The topic of VPNs came up the other day during one of our discussions after the free buffet. One that I mentioned was a service provided by Betternet. I was told by one of the parties to keep it a secret because the service is free and if word got out, there would be too many users and the normally fast service would bog down. After some poking around, I found out that there are already 5 million active uses on Betternet so the very few extra users from this blog audience isn't going to break the back of the network or service. In fact, they want to grow even more.
Besides, one of the goals of this blog is to share information about living here in the land of smiles and California and not keeping secrets - especially if 5 million people already know about it.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is used to protect one's activities from Internet Service Providers, hackers, and people that might want to monitor or block your activities. Instead of going through the ISP to your destination site, a VPN creates a 'virtual private line' to a proxy destination which is usually located in another location or country. Used by businesses to protect their own networks from the outside, a VPN can bypass blocked sites and create virtual location identities. For example, your computer could look like it was connected from a site inside the USA instead of the land of smiles. Censorship, security, and geographical location restrictions are some of the reasons people use VPNs while living abroad.
This service is generally not free. Many companies charge a monthly or year fee to provide this service which can range from $5 up per month up, depending on the protocol and number of virtual locations. Unfortunately for myself, I already signed up for a yearly service with another company before discovering Betternet so I am out some money this year. Hopefully, this post will save you some money which you can use to buy me a coke or coffee next time you are in the mango...555
The service is FAST and easy to use too. Just a click before you want to go to a specific site and that's it. You do have to download a client app on your target platform first and currently, the only place you can choose is to have the VPN termination point in the USA. In the future, they will offer a premium service that will allow many more countries as termination points.
The neat thing about this service is that an app is available so that you can use it with your tablet, smartphone, or on your desktop.
Anyway here is the website: www.betternet.co