Hands On With Private Internet Access VPN For Windows
We had some trouble installing Private Internet Access on an Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH desktop running the latest version of Windows 10, but solved the problem with a system restore. This happens to our test machine sometimes and is likely due to VPNs constantly being installed and removed.
Private Internet Access issues you login credentials in the purchase confirmation email. We’re never thrilled about passwords being sent in plaintext through emails since this could be intercepted. While you can change your password your company-issued username cannot be changed, a practice intended to provide extra anonymity but one that may be confusing for novices. IVPN and Mullvad VPN have a better, if stranger, system that requires no personal information from customers. These companies assign random account numbers to customers that serve as their sole login credentialno passwords, no usernames.
The app received a badly needed facelift a few years ago, and it’s still looking and feeling great. If you miss the bad old days, you can still control the entire app from within the system tray. Annoyingly, the app cannot be moved from its spot above the system tray and fades away whenever you click outside the app. This, thankfully, can be changed in the Settings menu before you even login.
While impressive, the tiles are of mixed utility. Some offer quick access to deep settings, and others display graphs and stats. The least useful tile shows your current subscription duration.
Will A VPN Service Help Me Connect Securely To My Office Network
If you’re trying to connect to your on-premises corporate network, you’ll most likely be assigned a VPN application by your IT department. This will allow you to establish a point-to-point connection between your local device and a server owned and operated by your company.
But, if your company is cloud-based, and you’re connecting to SaaS applications like Salesforce or Google, you should probably use a VPN service since you’re not actually connecting to your company but instead to a public cloud application.
If your IT department does not specifically identify a VPN service you should use for accessing their public cloud applications, definitely look at our VPN directory and choose one of the higher-rated service providers.
Do VPNs Actually Work
Theres a bit of a secret sauce when it comes to VPNs effectiveness. As long as you stick with a reputable VPN service like NordVPN or TorGuardindividual product reviews are a mustyour VPN will work.
Its not surprising that some people arent convinced, though. Facebook, for example, offered to pay mobile users $20 per month to connect to a VPN. According to an investigation by TechCrunch, this VPN sometimes referred to as Project Atlas was actually a data siphoning operation that gave Facebook root access to mobile devices.
There are also free VPNs like Hola, which offered a free VPN service that was connected to the Luminati network. Subscribers to this network paid each month to access bandwidth from the devices using Holas free VPN service, essentially creating a botnet with unwitting users hardware. It is worth noting that Luminati has since rectified their botnet-related woes since the issues surfaced.
If you connect to a VPN, theres a quick test you can do to see if its working. Ipleak.org and ipleak.net offer free tools for verifying your IP address, DNS requests and WebRTC information . Connect to your VPN, run the tests on one or both sites and verify that the information is different. As long as it is, your VPN is working as it should.
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Make Your Own Configuration Files
You can make your own configuration files that connect via IP address instead of the hostname in conjunction with the use of port TCP 443 via OpenVPN. Heres how you can generate your own configuration files for any region by logging into your Client Control panel located on the My Account page.
1. Once on the My Account page, scroll down to OpenVPN Configuration Generator and select Go to
2. You will now be able to configure your own configuration file for any platform, any region, and port with the option to connect via an IP address instead of the server name.
Note that the configuration uses a specific username and password that is different from the login credentials of your PIA account.
Private Internet Access OpenVPN Connection
In order to set up OpenVPN, you can use the free OpenVPN application developed by the OpenVPN project. For instructions on how to configure OpenVPN on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android follow the guides below:
How Can A VPN Help Protect Against Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when thieves steal your personal information and use it to commit crimes in your name like taking over or opening new accounts, filing tax returns in your name, or renting or buying property. A VPN can help protect against identity theft by helping protect your data. It creates an encrypted tunnel for the data you send and receive thats out of reach of cyberthieves.
If your smartphone’s Wi-Fi is enabled at all times, your device could be vulnerable without you ever knowing it. Everyday activities like online shopping, banking and browsing can expose your information, making you vulnerable to cybercrime.
A VPN can protect the information you share or access using your devices. Thats especially important when using a public Wi-Fi network, where a cyberthief on the same network could capture your login credentials and the credit card number you type in when you shop online.
You cant prevent identity theft. No one can. Some security aspects like a data breach at an organization where you have an account are out of your control. But a VPN can help safeguard the information you send from and receive on your devices.
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The Blind Post Office Analogy:
Imagine a post office that doesnt know your first or last names or address. The post person inside this office receives and sends letters containing only one piece of information about you your customers ID. The post office generated this ID especially for you and it keeps it confidential.
