Iran deems VPNs to be Illegal

Iran is the latest t join the fray and has banned the use of proxies and VPN’s deeming them illegal. Pakistan was another country which took a similar approach and banned the use of VPN’s citing ‘security goncerns’. What it really boils down to however is these countries want to know exact;y what you are doing and if you encrypt your data they can’t do this. It is really sad that countries take this kind of approach and I am hoping it does not become the norm!

Iran’s Telecommunications Minister Reza Taghipour said that the new law has been put in place to battle what he calls a “soft war” that Western countries have launched against Iran.

Hide My Ass Fails to Hide LulzSec Members Ass

The British VPN company Hide My Ass has recently, by court order, handed over the logs and details of one of its members to the FBI in a hacking case.  The court had sent the request for this information after an attack on Sony Entertainment and Cody Kretsinger of Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested. Hide My Ass then released this statement on their blog in response;

“Our VPN service and VPN services in general are not designed to be used to commit illegal activity,” said Hide My Ass. “It is very naive to think that by paying a subscription fee to a VPN service you are free to break the law without any consequences.”

So what does this mean to you the end user? Although I do not condone the use of any VPN for illegal activity, it does beg the question, why am I paying for anonymity is what I am paying for worth it? In my opinion, the service should not be keeping your logs and if it does keep certain logs, these should be destroyed in order to keep their users browsing and internet actions private. It is very likely there will be a surge of angry users of the HMA service who believed their online activity was private and it would also not surprise me if they are on the rough end of the LulzSec stick at a later date. My advise to you, question your provider about their log policy and what information they store and of course, how long they store it for.

VyprVPN Launches New Servers in France

Some good news from the folks down at Golden Frog is that they have added new servers in a new location. The launch in mid September sees them adding a new array of servers in France which should please many of their French and European clients.If you are an existing VPN customer or are a member of Giganews these servers are already available to use and of course they all support PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN.

From the Golden Frog Team
“Today, we’re excited to announce VyprVPN server locations in France! The French VPN servers are ready for connections for every VPN protocol, including PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN.

We believe in an open Internet and will continue to deliver Golden Frog VyprVPN customers more server locations. Golden Frog VyprVPN customers can now access the Internet from anywhere in the world from our French VPN server.

The following VyprVPN server locations are now available:

  • France – NEW!
  • United States – East Coast
  • United States – West Coast
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands
  • Hong Kong”

 

PureVPN Review

UPDATE : There is an updated review which can be found here

If you have made your way here you probably know exactly what a VPN and a VPN service is, if not I shall give you a brief explanation. A VPN is a virtual private network and what that boils down to is a secure network link between 2 networks over the internet. There are many reasons why you would need this but some of the more ‘practical uses’ for this is anonymity, security and a handy tool to bypass pesky geotargeting systems.

PureVPN is a great provider. My first experience of them was via the ticket system where they offered to do a remote install and configuration for me. I decided I would put them to the test and got them to do this for me on my Mac. PureVPN were fast and friendly and so I can really recommend them to any of the less technically minded users out there, or even the lazy user. Their website is clean and easy to navigate and they have a really good knowlegbase section if you do run into any problems along the way you can probably find your answer here.

PureVPN’s Network is extensive and I was on the ‘High bandwidth’ package and this offered me servers in UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Romania. I was testing using L2PT IPSEC but they also offer PPTP so I was happy with these. When testing VPN services I use a few ‘real world’ methods. I download a 100Mb file and get the speeds of these based against my download using no VPN. I also test some TV services such as Hulu.com and iPlayer and make sure that these stream continuously without interruption. One thing I do not test but is very important to know is their stance on P2P and torrent ussage. PureVPN allow torrents and P2P on all servers EXCEPT USA, UK and France. They do log connection attempts, session lengths and certain network information but they don’t log usage or look at what content you are downloading or viewing.

When it comes to streaming, I was able to watch hulu.com with only one small hiccup where needed to re-buffer. From the UK VPN I watched iPlayer without any problems. The speed tests were not the best I have seen but they offered what I would call good solid results. None managed to completely max out my line but none of them were too slow that I got frustrated. Below is the speed graph from these downloads. These results compare very favourably to other ‘cheap’ providers so at $6pm these are superb.

In Conclusion :
PureVPN starting at $6 per month this is a very good deal. They offer good protocols, great support and good server locations. There log policy is not too prohibitive so you can make use of them if you want to ‘hide’ your torrent usage form your ISP or if you would like to watch hulu.com from outside the USA or iPlayer from outside the UK.

