Best VPN Alternatives

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are often used to connect to the internet in a safe, encrypted way. They let users connect to remote networks or hide what they do online.

When discussing VPN alternatives, it’s crucial to clearly understand the context and the specific needs that are prompting the search for alternatives.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have long been essential for ensuring secure remote access, enabling users to connect to private networks over the internet confidently.

Nevertheless, organizations and individuals are seeking contemporary, streamlined, and reliable alternatives to conventional VPNs with the ever-changing work environment, growing security risks, and technological advancements.

These alternatives have been developed to tackle the various limitations and challenges that come with using VPNs. They aim to overcome issues like scalability, security vulnerabilities, and the complexity of managing access for a distributed workforce.

But as technology has changed, different options have come up.

When looking for VPN alternatives focusing on secure, scalable network infrastructure for businesses, Perimeter 81 is often highlighted as a leading and best VPN Alternative solution. It’s known for offering a more modern, cloud-based approach to network security compared to traditional VPN technologies. You can try a free demo here.

Table of Contents

Why do we need to switch to alternative VPN solutions?
What is the difference Between ZTNA vs VPN?

Best VPN Alternative Solutions
Best VPN Alternative Solutions Features
Best VPN Alternatives in 2024
1. Perimeter 81
2. Tor (The Onion Router)
3. ProtonVPN
4. NordLayer
5. Private Internet Access (PIA)
6. I2P (Invisible Internet Project)
7. Checkpoint Secure SD-WAN
8. Zerotier
9. Zscaler Private Access
10. Cloudflare Access 
Conclusion
FAQs

Why do we need to switch to alternative VPN solutions?

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are often used for security, privacy, getting around area limits, etc. But in the past few years, there has been more talk about the need to think about VPN options.

Here are some reasons why companies and people might look for alternatives to standard VPNs:

Performance Problems: VPNs can sometimes slow down internet speeds because it takes time to protect data and route it through a VPN server.

Complexity and Management: Setting up and keeping VPNs running can be hard, especially for big organizations. Ensuring all workers have access to the necessary tools without compromising security can be hard.

Single Point of Failure: If a VPN server goes down, it could stop all linked users from getting online. Redundancy might be better with systems that are spread out or use a mesh of computers.

Security concerns: VPNs secure data, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be hacked. If a VPN site is hacked, it could reveal much user information.

What is the difference Between ZTNA vs VPN?

Key PointsZTNAVPN
Network ArchitectureDoesn’t trust anyone in or outside of its network by default, and it checks all entry requests carefully.Trusts users and devices within the network, which could mean that private resources are exposed.
Access ControlDetailed control based on the user’s name and the situation. Allows you to use certain services or apps.Access to a large network without as much information. Usually lets you access the whole network.
User ExperienceCan offer smooth and safe access to apps without VPN delays which boosts speed.Users might have to connect to the whole network to get to certain services, which might slow matters downwards.
Security PhilosophySticks to the “never trust, always verify” model, which means that users and devices are constantly being verified and given permission.Once a user has been verified and connected to the network, it works on an implicit trust strategy.
Adaptability to Modern Work EnvironmentsBecause it is flexible and scalable, it works better in cloud settings and when people work from residence.Just as flexible in remote and cloud settings; it was originally made for more stable network access on-premises.

Why Look for VPN Alternatives?

  1. Security: Traditional VPNs can create a broad attack surface. Alternatives often offer more granular security controls and reduce the risk by using principles like Zero Trust, which assumes no entity should be trusted by default, even if they are within the network perimeter.
  2. Scalability: As organizations grow and adopt cloud services, the need for scalable solutions that can easily integrate with cloud infrastructure becomes critical. VPNs can be challenging to scale and manage, especially for businesses with a large remote workforce.
  3. Performance: VPNs can introduce latency, especially if traffic needs to be backhauled through a central data center. Modern alternatives often use cloud architecture to improve connectivity and performance.
  4. Simplicity and User Experience: Simplifying access to resources while maintaining security is key. VPN alternatives often offer a better user experience by providing seamless access to applications and services without complex configurations.

