VPN Setup

The Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that enables the user to have a secure connection to a computer on the Internet or remote private network. It is done through the establishment of an encrypted tunnel, it is the location where the private networks and remote computer hosts can communicate safely. Also, the VPN technology is built into the most current computers of Microsoft Windows.

VPN Setup

The easiest way to hook oneself with VPN is using some reputable VPN service, like HMA Pro, aka hidemyass. If you want to make everything yourself, this article will teach you how to do a free VPN setup, the steps are:

VPN Setup
  1. Click the button “Start” and click the “Control Panel” of your Windows 7 computer. It must be connected to a private network where you want to access with the use of a VPN. Then the window of “Control Panel” will appear.
  2. Look for the icon “Network and Sharing Center”, double-click it and click the “Change Adapter Settings”.
  3. Click the menu “File” then click the “New Incoming Connection”.
  4. Choose the “Through the Internet” then click the button “Next”.
  5. Click the “Internet Protocol Version 4” as listed in the protocols. Click the window that shows “Properties” and the window of “Incoming IP Properties” will appear.
  6. Click the check box that reads “Allow callers to access my local area network” then click the radio button and “OK” button.
  7. Click the button that says “Allow Access” to accept the selected settings. Click the button “Close” so that the VPN connection configuration will be completed.
  8. Configure the firewall or router to the Windows 7 computer’s IP address. Then, enable “PPTP” to pass through the firewall or router.
  9. Click the Windows 7 computer “Start” button, and then click the “Control Panel”. After, double-click the “Network and Internet” and the window will appear.
  10. Clink the link “Network and Sharing Center” then click the link that says “Set up a new connection”.
  11. Click the “Connect to a workplace” then click the button “Next”. On the next window, click the “Use my Internet connection”.
  12. Encode the IP address of the firewall or router to protect the VPN computer. Type the VPN connection’s name and then click the button “Next”.
  13. Provide the user’s account name that is permitted to connect and then the password.
  14. Click the button that says “Connect Now” to test your new VPN connection.
VPN Setup

This is how to setup a free VPN account.

VPN Service

Today, the business organizations can choose from free and paid VPN services like the Cyber Ghost VPN, it is the Editors’ choice for free VPN and Norton Hotspot Privacy and Ipvanish VPN as the Editors’ Choice for the paid VPN service. The Private Internet Access (PIA) has out-performed its competitors and awarded as the Editors’ Choice for 2013. In the past few months, some readers of the PCMag.com reported that they received poor speed and the servers are unresponsive of the PIA. The degradation of the PIA’s service has been noticed and they were revisited.

After reading the comments about PIA’s degrading VPN service, there were no other issues reported. When the experts tested the PIA, they found out the services they offer are still in good performance and in the last few months, they added more servers and even expanded their set of features.

How Does A VPN Service Works?

Your computer possesses an IP address which is assigned by an ISP, this can be used to identify your ISP’s geographic location. For many users, it is close to your actual geographic location. With the PIA, it allows you to change your actual geographic location through overriding your IP address as assigned by the ISP. There are countries that blocked sites like China prohibits Facebook, some videos on YouTube are not allowed in Germany, Netflix is restricted in other countries except the US, with these scenarios, changing your geographic location is very useful and helpful.

VPN Service

Even if you are not hiding your actual location, it makes sense to use a VPN service since it is capable of encrypting all traffic on the Internet and makes sure that the data remains hidden. Just like other services that provide VPN, PIA does not intend to replace the worker’s corporate VPN when he logs into his work-related applications. However, it is still useful because it can protect all his online activities. The problem is that the data are protected when in transit only, if his destination site has not used HTTPS, that will remain unencrypted. In effect, the attackers can intercept the data and identify them by using complicated timing algorithms.

VPN Service

When you want to obtain a VPN service like the PIA, there are installation and payment plans. Generally, their monthly subscription is $6.95, if you want to subscribe for six months, the rate is $35.95 or a yearly subscription of $39.95. PIA is different from other competing products, they do not offer a trial or free version for users who want to try the service beforehand. For some, they are looking for a cheaper service too.

