Using a VPN for your Home Business

work from home VPN

One practical application of a VPN is to use this technology in the operation of a home business. Many individuals are now working from home and using their computers to earn a living. Whether one is marketing goods and services on the Internet or developing e-commerce websites, using a VPN to connect to the Internet is profitable for several reasons.

Keeping your location private

Many people who operate home businesses do not want their residential location revealed to the masses. They may have a PO Box or virtual office to handle incoming communication, but most do not use their home address as the physical location of their business.

In addition, using a VPN server in an exotic locale such as Hong Kong can sometimes lend an air of prestige to a home business. You can be sitting in your apartment in New Jersey, marketing ebooks or other informational products online, and put an international face on your business by using a VPN server. When you post on forums or message boards which display your location, the location will be that of the VPN server.

If you own an online business, it just isn’t smart to be careless with your physical location. Using a VPN will go a long way towards separating home and work, even though you do both in the same space. Buy a vpn, bypass censorship and restrictions.

Keeping your data private

If your home business involves the electronic collection of your customer’s data, through a mailing list or by accepting payments, using a VPN can prevent trouble.

Payment processors, like Paypal and Authorize.net, use secured websites to collect payments. Your home business is covered on that end. The transmissions of these processors are encrypted. However, many home business owners keep records of sales and other business data on their computer and send it over the Internet without protection. Here’s an example. One of your customers contacts you about a purchase they made. In the course of your discussions you need them to send credit card info, address, etc. for you to verify. They email the info to you across an unsecured network.

You’ve just opened the door to that data being compromised. Hopefully, you are only using your home network to conduct business, but in this modern world one advantage of a home business is the ability to manage it anywhere from a variety of devices. You could be receiving or sending information from a customer on your smartphone or tablet while you’re at the coffee shop or in a hotel.

Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Would you do business with someone who is carelessly transmitting your personal data across an unsecured network? Probably not. Using a VPN to encrypt and protect your Internet activity is just the responsible thing to do if you have a home business.

Keeping your browsing private

Some individuals use the same computer and Web browser to conduct their online business as they do for their personal surfing. Not everyone, especially someone who just started their business, can afford multiple computers. Not making a separation between your business and personal interests is a very bad idea.

From an Internet perspective, using a VPN can give you the functionality of two different computers. Simply select one of our server options to use exclusively to conduct your business and do not stray from that. Connect to it each and every time that you engage in business-related activity. Because we offer you several servers to choose from, you can even use a different server for your personal Web browsing. Just don’t mix the two.

Here’s the deal. Internet traffic is monitored and observed by numerous agencies. If someone is able to link your personal browsing to the same IP used by your business, the reputation of your company could be at risk. Looking at a little harmless porn might seem like a good idea at the time, but when your business IP address starts getting associated with things like that it can damage your rep. Play it straight and separate your business and personal interests.

You wouldn’t walk into work for a huge company, go to your desk, and start sexting someone on a dating site. Well, maybe some people would, but they would probably be fired when they were discovered. Treat your business with the same respect you would give an employer.

Home business VPN is a sound investment

In setting up a home business you are going to spend a lot of money on advertising, web development, copywriting, and a host of other things. Don’t neglect what may be the best investment you can make for your business. You will probably be surprised at how affordable our service is at VPN-accounts.com. An entire year’s worth of VPN service is probably less than you will pay for website hosting, and the peace of mind it will give you is priceless.

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Does a VPN replace the need for an Antivirus Program?

vpn and antivirus programsVPN’s are all about securing your Internet connection through high-level encryption. Some people make the mistake of thinking that using a VPN can eliminate their need for an antivirus program. While a VPN does not function as antivirus software and cannot remove infections from your device, it can greatly reduce the chances that your computer will be affected by malware or computer viruses.

VPN + Antivirus=Superior Protection on the Internet

In order to establish top-notch security on your Internet devices, using a two-pronged approach is highly advised. A VPN and antivirus protection are two different things, but they can complement one another in making your device iron-clad and impervious to attacks.

The first step of a good security plan is to buy a VPN for Internet browsing. This will give you one of the most important tools in your security toolkit—encryption. Encryption cloaks the data transfer between your device and the Internet by using strings of random characters which are impossible to decipher. At VPNaccounts.com, we use the latest encryption technology and are constantly improving our technology to offer greater levels of protection.

Encryption alone will not prevent your device from becoming infected. Malware and spyware can be placed on your computer by many different websites, and the end result is that these harmful programs and scripts can really slow down your browsing. Because they run in the background, malware programs are hard to detect. That is why you need to implement frequent antivirus scanning of your machine to identify and remove harmful programs. This is prong two of your approach.

