VPNs And Their Current Use
According to the GlobalWebIndex, the number of VPN users worldwide increased more than fourfold between 2016 and 2018. In countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and China, where internet use is restricted and censored, one in fiveinternet users uses a VPN. In the USA, Great Britain and Germany, the proportion of VPN users is lowerat around 5%, but is growing.
One of the biggest drivers for VPN adoption in recent years has been the increasing demand for content with geographical access restrictions. For example, video streaming services such as Netflix or YouTube make certain videos available only in certain countries. With contemporary VPNs, you can encrypt your IP address so that you appear to be surfing from another country, enabling you to access this content from anywhere.
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Speed Security And Privacy
People turn to VPNs for different reasons, and whatever yours is, you need to ask three questions before choosing a provider. How fast is it? Will it keep my data safe? And will it respect my privacy? Of course, you want your connections to be safe and your data to stay private. But to have all that without losing any speed? Thats the trick. So when you choose a VPN service, make sure they dont make any compromises theres no point in having unbreakable encryption if every website takes ages to load.
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Your Location For Streaming
You might pay for streaming services that enable you to watch things like professional sports. When you travel outside the country, the streaming service may not be available. There are good reasons for this, including contractual terms and regulations in other countries. Even so, a VPN would allow you to select an IP address in your home country. That would likely give you access to any event shown on your streaming service. You may also be able to avoid data or speed throttling.
How Personal VPNs Work
Heres how it works:
Install software from your VPN service provider onto your device.
Personal VPN apps are available on all sorts of devices, including smartphones. Alternatively, you can install the software on your router to protect all the devices that connect to it.
Connect to a server in your VPN providers network.
Personal VPNs tend to have large server networks to choose from. If you just want to protect your privacy, you should connect to a local server for the fastest speeds. If you want to unblock streaming content, you need to choose a server in the country where that content is accessible.
Browse the internet like normal.
While connected to the VPN, all your internet traffic goes through the service providers server. Your connection is encrypted, your IP address is hidden, and you can access geographically restricted content from other countries.
EXPERT TIP: There are lots of protocols available for encrypting the connection. One of the most popular and most secure protocols is OpenVPN. Emerging protocols such as WireGuard and ExpressVPNs proprietary Lightway protocol can be faster, and also work well.
We would advise against using PPTP , L2TP/IPSec , and SSTP .
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Do I Need A VPN On My Phone
Yes. I always recommend installing a VPN on every device in order to cover all your bases. Phones and other mobile devices can be especially vulnerable, since they tend to automatically connect to public networks that could be dangerous. However, the VPN will have to reconnect every time you lose and regain coverage, so it may slow you down a bit.
How To Get A Discount On Your New VPN
Im a bit of a bargain hunter, so I spend a lot of time online searching for ways to save money. Ive discovered that VPN providers regularly release new coupons and special offers, but thanks to scam sites, it can be hard to work out which ones are real and actually work.
To solve this problem, my colleagues and I have created a comprehensive database of current VPN coupons, which we constantly update. Weve tested each and every offer to verify that its still working in September 2021.
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When Should I Choose Either Dynamic Or Static Ip
Every device connected to the public internet is assigned an IP address. It’s like a phone number for each device. To be able to connect to the internet, each device needs such an address.
The term “dynamic IP address” means that when a device connects to the internet, it’s given an IP address taken from a pool of available addresses. While it’s possible to get the same IP address on multiple connections, generally, each time you connect, you’ll get a different address.
If you want to hide your address from the web applications you’re connecting to you’ll want a VPN service that provides dynamic IP addresses. In our directory, we list the number of IP addresses each service offers. By using a service with more available IP addresses, the chances of you getting a repeated IP are quite small.
There are some minor disadvantages to using a dynamic IP. If someone who previously had the IP address you’ve been assigned did something nefarious on a service you use, the IP address might be banned. Usually, VPN providers are cautious about checking their IP addresses against blacklists, so the chances of this being a problem for you are slim.
Unless you have a specific application that you know needs a static IP, you’ll want to be assigned a new dynamic IP address for each VPN session you initiate.
What Does It Mean When A VPN Service Talks About Server Switching
As we mentioned in the previous section, you’re usually assigned a dynamic IP address from a pool of addresses when you connect to a VPN service. But where are those addresses located? They’re attached to servers located, usually, throughout the world.
Most VPN services allow you to connect to server locations in many different countries. In our VPN directory, we list both the number of servers the service maintains and the number of countries. By default, you’ll usually be assigned a server located in your home country. Still, if you want to obfuscate your location, you may want to connect to a server located in a different country.
Server switching is a feature — offered by most VPN service providers — that allows you to change what region or country you’re going to connect to. Most providers allow you to switch as often as you’d like . This may be useful if you’re trying to hide your location or if you’re running into some communications glitches on the server you’re currently using…
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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.
Why Is A VPN Server Important
Normally, when you want to connect to a website on the Internet, all your outgoing and incoming traffic and data will go through your ISP.
Since all your information is in a plain, readable format, your ISP can see what youre doing on the Internet.
Whats more, since your real IP address and geo-location are exposed to the web, pretty much anyone can use that information to find out various things about you such as what country and city you live in, and who your ISP is.
Basically, without a VPN server, youre like a sitting duck on the web youre exposed to serious privacy breaches alongside data and identity theft risks.
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Free VPN Versus Paid VPN
Running a good VPN service costs serious money robust servers, data transfer, infrastructure, employees, and so on. If the service is offered for free, consider what compromises may have been made. Are they logging activity for their own reasons? Are they displaying their own ads? Is your data being sold to a third party?
Paying for a VPN isnt a huge investment. Weve tested some great solutions for as little as $3-5 per month, which doesnt seem a lot in exchange for peace of mind and improved online privacy.