VPN Service

In case you will get a VPN service, you can use other payment options than the standard credit card, you can pay through Google Wallet, PayPal, CashU, Bitcoin, Amazon and OKPay. If you are concerned about the increasing levels of the government’s surveillance and any other uncomfortable means that can trace you, then you can opt to pay through the anonymous payment option.

The interface of the VPN service is minimal, it is practically non-existent. At the login window that serves as the settings page, it shows the encryption that you are going to use, proxy information and the default servers that you want to connect to.

Obtaining a VPN service can provide advantages for people who want to stay anonymous from the virtual world and other significant reasons in connection with their jobs or social status.

The Disadvantages of Having a VPN Account

Virtual Private Network is defined as a remote access technology, it allows the user or worker to connect to his company network via the Internet. The software of the VPN is creating an encrypted tunnel to secure the connection that can only be made between the VPN server and the user’s computer, as a result, it allows the user to access the office network. Also, a VPN is more affordable than having remote servers or dedicated lines and more convenient for workers who travel often and work from home. However, the convenience of having a VPN account has some drawbacks too, they are:

High Security Risks

When you use a computer that is not provided by the company and you connect it to a VPN, there will be security risks. Much more when you have not installed anti-virus software which makes it infected and can in turn create a virus breakout on the office’s network. Another problem is when the operating system is vulnerable which makes it not fully patched, it can be exploited by malware and even hackers. They can hack your VPN connection, and can appear as legitimate support staff of the company. Even if VPN is encrypted, the user is still vulnerable since outsiders around him may be able to see sensitive or confidential information of the company’s network. This holds true especially when he is using a laptop, access his VPN account through a free Wi-Fi in a café or a shopping mall.

The Disadvantages of Having a VPN Account

Unnecessary Network Traffic

Connections of the VPN contribute to the overall network traffic. When you have many VPN connections, it can really slow down the company’s network. In addition, VPN connections are made when the workers are outside the office, there is a big possibility that they can engage in activities that are non-work related like downloading from P2P networks, streaming videos or music, playing online games and chatting. These activities can waste bandwidth and can greatly affect the speed and performance of the network.

The Disadvantages of Having a VPN Account

Delays and Disconnections

Having VPN connections do not mean that you have a reliable dedicated line. VPN depends on the Internet, if the quality of connection is not high, the connection suffers. In effect, accessing shared folders and computers, copying files and running applications are slower than having a dedicated line. For instance, when a worker transfers a big file, it may take minutes when you have a dedicated line but it can take hours if it is done with a VPN connection. A VPN can be unstable too, most especially when the connection is unreliable. Usually they frequently get disconnected or timed out.

If the company is aware of the disadvantages of VPN, they can find ways to avoid these problems and make the working environment more productive.

The Best Free Services of Anonymous Surfing

The 21st century is called the Digital Age, it is where information is becoming more public than private. It is very evident that the pervasiveness and the growth of the Internet have greatly influenced people’s lives, as a result, the concern for privacy issues has become a great concern too.

The Best Free Services of Anonymous Surfing

All individuals are entitled of their privacy in this world, this goes the same in the virtual world. With this contention, many people would want to stay anonymous in the virtual world, they all have genuine reasons, some for simple precautionary measures over personal issues and to more complicated issues like hiding activities from their spouse and preventing coercive authority. This article is not going to deal about moral, legal or ethical issues about being anonymous on the Internet but to provide some available methods on how to achieve it. Also, the programs enumerated are free software and you do not have to pay a single centavo to use their services. The basic right of everyone is privacy and you do not have to spend to get it. The programs that are presented in this article are the same programs that are most helpful in schools, libraries, cafes, workplaces and even in prepaid or public Wi-Fi hotspots.

In addition, the programs work perfectly for use in every household to avoid prying or curious eyes and they even prevent your ISP from taking an advantage of monitoring your activities on the Internet. However, you should also remember that you are not guaranteed of becoming 100% anonymous online, the programs listed below are free and they will do an excellent job of furthering your goal of becoming anonymous.

