4 Different Types of VPNs Explained

A Virtual Private Network or VPN is the most common cybersecurity measure. It is both easy to use and to implement. Furthermore, it is effective and accessible. These are the features that make VPNs so popular.

However, there are different kinds of VPNs that you can choose as a security method. As we all know choosing a cybersecurity measure can sometimes be complicated. Luckily, VPNs are easy to understand. In this article, we will look at 4 different types of VPNs and explain how they work.

Site to Site VPN

Site to Site VPN is a connection established between multiple networks. A Site-to-Site VPN allows companies to extend their network to different locations by using the public internet. There are two different types of Site to Site VPNs.

The first type is an Intranet-based Site to Site. It allows companies to combine LANs located in different offices into a single Wide Area Network ━ WAN. With combined LANs devices can access the connection as if they are in the same physical location.

The second type is an Extranet-based Site to Site. An Extranet-based VPN allows users to only share the information they choose. It is generally used when companies collaborate, with this service they can choose which data they want to share and which ones to keep private.

Companies with many offices in different physical locations that need to connect and use the company network on a regular basis generally implement Site to Site VPNs. A Site to Site VPN allows a company’s corporate network to securely connect with its remote branches, allowing them to interact and share resources as a single network.

Remote Access VPN

Remote Access VPN establishes a connection between a user and a private network. Since it allows users to connect to a remote LAN or cloud as if they are at the place where that LAN is present it is generally used by companies. It makes it possible for remote workers to connect to the company network by using client software installed on the host. ( Smartphone, laptop, desktop, etc.)

Remote Access VPN uses either a VPN gateway or Network Access Server to allow only authorized users to connect. Network Access Server ━ NAS refers to any device that utilizes remote logins to create a point-to-point protocol connection. These devices are also known as media access gateways or remote access servers.

On the other hand, a VPN gateway communicates with the client software installed on a remote device and establishes a secure “virtual” tunnel between LAN and gateway. Remote Access VPN encrypts any data you send or receive and the VPN gateway decrypts them.

Remote Access VPNs, as part of a sophisticated security solution, provide companies with a flexible and cost-effective approach for businesses to secure their remote workers’ connections and protect important assets.

Point to Point Tunneling Protocol ━ PPTP

The Point to Point Tunneling Protocol also known as Virtual Private Dialup Network ━ VPDN is a technology used to create VPN tunnels between public networks. PPTP allows one point to connect to another point through the internet. The term “tunneling”, on the other hand, refers to how a protocol is encapsulated within another protocol.

Point-to-Point Protocol ━  PPP packets are encapsulated by PPTP using a Transmission Control Protocol control channel and a Generic Routing Encapsulation Tunnel. For the same purpose, several current VPNs use different forms of User Datagram Protocol.

To secure the internet connection, the Point to Point Protocol is wrapped inside the TCP/IP protocol. This protocol creates a direct connection between the two locations, providing for a secure connection, even though the connection is established across the Internet.

It can be said that the Point to Point Tunneling Protocol is the fastest of all VPN protocols which means it is better to use it when speed is important. However, since PPTP uses 128-bit encryption it has many vulnerabilities because of its weak encryption standards which makes it not as secure as other VPN protocols.

Client to Site VPN

A Client to Site VPN creates a secure connection between clients and a company network while preserving the network’s security and resources. It offers a new VPN tunnel that enables users to connect to a network while maintaining safety and confidentiality.

Client to Site VPNs encrypt the connection from the client to the provider and that protects data from Internet Service Providers and third parties, Client to Site VPNs secure connections while using insecure Wireless LANs.

Since the server does not know the client’s IP only clients can initiate the connections. Only client-to-site connectivity is allowed; in most cases, the site can not create a connection with the client. The server’s and client’s configs are different from each other.

Conclusion

As a cybersecurity measure, VPNs provide you with speed, security, and protection. It is generally seen as the first step to securing an internet connection. Also, it is for everyone, whether for you as an individual or for your company.

Since they all offer different services for different uses, it is important to understand what they provide.

Wondering What’s the Difference Between RDP and VPN? Here’s the Answer

It is important that in today’s virtual and online era, you take the necessary steps to protect yourself, your privacy, and your data. There are several tools and applications that you can use to do this. Throughout your search and browsing online, you probably have heard about a VPN. However, you probably have not heard of an RDP. Both have their functions, and it is worth understanding what they do to determine which one you actually would benefit from using.

What A VPN Is

VPN is an acronym that stands for the virtual private network. This is used to hide your activities and presence online, giving you more privacy from others that may be able to track you or use your data. You mask your computer, hiding your network by making it appear as a different network from a different location when you browse. This is used for both personal and professional purposes. 

What RDP Means

RDP stands for remote desktop protocol. With this tool, you gain more than just a means to hide yourself and your activity. With this remote desktop protocol, instead of simply faking your location to being a computer on a different network or location. This is mostly used in professional situations and very specific scenarios. With an RDP connection, this means that you have the ability to access files, programs, desktop, and storage space as if you were sitting in front of the computer in person. This is done through the creation of a virtual connection between you and a remote computer. Again, you are not masking your own location, pretending your computer is on a different network, but instead are altering the system to access a different computer entirely. This is similar to streaming from one computer to another but provides you the power of control over the other desktop or computer.