When you receive a letter, the post person identifies you using this ID and forwards the mail directly to you. All this happens through a super-secret pipe that connects your house and the office.
In the same way, you can ask this courier to send a letter to anyone in the world. The courier will take your letter, attach your customer ID to it, slap the post offices address on it, and ship it. As far as the receiver is concerned the letter came from the post office and not from you .
To protect the contents of the mail and your ID, these letters are translated into a language only you and the post person can understand. So even if anyone got hold of your mail they couldnt read it.
Are VPNs Free And Are Free VPNs Safe
Free VPNs exist, but theyre usually far less secure than leading premium VPN services. A free VPN service may replace subscription fees by showing you ads or by collecting and selling your personal data. Other problems with free VPNs include:
Weak protocols: Most free services provide only PPTP , an obsolete method built in the 1990s. Several PPTP vulnerabilities have been discovered over the years, and the encryption can be broken easily using tools that are widely available online.
Slow speeds: When everyone crowds onto a free VPN, its servers can quickly become overwhelmed, delaying connections and slowing things down.
Bandwidth limits: Free VPN services often have restrictions on the amount of data you can use per day, while most premium VPNs offer unlimited data.
Fewer server locations: A free service rarely supports as many locations as a leading premium VPN service.
Advertising: Free VPNs may insert ads into websites that might not usually have them, which isnt just annoying it can also be a security risk.
You can experience the benefits of a leading premium VPN service with a 7-day free trial for AVG Secure VPN. Hide your IP address, protect your personal data, access all the content you want, and secure your internet connection.
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Which Different VPN Protocols Are There
VPN connections use an encrypted connection also called a tunnel. There are several ways in which such a VPN connection can be set up. These protocols ensure that your data remains safe and cant be read by others. The most common VPN-protocols are:
If youd like to know more about the different VPN protocols and how they work, you can find a complete overview right here.
Does Private Internet Access Work With Bbc Iplayer
Private Internet Access is one of the few VPN services that unblock BBC iPlayer. The VPN service also offers fast connection speeds allowing you to stream in HD.
Want to try out Private Internet Access?
You can get 72% OFF here plus a time-limited extra 2 months free. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee allowing you to test the service risk-free.
After a cat and mouse game with the BBC iPlayer, PIA was on the losing side, but now the VPN works reliably with the streaming service.
I spend a week using PIA and every single time, it blasts past iPlayers geo-restrictions.
Given the streaming services robust VPN IP bans, it was refreshing to be able to stream popular shows like Killing Eve, McMafia, and Peaky Blinders without much of a struggle.
That said, if you run into any issues streaming BBC iPlayer with PIA, Ive included a few quick solutions below to help you out.
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How Do You Get A VPN And Which One Should You Choose
Depending on your needs, you can either use a VPN from your workplace, create a VPN server yourself, or sometimes host one out of your house but realistically the vast majority of people are just looking for something to protect them while torrenting or help them watch some media online that they cant seem to access from their country.
The easiest thing to do is simply head to one of these sites, sign up, and download the VPN client for your Windows PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, or iPad. Its as easy as that.
- ExpressVPN This VPN server has the best combination of ease-of-use, really fast servers, and supports streaming media and torrenting, all for a cheap price.
- TunnelBear This VPN is really easy to use, is great for using at the coffee shop, and has a free tier. Its not good for torrenting or streaming media though.
- StrongVPN not quite as easy to use as the others, but you can definitely use them for torrenting and streaming media.
All of them have free trials, so you can easily get your money back if you change your mind.
How Many Devices Can Connect To The VPN At Once
Think of how many devices in your home connect to the internet. You have your laptops, tablets, smart phones, and voice assistants. You might even have smart appliances that access the web.
Thats why its important to work with a VPN provider that allows several devices to connect to it at one time. That way, you can have both your laptop and your childrens tablets routed through a VPN at the same time.
Some VPN providers might offer different plans that allow for a higher or lower number of simultaneous connections. In general, you can expect to pay more for a greater number of connections. Top providers allow you to connect 10 or more devices simultaneously.
Number of simultaneous VPN connections:
- Norton Secure VPN 1, 5 or 10 based on plan level
- PureVPN 5
- Tunnel Bear 5
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How Does The Encryption Tunnel Work
Encryption is a method of changing normal text into an unreadable jumble of code. A key, or , unscrambles the text and renders it back into readable information. When you use a VPN, only your device and the VPN provider contain the decryption key. Anyone else trying to spy on you would only see a mess of characters.
There are three main types of encryption: hashing, symmetric cryptography, and asymmetric cryptography. Each type has its own nuanced strengths and weaknesses, but they all succeed in scrambling your data so that it is useless in anyone elses hands.