Using either of these technologies—VPN or antivirus protection—alone is not as effective as combining the two of them for superior protection. Think of them both as different layers of the same overall process. The more layers you have in place, the harder it becomes for someone to peel those layers back and infect your machine.

Intelligent VPN browsing

By making a few small changes to your browsing habits, you can increase the security of your device and the power of your VPN. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Always connect with your VPN. This is just common sense. Using a VPN won’t do you much good unless you get in the habit of connecting to it every time you surf the Web. Make connecting to your VPN a part of your regular routine. You can also configure your device to automatically disconnect from the Internet in case your VPN connection is dropped without warning. This rarely happens with our VPN servers, but it is still a good idea to adjust your device settings in this regard. Remember, there is nothing you cannot do with your VPN connected that you can without it, so always keep it on.
  2. Disable JavaScript. This is an easy thing to do, but many people don’t do it. Simply go into your browser settings and change them to disable JavaScript. Why? JavaScript is responsible for the transmission of numerous malware programs. Whenever you visit a site you trust you can always enable JavaScript for that site only.
  3. Reject Cookies. Cookies are bits of technology that were originally developed for a noble purpose. They enable faster load times when you visit a page that you have visited in the past, and they also can store login data which keeps you logged in to sites like Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, cookies can also be used to track your Internet activities and profile your interests. Go to your browser settings and choose to reject them. Once again, your browser will prompt you to accept these cookies from sites you trust so you shouldn’t be worried about blocking them across the board.

Intelligent Antivirus use

To get the most out of your antivirus software, make sure you follow a few simple tips:

  1. Update your antivirus regularly. Your antivirus program requires frequent updates in order to provide maximum security. New instances of malware and viruses are discovered almost daily, so check for updates to your antivirus program at least once a week.
  2. Develop a regular schedule of scans. Most antivirus programs will allow you to configure a set time for scanning your device. The best time to do this is once a week (minimum), at night while you sleep. This will minimize any disruptions of your browsing activity. Full scans can take several hours, so make sure you allot adequate time for the antivirus program to scan your system
  3. Scan all downloaded media and programs. Whenever you download a program or media from the Internet, take a few moments to scan the file with your antivirus software before you open it and install it on your computer.

By combining the use of a VPN and good antivirus software, you can increase the life of your device and not have to worry about compromising your data. We sell many VPN accounts, come get yours!

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VPN and Encryption

vpn encryptionYou’re probably already familiar with what a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is. You probably even know that a VPN uses something known as encryption to increase your security. That is about as far as most people ever get in their knowledge of the encryption used in a VPN because the subject can quickly become technical, and the average VPN user has no interest in it. Most people look at their VPN like a light switch. They just want it to come on when they flip the switch.

In this article we’re going to demystify the technology behind VPN encryption, and we’ll even offer a little lesson in Internet history along the way.

The beginning of encryption gave birth to the Internet

Here’s a question to test your knowledge of Internet history: who invented the Internet? If you answered Al Gore, shame on you.

The humble beginnings of the Internet, believe it or not, can be traced back to World War II and a place called Bletchley Park. It was here that Alan Turing and a group of skilled mathematicians and scientists were tasked with deciphering codes intercepted from the German army during WWII. The Germans were using a fairly sophisticated piece of equipment called the Enigma that was able to encrypt messages sent to German leaders in the field. The process was slow, but by the time the war neared a close, Turing and his associates were able to break the codes before they reached their final destination.

Why is this important? Two reasons. First, after the war Turing and the other men involved in the project became the foremost scientists in the field of computers. It was their work which eventually led to the creation of the Internet as we know it today. Second, they were among the first to understand the elaborate process of encryption, and laid the groundwork for it to be perfected as we use it today in a VPN.

Encryption, plainly speaking, is the process of creating elaborate ciphers to encode and decode data. As it relates to a VPN, encryption serves to encode the data passed between computers on a network.

How A VPN uses encryption

A VPN tunnel basically creates a tunnel between your machine and a network access point, and guards that tunnel with encryption. The VPN stands between you and the access point, like a guard. It encrypts the data traveling the network, and also changes your IP address to that of its own. Encryption is the sword in the hands of the VPN. As far as the access point is concerned, it is communicating with the VPN. The VPN then communicates securely with your machine.

A protocol has to be used to maintain encryption, and in most cases in a remote-access VPN the protocol used is known as PPP, or Point-to-Point Protocol. To be more specific, PPP is actually encapsulated in one of the three following protocols:

  • L2F, known as Layer-to-Forwarding
  • PPTP, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol and the most common variety
  • L2TP, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol which makes basically combines the features of the first two

This is a lot of technical mumbo jumbo, and the fact is you don’t need to understand how any of it works to use a VPN. Remember the light switch? All you need to do is connect to your VPN and rest assured that your data is being encrypted through one of these protocols.

