Demand for VPN Service Will Double This Year

Demad for VPNIn just a few short years the number of VPN providers has grown from around five to over 200, making VPN technology one of the hottest trends in IT. Accurate statistics on the number of VPN users throughout the world are virtually impossible to obtain because usage is growing exponentially. With more and more people jumping on the VPN bandwagon, there are few things you need to understand about this rapid boom and how to proceed wisely in choosing your VPN service.

Why are VPN’s becoming so popular?

There is no short answer to this question. There are a few reasons which account for the growth in the VPN market.

First of all, the world is becoming far more globally connected. In today’s world it is not uncommon for workers to expatriate to other countries where the economy is good and job opportunities abound. Take China as an example. For years, China has used many foreign workers in various industries. The demand is especially high for college-educated citizens of the West, who are often recruited to bring their skills and expertise to China. Similar situations exist in many parts of the world.

A difficulty encountered by many people working in a foreign country is keeping the lines of communication open and staying connected to their life at home. Using China again as an example, foreign workers will find it impossible to use many Internet services unless they have a VPN. You can’t even stream a free video with your US-based Amazon Prime account without a VPN in China.

As a side note, if you are preparing to reside in a country such as China for an extended period of time you need to purchase your VPN service now. Many VPN providers are blocked once you enter the Chinese mainland.

The second reason VPN’s are growing in popularity is that people are more conscious of security than they were even five years ago. The average Internet user is becoming more sophisticated in how they access the Web, and they are more concerned about using connections that are not secured with encryption.

Given the recent news about snooping in the USA, their concerns are valid. Facebook just released a report which states that private data was requested on over 38,000 users. Granted, logging into your Facebook can compromise your security regardless of a VPN, but the point here is that governments are actively monitoring the usage of the Internet. If Facebook received 38,000 requests, you can be sure Google received five times that number for data on routine Internet searches.

Some people don’t take the invasion of their privacy lightly, and so they are turning to VPN’s for secure and anonymous browsing.

VPN’s and mobile technology

The single-most important reason why the world is seeing a sharp increase in the use of VPN’s could be because more people are now using mobile technology to access the Internet.

The iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms are being used to a great extent for Internet browsing. The advent of the tablet, like the iPad or Samsung GalaxyTab, makes Web access more accessible to those on the go.

Because many of these users connect to public WiFi networks with their device, using a VPN has become a priority. There are multiple security concerns present on unsecured public networks, and people don’t want to risk exposure of sensitive data.

Why you need to get a VPN now

If you are thinking about using a VPN account to secure your Internet browsing, it is in your best interests to obtain that service now instead of waiting.

More VPN providers do not equal better VPN service. Remember that. Whenever a technology gets hot, multiple providers appear on the radar screen overnight. The increased number of VPN providers will make it harder for someone to select one that can be trusted, and there are a lot of things in the trust arena which merit serious questions.

Some fly-by-night VPN services log their traffic. Some of them charge higher amounts for limited usage. Some of them use outdated methods of securing your connection. Anyone can hastily throw together a server and offer VPN service, and you will see that happen as the demand grows, but those deals that seem too good to be true usually are.

A far better option is to build a relationship with your trusted VPN provider now. VPN-accounts.com is customer-oriented and happy to answer all of the questions you have about VPN service. Additionally, you can save a lot of money by purchasing your VPN service by the year with us. You won’t have to worry about your rates going up from one month to the next.

In short, finding a trusted VPN provider is going to become more difficult as more providers enter the market.

As we mentioned earlier, it is also imperative that you get a VPN now if you are planning on traveling. Trust us; it ranks in importance right up there with your Passport when thinking about essentials for travel. Many people have arrived in a foreign locale, only to find they had no way to purchase a VPN because sites offering them were blocked.

Avoid VPN price hikes due to popularity

Whenever something becomes more popular, people want to charge more for it. Technology is especially bad in this regard. You can believe that prices for VPN service will increase at some point, but you still have the opportunity to purchase a VPN today for pennies. It is also important to remember that paying a higher price doesn’t always guarantee better service.

Economic good sense would dictate locking in a reasonable price for as long as you could. As we mentioned, we offer a yearly option that will save you money and guarantee a fixed rate for the coming year. We also have monthly plans to fit every budget if you don’t want to go the yearly route.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

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Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

 

What is VPN Tunneling

VPN Tunnel - TunnelingIf you are new to the concept of a VPN, you’ll probably notice that the words tunnel or tunneling keep popping up in the things you read. It is important for you to know that understanding the specifics of VPN tunneling is not necessary for you to use a VPN.

Tunneling is the idea upon which VPN technology is based. The tunnel is the medium through which your Internet traffic is encrypted and secured by the VPN. For those that are so inclined, we offer the following information on a VPN tunnel.

