Welcome to my humble abode, or should I say humble asite.
In the next few minutes I will give you a quick oversight in everything a simple user needs to know about a VPN and how to use it. Our first question is of course:
What is a VPN?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network creates a secure connection by creating a P2P or Point-To-Point connection between a user and a proxy server over a public connection by using a secure Tunneling Protocol.
Understand any of that? Well most people don’t, so for those of us who don’t necessarily understand all the crazy jargon used by the Internet and IT world, I will create a scenario that is all to frequent for most of us and then base our article on this.
Imagine you are sitting in a coffee shop, this coffee shop like most, gives you a much-needed free WiFi connection so you can check your work emails, connect to your bank, your work server, or just play around on YouTube while you relax.
Your computer is now connected, not just with these 25 people on the free WiFi, but to the whole world and everyone else using the internet. A VPN changes the dynamic of this connection. What a VPN does is create a type of tunnel from your computer, through the internet, to a secure server belonging to the VPN company, and that server then access the internet for you.
What Is The Use Of A VPN and Why Use A VPN?
So now you ask me, What is the difference between using the VPN and not using it. What is the use of a VPN and why should I use a VPN.
Very simple. Back in that coffee shop, there are 25 people with you. Let’s say just 1 of those people sitting most likely in the middle of the room, with his earphones on, pretending to be writing the newest failed novel, has another task bar open on his taskbar, and this one is busy testing all the connections on this WiFi to see who he can hack.
* How Does A VPN Help Prevent Hacking?
According to AVTest, an independent security institute, there is about 907 million malware programs, “viruses” as its more commonly known, in circulation at the moment and about an average of 10 million new ones created every month. This hacker has most of these programs at their disposal and can use them to access your computer to see what is going on and find out all of your sensitive data, like e-mail passwords, personal information, play on your Facebook or Instagram for the day and even your banking login details or details to work servers. Sometimes they simply spam you with advertisement or sell your details to who ever wants it to spam you more, this they do through spyware and these people are the nice guys. Then you get the hackers that load Ransomware on, this blocks off all access to your information or computer and gives you a countdown timer to look at, as the amount of money you need to send them to unlock your computer becomes more and more as the time gets less and less and should time run out. Good bye to all your information, which they most likely copied anyway and will use or sell.
Now think back to our What Is A VPN segment and imagine that this tunnel that is created from your computer means that the hacker cannot see what you are sending from your computer to the VPN server which then requests the website you wanted to open on your behalf. Most likely he cannot even see that you are on the WiFi if you keep the default settings of most of your VPN Clients.
In my AboutBert page I wrote about how Mobile Operators and your Internet Service Providers store information of your searches and other private information on their servers, but when using a VPN, you basically ask the VPN to look on your behalf. So if you search: “This weeks best Recipes” on Google, Yahoo or Bing, that information is sent to the VPN Server and it will ask Google, Yahoo or Bing on your behalf. Most VPN servers don’t even store information on their servers so the only place where this information is stored is on your private search history in your computer which can be erased very easily.
* Geo-Blocking / Censorship
Another reason to Use a VPN is probably why most people use a VPN now, Geo-blocking. Geo-blocking is when YouTube, Netflix, Showmax, Amazon, Hulu and many others allows people to pay them for their streaming services, but does not allow them to watch it anywhere in the world. With a VPN you can spoof or trick their servers to think that you are in their desired and precious Geo-Location and then they allow you to watch to your hearts content.
Another type of Geo-Blocking or Censorship is where certain countries block certain websites in their countries due to political, religion or cultural reasons regardless of what people want or say. China for instance has created their own online society, a society so big on their own servers that Google has been blocked since 2012 and low and behold, it did not cripple their internet in the least. Companies like Apple and Microsoft have launched edited search engines to be able to compete in the market with more that 700 million people. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and all the others we are so used to in our daily lives is blocked there, so therefore foreigners and some locals, often purchase the VPN services so they can still have the freedom of access to the full internet.
A VPN is the true key to privacy, safety and the freedom of browsing online in our new and modern technological age and connecting to a VPN is now easier than ever before using a simple VPN Clients.
