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It's time to get a VPN



It's a lot to deal with, which is why many people decide to just ignore the problem and take the terrible risks with their security and privacy. The bigger problem, of course, is that we're all so damn connected. So anytime we get the computer security equivalent to peeing in the wind, there's a whole bunch of people in our address books and contacts who have no idea they need an umbrella.

So are you online on your phone, tablet or desktop ̵

1; stop doing that! It's gross. Plus, you also don't need to be connected to all the buck naked like that.

A VPN, or virtual private network, keeps your computer's IP address – and your physical location – private. More and more, people are using a VPN to create a private path for their computers and mobile devices to use when they access the Internet. It's a great way to keep your browsing private and attack-proof.

 blackvpn "data-caption =" vpn "data-credit =" Brett Putman for Engadget "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam- provider = "" data-local-id = "local-1-8568820-1566412161395" data-media-id = "33ea0a41-c00d-4f44-85fd-06015f8dd882" data-original-url = "https: //s.yimg .com / os / creatr-uploaded-images / 2019-08 / 8e612400-c441-11e9-bfd7-f1b4de932ea9 "data-title =" blackvpn "src =" https://o.aolcdn.com/images/dims?resize = = 2% 2C2000% 2Cshrink and image_uri = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fs.yimg.com% 2Fos% 2Fcreatr-uploaded-images% 2F2016-084-c441-11e9-bfd7-f1b4de932ea8c1c1c1c1c1c0cfc0cfcfccfccfccfccfcbc With a VPN, your data travels encrypted from you to a VPN server; from there, your connection travels to your final destination (a website, or the whichever app server you're using). This way, websites - and anyone else , like advertisers or attackers - just see the VPN's IP address and not yours ition, your ISP (internet service provider like AT&T and Comcast) only sees you visiting the VPN and doesn't get tagged along and spy on where you go or what you do. </p>
<p> That's why a VPN is essential for personal security and privacy whenever you use public wi-fi. You should never use public WiFi, or someone else's WiFi, without one. Why? A VPN protects your data, including instant messages, e-mails, downloads, uploads, login information, which sites you visit, which apps you use and even your physical location. </p><div><script async src=

A good VPN encrypts your internet traffic, preventing people from intercepting your connection. Although if a VPN offers "military grade" encryption, it is suspicious: This is a BS marketing claim. Many companies use the same encryption standards as the US government, so pretty much anyone can make the "military grade" claim, and it doesn't mean they have the same security protections as the military.

to protect your identity if you want to leave a comment or browse secretly without the website you're visiting knowing your location.

VPNs protect you from:

  • ISPs tracking you and selling the data they collect on your internet activity [19659011] Website advertisers spying on you (using a good ad blocker, too)
  • Hackers on public WiFi
  • Apps and companies spying on your connection
  • Blanket surveillance and internet communication interception
  • Anyone who wants to identify your IP address or location
  • Companies and apps that want your connection data
  • Creeps trying to intercept your connection

Oh, and in case you're wondering – yes, they're perfectly legal and actually quite the norm And for business use. In companies, VPNs are typically used to connect employees who are not in the workplace to a computer at work. They connect remote employees to central work servers. Many companies have VPNs so workers can access files and other resources safely over the internet when they're not in the office. However, VPNs are currently restricted in some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Russia and China.