Why is encryption important?

Whenever you browse the Internet in an unsecured environment, you leave behind a significant digital footprint which can be used to the advantage of data thieves and hackers. From the information retained by your browsers to the emails you send to the sites you visit—all of these are vulnerable to prying eyes without encryption.

When your data is encrypted by a VPN, the result is a string of indecipherable gibberish. Encryption has come a long way since the days of Alan Turing, and the ciphers created today and complex and virtually impossible to break. Another advantage of a VPN is that as encryption gets more advanced so does the VPN. VPNaccounts uses state-of-the-art industry standard encryption to protect your online privacy.

Without encryption there wouldn’t be much point in using a VPN. Encryption and masking your computer’s IP address is what gives a VPN its teeth, so to speak.

Now you have a basic understanding of what encryption is and how it functions to keep you safe while you are browsing the Web. The use of a personal VPN has increased dramatically since 2011 and the numbers of VPN users is expected to reach record numbers by the end of 2013. This makes it all the more important that you know what kind of encryption your VPN provider offers so that you can make an informed choice. Come get yout VPN Account today.

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How and Why Governments Control Information

Controlling the flow of information has become a priority for many governments around the world in the age of digital communication. Just look at the recent events in Egypt which serve as an example of how digital information is parsed out in a crisis. It is important to understand how governments seek to control information, why they do it, and how you can avoid being caught in the crossfire by using your own VPN.

Isn’t the Internet unregulated?

Society has a tendency to think of the Internet as the last outpost of expressive freedom, but is it really as unregulated as one might think? Perhaps in the early days of the Web this was so, but in today’s world websites are routinely censored and blocked for a variety of reasons.

Would you like to visit a dating website while online in Saudi Arabia? How about using Skype in Oman? Or maybe you just want to watch a movie with your Netflix while vacationing in the Grand Caymans. In all of these scenarios you are out of luck unless you have your own VPN account.

Granted, all of the situations we mentioned aren’t due to some nefarious plan by a country to block information. Some services, like Netflix and Hulu, just aren’t available outside of the US. The point is that anyone who has traveled to various parts of the globe knows they cannot take digital services for granted.

How do governments control information?

Censorship and regulation of the Internet can be accomplished in a variety of ways. One of the first methods is through proxy servers / firewalls.

Some regions control information by monopolizing the ISP’s within a country. Many countries in the Arab Peninsula have ISP’s which are state-owned. These Internet Service Providers can use software to restrict website access, and they do. They block access to certain websites that they deem unacceptable in one manner or another. Many appear to be blocked for no apparent reason.

By using a VPN,  your IP address reveals that you are accessing the Internet from a location such as the US, accessing Netflix or Skype won’t be a problem. Your IP is basically telling the website that you’re in a non-restricted area. At the same time software used on proxy servers to block sites and ports will be unable to monitor encrypted VPN traffic and hence remains unblocked/unfiltered.

Proxy servers is used by many countries to block access to sites. The UK want to ban adult sites, and probably gambling sites too if they succeed in blocking sex sites.

Why do governments control information?

There can be a variety of reasons for Internet censorship, but most have to do with the politics or culture of a specific nation.

Arab countries are very intolerant of pornography, homosexuality, and anything which violates the principles espoused by their faith. In the US or UK, these types of websites don’t encounter nearly as much resistance. Arab nations take a proactive stance by simply eliminating the offensive material from view.

Those who live in democratic countries are also used to the freedom of being able to engage in political discussion and question the policies of their government. In other countries, like China, this is not permitted. Many news sites and blogs have fallen victim to the Great Firewall of China.

Finally, governments willingly cooperate with some digital media services to prevent piracy and unauthorized viewing of restricted content.

So, what’s the big deal about blocked websites?

The big deal is that some people who want to view restricted content while they are traveling can’t, even though their home country allows access. If you pay for a service, shouldn’t you be able to access that service whenever and wherever you choose?

You might think that the only people who want to access restricted websites are criminals or pedophiles. Wrong answer. What about the expatriate who is working on an oil rig in the Persian Gulf and wants to be able to talk to their family via Skype? What about members of the military serving abroad? Sure, they may be able to access unrestricted Internet while they are on base, but what if they live off-post in Germany and have to use a German ISP at home?  Many of their services will be restricted.

Even at home, Internet users just might want the added comfort of the encryption a VPN offers. The bottom line is that censorship of the Internet is viewed by some as an attack on personal freedom.

What if I do not use a VPN account?