Two types of VPN tunneling

There are two types of tunneling used in a VPN. They are known as voluntary and compulsory, respectively. We’re going to focus more on a VPN tunnel that is voluntary because that is the type of VPN service we provide to increase your Internet security, but first let’s briefly discuss compulsory tunneling.

A compulsory VPN tunnel is one where the carrier network provider manages the setup of the VPN connection. The main thing you need to know about a compulsory tunnel is that the ISP has full management control of the VPN tunnel. This is not the type of VPN tunneling you want to select for your personal service.

A voluntary tunnel, like the one VPNaccounts provides, puts you in full control. You manage the setup of your VPN, and you choose when to connect to it. First, you make a connection to your access point or ISP. Next, you connect to your VPN which creates the tunnel to the VPN server over your live connection.

The great thing about a voluntary tunnel like the one we offer is that how and when you use the VPN to connect is something you decide. There may be times when you don’t feel a VPN is necessary, like when you are using your own secured network at home (although, using a VPN even at home can sometimes be very useful). Other times, such as when you are traveling abroad, a VPN tunnel will be a necessity.

Your own private tunnel bear

As we mentioned, the concept of the tunnel is central to VPN technology. What is a tunnel? It is a passage, plain and simple, from your machine to the access point. Before information can get to and from your machine to the access point is has to pass through that tunnel.

Standing guard in the tunnel is something called encryption. You can think of encryption as your own private tunnel bear. The tunnel bear (encryption) provides  the security which makes a VPN effective in preserving your anonymity online.

The VPN protocols

Tunneling works because of something known as a protocol. There are actually three types of protocol, but we’re going to hit the high points on the most common one: PPTP.

A few different corporations worked together to develop PPTP for VPN tunneling, but what made it the most popular protocol from the beginning was full Microsoft support. Pretty much every modern version of Windows includes PPTP support in the form of an integrated client. In the beginning, some people criticized the security of Microsoft’s built-in client, but over time the computer giant has developed better PPTP support.

The key thing to understand here, without getting bogged down in a lot of technical jargon, is that your device already has a VPN client installed. That means you do not need to download any software when you purchase a VPN from VPNaccounts. All you need to do is configure it, and we provide simple instructions that will have your VPN up and running in a matter of minutes.

An overview of VPN tunneling

Here is an overview of the basic steps in establishing the VPN tunnel:

  1. You buy a VPN account.
  2. You connect to your ISP.
  3. You connect to your VPN.
  4. PPTP creates a control connection between the VPN client and the VPN server.
  5. The tunnel is established.
  6. You browse as normal, but your data transfer is now encrypted.

PPTP is what maintains the VPN tunnel. It supports authentication, encryption, and packet filtering.

A VPN tunnel is very useful when you are traveling and want to view restricted content or web services that are not available outside of your home country. In truth, that is what most people use a VPN for. Let’s not forget, however, about the VPN tunnel’s role in overall security. When you create that tunnel, your data becomes much harder for anyone to snoop. This is very important if you spend a lot of time connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Learning a little about the tunneling process is helpful, especially if you want to talk with your VPN provider about the specific protocols they use. At VPNaccounts, we are always happy to answer any questions you may have about VPN service.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

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Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

The China Firewall and VPNs

GFW of chinaThe Great Wall of China is an amazing piece of architecture. It is so monumental that it can even be seen from space. But did you know that there is another wall, an invisible one, which surrounds the entire country? We’re talking about the Great Firewall of China.

Perhaps no other country has pushed the limits of Internet censorship and regulation the way that China has. From blocking websites that violate government standards to imprisoning bloggers for expressing their views, China takes a hard line in controlling digital information.

Getting around the Great Firewall of China is a must for expatriates and those who visit the country. There is a way to circumvent many of the Internet restrictions in China if you are working or traveling there, and that way is to use a VPN.

What is the Great Firewall of China?

The Great Firewall of China actually has a more proper name. It is called the Golden Shield Project. The government began to develop the Golden Shield Project in 1998, and it was fully operational by 2003. Since that time, the Great Firewall of China has been the government’s tool for managing Internet restriction in one of the world’s most powerful nations.

The premise behind the Golden Shield project was simple. The Chinese government believed that the arrival of the Internet “opened a window” to the West, and that controlling what came through that window was important. Deng Xiaoping, the legendary Chinese leader, essentially referred to the process as “swatting flies.”

The flies coming through the open window of the Internet were any voices which could be considered as opposing the Communist principles of China. One such group, known as the China Democracy Party, was gaining some strength as the Internet arrived, and the government worried that unfiltered usage of the Internet would strengthen the CDP’s efforts to network. Hence, the Great Firewall was born.

