What is a VPN?

Episode 1271 (34:42)

Dan from Newport Beach, CA
Tiny Hardware Firewall

Dan wants to know about a VPN. Is it good for security? Leo says absolutely. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it's essentially an encrypted tunnel through the Internet where your data cannot be seen by anyone sniffing around. All anyone else would see is gobbelty-gook. It's great for security if you're at an open Wi-Fi network like a coffee shop. VPNs are really popular for work, where you're working from home but want access to your work server. But it's also very popular with people looking to watch British television in the United States since the VPN makes it look like you're browsing from the location of the VPN. The downside is that it can be a bit slower. You have to pay for it, although there are free versions, and there's always going to be an opening somewhere. But it will protect you from a shared network like open Wi-Fi.

The good news is that most services are moving towards encryption through "https." So it's providing end to end encryption. This is great for online banking, email, etc. One thing that Leo recommends is a product called Tiny Hardware Firewall. It automatically puts you on a VPN and then everything you do is encrypted. It comes with a year of service through HotSpotVPN, and it also comes with open source encryption called TOR. It can also handle up to five devices.