How Much Does a VPN Cost?
The average out of 70 popular VPNs is $4.99 a month, which tells you a lot about what sort of an expense this usually is. VPNs that cost more than $10 are uncommon, and theres not a lot of reason to buy them since there are more affordable solutions out there.
Most services give out big discounts if youre willing to subscribe for two to three years up front, instead of renewing your subscription monthly. For example, NordVPN a VPN that we very much enjoy costs $11.95 if paid monthly, but you can grab their 3-year plan for just $3.49/month .
What’s The Best Way To Choose A VPN Service
To be fair, not all pay VPN services are legitimate, either. It’s important to be careful about which you choose. I’ve put together an always up-to-date directory of quality VPN providers. Some are better than others . But all are legitimate companies that provide quality service.
Beyond my directory, it’s always good practice to a company or product name and read the user reviews. If you see a huge number of old complaints or new complaints suddenly start showing up, it might be that there’s been a change of management or policies. When I’m looking for a service, I always base my decision partially on professional reviews and partially based on the tone of user reviews.
Finally, be sure to choose a service with the capabilities that meet your needs. You may need one or more features only provided by certain services. So, think through your needs as you make a decision.
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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.
Use The Strongest Authentication For Access
There are four leading authentication solutions that you can consider ID Control USB Token, OTP Key, CardID, HandyID, MessageID, and KeystrokeID. With each of these, you have several secure options to authenticate access to your VPN. Your service provider will be able to help you choose the best one.
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Overview Of Openvpn For Business
OpenVPN is an open-source software that implements virtual private network technologies. It secures and encrypts data transmission over the Internet. Its custom security protocol utilizes SSL/TLS for key exchange and has become the de facto standard in the open source networking space with over 60 million downloads since inception.
OpenVPN Access Server is our business VPN product we built it with you in mind. You can afford the industry-standard VPN technology to secure your business data. And no matter the size of your business, with Access Servers licensing model, you can implement an affordable solution one that doesnt require diving into Linux command lines if you dont want to. And one that doesnt require purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware.
OpenVPN Access Server provides your business with security and encryption you can easily manage with a simple, intuitive, and even beautiful web interface. Everything can be managed from your own Admin Web UI that launches with your Access Server.
Built on the transparency and security of open source, you can expect the best from OpenVPN Access Server, securing your business data and communications. And you can get started today with two free VPN connections. You dont need to put down an initial investment or sign up for a free trial that expires within a month. You can take all the time you want to test out your configuration before deciding to purchase a subscription.
Can I Use A VPN To Spoof My Location Or Country Of Origin
Because the VPN server you’re connected to presents its IP address to whatever web application you’re using, by choosing a server located in a different country, you can represent your connection as if you’re in a different country. This may be illegal in certain regions, so use caution when doing this.
In my testing, some VPN providers could successfully hide their originating country or the fact that they were VPNs, but others were not. You’ll probably want to do some testing. Of the services where I did in-depth testing, NordVPN and Hotspot Shield could successfully hide their VPN origins, while StrongVPN and CyberGhost were not.
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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.
The Complications Of Privacy
VPNs do have have practical drawbacks. Some sites and services look at VPN traffic as suspicious and won’t let you connect. That’s a real problem, especially when it’s your bank that blocks you. In situations like that, you can try a different VPN server, but you may have to wait until you can use a trusted network without a VPN.
Chromecast and other streaming systems send data over your local network, but that’s a problem when you’re using a VPN. The same for printers, drives, or any other devices on your network. Those machines are looking for data from phones and computers on the same network, not from a distant VPN server. Some VPNs have options to allow local network traffic, or you could try using a VPN on your router, but the simplest solution might be to switch off your VPN.
Do you like Netflix? That’s too bad because Netflix does not like VPNs. The problem is that Netflix has a complex global web of regional licensing arrangements, and they don’t want you using a VPN to access Netflix content that’s not available in your home country. Some VPN services, however, work hard to ensure their customers can still stream movies and TV shows. It’s something of a cat-and-mouse game, and a VPN that works with Netflix today might not work tomorrow.
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VPNs Encrypt All Of Your Data
When youre connected to a VPN server, all your internet traffic is encrypted. This means that nobody can see what youre doing online not even your internet service provider . That also means your ISP cant throttle your speeds, which it may do if youre streaming or gaming.
Encryption also keeps hackers from seeing sensitive information that you enter into websites, like passwords. This is especially important if youre using public WiFi, since its easy for cybercriminals to monitor your connection on public networks. But a VPN ensures that even if someone were to steal your data, they wouldnt be able to decrypt it anyway.
The Basics Of VPN Encryption
Encryption is the term used to describe how your data is kept private when using a VPN.
Encryption hides information in such a way that it cannot be read without a very strong password, which is known as a key. This key essentially breaks the complicated code that your data has been turned into. Only your computer and the VPN server know this key. The process of decoding your data is known as decryption, which is the process of making encrypted information readable again through the application of the key.
As an everyday example, when you enter your credit card details into a shopping website, that information is encrypted and rendered unreadable until it reaches its end destination.
Different VPN services use different kinds of encryption processes, but put simply, the VPN encryption process goes something like this:
- When you connect to a VPN, it is through a secure tunnel where your data is encoded. This means that your data is transformed into an unreadable code as it travels between your computer and the server of the VPN.
- Your device is now seen as being on the same local network as your VPN. So your IP address will actually be the IP address of one of your VPN Providers servers.
- You may browse the internet as you please, safe in the knowledge that the VPN acts as a barrier, protecting your personal information.
How effectively your data is encrypted is dependent on the protocols of your VPN providers encryption mechanism, which we will talk more about later.
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