VPNs

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.

How should I install my VPN?

Tiny Hardwire Firewall

Episode 1631

Karen from Olympia, WA

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. 

Can I Use VPNs with Linux?

Arch

Episode 1626

Joey from San Diego, CA

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.