4 thoughts on “9 Reasons Why You Should Use a VPN and Hide Your IP Address

  1. Thanks Dick,
    Good article, but what, if any, are the common downsides/restrictions of using a VPN? For example,
    1. Is there typically a limit on how many devices I can install or use simultaneously?
    2. If I access the Internet via my AT&T cellular service instead of my ISP, is the VPN application active?
    3. Once installed, is VPN transparent to the user? My family is tech challenged.
    4. In the event of a problem, can I choose NOT to use VPN easily?
    5. ?

    Which VPN do you use? I’m considering VPNExpress.

    Like

    • —> 1. Is there typically a limit on how many devices I can install or use simultaneously?

      With most hardware VPNs, there is no limit on the number of devices you can use or else the limit is so high that you will never exceed it, such as 255 devices. With software VPNs that you install into a computer, you typically are limited to one, two, or maybe three simultaneous installations on different computers.

      —> 2. If I access the Internet via my AT&T cellular service instead of my ISP, is the VPN application active?

      With most VPNs, you first make your Internet connection (in your case, that is to AT&T) and then you launch the VPN app, just like launching any other application.

      —> 3. Once installed, is VPN transparent to the user? My family is tech challenged.

      With most VPNs, it will be transparent.

      —> 4. In the event of a problem, can I choose NOT to use VPN easily?

      Yes. With most VPNs, you can easily stop using the VPN at any time.

      Notice that I repeatedly wrote “With most VPNs…” There is always an exception or two but what I wrote applies to probably 95% of the VPNs.

      —> Which VPN do you use?

      Because I am frequently experimenting with VPNs, I often change from one to another. Presently, I am using PIA (Private Internet Access) and HMA (Hide My Ass). Both work well. I have used others in the past and most of them also worked well. I especially liked Witopia although it is a bit more expensive than most of the others. Then again, it has more features. Some of the cheaper VPNs I have used ran slowly or else didn’t have many end points (nodes) in other locations. However, I might change again in the future, especially if a new one looks attractive with a lower price or other enticing features.

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  2. Thanks for the useful info. I signed up for PIA/VPN and am pleased. My MacAir passes all of the PIA security tests using Safari. Now I am looking to go further.
    The Electronic Frontier Foundation Panopticlick privacy test says my Mac fails all of their tests:
    Is your browser blocking tracking ads? ⚠ partial protection
    Is your browser blocking invisible trackers? ⚠ partial protection
    Does your browser unblock 3rd parties that promise to honor Do Not Track? ✗ no
    Does your browser protect from fingerprinting? ✗ your browser has a nearly-unique fingerprint
    What next steps might I consider to improve privacy?

    Like

    • —> What next steps might I consider to improve privacy?

      Switch to a different (better) web browser.

      A VPN is designed to protect your privacy, not to protect you from tracking ads. Blocking of tracking ads needs to be done in the web browser, not the VPN.

      Like

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