Perimeter 81 Review

Keelan Balderson
Keelan Balderson

Updated · Aug 03, 2022

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A consumer VPN is not adequate for businesses to secure network infrastructure with varying devices and users. In this Perimeter 81 review, you’ll learn how you can manage the most complex corporate environments from a central cloud VPN and security platform

Company location

Israel

Number of servers

700+

Zero-log policy

N/A

Protocols

WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2

Stealth VPN

No

Double VPN

Yes

Ad-blocker

No

Torrenting

Yes

WORKS ON:

apple linux chrome mac-os android firefox windows
Perimeter 81 logo

MINIMUM PRICE $8 per user/mo

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Best for: Complex business networks

Strengths
Strengths Central network control
Strengths Intuitive client apps
Strengths Very secure
Strengths Good speed and stability
Weaknesses
Weaknesses Average server count
Weaknesses Confusing billing
Weaknesses Some split tunneling limitations

So, what is Perimeter 81? Simply put, it’s a feature-packed virtual private network (VPN) that accommodates enterprise infrastructure’s complexities. It is deployable across local networks, the cloud, employee mobile devices, and everything in between. Moreover, you control everything from a single web dashboard or software console, even if you have faraway remote offices.

Simply install the Perimeter 81 client on your Windows, server, macOS, or Linux machines. It also supports Android and iOS devices, which are now crucial to all modern businesses but often slip through the net.

As for cloud networks, Perimeter 81 Azure is just one common option, but it also supports Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Google Cloud, and other major providers.

The Perimeter 81 headquarters sits in Tel Aviv, Israel, with offices in New York City. Furthermore, its VPN service is spread across hundreds of servers in almost 40 countries to ensure good speed and performance. 

Perimeter 81 competitors include Twingate, NordLayer, and Todyl. However, it is somewhat unique in the cloud security and VPN space. 

So, let’s further dive into this Perimeter 81 VPN review to see how your business can benefit from it.

Perimeter 81 Features

I carried out Perimeter 81 reviews of each core feature to better understand this VPN’s capabilities, security, and flexibility on a large scale.

Server Distribution

The platform's backbone is its 700+ VPN servers, from over 40 data centers, in more than 30 countries. It’s not the most plentiful when it comes to VPN solutions, like for example, NordVPN has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries.

However, its distribution still ensures a quick and reliable connection. As its largest customer base, it covers the US and Europe in crucial strategic regions. There is also coverage in South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. 

Tests show a consistent throughput of 1GB in the US and UK, delivering the speed and uptime that serious businesses desire. You receive throttled service at 500Mbps on the lowest plan.

Site-to-Site

A Perimeter 81 gateway combines separate networks and entirely different business sites under the same security and VPN rules. In other words, if you have several offices worldwide, this won’t impact your ability to protect and manage them using a centralized dashboard.

Depending on your network's size and complexity, you might pay for several gateways or none.

Using a Perimeter 81 static IP, you can automatically grant network access to trusted traffic sources through a gateway.

Zero Trust Application Access

Its zero-trust architecture is a key aspect of Perimeter’s success. This gives you control over staff access and the systems and devices it permits. As such, if a user inserts a USB device into a remote computer, your network remains protected. 

Moreover, it protects connected employees via encryption, authentication, and other security features.

Depending on the plan, you can set up numerous zero-trust rules. An example of this can be one setting for employees and another for contractors. Each set of rules within the dashboard is called an application.

Split Tunneling

Perimeter 81 split tunneling is similar to other common VPN providers, allowing select traffic to bypass the VPN for speed and efficiency. On a consumer level, someone may only use a VPN to access region-locked content. While for a business, you might encrypt internal resources but allow open access to the web.

Alternatively, you could run all traffic through the VPN except for trusted apps and sites. 

The platform puts security first, so it limits the implementation of split tunneling more than a standard VPN. It all depends on the operating system and protocol in use. The dashboard provides a clear understanding of users' opportunities. 

SWG Web Filtering

With access to web filtering, you can set the sites that users can and cannot visit. You can further set it to block domains and URLs outright or warn users before loading. Logs let you know who accesses what and by which computers or devices. 

Similarly, you can set rules network-wide or for individual staff members or connected devices.

Multi-Hop

Another common VPN feature is multi-hop. This strengthens Perimeter 81 encryption by routing traffic through multiple servers and locations per request. In other words, a much longer chain is created, making it impossible for nefarious actors to trace the actual connection’s origin. 

