Let’s start off at the beginning, what is a VPN? It stands for Virtual Private Networking. What VPNs do is create a secure way to connect to a server, making for an overall safer experience when using your computer. VPNs essentially function as a tunnel between your computer and the server to which your computer is connected; data transmitted in this tunnel is encrypted, making it difficult for hackers to access your data.

Overall, VPNs are invaluable when it comes to data security. With the majority of people working from home right now, the use of VPNs is more important than ever. Office networks are generally more secure than home networks, connecting to your work VPN while working remotely adds an extra layer of protection while you’re not physically in the office.

It’s also important to have good manners when it comes to connecting to your employer’s VPN. When you’re working remotely and using a work VPN, you don’t always want to be connected. Being constantly connected could take up too much bandwidth, causing critical business services, such as file sharing, to slow down or it could even knock your colleagues off the VPN.

So, when do you want to be connected to the VPN? Essentially whenever you need to access resources available on your work VPN, but be sure to mitigate your usage beyond the times it’s necessary to be connected. Need to work on a document contained in your employer’s network? Totally cool to be connected! Need to hop on a video call? Hop off the VPN first! Checking your email? No need for the VPN! Going down a YouTube rabbit hole of cat videos? Please don’t be connected to the VPN!

In the age of working from home, VPNs are critical to security. Just as you’d never finish the last of the coffee without starting a new pot, it’s important to practice good virtual office etiquette. Follow the guidelines here for a better experience working remotely. We’re always around and happy to offer pro tips VPN best practices. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our service team if you run up against any VPN woes, we’re well-equipped to help out.