What is a VPN and how can I use it?

Episode 1426 (14:48)

Connor from Minneapolis

Connor wants to know about virtual private networks (VPN). Leo says that VPNs are kind of like a tunnel on the internet that keeps your connection secure and encrypted from the rest of the internet. Connor would like to have the freedom to go wherever he wants and watch whatever he wants without his ISP (charter) interfering. Leo says that it could be that websites that provide content may require cable membership in order to watch their content. So it may not be his ISP's fault. If that's not the case, however, Leo says he'll need to run a private VPN server in order to trick the website into thinking he's at home.

Leo recommends OpenVPN. Connor should get a router that supports OpenVPN because many websites may block traffic if it doesn't. But the issue he's going to have is bandwidth. He'll be taking a hit because running the VPN will slow down his connection already, and he could get a lot of buffering when trying to stream. Since Conner has a router that supports it, it won't hurt to try.