Different Usages

Both a VPN and RDP are capable of doing jobs remotely, but the actual capacity may not be fully understood and in fact, differ quite a bit. Although you may believe VPN and RPN are the same, there are significant differences in their capability, allowing for different uses and situations upon further examination. As mentioned, an RDP connection provides you control and capability of a different computer. This is beneficial for certain situations where you may not be able to afford a PC that has the power for certain jobs, but accessing a remote computer that has that capability opens up a huge opportunity. This can be implemented in workplaces and schools, facilitating the chance for individuals to rely on skills when it comes to their work and not be limited by the tools or equipment they have. Because the purpose of RDP allows for control, security and speed are not comparable to a VPN, especially if you already own a capable computer and simply want those specific features. 

Different Roles In The Workspace

Both RDP and VPN are tools that you can use in your workplace. You don’t have to choose one over the other, but function with them both as they do different jobs. You can and should use a VPN to allow employees to work remotely, especially if you have people that are traveling and working abroad. This will provide them with secure connections that are crucial in public spaces that you may use when your operations function around the clock. RDP can also be used by your same company but by technicians to address IT issues that require them to gain control of your computers. This helps to keep your business running, even if you don’t have a physical workspace.

Personal Browsing

If you aren’t running a business, the fact of the matter is you won’t need to use an RDP. You won’t often find yourself in need of controlling another desktop or laptop unless you find yourself in a highly specific situation such as being a business administrator of your own independent company. A VPN gives you the security you need on public networks to browse in your local coffee shops, even when traveling. Chances are you might not even have heard of an RDP, but have definitely heard the term VPN used and might even have one yourself already.

A virtual private network is more common, especially when users have computers that are often more capable of different jobs and tasks. There are situations where you will find a remote desktop protocol useful, but they are fewer and far between when compared to VPN demands. It is still important to keep this in mind, as you never know when you will need remote access in tech sectors.

Having Trouble Accessing Your Netflix From Abroad? 

Have you ever wanted to magically unblock Netflix? Of course, this will ring a bell with avid Netflix users around the world, particularly those that travel. Some of you may already have Netflix unblocked with the setup we have laid out for you below. Unblocking Netflix may read like a typo for some, as it will not make sense to Netflix users who do not travel or find themselves physically outside the borders of their native country from time to time. For explanatory reasons, we’ll first look at Netflix at a glance, define what a VPN is, and finally lay out a roadmap to the step-by-step process on how to unblock Netflix from anywhere. 

Later, you will see how to do this in a completely legal, legitimate, leisurely, and surprisingly simple way with the use of a commercially available cybersecurity tool known as the VPN.

About Netflix

The media streaming giant has completely captivated the eyes, ears, brains, and attention spans of hundreds of millions of people over a surprisingly short period of time. Those of us that are into the early stages of adulthood say Millennials, will be familiar with the beginnings of Netflix. Younger generations may be quite surprised to hear that Netflix had ridiculously humble beginnings, hanging on to a thread and trying to compete with now long gone Blockbuster in the mid to late 2000s. What would save Netflix from disappearing would be a revolutionary idea called digital streaming, which was no man’s land in the 2000s. At the time, just like Blockbuster, Netflix’s mode of business was renting DVDs via postal service, mostly, as this was very much the zeitgeist of the 2000s and a precursor of what was to come.

Today, Netflix is unrecognizable. The once unassuming company is a legitimate success story. A long time has passed since physical media like CDs and DVDs were the way to consume media. Although, mail-in DVD services do still exist on a much smaller scale and Netflix still offers this old-school option.

Now, with the advancement of technology that has brought high-speed internet, cloud storage, and smart TVs, it is possible to digitally stream an endless amount of material from a Netflix-operated server at your fingertips without having to move a muscle.

Netflix today has amassed over 200 million paying subscribers of various ages across the board, most of which will be accessing Netflix through a friend’s or family member’s subscription. The company has a multi-billion dollar revenue, employs almost 10,000 people, and owns half of the total playback time on streaming services. Imagine if Blockbuster had taken up that offer to buy Netflix for $50 million in 2000? Alas, Blockbuster is no more and Netflix’s digital streaming gamble paid off at the right place, at the right time.

As far as original production goes, Netflix is second only to big boss Disney’s Disney+, averaging 1 original title per day with 371 original titles in 2019. However, Netflix’s large swath of awards and cult status means that competition is going to find it difficult to compete, so it may be better to “Netflix and chill.” 

What is a VPN And Why Use One for Netflix?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a tunneling network security software that also encrypts and anonymizes a user’s connection. VPNs also allow users to connect to several servers around the world, which then physically changes the IP address of the user’s internet connection to match it to the country being connected to. This is a trick that premium VPNs do particularly well.

The case for VPN usage during Netflix streaming is related to how digital streaming services license and broadcast their material. For instance, you cannot access your U.S. Netflix collection from the UK which has completely different laws for broadcasting and licensing streaming services. For this, we need to trick Netflix servers into thinking that you are still in the U.S. That’s it, fairly simple! Keep in mind that you should not use a free VPN in general, save for a few ones like Proton, because not only will your speed and server selection be limited, you may fall victim to malware and cybercrime.

