VPNs

Should I use NextDNS?

NextDNS

Episode 1702

Pete from Amesbury, MA

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.

Can I stream from overseas using a VPN?

ExpressVPN (Sponsor of the TWiT network)

Episode 1670

David from Burnsville, North Carolina

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.

Why Can't I Watch Netflix With a VPN?

PLEX

Episode 1667

Mike from Cabo San Lucas, MX

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.

Will a VPN protect my kids from seeing bad stuff online?

OpenDNS

Episode 1660

Jim from Denver, CO

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.

How can I minimize my footprint online and be anonymous?

Google

Episode 1641

José from Modesto, CA

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.

Why Do Some Sites Block My VPN?

BBC

Episode 1632

Dan from Orange County, CA

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.