Alternatives to VPNs

Several technologies and services serve as alternatives to traditional VPNs, each with its approach to secure remote access:

  • Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA): This model, also known as a software-defined perimeter, ensures that only authenticated and authorized users and devices can access specific applications and services, without necessarily having access to the entire network.
  • Secure Access Service Edge (SASE): SASE combines network security functions with wide-area networking (WAN) capabilities to support the dynamic, secure access needs of organizations, delivered as a cloud service.
  • Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs): CASBs provide visibility, compliance, data security, and threat protection for cloud services by mediating access between cloud service consumers and providers.
  • Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP): SDP solutions create a virtual boundary around resources, ensuring that they are invisible and inaccessible to unauthorized users. Access is granted based on identity, not just credentials.

Best VPN Alternative Solutions

VPN alternatives offer safe, private, and efficient network and resource access instead of standard VPNs.

Identity-based access, network segmentation, and zero-trust principles are at the heart of systems like Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP), and Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA).

They protect users from cyber dangers and ensure safe application connections.

Best VPN Alternative Solutions Features

Best VPN Alternative SolutionsFeatures
1. Perimeter 81Secure Network Access
Zero Trust Network Access
Software-Defined Perimeter
Multi-Factor Authentication
Authentication with Multiple Factors
Management from one place
2. Tor (The Onion Router)Access to Blocked Content
Hidden Services
Traffic Analysis Resistance
End-to-End Encryption
Traffic Analysis Resistance
3. ProtonVPNEncrypted VPN for Secure Browsing.
No-Logs Policy for Enhanced Privacy.
Wide Server Network for Global Access.
Strong Encryption for Data Protection.
Secure Core Architecture for Added Security.
Tor Integration for anonymity
4. NordLayerBusiness-focused VPN Solution.
Zero Trust Network Access for Enhanced Security.
Multi-Cloud Access with Centralized Control.
Secure Remote Access to Company resources
Encrypted Communication for Data Protection.
Scalable and Flexible Solution.
5. Private Internet Access (PIA)
Cloud-Based Secure Access Solution.
Zero Trust Architecture for Enhanced Security.
Application-Centric Access Control.
Direct-to-Application Connectivity, No VPN Required.
Granular Policy Enforcement for Data Protection
User Authentication and Multi-Factor Authentication.
6. I2P (Invisible Internet Project)Anonymous Network Layer for Secure Communication.
Private Browsing with Layered Encryption.
Decentralized and Self-Contained Network.
Hidden Services for Confidential Websites.
Resistant to Surveillance and Traffic Analysis.
Protects User Identity and Location.
7. Checkpoint Secure SD-WANIntegrated Security and Networking Solution.
Optimized Connectivity for Distributed Networks.
Centralized Management for Streamlined Operations.
Zero-Touch Deployment for Easy Setup.
Advanced Threat Prevention for Enhanced Security.
Application-Aware Routing for Performance Optimization.
8. ZerotierSoftware-Defined Networking for Easy Connectivity.
Virtual Networks for Secure Communication
Peer-to-Peer Architecture for Direct Connections.
Cross-Platform Compatibility.
Centralized Management for Network Administration.
Encrypted Data Transmission for Privacy.
9. Zscaler Private AccessCloud-Based Secure Access Solution.
Zero Trust Architecture for Enhanced Security.
Application-Centric Access Control.
Direct-to-Application Connectivity, No VPN Required.
Granular Policy Enforcement for Data Protection
User Authentication and Multi-Factor authentication
Identity-based secure application access.
Eliminates the need for VPNs.
Integrates with major identity providers.
Zero Trust security model implementation.
Real-time user authentication and authorization.
Supports multi-factor authentication (MFA).
10. Cloudflare Access 

10 Best VPN Alternatives in 2024

  • Perimeter 81
  • Tor (The Onion Router)
  • ProtonVPN
  • NordVPN
  • Private Internet Access
  • I2P (Invisible Internet Project)
  • Checkpoint Secure SD-WAN
  • Zerotier
  • Zscaler Private Access
  • Cloudflare Access 

1. Perimeter 81

Best VPN Alternatives
Perimeter 81

One of the best VPN alternatives is Perimeter 81, which uses a software-defined Perimeter architecture and provides a Zero Trust Secure Network as a Service.