Also, users wishing to access different regional Netflix libraries can use the magic of a VPN to do so in a completely legal, and smooth way. You can do the same thing no matter which digital streaming service you are subscribed to. For the cherry on top, a premium VPN will encrypt your connection, allow you to browse the internet more anonymously, and block your ISP and the government from looking at your internet traffic. Finally, you can also unblock apps that may be censored in certain countries (but watch out if this is banned, or if VPN usage is banned.)

How to Setup a VPN For Netflix

This is a simple process, only in that first of all, you have to know how to download a premium VPN such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN (among others) for your specific device. You can also do Surfshark or Cyberghost, the quality will be the same as these are top-tier VPNs with more than enough headroom to unblock and stream Netflix in high quality.

Once you have downloaded and subscribed to a premium VPN service, you will have downloaded the app to your device. Now, install and run the app, clicking on “allow” to any permissions your device requests you to adjust. Then, you must activate the service and select a server to connect to depending on which Netflix collection you want to access (or which subscription.) Remember, do not launch Netflix before you do this, have it closed. If for some reason a particular server, say in the U.S., doesn’t work then just try another one.

Now, you will have your internet connection routed through your country of choice, putting you within the region as far as Netflix is concerned. Now, finally, launch Netflix and enjoy VPN magic with your friends and family!

Best VPN For Streaming Videos On Android and iOS

With streaming giants ruling the entertainment industry with content that streaming enthusiasts cannot afford to miss, and most of these streaming platforms being geo-restricted, it is impossible to imagine a world without a VPN.

While geographical restrictions are quite a pain, VPNs are our saviors, as they let you watch anything from movies to shows to live sports without having to worry about getting blocked.

You have to admit that a VPN is worth whatever it costs as it smoothly permits one to avoid geo-restrictions.

But here is when things get a bit complicated. See, not all VPNs are the same. Some of them happen to have more features than others. Because of this reason, you’ve got to give trials to many different VPNs to figure out which one is best for you — like, understanding which VPN helps you bypass all kinds of restrictions.

Thanks to this guide, you can skip the hard work and benefit from our experiments and results. Our experts have rounded up some of the best streaming VPN options for you. This way, you can save time along with your energies and good mood and directly get to the fun part: streaming.

But wait, we still didn’t inform you how to choose the right and the best streaming VPN for yourself.

The Best VPNs for Streaming – How to Choose One?

One of the most important reasons people get a subscription to any VPN is sports. TV series and movies can still be watched at a later time; once the access is available for your country. But this is simply not possible for sports.

You have to watch it live, when it is being telecasted. Thus, it’s best to have a subscription to a VPN that permits easy connectivity and smooth transmission. Alex Lysak, an online marketing and gaming expert, suggests that when it comes to choosing a VPN, your top considerations should include the streaming platform you want to gain access to, the upload and download speed it can offer, the value it offers against the price, and the security it offers.

Basically, you must get a VPN that has a fast and reliable connection and helps you avoid the dreaded buffering.

Also, getting a VPN that supports various devices is essential. You not only want to access a wide variety of content and streaming platforms but also access it through different devices such as your tablet, smartphone, smart TV, etc.

1- ExpressVPN

If you’re looking for an all-rounder that gives access to streaming around the globe, get yourself ExpressVPN. It unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO DAZN, Kayo, and BBC iPlayer. Apart from that, it also supports Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linus. You will find that it’s compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, and Chromecast. It can also support 5 devices as limit. Along with 24/7 live chat support you will also get a 30-day trial period. If that wasn’t enough, it gives 3000+ servers as well.

Although it is a bit on the expensive side, it’s worth it because of its consistently fast performance and a vast range of servers and locations. Plus, the good news is that you are given a 30-day money-back guarantee along with different plans for purchase.

Honestly, ExpressVPN is an easy choice for anyone who’s out hunting for the best streaming VPN. Not only it unblocks every major streaming service, it also provides excellent customer support.

Whether you’re trying to watch movies, TV series, or any sports coverage, this VPN will never let you doubt your decision by maintaining a smooth transmission and easy access.

As said earlier, it has a wide range of clients like Mac, Linux and Windows and it doesn’t hinder in providing full access to different hardware either.

You will also receive an automatic security selection and 256-bit encryption along with a zero-knowledge DNS. The best thing about this VPN is the fact that it has a zero-logging problem so you can log from numerous IP addresses and network connections.

2- NordVPN

NordVPN allows you access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO Max and DAZN. The platforms it supports are also high in number, including Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and Windows. Apart from that it is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation and XBox. This one goes out of its way and gives access to 5400 servers, which is 1800 more than ExpressVPN.

With 80+ server locations and a total of 6 device support, you get a 30-day trial period and 24/7 live chat support in case of emergencies.

You can easily unblock iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, and many other streaming services for a smooth and easy streaming experience. In fact, the speed of the streaming has become above average and the support is also undeniably strong. Some users claim that mobile streaming is not that strong compared to other devices.

If you ask for its specific focus, we would say that it’s streaming only. This is evident from the SmartPlay technology which is a safe proxy service that the VPN uses to bypass the geographical restrictions on the streaming sites.

You must understand that most streaming services have made it difficult for VPNs to work efficiently. But NordVPN has made it all as easy for the users as possible through its plethora of explainer guides and online support blogs. And when everything fails, its 24/7 live support comes around.

We have to laud the service for its consistency and increased latency on long-distance connections. What this basically means is that you can get uninterrupted access — only if your broadband is up to the mark, of course.

