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5 Advantages of Using a VPN at Home

While many companies have long used a virtual private network connection to encrypt sensitive data traffic between employees, VPNs can also be used when surfing the Internet at home. In fact, there are several advantages to finding a VPN service and using it from a home connection.

Access Content Restricted by Copyright Protections

Copyright restrictions can seem mysterious. It’s annoying to search for a scene from a film or music video on YouTube or DailyMotion only to have the website return the message “This content has been blocked in your country by copyright.”

A VPN connection hides your real, geographically-based IP address and replaces it with one in an address block outside your country. This new address allows you to view blocked content.

Ensure Your Privacy When Using a Search Engine

Most commercial search engines such as Bing or Google routinely log the contents of web search traffic. While it is possible to opt out of some of it, these companies monetize this information by recording not just search terms but the IP address from which they originate. A VPN connection not only masks your IP address, but a VPN also encrypts all of your web surfing.

Keep your VoIP Chats Confidential

Many users are aware of the necessity of encrypting texts and emails. It is no less critical to secure conversations or video chats conducted over the Voice over Internet Protocol via Skype and other services.

Everyone has had a conversation or video chat so private that they kept them from other members of their household. Now, imagine a hacker eavesdropping on this same conversation! Sending your VoIP connection over a VPN ensures that your privacy will be kept intact end-to-end.

Secure your Data Transfers to the Cloud

Online cloud storage solutions offer backup solutions that enable you to access your sensitive data anywhere. While online storage companies have made strides in securing your information when it arrives on their servers, it is still accessible in transit over an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. As long as your VPN speed is acceptable, it offers another layer of security for the end user and hides your uploads and downloads from prying eyes.

Enable Online Security and Privacy Everyday

The above is a list of the more noteworthy uses for a VPN connection, and there are even more. You may want your online communications with your banking institution to be kept secure. Or, perhaps, you may wish to message a friend or loved one without the fear of these text messages being intercepted. A VPN can even save you money. It protects your online anonymity whether you are browsing, chatting, or consuming media.

No one should feel as if their web activity is an open secret or commodity for sale to the highest bidder. Users have a fundamental right to online privacy. VPNs offer that peace-of-mind.

Save Money By Using a VPN

The internet has undoubtedly made life cheaper. Retailers like Amazon can deliver goods for less money, sometimes within only a few hours. Competition for airline and hotel room pricing has led to a number of different online travel agencies. And, perhaps most relieving, late return fees are now a thing of the past due to services like Netflix and Hulu permanently destroying the video rental segment.

But there is still more considerable savings to be had! For many people, using a virtual personal network (VPN) allows them the chance to save even more money. This opportunity happens because different companies price their services differently across markets. Some also choose to make completely different packages of content available across international borders.

There is a word of warning, however. Some companies do track your purchases and get suspicious if you use VPN. That said, there are several ways to counteract those measures, depending on the VPN you ultimately choose.

Saving Money on Tangible Goods

One of the significant advantages of the internet is that it has leveled the playing field for pricing domestically. However, that is not the case across borders. That is where a VPN can help.

By letting you search for a particular good with an IP address that appears to be in a different country, you get to see the local prices for that good or service. This often leads to saving significant amounts of money.

How much money? Many sites run region-specific flash sales, often with savings of at least 70%. By using a VPN, you can gain easier access to these deals and take advantage of the decreased prices. From golf clubs to furniture, anything available online can be purchased at a saving.

Saving Money on Intangible Goods

It might make sense from a business point of view to set different prices across borders for tangible goods. But, many companies charge different amounts for apps too. On some level, this makes sense and avoids constantly calculating exchange rates. However, often those prices are unfairly set in a way which discriminates against consumers in a given country.

A VPN can help by going around those barriers. Anyone anywhere can purchase apps, content, or anything else online for the lowest price possible. Best of all, because apps and content do not require shipping, there is no increase in shipping prices as a result of buying them from outside of one’s home country.

Flights and Hotel Rooms

While the internet has made the world feel like a smaller place, it is still quite expensive to get around. This fact is especially true when it involves flights or hotel rooms. The economics of flight and hotel room pricing go far beyond merely wanting to address fluctuations of exchange rates.

For a variety of marketing reasons, companies like to set prices to be more affordable for those in different countries. For example, a flight with a South American carrier is often available for less when using a VPN from that airline’s home country than the United States or Europe.

Hotels are quite similar. And, due to the more open economics regarding the pricing of hotel rooms, the savings can be even more drastic. While saving 5-10% on a flight using a VPN is worth celebrating, savings of more than 20% can happen with a hotel room.