Enhanced network visibility, streamlined onboarding, and compatibility with leading cloud VPN providers are all benefits of this solution.

This system integrates network management and security on a single platform, following the SASE architecture, and it serves businesses of all kinds and sizes.

Private servers, group access control, and a web interface for managing resources in the cloud are just a few of the network management capabilities it provides.

For safe online activity across devices, users may take advantage of features like automatic Wi-Fi security, bank-level encryption, and one-click apps.

For those using Windows, Android, or Mac, Perimeter 81 is the superior VPN solution.

Features

  • With Perimeter 81, workers can safely connect to the company’s network and use its resources from anywhere.
  • Zero-trust security makes sure that people and devices are real before they can access important data and resources.
  • It uses SDP technology to make an invisible, private network border that keeps people from getting to important assets without permission.
  • MFA is used by Perimeter 81 to protect logins and stop unauthorized entry.
  • From a single dashboard, it’s easy to keep track of all of your clients or places.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
Easy setup and interface.Professional help may be needed for advanced settings.
Secures remote access anywhere.May not integrate with all third-party tools.
Easy scaling for increasing businesses.
Protects data using strong encryption and tunneling.

Perimeter 81 – Trial / Demo

2. Tor (The Onion Router)

Tor (The Onion Router)

You can use Tor, an open-source browser and VPN option to remain anonymous online. You can view both conventional and dark web content without registering, limiting your usage, or dealing with adverts.

Although it has some flaws, it can be useful for hiding your web history. For maximum security, use Tor in conjunction with a VPN. Although their methods differ, Tor and VPNs work by masking your IP address.

When using Tor, your data is encrypted numerous times as it travels through at least three servers, unlike VPNs. Tor enhances anonymity and makes monitoring more complex, unlike VPNs that need access to a server and may log your actions.

Features

  • Tor sends data over the internet through encrypted relays, so governments and ISPs can’t keep track of its users.
  • Websites and services can’t keep track of Tor users’ viewing habits because requests are sent through many nodes, making each request look like it came from a different IP address and location.
  • It gets around internet restrictions so people can access websites and material blocked in places they aren’t supposed to be.
  • To stop people from reading the data sent between computers, Tor encrypts it.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
Tor masks your IP address and provides anonymity by routing internet traffic through many servers.Websites and services may block Tor exit nodes, limiting platform access.
Accesses local government and ISP-blocked websites without restriction.Data can be monitored or manipulated after leaving Tor (exit nodes).
Protects your privacy by blocking website and third-party tracking.
Large user base strengthens and decentralizes network, improving security.

Tor (The Onion Router) – Trial / Demo

3. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

Secure connections, multi-hop, and access to the Tor network are all features of the VPN service ProtonVPN Alternative Solutions. Its redesigned app interface provides a user-friendly experience.

An outstanding selling point is the incorporation of ProtonMail, a secure email service, inside the company’s current redesign. Use the Stealth function of ProtonVPN to further protect yourself in areas where cybercrime is rampant.

With a reasonably priced paid option and an excellent free VPN subscription, it meets the needs of seasoned users and those just starting out.

With its exceptional 5-star rating, ProtonVPN is an excellent pick for anyone needing a dependable and feature-packed VPN.

Features

  • AES-256 is a very safe way to protect data that ProtonVPN uses.
  • The function splits up user traffic among servers in countries that value privacy before connecting to the final location.
  • ProtonVPN has a “kill switch” that cuts off the internet link if the VPN connection fails.
  • This is done to protect user data, especially when using public or unprotected networks.
  • DNS leaks can’t happen with ProtonVPN because its encrypted DNS calls hide the user’s IP address.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
High-level encryption and security are in place to protect user data and privacy.On remote servers, users may encounter reduced connection speeds.
Maintains a no-logs policy to protect user privacy.P2P file sharing is limited to specified servers, limiting torrenting.
Follows rigorous Swiss data protection rules.
Supports desktop and mobile platforms.