Kill Switch

If there is a malfunction on your or Perimeter’s end, using a kill switch means your connection terminates immediately to protect the network. 

Streaming

Although the platform aims to support businesses and is unlikely to be used by the likes of Netflix, it can accommodate streaming services due to its high speeds and stability. This makes it useful for video conferencing and streaming webinars and events, both internally and on a more public basis.  

Torrenting

Similarly, the service does not hinder torrenting, which may be a useful form of internal file sharing.

Mobile Apps

The Perimeter 81 iOS and Android apps allow for easy mobile device connectivity to the secured network. These provide the same features as the desktop clients, and the interfaces share a similar design. 

This is an excellent way to prevent employees’ work and personal devices from becoming liabilities.

Perimeter 81 Advanced Features

Perimeter 81 features are endless. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more advanced offerings:

Device Posture Check

This feature adds an extra layer of security to connected computers and devices by clearly defining the rules. It continually monitors them for changes and vulnerabilities to maintain its zero-trust policies. 

New devices are checked against the rules and automatically barred from connecting if they fail. Meanwhile, if existing devices on the network start behaving suspiciously, you can remove them.

Furthermore, you can carry out generalized health checks that consider previous posture failures, the OS and device type, login history, session times, the user, and other factors to determine health or risk percentages. 

This gives you a more hands-on approach to monitoring, and over time, the Perimeter 81 logs build up data about your business’s overall posture and areas for improvement. For example, perhaps a particular operating system is open to exploitation, or maybe a department has not embraced 2-factor authentication.   

Multi-factor Authentication

It is a simple but powerful security step that requires users to confirm their connection and login credentials via a secondary email passcode. This ensures the person using the device is the intended person, preventing unauthorized access. 

DNS Filtering

Perimeter 81 DNS filtering is an alternative web filtering method that prevents employees from accessing domains outside a whitelist. This is often just internal resources and a handful of permitted websites and apps. 

It’s a powerful way to prevent deliberate and accidental exposure to viruses, malware, phishing, and ransomware, which can prove very costly.

HIPAA Compliance

If working within the US healthcare industry, you must follow certain data security regulations. You can achieve Perimeter 81 HIPAA compliance through encrypted data transmission, secure remote access, and 2FA.

Automatic Wi-Fi Security

With auto Wi-Fi security, employees can access private resources via the public internet. The aforementioned multi-hop and encryption further strengthen this secure remote access.

Perimeter 81 Security and Protocols

Let’s explore the platform’s other security features and the various supported VPN protocols

Encryption

Perimeter 81 encryption is present at all possible levels. It uses IPsec tunneling protocols that encrypt data between user devices and the network immediately upon logging in. This is military-grade encryption.

Unlike a traditional VPN provider, the site-to-site architecture incorporates an organization’s cloud and remote aspects within the encryption protocol. It also provides more segmentation and control rather than a catch-all approach better suited to the average home user.

Firewalls

The Perimeter 81 firewall is available on the Premium and Premium Plus plans, providing granular and customizable network access policies. You can create between 10 and 100 unique firewall policies.

The Essentials plan also functions as a firewall, which applies to the entire network. 

Protocols

The platform works with several protocols under IPSec, a cloud-based approach. IKEv2 is used in conjunction due to its affinity to mobile devices and the switching between mobile data and Wi-Fi based connections.

The Perimeter 81 OpenVPN alternative provides 256-bit AES encryption and versatility. For example, it conveniently works with everything from Linux to mobile devices. However, it is more scalable and requires less configuration than standard OpenVPN

Perimeter 81 WireGuard is simple to implement and benefits from increased speed and easier auditing. That makes it particularly useful for complex business networks that require monitoring while maintaining performance.

The solution also uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption protocol for its site-to-site VPN.

Perimeter 81 ports include both UDP and TCP.

Ease of use

The platform is not for the average home user but is relatively straightforward for a company’s IT department. You access a web dashboard or dedicated console for managing all the settings and rules. At the same time, connected devices need to have the client software installed to enable their monitoring and management.   

Perimeter 81 for Linux, Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android all support the console, with the mobile apps slightly scaled back but still capable. The client Perimeter 81 app supports all these operating systems and Windows servers. Furthermore, cloud platforms including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon AWS, Salesforce, and Heroku join the list.

It’s your choice whether to allow employees any access to the management settings on the client-side. It goes without saying that the most secure method is to control things centrally through the console or web dashboard. 