Getting Access to More without Paying More

Finally, in many cases, a VPN can allow you to access a completely different version of a particular good or service without having to pay more. For example, Netflix famously has different content libraries across various borders. A VPN can let subscribers get access to shows that they would otherwise have to purchase or rent.

The same is true of using a VPN to access other content, even on YouTube. Producers like to limit their content to a specific geographic region. With a virtual private network, you can access it without additional cost, and often with less trouble than other methods.

As long as you are spending money online, chances are a VPN could help you save a considerable amount of money. It can also get you more from services for which you are already paying. Remember, of course, to do proper research first. Avoid blatantly violating any terms of service agreements. That said, for those who go with a quality VPN service, that will not be an issue.

What Can Affect VPN Connection Speed

A VPN is something that a lot of average consumers invest in these days, primarily because of privacy concerns. More and more, governments around the globe are actively tracking and spying on their citizens under the guise of security.

Anyone wanting Internet browsing privacy needs a way to block their Internet Service Provider from seeing their incoming and outgoing traffic. And that is precisely where a VPN comes into play.

What many people struggle with, however, is the connection speed slowdown which can occur when using a VPN. They know how to test performance, but don’t know how to improve it. The good news is, there are a few simple things which can in many cases eliminate this problem.

Factors Which Affect VPN Speed

Number of Users

How many users are concurrently on the same VPN server is one of the most significant contributors to speed issues. The more people there are on any single piece of hardware, the slower things will run. There’s no way around it.

So, which server that traffic goes through will very much affect the overall speed. The best way to avoid this potential pitfall is to utilize a VPN server or connection which somewhat limits the number of simultaneous users. It’s an easy way to prevent overcrowding and any speed issues that come with.

Performance of the Actual Server

The quality of the server is another factor which can affect the VPN connection speed. The server is responsible for processing everything, including the traffic and encryption. It, therefore, needs to be of high-quality and an excellent performer to be able to deliver the kind of results users seek.

When the hardware is adequate to support the load, it keeps connection slowdown to a minimum. The best way to ensure this is to choose a reputable VPN provider, one that invests into its infrastructure.

Server Location

Another thing that can end up affecting the speed of the VPN is the physical location of the server relative to the device which connects to it. The bigger that distance, the further data has to travel, the longer it will take to get there and back.

Server distance is hands down the most common factor which affects speeds. For instance, a person living in the United States and trying to use a server out of London will likely get a much slower connection than if they connected to a different server also inside the US. All things being equal, the closest server is the one to pick.

Encryption

Something else that is going to affect the overall speed is the level of encryption. The higher and more secure it is, typically the slower the connection will be. Choose VPN encryption levels wisely.

Take the case of streaming video, for example. There is little need for having the most secure connection possible. It is entirely okay to sacrifice encryption for speed and pick a less safe option. On the other hand, someone doing highly sensitive work will likely need to put up with slower speeds by selecting the highest levels of encryption available.

Overall, there are many things which can affect VPN connections and the level of performance you can get from them. It all boils down to understanding the various factors and making the right setting and server choices.

How to Pick a VPN Provider – Your Ultimate Guide

If you’re looking for some useful tips and advice that will guide you in choosing a quality VPN service, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to highlight the key features you should look for in a provider. By the time you’ve finished reading, you will know exactly what you need. And with this in mind, let’s get straight to it.

Decide Which Features You Need

There’s no denying that a modern VPN service can offer a wide range of different features, but you will not necessarily need all of them. Of course, there’s no point in paying for more than you’re going to use, so it’s wise to assess your needs first.

Questions to ask yourself will include whether you need to ‘geo shift’ your location, whether you need full anonymity, or whether you simply need something to protect you when you’re using a public Wi-Fi network.

Once you have a solid understanding of the features you need, you’ll be better prepared when it comes to selecting a service that gives you what you’re looking for.

Check Their Server Locations

Any well-respected VPN service will be able to provide you with multiple servers in many different countries. In particular, it’s a good idea to ensure they have many different US-based services if you’re going to be using websites such as YouTube and Netflix, as these kinds of services may restrict your content depending on where your VPN is located.

These days, you can expect any quality service to have dozens, if not hundreds of stable and reliable servers across the world, so it’s a good idea to go with a company that can provide these features for you.

Check Whether They Keep Logs

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why somebody may turn to a VPN service is to protect their identity online. It’s smart to select a service which will keep the minimal amount of details about your activity.

Fortunately, many of the leading VPN services boast the fact that they do not keep any logs at all, and this is certainly a big benefit if you’re looking to protect your identity. In fact, it’s best to skip on any service that does not offer this seemingly basic feature. There are also several other privacy related issues to be on the lookout for.