Different VPN providers offer varying degrees of encryption strength. Avast SecureLine VPN uses a combination of hashing, symmetric cryptography, and asymmetric cryptography for 256-bit AES encryption the same standard that banks and the military rely on.
Avast offers an extra layer of protection with our own DNS resolution system. The DNS is what translates numerical IP addresses into their more memorable text-based URLs. The DNS is what allows you to type in a site name like Avast.com rather than a long string of numbers. Cybercriminals can monitor DNS requests to track your movements online, but a VPNs DNS resolution system is designed to thwart them with further encryption. We make sure all IPv4 traffic coming from your device is firewalled and also disable IPv6 requests.
Is It True That A VPN Is Completely Unhackable
No. No. Did I mention… no. Nothing is unhackable. As evidence…
In January 2018, Cisco Systems revealed that a critical bug was found in its ASA software that could allow hackers to execute code remotely.
This is a bug in enterprise-level VPN systems used by corporations, so it’s severe, indeed. Fortunately, responsible IT administrators can patch their systems to fix the bug. However, it goes to show how no system can be truly deemed absolutely secure.
Another example was a bug in Hotspot Shield, a popular VPN service. This bug allowed a hacker to expose private information, including originating IP. Hotspot Shield issued an update, which gives us an excuse to remind you that you should always install updates, especially on your VPN client software.
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Number Of Locations And Countries For Servers
Paid VPN providers will offer servers in several different countries. As an example, Norton Secure VPN has servers in 31 different countries.
Why does this matter? Having servers in different countries offers you more flexibility and could boost your connection speed. Usually, your internet speed will be greater if you are connecting to a server that is closer to you. When you choose a VPN provider, then, it makes sense to select one that has servers in your country.
There might be times when you want to connect to a server outside of your country. Maybe you live in a part of the world where the government censors the internet. By connecting to a VPN based in a country without this censorship, you can browse the web more freely. Even so, it might be smart to adhere to a particular governments regulations and laws.
Or maybe you want to access online content that is only available in a country other than yours. If you connect through a server outside your country, the providers of this content wont see that your actual IP address is coming from your home country. Keep in mind, though, you may be violating your user agreement of your content service.
Again, there is no right number of countries or locations for a VPN service. Instead, look for services that offer a large number of locations in a variety of countries. This will give you the most flexibility.
Number of server countries/locations compared:
How Do I Get A VPN
Getting a VPN is as easy as downloading an app from the Apple Store or the Google Play store you can also use a browser extension if thats easier for you. Of course, we recommend researching the VPN thoroughly before you connect, as not all are created equal. A good place to start is our best VPN page scroll up to see our favorite tried and tested picks.
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What Does VPN Stand For
VPN means virtual private network.
A VPN is virtual because its created digitally there isnt a physical cable that reaches from your device directly to the VPN server.
A VPN is private because it encrypts your data and hides your IP address.
A VPN is a network because it creates a connection between multiple computers your device and the VPN server.
VPNs In Mobile Environments
Mobile virtual private networks are used in settings where an endpoint of the VPN is not fixed to a single IP address, but instead roams across various networks such as data networks from cellular carriers or between multiple Wi-Fi access points without dropping the secure VPN session or losing application sessions. Mobile VPNs are widely used in public safety where they give law-enforcement officers access to applications such as computer-assisted dispatch and criminal databases, and in other organizations with similar requirements such as field service management and healthcare..
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Can I Still Be Tracked Online When Using A VPN
If you pay for your VPN with a credit card, your VPN provider will likely know who you are. Since youre connecting to your VPN from your device, theyll also have your IP address. But thats it most VPNs dont monitor your online activity, and many include explicit no-logging policies that prevent them from collecting any information about what you do while using their services.
A VPN protects your data along its trip between your device and the VPN server. If youre connecting to websites that use HTTPS encryption, your data will be safe along its entire journey. But if youre connecting to unsecured websites, your data will be exposed after it leaves the VPN server.
While VPNs can prevent people from tracking you based on your IP address, they cant block other web tracking methods such as cookies and browser fingerprinting. And once you log in to a site, such as a social network, that site can still track what you click on, share, and like even if youre using a VPN because youre logged in.
Security and privacy extensions for Chrome and, especially, truly secure and private browsers can block cookies and protect you against browser-based web and ad tracking, while a VPN insulates your data and hides your IP address.
VPNs that offer give you another layer of protection. By grouping multiple users under a single IP address, these VPNs make it very difficult for anyone to pinpoint the actions of any specific user.