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VyprVPN Gets a new UK server!

Golden Frog have just added a new server for all of their VyprVPN customers. The new UK server is available for all VyprVPN customers with immediate effect. They support the all our most popular VPN protocols including PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and of course OpenVPN.

“Here at Golden Frog, we work hard to respond to customer feedback and deliver superior privacy and security solutions in ways that fit with our customers’ changing needs. Since we first launched VyprVPN, the most requested feature has been a UK VPN server location. You asked; we listened. Today, we are proud to announce our new UK VyprVPN server!

You can now access the Internet from anywhere in the world and appear as if you are browsing from the UK. This is perfect for British travelers who need to access the Internet in their native language while traveling.

Our new UK VyprVPN server adds to our existing server options on the East and West Coasts of the USA, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. The UK server is ready for connections from any of our available robust VPN protocols, including PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN.”

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IAPS Security Services VPN Review

If you have made your way here you probably know exactly what a VPN and a VPN service is, if not I shall give you a brief explanation. A VPN is a virtual private network and what that boils down to is a secure network link between 2 networks over the internet. There are many reasons why you would need this but some of the more ‘practical uses’ for this is anonymity, security and a handy tool to bypass pesky geotargeting systems.

IAPS was a great surprise find, I had not heard of them before and was really surprised by the service. IAPS have the biggest presence I have seen out of any provider tested so far. With servers in more than 151 locations they have an amazing footprint. I needed to trial the services so I picked up an account for UK, USA and South Africa. I have not seen any premium VPNs in South Africa so this was a pleasant surprise and one I was looking forward to testing (being a South African). The last thing to do was some testings, and this is the reason you are still reading!

There are a few basic tests that that I go through on each review, one is a test for streaming. Many people use a VPN service to to watch hulu.com from outside of USA or some other service that is geotargeted. I also test a single 100Mb file which usually shows a true reflection of the server and if there are many people utilising it, or in many cases, over-utilisingit. IAPS stood up to these well, very well in fact and to just leave it at well would be an understatment. They are the best performing VPN provider I have tested and they have a big lead on the others. I watched an entire Episode on Hulu and there was no buffer delay or any speed related issue which is a big plus for me. Below are results from my speed test.

The only issue that stops IAPS VPN from being the ultimate VPN service is two fold. The first and this is easy to get over; it is that you need to choose from the outset what country you would like to use and subscribe to it. You don’t get to just use any of their huge array of servers. The second is that if you are a bittorrent user or make use of P2P you you can not use the following VPN’s United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark and Australia. This again is not a huge issue but may be a deal breaker for some.

In conclusion : This is the best performing VPN service I have tested. The speeds I have achieved are the same speed as my standard connection, the only thing that was effected was the ping which is to be expected. The setup was painless and the support and communication I received from Jared was fast and friendly.  It is due to these factors that this is the first VPN service to receive ‘Editors Choice’[ed : See update].

UPDATE : Do to numerous complaints I have received I am having to remove the ‘Editors choice’ and will be doing a follow up review in due course.

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How to watch Hulu.com from outside USA?

Have you ever wanted to use a service like hulu.com from outside the states? What about how to watch something like netflix.com from outside the states? Many people will suggest you use a proxy service or something similar and this is just incorrect. These services have way passed the days when a simple proxy was enough.

There is a very simple way to watch them. If you want to make use of these services all you need to do is subscribe to a premium VPN service. How this works is you pay a small fee to a company like VyprVPN or Hide My Ass VPN and connect to there server. How this works is you connect via a secure tunnel to one of their many servers and from there that connection then connects of to the service. This makes it appear that your connection is from that country and bam, you are watching your favourite show or movie.

These servers both have money back tials so give them a go and test it out, if you are unhappy or can not get it to work, just get a refund.

Hide My Ass VPN
VyprVPN

VPN vs Proxy

I often get asked the question which is better a VPN or a proxy and equally as much I get asked why can’t I just use a proxy? The answer is not singular, there are many many reasons why a VPN is better. Let me go into them in a bit of detail.

Security : When you use a proxy, you send your traffic directly to that proxy over the big scary internet world. This traffic is not encrypted and is free to packet sniffing. Packet sniffing is where the content you are sending can be monitored for type or even for its content and if using certain software all these packets can be put together and like a puzzle and opened or viewed. You are also using your IP which is transmitted and as such can be uncovered with a little effort and you will not be able to bypass geo-targeting and you will also be able to have your location pinpointed.

