Twingate Review 2021: Is It Safer for Businesses Than A VPN?

Author Image Kristin Hassel
Kristin Hassel | Cybersecurity Researcher
Updated on 22nd December 2020

Twingate is a newcomer to the market, offering some features that are a vast improvement over the standard VPN but is it really that much better? Let’s see where it delivers for large-scale and enterprise businesses, and if it’s worth the changeover for smaller companies and entrepreneurs.

Short On Time? Here Are My Key Findings

  1. You can connect to the Twingate client from any network.
  2. Set up and install is fast for individuals, and larger businesses can incorporate it alongside current VPN infrastructures for quicker implementation.
  3. Costs can get extremely high for enterprise-level businesses as the price is per user.

Twingate Vs. VPN – What’s Different? What’s the Same?

Since Twingate bills itself as the ‘anti-VPN’, it’s important to know how it differs from using a traditional VPN for private network access and overall security.

How Twingate Differs

Twingate isn’t really a VPN service, that’s the first and biggest difference. In simple terms, Twingate gives users the ability to access permissions at application level, while VPNs require network level access.  Its use of zero-trust access is similar to what perfect forward secrecy offers, only on a larger scale. Instead of protecting individual sessions, it prevents hackers from accessing the entire network if a single user is compromised. So, in a way, it’s like perfect forward secrecy amplified by a 100.

As previously mentioned, a VPN gives you access to resources at a network level, which can leave room for a potential security breach. If a hacker manages to access your network, any data on the network is potentially up for grabs if the VPN doesn’t use perfect forward secrecy. With perfect forward secrecy, the system continuously changes the keys it uses to encrypt and decrypt data. That way if one session on the network is compromised, no additional sessions are up for grabs.

Twingate bypasses the need for perfect forward secrecy by providing access at the application-level. This type of access decreases the likelihood of the system being breached by hackers as no network resources are required. A vast improvement over some VPN gateways, that actually leak DNS/IP requests. With no network or port-level access and no need to actively connect to a server, Twingate can easily hide online.  An important feature as the use of anti-VPN technology has made VPNs increasingly visible to hackers.

I had a hard time finding any real deal-breakers when it comes to Twingate. One small hiccup is that it doesn’t allow any port-level access. Port-level access could be useful when it comes to providing visitors temporary access without compromising the network or having to add and remove emails and go through the standard identification process. On the other hand, the authentication/identification process isn’t difficult or time-consuming.

Both can be used for business purposes, but Twingate offers enterprise solutions that are easy to customize, and control, from the centralized admin console and new client agents can be set up without IT support. However, one license with Twingate equals one user, which may get spendy for a smaller 10 user business. While most major VPNs allow at least 5 simultaneous connections per license.

How Twingate Is Similar

Just because it isn’t a VPN, it doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on classic VPN benefits like reduced latency, amplified security, and split-tunneling. Your data is encrypted with industry standard encryption protocols like TLS/SSL and AES-256. Twingate offers businesses of all sizes a software-only, cloud-based service with the above features, and more.

Like Twingate, the most popular VPNs provide apps for Android and iOS, as well as clients for Linux, Windows, and macOS. That way employees can enjoy secure access via phone, desktop, laptop, and virtually any other compatible device.

Both VPNs and Twingate also provide better online connectivity, offer users a better and safer online experience, and help protect client and user data and other sensitive information from hackers and third-parties.

Does VPN keep logs? No
Does VPN include a kill switch? Yes
Number of devices per license 1

Ease of Use

8.4

I initially tried to set up Twingate on my 32-bit notebook computer and received the following error message.

Twingate errorTwingate doesn’t support 32-bit Windows devices.

I found this a bit disappointing since it bills itself as a work from home solution, and many laptops, notebooks, and even cell phones still use 32-bit architectures.

However, once I switched to my reliable desktop, setting up Twingate is as fast and painless as they make it sound on their site. I simply chose the version I wanted, and was able to sign up via my small businesses Google account. Once you sign up you are immediately redirected to the dashboard, where you are given the option to demo the product, it even offers a calendar to set up a time. What impressed me, was the instant message from customer support.

Welcome messageAutomated welcome with useful resources.

I realize this is an automated feature but getting access to important resources immediately, without having to dig, scored major points in my book. I was able to find so much starter information in the links Twingate provided.

The service is true to its word, I didn’t have to select any servers or do any major work to get connected, and while I won’t show all the tiny private details I can give you the basics of how it all works. Once I was in I got the option to connect through specific services, I use Google Cloud so I chose that option.

Google Cloud Connect TwingateConnect via your chosen remote network.

Once you chose a remote network you need to add a connector, at which point you’ll be able to access the services. Adding users and resources is just as easy. I just clicked on the +Add button, entered the email address of each user I wanted to give access to in the appropriate fields, and notifications were sent to them. The user then shows as pending until accepting the invite.

User settingsAdding users is easy in Twingate.

The way the service runs quietly in the background, without much effort on my part was impressive. I installed the app on my Android device and signed in using my company network, and viola!

Compare Twingate with the top alternative VPNs

Pricing

6.7
Starter
$0.00 /month
Teams
$5.00 /month
Business
$10.00 /month

The free version of Twingate is easy to use and would be a great option for small businesses or sole proprietors, as you can only add up to two users. The upfront cost for large scale implementation can be a bit spendy, depending on how many users you need to set up initially but in time it’s offset by the low cost of maintenance.

With Twingate you only pay for what you need. Plus you can even get a 14-day free trial of its Business plan tier by contacting customer support, so you can demo it risk-free.

The Bottom Line

A solid choice for medium to largescale businesses, but it won’t replace VPNs just yet.

In terms of business use, Twingate offers plenty of features that companies with VPN infrastructures crave, without the potential security risk of network-level access. If you have a VPN already, you can implement Twingate without having to replace it, which helps save time for your IT teams and businesses money. Deployment is fast and the product is user friendly for workers. Twingate has apps for every major platform including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux.

The small scale version is easy to use, but you can get the same secure access using a trusted VPN provider. So while it may give the VPN a run for its money at an enterprise-level, smaller businesses won’t be as quick to change over just yet.

  • Application level user access offers advanced network protection
  • 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption
  • Clients can be added without IT Support
  • Easy access to controls from the centralized admin console
  • Get started with Twingate now
Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 14
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 1

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