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.

Get a VPN Account

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.

VPN to Jailbreak your Work & School Network

If you work for a large company or are attending college, you’re probably somewhat familiar with private networks. Many jobs and most universities provide their own secured network to employees and students, and some even have VPN capability that will allow you to connect remotely. When it comes to work or school networks, however, there are some important security matters you should consider when using them for Internet browsing.

In this article we’re going to show you how you can avoid a lot of hassle by using your own personal VPN to jailbreak your work/school network and preserve your Internet privacy.

Why not just surf on my work/school network?

Most work/school networks are secured. By that we simply mean that access to these networks is restricted to employees and students. That sounds pretty good, right? These networks offer a certain amount of encryption, use many of the same protocols used in a VPN (the most common being PPTP), and generally protect your data from anyone trying to steal it. So, why not just use these networks for privacy?

These answer is that the privacy afforded by a school or work network is an illusion in most cases. Yes, your data transfer is encrypted. Yes, unauthorized users cannot access the network. The network administrator (i.e. your employer or school) can still log and track everything you do.

If you use a device provided by your work or school, you should know right away that your browsing activities can be tracked. Using a personal device such as your laptop, iPhone, or Android tablet is no better. Whenever you log on with your personal device your data is encrypted within the network, but that doesn’t mean the network administrator can’t log web traffic.

Let’s say you decide to check your Facebook or send a Tweet while connected at work or school. That’s harmless enough, you say. Think again.

Fired for Facebooking?

According to Business Insider, numerous people have been fired in the US this year for updating statuses on Facebook and Twitter while using the company network. Some of them were even dub enough to criticize their employer or customers in their posts. Now, using a VPN doesn’t conceal your identity on accounts like Facebook and Twitter, but it can help conceal the fact that you were checking your newsfeed or looking at your friend’s pictures.

Many university students have been severely reprimanded for browsing porn sites while using the school’s network. Some have even been placed on probation or suspended outright, losing their scholarships and financial aid in the process.

These things happened because employees and students never stopped to consider that their traffic on the network could be logged and viewed by the network administrator.

A special word about college networks

We should take time to mention that many VPN’s offered by colleges and universities are not enabled for Internet browsing per se. The purpose of these networks is to allow students to store their school-related files securely and access them remotely. The same protocols are used in many of these cases to encrypt data, but the setup is different. You can’t connect to the public Internet through the school’s VPN.

A university VPN is structured to allow access to things like the university library, where you can conduct research and things of this nature. It will also allow you to securely access your grades.

What we are discussing in this article is using the college network on campus to access the Internet.

Jailbreaking your work/school network

Let’s take a moment for a basic refresher on networks. Without getting too technical, your school or work has an account with an ISP, or Internet Service Provider. The ISP provides the Internet service to the business or school, and the business or school sets up a network which allows employees or students to use the Internet either on a personal device or one supplied by the company.

When we talk about jailbreaking the work/school network, we’re talking about situations where you use your personal device. In this sense, think of the work/school network like a Wi-Fi hotspot. The difference is that the work/school network will require you to enter a password to access the network. This is to prevent those who do not work there or attend classes from using it.

Once you enter the password and connect you are able to access the Internet. But, entering that password does not conceal your activities while browsing. This is why you need to use a personal VPN after connecting to your work/school network via a personal device.  In this scenario, the network simply facilitates your initial connection. Once you are connected, your personal VPN creates a secure tunnel between you and the access point, and tracking your activities becomes much harder to do.

When you’re on your lunch break and decide to fire up your laptop to check personal email, simply connect to your VPN after you have connected to the work/school network. Now you can hit up Facebook or Twitter without worrying about leaving tracks for someone to follow.

Logging and VPN’s

Here’s the main thing you need to take away from this article: if your work or school provides a network for you to access the Internet on a personal device, you need to be aware that traffic on the network is most likely logged. These logs can be very revealing, as many employees and students have discovered.

At VPNaccounts we do not log your Internet activity. Logs are the greatest enemy to Internet privacy and freedom. No one wants to risk losing their scholarship because they sent a controversial Tweet, or lose their job because they browsed a dating site on their lunch hour. Using a VPN is the safest way to guarantee your online privacy while using any shared network.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Internet Freedom in Russia

A recent poll reveals some interesting things about the Internet in Russia. More than half of all Russians are now using the Internet on a weekly basis. That might not sound like a big deal, but stop and consider that in 2006 fewer than 10% of Russians surfed the Web with any type of frequency. The rapid spread of Internet access in Russia and tight government regulations of Internet content are strong arguments for using a VPN, whether you live in the country or are just visiting.

History of Russia

Russia is officially known as the Russian Federation and is a rather large Eurasian semi-presidential republic. The history of Russia is a complex one, with the country having undergone numerous political changes throughout various regimes. Once the face of Communism, Russia has emerged in the post-Cold War era as a nation which has made strides toward democracy.

On a recent note, Russia has been in the news for offering political asylum to NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden. Snowden revealed the ways in which the NSA collects data on American Citizens. This measure could have implications on the relationship between the US and Russia which has always remained strained despite increased cooperation between the two nations.

Internet in Russia

There are a variety of methods for Internet access in Russia, including dial-up, DSL, cable, wireless, and satellite. The Internet in Russia is sometimes referred to as Runet by the government, a term given to the Russian-speaking web community. Russian is now the second most-used language on the Web.

As we stated previously, the presence of Internet in the homes of Russian citizens has exploded in the past few years, and it is projected that this growth will continue. In addition to the many homes with Internet access, those visiting Russia will find plenty of hotspots and public WiFi access points.

Internet filtering in Russia

We mentioned Edward Snowden earlier for a reason. As recently as July 10, 2013, the Russian government announced that it would seek measures that would tighten the state’s Internet controls. This is concerning because it perhaps reflects Russia’s move toward a more anti-democratic political climate. In that type of climate, Internet freedom in Russia is at serious risk.

Most of the Internet censorship in Russia to this point has involved news outlets and blogs which are critical of the government. These sites can be censored or taken down at will. Recently, however, several Russian politicians have called for the country to restrict the use of social networks like Facebook. Dimitri Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister, said that these networks are waging “cyber wars” against Russia.

In 2012, the Russian government issued a blacklist of prohibited sites which were blocked in Russia. These sites include, but are not limited to:

  • Pornographic websites. Some of these are blocked and some are not, depending on the type of content provided.
  • Drug use websites. Any websites which promote the use of drugs such as marijuana or sell drug-related merchandise (bongs, pipes, etc.) are blocked.
  • Any site with information prohibited for distribution by the government. This is the tricky one, and it allows the government a lot of latitude in blocking websites.

Unblocking Websites in Russia

Using a VPN account  while traveling in Russia can restore access to many of the websites which are currently blocked by the State. In addition, all media services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer not available outside of the US and the UK can be unblocked by using a VPN.

With the recent announcement of increased Internet restriction in Russia, anyone planning to travel or work in the country needs to seriously consider setting up their own VPN account in order to avoid any inconvenience which may arise from Russian Internet censorship.

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.

Internet freedom in India

Inia INternetIndia enjoys a high level of Internet freedom, but state surveillance is practiced by the government and a very selective form of blocking is employed to prevent users from accessing objectionable content. You might not think of India as a repressive country, but if you happen to be traveling there you will find that much web content is unavailable without the use of a VPN.

History of India

The Republic of India is the second-largest country by population in the world, with over 1.27 billion residents. It is bordered by many smaller countries and the Indian Ocean. The country is actually the most populous democracy in the world, and the government is a benevolent one.

India gained its Independence from the United Kingdom in 1947 after the non-violent uprising led by Mahatma Gandhi. Prior to this time India was annexed by the United Kingdom through the British East India Company.

While considered an impoverished nation for many years, the level of affluence in India has been rising steadily since economic reforms in 1991. The country still faces many challenges of poverty and malnutrition, however, and it has been the victim of corruption and terrorism like so many other countries in the region.

Internet in India

The presence of a huge population and a mostly benevolent government has created a strong Internet presence in India. There are multiple ISP’s which serve the country, and a large portion of the population is connected. Recent statistics put the level of Internet penetration in India at about 8%, or 100,000,000 users. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but India is largely populated. On a per capita basis, India has one of the lowest Internet penetration rates.

Internet use in India will increase due to the country’s plans to introduce 4G service in 2013. Smartphones are very popular in India and a lot of residents access the Internet with their Android or iPhone. One study suggests that there could be 30 million smartphones in use in India by 2016.