Did you know that this double VPN feature encrypts data not once but twice by sending it via different servers? It also has a no log policy along with an additional option of a dedicated IP address that you can use easily.

3- SurfShark

The best thing about this VPN is its pricing — with literally a fraction of the cost you can unblock streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, DAZN and HBO Max. Like others, this VPN also supports Windows, Android, Mac, iOS and Linux. Apart from that, the devices that are compatible with this VPN are Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation and Xbox.

Like ExpressVPN, this one has a total of 3200 servers with 100+ location servers. Another great aspect of this VPN is the fact that it grants unlimited device support so you can use it via phone, TV, laptop, PC, whatever. In addition to a 30 days trial period, it comes with 24/7 live chat support. 

The fact that it’s cheap shouldn’t be downplayed since it’s one of the best and most important things that a user looks for while purchasing. It is known as the best VPN of 2021. You need to get just one subscription to gain unlimited connection to stream via whatever device you choose.

Should You Invest in a VPN for Streaming Purposes?

The answer depends on what you’re streaming and its frequency of use. If you’re someone who has an unlimited appetite for movies and tv shows, and that too, from around the globe, it’s best to have a VPN that you can use easily and at a fair price. VPN is in fact an essential tool for you if you’re a frequent streamer of Netflix and Amazon Prime content.

A VPN would also come in handy if you’re a fan of a particular sport — especially if it’s a niche and not telecast around the world. Whether you have a match to catch while traveling abroad or an interest in a sport that is not telecasted live in your geographical location, a VPN will come in handy in providing comprehensive coverage.

Bottom line is, if you’re a frequent traveler or simply a consumer of content from around the globe, a VPN is paramount.

In Conclusion

The top three VPNs to use in 2021 are ExpressVPN, NordVPN and SurfShark. They are fast, user-friendly, and priced fairly considering the unlimited features and access they have to offer. If you are interested in consuming content from around the globe, it’s best for them to invest in a feasible and advanced VPN.

Why More People Should Use Virtual Private Networks

If you were to look for a VPN service, you might stumble upon free virtual private networks and be compelled to use them. However, free VPNs are a liability. Since a reliable virtual private network service costs a couple of dollars per month, it should not be a problem to pay for one, given how much it provides.

Those who are on the fence about investing in a VPN should change their mind after reading what the service has to offer.

Security

The first thing that stands out about VPNs is the security, particularly if you plan to use public Wi-Fi. The internet at cafes or libraries is convenient to use because it is free and sometimes does not even require a password to join.

However, this convenience comes at the expense of security. When you are surfing the internet or chatting with your friends on social media, someone might be tracking your activities because public Wi-Fi lacks security protocols and makes it easy for potential hackers to access your banking information, passwords, browsing history, and other information. 

VPNs eliminate the threat by encrypting your data and changing your IP address. Ill-intentioned internet strangers will struggle to take advantage of security holes in public Wi-Fi if you rely on a virtual private network.

Data Privacy

Data privacy is another significant element, and it is not just about exposing your device via the public internet. 

Overall, the internet network at your home is more secure than public Wi-Fi, but there are still some threats. For example, if you have a MacBook and use Wi-Fi instead of an ethernet cable, the wireless connection still gives your ISP the opportunity to see your browsing history.

Using Mac VPN software or VPN for other devices when you connect to home internet will leave internet providers without opportunities to breach your data. Since a VPN changes your IP address, it limits how much information your ISP can collect. 

It is also worth mentioning applications and services that we rely on. Some of them collect user data and sell it to advertisers. 

A company that works with a lot of confidential information would benefit from a VPN as well. An advantage of a VPN is data security. Data encryption obscures the meaning because of a coded format. If someone were to gain access to encrypted files, they would not make sense of it and would likely abandon their attempts to breach sensitive data.

Some governments also have policies to spy on their citizens. In fact, even if a government claims that they respect people’s privacy, it is too difficult to determine whether they are telling the truth or not. Those who do not trust authorities in their country should invest in VPNs to protect personal data.

Saving Money

Spending money on a virtual private network might actually save you money in the long run. If you were to take a bit of time researching available VPN services and testing them, you would find that location spoofing could lead to cheaper purchases, particularly when it comes to various services.

Many online businesses offer different prices depending on customer location. Steam is a great example of this. If you live in the United States, Canada, or Australia, switching your location to India or Russia would lead to Steam showing lower game prices. 

Subscription services, hotel bookings, and plane tickets might turn out cheaper as well since these businesses try to attract international customers and adjust prices according to their location.

Adaptability

Adaptability might not seem like that big of a deal, but most VPN providers offer a service that works on multiple devices. If you want to use virtual private networks not just on your computer but also on your smartphone or tablet, you can expect to find virtual private networks that function on different devices.

Sure, you might need to pay extra or spend money on a package plan that includes support for multiple devices, but the overall costs are more than fair for the most part. Keep adaptability in mind when choosing a service for yourself.

Blocked Content Access

Blocked content access comes in handy on different occasions. You might want to watch a movie or TV series on Netflix, but it is not available in your country. If you do not wish to pirate the media, enabling a virtual private network and giving yourself a different IP address and location would allow you to watch restricted media.