Configuration : Many proxys either use your standard web configuration but some rely on you to install software to use them. This software often has compatibility problems between Linux, Mac and PC and becomes a head ache. Also while some of these programs make you think your traffic is going through the proxy, they actually only monitor certain ports so your bit torrent traffic you though was being proxyed was actually just going over your standard connection.

And this is a common one, you get what you pay for! Many proxy servers are just open proxys that you found on the internet. These are notoriously unreliable and have little guarantee. I mean just imagine using these servers and logging into your internet banking… You might find you become another victim of cyber crime before long.

Using a VPN and most importantly a premium VPN service (one you pay for) you mitigate these problems. A VPN is a secure tunnel between 2 points and makes use of encryption. This means that once you connect to this VPN the traffic that is flowing through your ISP can not be monitored or sniffed. Whether you are doing email, surfing your favourite porn site or downloading a ‘Linux distro’ the ISP can not tell the different between this traffic.

One of the many untold secrets of using a VPN is to bypass your ISP’s shaping policies. Traffic shaping is a technique used by ISP’s to optimise their network. For instance if someone is downloading or watching a Netflix video, it might make loading a web page slow for another user. What the ISP does now is look at the traffic and if it is a web page give it full speed but if it is a download/bit torrent they will slow this down to make browsing the web faster. By going through a VPN your ISP can not decipher the traffic and as VPN ports are generally not throttled you get full speed for your downloads.

Many VPN services like Hide My Ass Pro VPN and VyprVPN give you multiple locations to connect to. Where this helps is you are able to effectively change your county. Hulu.com is available only with in the USA but if you want to watch hulu.com outside of USA you can connect to the VPN within the states and now your IP and your connection is essentially originating from the states and you can watch. China restricts most of its internet and many Muslim countries won’t even allow Facebook. So if you want to unblock Facebook or if you want to unblock Gmail you can simply connect to a VPN and this way all your traffic becomes unrestricted.

I hope I have highlighted why we should be stepping away from proxy’s and embrace the new VPN world. The benefits are huge and the cost these days is as little as a couple Dollars per month.

StrongVPN Review

Strong VPN review coming soon. In the mean time here are some basics.

Why use StrongVPN.com for your VPN Services?

  • American based company, established 1995
  • 24×7 Quality Support (Support Desk / Live Help / Skype / Phones)
  • Quality Network ensures your vpn service will be fast wherever you are in the world
  • You can trust us! Don’t buy a VPN account from a company that is not established.
  • Check our review page for the latest reviews from users all over the world using their VPN accounts.

With our VPN Services we guarantee:

  • 99% service up time
  • Complete anonymity
  • High speed connection
  • No bandwidth limitation 1 Gbit/s Connection
  • 24x7x365 Live Help, Skype, Help Desk, and Phone Support by quality technicians

Please feel free you leave your reviews for StrongVPN below.

What is a VPN and why should I use one at home?

A VPN or virtual private network is a method used to connect two networks together securely. It provides a secure way for your data to travel through what is known as a tunnel. Some of the most common uses for VPN’s are used in the working world where people working from home can connect to the office network via VPN so they have access to documents and all those other work related things. They have since evolved and are much more common place and have become very popular for the home user. Why would you need a VPN at home? I am going to point some of these out to you now.

The first reason I choose to use a VPN is security. I don’t trust my ISP, I don’t trust them at all. By using a VPN service, all your traffic goes straight from your computer through your ISP in an encrypted tunnel straight to your VPN server and then onwards to the big wide internet world. This means that your ISP has no idea about anything you do on your connection.

Many countries these days throttle and shape your internet traffic. Some people are targeted unfairly for making use of P2P and torrents and have them shaped and throttled out of existance. By using a VPN this is usually enough to bypass that. Not many ISP’s throttle and shape VPN traffic and because of this you will get much better speed from those downloads. This is all dependant of the VPN service you make use of and take note, some services disallow torrents and P2P so bare that in mind.

Geotargeting is a pain in the ass. Many sites help you out by looking at your IP and working out your country and giving you the site in the correct language and currency. Others like Hulu.com use this to stop anyone outside of the States from watching their shows. You might make use of VPN services with presence in multiple countries and you can easily bypass these filters.

Downloading, with ISP’s and county laws changing rapidly, ISP’s are monitoring everything you download. They know what sites you visit, what content you download and what services (bittorrent, Limewire) you use. They can then follow up with you if they feel that you are in breach. By using a VPN service, many of which only log a small amount of data, this becomes impossible and you can usually rest assured that no one will know what you are doing on the big wide web.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment!