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.
How Many Countries And Locations Does It Cover
The more countries a VPN supports, the more options youll have for swapping your IP address to new locations, accessing more content, and overcoming other geoblocking restrictions. You can hop around the world in a digital sense to avoid government censorship and view content unavailable in your country.
Always make sure that what youre doing over a VPN is legal, and dont use a VPN if it isnt legal to do so.
If theres a specific country youd like to have an IP address in, consult each VPN providers website to see whether or not theyll support your needs.
Avast SecureLine VPN: 34 countries, 55 locations
AVG Secure VPN: 36 countries, 56 locations
CyberGhost: 91 countries, 113 locations
ExpressVPN: 94 countries, 160 locations
IPVanish: 50 countries, 75+ locations
NordVPN: 59 countries
TunnelBear: 34 countries
What Tools Do You Need To Create Your Own VPN
Building a VPN is nothing more than creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and your cloud server. In other words, instead of trusting a VPN company, youre trusting a cloud service provider.
Doing this will effectively replace your real IP address with the one assigned to the server. On the security front, your traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel so no third parties can access your data. To put it simply, no one will be able to see what youre doing online and, even if they could, they couldnt trace your traffic back to you.
Its possible, but it requires a bit of work. So, lets see what tools youll need to create your own VPN.
Recommended Reading: Is Protonvpn Legit
VPNs Aren’t Rocket Science
Too many of you aren’t using a VPN, and maybe that’s because they seem like arcane security tools. Fortunately, many providers have worked hard to make them friendly and easy to use. Most are now set-and-forget security tools, as they should be. A VPN is one of the best and easiest ways to guard your web traffic from, well, just about everyone.
Like What You’re Reading?
Sign up for Security Watch newsletter for our top privacy and security stories delivered right to your inbox.
How To Install A VPN Connection On Your Smartphone
As already mentioned, there are also VPN connections for Android smartphones and iPhones. Fortunately, smartphone VPN services are easy to use and generally include the following:
- The installation process usually only downloads one app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. Although free VPN providers exist, its wise to choose a professional provider when it comes to security.
- The setup is extremely user-friendly, as the default settings are already mostly designed for the average smartphone user. Simply log in with your account. Most apps will then guide you through the key functions of the VPN services.
- Switching on the VPN literally works like a light switch for many VPN apps. You will probably find the option directly on the home screen.
- Server switching is usually done manually if you want to fake your location. Simply select the desired country from the offer.
- Advanced setup is available for users requiring a higher degree of data protection. Depending on your VPN, you can also select other protocols for your encryption method. Diagnostics and other functions may also be available in your app. Before you subscribe, learn about these features to find the right VPN for your needs.
- In order to surf the internet safely from now on, all you have to do is first activate the VPN connection through the app.
Read Also: Omegle Ban Bypass
Connecting To Your VPN Server
You can connect to the VPN server you have created using the public IP address of the machine youre hosting the server on.
In Windows 10, you can do this by opening:
This completes your VPN server creation process. From now, connecting to your newly created VPN server will only be a single click away, offering you the convenience to connect to your home network privately even when youre traveling abroad or located at a distance to your home.
How Does A VPN Connection For Business Work
Connecting using VPN for business needs 3 parts:
- the employee working from outside the office, with the proper software installed on their device
- a secure VPN connection using the Internet and
- some sort of resources at the office, such as a server.
Your server at the office connects to a private network, as do any other devices connected to the network. This is where the data for your business is stored, and what the individual will connect to by using the Internet and the VPN. When an employee wants to access the data that is at the office, from a location outside of the office, a VPN gives them a secure tunnel through which to access the data.
You May Like: How To Get A VPN On Xbox One
How To Build Your Own VPN
Ever thought of building your own VPN from scratch? With modern tools, you can route data through your own secure tunnel. Keep your traffic safe from hackers, your ISP, and the government.
Heres what youll need to get started:
- VPS hosting
However, there are also some downsides to keep in mind:
- You wont be able to bypass online censorship.
- You cant unblock regional versions of Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services.
If streaming and beating censorship are your main goals, we recommend going with a reliable VPN provider like ExpressVPN. Its fast, secure, and has an ironclad no-logging policy.
If youre happy with Netflix in your country and just want to route your traffic through the tunnel of your own making, learn how to do it in our full article below.
Online privacy is the talk of the town in the modern world. Hackers, spy organizations, and even ISPs are looking to collect and exploit your personal data. The reasons range from surveillance to profit, but the end result is always the same your personal info getting into the wrong hands.
Its no wonder the popularity of VPNs has skyrocketed in the past few years. Buying a trusted VPN service is a good way of keeping online snoops away from your sensitive data. But what if you dont want to put that much faith in VPN companies? Or, simply dont want to pay the monthly recurring fee? Could you build your own VPN?
Your VPN Blocks Your Email Services Port
Sometimes the problem is with the VPN itself. Some providers block insecure ports in order to protect you from spam and abuse. NordVPN and ExpressVPN block TCP port 25. If you want to access your email with these providers, you need to switch to more secure ports commonly used for email, such as port 587 or 465. Contact your email provider or VPN providers customer service for help.
Another, less secure solution to this problem is to send emails through an unencrypted internet connection. You can do this by using split tunneling as a last resort. Split tunneling is a feature included in many VPNs that allows you to choose which apps are protected by the VPNs encryption tunnel, and which arent. If you exempt your email app to make sure it isnt VPN-protected, youll be able to use it as normal although this does make your connection less safe.
Don’t Miss: Download 911 For Windows
Changing The Dns Settings
You might not be able to access VPN servers due to the blocks set by your ISP. Luckily, tweaking your DNS settings has a decent chance of setting things right. You can consider some of the most popular DNS providers like Cloudflare , Google , and OpenDNS .
Tweaking your DNS settings can also work instead of using a VPN . However, keep in mind that this method works differently than a VPN. Your traffic wont be encrypted – youll simply unblock the websites banned by your ISP.
Common Reasons For Using A VPN
People use VPNs for countless reasons. Some of these reasons are specific, while some people just have a VPN as another layer of security in addition to a good antivirus program and practicing generally sensible internet usage.
- As previously mentioned, a common reason to use a VPN is to prevent anyone from ISPs to public Wi-Fi hotspots– from tracking what youre doing online.
- Another reason many like to use a VPN is to gain access to region-restricted content, whether that be a TV show on your countrys Netflix, or to get around a certain jurisdictions internet censorship laws.
Ultimately, why people use a VPN is to have greater anonymity online. In a day and age where revelations of public data being used in shady ways have become a daily occurrence, keeping private information private is more vital than ever.
Read Also: Gotham City Usa VPN
How To Use A VPN To Access Streaming Content
Popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video use your IP address to find out where you are and determine which content you can watch. Because licensing agreements vary between countries, you may not be able to see certain movies and series in your region or even entire platforms, like Hulu unless you use a VPN.
You can use a VPN to mask your IP address and trick streaming services into thinking youre in another country, so that you can access content for different regions. For example, lets say you want to watch Harry Potter on Netflix. Thats not possible in most places, but you can use a VPN to easily connect to a server in a country where its available.
Using a VPN to access streaming content is easy.All you have to do is connect to a server in the country where the content youre looking for is available, then launch the streaming service like you normally would. Check out our step-by-step guide for more details.
However, some streaming services do their best to block VPNs so that users are limited to their actual regions. You might get an error message if they find out that youre using one. But the best VPNs for streaming know how to prevent these issues by constantly updating their IP addresses and using advanced methods to evade blocks.
Changing The Tunneling Protocol Encryption Or Port
This is yet another simple way to bypass VPN blocks. For a variety of reasons, your VPN might be blocked only when using a certain tunneling protocol. You might fix this by picking a different one in the Settings menu of your VPN application. It can be especially helpful to use new and less popular VPN protocols, as they may have not been blocked yet by your network or in your country.
You might get around VPN blocking by using a different encryption algorithm. Luckily, some VPNs let you pick a preferred type of encryption manually.
Alternatively, you can try selecting a different port used by a tunneling protocol. As an example, even though the default ports of OpenVPN are 1194 and 443, it doesnt mean that this protocol cant use entirely different ports – you just need to select them manually.