How the Great Firewall works

Internet filtering through the Great Firewall of China is accomplished through a variety of means. Much blocking is accomplished by preventing some IP addresses from routing through, and proxy servers are heavily used.  In addition, a technique known as DNS cache poisoning is used to restrict access to certain sites.

The end result is that those who use the Internet in China are able to access only what the government wants them to access. All ISP’s in China adhere to the standards imposed by the Golden Shield project.

Why should you care about the Great Firewall?

As of June 2013 there are over 550,000 expatriates working in China. These individuals come from a variety of nations, but the turmoil in the European and American job markets have produced many of these young expatriates who are looking to improve their job status by working in China.

Foreign workers have perennially fueled many industries in China, many of them in the gas, coal, and steel industries. Teachers and other degreed professionals have always been in demand for their ability to introduce new learning and technology to the Chinese population. If you are planning to become an expatriate and work in China, learning how to avoid the Great Firewall is a must.

China is also the third-most visited nation in the world. In 2010, 55.98 million tourists visited the country. China is a favorite of tourists because of its history and culture. It is also a safe country to visit, with little turmoil.

When you combine expatriates with tourists the result is a sizeable foreign presence in China. Many of these individuals depend upon Internet access to stay connected with their home country, but many are surprised when they arrive and are confronted by the Great Firewall of China.

IMPORTANT–You must get a VPN before you reach China!

If you are planning to visit or work in China, a VPN is your only reliable option for maintaining access to the Internet as you have come to enjoy it. You can use your personal VPN to create an encrypted tunnel which will allow continued access to services like Skype, your local news and television programming, and digital services like Netflix or even Amazon Prime.

What you must understand, however, is that you need to secure your VPN account before leaving your home country. China knows that users can circumvent the Great Firewall with a VPN, so access to VPN sites is largely restricted. This means that if you wait until you arrive in China to purchase VPN access you will likely be unable to access our website. If you are in China and accessing this page while on some proxy that is currently unblocked you can email us for an alternative link or you can provide a family member the site url VPN-accounts.com  and they can order for you.

A VPN should be on the list of everyone who plans to visit China. We can help you get yours configured and ready to go before you arrive in the country to work or vacation. Do not forget this important part of your travel preparations!

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

Get a VPN Account

Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

The Truth about Cheap VPNs

Cheap VPN ServiceA Google search on VPN service will display a lot of results from providers who promise a cheap VPN or one that is even free. How can someone decide which VPN service is right for them, and choose one that delivers the appropriate amount of security? We’re going to take a look in this article at providers who claim to offer cheap or free VPN service.

Is a cheap VPN worth it?

The first thing we need to do is note that there is a significant difference between a cheap VPN and an affordable VPN. A cheap VPN is usually just what it sounds like: a second-rate or pared-down version of the real deal. What does the word cheap say to you? It usually represents poorly made, but in the case of VPN’s cheap can mean poorly secured, and that is big trouble for anyone who uses one.

Many cheap VPN providers don’t have the same number of server options, and their logging practices are questionable. Did you know that anyone with a little bit of technical knowhow can set up their own VPN and even offer subscriptions? That’s a pretty scary thought. In fact, many of these fly-by-night VPN outfits have made their living not from VPN service, but from logging your data and selling it to marketing companies. Many cheap VPN services are built on insecure servers, and that really defeats the entire point of using one. Sometimes, all a cheap VPN does is provide a secure connection to an unsecure server. You defeat the whole purpose when using one of these providers.

You will also notice that many cheap VPN providers only offer the PPTP protocol. Be wary of this. You really want to look for a vendor that offers you a choice between PPTP and L2TP. In many cases, the L2TP protocol is a better option and so is SSTP and OpenVPN.

An affordable VPN is another thing altogether. Our services are very affordable, but they are built on secure servers in many locations. Your data is not logged and sold to the highest bidder. Our servers use top-level encryption to secure your personal data. We are able to keep our prices lower because of the volume of customers we serve. This is the true definition of an affordable VPN.

Beware the free VPN

With all of the free VPN options that pop up on a Google search, why not just choose one of these? In short, the old saying “you get what you pay for” applies here. Using a free VPN can sometimes open the door to a world of problems.

Someone has to pay for the VPN. If you aren’t paying then the provider must be eating the costs, right? Not hardly. No one can offer services that cost money for free and stay in business. So, how do these free VPN providers make their money? As we stated before in the case of cheap VPN’s, the providers who offer free ones are often making money on the backend by selling data to marketing companies. Some VPN’s are also supported by the use of advertising which can suck up bandwidth and slow down the connection.

Bandwidth can represent one of the most significant problems with the infrastructure of a free VPN. In many cases, the limited speed and bandwidth of a free VPN makes it impossible for users to stream Netflix or YouTube videos. When you take this benefit out of the equation, you’re removing the usefulness of a VPN for a large number of people.

