How To Choose The Right VPN
Which VPN to choose depends on the needs of the user. When choosing a VPN, there are some simple questions to ask:
- How many devices will connect to the VPN? Most VPNs have device caps, so be sure the service can include all the devices within your network comfortably.
- How much will the VPN impact internet speed? All VPNs slow down internet speeds to varying degrees because instead of going directly to the router, data moves through an encrypted tunnel. Look at what our VPN comparison says about slowdowns with different VPN services to get a better idea.
- Do you need a VPN with torrent capability? If so, make sure the VPN service allows torrenting.
- Where is the VPN service located? Depending on where the VPN service has their headquarters, they will have to obey certain data retention laws. Before signing up for a service, check what user data they have to provide their host government. Through communications and data sharing alliances, your user data might be shared with your own governments intelligence agencies, if part of the same alliance. The biggest alliances among western countries are called Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes.
- Five Eyes: U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada
- Nine Eyes: Five Eyes nations and France, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark
- Fourteen Eyes: Nine Eyes nations and Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden
Note:Free VPN trials are a great way to learn about what to expect from different services.
Connecting To Your VPN Server
To connect to the VPN server, you will need;your computers public IP address; or its dynamic DNS address, if you set up a dynamic DNS service.
In whatever version of Windows youre using on the machine doing the connecting, you can just hit Start, type vpn, and then select the option that appears. In Windows 10, it will be named Change Virtual Private Networks . In Windows 7, its named Set up a virtual private network connection.
When asked, provide a name for the connection and the Internet address .
For more instructions on connectingincluding some of the advanced options you can choosecheck out our full guide on;how to connect to a VPN on Windows.
Preparing Your VPN Servers Ip Address
Its important to decide whether you are going to make use of a static IP address or a dynamic IP address, setting up a VPN for a static IP address is a rather simple process and requires no extra work.
However, if you want to utilize a dynamic IP address, you must make use of a dynamic DNS service.
If you choose to go down the dynamic DNS service route, then you should decide whether you want to make use of your own domain name or a free one.
If you want to make use of your own domain name, then you can use a service like CloudFlare, if youre going to make use of a free subdomain then a service such as no-ip.org will be useful for you.
You can check out our guide on setting up your Raspberry Pi for Dynamic DNS for more information.
Remember the domain name that you set up for either Cloudflare or no-ip.org as you will need this later on in the tutorial.
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Optimizing A VPN Service
To make the most of a VPN, pick a server that best fits your needs. Want to maximize speed? Pick a server nearby. Want to experience Netflix on other continents? Pick a server in the host country for that streaming library. Want to get around government censorship? Pick a server in a country with more online freedom. Many VPN services also offer maximum security options, which send web traffic through multiple servers and make us even harder to track. Its a helpful tool when we want to feel extra secure, but the trade-off is even slower internet.
Getting Started With A VPN
Once you’ve settled on a service, the first thing to do is to download the company’s app. There’s usually a Downloads page for this on the VPN service’s website. Go ahead and download the apps for your mobile devices as well: You’ll want to protect as many of your devices as you can. If the VPN service you’re considering doesn’t offer an app for the devices you use, consider finding a different service.;
We have found that when releasing VPNs for Mac, companies occasionally have different versions available in the Mac App Store and on the company website. This appears to be for compliance with restrictions imposed by Apple. Figuring out which will work for you can be tricky, so be sure to read the company’s documentation carefully.
Once you’ve installed the apps, you’re usually prompted to enter your login information. In most cases, this is the username and password you created when you signed up for the service. Some companies, such as IVPN, Mullvad, and ExpressVPN have unusual login systems that provide customers with more privacy but can be confusing at first. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.
Once you’re logged in, your VPN app usually connects to the VPN server closest to your current location. That’s done to provide better speeds when using the VPN, as performance degrades the farther the VPN server is from your actual location. That’s it: Your information is now being securely tunneled to the VPN server.