ProtonVPN – Trial / Demo

4. NordLayer

Best VPN Alternatives
NordLayer

Users can quickly, easily, and securely connect to private networks and the internet thanks to NordVPN’s NordLayer VPN security solution.

Virtual private network (VPN) service NordLayer VPN builds upon the original NordVPN with extra safety features. When consumers connect to the internet using these encrypted servers, they are shielded from cyberattacks and privacy issues.

An ideal option for businesses and remote workers alike, NordLayer VPN grants access to private networks via the public Internet.

Individuals and businesses alike can take use of NordLayer VPN’s multiple platform apps to surf the web more securely, access resources more quickly, and communicate privately and anonymously.

Features

  • Your privacy is protected by the NordLayer VPN, which protects your internet traffic.
  • A VPN hides your IP address, which makes it hard for sites and services to keep track of what you do online.
  • NordLayer VPN is great for businesses with teams that work from home or for people who need safe access to company networks and resources from home.
  • The service gives you access to several servers around the world that hold illegal material.
  • For your safety, the VPN may connect immediately even when you’re on a sketchy public Wi-Fi network.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
Provides robust encryption, dedicated IP addresses, and secure remote access.Some third-party software and systems may not work.
IT managers can manage user access and security settings from a common interface.Some users have complained about customer service response times.
Multi-user and device support scales nicely for larger enterprises.
Generally fast and reliable for business.

NordLayer– Trial / Demo

5. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Best VPN Alternatives
Private Internet Access (PIA)

Join Private Internet Access (PIA), a top VPN service with servers all around the world, to improve your online privacy.

Users’ data is clearly secured by PIA’s no-logs policy and customizable privacy options, thanks to its boundless bandwidth and unbreakable security.

Protect as many devices as you like with PIA’s platform-specific apps. It has a vast network of servers in 60 countries, so you can watch anything you want, whenever you want.

As an open-source VPN, PIA provides a transparent and secure service. It is an attractive option to VPNs for many platforms, including Windows, Android, Mac, and more.

It has features like a kill switch and split tunneling that are popular among expert VPNs, as well as 24/7 customer support and an intuitive setup process.

Features

  • PIA uses AES-256 to encrypt user data and chats so that unauthorized people can’t see their internet traffic.
  • It has a strong policy of not keeping any logs to protect users’ identity and confidentiality.
  • PIA protects users’ privacy and secrecy by not collecting or keeping any information about what they do on the site.
  • PIA’s ad and malware blockers make viewing better and keep users safe online.
  • In order to protect users’ privacy and identity, PIA uses strong encryption and does not keep any logs.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
Protects user privacy with strong encryption, no-logs, and DNS leak protection.Some customers claim uneven or sluggish support responses.
Provides access to a large network of servers in many countries, avoiding geo-restrictions and improving connectivity.Based in the US, which may worry consumers concerned about US data retention and jurisdiction.
Budget-friendly PIA has multiple subscription options and low pricing.
Allows simultaneous device connections for platform-wide protection.

Private Internet Access (PIA) – Trial / Demo

6. I2P (Invisible Internet Project)

I2P

A free VPN alternative overlay network, the Invisible Internet Project (I2P) seeks to make internet communication anonymous and private.

The method it employs to conceal the user’s true IP address is by adding an additional network layer in between the user and the final server.

I2P uses peer-to-peer encryption and routing over a dispersed network of volunteer-run routers, or “peers,” to make it impossible to track user online activity.

By preventing censorship and traffic analysis, I2P ensures that its users remain anonymous and private. More privacy is required for anonymous surfing, encrypted messaging, and dark web access to hidden services.