Check Their Bandwidth and Speed

There’s nothing more frustrating than selecting a VPN service that seems to be a good deal on the surface, only to find that their servers are slow, prone to crashes, and restrict your bandwidth use. Just take a look at this speed test of Pure VPN. Not looking to great, is it?

Because of this, it’s very important to select a VPN service that will allow you to unleash the full speed of your Internet connection, or at least get very close to it. Nowadays, it shouldn’t be too much trouble to find a service that will give you unrestricted bandwidth and very high speeds, and you certainly shouldn’t settle for anything that hampers you in this regard.

If you need more information on VPN speed and how to find one that strikes the right balance between usability and performance, visit our friends at www.fastestvpnguide.com. They do all the boring work for you by speed testing and comparing most of the top services available today.

Do They Allow Concurrent Connections?

Another important feature of many VPN services is the ability to give you concurrent connections, which means you can use the service through multiple computers, laptops, and smartphones. This is certainly a handy feature that you may or may not need, but if you’re going to protect your entire household with your VPN service, then it is something you’ll need to consider.

5 Tips to Keeping Your Computer Network Secure

Smartphones, computers, tablets, and other Internet-enabled devices have become an integral part of our lives. With many of us using these tools to transact, conduct business, and stay connected with loved ones, it’s important that we keep our hardware locked down at all times. Dropping your guard even for a second could give hackers, and other cyber criminals access to your devices and network, a risk you wouldn’t want to take.

The first step to ensuring your computers and other internet-enabled devices are secure is by ensuring your computer network is safe and buttoned up tight. Outlined below are a few tips on how to secure your computer network.

Encrypt All Wireless Access Points

An unsecured wireless network gives access to everyone within the signal’s reach. Malicious individuals take advantage of unsecured networks to gain access to devices and computers connected to the said network. This can be quite risky for both your business and personal info.

Ensuring all wireless access points are secured with a strong passcode can, however, help keep intruders away. Although locking down your MAC addresses may seem handy, using WPA2 encryption for your networks can be just as safe and is recommended.

Hide Your SSID

Preventing your routers from broadcasting the SSID provides and an extra layer of security to your computer systems. For someone to gain access to the network, he/she would need both the SSID and paraphrase, which are hard to detect.

In addition to this, hiding the SSID works more like the 2-step verification method, hence much safer than when broadcasting it. If hiding SSID isn’t an option, you should consider changing the wireless network name to something more informative. Most routers broadcast their name and versions by default. Be sure to modify this to make life harder for hackers.

Manage Your Printer and File Sharing

File and printer sharing creates loopholes in the network that cyber-criminals can exploit to gain access to your computer. Disable all forms of sharing on your PC to prevent access, and only leave file sharing on a secured file server.

This step is of particular importance for individuals using laptops and tablets. You don’t want your computer to broadcast your entire file system to everyone connected to the network, especially when traveling.

Install security patches and OS updates

Both personal and work computers should have automatic OS updates turned on to help keep them updated. These software updates help fix bugs that cybercriminals exploit.

In addition to this, allowing OS updates provides additional security to your files and computer systems. Leaving your computer ignored for too long makes it vulnerable to exploitation, where hackers can plant malware to the systems.

Your router too needs to be updated to the latest firmware. Like with the OS, this gives it more protection from external attacks, hence an excellent way to keep hackers out.

Invest in a Good Firewall

In addition to enabling all firewalls on the router, you may still have to install an additional firewall on your desktop computers. Such firewalls not only restrict access to computer files but also make it hard for a cyber criminal to inject malicious code. You will also need a reliable antivirus software capable of detecting malware and spyware.

After implementing all these measures to secure your computer network, you can then invest in a VPN for added security online. VPNs not only encrypt network connections and traffic but also make it hard for hackers to sniff data/traffic. For more info, see our guide on how to choose a VPN service. Once you’re using one, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without one.

Back From Our Break

Yes, we here at Project X are still alive and are about to blow the roof off with some exciting content and announcements. After taking a bit of time off to regroup and redesign our website, we are back stronger and more focused than ever.

In addition to continuing to offer some amazingly fast VPN solutions, we have also decided to branch out and help educate our audience on all subjects related to internet privacy and security. After all, the best way to make an educated decision on whether a particular Virtual Private Network solution is right for your needs is to understand it and what it can do for you.

Understanding our technology and solutions

Our first posts are right around the corner. We hope you will find them helpful and if you have any questions, never hesitate to contact us. The best way to do so is via email at sysadmin[AT]projectxlan.com. Talk soon!