Internet filtering in India

This is where India’s Internet story gets a little murky. Despite being a democracy and being perceived as a freedom-loving country, India maintains one of the most active Internet censorship and surveillance agencies in the world.

In 2011, India adopted new IT rules which give the government sweeping regulatory control over Internet access. One of the specific measures taken was to require all ISP’s to ban content within 36 hours of being notified that the content is objectionable. In the immediate aftermath of this legislation, Typepad and Mobango were blocked in India. In January of 2012, both Facebook and Google were issued summons by a Delhi court for violating the rules regarding objectionable content.

India issues blocks and removes them seemingly at will, so it is hard to compile a current list of which sites are restricted. These are a few of the site which have been, or are currently, banned in India:

  • YouTube, Dailymotion, and other video services. At the precise moment of this writing, access to these sites has been restored, but India has been known to ban them without warning.
  • Political Cartoons. Several of these websites have been blocked.
  • Pornographic web forums. India blocks these sites to prevent media sharing among forum users.

In June of 2013, India once again blocked 39 websites, most containing adult content, without giving any reason or law to justify their action. This is the key to understanding how Internet restriction is accomplished in India. It can be done at any time, to any site, without explanation.

Unblocking websites in India

A VPN account from VPN-accounts.com can unblock restricted websites in India in most cases. Because of the manner in which the country filters the Internet, it is highly recommended that you use a VPN inside the country.

A VPN is very effective in allowing Internet users to access Skype, Whatsapp, Viber, and a host of other services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer which are not available in India. A VPN gives you an added level of security in addition to making these websites available, and reduces the likelihood that you will fall victim to state surveillance.

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 Top Five Reasons to use a VPN

top 5 vpnIf you’re thinking about using a VPN account for your web browsing, chances are it’s because of a specific reason.  Even so, there may be some people who have heard about VPN’s but really don’t understand the primary benefits of using one. We’ve put together a list of the top five reasons you should start using a VPN today.

Increased Security Over Public Networks

Did you stay at a hotel recently and use the hotel’s Wi-Fi? Did you take your laptop to the coffee shop to check your email while you sipped a latte? Did you recently use your public library’s Internet to research a paper for your psych class? If you answered yes to any of these, you have succumbed to one of the greatest threats to your Internet security.

Public Wi-Fi offers no encrypted security to those who use it the way a VPN does. Whenever you are on a public network, your signals and data are fair game for anyone who is sophisticated enough to steal them. Hackers and identity thieves thrive on snooping public Wi-Fi.

Access To Your Media Services While You Travel

You just checked into your hotel in the UAE and decide to relieve some of that jetlag by firing up a movie on Netflix. Wrong answer.  Netflix, Hulu, and many other services are blocked outside of the United States. If you happen to be from the UK, forget accessing your bbc iPlayer account on a public network outside of the UK.

A VPN is the secure way to guarantee you can continue enjoying your media services while traveling abroad. These services identify your location based on your IP address. When you use a VPN you can appear to be accessing these services from your home country.

Evade Censorship And Content Surveillance

Many countries actively censor the content which can be viewed via their ISPs. You might be working in a foreign country and want to access your local news only to find it is blocked. A VPN account can help you avoid blocking and censored web content.

You might be thinking that content surveillance only happens in Third-World countries or nations which harbor terrorists, but think again. The good old USA and United Kingdom both have security agencies which actively monitor Internet activity. The best offense when it comes to content surveillance is a good defense, and a good defense means using a VPN.

Use Search Engines Securely

Recent revelations by Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA has regularly requested information from Google about the searches which are being conducted by ordinary citizens just like you. Search on the wrong term and you could be singled out as a security risk.

The world is a different place since the events of 9/11. Governments have more power to snoop and observe your online activities than ever before. Do you really want all your web searches revealed to prying eyes? Using a VPN can help you cloak your Google searches and stay on Uncle Sam’s good side.

Because You Have A Right To Your Privacy

This is the number one reason to use a VPN account. Privacy is a right that is worth fighting for, but if you don’t choose to exercise your right to privacy then you have no one to blame but yourself when your privacy is threatened.

Your right to privacy, to browse the Internet as you choose without the fear of being spied on, is sacred. The best way to preserve this right is by using a VPN.  VPN accounts empowers you with the ability to maintain your freedom.

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.