Here’s a little dose of reality about a free VPN. In most cases speed is going to top out at around 512 kbps. Even this is shared. A quality, affordable VPN provider offers almost no difference in the connection speed you experience on your network at home.

The advantage of an affordable VPN

By now you should understand that, in order to get a reliable VPN, you’re going to pay something for it. What you want to look for is a provider you can trust who keeps the costs low. We fit the bill on both counts.

When you pay for a VPN you get the best of technology. You’re getting cutting edge encryption, a choice of server locations, and fast connection speeds. Those things are all important in your VPN. A paid VPN like the one we provide also does not keep logs of browsing history. None of your personal data is being harvested and sold for the purposes of generating income to maintain the servers. You also should consider that our paid VPN encounters almost zero downtime because of the multiple servers we have in different locations.

Your best value is to purchase your VPN service by the year, and when you do that at VPNaccounts.com the daily cost is amazing!

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

Get a VPN Account

Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

In DISGUISE Online with a VPN account

in disguise using vpnCan using a VPN help you get online in disguise? It certainly can. When used properly, a VPN can be your best online disguise and make your Internet presence very hard to decipher and track. Before you decide to use this kind of anonymity, however, you need to ask yourself some serious questions about privacy and how much it matters to you.

Surfing the Web in Disguise

For just a minute put aside all the Jason Bourne and James Bond fantasies running through your head. It may sound cool to sit in front of your own bank of super-secret, encrypted computers and devising plans to conquer the world, but let’s be realistic. You need to start by asking yourself why you want to go in disguise online and then consider what a VPN does to make that possible.

Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone who wants to surf anonymously is peddling drugs on The Silk Road. Most of them aren’t doing anything illegal at all. The number of VPN users has skyrocketed in recent months, and the greatest majority of them want to be in disguise online for the purpose of keeping their Internet access open when they travel. Many popular websites and digital services are only available in the US and UK, so whenever you take a vacation to a country like China or take a job in the Arab Region those services become inaccessible. Most people using a VPN account do so for that very reason.

Reasons for using a VPN as an online disguise

In addition to expatriate use of a VPN, here are a couple of other considerations for legitimate domestic VPN use:

  • Cloaking VOIP phone calls. Do you use Skype to make domestic calls? Many people do. Some even use Skype as their primary phone at home. Here’s the bad news—VOIP technology is fairly easy to eavesdrop on. A hacker with intermediate-level skills can easily tap your conversations. The safe and certain way to prevent this is by using a VPN.
  • Jailbreaking your employer network. Using computers at work is a reality for many of us. Start looking at the wrong thing on your work connection, or sending unencrypted data even on your personal laptop can pose a big problem. Businesses typically have something in place called an “Acceptable Use” policy for their private networks. Makes sense. After all, no boss wants to worry about some deadbeat looking at porn all day, right? But did you know that checking your Facebook page could be a violation of those acceptable use terms and conditions? Employees have been fired for doing just that, so you might want to use your in disguise VPN whenever you connect to the company Wifi on your smartphone or personal device.

Most people wouldn’t think that these reasons for using a VPN are unethical, and they certainly aren’t illegal.

The technology behind an in disguise VPN

Using your own VPN account accomplishes two very specific technical goals.

First, a VPN uses something called encryption to cloak your signal. When eavesdroppers try to pick it up, all they get is a bunch of gibberish. Your data becomes unreadable through the power of encryption, and this is the hallmark of a VPN. Knowing that probably changes your mind about why people would want to use the Internet in disguise. It all comes down to a good sense of security and doing your due diligence before opening a web browser. Remember how we said eavesdropping on VOIP is so easy to do? The encryption of a VPN makes it virtually impossible.

Second, A VPN manipulates your IP address to make it appear that you are accessing the Net from a different machine or country. Obviously, this is of primary importance to those expatriates and travelers we mentioned. Spoofing your geographical location will unlock those site blocked outside the US.

If you’re asking yourself again, “Why should I go online in disguise?” we bet you have a different answer than you did at the beginning of this article.

An in disguise VPN is very affordable

Think of a VPN from VPN-accounts.com as your own personal Bat-system of secured communication. Surely that kind of security is going to set you back a tidy sum. Not so much, actually. The cost of yearly VPN service is less per day than what you spend on a coffee. We think that the benefits of encrypted web browsing and your personal security are worth way more than what you

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

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Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

Why you should use a VPN instead of Tor

tor vs vpnAttempts to ban or block anonymous web surfing programs like TOR are on the rise. A recent article in Japanese newspaper Mainichi detailed how the Japanese government is attempting to ban TOR in the country in an effort to crack down on Internet users who participate in illegal file sharing or illegal activities such as the distribution of child pornography. While these are certainly valid reasons to question TOR’s usage, it also serves as a good example of why you should choose a private VPN over a free anonymous web browser like TOR.

