Archive for VPN Instructions Editor

Using A VPN To Circumvent Website Blocks In The UK

website-firewallA VPN is usually used to protect your privacy. But in many situations, a VPN is necessary to circumvent censorship or website blocks. When we think of censorship or blocked websites, we often think of China or Iran, which filter and block thousands of IP addresses, websites, and specific pages or URLs within websites.

But most other countries also engage in disrupting or blocking websites. For example, the United Kingdom has blocked Wikipedia, WordPress.com, and Archive.org. There is a growing and updated list here that lists website blocks in the UK. It’s important to monitor this list occassionally to be informed of new and important updates. True, many of the sites that get blocked are torrent sites that infringe on copyrights, but many others are blocked for more ulterior or business motives.

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

Why Are VPNs Important For Americans Overseas Who Monitor Credit Reports?

Americans living around the world have their credit rating to worry about, and the federal government and private industries in the USA has made it simpler over the years for Americans to monitor their credit reports. The AnnualCreditReport.com website is a venture by the biggest credit rating agencies to allow Americans one free report each year.

But for Americans living outside the USA, access to the AnnualCreditReport.com site is often blocked and only available to people residing on American soil. If an American tries visiting the site from overseas, they see an error message like this:

Credit Reports Blocked

So this free service that keps Americans aware of errors in their credit reports, problems with their finances, and issues with possible financial crimes, is off-limits to Americans living outside the USA!

But there is a solution. A good VPN (virtual private network) allows an American overseas to appear as if they are using a computer in the USA. That way, they can access the AnnualCreditReport.com site with no problems.

Why is AnnualCreditReport.com blocked to people outside the USA? Most likely it is a security issue to thwart phishers and hackers emanating from non-USA IP addresses. Or it could just be a big middle finger from AnnualCreditReport.com to all the American expatriates living abroad.

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

VPN Startup Launches In Asia, Focuses On Global Growth

Asia is home to a new virtual private network startup.

Danny Levinson, an American technology entrepreneur who has successfully grown and exited Internet ventures in China over the past nearly 20 years, is focusing on online privacy with his latest venture named Kovurt based in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is also the first outpost Snowden fled to once his spying revelations came to light.

Kovurt calls itself an Internet privacy fix and is aiming at providing cheap privacy solutions for users around the world. Kovurt began a couple years ago when Levinson was creating free virtual private networks for friends’ companies operating in China, and he morphed it into a business recently and already claims thousands of free and paid users. The company is providing mobile apps and desktop software to aid users to maintain privacy on wireless networks so that snoopers and malware don’t harm users’ data.

The company is headquartered in Hong Kong’s Cyberport, where many Internet startups are based, and has staff working in Scotland, Beijing, Delhi, Moscow, and Seattle. The company has been self-funded by Levinson the past two years and reportedly is not seeking any investment in the near term. Levinson says he is focused on growing his paid customer base and investment may be necessary for jumping further hurdles in the future.

Levinson’s two most recent ventures were one of China’s largest vertical business media news groups which sold to private investors, and a Cloud-based social media aggregation and distribution service that incorporated email marketing and social media monitoring that was acquired by Nasdaq-listed Vocus in the United States.

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

A Great VPN Solution That Combines Computer Backup For Windows Users

There are lots of different types of VPNs based on how they are used. Some VPNs like those from Citrix GoToMyPC create a VPN connection so you can safely access your home computer from anywhere in the world. Other VPNs like those from Kovurt and OpenVPN focus on privacy and circumvention so you can access the Internet safely and privately. And there is a third type of VPN usage: creating a true private network so you can exchange files, chats, and messages with friends.

In this third type of VPn usage, a fantastic piece of software is Gbridge. Here is how Gbridge describes itself:

Gbridge is a free software that lets you remotely control PCs, sync folders, share files, and chat securely and easily. An extension of Google’s gtalk service, Gbridge automatically forms a collaborative, encrypted VPN (Virtual Private Network) that connects your computers and your friends’ computers directly and securely with patented technology. Gbridge has many unique features.