If you do not use a VPN, it basically works this way. Every computer that accesses the Internet possesses a numerical identifier that is unique, like a fingerprint (e.g. 142.30.0.212). This is called an IP address. Whenever your computer asks a server to distribute content, its IP address is revealed. The server then knows where to send the digital content. ISP’s are given blocks of IP addresses to provide to their customers, and these addresses, in many cases, can be very accurate in determining the physical location of your computer. Enormous databases have been complied which map the IP addresses of different countries. If you do not use a VPN your location is known but with a VPN you are anonymous and traffic sent and received is encrypted.

Fight back with a VPN

You don’t have to settle for a censored Internet. You don’t have to allow a government to decide what you should look at online. You don’t have to sacrifice your local news when traveling. All of these things can be circumvented with a VPN.

If you haven’t jumped on the VPN bandwagon yet, you will. The past year alone has seen a rapid rise in the use of private VPN’s as web surfers become more aware of security and protecting their private data. When the cost is so affordable (we charge about 0.27 cents a day for a year of private VPN service), why wouldn’t you take that extra step to protect your information and ensure unrestricted access to your services? It just makes good techno-sense. Don’t get swept up in government efforts to restrict digital media, buy a vpn from VPN-accounts.com

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VPN to unblock Facebook, Twitter & Youtube

facebook youtube twitterFacebook, Twitter, and YouTube are three of the most-visited websites in the world, but did you know that in some areas of the world these services continue to be censored or blocked entirely? That can be bad news if you happen to be traveling or working in an area where these sites are restricted. Using a VPN can help you avoid the censorship of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in many cases.

Which Countries Block Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube?

Let’s address these individually. We’ll start with Facebook. Facebook has managed to overcome much of the censorship it faced in its early days. As of March 2013, there are four countries which block Facebook entirely: China, North Korea, Cuba, and Iran. Despite the block, there are people within these countries that still manage to use Facebook. It is important to remember, however, that a block will prevent you from creating an account in many cases. A VPN is most useful for individuals who already have a Facebook account and want to continue using it in a restricted area.

Twitter has been censored at various times in China, India, France, Egypt, Iran, and South Korea. The United Kingdom even threatened to shut it down during the 2011 England Riots! In the case of Twitter, it is far more likely to find examples of selective censorship as opposed to outright blocking. Governments can affect the removal of objectionable tweets. Once again, even though Twitter is blocked in China, many people there continue to use the service. A VPN can restore your access to Twitter in most cases.

YouTube falls under many of the same sanctions aimed at Twitter. It is far more likely to find individual videos removed. However, as of late 2012, the following countries are among those which have a national ban in place against YouTube: China, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan. VPN’s have been successfully proven to restore YouTube access in these areas.

We want to be clear once again: a VPN works when you have an existing Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter account registered from a location that is not blocked. For example, you live in the US and are planning on visiting China. If you attempt to access Facebook when you arrive from a Chinese ISP your access will be blocked. A private, paid VPN is the only option for those who happen to be in a country hit by serious web filtering.

A Quick Word on Free Vs. Paid VPN

Using a free VPN service might sound nice, but here’s a quick reality check. Free VPN’s are easily blocked in many cases by whoever is responsible for enforcing web filtering. In addition, just try getting customer service from a free VPN. If you want to maintain access to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter in restrictive countries, the only dependable fix is your own paid VPN account.

Why do countries block social sharing sites?

Websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter can be broadly classed under the definition of social sharing sites. Users can post updates and share media across the various platforms. That doesn’t seem like it would be such a big deal, but to countries that actively censor the Internet these sites pose a significant problem.

To begin with, social networks are difficult to monitor. Think for a moment about the millions of people who use Facebook alone. Trying to manually monitor every post for offensive or prohibited content is economically and practically impossible. There are only two viable options for countries like China in this case: block the site entirely or use sophisticated software to essentially spy on users. China has chosen the former in most cases, although they do still monitor many sites.

Secondly, social networks are virtually impossible to control. When a Tweet is sent there are vast numbers of people who can see it before it gets deleted. It’s the same with Facebook. The easiest and most effective means of controlling which information gets out is to simply block the troublesome sites.

Very recently, communications websites like Skype and Viber are also being targeted for the same reason. They make it too easy for users to contact other people in non-restricted areas.

A small caveat is in order here. Our website does not exist to provide political commentary on various countries that promote Internet censorship. Some countries may have valid reasons for doing so, which include matters of national security. What we do provide is an option for those people who may find themselves in a country which censors Web activity. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to keep accessing the websites that are available in your own country. This is the primary reason that people choose to use a VPN legitimately. We do not endorse or support using your VPN account for activities that would be considered objectionable in ANY part of the world, such as using torrents to download copyrighted material.

True Anonymity and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Many people who purchase a VPN are very conscious of maintaining their online privacy. They like the encryption offered by a VPN and the ability to be anonymous online. Something you need to remember is that whenever you login to a website like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, your anonymity is sacrificed.