What is TOR?

TOR is actually a software platform which was originally developed for the US Navy, but now they program is readily available for civilian use. It can be integrated into many browsers, such as Firefox, via extension and has been a popular choice for those who want to surf anonymously.

It works on the principle of masking your IP address and uses a complex method of routing your signal through different servers. The idea sounds really good, but because TOR has been used by hackers, data thieves, and other unscrupulous individuals the program now has a target on its back. Japan is just one of several countries that have spoken out against the program and are actively seeking to ban its use.

One danger of using TOR is that it depends upon volunteers to run so-called “exit-nodes” as a part of the signal routing process, something we’ll talk more about later. If you happen to become one of these volunteers your IP address can be linked to the browsing activity of whoever used you as an exit-node. If all of this sounds confusing, all you really need to know is this: TOR has numerous security vulnerabilities that a VPN does not.

A VPN is a better option than TOR

Let’s look at the similarities between the two options. The main one is that both a VPN and TOR are often used to spoof one’s geographical location and also to enable anonymous web browsing. In most other respects, the two options are very unlike one another. Here is a side-by-side comparison which reveals the advantages of using a VPN:

VPN

TOR

Very fast—no   notable difference in connection speed Extremely slow—caused   by signal routing through multiple nodes
Easy   location-spoofing—a VPN such as the one we provide offers servers   worldwide Inefficient   location-spoofing—too slow to stream geo-restricted services like Netflix
Legitimacy—VPN’s   are considered a legitimate option for security-conscious users Poor reputation—Tor   has been used for too many questionable activities
Support—a   personal VPN provider offers technical support Limited support—most   support must be obtained through other TOR users via messageboard

The biggest security concern regarding TOR relates to those exit-nodes we mentioned. Anyone can offer to provide a node via TOR, and anyone includes people who want to observe your browsing activity. You have zero control over how your signal is routed along the TOR network. When using a VPN you remain safe and secure behind the VPN tunnel. Your true IP address is never completely safe when using TOR because the service depends upon a human element to make it work. That human element allows for the introduction of many security loopholes which can reveal your true IP address and make you an easy target for those who are trying to gain access to your personal data.

One final word about speed. The bandwidth of a VPN is top-notch, so VPN users pretty much get the same speed as when using their own personal network connection. We mention this again because connection speed is important when you need to stream media from a service like Hulu. The slowness of TOR makes it an unworkable option for trying to access streaming media in geo-blocked locations.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some users seem to prefer combining the use of TOR and a VPN, but this solution does not ultimately increase your security and the speed of your connection becomes unbearable.

Why do some countries want to block anonymous surfing?

To use the example we gave at the beginning of the article, some officials in Japan believe that anonymous surfing assists criminals in posing a threat to other individuals online. One Japanese hacker known as Demon Killer evaded and embarrassed the Japanese authorities for months because they were unable to pinpoint his location via IP address. It was subsequently revealed that he had been using TOR the entire time to conduct his activities.

We’re not trying to give TOR a bad rap, but the fact is that anonymous surfing programs are the first targets in efforts to prevent access to restricted content. Countries and media services are more concerned with these because they are so readily available. Unfortunately, those users who have become dependent on them for anonymous surfing will ultimately find themselves without an option unless they have a VPN.

Getting around blocks on anonymous surfing with a VPN

The primary way to ensure that you will be continue to be able to surf anonymously and access geo-blocked services like Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber is by using a VPN. Your web surfing is also protected because of the encryption a VPN account that VPN-accounts.com offers. In addition, it is the integrity of a VPN which makes it the only viable long-term solution for anonymous surfing. While some anonymous surfing programs like TOR may eventually fall, the personal VPN will remain available because the concept is not one designed to help users break the law.

VPN’s are designed to protect data through encryption. Period. True, they can be used to avoid geo-blocks and there is nothing illegal or wrong about that. VPN users are not typically trying to carry out questionable activities. They simply want the peace of mind that comes from knowing their browsing is not monitored and the ability to enjoy an Internet free of censorship. Therefore, no substantial efforts are being directed toward banning the use of a VPN.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

Get a VPN Account

Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

Understanding VPN & Tracking Cookies

Using a personal VPN is a powerful step you can take immediately to secure your Internet access and prevent snooping by third parties. Learning how to use your VPN effectively and understanding what it can and cannot do is extremely important. A VPN works best when it is combined with some old fashioned common sense and diligence in protecting your privacy.

What are cookies?

Cookies are a form of Internet technology that allow websites to install a tracking device on your computer which will identify you when you visit the site again. Some of the most popular websites in the world use cookies…sites like YouTube and Facebook…and these can present a serious threat to your online security as well as slow down your system. A recent study revealed that more than 80% of the world’s top websites expose visitors to third-party cookies.