Virtual private networks also unblock websites you cannot visit because of their location. For instance, if you live in Europe, your internet browser is unlikely to load certain pages that are hosted in China or the United States.

Top Canadian VPS Hosting 2021

Many growing businesses in Canada may experience slower speeds and reduced performance on their website if it has lots of traffic and lots of new content being posted regularly. One thing that often limits the speed of websites is the type and quality of the web hosting, if your website is hosted on a shared hosting plan then that is likely the cause of performance issues. 

The best way to solve your website speed issues is to move it from a shared hosting plan to a virtual private server (VPS) where you have more control over the server and how your website is hosted. There are several benefits of using VPS hosting including better reliability, more bandwidth, guaranteed server resources, increased hard disk space, a managed service, and stronger security. 

If you are looking into dedicated VPS hosting for your business’s website site in Canada, then here are some of the top VPS hosting companies out there.  

4GoodHosting

Based in Ontario, 4Good Hosting provides a range of affordable VPS hosting throughout Canada suitable for both Linux and Windows systems. Hosting your website on their VPS servers also means you will have access to all the standard features, resources, and support. These include 24/7 server monitoring, custom configuration files and system libraries, and round-the-clock emergency support. 

WHC 

With data centers in Montreal, WHC hosts over 130,000 websites in Canada and has been around since 2003. Some key features of WHC’s hosting are:

  • The ability to quickly scale up server capabilities
  • The choice of self-management, assisted management or full management by WHC of the server
  • Customizable plan
  • Starter or Pro packages 

Hostinger

A European web hosting company operating in 178 countries including Canada, Hostinger provides a choice of six semi-managed service plans that function with a range of operating systems including CentOS, Fedora, and Ubuntu. Although Hostinger has 24/7 support via email and chat, it does not provide phone support. 

HostPapa

Founded in 2002 and run out of Burlington, Ontario, HostPapa has data centers located in Canada and around the world. There are also six tiers of VPS service available on HostPapa, with 125 GB of storage and 2 TB of bandwidth provided in the second tier which would be suitable for newer websites, however, you can scale up the service quickly. 

Kametera 

With over two decades of experience in web hosting, Kametera is well established with over 13 data centers around the world. Their VPS hosting plans come with a range of affordable price points and consist of all the usual capabilities and features, including customizable server settings and scalable options. 

Cirrus Hosting

Since its foundation in Toronto in 1999, Cirrus Hosting has been providing web hosting solutions to over one hundred thousand small and medium-sized businesses. Their VPS hosting service includes the usual scalability options, secure SSD drives, and reliable bandwidth. 

Canadian Web Hosting

Canadian Web Hosting has over 20 years of experience and offers a range of affordable VPS hosting and higher performance SSD VPS options. The VPS plan includes guaranteed reliability, full root access, a choice of operating systems, and customizable settings. 

If your website is starting to get more traffic which is affecting its performance then it’s probably time to upgrade to VPS hosting, However, it’s worth taking a look at the most reputable VPS providers in Canada first to see which suits your needs best.

Guide to Big Data and Privacy – How to Ensure You Are Protected

Have you ever just thought of buying a new couch, for example, and suddenly started seeing furniture ads on Facebook, Instagram, everywhere you went online? 

Or perhaps you started a conversation with your friend about your new fitness regime and then suddenly got bombarded with health and fitness sponsored posts on every social media platform? 

While it’s easy to assume that that’s simply your devices listening in on you, that’s not (always) the case. Most commonly, advertisers use the data they have about you to present you with the most relevant products/services you’re most likely to get. 

Your personal data that’s readily available online and that can easily be gathered and analyzed through any data scraping API can be used to determine who you are and to predict your online behavior. 

But that’s not all. Let’s take a closer look at the world of Big Data and see what you can do to take your online privacy up a notch. 

Big Data and Privacy Concerns 

You’ve likely come across the term “Big Data” by now, but do you know what it means? Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about Big Data, and not everyone is aware of just how impactful it can be. 

First and foremost, it’s critical to understand that virtually everyone collects your data, which is just a tiny fragment of Big Data, and that’s not always a bad thing. 

The Impact of Big Data 

You wouldn’t have such a great, personalized experience on e-commerce sites like Shopify or Amazon without Big Data. 

If your favorite local business didn’t build an online community and collect your data, you wouldn’t receive such relevant discounts and offers as you likely do.  

Every single type of business needs data to perform even the simplest of daily tasks. Sales data, consumer data, and more are critical for optimizing processes and pricing, developing better marketing strategies, and delivering a more immersive experience to the customer – to you. 

And you often willingly allow businesses to collect, analyze, and process your data without a second thought. 

Willingness to Share Data 

Over 90% of consumers would share behavioral data to receive benefits like cheaper or simply easier shopping experience. You willingly share your data with “free” social media platforms; you accept tracking cookies and terms of use without even scanning them to learn what they’re about. 

Even if you don’t care about your online anonymity and think that you’ve got nothing to hide, it’s still crucial that you understand that your data is potentially putting you at risk. 

Data breaches, for example, have become larger in number and impact, and a single breach could expose your financial records, medical records, personal online accounts, physical location, and more. 

And it doesn’t even have to be a breach in a company that you interact with directly. 

More and more businesses rely on data scraping API to understand their target market or build their email list. 

They collect your information that’s freely available on the internet. If they have a breach, it’s your information that will be leaked, even if you’ve never heard of the company before, let alone done business with it. 

Steps to Ensure Your Privacy 

While everyone’s always trying to collect your private data, whether it’s a valid or invalid reason, it doesn’t mean that you have no way of protecting yourself. 

Ensuring your privacy is neither a complicated nor an expensive process. A few preemptive steps can help you keep your private data private. 

Forget About Incognito/Private Mode

Many people are under the wrong impression that their browsers’ incognito or private mode keeps them anonymous online and secures their data. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Incognito mode provides only a false sense of security, and you should avoid it if you want to protect your data. 

Even in incognito mode, sites can still collect your data, monitor your online behavior, see your IP address, and identify you. Even your ISP still knows what you’re doing online. 

Incognito mode is only useful if you don’t want others who have access to your device to see your browsing history. After every session, incognito mode deletes your cookies and history and logs you out of your accounts. That’s it. 

So, only use it if you don’t want your household members to know what you do online. Don’t use it if you want to be anonymous online; it doesn’t work. 

Install Secure Browsers 

Believe it or not, your browser might be your biggest privacy concern. Google and Google Chrome are notorious for collecting every possible piece of information about you. 

And while that can be useful and bring unprecedented browsing convenience, it’s a nightmare if you’re concerned about your privacy. 

Firefox has much better privacy settings than Chrome, but if you want to stay anonymous, it might be in your best interest to use secure browsers like Tor. 

Always Use a VPN

If you want to take your privacy and security up a notch, you’ll need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It allows you to browse the internet cloaked in anonymity, even hiding your activity from your Internet Service provider. 

A VPN works by creating a secure, private, almost impenetrable “tunnel” between your device and the network, so you can safely use even public Wi-Fi without privacy concerns. 

It scrambles your IP and provides you with a fake new one, allowing you to browse the internet without a worry. More importantly, it encrypts all your data, so even if your connection’s intercepted, your data will remain unreadable. 

However, not all VPNs are made the same, and some can be more harmful than beneficial. Take a look at Cooltechzone VPN reviews to find an effective VPN that meets your needs and ensures your privacy. 

Update Your Software 

A simple yet easily neglected step in ensuring your privacy is updating your software. It’s more important than you may think. 

Software updates are rarely about introducing new features or bringing more functionality. In most cases, they contain important bug fixes and security patches that can help keep you safe. 

If you’re using an outdated piece of software with known security flaws, you’re exposing yourself to immense risk and data breaches. 

So, stop ignoring software updates on both your PC and your phone. 

Additionally, you might want to revise program and app permissions across your devices. Some programs on your PC and apps on your smartphone collect more information than they need to operate normally, so you should try and tighten up your permissions. 

Final Thoughts 

Unfortunately, achieving complete anonymity online is virtually impossible, but there are many steps you can take to regain some privacy and keep your data safe. 

VPNs, software updates, and secure browsers are just some of the things you should rely on if you want to keep your private data private.

Looking for a VPN Service? Here are Some Tips

The internet does have everything you need. Be it recipes for your next great dish or even gym equipment for your workout sessions at home this pandemic – everything is available online. What many don’t know is that the internet is more vast than they think. There are ways to unlock your browsing experience’s full potential.

You might have heard of the term, VPN before. VPN or virtual private network lets you browse the internet safely by sending your web traffic through an encrypted tunnel directly to a VPN provider’s server. 

There  are many merits that come with using VPNs. This is why more and more people are starting to use the software, whether for their private browsing experience or for their business. Some of the benefits include:

  • Safety and security against cyber criminals for VPNs when browsing masks not only your web traffic, but also your location.
  • VPN lets you access content you wouldn’t normally access in your region. A good example of this would be getting region-locked content on video streaming platforms like Netflix.
  • From a business perspective, VPNs let you expand your network effectively. The cost of expanding traditionally can be expensive. With a VPN though, businesses can connect their various employees through a  central network for lower prices.
  • VPN can also prevent data throttling. This is when your ISP lowers you internet speed when they’ve detected that you’ve been consuming too much from your data plan.

These are just some of the immediate benefits of a VPN but there are many more to consider. When choosing a VPN, you need to be careful so that you get your money’s worth at all costs. With so many VPN providers to choose from though, it’s a big tough trying to find one that fits your needs. Here are a few considerations when getting one.

Why Buy A VPN?

Before you pick a VPN, you first need to answer one question: why do you need a VPN? There are many reasons why you’d want to choose a VPN.

If you are hoping to access region-locked content like streaming services and the content of these services, then you should look for a VPN service that cuts back on the speed reduction you can get while connected to a server. Of course, it’s also ideal to get a VPN that allows you to gain access to many servers worldwide.

Now, if you are looking for a VPN that’s going to be used by an entire household or even your small business, go for one that’s router based. Some ISPs offer routers with built-in VPN capabilities. As for connecting to the server itself, the ISP will do the work for you.

Check For Device Compatibility

When getting a VPN service, some providers allow you to use several devices on one account. This means the VPN you avail, can be used on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Before you buy a VPN make sure to check for its device compatibility first.

Ideally, you’d want a VPN with a ton of compatible devices. You never know when you’ll be forced to buy a new phone or a new computer.