Social networks require account registrations, and most people use their regular email to sign up. Whenever you login, your activities within the platform are easily tracked and monitored. In that sense, using a VPN won’t make you invisible.

A  VPN is your online passport

Try to think about your VPN as an online passport. You can’t cross borders without a real passport, and you can’t cross online borders without a VPN. The checkpoints in place to prevent access to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from countries like China will stop you in your tracks. You wouldn’t dream of trying to travel overseas without your passport, and you shouldn’t dream of traveling overseas without a VPN account.

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Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

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ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

03

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A hotspot VPN on Public Networks

public hotspot VPNHow often do you use a public WiFi network to access the Internet? Did you know that there are multiple ways a public network can put you at risk? Thankfully, there are many ways a hotspot VPN can help you evade the security risks associated with a public hotspot network.

What is a public network?

A public network is any network which may be accessed with few, if any, security restrictions. You will most often find these unsecured public networks in places like hotels, coffee shops, or a library. They have become increasingly popular as many businesses look to offer Internet access to their customers.

The concept of a public network is great, but accessing these networks without a hotspot VPN is asking for trouble. Public networks are not a public VPN. In other words, most of them do not use any type of encryption to secure the data that is being transferred across their connections.

How is a public network vulnerable?

The most glaring omission of a public WiFi network is a lack of encryption, and this is one of the greatest benefits of using a hotspot VPN when using these networks. Encryption is a powerful tool which basically uses a complicated cypher to mask or hide your data. When someone tries to view that encrypted data all they can see is basically coded gibberish.

Because most public networks are not encrypted, hackers and data thieves love to cruise these networks looking for exposed private information. Let’s say you decide to check your bank balance or buy something with a credit card while staying in a hotel. If that hotel is using an unencrypted WiFi network which is share by all guests at the hotel (very likely), you have likely exposed your financial information to anyone on the network who knows how to sniff it out.

Sometimes, people who aren’t even supposed to be accessing a network can do so simply by getting in range of the network’s signal. This means that someone can drive into the coffee shop parking lot, fire up a laptop, and connect to the public network without leaving their car. Public places have no real way to determine who is using their network and who is not.

What is a public VPN?

Technically, a public VPN simply means using a VPN when browsing on a public network. Our VPN can be used whenever you are forced to use a public connection. You may also hear the term “hotspot VPN” and this simply means using your VPN with a public hotspot.

Even though you might be using an unencrypted public WiFi to access the Internet, once you configure your VPN account with the client that is already installed on your computer or device, your browsing then benefits from the encryption offered by your VPN.

Can I be tracked on a public network?

Any time that you use a public network without using a VPN to secure your data, you are leaving behind a trail of your browsing activities which can be monitored and even traced. Some countries in the Arab region have even begun to require public network providers like Internet Cafes to collect personal information before someone is allowed to use the network. With the information you leave behind on a public network, your Internet activity can possibly be traced by any interested party.

Why would someone want to track your online activities? There could be several reasons. Spouses who suspect their mate of cheating, data miners, and repressive governments are all potential creepers when it comes to your Internet access.

How do I use a public VPN?

Using your VPN to secure your browsing on a public network is a very simple matter which does not require you to download any software. All modern computers and Internet-ready devices have a VPN client pre-installed. Before you can use that client to secure your public network access, however, you need a VPN account like the one we offer.

Once you purchase your VPN service, we’ll provide simple instructions on setting it up to work with your VPN client. You will never again have to worry about who is looking at your information while you are using public networks. The great thing about a VPN is that it works wherever you happen to be, so it doesn’t matter if you are using public hotspots in your own country or using them when you are traveling or working overseas. In fact, you will soon discover if you are a traveler that many of your services don’t work outside of your home country. If you want to access them a VPN is your best bet

Remember, public WiFi is great and you should take advantage of it, but this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice personal security in the process.

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Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

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ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

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Egypt is a Strong Argument for a VPN Account

The recent political turmoil in Egypt has been a hot topic in recent days as tensions escalated during the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. As you consider the implications of events like these around the world, you should realize that the events in Egypt are a strong argument for using a VPN.

Internet freedom is the first to go

When Hosni Mubarak’s reign came to an end in 2011 during a political uprising, Egypt made international headlines by basically shutting down the Internet within the country. No information could get in or out of Egypt. Sadly, these types of measures are taken by many governments in their attempts to control protests. While few countries have gone to the extremes that Egypt did, selective blocking and censorship are a common occurrence in China, Burma, and many Arab regions.

Internet censorship in Egypt can happen without advance warning. If you happen to be working or traveling in the country, being unprepared for this type of restriction can hamper your ability to get reliable news or contact family members in your home country. It can be a scary thought to find oneself isolated in a hostile environment.

