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The primary reason for window curtains in our house is to stop people from being able to see in. The reason we don’t want them to see in is because we consider much of what we do inside our homes to be private. Whether that be having dinner at the table, or watching a movie with your kids. None of these things are illegal by any means but even knowing this, we still keep the curtains and blinds on our windows. We clearly have this strong desire for privacy when it comes to our personal life and the public. – Joshua in The Crypto Paper
The internet is a fantastic resource for acquiring information, entertainment, and business and can be accessed anywhere, at any time from your computers, tablets, and smart devices. It is a communication channel that connects people, businesses, and devices and makes life much more comfortable.
However, the internet isn’t perfect. Many security threats can compromise your privacy and data while using the internet. These threats aren’t only in the form of viruses and malware, but hackers, government agencies, advertisers, and large corporations.
Data is a lucrative business, and many large corporations take full advantage of it by placing tracking on their websites, applications, and devices. You may say, “…but I do not have anything to hide, what’s the big deal?”
Glenn Greenwald responded to this perfectly in his TED Talk…
Over the last 16 months, as I’ve debated this issue around the world, every single time somebody has said to me, “I don’t worry about invasions of privacy because I don’t have anything to hide.” I always say the same thing to them. I get out a pen; I write down my email address. I say, “Here’s my email address. What I want you to do when you get home is email me the passwords to all of your email accounts, not just the nice, respectable work one in your name, but all of them, because I want to be able to just troll through what it is you’re doing online, read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you’re not a bad person, if you’re doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide.” Not a single person has taken me up on that offer. – Glenn Greenwald in Why privacy matters – TED Talk
So how do you protect your internet traffic and make it more private?
Yes, a virtual private network (VPN) can help with that. VPNs secure your internet traffic by sending it through an encrypted tunnel, so your real IP address is not revealed to the web services you are accessing.
Some VPNs are free, while others are not. However, there are many benefits to using a VPN:
- Useful for bypassing censorship and geo-blocking
- Can help with throttling of internet traffic by your ISP
- Help secure your internet traffic while on public WiFi networks
The difference between a FREE vs. PAID VPN Service
When deciding which VPN works for your needs, it is crucial to understand the critical differences between them and the potential impact on your online experience.
- Tracks your online activity, collects and sells your information to 3rd party advertisers
- Inserts java or scripts into your computer or mobile device for advertising
- Connections are unstable, and internet speeds are slow
- Uses basic insecure protocols
- Offer limited features to prompt you to upgrade to a paid service
- No customer support
- Genuine protection of your data online
- Multiple servers in many locations
- Increased bandwidth
- High level of encryption
- Fast and stable connections
- Multi-device utilization
- A host of features for a better experience
- Premium customer service
So which VPN do we recommend?
When choosing a VPN provider, one of the most important considerations is their jurisdiction. You want a VPN service that is in a jurisdiction with lax data retention laws. Therefore, we choose NordVPN. NordVPN is based in Panama, which has no data retention laws.
- A strict no-log policy to ensure user privacy and security
- Military-grade AES-256-CBC encryption and a variety of protocols to choose from: OpenVPN, (UDP and TCP), PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec
- Unlimited bandwidth and data
- +5000 servers located in 62 countries (the server number is always growing)
- Fast speed servers that are also reliable and consistent
- Multiple ways to contact 24/7 customer support (live chat, email, ticket system)
- A CyberSec feature that blocks dangerous websites and lets users avoid annoying ads
- An automatic kill switch (can kill individual processes or kill the whole internet connection)
- Six simultaneous connections
- P2P friendly
- Works in countries (China, the Middle East countries) where internet access is restricted and strong censorship is in place
- Double encryption to ensure top-level privacy and security
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