Jim wonders if a VPN is really worth it for daily life, and can it be used to control the content his kids watch? Leo says maybe not. But Leo says that OpenDNS certainly can. It enables you to filter content so that kids can't go where you don't want them. A VPN is used to carve out a tunnel online so that others can't see what you're doing. So it's the opposite. But OpenDNS is great for protecting your kids from the stuff out there. A new router can also do the same.
Tom wants to know how a VPN can be secure or even fast if it has to cross ISPs. Leo says that is a good question. Leo says that a good VPN will have little latency, but the larger question is, who is running your VPN? That's who you're trusting with your privacy and security.
José would like to be anonymous online. How can he minimize his online footprint with Mac addresses? Rich says that most systems are encrypted now, and Google is pushing all websites to update to https. So your traffic gets more encrypted. If that's not enough for you, then randomizing your Mac address is a good way to do it. In iOS 13, for instance, Apple devices generate randomized Mac addresses while online. That's a good way to keep yourself protected. You may try using a VPN, or you can browse privately.
Manny wants to know why he can't stream using his streaming device from a hotel when he's traveling. Rich says that if you're traveling internationally, many streaming services are region coded, preventing you from watching content that isn't local. As a result, people are using VPNs when traveling to get past that. So try a VPN.
Bruce is frustrated that he can't watch Major League Baseball where he lives because it's blacked out. Leo says that blacking out sporting events was created fifty years ago, and it's a policy that needs to be changed. You could stream using a VPN, but a lot of streaming companies block them.
Dan signed up for a VPN recently, and he can't use it with his banking, Netflix or other apps. Leo says that the bank is probably blocking it. VPNs can break IP-based authentication. BBC iPlayer, for instance, blocks VPNs, because you're not paying for the TV license fee. Netflix does it because it doesn't want another region to be watching content that isn't available for licensing reasons. Banking activity is encrypted, so you don't really need a VPN for it. Google has also been pushing for HTTPS encryption with every site, so if every site is encrypted, there's no real need for VPNs.
Karen wants to know if putting a VPN on her router would keep her secure. Leo says that it would encrypt stuff in your network, but in order to get your traffic encrypted going out, you need to have the software on your desktop. Leo likes to use the Tiny Hardware Firewall VPN because it's in between your computer and the outside world. It's a great way to go.
Al uses a VPN with YouTube TV on a Linux computer because he doesn't live in California anymore. Sometimes it gets disconnected and YouTube thinks he's somewhere else. Leo says that YouTube may decide to block your VPN. Netflix does that.
Joey wants to know if Linux has a built-in VPN. Leo says no. He will need a provider to handle VPNs, not just software. Leo recommends visiting the Wiki for ARCH, a version of Linux. There's a great list of clients, carriers and servers that will run on Linux. That's the best place to start. Where can he get apps to download for Linux? Leo says that PopOS has its own "store," called the PopShop, which is an app that will help to install software.
Randall is a truck driver and is curious about VPNs. Leo recommends ExpressVPN, but there is also TunnelBear (recommended by The Wire Cutter). A VPN is great on the road, but Leo wouldn't use them while actually driving.