, but of course it's down to you to find the gateway which is right for your business.
The Juniper SRX550 is a high end, business-level gateway aimed at mid to large branch locations. The impressive spec of this model means it doesn't come cheap, but there are other lower-spec models available in the SRX series.
How to configure a VPN connection for your VPN gateway
Now you've chosen your VPN gateway, it's time for you to configure your VPN connection. With step-by-step configuration guides for 300+ VPN routers, VPN Tracker makes this easy. You can find configuration guides for all leading gateway manufacturers here.