Not only does Gbridge let you privately chat with friends, it is also a fantastic computer backup solution, as well as a normal VNC. That means you can use it to troubleshoot other computers or access them in the same way GoToMyPC does it.

It is a great way to transfer very large files between friends or colleagues, and Gbridge use Dynamic DNS.

A couple caveats:
1) Gbridge only works on PCs. So Mac lovers are out of luck.

2) You must use a Google account to access it. Gbridge is not owned or related to Google, but it does use Google’s gtalk service so you must login with a Gmail or Google Apps account. You may worry that Gbridge or Google will then have access to your info… Gbridge “promises” everything is encrypted and they have no access to anything you transmit.

You can get more info at http://www.gbridge.com

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

VPN Encryption Is Broken? Not Exactly…

The latest Snowden revelations that governments in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and elsewhere have broken encryption are not entirely new. Nor should people be surprised. After all, key encryption protocols were developer by U.S. government spy agencies, so we should always expect some sort of backdoor access or undisclosed weakness.

That doesn’t make these public revelations any less worrisome.

As for Virtual Private Networks, news outlets are reporting that VPNs are vulnerable. This is not exactly true. SSL appears to be compromised, and therefore browser-based SSL VPNs are at risk. But VPN providers providing OpenVPN, PPTP, and IPSec/L2TP protocols appear fine (until we hear of the next revelation that state they are not fine.

But users of VPNs in places like China already know that they are targets. Many news outlets have stated for over a year that VPNs are blocked in China. That is not true. Instead, they have repeatedly been filtered. There is a difference between blocking and filtering. In most cases, it would be impossible to block VPN traffic on L2TP, OpenVPN, or PPTP without blocking most other “innocuous” traffic of users visiting bank websites, e-commerce sites, etc. But with filtering, the Chinese Internet police are filtering highly encrypted traffic for DPI (deep packet inspection). It still takes supercomputers and lots of time to decrypt this traffic, so in China this type of traffic is being filtered.

But what all VPN users need to worry about is collusion between governments and websites to track VPN users. These latest revelations appear to say that people using encrypted traffic are now targets. That is worrisome even more so because one of the few ways governments can spot this type of data is by working with website operators. So the next time you use Yahoo, MSN, Amazon, eBay, and other sites you should ask yourself if the executives running those websites are doing the right thing, or not.

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

How Can You Add Better Encryption To Your Web Browser?

Having a VPN is a must-have for increased privacy, but a good security and privacy setup also includes a great browser. We like both Google Chrome and Firefox as browser choices, but when we visit website we also want to make sure our communications are encrypted as best as we can.

A free browser add-on called “HTTPS Everywhere” helps to solve this problem. HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox and Chrome extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.

EFF.com says “HTTPS Everywhere is produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site. The HTTPS Everywhere extension fixes these problems by using a clever technology to rewrite requests to these sites to HTTPS.”

The Firefox version is a stable version, and the Chrome extension is in beta but still freely available for everyone to use. So download, install, and gain another layer of protection!

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

Top 5 Mobile VPN App Choices For iPhone And iPad

Looking for a VPN app for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? While there are many great choices at the Apple iTunes store, CNET’s Download.com website does a great job of profiling and listing available apps for iOS users.

There are dozens of choices, but we have picked our own list of recommended top 5 VPN apps for iOS users:

1) Kovurt VPN: this is always our favorite, as the VPN services are stable, robust, and used by top-tier professionals around the world. Kovurt’s VPN app is useful in its Version 1.0 only for Kovurt’s paid subscribers, but it’s worthwhile to get a paid subscription because of the great service and stability of the VPN network to keep you secure and private on WiFi hotspots. Download the VPN app from here or click the button from Download.com below to take yourself straight to the download page:

Get it from CNET Download.com!

2) Norton Hotspot Privacy: Keep your confidential information safe and secure when you use public WiFi hotspots wherever you are. Norton is famous for its anti-virus software, and now it provides a slim app that keeps your wifi activities safe. Download here.

