Although Perimeter 81 is a tool intended for teams to build their own networks, some its features are the same as those found with every other personal VPN. For instance, each user has unlimited data and bandwidth allowance and can switch between a handful of VPN protocols according to their needs, while the app for computers and mobile devices is attractive and simple to use. However, there are obviously some privileges that only a VPN of this kind can deliver, particularly the ability to deploy private servers, manage network activity and assign team members with different roles and permissions.
A VPN for All Types of Businesses
If you’re the leader of a company, then to start using Perimeter 81 you will first need to set a workspace URL for your company, which will be something like ‘yourcompany.perimeter81.com’. After this you’ll choose your login credentials as you normally would and gain access to the control panel with administrative privileges, at which point up to 10 of your workers can be invited into the system. Admins can deploy private servers for their team to share a single, static, outgoing IP address based on the locations where the company has its public servers. Once set, only authorized connections are established and any transmitted data is encrypted. To reduce latency and ensure better connections, it’s advisable to deploy these networks in the country – and city, if possible – closest to where the connections are being created.
Another of the most important admin rights on Perimeter 81 is the ability to assign team members with different roles. This allows enterprises to carry their internal staff hierarchy over to the private network and can therefore dictate what each team member is allowed to do. For instance, admins are automatically assigned the Owner role and have the largest space to maneuver when it comes to account control, while the other roles – Manager, Billing and User – have sequentially fewer privileges.
Intuitive Apps for Different Team Members
Though admins can manage Perimeter 81 from within the member’s area on the official website, users can also access this through apps for computers and mobile devices. More than just accessing both private and public servers, the app allows everyone to choose their own settings, with some of the editable options being mostly useful to those that work remotely. Since different people have different needs and internet speeds, it’s possible to change VPN protocols to PPTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, or L2TP over IPSEC. Other features include the always useful Wi-Fi security and a kill switch.
While there is no indication that Perimeter 81’s network of public servers is shared with SaferVPN’s, this is most likely the case. Both services offer the same 35 countries while some of the ‘specialized’ servers are the also the same, such as the UK or U.S. servers suited to content streaming.
Unfortunately, Perimeter 81’s connections are never consistent but rather a roller-coaster, with many ups and downs. Real-time speed measurements showed generally positive results across more or less the entire world map and of course it was no surprise to see that the geographically closest servers provided the best connections, however the practical experience was quite different to these results. Even on the closest and fastest servers, most of the time web pages took a while to fully open, even with simple search engines like Google. Our tests were performed over a number of different days and servers with only a few exceptions to this particular problem.
On the positive side, DNS leak tests proved the service is up to expectations. The team behind Perimeter 81 opted for using the Google Public DNS service, which are essentially public DNS addresses used by millions of people around the world and that are not traceable. This ensures that test results display a different location to both the one you’re really in and the one that you decided to connect to.
In terms of privacy protection, there aren’t many issues to complain about with Perimeter 81, though some users may raise an eyebrow at the fact that activity logs are stored and even displayed to the account owner. But before you start thinking that this is an invasion of your privacy, there isn’t actually anything to worry about. In fact, this is an understandable decision given that this is a business VPN and a single person is in charge of handling their workers connections, permissions and whatnot. Moreover, Owners can’t see the personal traffic of subordinates, but rather the infrastructure and admin activity only – such as when a user changes a password or logs in.
One thing that did raise some concern, though, is how more vulnerable VPN protocols like PPTP are available, which is a contradiction to the company’s statement that “all transmitted data is encrypted”. On a positive note, on top of the aforementioned kill switch and Wi-Fi security features, Perimeter 81 uses high-grade encryption levels and even allows Owners to login using two-factor authentication.
OS, Device Support
As a VPN intended for business purposes, it should be expected that it is available on all the most important devices. And since Perimeter 81 can be configured on the most popular systems for computers and mobile, the company delivers on this expectation.
Windows has the most support – what with the OS being the most common – meaning that all versions after Vista are supported, while Apple fans can install the software on machines with MacOS X 10.8 or later. The idea of targeting the two most popular platforms is the same on mobile, too, with Android versions 8.1.0 and iOS 9 and beyond being supported. It’s unknown if the company will extend its device support to other platforms such as Linux or Windows Phone, but the current offering is enough to reach the vast majority of general users and remote workers, with each account capable of having up to five devices attached to it.
Another area where Perimeter 81’s nature as a business VPN is reflected is in its pricing as the structure is slightly different than what is typical for personal VPNs. There are only two plans (called Business and Enterprise) with the former costing $10 per month per team member, which means the larger your company is the more expensive the service will become. If we compare this price to other VPNs, then it’s quite a lot more costly than what would be ‘acceptable’, but it’s also true that it’s designed for a different target audience and does have rather unique features. Still, with the business plan Perimeter 81 allows customers to purchase their own VPN server. This has a cost of $50 per month and can handle up to 250 users.
Yet as its name cleverly tells you, the Enterprise plan is suitable for the bigger companies and therefore doesn’t have a fixed price scheme for it. Instead, clients are expected to contact the staff to receive a customized quote based on the business’s characteristics. Both of these plans have an additional 17% discount when choosing annual billing instead of monthly, which in the case of the Business package means a saving of over $20.
Unfortunately, there is no free trial or anything like it, but the 30-day money-back guarantee can be used for an entire month of risk-free use. Payment methods include credit cards and PayPal.
Within Perimeter 81’s app is a section for people to directly create a support ticket to send to the company, which is a great saver of time and effort. Unfortunately, this is the only way to have direct contact with the staff since there are no other options such as live chat or a remote phone number, despite guaranteeing 24/7 support.
However, before asking anything directly and having to wait for the reply, it’s advisable to first pay the FAQ page a visit – which can also be accessed from the app, too. While this is the area many VPN providers often fail to give sufficient attention, Perimeter 81 has one of the most complete and helpful knowledge bases on the VPN market. From general questions to more specific insights on the most diverse topics, it’s almost guaranteed that your answer will be answered here.
Social media pages on Facebook and Twitter are updated often with relevant news and can be visited – along with the company’s YouTube and LinkedIn channels – for guidance.
If you’re looking for a true virtual private network for your company then Perimeter 81 is a solid choice. The arsenal of tools that team admins have at their disposal is superb and thanks to an intuitive interface they will always feel in complete control of both the business network and their employees as well. This same intuitiveness carries over to the apps for computers and mobile devices. And though a team working within Perimeter 81 will need to be transparent about their actions when connected to the software, the solid encryption and other security tools still ensure that each user can maintain their own privacy.
Perimeter 81’s server performance may leave some wishing for better, but a service such as this is very likely to bring improvements on the entire suite in the future, including more worldwide locations, extended device support and more.
- Intuitive apps and browser-based software
- Customizable connection settings for each user
- Kill switch and other security tools
- Ability to assign roles to team members
- Great for small businesses and big corporations
- Inconsistent performance
- No support for routers or lesser-used platforms