Data Privacy From Your Internet Service Provider
While connected to your home Wi-Fi, you are less likely to be attacked by strangers than on a public connection. However, your data is still vulnerable.
Your ISP or internet service providerComcast, Spectrum, Verizon or other company who you pay for Wi-Fi each monthcan access all your internet data. Your ISP can see when, where and how you browse.
This data can be collected and sold to advertisers even if youre using the private browsing function, and it can be dangerous in the wrong hands in the case of a data breach. A VPN can help obscure your IP address from your own ISP.
Why Change My Online Location
The reasons to change your online location are many and relevant to people from all walks of life. Here are a few:
- : sometimes, its not a streaming company that doesnt want you to see stuff. When a government tries to block access to websites or services, employing a VPN to change your location works wonders.
- Keeping your bank account unlocked: when youre traveling abroad, you dont want to check your bank account too often. The security measures can kick in and lock it. Plus, checking your account on unsecured Wi-Fi may lead to it getting hacked. But if you use a VPN to change your location to make it appear like youre logging in from your country , youre much better off.
- Defying price discrimination: did you know that you may get different prices online depending on where in the world youre browsing from? One of the ways this is accomplished is by tracking your IP. But with a location change, you can effortlessly virtually bounce around the world and find the best prices.
- Avoiding surveillance: as we mentioned, your IP is basically your physical address online. If youre doing something that may attract the surveillance states attention, you dont want your IP address to lead back to you. By changing your location/IP, you will be much safer.
How Does A VPN Change Your Ip Address And Location
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, changes your apparent location by sending your traffic through a server in another location. Heres how that works:
- Your VPN app lets you select a server anywhere in the world where your VPN service has servers. NordVPN, for example, has servers in 59 different countries .
- When you connect to the server youve selected, your app will form an encrypted tunnel around all of the traffic coming from your device. That VPN tunnel will lead straight to your selected server, which will decrypt your traffic and send it to its final destination. However, your IP address which helps determine your location and identity will now be that of the server. Yours will be hidden from the world.
- Thats it anyone using your IP address to discover your location will now see your location as the location of the server. You can still use the app and change your VPN server to new locations whenever you want. To check if your VPN location changer is working, you can see your online location here.
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Need To Spoof Your Location A VPN Can Help
Here’s how to set up a VPN to make it look like you’re in a different country.
While the classic use case for VPNs is to hide your IP address and keep your ISP and other snoops from monitoring your online activities, it’s not the only reason. Once in a while you might need to appear like you’re in a different country without leaving the comfort of your own home. Perhaps you’re looking to evade some form of censorship, or access a localized version of a website. Maybe you just want to watch a foreign version of Netflix. Whatever your need, a VPN is an excellent choice for location spoofing.
Recently, I received a message from a Patagonia-based reader with just such a problem. It seems that their web traffic was being blocked because of their location. From our southerly reader, edited for brevity and privacy:
When I go online, websites identify me as coming from Argentina, but some services will not respond because of my location. Now, I also have a website that is hosted by a Swiss provider. If I have control over my domain in Switzerland, can I somehow connect my PC to the site and have all my movements be seen as coming from Switzerland?
The answer to the reader’s specific question is a bit complicated, but the solution to the overall problem is very simple: Get a VPN.
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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Test Your VPN Connection
Now, you can begin testing your VPNs servers. However, since we want to be thorough, well ask you to access your VPN. If you dont have it , you can proceed to the next step. So, do the following:
1. Launch your VPN client and connect to a server. That is done using your VPN clients interface, but you can also set up manual connections for the same purpose.
2. Then, visit WhatIsMyIP.com to test your Web connections data. You should see your IPv4, IPv6, local IPs, your city and country, and even your ISP. Of course, all of that data will come from your VPN connection. In other words, none of your real or true data should pop up on any IP address-checking websites.
3. Now, go one step further and visit IPLocation.net. We recommend using that website because it relies on several geolocation providers. Therefore, youll test your VPN server more thoroughly, checking for any data leaks. Also, pay attention to the location of your VPN server listed there, as you shouldnt see any inconsistencies.
