VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORKS ARE 100% NECESSARY-UNLESS YOU LIKE BEING SOLD
There are a great many VPN apps, browsers, and devices that you can set up to create an alternative avenue to access the internet that isn’t trackable by your ISP- Internet service provider. This is a succinct Virtual Private Network REVIEW of a few of the offers available.
Before beginning the VPN review, I must inform you it’s not wise to use a U.S. based VPN service. Why is that? In addition to the amount of surveillance that occurs in the states, the U.S. is known to use NSLs – National Security Letters – forcing companies to provide any and all information they have stored or collected about you while gagging the company involved. The end result: you have zero clues you got hosed. This is the same practice they used to attempt to obtain Snowden’s emails, but Lavabit’s owner pulling the plug on the servers made the exercise moot. That was the extreme he had to go to prevent all of his client’s emails, not just Snowden’s, from being gathered up.
If your VPN provider is based in the U.S., they can be lettered and gagged, while you get plumbed for information as if you never had a VPN at all. I live in the U.S., born and raised, so I hate to slam my country, but I operate from the seat of fact and logic, so it is what it is. Additionally, the same could be said for services based in the UK. This is due in part to the collaboration with the U.S. to share surveillance data. Along with other countries in this group, they are known collectively as the ‘Five Eyes’. There are a lot more ‘eyes’ than that. There’s a link at the end of this review if you want to read more on Global Surveillance.
The NSA will place you on a list for simply investigating VPNs or other manners of protecting your information online. I’ll reiterate that. You can be placed on a list by the U.S. government for simply researching how to protect your privacy. Funny thing is, a lot of companies hire remotely, and since they want to minimize information loss or hack-age, they use VPNs to encrypt their data. Guess what? The NSA isn’t picky, those users are on the list, too. Doesn’t matter, it’s not illegal to share information or protect yourself.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE VPN REVIEW?
An active VPN grants you a superior level of privacy and prevent you from being tracked by your ISP, but you’re still not 100% anonymous. Additionally, it’s still a best practice to avoid sites known to be infected with spy or malware.
There is a free way to set up VPN services, but you’d need to purchase some equipment, and then configure said equipment. I needed something a lot less time-consuming. I AM a non-tech guy, so ease and simplicity are what I seek. Configuring equipment? Nah, one-click installs work best for me. There’s an article on my site in READ THIS! a section that links to other great articles and information on the subjects of net protection. How to set up a free VPN is among the articles.
These are browsers that either has a VPN function or come highly recommended because of the privacy add-ons, and ad and tracker blockers so that they function AS IF they were a VPN to a degree. Firefox, Tor, and Opera are the three I checked out.
Firefox has some excellent privacy add-ons. Some can run automatically, others require some advanced setup. If you like Firefox and how it operates, then it’s worth a look to you.
Tor is a great choice if you want an extra layer of anonymity. This is a browser used by many on the dark web, and making yourself UN-anonymous would take some work. It comes with pre-installed privacy add-ons as well as advanced proxy and encryption.
Opera is a newer browser and has both an add-block and VPN feature. They seem simple to pop on and be in business. However, Opera was recently purchased by the Chinese government, who, sadly, has a history of spying and blocking information…not unlike any other world government. That point in illustration: many Chinese citizens are still unaware of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
But I digress… I decided that I really like the way my current browser works, I’m familiar with it, and it’s linked to all my devices. I have zero intent to muck around with changing my browser on all my devices and chose to look further.
I studied a vast number of VPN services available. There are so very many that I focused solely on those that appealed to my requirements; ease of installation, a location outside U.S. borders, operate a large number of servers, operate with a no logs policy, and still remained conscious of the fee for the services provided. Some may find me over-thorough, but I did this research because I prefer the best value or quality I can obtain for what I’m willing to spend. I seek only the best people, products and services because anything less isn’t worth a damn. Anyone can do the same research I did, I’ve just simplified it for you. This is what I found;
I’m far too lazy to click a tab to convert pounds into dollars. Sue me. So I passed over Mullvad, Perfect Privacy, AirVPN, BlackVPN, and EarthVPN. There are other factors: lacking a free trial, or having a lower number of available servers are among them.
