A quick guide to setting up Giganews’ VyprVPN and protecting your traffic from the prying eyes of hackers and govts, and thwarting geographic content restrictions and Internet filtering regimes.
The Internet always has and always will be plagued by challenges to content access and data security, and one of the of the easiest solutions is a VPN connection. A VPN is a virtual private network with “virtual” encrypted connections routed through the Internet to remote servers. The data traveling between you and those servers is encrypted, and the IP address that will appear while surfing or downloading content from the Internet will be that of the server and not your own.
VPNs are a vital tool, in conjunction with proxies and other methods, to avoid DNS filtering and other Internet censorship plans like SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) that are being formulated by US authorities at the behest of overzealous copyright holders.
We may have managed to delay the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) for now, but it still points to a disturbing new trend – filtering the Internet – and we need to be prepared.
Another trend, though not new, is geographic content restrictions.
Entertainment companies like CBS block certain YouTube videos to users outside the US, for example. Users are greeted to “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.” That’s why a VPN server in a country where that video is available is sometimes necessary.
There’s also the prying eyes of malicious third parties like hackers and identity thieves looking to glean sensitive information. A VPN encrypts all your traffic: web, email, IM, P2P, BitTorrent, and Newsgroups.
Now there are some free VPN services out there, but I think you’ll quickly find that they suffer from issues like bandwidth caps, few server options, and reliability. Like anything else you get what you pay for (or don’t).
Giganews, the popular Usenet newsgroup service provider, added a free VPN to its service a few years ago. Dubbed VyprVPN, it’s one of the better VPN services around. Another great thing about VyprVPN is that you can configure it to run on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android mobile devices.
Setup is quite easy and takes but a few minutes of your time.
Here’s how you get VyprVPN up and running on your desktop computer.
1. Download and Install VyprVPN
2. Open VyprVPN for Giganews
3. Enter Your Username and Password
4. Choose a Server to Connect To
Current options include:
- Los Angeles, CA
- Washington, DC
- Hong Kong
- Paris (new)
- Frankfurt (new)
5. Choose a Type of VPN Protocol
There are three different protocols, and there’s a table that lists the differences between them here. OpenVPN is the one I recommend using since it has the highest level of security and privacy for your data. There’s two types of OpenVPN protocols: 160-bit (faster) and 256-bit (more secure, but requires more CPU).
OpenVPN costs an additional $5 p/mo so if that’s out of your price range then L2TP is just fine. It too offers 256-bit encryption, but unlike OpenVPN it supports mobile devices and tablets.
6. Select “Save and Connect”
7. Verify Your VPN Connection
If you right-click the VyprVPn icon in the Windows icon tray you’ll see that status of your connection, your new IP address, server location, and VPN protocol.
You can double-check your IP address by simply typing “what is my IP” into Google search.
It’s that easy.
Giganews is currently offering a free 14-day trial and a reduced subscription price of $24.99 p/mo for the first 3 months (it’s $34.99 afterwards). With it you get Usenet service with 1269 days retention, and unlimited monthly data transfer, 30GB of free online data storage and the Mimo Usenet Browser.
I’ll be going over more VPN services in the near future so stay tuned.
[email protected] | @jaredmoya