 perfect privacy "data-caption =" vpn "data-credit =" Brett Putman for Engadget "data-credit-link-back = "" data-dam-provider = "" data-local-id = "local-2-6199667-1566412236170" data-media-id = "10b0d335-99c6-4208-84e2-f0d12ae6ac26" data-original-url = " https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-08/ba7021e0-c441-11e9-9bff-117e2e712674 "data-title =" perfect privacy "src =" https: //o.aolcdn .com / images / dims? resize = 2000% 2C2000% 2Cshrink & image_uri = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fs.yimg.com% 2Fos% 2Fcreatr-uploaded-images% 2F2019-08% 2Fba7021e0-c441-11e9-9bff-117e2e712674 & client = a1acac & aa1ac90 = f8af529f6df01e856ad91b6ce4fb8389d7dbee03 "/> </p>
<p> Outside of company use, VPNs are being used more and more by people who just want to make their internet use more secure from attackers or nosy, data-snarfling companies. The post-Snowden panic pushed conversations about VPN use beyond the social circle </p>
<p> And VPN use moved even closer to the mainstream in March 2017, when the current administration and FCC came together to remove consumer privacy protections from ISPs. These changes made ISPs free to track you and sell your data to third parties – and ushered in a boom in VPN use and awareness. </p>
<p> VPNs are generally easy to use, and there are many to choose from. Your home internet service provider might even offer one for free. For example, California-based ISP Sonic offers all of its customers a free OpenVPN app as does security service Cloudflare. But all you need to do is pick the right VPN for you, install its app, follow any setup instructions (they're minimal, if any), click to turn it on, and forget about it while you safely use the internet. [19659004] expressvpn "data-caption =" vpn "data-credit =" Brett Putman for Engadget "data-credit-link-back =" "data-dam-provider =" "data-local-id =" local-3- 5613742-1566412279141 "data-media-id =" c093729b-3727-4aea-8636-89d13bf01770 "data-original-url =" https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-08/ d4138c40-c441-11e9-bfd3-99a8c5156258 "data-title =" expressvpn "src =" https://o.aolcdn.com/images/dims?resize=2000%2C2000%2Cshrink&image_uri=https%3A%2F%2Fs. yimg.com% 2Fos% 2Fcreatr-uploaded-images% 2F2019-08% 2Fd4138c40-c441-11e9-bfd3-99a8c5156258 & client = a1acac3e1b3290917d92 & signature = a1c22273c3232ac9b41167e62115409752999002759192df9752999752999752999752999752999752999752999759b2n9b2n9s2n0fs1n0y2n2yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.com , if you want that extra layer of security Some VPNs give users a selection at startup, in which you can choose the physical location of the server you use to connect to the internet. So if you want a website to think you're in a different city or country, that's a pretty typical option you can expect to encounter. </p>
<p> Now you just need to pick one. With the interest in VPNs surging recently on surveillance concerns and consumer concerns about overzealous tracking by companies, there has been a bit of a boom in the VPN market. Of course, this also means there has been an increase in shady and shoddy VPN charlatans. Like with most security tools, you just need to shop smart. One great filter is to avoid free VPNs unless they come from a trusted provider, like Sonic. (If it's free, there's a hidden cost somewhere – like your privacy or security.) </p>
<p> In general, what you want to look for is a VPN with a good reputation: Use Google, and see if any issues come up in searches. You'll want to look for ones that don't have known data leaks, have good performance, feature quality apps for all your devices, that support the OpenVPN protocol and encryption standards, and ideally have a money-back guarantee. </p>
<p> <strong> VPNs we recommend </strong> </p>
<p> Restore Privacy does a ton of work on finding safe VPNs, and they keep a current list of the best. If you want to get down and nerdy about it, a very thorough chart of VPN comparisons can be found at That One Privacy Site. Another good spot to use for VPN research is TorrentFreak's yearly "Which VPN Services Keep You Anonymous?" post. </p>
<p> Once downloaded, a VPN is easy to use: Just turn it on before you go online (before you open your email, open a browser window, and so on), and you're all set. In a public WiFi environment like a café or airport, you'll need to log in to your WiFi first and then open your VPN before making another move. </p>
<p> And that's it! Go get a VPN, install it on your devices, use it whenever you're out and about (or even when you're home), and Bob's your uncle! Okay, I don't actually know what that saying means. But I do know my way around privacy and security, and I hope you don't wait to get going with a VPN. It may not feel like it nowadays, but your data is still yours, and it's very much worth protecting. </p><div><script async src=



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