VPN Guides

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VPN: Everything You Need to Know (Ultimate Guide)

A VPN (virtual private network) is a service that has become an essential commodity as cyber attack on individual privacy keeps gaining ground in different parts of the world. Organizations are doing all they can to gather more information about their users to the extent that they is now meddling and intrusive.

Some major clients like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter have had reasons to delve into users account for any information they can get and sell it out for commercial purposes. Last year, Facebook admitted to giving out its data for commercial purposes.

Even though different governments do all they can to rectify the situation, many governments can’t claim to be on top of the situation and some other governments are equally as guilty as those who sell the data; some of these governments are guilty of intruding on the privacy and also gaining illegal connection of private data.

This is where a VPN comes in.

What is the purpose of the VPN?

The main purpose of a VPN is to provide a safe tunnel for your data to move through the servers before it moves online. This has also led to other merits such as location spoofing.

Even if what you are reading seems like it doesn’t make any sense, you need to understand that location spoofing can help you circumvent geo-location barriers. A good example is the Firewall of China; the government of China censors the internet heavily and so many of the things we enjoy online are blocked in China. It is only if you have a VPN when you’re in China can you access the common social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Google.

If you’re a P2P user, you are at risk of identification and you are also at risk of having your port maps getting identified via torrenting. But with a VPN you can easily hide all of this and your open ports wouldn’t be easily taken advantage of.

Is a public Wi-Fi safe for you?

There is a possibility for you to think that you are digitally safe because you enter a password onto a wireless network or you enter your password on your own digital device. If this is your thought, you can’t be any further from the truth. Entering your password on a router doesn’t encode your data, your communication or your traffic. This means you aren’t safe.

You need to know that every piece of information you send when you’re online without encryption can be seen by hackers who are on the same network with you. it doesn’t matter if it is your password, emails, credit card numbers or web history; it can easily be read.

If you’re connected to a public wireless network, you may find yourself caught in a ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack. This is when hackers who lurk on hotspot to secretly become a middleman between two internet users who don’t have the mutual authentication protocols.

Once they are in charge of the connection, hackers can easily read or even alter your data and communication between you and the other user. Some skilled hackers can even divert your debit card, credit card or even your Bitwallet by diverting your BitCoin transactions to themselves.

So how does a VPN protect you?

Whenever you are on a public WI-Fi network and you connection has been compromised, with or without your knowledge, then your privacy has been exposed. It is only with a VPN that you have a Wi-Fi protector to keep you safe during the time you spend connected to a public network. A VPN is what creates a secure tunnel which is what keeps your online activity private and safe.

Here is how it works: you send a request to the VPN which in turn sends a request to the server where the content you want is hosted and then the request process works backward in the same manner. Since the VPN is between the content and you, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will only be able to access the VPN between you and your content.

Your ISP will only be able to see you accessing the VPN but it wouldn’t be able to read or identify what you are doing online. The VPN not only acts as a middle man between you and the content, it also helps you to encode your internet traffic and also hides your IP address by giving you a new ISP.

So everyone (besides you and the VPN) will see something that resembles advances mathematics or statistics which makes it pure gibberish to all third parties. A VPN can hide your internet traffic not only from your ISP but also from anyone on the same Wi-Fi that you are on.

This is why VPN is essential if you are using public WI-Fi in restaurants, hotels, libraries or any other place.

What is Kodi?

Kodi is a software app that allows users to gather their digital media on one spot. You can describe Kodi as your personal home-theatre platform. Kodi is quite easy to download and it runs at the same range with MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Raspberry Pi and Android operating systems.

If you have Kodi on your device you can easily customize it with add-ons and third-party plugins for other free or paid streaming services such as Pandora, ESPN, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Spotify, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

why do I need VPN for Kodi?

There’s no need for you to worry about Kodi and VPN; they are both legal so using them doesn’t mean you are breaking any laws. You can’t be a lawbreaker for using Kodi however you can find yourself on the other side of the law if you abuse the tools, stream media programs without paying for its viewing rights or pirate content.

Many people use Kodi for the same reason they use VPN, which is to get past certain location restrictions and to also keep their activities online protected.

Some restrictions are placed online in certain parts of the world; they are known as geographic restrictions. A good example of a geographic restriction is Netflix; this service is available for online viewers almost everywhere in the world but the content in US and UK aren’t the same. BBC iPlayer is free for users in the UK only. Another example is YouTube videos; you can decide to place a geographic restriction on those who can view your content.

Kodi is an open source which is why it has lurking security challenges which can be hackers trying to snoop your information. If you have a VPN, you can hide your IP and the website owner has no way of detecting your location just as hackers and fraudsters can’t detect who you are.

How to Install a VPN on Kodi?