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Best Free VPNs For Torrenting Anonymously In 2021
When you share torrent files using a BitTorrent client like uTorrent you may be sharing more than just that file. Your IP address is exposed and you are leaving yourself open to getting hacked. If that isnt bad enough your Internet service provider and government agencies can see what youre doing and you can get fined by breaking copyright laws.
The simple solution is to use a secure VPN that will keep your IP address and personal information hidden from the world during your torrenting sessions.
Most people who like downloading torrents for free will also prefer to not have to pay money for a VPN. With the hundreds of free VPNs available online, it can be overwhelming trying to find the best one that suits your needs while still providing you the security and protection you are seeking.
Its important to say right off the bat that a free VPN isnt nearly secure as a premium service. Free VPNs have limited features, whether it is limited servers, bandwidth, or security features and, some are far more malicious in their way of functioning.
While free is an excellent price tag for VPN services while torrenting, it is always recommended that you select a paid VPN that has security features and privacy policies to keep you safe like ExpressVPN.
That being said, we understand the draw of a free VPN, and we did the research and found the three best VPNs for torrenting.
What About Free VPNs
Worthwhile free VPNs are rare, but they do exist. Many VPN services offer a free trial, but it’s usually for a limited time. Others, like TunnelBear and Hotspot Shield, have totally free versions but reserve some features for paid users. ProtonVPN is our top choice for free VPNs, because it places no data limitation on free users.
Unfortunately, most VPNs are a far cry from free, but you don’t need to break the bank to get protected. After trying out a service for a month or two, you can save more by purchasing longer-term contracts. Our list of cheap VPNs is a great place to start if money is tight.
Also Check: How To Create Free VPN
Flash Your Current Router
Firmware like DD-WRT replaces the OS on your routers non-volatile storage a process called flashing. The firmwares listed above support the creation of VPN servers on the router.
Be aware that this method of fixing a home VPN server is riskier because it has more excellent room for error and security flaws compared to purchasing a router with built-in VPN server support.
To create a VPN in this manner, you want first to flash your current router to figure with third-party firmware.
After that, youve got to input a series of commands on the flashed router to make a VPN server, then configure the device you would like to use because of the VPN client.
Theres tons of room for error, which could ultimately compromise your online security and privacy.
Its essential to research before you flash your router because doing so on a tool that doesnt support the firmware could break your router.
You can check if your current router supports DD-WRT firmware on the DD-WRT-supported routers database.
Heres how to flash your router:
How To Set Up Your Own VPN Server At Home In 2021
We understand that the situation surrounding VPN services is a complex one. Aside from a wide range of commercial solutions available, you also have the option to set up your own VPN server at home. As such, this is perhaps the best way to make sure your privacy is intact.
So, how do you set up your own VPN server at home in 2021? What equipment do you need, and what this process entails? Well, were about to answer those questions and more!
Before going deeper, we have a few useful bits of information. First of all, know that setting up your own VN server isnt the most intuitive process. We recommend it to tech enthusiasts who have some prior knowledge in terms of tinkering with hardware and software.
Also, keep in mind that this isnt a one-time process, as it requires you to keep your VPN server updated and maintained at all times. There are new vulnerabilities discovered every single day, so both you and your VPN service provider need to implement fresh fixes as soon as possible.
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Set Up A VPN Server On The Cloud
You can also rent a cloud server from a reputable platform and create a VPN there. Most platforms offer a free version and a premium version, where you pay for a monthly subscription. Some suitable cloud platforms include:
- Google Compute Engine
While you wont be able to use a cloud VPN server to access your local network while away from home, this method allows you to rent a server in whichever country you choose. This means youll be able to access content that is available in the country where your server is located. For example, you could use it to access your US Netflix account when youre abroad.
However, using a cloud server has some possible privacy concerns. This is because you have to trust your provider with all your internet traffic. Since you can get a reliable VPN service for around the same price as a premium subscription, Id recommend using ExpressVPN because of its robust security features.
Once youve chosen a cloud platform, youll need to download and install a suite of VPN setup tools called Algo. Then, youll need to set up the devices that youre going to connect to the VPN.