The Best Free Services of Anonymous Surfing

There are several types of connections that will enable you to surf anonymously, they are:

The Best Free Services of Anonymous Surfing
  • P2P – This means peer-to-peer, a decentralized network where the routes of the data pass through multiple peers as the only data pieces which are identifiable by keys and they are location-independent. Generally, it is secure but it has limitations since a peer can log information pertaining to the data that passes through it.
  • Proxies –There are routing machines named as proxy servers, they continually act every time you request for a data transfer or data forwarding. This will allow you to avoid communications which are directed to the telltale point where your data packets are usually handled. It gives the user a degree of security but it becomes vulnerable since the fact routes can be technically random.
  • VPN – This means virtual private network, it can secure tunnels of all your information from a point to another and the essence of a VPN is that the data transfer will appear that a remote machine is the source.

If you are greatly concerned about anonymous surfing and how to become secure on the Internet, these free programs will help you further.

The Benefits of VPN Internet

A VPN Internet is a solution if a company or business organization wants to establish a secured network and long-distance connections. Normally, a VPN is deployed by organizations or businesses than individuals. To understand VPN, this article lists down the benefits and advantages it can provide especially for local area networking.

The Benefits of VPN Internet

For an organization that is looking for a secured network infrastructure, having a VPN can provide two main advantages compared to other alternative technologies. These are cost savings as well as network scalability. For the clients who are accessing VPN, it can provide benefits like it is easy to use.

Cost Savings

One of the main advantages of a VPN is that the organization can save money in situations like elimination of expensive leased lines for long-distance calls, reduction of long-distance charges and offloading of support costs.

The Benefits of VPN Internet
  • Compared to leased lines, a VPN can help the organization save money. Before, organizations need to rent a network capacity like the T1 lines in order to achieve a secured and full connectivity between the office locations. Today, when an organization has a VPN, they can make use of the public network infrastructure as well as the Internet to create connections and tap into a virtual network through a much more affordable leased line in the area or employ broadband connections that is close to the business.
  • Another advantage of having a VPN is that it can lower down cost of long-distance phone bills since it can replace the remote access servers and the dialup network connections that are commonly used by businesses in the past. For instance, with a VPN Internet, the clients of the organization can just connect to the provider’s nearest service access point.
  • The support costs of an organization will be lesser since they can simply outsource service providers for the needed technical support. With this, the organization will enjoy a lower cost at the same time improve the services they provide to their clients.

Network Scalability

If an organization decides to build a private network, it is reasonable during the beginning of the business but the cost increases when the organization grows. For example, when a company has two branches, it only needs a single dedicated line so that the two branches can connect but having 4 branches need 6 dedicated lines, 6 branches need 15 lines. This means that as the organization grows, it needs more dedicated private network lines which can increase the cost.

On the other hand, VPN Internet prevents the network scalability problem since it can simply tap into the readily available network capacity and public lines. This is a more significant advantage for organizations that have international and remote locations, it can offer superior quality of service and reach.

How to use a VPN?

In using a VPN, each client should possess a correct networking hardware or software to support their computers and local networks. If VPN is properly set-up, the solutions are very easy to use, in fact, it can work automatically being part of the network sign on. Also, the technology of VPN works well with the local area networking. There are organizations that use VPNs so that they can secure their wireless connections to the local access points. These solutions can provide a strong protection but they cannot affect the performance.

There is no doubt that the installation of a VPN can provide many advantages and benefits for a growing organization.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a VPN service that is personal and lightweight that hides the user’s activities on the Internet from eavesdroppers. This is done by passing the data via an encrypted tunnel. Also, it can support multiple technologies of the VPN like PPTP, SOCKS5, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec. In 2013, the PIA was named as the Editor’s Choice of PC Magazine, one of the many reasons is its advanced features such as DNS Leak Protection, IPv6 Leak Protection, Internet Kill Switch and Access via UDP/TCP.

Andrew Lee is the CEO of PIA, the parent company is London Trust Media and he happens to be the founder of the trading exchange of Bitcoin, Mt. Gox.