Looking For A VPN With Decent Quality Server Locations
We only rent servers from the most reliable and secure data centers, and each one of our servers has unlimited bandwidth.
On top of that, 10 of our servers come with P2P support, and all our VPN servers support Tor traffic as well.
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What Is An Ip Address
Your internet service provider assigns a numeric label, called the Internet Protocol address, to identify your device among billions of others. In a way, an IP address functions as an online home address because devices use IPs to find and communicate with each other.
Heres how an IP address directs data to its destination. First, you type in a website name into the browser. However, your computer does not understand words only numbers. So it first finds out the IP address of that website , finds it on the web, and finally loads it on your screen.
Findingthe Real VPN Location
Things are notalways as they seem. Your VPN server might not be in the exact same country asyour provider claims. But thankfully, there are ways you can figure out thethings yourself.
Find your current IP address online
There are a lotof websites on the internet which can provide you with your current IP address,its location and others.
One such website is WhatIsMyIP.com which can help you in finding the VPN location through your IP address. All you need to do is connect to a VPN server, visit this website, and you will able to find your IPv4, IPv6 and local IP addresses, and even your ISP.
It is importantto mention here that finding geolocation through this method is not always 100%accurate, as the suggested city might be 200 miles away from the real location.
But in any case,you will be able to have an idea. You might even like to check other providers.IPLocation.net is another online service which helps you in finding your currentlocation.
If the resultsprovided by all these servers show the same country, then your VPN server ispretty much located there. However, if you get mixed results, it is sure thatyou will experience the same uncertainty online.
Your VPN willwork fine on some websites, but not on others, depending on how they detectyour servers location.
Ping the IP address
To find out ifyour VPN is actually located somewhere else than what is claimed, you need tomake use of this method.
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What About Https
If HTTP browsing is a postcard that anyone can read as it travels along, HTTPS is a sealed letter that gives up only where its going. For example, before Wirecutter implemented HTTPS, your browsing traffic could reveal both the exact page you visited and its content to the owner of the Wi-Fi network, your network administrator, or your ISP. But if you visit that same page todayour website now uses HTTPSthose parties would see only the domain . The downside is that the website operator has to implement HTTPS. Sites that deal with banking or shopping have been using these types of secure connections for a long time to protect financial data, and in the past few years many major news and information sites, including that of The New York Times, have implemented it as well.
Browsers have increasingly long lists of privacy features baked right into their standard setups, but the HTTPS Everywhere extension can help make sure you browse websites over a secure connection whenever possible. Although mobile apps have started to move toward using secure connections, as well, many dont implement it or specifically disable it.
What a snooper sees when youre browsing
|Secure HTTPS websites|
Why Use A VPN
A Virtual Private Network provides you the best way to hide your IP address online. One of the main reasons why people use a VPN is to mask their original IP to avert unwanted spying and speed throttling.
Unfortunately, security flaws can reveal your IP location even though you are using a VPN. More worryingly, this flaw is easy to exploit. Heres everything you need to know about how your IP may leak and how to check and stop it.
Take the VPN tests and see if youre secure on the web.
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How Can I Change My Ip Address With Geo
Changing your IP address with a VPN is simple to do and takes a matter of minutes. Whether youre wondering how to change your IP address on an iPhone, Android, computer, or other device, the process is straightforward and generally universal across all devices and VPN providers. Simply register for a VPN, choose a server in the network, and connect. And thats it. Your top VPN provider will assign you a new IP address, and youll be free to surf the web, stream content, access your favorite websites, and continue all web activity without having to worry about geo-restrictions or prying eyes.
Who This Is For
We focused on virtual private networks, or VPNs, as an option for people who are hoping to add a layer of privacy or security to their web browsing. Using a VPN can stop your computer or mobile device from revealing your IP address to websites, services, and the rest of the internet when you connect. One reason to protect your IP address is that it can give away your location. Anyone can plug in an IP address at various websites to find your rough location, usually your city, state, and country. While some IP addresses are only loosely connected to a specific geographic location, those associated with Wi-Fi hotspots are much more precise. Commercial outfits such as Skyhook have used hotspot scanning and app partners to amass large databases correlating IP addresses with hotspot locations, and companies can turn to these services to determine your exact location.