To set up a cloud VPN server on your device, follow these steps:
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Virtual private networks can offer an additional layer of security and privacy. Whether youre working on a public Wi-Fi network and want to escape prying eyes, or youre worried about privacy in general, a VPN can offer a lot of benefits.
In a nutshell, a VPN establishes a secure, encrypted connection between your device and a private server, hiding your traffic from being seen by others. Of course, the VPN itself can still see your traffic, which is why you should choose a VPN from a company you trust. In addition, law enforcement can get its hands on your information through the VPN company. However, for the most part, a VPN offers you a way to hide your online activity from others.
The best VPN to use to protect your privacy
Note that getting a VPN is only one of the measures you can take to make your web browsing more secure. Others include enabling two-factor authentication and using a password manager.
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Get Someone Else To Host Your VPN For You
Here is a meet in the middle solution: you can have a web hosting provider host a VPN server for you. This can wind up a cheaper option than paying for a full-blown VPN service. Simply pay the web hosting company for server hosting and then set up your VPN server on the server they provide.
It does depend on the web hosting company as to whether or not this is an easy or a complicated process. Some offer point and click interfaces, while others require you to work with a command prompt.
Disadvantage To Setting Up Your Own VPN
Of course, there are certain disadvantages to setting up your own VPN as well, the top of which being:
No unlocking geoblocked content
Probably the biggest reason people want to use a virtual private network, is because it allows them access to content that is blocked on services like Netflix.
Read more about it on how to get American Netflix in Australia.
The way most VPNs work is that they have a server in a specific country you want to gain access through, and you connect to that server making that service believe youre from that country.
Now, if you already have a home in another country and its a relatively easy thing to set up a VPN server there, no problem, but ultimately the cost of setting up servers across the globe, even simple ones, wont be as cheap as just subscribing to a VPN, or even using a free VPN.
Related Read:Best VPNs for Netflix
No Protection through IP Sharing
One big positive of using a VPN with other people and several servers, is that it can obfuscate your actions because a lot of people share your IP.
If you instead chose to set up your own VPN and use it completely on you own, any traffic pattern analysis application will probably be able to detect that its you. Even worse, if your IP is connected to your real name, then any anonymity you had goes out the window.
Dealing with the hassle of setting up a VPN
That means youll end up doing a lot of tweaking and workarounds to get it working on whichever devices you chose to use.;
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Are There Any Disadvantages
While setting up your own VPN server can be extremely beneficial, there are some situations when this idea might be a poor choice:
- If you use a VPN to accessregion-locked content around the globe. If you rely on your VPN provider having lots of available servers in different countries, a homemade VPN server is inferior. Commercial VPN operators can subsidize the cost of running servers in so many places by having lots of customers.
- If you arent willing to dedicate the time to set it up. While modern tools have made the process easier, theres no doubt that setting up a VPN isnt for everyone.
- If you dont want to be on the hook for security. Even though todays automation solutions help, youre ultimately still responsible for securing your server and VPN solution. Youll need to make informed decisions on security-related issues.
Bonus: Host Your Own VPN Server Elsewhere
Theres one more do-it-yourself option thats halfway between hosting your own VPN server on your own hardware versus paying a VPN provider to provide you with VPN service and a convenient app.
You could host your own VPN server with a web hosting provider, and this may actually be a few bucks cheaper a month than going with a dedicated VPN provider. Youll pay the hosting provider;for server hosting, and then install a VPN server on the;server theyve provided to you.
Depending on the hosting provider youve chosen, this can be a quick point-and-click process;where you add the VPN server software and get a control panel to manage it, or it may require pulling up;a command-line to;install and configure everything from scratch.
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When doing setting up a VPN at home, youll probably want to set up dynamic DNS on your router. This will give you an easy address you can access your VPN at, even if your home Internet connections IP address changes.
Be sure to configure your VPN server securely. Youll want strong security so no one else can connect to your VPN. Even a strong password might not be ideal an OpenVPN server with a key file you need to connect would be strong authentication, for example.
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