You can install VPN on Kodi in two different ways. The main difference between both ways is if you are using special Kodi add-ons. If the VPN you’re using doesn’t offer an add-on then the process of using Kodi with a VPN is not different from the process of using a VPN for any other reason.

If you’re using Kodi with add-ons, the first thing you need to do is to sign up with your VPN and then you can install the client on your device; most companies have installation for VPN iOS, Windows, Android and Mac. You can then configure your preferred VPN settings and then log on to the server of any country you want. With this, you can start using Kodi.

Many VPNs come with a handy browser extension which is good for people who only use one browser which can be Chrome or Firefox on their device. Even though this can help you to optimize your Firefox or Chrome usage, you should know that a VPN browser extension can’t work outside the browser so it can’t function on Kodi client. When you’re using Kodi you will need a VPN that works well with Kodi so that it covers your internet usage of any of your digital device (phones, tablets, PC).

CHINA TRAVEL TIPS

If you are going to China, you need to prepare ahead before going especially if you are going to be using the internet. This doesn’t involve buying a multi-adapter or buying a mobile bolt-on; it is way beyond that.

What many people who visit China for the first time or consecutively don’t know or forget is that China has a great firewall and so the many apps and websites that you can easily reach with a simple click isn’t available because it is blocked. With some smart preparation you can easily have an awesome internet experience when you’re in China.

The most important information you need when you are going to China is the motto of the Boys’ Scout which is to be prepared. If you aren’t prepared then things are going to be challenging when you are in China.

The Great Firewall of China

The Great Firewall of China is the immense body of censorship laws that controls the Chinese public online and each year brings in different restrictions. As the censorship laws becomes more restraining, Chinese citizens and visitors have been able to fashion ways to circumvent the geo-blocks so they can get the best from the internet.

The Great Firewall of China (GFW) is a subdivision of the larger golden shield project which is a surveillance and censorship program meant to monitor internet sites and applications made available to the citizens of China. It is run by the People’s Republic of China government. More than 10,000 sites have been blocked; however, 130 of the top 1,000 most visited sites in the world are blocked.

The government uses this firewall to strike out any site and app that have an unfavourable political message to the government. This also helps the government to block information that is unacceptable to their culture.

The GFW restricts foreign influences and information by controlling some internet devices especially social media. WordPress, Google, Facebook, Blogspot,Twitter, Google Docs, some parts of Wikipedia, YouTube, Google Drive, Gmail, Dropbox, Instagram, Japanese platform FC2, The New York Times and WhatsApp are forbidden in China.

Public Wi-Fi in China

Even though public Wi-Fi is getting common in China, it isn’t safe and it is very slow. The download speed is less than 1 Mbps. You will be surprised that the best hotels have speed levels of about 3 Mbps and you still have to ask for the password. Cafes and hotels in other parts of the world such as Europe and US have about 25Mbps download speed.

If you intend to use a public Wi-Fi it is advisable that you use a VPN to protect your data because Chinese web browsers have massive security challenges. It is best to avoid using your password or personal data on Chinese public Wi-Fi especially if it’s a public computer that uses a local web browser like QQ Browser because they transmit your location, your search history and other personal data.


What do you do?

Get a Chinese sim

If you are going to stay online, you need a Chinese sim. It’s a good idea because it saves money. You need an unlocked phone for this to work. You can order your Chinese sim before going or make sure it is delivered to you in your hotel. You can buy the popular Xiaomi brand if you are buying on arrival because it is convenient and more generous with data. If you’re in the US you can purchase one from Amazon store.

Make sure you check the date on the sim cards as some are only valid for a particular number of months. You can get a data-only Chinese sim and use it on your Mi-Fi device so you don’t get stuck when the Wi-Fi is inactive. Make sure the sim is the same size as the sim outlet of your phone.

You need to be cautious

This is because your online activity can attract the attention of the wrong people or government authority. Avoid using words or phrases such as ‘Tibetan independence’ or ‘Chinese persecution’.

You should also assume that your internet traffic is being monitored. All web traffic in China passes through a few chokepoints which makes it easy for the government to perform close monitoring of data analysis or Deep Packet Inspection. This is the reason why internet is pretty slow in China.

If you will be outside the main cities, b sure there is no internet blackout. Sometimes the government puts off the internet whenever there is a political unrest.

How to protect yourself

You need to take precautions as your identity can be stolen, there can be data theft and other cyber crimes. Here are a few precautions you can take

  •  Use a VPN to protect your data
  •  Use free password manager like LastPass to secure your password. You can use it to secure your passwords and get it to autofill it for you.
  •  Regularly use Malwarebytes to scan for malware.
  •  Constantly update your anti-virus
  •  Use spyware constantly.
  •  Encrypt your important tools with free tools such as Veracrypt
  •  Enable two-factor authentication for your mails and social media counts.


How to choose and use a VPN in China?