Consider The Price

The price of VPN services vary from provider to provider but usually, you are looking to spend $100-$120 per year. You can choose to pay monthly or you can pay a bulk price upfront. While paying for the full year upfront is costly, it’s the more practical choice as the overall price of paying monthly is significantly larger.

What’s great is that you can easily snag discounts and coupons online if you want too. For instance, if you click here, you’ll come across big coupons for NordVPN. Always be on the look for your these as VPN providers usually partner with selling platforms to hold special sales.

Customer Service Is A Priority

Always read through reviews about the customer service of a VPN provider. It’s important that a provider is readily accessible to help 24/7 because in some cases, they’ll need to help you out with VPN problems.

For starters, the VPN provider must be reachable through various platforms such as email, live chat and telephone. Ideally, you’d want them to have live chat as this lets them respond to you as fast as possible. A fast responding provider can make a difference with regards to your security online.

Intuitiveness

VPNs should be an express service that you can access with just a few clicks or taps. As such, you should look for services that have a layout that’s easy to understand and an operator’s guide that can be understood by anyone. Not everyone is techy enough to make a VPN work in one go.

You should be able to use the VPN without the help of others. In most cases, VPNs are actually very easy to use. Developers have made them as such to make it more accessible to people from all corners.

Downsides To Browsing? 

The biggest downside to a VPN service is that it can reduce the speed at which you browse the internet. It’s a fair trade off considering the new content you’ll access, plus the security that you get along the way. However, as VPN providers continue to improve their services, the reduced speed becomes less and less impactful.

Some VPNs have very minimal impact on your browsing experience while still still have noticeable effects on the speed. Look for VPNs that promise to deliver fast upload and download speeds regardless of what type of service you are looking for.

Other than reduced browsing speeds, you should also check for reviews that expose the cons of the VPN you are eyeing. What you should look out for include poor customer service, consistent downtimes, and constant bugs and glitches.

Getting a VPN is a good way to supplement your browsing habit but you need to be smart about it. With so many options to choose from, it’s only a must that you take the time to find which VPN is right for you.

Expert Tips for Choosing the Right VPN

A VPN can be used for a variety of reasons, from use within your personal/home life, to use within your business and work life. No two VPN providers offer the same packages and because of this, it can make your decision a little more tricky. Choosing a VPN needs to be done once you have researched the market and once you have established exactly what it is that you want. If you are not aware of what is out there then it is wise to browse the market first and foremost. Once you have done browsing you will be able to compile a list of must-haves. So, what must-haves do you need – Is speed important, is server location essential?

How To Get The Right VPN – The Considerations

With a VPN provider, there are lots of other things you still need to consider. From cost and coverage to reliability and usability. With so many choices out there it can feel a little bit overwhelming so it is best to use VPNBrains who can, and will narrow down your choices.

You need to ensure that you get the right Anonymous VPN for your personal use and business use. Comparing providers ensures you get the best value for money too! In addition to comparing providers you can also establish which VPN is right for you by considering the following:

Security And Protection On Offer

Not all VPNs offer the same level of security. For example, some cannot guarantee top-level security in certain countries. If security is one of the main reasons you want to use a VPN, for example, you want to use a public or shared computer but you don’t want to share your data and information, or, you want to browse websites with added security behind you then it is crucial you check the VPNs security offer. If they don’t highlight how good their security offering is then it is probably best to look elsewhere.

Price Monthly Or Annually

If affordability is a consideration you need to think about how you can pay and when you can pay. Some providers only accept PayPal or Payoneer. Is this right for you and your lifestyle. Some providers demand an annual subscription – Can you afford this. Price consideration is important as paying month by month can also end up costing you more in the long run. It is also wise to track prices for a few days as lots of well-known VPN providers change their prices, even by a few cents every so often to attract new custom.

Reviews and Recommendations

What other users are saying and how they are reacting to a brand is important. Pay attention to the customer service that they provide, and pay attention to how quickly issues get resolved. For example, if you have an issue will they resolve it quickly or will you be paying full subscription costs for a while until they can be bothered to rectify any issues you may be experiencing. Some reviews can be fake and malicious, so it is important to have your guard up when using reviews. Also, on the flip side, there can be fake reviews stating how good a VPN is, when it is a load of rubbish, so watch out for this too. Doing due diligence and utilizing a few recommendation and review websites will ensure that you don’t get caught out.

Usage Within Your Country

This sounds simple enough right, but in reality, not all VPNs work in your country or provide adequate servers for you to use. Choice and selection are important when choosing a VPN. Everyone deserves a good selection for their subscription price and if you are not getting it, or you are not going to get it within your country then look for another provider. If a provider offers limited coverage within your country of use then you will quickly be left feeling frustrated and annoyed. Coverage and quality are important especially when purchasing annual subscriptions so always check the terms and conditions before signing up and parting with any money, and, of course, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible.

A few days of research and use of comparison websites should be all that you need to ensure you choose the right VPN provider for you. Remember to ensure the site is legitimate and authentic before paying for any services as there are lots of fakes out there who look very similar to the real thing, and once you have parted with your money it can be very difficult to reclaim, so, always ensure you use real and trusted sites no matter what.

Fortinet VPN Troubleshooting and Common Issues: Using Fortinet

Access to the internet has been restricted in China since the 1990s, as the Communist government has sought ways to limit not only its citizens’ consumption of news and information but also their interaction with those outside of China. However, as both individuals and businesses seek access to information and an ability to conduct transactions with people outside of China, virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent these restrictions have become a necessary tool.