That combination of reasons caused me to overlook HideMe, IVPN, FrootVPN, & Proxy.Sh. I liked the yearly fee for VPN.Tunnel, VPN.Ht, and Trust.Zone, but the lack of a free trial and/or a small number of servers made me pass on them as well.
In the end, I DID wind up choosing NORD VPN.
The VPN installed in three steps; ease of use is ALWAYS a major factor.
In addition, being located outside the U.S. means no NSLs.
I completely passed on the free trial and got the two years deal, because it was the best value of any VPN service. Opt-in to access the same deal.
They have a no logs policy, which means they don’t keep track of what I do online…which honestly isn’t much other than research, watch YouTube, read blogs and posts, and buy stuff.
Nothing innocuous, but I refuse to have Uncle Big Brother Sam & all ‘his’ undeletable malware-infested advertising tracker-buddies spying on me, taking notes about my activities, and watching everything I’m doing while I’m online. The non-existence of greed-oriented agendas directly equals zero need for VPN reviews or even a VPN.
If you think I’m just here to sing praises about why I chose the VPN provider I did, well, yes…and not exactly. I’m sharing all aspects here.
The final reason I decided on Nord was that they have 1000 servers. This means that no matter how many of us are operating on this app there won’t be any sluggishness or long response times…for the most part, this is true. The speed of your internet connection is a factor.
I’ve noted that it can take up ten seconds to activate once I turn on my laptop or other devices. I did not set the app the activate automatically on my tablet, so I must activate that manually when I operate my tablet.
Today I decided to be in Italy…
after connecting to a server there, I checked for other servers to see the load capacity in case there was something from a particular region I’d like to see.
I used the map function to see where I was in the world…
…then went to Google in Italy to check some news, and see what there was to buy over there I cannot obtain here.
The app functions very smoothly. I have yet to note any problems functioning with other apps or programs. It may cause you to refresh a program, but that’s a good sign it’s doing its job: it’s assigning you a new IP address.
It functions as smoothly on my tablet as it does on my laptop, I cannot assign it to my I-phone because It’s a 4S with no more room for updating. Sorrow. With an updated phone or tablet, you’re good to go.
I don’t see very many ads anymore while browsing and the ones I do see are no longer targeting me. I can check my VPN’s ‘worth a damn’ factor by going to IPLeak.net. If I see my new, protected IP address and not the previously unprotected one, I’m doing well.
VPNs allege to do one thing that isn’t necessarily on the up-n-up…and that I have not yet been able to. I attempted accessing blocked content and have only been able to read news from other countries.
I did try to access a streaming site and failed. Even with customer support (which is GREAT by the way). the final conclusion was that I have to pay for that site if I want to view it. I’m actually ok with this. Why? Ripping people off sucks.
So…me, ripping off a site because I’ve got a VPN isn’t really cool with me. I am ok with this turnout. User-error comes to the fore, however, because when I view the FAQ on my account, I read comments that others can view blocked material. The don’t condone that, by the way.
Three days after trying about six times to access aforementioned site illegally, while I was net browsing I saw a text-filled block, clearly for advertising but read; IF YOU ARE USING A PROXY SERVER, YOU MUST SIGN UP TO JOIN ###. Something like that, yet it vanished as quickly as it appeared. That goes back to ‘VPNs are not 100% anonymous’.
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. There are a lot of ways to go once you realize why you NEED a VPN. It’s clear there are options aplenty, but I chose the one I did over the others, and why it’s the one I recommend to keep things simple and easy, but don’t want to be short on quality.
An active VPN prevents tracking, monitoring, and data-mining by your ISP. Data encryption protects and hides your browsing history.
With an active VPN, no organization can bundle or sell your browsing history, emails, medical or financial history, or even your children’s histories if there’s nothing for them to intrude upon or gather up to sell. Protect YOURSELF by taking this step. It’s the LEAST you can do.
Letting your ISP have an open road to your browsing data is about to become a huge problem for anyone else who’s left the gate open. Take some steps to protect yourself.
If you like what you heard and want to check out the NORD OFFER then click the link. If you want to know more or the subject of VPNs, click on the links below.
What’s Five Eyes GLOBAL SURVEILLANCE?