Private Internet Access

PIA is described as a personal VPN service that is extremely minimalistic, it can pass all the user’s virtual activities through an encrypted tunnel to avoid eavesdroppers from interfering the information of the user. In case you have a growing concern about government surveillance or just want to avoid aggressive advertising, you may opt to change an IP address coupled with a VPN service like PIA so that nobody can trace your online activities.

Private Internet Access

From the beginning, it was very clear that PIA excels among the programs within the category because it is unique in the virtual world that has become a crowded market. At first, people find it a little dubious since PIA showed it can do a lot of things while people perceived that VPN service should just perform one thing well. Aside from the questions that surfaced about performance, it showed a number of available settings and options that are unusual. It is very clear that PIA is developed for advanced users but still, its basic functions can be understood well by complete beginners.

It is very important that a VPN service can offer multi-device support as well as a wide array of features. PIA possesses these features, the reason why it out-performed and out-featured its competitors. In fact, it received a rating of 4.5 stars which sets a bar high and received an Editors’ Choice in the category of paid VPN services.

PIA uses a technology that is OpenVPN SSL in creating its encrypted tunnel. The user will be guided through the website’s information; it gives a guide on how to properly setup the connection with the use of a Windows VPN client. In case you do not want to download the PIA software, you can use the downloading instructions of the OpenVPN and import it to an OpenVPN client. It is like downloading the free service of VPNBook.

In addition, PIA offers a Mac OS X and Windows client. If you are using an Android device and runs Ice Cream Sandwich and higher, you can make use of an app that is on Google Play. However, for older iOS and Android devices, there is no available app so the users can follow the configuration instructions manually.

If you do not want to use the VPN settings, it will be better to use the Hotspot Shield of Anchor Free which offers for both Android and iOs app. Also, PIA provides instructions on how to configure Ubuntu Linux and all other devices like routers with DD-WRT or Tomato installed software.

PIA is one of the programs available that has achieved many citations and awards because they provide tons of features that other tools do not provide. In the case of Norton Hotspot privacy of Symantec, a single account can connect to multiple devices, a maximum of three devices. This makes a lot of sense since people now are generally using multiple devices and to shell out every device can be an additional cost.

With regards to speed and performance, it does not lag even when you are surfing the Web or watching videos online. Even if you connect to overseas servers, you can hardly notice any degradation of its performance.

Finally, the PIA’s long list of features has brought significant benefits to the Digital Age.

Functions of Mobile VPN

A mobile VPN or mobile virtual private network gives the mobile devices access to software applications and network sources on their network at home when they want to connect through wired and other wireless networks.

Functions of Mobile VPN

A Mobile VPN is used in an environment where the users or workers need to maintain the application sessions open all the time, all throughout the working hours since they connect through different wireless networks, suspend and resume the devices to prolong battery like or encounter of gaps in coverage. In these events, a traditional VPN cannot withstand since there is a disruption of the network tunnel, in effect, the applications needed by the worker will disconnect, fail, time out or even crash of the computing device.

Functions of Mobile VPN

Mobile VPN is commonly used in hospital settings, home care, field service management, public safety, other industries and utilities. Today, more and more people have adopted the mobile VPN, both by the mobile professionals as well as the white-collar job workers.

The functions of mobile VPNs are the following:

  • Persistence – With mobile VPN, open applications remain open, available and active in case the wireless connection has been interrupted or changed. A laptop just goes into hibernation and for handheld users, they can simply suspend and resume the device.
  • Roaming – The underlying virtual connection will remain intact in case the device will switch to another network. With the mobile VPN, the logins are automatically handled.
  • Application compatibility – The software applications that are running as “always-connected” in the wired LAN environment can run without modification when you use a mobile VPN.
  • Security – It enforces authentication of the device, the user or both. Also, it includes the data traffic encryption to comply with the security standards like the FIPS 140-2.
  • Acceleration – Improved performance of data compression and link optimization over wireless networks most especially with cellular networks where they constrain bandwidth.
  • Strong authentication – It enforces either two-factor or multi-factor authentication by using the combination of a smart card, password, biometric device or public key certificate.

Using a mobile VPN will provide you with various functions that can help improve your efficiency and performance with your work or other activities.

December 2016
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