Perimeter 81 VPN review
I am yet to see a list of the best business VPNs that doesn’t include Perimeter 81. Honestly, it comes as no surprise: this cloud-based VPN solution offers so much more than just business essentials.
In fact, Perimeter 81 is one of the best business VPNs. It offers top-notch security, dedicated servers, fast speeds (up to 1,000 Mbps!), easy user management, 24/7 support, network-based split tunneling, and a bunch of other business-oriented options.
Read this Perimeter 81 review to find out what makes it so good - and what kind of flaws it might have.
|Support:||Live chat, tickets, phone, knowledge base|
|Current deal:||Get 20% OFF all plans!|
Perimeter 81 pros & cons
- Extremely secure
- Easy scalability
- Intuitive user interface
- Dedicated servers
- Dedicated IPs
- Full of useful features
- Very fast speeds
- Easy user management
- Great network management features
- Advanced features only in expensive plans
- Customer support can access a lot of info
- Relatively small country selection
- On the expensive side
Features of Perimeter 81
Just like a regular VPN, Perimeter 81 will hide its user’s real IP address, make the internet traffic unreadable to the ISP provider, and unblock various geo-restricted websites and content. However, its primary purpose is to protect your company, which comes with a bunch of special features you might haven’t seen before.
In fact, Perimeter is one of the most feature-rich business VPNs on the market. Its services include:
- Dedicated servers/IPs
- Connecting cloud applications (Azure, Google Cloud)
- Secure access to business web apps
- Convenient user management
- Posture Check (device security/integrity verification)
- Always-On VPN (automatic connection)
- Network-based split tunneling
- User and device monitoring
- Integration with third-party providers
Let’s explore some of the key features in more detail below.
Dedicated servers with dedicated IPs
Dedicated servers and IP addresses allow your employees - and no one else - to connect to your company’s internal network. In other words, nobody will be able to access these resources while not connected to the dedicated VPN server, thus protecting your valuable information from unwanted visitors.
It’s especially useful when lots of employees are working from home, which would otherwise make it really easy for cyber criminals to steal your precious company data.
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to a VPN account. And when it comes to businesses, you should take all the layers of security you can get your hands on.
There are a lot of different ways to implement 2FA when using Perimeter 81. When signing in to their account, your employees can confirm their identity by getting a special security code as an SMS or push notification, typing out the unique number sequence of Google Authenticator, or using the extra-convenient Duo Security app.
If you know a thing or two about VPNs, you’ve probably heard about split tunneling. Usually, this function lets you select the apps and websites that should use the VPN connection.
However, the split tunneling feature of Perimeter 81 works a bit differently. Instead of applications and sites, it allows you to select the subnets that you want to use the VPN tunnel.
Device Posture Check
Device Posture Check (DCP) is a neat little feature that will make sure that your employees can only connect to the company’s network with secure devices.
The feature allows for a lot of freedom, as you’re the one who decides what makes a device secure. For example, you can only allow devices that use a specific antivirus program, have the desired encryption status, or hold an appropriate authentication certificate. You can also make profiles for different device groups.
With Perimeter 81, managing users can be pretty easy, even though there are lots of things you can do. Of course, you’ll find it much easier to get used to the platform if you have at least a bit of experience with business VPNs.
I find it convenient that you can create user groups and assign different permissions for them. For instance, you can block access to certain websites for certain groups of users. You can also block IPs, categories of content, and domains. It’s even possible to exclude domains from blocked categories.
As Perimeter 81 is a cloud-based service, it’s really easy to add new members. You simply need to send an invite to a new member by adding their email address. Alternatively, you can upload a .csv file with up to 100 email addresses.
It’s also possible to change certain settings of the users’ VPN clients. For example, you can:
- activate the Always-On VPN feature
- disable both private and public VPN servers
- enforce automatic updates
- turn on the kill switch
- enable two-factor authentication
- set the default protocol for different operating systems
- reset user passwords
All in all, Perimeter 81 gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to managing user accounts.
Is Perimeter 81 safe?
Yes, Perimeter 81 is one of the safest VPN providers on the market. Like most other quality tools, this cloud-based service uses AES-256 cipher to encrypt your internet traffic and other data. This kind of encryption is also used by banks and the military, and is impossible to crack by a brute-force attack.
It’s also good to know that no third party has access to your data, even the cloud provider itself.
When it comes to tunneling protocols, Perimeter 81 offers all the good ones. You can choose between three:
- WireGuard. Combining security and efficiency, this open-source protocol provides the best speeds in the industry.
- OpenVPN. This tunneling protocol puts emphasis on security and stability. It is used by the vast majority of VPN providers thanks to its versatility and good speeds.