Imagine not being able to access vital information that pertains to your safety. This is exactly what happened to some American citizens recently in Egypt due to Internet restrictions that could have been bypassed with a VPN. Some American citizens may not have received the directive published by the US State Department ordering them to leave the country immediately because the directive was released via news outlets.

In times of political crisis, news outlets are often considered a threat. This was the case during the Egyptian uprising. Morsi’s administration sought to actively control what information could be accessed from within the country, primarily through geo-restriction, so that Morsi’s opponents in outlying areas had no way to know the uprising was proceeding.

Beating geo-restrictions in Egypt with a VPN

Those within Egypt who had a VPN were able to bypass the geo-restrictions leveled by the Morsi-led government. A VPN helped them to appear as though they were accessing restricted sites from outside the country.

Geo-restriction is accomplished via a user’s IP address. It is the most economical and simple way for Egypt to control the flow of information. There are other methods of censoring the Internet, but this type of restriction is encountered in many countries throughout the world.

In fact, there are some websites and services that are blocked as a matter of course in many nations, and some services can only be accessed by US or UK account holders. The effective solution for getting around a geo-restriction is to use a VPN that will change your IP address to reflect that you are accessing the Internet from your home country. In this way you can continue to access your local news programming and services such as Skype which allow you to remain in contact with your family at home.

What Egypt teaches us about a VPN

If there is a way to maintain unrestricted access to the Internet in Egypt, doesn’t it make sense to take advantage of it? There is no reason you should put your own personal safety at risk because you cannot access reliable news content or political blogs.

Egypt teaches us that using a VPN is becoming more important for the average citizen. There may have been a time when a VPN primarily benefitted local businessmen who wanted to remain in contact with their home office, or college students who wanted to preserve the security of their academic work, but the world today has changed. Anyone who accesses the Internet, for any reason, should take these lessons from the Egyptian uprising:

  • Internet censorship can happen quickly. It doesn’t take days or weeks for a country to restrict web content. Because many countries like Egypt either own the ISP’s or strictly observe them, sites can be blocked with a minimum of effort in a short period of time.
  • Internet censorship can compromise your safety. Preserving your access to services like Skype or Viber, and being able to monitor news that is not filtered by the state is vital in situations similar to what happened in Egypt.
  • Internet censorship can be avoided. Using a VPN is the most sensible way to avoid restrictions like the ones imposed by Egypt. Using a VPN is easy—very little effort is required to set one up—and a VPN is also economical. The VPN we offer is affordable to everyone.

Ask yourself…

Is your personal safety in an uprising worth the cost of a VPN account? Of course it is. When traveling or working in a country like Egypt, a VPN is not a luxury. It is a necessity so get one at VPN-accounts.com

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Sign upGet an affordable VPN account.

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ConnectConfigure the VPN on your device.

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Enjoy VPNEnjoy the benefits of a VPN today.

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Connect & Enjoy: Internet Freedom, Privacy & security.

What can Edward Snowden Teach us about using a VPN?

Edward Snowden from NSAEdward Snowden has become a household name in many countries throughout the world due to his revelations about how the US monitors Internet activity. As Edward Snowden continues to seek asylum from multiple nations, his story is a valuable lesson for anyone thinking about protecting their Internet freedom with a VPN.

The reality of Internet surveillance

Most of us would readily concede that certain countries like China or Saudi Arabia monitor Internet activity. We hear about it all the time in the news. What shocked people the most about the revelations of Edward Snowden was that he was pointing a finger at the United States.

The United States is supposed to be the last outpost of personal freedom in the modern world. It is upheld as a bastion of free speech and expression. Snowden exposed this as a myth by revealing that the NSA regularly collects data from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter in an effort to monitor Internet traffic and communication.

The reality is that no matter where you live or work your Internet communication is vulnerable to government agencies. We all can agree that this can be useful in matters of national security, but the worrisome part is that governments aren’t making many distinctions when it comes to looking at personal data. They see what they see. Should you really have to worry about everything you post or look at online?

What a VPN can and cannot do

One of the first things you should understand about using a VPN account to protect your Internet privacy is what it can and cannot do. Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA monitors many social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, a VPN won’t help you much here.

Whenever you use a personal social network account your data is stored on the network’s server. That means there are many ways to track you down besides your IP address. Facebook tracks the actual device you use. The key thing to understand here is that you may think your Facebook and Twitter usage is secure, but it is not.

Trying to hide criminal activity such as pirating copyrighted material or “torrenting” is something else most VPN’s will not condone. Remember, breaking the law is breaking the law. If it is illegal it doesn’t matter if you break it on or offline.