And its not just about ISP behavior: Your IP address is typically recorded by the websites you visit and is usually attached in emails you send, becoming exposed to your emails recipient. Even loading images embedded in emails you receive can reveal your IP address to wherever the images are loading from.
Although its impossible for people outside a VPN provider to know the ins and outs of the company, there are certain indicators that suggest a provider is more trustworthy, which we have attempted to lay out in this guide.
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Key And Certificate Files
These may be stored anywhere, but typically they are stored in the same folder as the configuration file. Key and certificate files associated with a Tunnelblick VPN Configuration are stored inside the configuration itself.
Key and certificate files usually have an extension of .cer, .crt, .der, .key, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pem, or .pfx.
How Important Privacy Is To You
Dont get us wrong VPNs are generally more than capable of protecting your privacy online .
However, maybe you want to use the VPN alongside Tor for extra privacy to enhance your anonymity and prevent your ISP from seeing that you are using Tor. Not to mention that your IP wouldnt be revealed to Tor entry nodes this way.
In that case, you need to choose a server that supports Tor traffic.
Also, its a good idea to connect to a VPN server that uses a VPN protocol with strong encryption like OpenVPN, for instance.
Now, some people say you shouldnt choose a VPN server location that is in a country known to belong to the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes groups . However, as long as you are using a VPN provider that has a clear no-logs policy, there shouldnt be any issues.
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What Are The Benefits Of A VPN Connection
A VPN connection disguises your data traffic online and protects it from external access. Unencrypted data can be viewed by anyone who has network access and wants to see it. With a VPN, hackers and cyber criminals cant decipher this data.
Secure encryption: To read the data, you need an encryption key . Without one, it would take millions of years for a computer to decipher the code in the event of a brute force attack . With the help of a VPN, your online activities are hidden even on public networks.
Disguising your whereabouts : VPN servers essentially act as your proxies on the internet. Because the demographic location data comes from a server in another country, your actual location cannot be determined. In addition, most VPN services do not store logs of your activities. Some providers, on the other hand, record your behavior, but do not pass this information on to third parties. This means that any potential record of your user behavior remains permanently hidden.
Secure data transfer: If you work remotely, you may need to access important files on your companys network. For security reasons, this kind of information requires a secure connection. To gain access to the network, a VPN connection is often required. VPN services connect to private servers and use encryption methods to reduce the risk of data leakage.
Private Internet Access: Privacy Anonymity And Trust
PIA is owned and operated by Kape Technologies, a company based in the U.K. with offices in Israel. Kape was formerly known as Crossrider, and at the time was a platform that developers used to build ad injection capabilities into their software. These days its focusing not on ads but on user security software such as VPNs and antivirus. Kapes CEO is Ido Erlichman, and its owned by Teddy Sagi. Kape has been going on a VPN buying spree of late picking up ExpressVPN, and it also owns CyberGhost and ZenMate VPN, as well as Mac antivirus firm Intego.
A lot has been made about the background of one of the co-founders of Crossrider who was a member of Unit 8200, an elite intelligence unit within the Israel Defense Forces. The suggestion being possible connections between the company and Israeli intelligence circles. While its difficult to verify such a claim, I can tell you that Unit 8200 acts as a de facto talent pipeline for Israels startup industry. It would be pretty difficult to find an Israeli startup, established company, or any major foreign company with offices in Israel that didnt have former 8200 members. Its as common a pipeline in Israel as universities like Berkley or Stanford are to Silicon Valley.
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Changing Your Location And Streaming
If you want to chill with Netflix, Hulu, or Disney Plus, and keep your VPN on for privacy feel free to do so.
However, bear in mind that changing your location with a VPN might change your streaming library. This often goes against the terms and services of streaming providers since youre accessing content your country didnt pay a license to have.
We do not encourage using a VPN in any way that would potentially violate the Terms of Service of streaming service providers.
In this case, its best to connect to a server thats located in your country. This will change your IP address but not your location.