Sometimes, its possible to do this directly on the app, however, you might need to do this manually as not all applications have such selection options implemented directly.
Read Also: Norton Secure VPN Review
How A VPN Keeps You Safe
A VPN keeps you safe by masking your IP address so that no one can see where youre located or what youre doing online. It does this by routing your traffic through a server somewhere else in the world before sending it to the website you want to visit.
Beyond this basic function, the best VPNs have several other advanced security measures in place to make sure your data never falls into the wrong hands. When it comes to privacy, not all VPNs are created equal so make sure you choose one that offers the following features.
Problem : My VPN Isnt Working With Netflix Bbc Iplayer Etc
First, its important to note that not every VPN can unblock every service. In fact, when it comes to major platforms like Netflix, , and BBC iPlayer, only a few VPNs still work reliably. We recommend using ExpressVPN, although NordVPN and CyberGhost are two excellent low-cost alternatives.
If your VPN should be able to unblock a service, but youre having issues, there are a few things you can try.
- First, make sure youre using the most up-to-date version of the app.
- Next, clear your browsers cache and cookies to make sure that the service forgets your actual location.
- Try connecting to a different server, since sometimes there are specific servers for unblocking a particular platform.
- If youd like, you can contact your VPNs customer support team directly and ask which servers to use.
Still having problems? It could be that your chosen service has recently improved its region-locking features, in which case theres no alternative but to wait until your VPN provider finds a workaround.
Recommended Reading: Download 911 VPN
Everything You Need To Know About VPNs For Travel
: 7/17/20 | July 17th, 2020
Dave Dean from Too Many Adapters is a tech expert. In this guest post, he delves deep into Virtual Private Networks to explain what they are, how they work, and why you as a traveler should be using them.
These days, everyone travels with a computer. Whether its a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, were all connected when were abroad. While this technology does make travel easier, it also opens us up to new risks.
From stolen credit card numbers to governmental spying to hacked emails, cybersecurity is usually something we overlook when were planning our trips. Sure, well buy travel insurance to protect our health. But we often overlook ensuring that our data and information are kept safe too.
Free Wi-Fi is available pretty much everywhere to travelers, from coffee shops to hostels to airport lounges. Yet as we casually surf the web and connect with friends and family back home, were opening ourselves up to some serious risks.
Anybody on the same network can easily grab your unencrypted data as it flies through the air. Usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, browser cookies, and other identifying information can be ripe for the picking from your web browser and mobile apps.
With so much potential risk out there, how do you stay safe?
You use a VPN.
How To Manually Set Up A VPN On An Ios Device
iOS devices natively support the L2TP, IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols. To configure a VPN on your iPhone or iPad, go to: Settings > General > VPN > Add VPN Configuration > Type. Here you can select IKEv2, IPSec , or L2TP .
Then you need to fill in the required fields, which includes the server address you want to use from your VPN provider, your account name and password, and a remote ID or pre-shared key . If your VPN provider supports these protocols, you should be able to locate your remote ID or key in your account/customer profile. Then hit Done to connect. You will need to repeat these steps for every server you want to set up.
How to manually set up a VPN on an Android device
Android devices natively support L2TP/IPSec but not IKEv2. To set up L2TP/IPSec, go to: Settings > Wireless & networks > More > VPN
If you wish to use the IKEv2 protocol on an Android device, you will need to download a third-party software app like strongSwan VPN Client.
Recommended Reading: How To Setup VPN On Xbox One
Set Up The VPN On Your Device
In terms of using public Wi-Fi networks, you probably access those via your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. So, youll be happy to know that ExpressVPN covers all those devices and then some more. For additional information, heres on 60+ on its supported devices.
Keep in mind that youll need to use a VPN on a per-device basis. So, if you wish to use a VPN on public WiFi to protect your MacBook, you need to install ExpressVPN for macOS. If you want to use your iPhone for that purpose, you need ExpressVPN’s iOS app. You get the point.
Lastly, well remind you that ExpressVPN supports up to 5 simultaneous connections. Even though you can install ExpressVPN on as many devices as you want, you can connect to servers from up to 5 devices at the same time. That should be more than plenty to secure any public WiFi out there.