There are ways, however, that a VPN can help you in the United States. A VPN can hide your real IP address and give you a degree of anonymity when doing searches. Remember, Snowden revealed that the NSA monitors Google also. Some search terms may trigger observation, who knows, but why take the risk? The searches you perform on Google are your personal business, and many people just don’t want the government snooping around in the things they choose to view online.

This isn’t a moral issue. Right and wrong is not for us to decide, and if you are searching things online that you shouldn’t be searching then you are responsible for that.  But what if you are a gay man or woman who is searching on coming out of the closet or attempting to locate a gay and lesbian social network? Is it right that the NSA or any government should be able to monitor those searches and tie them to your IP address? Shouldn’t you have the right to decide what is revealed about your personal life? Edward Snowden taught us that everything about your life is fair game in cyberspace.

How law-abiding citizens use a VPN

Another thing we can learn from Edward Snowden is that Internet monitoring doesn’t just get done on criminals. According to Snowden, the NSA monitors law-abiding citizens as well. This brings up an interesting question: how do law-abiding citizens use a VPN? Why do they use one?

Protecting personal data from information thieves is one major reason for using a VPN. Here’s the deal: there are only two types of networks you can really trust when it comes to keeping your data safe. The first is the network you use at home, provided you use the proper safeguards and restrict usage to your household members. The other is a VPN.

Whenever you connect to a public network like the one at your favorite coffee shop, the one provided by the hotel you are staying at, or the one at the library, your data is potentially at risk. Anyone on that network might be able to access your personal information. Would you walk up to a complete stranger and ask them to hold your wallet while you went to the bathroom? Probably not, but this is basically what you are doing when you use an unsecured public network.

A VPN gives law-abiding citizens the power to protect their personal data. In fact, using a VPN is the responsible thing to do. It is just as responsible as locking up your valuables in a safe.

Your right to use a VPN

What is really at issue in the case of Edward Snowden is your personal right to retain a level of anonymity online, a cyberghost. Many people would argue that the intrusion of governments upon the Internet activities of citizens treads upon an individual’s basic liberties, especially in the United States.

Snowden is a powerful reminder that, even in a country where the very Constitution guarantees personal freedom, it is still the responsibility of each individual to exercise their freedom. You have to make the choice to exercise your right to keep your data protected, and a VPN allows you to do that. If you do nothing, then you are potentially at risk and there is no one else to blame when your rights are violated.

The real lesson we can learn from Edward Snowden is that we take our Internet freedom for granted. We assume that governments will always play fair, and he has proven that they do not. Purchasing a VPN account is one way to assume the responsibility for your online safety and take back your Internet freedom.

You can check out Edwards twitter profile here

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Avoiding News Filtering With A VPN Account

A VPN can be useful in unblocking political and news websites that are restricted in some countries.

Many governments, especially those in Asia, take measures to filter news outlets and control the information which can be accessed via the Internet. This is done in an effort to prevent criticism of the ruling families or to otherwise quell disturbances. It is a sobering thought to consider that the news you are getting might be sterilized by government censorship.

Why do countries filter news?

The dissemination of political opinion is the primary reason certain countries choose to filter news content online. China, Saudi Arabia, and many nations in the Arab region do not tolerate news reports which reflect unfavorably on their political status.

Bloggers in particular are a favorite target of these countries. For example, China has blocked numerous news and political blogs and has even jailed journalists and bloggers for posting what they consider to be harmful content. The end result is that those in the country see what they government wants them to see. This can be dangerous, especially for expatriates who need to know what is happening in their own country.

The danger of news filtering

Imagine that you are a United States resident living and working in Egypt. The recent turmoil in this African nation prompted the US Government to issue a directive for all US citizens to leave Egypt and return home. This is the kind of news you need to know when visiting foreign soil, but as soon as the trouble began the Egyptian government began to selectively monitor and control which information gets through. If you have no way of getting unrestricted news then you might not receive these important warnings.

Another example is the Iraqi conflict during the 1990’s. You might recall that news outlets within Iraq were reporting that the Iraqi army was winning the battle, but the truth reported by news agencies outside of Iraq is that Saddam Hussein’s forces were losing badly. As you can see, access to accurate news can be a matter of personal safety.

Consider also that some nations block Skype, Viber, and other communications services which allow foreign visitors to remain in contact with their families. This means that your family cannot even pass along the warnings you may not have heard or read about.

Many regions of the world are in a constant state of political turmoil. When Chinese students protested the Chinese government in Tiananmen Square in 1989, a large portion of the country did not even know the uprising was occurring due to news filtering by the state. While as many as 1000 students were being killed in Tiananmen Square, much of China was unaware until the situation had been controlled by the government. Some foreign reporters managed to smuggle out footage of the protests, but this lack of knowledge could have quickly become a security risk for foreigners unsympathetic to the Communist regime.