Like many other forms of Internet tech, cookies can serve a good purpose. The problem is that many search engines can use cookies to track you across the Net. Think of cookies like the crumbs Hansel and Gretel dropped in order to find their way back home. The cookies on your computer could be leaving a trail of your surfing activity.

Does a personal VPN eliminate cookies?

Strictly speaking, using your personal VPN does not prevent cookies from being installed on your device nor does it remove them from your system. That being said, using a VPN is a great step toward preventing websites from “profiling” you through the use of cookies.

Let’s begin by looking at what your VPN account does for you:

  • A VPN masks your IP address and uses sophisticated encryption to secure your data from prying eyes.
  • A VPN assists in preventing websites from gathering data and profiling your browsing preferences.
  • A VPN gives you an anonymous presence on the Internet which can be used for legitimate browsing activities.

Using your VPN account encrypts your data connection. This makes it extremely difficult for your ISP to track your website visits. Whenever you visit a website that uses cookies, or any website for that matter, the IP address of your VPN is revealed. Your own IP address is concealed. Many people are using the VPN IP address, so pinpointing you as a web surfer is nigh impossible.

Remember, however, that cookies are a form of tracking software that are placed on your system, not on the VPN server. So, you need to combine your VPN account with some routine measures that will increase your security even further.

Control those cookies

The first thing you need to get in the habit of is connecting to your VPN before you open any browser. Connect first to the VPN and then begin browsing.

A brief word needs to be said here about browsers. As a recommendation, Firefox is hard to beat. It has a great set of features and available plugins that increase its security and functionality. Try to stay away from browsers that are tied to a search engine, like Google Chrome. These types of browsers only make it easier for your browsing habits to be tracked.

Next, you’ll want to configure your browser to reject most cookies. With Firefox this is pretty easy to do. Begin by clicking the Firefox tab in the upper left corner of your browser. It looks like this:

firefoxvpn

Next, you will see a drop down menu. On this menu click options. When the option screen appears, select Privacy from the tabs at the top:

Click the radial button beside “Tell sites that I do not want to be tracked” and click okay. This one simple measure will go a long way towards preventing sites from profiling your browsing activity.

You will also note that this screen allows you an option to decide how your browsing history is remembered by Firefox. You can choose to have your entire history remembered, your entire history deleted after each session, or you can manage third-party cookies with whatever exceptions you choose. You will also notice an option near the bottom to remove the cookies on your system. You can delete them all with one click, or you can remove cookies individually.

Here’s the important thing you should take away from this brief explanation of securing your browser: using your VPN is not an excuse for failing to take other measures which will help secure your Web surfing. While you should use a VPN at all times, in our opinion, to ensure the highest levels of encrypted Web browsing, you can enhance the power of your VPN even farther by taking a few simple measures to manage cookies.

Be wary of logging in

While many sites track you by your geographical location, or use cookies to monitor your activity, here is something you should always keep in mind. The best Internet security in the world can be defeated anytime you log into a website with a username and password that tracks back to an email address you own. An example of this is Facebook. Once you login to Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest, your presence can be easily identified and tracked because these platforms identify you by your account and not just your IP address. Logins are a security killer.

Our suggestion is pretty simple. Whenever you want to secure your browsing by using a VPN account, avoid logging into your social sites and other websites that require a login. This falls under that banner of common sense we were talking about at the beginning of this article.

Think of building your Internet security like building a house. Your VPN account is the foundation of your Internet freedom. Without a strong foundation, nothing you do will ever guarantee your privacy. A VPN from VPN-accounts.com provides the encryption you need to lay that strong foundation. Once you have that in place, it’s really just a matter of weatherproofing the rest of your online “house” by taking a few small steps to manage third-party cookies and other leaks which can make you vulnerable.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

Get a VPN Account

Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

Accessing Blogs with a VPN

blogsBlogs are the hallmark of new media. Bloggers the world over are using this platform to express their political views, provide up-to-date news in real time, and interact socially with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, many relevant blogs are becoming inaccessible in some parts of the world due to Internet censorship. Thankfully, a VPN can remedy this problem.

If you are a faithful reader of some popular blogs, here is some information you may find very useful as well as information on using a VPN to maintain access.

What is a blog?

Strictly speaking, a blog is an online journal. In the early days of blogging, blogs were used primarily for social purposes. A blogger could post personal updates and reflections on things they found interesting. Today, blogs serve a more important purpose. They are often used to provide political commentary and news which is untainted by the influence of the major news networks.

One of the more popular examples of a modern blog is the Huffington Post. Started by Ariana Huffington as a relatively small venture, the Huffington Post has expanded to provide some of the best news and commentary on the Internet. For entertainment enthusiasts, Perez Hilton’s blog has also become a sensation.