What is a VPN Client
First you should know what a Client or Client Application is, it is defined as “a program that is capable of obtaining a service provided by another program”. So basically, in short, it is a little program you use, to do all the hard work for you with a click of a button.
Most VPN service providers have their own VPN Clients that you install on your computer. You choose the location of a server closest to you and simply press the “connect” button. Soon you are open to the world
Disadvantages Of A VPN
1. So just like everything in life, it does not come free. There is some free VPN Services out there, but for true speed and safety, that works everywhere (yes even China) you will have to pay some money. Taking into consideration that you spend so much money on insurance of your possessions in your house and alarm systems, why not spend some money preventing the break in and theft of all your personal information online. In the USA there is 1 house break every 13 seconds according to Alarms.org, but there was about 15 million online identity thefts according to US.Norton.com which results in 1 theft every 2.1 seconds.
2. Slower Internet Speed. Obviously, But this is more of a free VPN issue, than a paid VPN issue. This happens because the information has to go through a secure tunnel, to a secure server, then to wherever you asked it to go, then all the way back. But with modern day network speeds and a good VPN you can stream at normal speeds without buffering and we are talking about a delay milliseconds.
My VPN Recommendations: For PC/Mobile
After Testing many VPN Networks from China and back home I have found the following to be the most advanced, fastest and most reliable.
1. Express VPN Review
Express VPN is one of the most famous and widely advertised VPN services in the world. They have great coverage and claim to “have servers in 164 cities in
95 countries”. They have a good support structure and is not that expensive given value for money. They do work well in China and streaming services. They also allow for Torrenting. Express also gives you a 30-day free trial so you can test the and also has a 30-day money back guarantee.
Check them out here: ExpressVPN
2. NordVPN Review
Nord VPN is equal in performance and fame to Express in my opinion with great speed and reliability as well as minimal disconnections. They claim to have “5200+ servers in 62 countries.” They allow for Torrenting. They are very good with pricing, especially for long term sign ups and give a 7-day free trail with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Check them out here: NordVPN
3. IPVanish Review
IPVanish is great option for people all around the world with reliability and speed. They allow for Torrenting and streaming at good speeds and claim to “have 1300+ servers in 75+ locations”. They also allow for 10 simultanious connections on multiple devices which is 3x more than ExpressVPN. Their Pricing is good as well and offer a 7-day Money back guarantee.
Check them out here: IPVanish
4. PureVPN Review
PureVPN is a great VPN Service that claim “Our global network of 2,000+ strategically placed servers helps you overcome any restriction.” It also has a very easy and user friendly website for setting up your VPN on any device and or Router. PureVPN also allows Torrenting, unlimited streaming and to connect 5 devices at once. They claim to be “The Worlds Fastest VPN Service.” They also offer a 31-day Money-back Guarantee and a 7-day trial with great pricing.
Check them out here: PureVPN
5. HideMyAssVPN Review
HideMyAss or HMAVPN probably has the best name of all available VPNs anywhere, ever. It gives you the feeling that they will get the job done, no s**t. Pun intended. Their claim is “We’ve got 940+ VPN servers in 280+ locations covering 190+ countries around the world — that’s more than any other VPN provider.” and also, they have an Ass (donkey) as a mascot, that is quite cool. They allow for Torrenting and streaming. They allow for a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee and a 7-day Trial with very good pricing.
Check them out here: HideMyAss
6. IvacyVPN Review
Ivacy is a good VPN service that claims to have “more than 1000 servers in more than 100 countries with unlimited bandwith.” They also allows for Torrenting, Streaming and many more. They offer a similar website look as PureVPN with an easy to use interface. They allow for 5 devices to be used simultaneously and has a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee with great pricing.
Check them out here: IvacyVPN
You don’t need a VPN if you don’t care about your online presence, identity and safety. Maybe you feel safe and that it is not necessary because it will not happen to you, but they do say rather be safe than sorry.
Bypassing Geo-Blocking and Censorship is also a huge problem for travelers, be it pleasure or business. Even not watching that Geo-Blocked YouTube video is a frustration, so why not be able to open the world of internet for yourself.
I have been A VPN user for more that 16months and I promise you that it is worth the money and effort. I feel much safer and happier knowing that I am protected by doing something as simple as clicking a button.
Thank you for reading and please leave your comments below.