3) Hotspot Shield: CNET staff say “Hotspot Shield VPN is a free iOS app with a single aim: to protect your online presence.” Get your own version of the app from here.

4) Cisco AnyConnect: CNET staff say “Cisco AnyConnect is an iOS app for connecting through VPNs (not necessarily those controlled by Cisco hardware). It provide access through a secure tunnel to allow iPhones and iPads to access corporate e-mail, files, and remote desktops. The app is free and works with any VPN that supports the standard DTLS security layer.” And you can get your own download from here.

5) Junos Pulse: Junos Pulse for iOS enables secure connectivity over SSL VPN to corporate applications and data from anywhere, at any time. Using Junos Pulse, you can connect securely to your corporate Juniper Networks SA Series SSL VPN gateway and gain instant access to business applications and networked data from wherever you are. Download the app from here.

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

Another Way To Verify Your IP Address When Using VPN Services

In regards to this article on the importance of IP addresses and how to best change your IP address, today I want to give you a heads-up on a new service from GlobalIPCheck.com that gives developers a free API to verify and check locations around the globe for users. This service also gives you an immediate look at where you are in the world, according to your IP address.

Services like Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, BBC, and many others rely on your IP address location to either ban or give you entry to their services. So, for example, if you are sitting in Shanghai but you want access to BBC, you can use a VPN provider to help change your IP address to make it appear as if you are in London. Then you will be able to see the BBC online!

So GlobalIPCheck.com gives you immediate free ability to see where it appears you are located.

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

How To Find Your IP Address and Geolocation For Better Privacy

Every computer, every smartphone, and even many devices like refrigerators, cars, and ATMs have an Internet Protocol address. These IP addresses can be static or dynamic, which means they either permanently or temporarily correspond to an actual device somewhere in the world.

Each time you get on the Internet using your laptop, desktop, or mobile phone, you have an IP address that websites and companies can use to track your location. They then use your location to target advertising, sell you goods, or gather data.

Cookies also can track your travels on the Internet. But IP addresses are different than cookies. Cookies are small files placed on your computer. You can often disable cookies in your computer, but you can not disable your IP address — you always need an IP address.

However, you can change your IP address so that it appears your computer is in a different location. For example, if you are sitting in Seattle, all the websites you visit know you are in Seattle, and they can sometimes even figure out the specific building, floor, and room you are sitting in based on the information they have. But if you use a VPN or a great service like TOR, you can either obfuscate or change your IP address, so it appears like you are sitting instead in London, Shanghai, Paris, or Oslo.

Changing your IP address alone does not keep your information private or secret. Instead, it merely makes it more difficult for websites to understand who you are and from where you are contacting them. You can check your IP address and geolocation here.

The best way to remain private online is via a VPN that not only changes your IP address, but also encrypts your data online.

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.

Kovurt VPN Adds Free New App For iPhone, iPad, and iPhone Touch

The VPN service at Kovurt.com, whose services are mostly still in Beta but they still offer a few paid subscription options, has launched a new free VPN app.

We tested the VPN app from Beijing, Hong Kong, Chengdu, London, and New York and all loaded pages quickly on an iPad or iPhone. The VPN app offers “one-click” action, so you only need to click a button once to load all your configurations and the next time you want to get on the Kovurt VPN network you just click “On” in your iPhone’s settings.

This first version can be downloaded by anybody, but the main features require a login only available to paid VPN subscribers of the Kovurt service. This first version also only offers VPN server connections from Asia, but Kovurt says an update soon will expand all the offerings to servers in Europe and North America. This means anybody in the world can use the app now, but when you connect to the VPN it will appear like you are in Asia — this makes sense for Kovurt since many of its users are in Asia. But the US and Europe are huge VPN markets too, so the next update should make watching Netflix or BBC much easier for Americans and Brits.

Get more information about Internet security and privacy at VPN Instructions: VPN Instructions.