Why you need a VPN

Why should I get a VPN?

There are a myriad of reasons why you should get a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Getting passed country-restrictions on Youtube and Netflix is nice, but more seriously, your browsing history is being analyzed by your service provider and stored by governments as part of a dragnet for the benefit of ‘our national security’. Anyone with a modest knowledge of how the internet works, knows that is utter bullshit.

So what is a VPN?

A VPN in its simplest form is a tunnel between your computer to an exit point somewhere else in the world. Your data is encrypted the instant it leaves your device, goes through the VPN providers servers, and exits at a server anonymously. Your government and internet service provider are unable to decrypt your data, and can’t determine what sites you are visiting.
The majority of VPN providers also allow the option of selecting what country your exit node is in. This will be the IP address a website determines your using. Facebook might think I’m actually in Japan, or Youtube sees I have a German address.

How do I set up a VPN

First you need to choose a provider. This is a subscription based service, so you pay monthly or yearly. There are free VPN’s as well, but they are slow and untrustworthy.

Provider IP Addresses Locations Sessions P2P Monthly
NordVPN
NordVPN
80
61 Countries
6 Yes $5.75
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN
10000 145
94 Countries
3 Yes $8.32
Hide My Ass
Hide My Ass
125499 280
210 Countries
2 No $4.99
VyprVPN
VyprVPN
200000 74
65 Countries
Up to 5 Yes $5.00
PureVPN
PureVPN
88000 180
141 Countries
5 Some $3.25
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access
3272 35
25 Countries
5 Yes $3.33
SaferVPN
SaferVPN
5000 400
34 Countries
3 No $3.49
SlickVPN
SlickVPN
142
46 Countries
Yes $4.00
StrongVPN
StrongVPN
45
21 Countries
1 Yes $5.83
Tunnel Bear
Tunnel Bear
50000 20 Countries 5 $4.99

 

My personal preference has always been for Private Internet Access which has installers for all devices and operating systems and allows me to use 5 different devices at once. Good for sharing with your family.

Now you’ve selected a VPN, get a subscription, pay via paypal or bitcoin or credit card, and download the installer for your operating system or device. If you’re very familar with your OS, you can also manually set your device to use the VPN, and most of them will provide instructions on how to do so.

Words of advice

If you’re aiming to be entirely untrackable and anonymous on the internet, just having a VPN wont cut it. You need to adjust your behaviour and habits altogether. Make Tor Browser your default browser, and avoid connecting to social media accounts. Keep your firewall and anti-virus up to date and disable any tracking services. Avoid using Google and instead use an anonymous search engine like DuckDuckGo.

And at the end of the day, work on the assumption that someone is ALWAYS watching you. Maybe even me.