While these blogs are extremely popular, more relevant to our discussion are blogs which are emerging in areas like the Arab region and China. These blogs provide unfiltered news and information, often in real time, about political events. They have become so popular that many countries which restrict Internet freedom have engaged in blocking them via the firewalls on their proxy servers.

Why would countries block a blog?

In countries where the Internet is tightly regulated—Saudi Arabia, UAE, and China, for instance—the control of information is a high priority. These governments go to extremes to limit what can be accessed from within the country. For bloggers, this can be the kiss of death.

Many bloggers tend to be somewhat controversial in their coverage of local politics. They seem themselves as on outpost for freedom of the press and proponents of unfettered Internet access. This type of criticism of the government is frowned upon and therefore many blogs are considered a threat.

In February of 2012, Google announced that it would censor blogs on a “per country” basis. Google owns and operates one of the most popular blogging platforms called Blogger. What Google chose to do was redirect blog traffic to country-specific domains, thereby opening the door to state-controlled censorship. India was one of the first countries to institute this technology. In the immediate aftermath of Google’s decision, India sent 39 requests to the Internet giant for content removal. The greatest impact of this decision was that many blogs disappeared from Google search results, which pretty much voided their availability.

Blogs and a VPN

Let’s look at the subject of blogs and a VPN from a couple of different perspectives. First, we’ll talk about the reading side of things.

If you like to travel, or perhaps your job demands that you visit different countries, don’t take it for granted that your favorite blog will be available. Censorship of blogs is one of the reasons the nickname The Great Firewall of China was given to that Asian nation. In China, bloggers have even been imprisoned for posting things considered objectionable by the government, but we’ll get to that in just a moment.

Blocking by IP address is usually the method employed to censor blogs and make them unavailable in certain countries. You can easily override this restriction by using our VPN to change your IP address and bypass restriction via an encrypted VPN tunnel. That way, if China or Oman or the UAE happens to be blocking a news blog that you usually read at home in the US or UK, you can appear to be visiting the site from home and the internet service provider will not know you are accessing the site while connected via the encrypted vpn account. The process of setting up your VPN account to preserve access to your favorite blogs is very simple, and we provide detailed setup instructions.

Now, let’s talk about the writing side of blogs. Are you a blogger? Do you have a considerable number of readers who visit your blog regularly? If you host and publish your blog inside the US or UK, it might be to your benefit to use a VPN to research your news stories or other posts. It has been demonstrated that even the US has stepped up its monitoring of social networks, Google searches, and who knows what else. If your blog offers a lot of controversial content, the encryption of a VPN might be useful to you as you surf the Net.

Thankfully, blogging in the US and the UK has not become as threatened or as dangerous as blogging in China. Many bloggers have been arrested in China and detained with no explanation or timetable of release. It is difficult for these bloggers to maintain anonymity, especially when their blogs are hosted in China. More and more Chinese bloggers are using a different route by hosting outside of the country, then using a VPN to connect to the Web and make their posts. In this way, tracing the IP address of the blogger will only lead back to the blogger. A blogger in China can easily make it appear as though they are blogging from the UK or the US.

A VPN is a necessity for new media

While we’re on the subject of blogs, let’s conclude with a few words about new media in general. The way we get information in this digital age, and even the way we get our entertainment, is becoming more Internet-based. In addition to the blogs you usually read, think about the entertainment or communications services you use on a daily basis. New media is great, but it is by no means global. Numerous countries still block Skype, and services like Netflix are unavailable beyond US borders. To preserve access to the blogs you read, or the media services you use when traveling, buy a VPN account from VPN-accounts.com is an absolute must.

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Internet freedom in Cuba

Cuba internetCuba boasts one of the most tightly-controlled Internet environments in the world. The cost of service can be prohibitive for many residents of Cuba, the connections are typically very slow compared to other areas of the world, and censorship is rampant. The penetration rate remains below 30%, but things have slowly started to improve in recent years. Much of the country’s lack of progress where the Internet is concerned can be directly attributed to the US embargo.

History of Cuba

Modern Cuban history begins with the Cuban Revolution which lasted from 1953-1959. It was this revolution which installed Fidel Castro as Cuba’s penultimate leader and created the Cuba we know today. Castro is perhaps best remembered for developing a contentious relationship with the United States which persists to this day.

The United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 and imposed a trade embargo the following year. As of July 2013, the commercial embargo still exists. Subsequently, the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Cuban Missile Crisis further eroded the relationship between the two nations. Matters are further complicated by the presence of many Cuban immigrants in the United States and Cuba’s close proximity to the Southern US.

Internet in Cuba

Cuba suffers from a poor telecommunications infrastructure which has greatly impeded the progress of the Internet throughout the country. Many blame the lack of Internet development on the US embargo, which prevents the presence of many US-based telecommunications companies.