To get started, assign a business domain, find your plan, and download any console or client software you need. For example, a download button clearly lists Perimeter 81 for Mac

Before letting the team onboard, make sure to configure all the settings. Help comes in the form of written and video tutorials or a dedicated support rep on higher-tier plans.

It all boils down to choosing your desired user permissions, web whitelists, and monitoring rules. 

Customer Support

An aggregate of Perimeter 81 user reviews ranks customer support as reliable. Only Enterprise customers get 24/7 support and phone access. All others receive service during office hours. And those who subscribe to lower-tier plans will be bumped behind clients with more expensive subscriptions. 

The primary mode of contact is live web chat or email ticketing. Nonetheless, responses are fast and helpful. Coupled with an extensive knowledge base, there is more than enough help available.

Perimeter 81 Price

Perimeter 81 pricing plans base themselves on the features you need and the size of the business. The three available plans come with unlimited bandwidth

Essentials

$8 per user/mo (billed annually) or $10/mo (5 user minimum)

Two applications, 14 days’ worth of reports, 500Mbps speed, and office hours support.

Premium

$12 per user/mo (billed annually) or $25/mo (10 user minimum)

Ten applications, 30 days of reporting, 1Gbps speed, priority support. Plus, ten firewall policies, VPN, three device posture check profiles, employee 2FA, three user profile groupings, and access to the premium public network across 40 locations.

Premium Plus

$16 per user/mo (billed annually) or $20/mo (20 user minimum)

One hundred applications, 100 firewall policies, ten user profile groupings, a dedicated support specialist, and API access.

The Perimeter 81 cost benefit is best with a yearly contract, so choose this option if you have the budget and intend to stay long-term.

Note, each plan has a minimum user requirement. The Essentials plan, for example, requires a minimum of five users and is listed as $8/$10 per user each month.

Furthermore, it is an added $40 per network gateway. So, if you have two separate offices that need linking via a gateway, the minimum monthly cost is actually $80/$90. For Premium Plus, you’re looking at $360/$440.

All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re willing to spend upfront, you can theoretically get your money back if it’s not the right solution. 

Perimeter 81 enterprise VPN plans are also available. Tailored specifically to your business, you must negotiate directly with sales staff. 

While the Perimeter 81 trial doesn’t let you try the product thoroughly, you can request a demo. This walks you through setting up the network, zero trust policies, and its main features.

Verdict

My  Perimeter 81 review illustrates this powerful option for businesses to control and configure their VPN and associated security measures centrally. The service is generally fast and reliable and can be tailored to the most complex setups thanks to the cloud. Its software is also versatile. For example, the Perimeter 81 Linux client is just as functional as the mobile iOS version.  

However, there are some Perimeter 81 issues worth mentioning. Pricing is somewhat misleading, and you must understand each feature and your needs before picking the right plan. Coverage and speed are great in the US and Europe, but its number of servers is not that high, and those in other regions might not receive similar performance. 

Nonetheless, Perimeter 81 alternative solutions lack the level of control found in its centralized dashboard. This not only lets you set different rules for different teams, users, and devices, but you can log data and improve security over time.

It’s well worth your consideration.

FAQ.


Is Perimeter 81 good?

Perimeter 81’s pros and cons make it suitable for operating a growing business with an extensive IT network. This is especially true for multi-site companies. The variety of tools, level of control, and overall security are second to none. 

It is not worthwhile for small businesses or individual users that just need a standard VPN service.

How does Perimeter 81 work?

The platform works by rerouting business network traffic through an encrypted tunnel, protecting it from access and snooping from malicious actors. Unlike a traditional personal VPN, this business VPN gives you complete control over who and what can access the network while providing extensive monitoring features to keep you in the loop.

What is Perimeter 81 used for?

The Perimeter 81 business VPN and security platform secures the network traffic of businesses. Particularly those with remote workers, varying computers and devices, and multiple offices.

Is Perimeter 81 a VPN?

Yes and no. While doing this Perimeter 81 review, it became apparent that the platform provides VPN services. Still, it has many more security features and is infinitely more scalable than your average provider. On top of that, it’s designed for businesses to manage the workforce's computer infrastructure on a micro-level.

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Keelan Balderson

Keelan Balderson

A qualified journalist and longtime web content writer, Keelan has a passion for exploring information and learning new things. If he's not writing or pushing his own brands, you'll find him watching pro wrestling or trying not to rant about politics online.

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