At least 20% of 800 million internet users in China use a VPN. It is advisable you do the same if you will be taking a trip to China. VPNs have been removed from all China’s app and digital stores and the government is trying to crack down on them.

VPNs protect your web traffic by creating for you a secure tunnel for you while circumventing the Chinese wall. Make sure you understand all the guides of the VPN app. Many VPNs have hidden privacy policies and uncertain links to the Chinese mainland.

Best VPN Protocols for China

Before choosing a VPN you must understand the methods or protocols used to encrypt and transmit data.

Make sure the VPNs protocols have OpenVPN. This is one of the best security protocols worldwide; it is blocked in China and it requires another strong layer of security for it to work in China.  Other security options that are good include Stunnel, Obfuscation, Proxy, TCP, SSH, UDP, SSL and Obfaproxy.

L2TP/IPSec are good for mobile devices especially iOS and it can be faster than OpenVPN for PC. Except you have no option, stay away from PPTP because of its security challenges. Constantly change your security protocols as quickly as you can. This will keep you out of the eyes of snoopers and government authorities.

What is the Best VPN for China

 ExpressVPN: it isnt blocked in China, it is fast and it comes with reliable connections and it has a 30 day money back guarantee but it is expensive.

 NordVPN: It is fast and reliable and it has a website for Chinese customers, it offers obfuscation option to bypass the VPN blocking in China although it isn’t entirely cheap.

 VyprVPN: It comes with stable and fast connections, fast speed, it works on Mac and Android apps, it supports Chines language, it has chameleon technology to mask its existence in order to protect itself the GFW and accepts Alipay payment

 PureVPN: It isn’t expensive and it allows up to 5 different simultaneous connections, it has good speed levels although it gets blocked in China

If you need help choosing the best VPN for China visit our site www.10bestvpn.co.uk

Guides

VPN or Virtual Private Network is a software used to keep your internet activity secure and private. This is what prevents ISPs and government authorities from tracking your traffic online and it also protects you from hackers.

No matter what you do online and no matter your location, it is essential tool for anyone who wants to keep their identity hidden online.


Reasons why you should use a VPN?

 It keeps your online traffic private

While everyone has a right to use the internet for private reasons, a VPN helps you to do this. It doesn’t matter where you are: school, work or home. It doesn’t matter who is watching you and tracking your activities: government authorities, your ISP or even hackers, a VPN will keep you private and protected by helping you to remain anonymous. It also protects your personal information so it doesn’t get sold to marketers.

 To protect you from hackers when you connect to public Wi-Fi

For every time you connect to a public Wi-Fi without adequate protection, you are taking a huge risk. The fact that it is easily accessible makes you prone to man-in-the-middle attacks which are the phishing, intercepting and eavesdropping on your private data.

VPNs is one of the best and only way to use public Wi-Fi safely and to also prevent these hacks. This is what will protect you from hackers, snoopers and you can use the internet without the fear of identity or data theft or spies trolling on you.

 It helps you circumvent censorship in your workplace school, government or ISP.

In parts of the Western world such as the UK or US, the internet is not particularly free as they paint it to be. Your ISP is monitoring your activities and the government has the right to call for logs of internet activities which also includes the websites you visit or the content you access.

For places such as Turkey, China or other heavily-censored countries the censorship is stifling. Their censorship can prevent you from accessing social media and other sites such as YouTube, some parts of Wikipedia and Google.

With a good VPN a private tunnel is created between you and the VPN server to direct your web traffic around these restrictions.

 Use VPN to unblock online content that are restricted to specific locations

There is also a long and inexhaustible online content which includes apps and website contents that are geo-blocked. This means that you may not have access to rights based on where you are located. By connecting to a server in a VPN network , it encodes your traffic and it makes it seem like you’re at the same location with your VPN server. This means that websites and apps think they have an idea of your location but they don’t.

Your IP address is hidden by replacing it with the location of your VPN and so the online content you’re trying to access is unrestricted. If your VPN has many servers then you have the opportunity to connect and gain access to more sites and apps from different countries.

How does a VPN work?

A VPN can only function when you install it on your phone, your other mobile devices, your laptop or your computer. When your VPN is up and running on your device it provides a secure and private internet connection between the app or website or the device you want to connect with it.

Instead of your device connecting with the website or app directly, it goes through your VPN’s private servers before connecting it with the website or server you want to access. This is what provides you with the private connection you need; it creates a secret tunnel which hides your web traffic from hackers or snoopers.

This way, your ISP can no longer identify what you’re doing and your connection is private and secure. It hides your IP address and protects your data so your location isn’t identified. You have the option of choosing from many locations in the world. This is why a VPN provider will give you many options when it comes to encryptions and protocols to use.