Features

  • Privacy for users was I2P’s main goal.
  • Data is sent over a decentralized network of computers that encrypt it.
  • This makes it harder to identify users and keep track of what they do on the internet.
  • Encryption is used for all I2P internal communications to keep user and service data safe.
  • I2P is a network that sits on top of the Internet.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
I2P protects user identities and data by providing anonymous communication.I2P’s specialist content may not appeal to many users.
Decentralized networks make it resistant to censorship and surveillance.Peer-to-peer networks’ reliability depends on active users and nodes.
Encrypts user traffic end-to-end for privacy and security.
This network supports file sharing, email, and web browsing.

I2P- Trial / Demo

7. Checkpoint Secure SD-WAN

Best VPN Alternatives
Checkpoint Secure SD-WAN

Secure Checkpoint Using SD-WAN technology in conjunction with cutting-edge security measures is a great way to build a network.

By adapting the distribution of data across several lines (e.g., MPLS, internet, and cellular) to the present situation, it enhances WAN performance.

The network’s performance and the happiness of its users will benefit greatly from that. What makes Checkpoint Secure SD-WAN unique are the advanced security capabilities it offers.

It offers security capabilities such as a firewall, intrusion detection, and URL filtering. This prevents hackers from gaining access to the network’s data stream.

Administrators can see a clear picture of the network’s security thanks to the solution’s integrated management and monitoring features.

Firms can adapt to changing network environments and cyber risks with the help of preventative activities.

Features

  • Based on how the network is set up, the technology picks the fastest and safest way for data traffic on its own.
  • Checkpoint Secure SD-WAN gives mission-critical apps extra attention and makes sure there is enough bandwidth and QoS for effective operation.
  • The integrated configuration, monitoring, and administration dashboard in this solution makes it easier than ever to run an SD-WAN network.
  • The threat security tools at Checkpoint watch and filter communications to stop malware and ransomware.
  • Its zero-touch licensing speeds up deployments that don’t need IT staff.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
Improves network security using firewall, intrusion prevention, and threat intelligence.Dependence on Check Point’s ecosystem and proprietary technology may cause vendor lock-in.
Optimizes network performance via dynamic path selection and traffic prioritization.Integrating with third-party systems or infrastructure may involve extra work and compatibility checks.
A centralized administration interface simplifies network policy and configuration management.
Scales well to meet network and company needs.

Checkpoint Secure SD-WAN – Trial / Demo

8. Zerotier

Zerotier

When it comes to connecting devices and networks over the open internet, ZeroTier is a solid substitute for VPN services. A worldwide LAN-like overlay network is created regardless of where the users are located.

Even when separated by firewalls and other networks, ZeroTier makes it seem like all devices and users are on the same local network.

Among the many benefits offered by ZeroTier’s end-to-end encryption are secure remote access, encrypted data transmission, and direct peer-to-peer connectivity.

It works wonderfully for remote teams or IoT installations that need secure communication. Strict access limits and unique device IDs for each device make security better.

One flexible VPN option is ZeroTier, thanks to its ease of use and minimal administrative burden.

Features

  • ZeroTier’s global virtual network overlay lets devices that are spread out safely talk to each other like they are on the same real network.
  • Node interactions on this network are encrypted to protect users’ personal information and electronic transactions.
  • No matter the OS or platform, it works on PCs, servers, phones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
  • It finds ways to connect objects that are behind NAT or firewalls.
  • ZeroTier uses new routes to speed up the sending of data.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
Simple configuration makes it accessible to people and companies.ZeroTier’s central controllers may generate privacy and infrastructural concerns.
Creates virtual networks quickly across devices and platforms for remote access and connectivity.Performance may vary due to network setups, creating latency or speed issues.
Uses encryption and security technologies to secure network communication between devices.
Scales easily to meet network growth.

Zerotier- Trial / Demo

9. Zscaler Private Access

Best VPN Alternatives
Zscaler Private Access

A zero-trust network security solution, Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) is hosted in the cloud and prevents unauthorized access to sensitive internal applications.

Users are assured of safe application access from any place with ZPA. Using a zero-trust architecture, ZPA confirms the user’s identity before allowing access.