- IKEv2. This protocol is best used on mobile devices because of its stability (as users tend to shift between wifi and mobile data when using a smartphone). It is also really fast and secure.
- Admin actions (inviting members, changing permissions, etc.)
- Team member actions (connection timestamps, location of the device at the time of the connection, etc.)
- Payment data (the last four digits of the credit card number, as well as your name and address
Perimeter 81 is a really speedy VPN service. In fact, it goes toe to toe with the VPNs mentioned in our list of the fastest VPN applications.
Keeping in mind that it offers WireGuard, this comes as no surprise. Let’s take a look at the speed results when this tunneling protocol is in use:
Baseline: 1ms/300mbps download/300mbps upload
|Location||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
|Argentina||Couldn’t connect||Couldn’t connect|
|UK private gateway||291.89||298.50|
As you can see, the speeds are pretty great, especially with the private gateway (UK). In this case, the download speed decreased by a mere 2.7%. Surprisingly, the upload speed was also almost identical to my internet connection speed without a VPN.
When it came to shared servers, the situation was also pretty great - in many cases, I was left with more than two thirds of my original download speed. However, the upload speed wasn’t as good - sometimes, it even dropped to about 30 Mbps.
Also, the service wasn’t able to connect to Argentina no matter which tunneling protocol I used.
Speaking of other tunneling protocols, it’s worth noting that IKEv2 performed almost as well as WireGuard: its download speeds were consistently good, dropping by about 10%. However, the upload speeds were a bit worse, leaving me with less than half of my original speed.
I got the worst speed test results with OpenVPN - sometimes, the drops were quite significant.
Taking everything into consideration, I’m confident that Perimeter 81 should be able to deliver its promised 1,000 Mbps if your internet connection allows it.
Plans and pricing
As Perimeter 81 is a business VPN instead of a personal one, its pricing system may look a bit different than you’re used to.
First of all, there’s a minimum number of users, and each user costs a certain amount of money depending on the plan you choose:
- Essentials: min. 5 users, min. $8 per user
- Premium: min. 10 users, min. $12 per user
- Premium Plus: min. 20 users, min. $16 per user
- Enterprise: min. 50 users, no fixed pricing
When getting Perimeter 81, you can either pay for a monthly subscription or get the VPN for the whole year, making the subscription a bit cheaper. The following table depicts the monthly rates, as well as the minimum price you’d have to pay when getting the service for one month:
|Monthly||Monthly minimum price (1 gateway)|
|Essentials||$10/month per user, $50/month per gateway||$100/month|
|Premium||$15/month per user, $50/month per gateway||$200/month|
|Premium Plus||$20/month per user, $50/month per gateway||$450/month|
Meanwhile, this is how much you’d have to pay when subscribing to the yearly plans of Perimeter 81:
|Yearly||Yearly minimum price (1 gateway)|
|Essentials||$8/month per user, $40 per gateway||$1,060/year|
|Premium||$12/month per user, $40 per gateway||$1,920/year|
|Premium Plus||$16/month per user, $40/month per gateway||$4,320/year|
I didn’t include the Enterprise subscription, as it doesn’t have any fixed prices - you have to contact the customer support if you’re considering this option.
All the plans offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. This is a really good thing to have, considering that business VPNs are quite costly.
The Essentials plan is the cheapest subscription of Perimeter 81. So, aside from the essential VPN features like unlimited bandwidth, a network management platform, unlimited network tunnels, this version includes:
- Secure application access (2 applications)
- Activity audits and reports for 14 days
- The maximum speed of 500 Mbps/Gateway
- Two-factor authentication
- Split tunneling
- Private DNS
Naturally, as this plan offers the most basic services, it lacks certain features. You’ll get no Network Traffic Control, Always-On VPN, DNS filtering, Device Posture Check, or configuration options for user profiles.
The Premium subscription is the second tier of Perimeter 81. It includes everything offered in the Essentials plan, plus:
- Secure application access (10 applications)
- Activity audits and reports for 30 days
- The maximum speed of 1,000 Mbps/Gateway
- Network Traffic Control (10 policies)
- Device Posture Check (3 profiles)
- User Configuration Profiles (3 profiles)
- Premium public networks
- Always-On VPN
- DNS filtering
- Secure application access (10 applications)
Premium Plus is the third most expensive subscription of Perimeter 81. So, aside from everything offered by the previous plans, Premium Plus also gives you:
- Secure application access (100 applications)
- Network Traffic Control (100 policies)
- Device Posture Check (20 profiles)
- User Configuration Profiles (10 profiles)
- SIEM integration
- Dedicated account specialist
- API support
- Phone support
This is the most elaborate subscription plan of Perimeter 81. Its minimum number of users is 50, and you have to contact the customer support in order to negotiate the price according to your company’s needs.