A good VPN should have good encryption (at least AES-256) which is strong enough to protect your data even if it makes your internet to slow down. Some common VPN protocols are wireguard, IKEv2/IPSec, SSTP, IPSEC, OpenVPN, SoftEther, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP.

OpenVPN is one of the strongest protocols; IKEv2 is great and popular and you should avoid PPTP because it is one of the most insecure and outdated protocols.

How do I get a VPN?

Getting a VPN isn’t difficult even if you aren’t tech-savvy. You can connect with a trusted VPN service provider or visit www.10bestvpn.co.uk to get more information and purchase your VPN. When you purchase your VPN, then you install it on your device.

If you have a Windows or Mac OS you will be able to download an installer so you can set it up on your device just like any other app or computer program. Androids and iPhones have their add-ons or installers covered.

To protect some of your other devices such as Sony PlayStation 4, Amazon Fire TV device, Microsoft Xbox One and Apple TV, the VPN will come with a step-by-step guide to help you set it up. This way you will be able to install your VPN at any router level which protects everything you connect with it.

Are there free VPNs?

There are free VPNS but they always have a few cons you need to know and compare with others. You need to be mindful of slow speeds, monthly data caps, ads that make the app slow, limited server choice, inability to unlock streaming devices like Netflix or BBC iPlayer, abuse of your personal data and inability to circumvent censorship.

The benefits of free VPN are nothing when compared with paid VPN services.

Are VPNs safe?

VPNs are a hundred percent safe especially if you get your VPN from a reputable and good quality service provider. The best VPN services have a reputation for not recording any activity log as it maintains the servers while keeping the user’s traffic secure and private above all else.

You can opt for a VPN with clear and detailed logging policy. Many VPN providers log some sort of data even if it is email address, credit card numbers or any data about you. There are some VPN providers that don’t keep any trace of data and you can pay for them via crypto currency and PayPal.

The technologies used by the VPNs are quite important. For your VPN to protect you then it must have good levels of encryption such as OpenVPN and IKEv2.

If you are downloading a suspicious VPN from a source you aren’t sure about (especially if it is free) you may be putting your data at risk and it may be better if you don’t use a VPN at all. With the wrong VPN your data may be seen by almost anyone who is tech-savvy enough to see it and it can be sold to marketers or advertisers. Sometimes these VPNs aren’t VPN but are spywares, or viruses.

If you go through our reviews of the best VPN for 2019, you will know the best VPN that can keep you safe.

Are VPNs Legal?

For most of the countries in the world, the answer is yes! But there are countries where they are considered illegal. They are Turkmenistan, Belarus, North Korea and Iraq. In some other countries, VPNs are highly restricted; they are UAE (United Arab Emirates), China, Turkey, Iran, Russia, and Oman. If you don’t stay in any of these countries then you can use your VPN and use it legally.

Can a VPN make the internet to be slow?

The answer is yes. Even the best VPNs will have a little influence on the speed level of your internet which will make it slow down just a little bit.  A VPN works by rerouting your web traffic via its servers. As you read earlier, your traffic doesn’t flow on a single track, rather it diverts the traffic by arriving at the VPN server first before going to the website. This is what makes it to be a little slow. This isn’t what causes lagging or buffering.

The encryption of data can also make the time taken to load the sites or downloading of files to be longer. The higher the encryption it will result it longer delay.

Another reason for slow speed levels is the location of the server you are connecting to. If the VPN server is pretty far then you will experience slow speed. Make sure you check the full list of the servers provided by the VPN service provider.


Is a VPN essential for my phone?

Of course it is; when you connect to a public Wi-Fi without protecting your phone then all information on the phone is at risk. The VPN protection on your phone ensures that you are properly safe and protected from hackers or other attackers that are trying to get information from your device.  With a VPN on your device you can be sure that they wouldn’t eavesdrop and intercept your data.

It is important to keep your phones or mobile devices secure because so many people can’t live without their phones or mobile devices.

It can be particularly challenging to keep your smartphone anonymous. This is because you are probably signed into your Google account or your Apple account when you’re using it. This is what creates a strong connection or link to you when you are using the apps and services.

Is it possible to use a VPN without Wi-Fi?

You can connect to a VPN without a WI-FI connection by using a 3G or 4G connection. It doesn’t mean you’re totally secure because you can still spoof your location and mask your online activity with your mobile carrier.

Are Proxies the same as VPN?

VPNs and proxies aren’t the same; proxies are exceptional when it comes to geospoofing. Just like VPNs, a proxy can make it seem as if you are connecting to the internet from another country and that’s where it stops. It provides no added encryption or security.

If you need protection and privacy then you need a VPN. It is the function of a VPN to mask your IP address by allowing you to choose a new IP address in a location of your choice and it also adds complex encryption and security protocols to make sure you’re protected.

To get more information on VPNs, visit www.10bestvpn.co.uk