Phil uses a VPN and he wants to know if it slows him down. Leo says that it depends on the VPN and how many worldwide servers they have. ExpressVPN has been rated as the fastest. And while Phil's 50 MB down is slower than not using a VPN, it's still fast enough to do streaming in HD, which is what Phil uses it for.
Dwayne wants to know more about virtual private networks. Leo says that VPNs essentially burrow an encrypted tunnel through the internet so that nobody can see what you're doing online. It's ideal when you're at a coffee shop and want to stay secure and private. People can see you're online, but not what you're doing.
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.
Al says that YouTube TV won't let him use a VPN now. Leo says that's because they want to know your location. But how do they know he's using a VPN? Leo says that there's no perfect way to detect a VPN, but if it's being done by a known IP address, that tells the tale. So Google knows what IP address VPN servers are using and some VPNs aren't good at masking it. Try another server or service that rotates IP addresses. Leo uses ExpressVPN (a sponsor of the TWiT Network).
Pete heard about a device to keep his iPad private called NextDNS. Does it use a VPN? Leo says that DNS is essentially the internet address system in IP numbers. DNS is the phone book for it. NextDNS bypasses your ISP so that they don't know what you're browsing on. It will encrypt the traffic to NextDNS and back. But your browser is still visible. The thing about VPNs is that they are a tunnel that encrypts everything and slows things down. Leo uses NextDNS on all his devices, but you'll go through the free tier pretty quickly. But it's not very expensive.
There is a new bug in iOS for using VPNs, where your connection can exist unencrypted and outside the VPN tunnel. Leo expects the fix coming soon.
David has a son who is serving overseas and wants to watch Disney+ via VPN. But the VPN is really slow. Are there alternatives? And is it legal? Leo says that it is perfectly legal, but streaming services discourage the practice because a VPN can slow things down a lot. But Leo has tried VPN streaming all over the world and it works just fine. Leo recommends trying ExpressVPN. They are a sponsor and have been very consistent in their speeds. Tunnel Bear is another.
Mike watches Netflix with a VPN. Why is it slower? Leo says that a good VPN shouldn't slow him down all that much. So if the VPN is slow, and making it harder to stream Netflix, then try a different VPN or ISP. Also, if you're using a VPN to watch Netflix from the home computer, the upload speed may be the issue. Leo also recommends using PLEX. It uses a dedicated port and will enable him to media serve that Netflix stream, as well as movies. But again, it depends on the home upload speeds.
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.