If you are travelling or working in a foreign country such as China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, North Korea, or any other nation where political news is filtered, there is a real danger that you may not learn of dangerous political crises until it is too late.

Getting unfiltered news with a VPN

You might think you can just hop down to the local Internet Café and keep up with what is going on around you, but the fact is that public networks in many countries are subjected to heavy filtering and censorship. The only way to avoid this is through the use of a VPN account like the one we offer. A VPN account can restore your uncensored access to the Internet.

Internet censorship and news filtering is primarily accomplished via blocking based on IP address. In other words, when your IP address identifies that you are within a certain location the blocks applicable to that location go into effect. It is possible, through the use of a VPN, to change your IP address to reflect that you accessing the Internet from a server within your own country where the services are not blocked.

For example, if you use Skype and wish to communicate with your family this way, a VPN is very successful in unblocking this service in countries that restrict it such as Oman & Belize. Even when you cannot get accurate news online, your family at home can keep you informed if you maintain a way to contact them. To use the example we gave before, unrestricted access to Skype would have allowed your family to tell you that the US directed all of its citizens to leave Egypt immediately prior to the latest turmoil.

A VPN will also allow you to retain uncensored access to your favorite news blogs, and even your local television programming while you are travelling abroad.

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China Internet & how to Bypass Internet Restrictions in China with a VPN

China restrictions on webAs the second largest nation in the world, the People’s Republic of China boasts a strong Internet presence. Other Asian nations such as Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal are similarly well-connected. The strict regulatory practice of the Chinese government dictates a heavy level of website filtering in China and other Asian nations. Violating Internet restrictions in China can carry a severe penalty, and many dissidents have been jailed for these offenses.

History of China/Asia

The People’s Republic of China occupies the greater part of East Asia and has the world’s largest population at 1.35 billion. The capital is Beijing and China’s Communist government rules over several smaller provinces including Taiwan.

China has been a world power for almost as long as the modern world has existed. The sheer land mass of the country as well as its powerful military make it a major player in the political affairs of the day. Much of China’s economy is driven by exports and it is the second-largest in the world today.

Officially founded in 1949, China has become the face of modern-day Communism. As such, the country is subjected to a significant amount of government control.

Internet in China/Asia

China has the largest base of Internet users in the world. They also have one of the oldest Internet infrastructures. The Internet made its appearance in China in 1987 with the transmission of an email that said, “Across the Great Wall, we can reach every corner of the world.” China was aware from the very beginning of the tremendous possibility of the Internet.

In 2012 China had over 500 million Internet users. They project over 700 million users by the end of 2013. Other Asian nations such as Sri Lanka and Nepal and the Philippines have not reached anywhere near the level of penetration achieved in China, but many Asian countries remain impoverished.

The majority of Internet users in China have broadband service. The cost of the service is very affordable for even lower income families. Over 3 million websites are hosted and developed in China, and this works to increase China’s online presence.

Internet Filtering in China/Asia

All online access routes in China are owned by the Chinese government. This means that businesses and individuals essentially rent bandwidth from the state. As you can imagine, this type of ownership allows the Chinese government to effectively control what is viewed online. There is a similar approach to Internet service in other Asian nations such as North Korea.

China’s Internet repression is considered to be the worst in the world. A recent report by Amnesty International reveals that China has jailed a record number of journalists for violating the state’s stance on what can be posted online.  China even maintains an Internet Police Force with more than 30,000 officers on active duty.

Other Asian nations, such as North Korea, have followed China’s example by exercising strict Internet restrictions. At the present time, these are a few of the types of websites which are blocked throughout Asia:

  • Political Blogs. Any website, blog, or news outlet which criticizes the Chinese government will likely be blocked. If the offensive posts originated from within the country, those who posted them are likely to be arrested.
  • Pornographic websites. They certainly don’t restrict them the way Arab countries do, but China has been known to block pornography.
  • Search terms. Some search terms are blocked in Google results and the results of other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. This speaks of how seriously the government monitors Internet activity.

It is also interesting to note that China blocked the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter in 2009 because of the state’s inability to properly control or monitor these services. You can read more about the great firewall of china here

Unblocking websites in China/Asia

If you want to experience true Internet freedom in China and the great majority of Asia, your most reliable option is to use a VPN account like the one offered on our site VPN-accounts.com. Without this type of service, you will encounter severe limitations and restrictions on the Asian continent.

A VPN is very effective in allowing Internet users to access Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer which are not available in China and throughout Asia. A VPN gives you an added level of security in addition to making these websites available, and that added security could save you a lot of trouble in the long run given the restrictions in China.

For the latest news about China check the guardian news feed!

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.