By bypassing the usual network limit and connecting approved users directly to programs, it makes them invisible to the public internet.

With this approach, both the likelihood of data breaches and attack surfaces being reduced are enhanced. When deciding whether to grant app access, ZPA takes into account a number of factors, including credentials and device orientation.

Features

  • ZPA uses zero-trust to make sure that only trustworthy people and devices can access secure resources.
  • This technology makes things safer by connecting networks across countries.
  • By separating applications, ZPA only lets approved users access services.
  • MFA, user ID verification, and device posture evaluation are all used to keep entry safe.
  • Only authorized users can access private apps and data, which helps businesses follow the rules set by regulators.
What is Good ?What Could Be Better ?
Secures remote application access with micro-segmentation, zero-trust access, and encryption.Some users may struggle to configure Zscaler Private Access without technical experience.
Scales to meet business needs without affecting performance or security.Some users may have trouble tailoring the solution to their needs.
Streamlines user experience and simplifies application and resource access regardless of location.
A central management console simplifies policy configuration and monitoring.

Zscaler Private Access– Trial / Demo

10. Cloudflare Access 

Best VPN Alternatives
Cloudflare Access 

When looking for a Zero Trust security solution, Cloudflare Access is a great alternative to VPNs. It safeguards company data without making it publicly available online.

As an integral aspect of a standard VPN, it checks the credentials of users and their devices before granting them access.

Thanks to its extensive network and threat intelligence, Cloudflare is able to identify and block harmful traffic, safeguarding applications and resources from exploitation.

While maintaining the advantages of remote resource access, this approach decreases the likelihood of an attack and enhances security.

Features

  • Using zero-trust security, Cloudflare Access blocks access to all people and devices, no matter where they are or what network they are on.
  • Instead of a wall, this method uses user IDs to control who can get in.
  • To keep security safe, users must prove who they are before they can access protected resources.
  • Users can safely use apps from anywhere without a VPN.
  • This helps groups that are in different places work together.
  • Businesses can limit app use based on location to keep people from getting in from dangerous places.
What is Good ?What could Be Better ?
Secures using Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and robust authentication.Depends on Cloudflare’s infrastructure; outages could impair access.
Management of access restrictions and policies is easy with its UI.Advanced features may be limited to higher-tier plans, limiting lower-tier users.
Scales well for small and large businesses.
Works seamlessly with existing identity providers and applications.

Cloudflare Access – Trial / Demo

Conclusion

In conclusion, new and exciting alternatives to VPNs are rising to meet the challenges of network security and remote access.

The drawbacks of conventional VPNs can be overcome with the help of the above alternatives, which promise improved security, adaptability, and performance.

These technologies offer better, more efficient ways to secure network connections since they are user-centric and follow to zero-trust principles and micro-segmentation.

Investigating these options allows users and businesses to better defend themselves from attackers by conforming to current security concepts, adjusting to new working conditions, and maximizing efficiency.

Each choice offers unique features, benefits, and cost. The right decision relies on your business demands, including size, security, network complexity, and money. Before choosing, compare and potentially try these solutions.

FAQs

Why Do You Consider VPN Alternatives?

There may be scaling, performance, and security issues with traditional VPNs.
Alternatives that offer more adaptable and flexible solutions in line with current security standards and workplace trends can overcome the drawbacks of VPNs.

Are VPN alternatives more secure than traditional VPNs?

Modern security best practices align with VPN alternatives since they emphasize identity verification, micro-segmentation, and strict access controls.
However, the efficacy of protection varies depending on the solution chosen and how it is implemented.

Are VPN alternatives suitable for all types of businesses?

Virtual Private Network (VPN) alternatives are adaptable and scalable, making them an excellent solution for businesses of all sizes.

Before making a choice, however, you need to determine your organization’s specific needs.

Work done by a Team Of Security Experts from Cyber Writes (www.cyberwrites.com) - World’s First Dedicated Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) Platform for Cybersecurity. For Exclusive Cyber Security Contents, Reach at: [email protected]