The average monthly salary in Cuba is roughly the equivalent of $20 US dollars, which makes the Internet unaffordable for many residents of the country. Only 25 % or so of residents had Internet access in their homes in 2012, and the cost of using the Internet in cafes is exorbitant. One hour of access costs approximately $5-$7 for the international network.

Internet filtering in Cuba

Internet censorship in Cuba is rampant, with the government enacting tight controls on what users can access. Some ranking organizations have proclaimed Cuba to be an “Internet Enemy”, and the government is reported to use sophisticated software in order to monitor Internet traffic. Connections in the country are routed through a proxy server which gives the government access to usernames and passwords.

The types of websites blocked by Cuba are literally too numerous to list, but here are a few:

  • News websites. It is virtually impossible to access news websites, especially those based in the United States, in Cuba.
  • Political blogs. Blogs which criticize the Cuban regime are routinely suppressed.
  • Media services. Many social networks are blocked, making it hard for Cubans with family in the US to remain in contact.

Every piece of information published on the Internet in Cuba must be approved by the National Registry of Serial Publications.

Unblocking websites in Cuba

Because of the US embargo, travel to Cuba by US residents is mostly forbidden. Even so, Cubans in the US might consider purchasing a VPN account for their relatives in Cuba. Expatriates from other nations who allow travel to Cuba will also find a VPN an absolute necessity if they wish to retain any type of normal Internet access in Cuba.

Many bloggers have emerged in Cuba who are using new media to accurately portray life inside the country. In many cases, these bloggers are required to smuggle out their blog posts to those who can use embassy connections to get them published. It is beneficial for these individuals to also consider the use of a VPN for their Internet use.

Of course, US and UK-only media services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer are not available in Cuba without the use of a VPN.

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Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

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Internet Gambling With A VPN

Playing poker online or other casino games is a very popular pastime for many people, but government crackdowns in the United States and many other parts of the world have made Internet gambling illegal. A question we are often asked is, “Will a VPN allow me to gamble online?” The answer is a little complex, but we’ll strive to answer it in this article and show you why using a VPN is good policy when it comes to Internet gambling.

Using a VPN to play poker online

You might think that using a VPN to play poker online in the United States will solve all your problems. Unfortunately, this is not the case for United States residents. Whenever you register at an online poker site, your account is tied to the address you signed up with. In other words, you have to register an address in order to cash out your winnings and if you try to register an address in the United States you will be blocked.

People in the United States aren’t the only ones who play poker, though, and residents of the UK can do so legally. The thing is, when they travel to countries where Internet poker is not allowed they may encounter difficulties accessing the site. Some restrictions may be accomplished via IP address, so a poker player from the UK who is visiting the United States might find it best to use a VPN to change their IP to reflect that they are still in the UK.

Something else you should bear in mind is that playing poker online involves wagering real money. While all legitimate poker sites use encryption to process payments and safeguard your money, it is still a good idea to use a VPN whenever you are sending personal data online. Using a VPN when you play online poker is just an added level of security that will give you more peace of mind and help you to concentrate on winning those big hands!

Using a VPN in online casinos

Gambling at an online casino is subject to the same rules we discussed regarding online poker. If you live in a country where Internet gambling is prohibited, using a VPN alone will not give you access. But, if you live in the UK and want to maintain your casino account while you travel, a VPN can help you bypass any restrictions you encounter that are based on your IP address.

Also, you might want to consider that using a VPN in a country where Internet gambling is legal can still be useful if you find the need to be discreet about your Internet gambling activities. Not everyone is comfortable revealing their online activities for a variety of reasons, and why should anyone know that you like to visit online casinos unless you want them to?

Using a VPN to bet on horses

This is one area where using a VPN to gamble online can definitely benefit US players. In the United States, betting on horseracing is 100 % legal. So, why would you want to use a VPN when playing the ponies?

The main reason is your privacy. Some people cannot run the risk of having their gambling activities exposed. Here’s one great example. Let’s say a jockey wants to bet on a horse he is riding. If he tries to place that bet at the racetrack, which is completely legal, questions might be asked by other bettors who consider this a conflict of interest. Instead, the jockey can use a VPN to connect to his wagering account, make the bet, and no one is any wiser. Maybe someone going through a nasty divorce doesn’t want it revealed that they like to bet on horseracing. VPNaccouns.com can help them secure their access.

Those might sound like nefarious reasons for using a VPN, and we aren’t encouraging anyone to use a VPN in these specific ways. We are only making the point that a VPN preserves your privacy and safeguards your online activities.

To recap, a VPN account will not allow you to register for a gambling site which is blocked in the United States. It will, however, allow individuals from countries where online gambling is legal to use their accounts while traveling.

3 Steps for a VPN

01

Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

02

ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

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