So, aside from all the good stuff you can find in the Premium Plus subscription, Enterprise also offers:
- Secure application access (Unlimited)
- Activity audits and reports for 60 days
- Network Traffic Control (Unlimited)
- Device Posture Check (Unlimited)
- User Configuration Profiles (Unlimited)
- 24/7 customer support
Even though torrenting isn’t an activity you’re expected to do at work (you can even get fired for it in some places!), it’s still a good idea to check the capabilities of Perimeter 81. After all, this might get in handy at some jobs.
So, Perimeter 81 not only allows torrenting, but also offers pretty good speeds. For example, when using the private gateway, I was able to download files at the speed of about 200 Mbps. However, the speed was a bit worse on shared servers (~100 Mbps).
Streaming is yet another activity not associated with the workplace. However, it’s still nice to be able to unwind, relax, and watch your favorite geo-restricted show during your lunch break.
Naturally, I checked Netflix first. Interestingly, its UK library only worked with the private gateway. Meanwhile, both the regular and streaming-optimized servers only made me see the international library.
As for BBC iPlayer, it didn’t work with any of the servers, including the private gateway. Finally, DAZN and Hulu didn’t work with any of the US servers.
All in all, Perimeter 81 wouldn’t be my go-to VPN for streaming. Luckily for the service, showing geo-blocked content isn’t its primary purpose.
Interface and ease of use
It’s good to know that Perimeter 81 is intuitive and easy to use even to those who’ve never used a business VPN before.
So, Perimeter 81 offers slick and modern applications for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Keep in mind that these apps are for the VPN users only - all the administrative work is done via the web client.
As far as VPN apps go, the desktop applications of Perimeter 81 are quite simplistic. Of course, this isn’t too big of a disadvantage - in fact, this only makes them easier to install and use.
Everything you need (which includes the tunneling protocols, features, support, and servers) is neatly put into separate tabs. A few clicks, and you’re using the app just the way you want.
It’s nice that even Linux users get a full-blown application, which is quite rare in the world of VPNs.
The mobile applications (Android and iOS) are very similar to their desktop counterparts, from the color palette to the functionality.
However, the mobile versions lack a few features. These include Connect on Launch, notification settings, and automatic updates. On the bright side, neither you nor your employees will have trouble using the applications.
The web client of Perimeter 81 is where all the good stuff happens. Here, you’ll be able to do all the account management things mentioned in this Perimeter 81 review. For example, you’ll be able to add, remove, and manage the VPN users, as well as give or deny permissions to different user groups.
Overall, this management console is quite easy and comfortable to use. However, it still requires some knowledge of networking and cryptography to fully understand what you are doing.
There are many options to get help from the customer support team of Perimeter 81 VPN. If you don’t have an account, you can read through their knowledge base or create a ticket and get a reply into your email.
However, you get even more options (dedicated chat and email support) if you’re a paid user. The users of the Essentials plan will get their queries answered during office hours, while Premium and Premium Plus users get prioritized responses. The latter subscription also includes phone support during office hours, as well as a dedicated account manager.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise subscription truly takes the cake. That’s because its users get 24/7 phone and live chat support (together with a dedicated account manager, of course).
So, I actually got the chance to test the customer support of Perimeter 81, because I had some issues logging in on Android. The support agent was very quick, responsive, and professional, leaving a really good impression.
However, the fact that they had access to literally everything on my account bothered me a little. The info included the number of connected devices, active users, and active devices. Just keep that in mind if you want 100% privacy.
Is Perimeter 81 VPN any good?
Yes, Perimeter 81 is a good business VPN. It delivered nearly the same bandwidth with the private gateway as I would have without a VPN. There are also lots of features that can be extremely useful in a corporate setting.
All things considered, it’s worth investing in Perimeter 81 if you want to protect your business.
What is Perimeter 81 used for?
Perimeter 81 is used by businesses to access internal infrastructure and protect the confidential data of the company. The service can also be used as a regular VPN to access geo-blocked content and protect your device from snoopers.
What services does Perimeter 81 provide?
Perimeter 81 provides dedicated servers and IP addresses, built-in user management tools, easy connection to cloud-based applications, and useful features like split tunneling.
Is Perimeter 81 a VPN?
While technically Perimeter 81 can be classified as a VPN, they call their service SDP (software defined perimeter). Even though they still use VPN tunneling protocols like Wireguard and OpenVPN, they have also fixed some of the issues with corporate VPNs. For example, it’s significantly harder for hackers to hijack accounts, as Perimeter 81 uses SSO and other advanced identification methods.