VDI vs. VPN: What’s Best for Remote Employees?
The widespread shift to remote operations has left IT departments looking for tools that support employees at home. The two most common solutions for remote work situations include virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and virtual private networks (VPNs), but many companies struggle to decide which is better for their workforce. To help your business determine the best option for remote work, VPLS offers a detailed overview of each of these solutions.
What is a VPN?
A VPN forms a secure data tunnel that flows from a remote location to the organization’s private network, enabling workers to access corporate data safely over a public internet connection. The tunnel conceals IP addresses and encrypts your activity, protecting sensitive business information against cybersecurity threats.
Managers can set up a VPN to ensure users only have access to the resources they need. Then, employees can house relevant data on their devices if they must work offline at any point.
What is VDI?
With VDI, employees access desktops in the cloud or on servers through a network connection. These desktops run on virtual machines stored in one server at the office or a data center. Virtual desktop interfaces allow users to connect to interact with business data, applications, and systems from any remote device and give them ample resources and workstations to perform tasks effectively.
What are the Benefits of VPNs for Remote Work?
Companies that wish to cut costs by going remote will find VPNs advantageous. Since all the work happens on laptops, VPNs do not require businesses to purchase costly servers. However, it can be expensive if you do not already have work laptops for each employee.
VPN solutions are compatible with any operating system on any device and can be set up in a matter of minutes by the remote employee. Cybersecurity is also more effective with a VPN because it encrypts data and requires users to pass authentication measures before granting access to critical information.
What are the Benefits of VDI for Remote Work?
Like VPNs, VDI solutions are exceptionally versatile, making them valuable for businesses that cannot store much hardware on-premise. Since the virtual desktop interface operates in the cloud, workers can use any device available to conduct tasks, from the most updated tablet to a five-year-old computer.
Besides saving money on equipment, businesses that implement VDI reduce costs on training. Virtualized desktops are intuitive, enabling users to only log in before accessing applications and systems. VDI also enhances remote employee cybersecurity by housing all data in the servers or cloud, creating less exposure to risk.
What are the Drawbacks of a VPN for Remote Work?
One of the most significant disadvantages of VPNs is that they are dependent on the employee’s internet speed and distance from the service provider. These factors can impede VPN performance, making it difficult to complete everyday work tasks.
VPNs can also overwhelm IT teams because all users connect to the network simultaneously during business hours. For instance, they must reconfigure applications for new software developments and new employees joining the network. This process can make the VPN tedious for IT departments.
Although a VPN enhances security in some respects, it can create new risks because all the applications live on the employee’s laptop. If their device goes missing or gets stolen, the data is lost. Additionally, businesses that permit employees to use personal computers on the VPN may expose data to cyberattacks.
What are the Drawbacks of VDI for Remote Work?
A slow internet connection can hamper VDI performance in a remote location, particularly for those who conduct frequent video meetings or utilize multiple monitors each day. If an internet outage occurs, users may be unable to utilize their work computers at all. VDI users may also encounter security issues if they neglect to equip employee devices with the proper endpoint protection
VDI vs. VPN: Which Is the Best Choice?
When it comes to these solutions, there is no broad, sweeping answer regarding the best option for remote work for every company. Instead, businesses must weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each to determine the most appropriate choice. Regardless of which service you select, ensure you partner with a provider that offers a successful implementation. If you are leaning towards VDI, consider the cutting-edge IT solutions from VPLS.
We offer on-premise and cloud-hosted VDI for companies that wish to switch between operating environments with minimal cost and effort. Cloud-hosted VDI, or Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas), is ideal for remote workforces with employees dispersed across multiple locations.
Unlike many other cloud-hosted VDI providers, we deploy DaaS in private cloud environments with the same technology for on-premise solutions. Additionally, our remote VDI service allows businesses to increase productivity without incurring excessive capital and operational costs.
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