virtual private networks

Can a VPN Fool Others About My Location?

VPN

Episode 1792

Nolan from Los Angeles, CA

Nolan wants to know if he can use a VPN to make networks think he's somewhere else. Leo says yes, that's pretty much what the VPN does. Some people use VPNs to stream other countries' video streams for that very reason. VPNs have a client and a server. The client goes on the users' PC, while the server is somewhere else. Users then log into the VPN, and the IP address will be wherever they connect to it. But there is a catch. VPN providers use a pool of IP addresses that they own, and they identify them as VPN addresses.

Why Use a VPN?

ExpressVPN

Episode 1758

Vino from Las Vegas, NV

Vino wants to know why people use a VPN. Leo says that a VPN is a virtual private network. It burrows an encrypted tube from a user's computer to the destination. It's very good for Privacy and Security. Especially when on public WiFi. VPNs can also mask physical location, so people don't know where users are. Great if a user wants to watch TV in another country like Great Britain.

What about the incognito mode in a browser? Leo says that private browser mode doesn't mask IP address. So people can still see where the traffic is going to.

How Can I Speed Up My VPN?

ExpressVPN

Episode 1713

Sue from Illinois

Sue is using ExpressVPN and she notices it slows down her internet speed. Leo says it may because it's running her signal through another server down the road. But she'll get the fastest speed possible. Make sure to let ExpressVPN choose the server. It will test and select the fastest server available.  Also, select the smart location feature and it will pick the closest, fastest server to her. 

Is VPN City a good alternative?

VPN City

Episode 1619

Myron from Minneapolis, MN

Myron would like to know about VPN City. Leo says he's never heard of it. Tech Radar says that their speed is pretty good. However, Leo's take on VPNs is that they need to be secure, not spy on you, or insert ads into your feed to make money. It's also based in China and it uses Soft Ether protocol which Leo isn't a fan of. 

There are better choices out there like ExpressVPN, who is a sponsor of the TWiT network.

How Can I Set Up a VPN at Home?

VPN

Episode 1600

Tom from Warren, OH

Tom wants to set up a virtual private network at home. How can he do that? He's worried about getting bit by ransomware. Will a VPN prevent that? Leo says that no. If you click on something, a VPN can't help you. But a VPN will keep your traffic private, so no one can see where you're going. But even then, it has its limitations. While it burrows an encrypted tunnel to where you're going, once you get there, it's no longer encrypted. So you have to trust that where you're going will keep your privacy. And your provider still sees your traffic. 

Do ISPs Know When You're Using a VPN to Stream?

pfsense

Episode 1574

Mike from Cabo San Lucas, MX

Mike is down in Cabo a lot and he streams using high-speed DSL. He uses a VPN but lately, the ISP has been shutting him down. Leo says that it sounds like the internet companies are getting wise to that. Sometimes users can switch VPNs and get back up and running. Another option is to set up a VPN server at his server in the US, then surf to that with Remote PC.