FortiClient, the Fortinet next-generation endpoint protection, provides users with secure remote access with a built-in VPN.

Accessing a VPN from China

Since China made it illegal to access the “foreign internet” without government permission in 1997, the use of VPNs as a workaround has proliferated. VPNs encrypt data, masking the user’s identity and activity while browsing the internet. VPNs hide a computer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address, its physical location, and browsing history, among other data. 

It is not just individual Chinese citizens or visitors to China who benefit from VPNs to access social networks and banned websites. Chinese corporations and multinational companies doing business with China also use VPNs to secure company data and make communications more private. 

Browsing the internet anonymously is not the only advantage of using a VPN. The security and privacy of VPN-encrypted connections should be the main reason users opt for VPNs when browsing the internet in China.  

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Using Fortinet in China

China has also been known to target VPN companies, but luckily, it does not block the Fortinet FortiClient VPN. FortiClient is more than just a VPN. It also provides compliance and endpoint protection, which are needed for large organizations to enforce policies and track and report security issues. FortiClient also provides advanced threat protection against malware through its integration with FortiGuard. 

This endpoint protection offered by the Fortinet VPN safeguards users against the most advanced threats. While some internet users in China only want a way to access U.S.-based websites and social networks without government surveillance, malware in China is a growing problem. In fact, malware associated with the Chinese government has been identified as the driver of spear-phishing attacks. 

What Is VPN Troubleshooting?

Issues may arise when using a VPN to connect to the internet. Usually, the biggest issue is that the VPN simply cannot connect. Other times, the connection drops, or the connection is really slow.

In the next section, we will detail what you can do when you encounter particular issues.

How to Troubleshoot Some SSL VPN Issues

These troubleshooting tips can be used for the following versions of FortiGate: v5.4, v5.6, v6.0, v6.2, and v6.4.

There Is No response from the SSL VPN Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

Navigate to VPN >> SSL-VPN Settings and check the secure socket layer (SSL) VPN port assignment. Also, check the “Restrict Access” settings to ensure that the host you are connecting from is allowed.

Go to Policy >> IPv6 policy and make sure that the policy for SSL VPN traffic is configured correctly. Check the URL to connect to. It should follow this pattern:

https://<FortiGate IP>:<Port>/remote/login

Ensure that the correct port number in the URL is used.

Use a computer on the local network to connect to the VPN, rather than a computer using a remote connection.

If external authentication is used, create a local user and connect to the VPN using the newly created local account.

FortiClient Cannot Connect

Ensure that the version of FortiClient used is compatible with the user’s version of FortiOS.

Export FortiClient debug logs by doing the following:

  1. Go to File >> Settings. Under the logging section, enable “Export logs.”
  2. Set the “Log Level” to debug and select “Clear logs.”
  3. Attempt to connect to the VPN.
  4. Select Export logs after receiving the connection error.

The SSL VPN Login Hangs or Disconnects at 98%

A new SSL VPN driver was added to FortiClient 5.6.0 and later versions to resolve various SSL VPN connection issues. If the FortiOS version is compatible, upgrade to use one of these versions.

In addition, poor network connectivity can cause the FortiGate default login timeout limit to be reached. In FortiOS 5.6.0 and later, the following commands allow a user to increase timers related to the SSL VPN login.

# config vpn ssl settings 
   set login-timeout 180 (default is 30)
   set dtls-hello-timeout 60 (default is 10)
End

Tunnel-mode Connection Shuts Down After a Few Seconds

This issue can occur when there are multiple interfaces connected to the internet—for example, a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN). To fix this, allow multiple interfaces to connect without issue.

If FortiOS 6.0.1 or later is used, follow this command-line interface (CLI) command:

# config system interface
    edit <name>
    set preserve-session-route enable next
end

For FortiOS 6.0.0 or earlier, use this CLI command:

# config vpn ssl settings
    set route-source-interface enable
end

The following error message will be received: “Unable to logon to the server. Your user name or password may not be configured properly for this connection. (-12).”

Make sure that the browser has cookies enabled.

If a remote authentication server is used, confirm that FortiGate is able to communicate with it.

The Tunnel Connects, but There Is No Communication

Make sure there is a visual interface or a screen you can view, by going to Monitor >> Routing Monitor. 

Also, check the routing table—the data stored in a router that lists the routes to particular network destinations—on the user’s computer to ensure that the routes for the VPN are added (use the command route print on Windows, or netstat -nr on macOS).

Connects Remotely to the VPN Tunnel, but It Will Not Give Access to the Network Resources

Verify that the firewall policy for SSL VPN traffic is configured correctly by going to Policy & Objects >> IPv4 Policy and making sure that the source/destination addresses, user group, and destination interfaces are correct.

Use the command “# diagnose debug flow” to obtain more information about the network traffic. To learn more about this command, see How to use debug flow to filter traffic.

Users Are Unable to Download the SSL VPN Plugin

Go to VPN >> SSL-VPN Portals to make sure that the option to limit users to one SSL-VPN connection at a time is disabled. This allows users to connect to the resources on the portal page while also connecting to the VPN through FortiClient.

Users Are Being Assigned to the Wrong IP Range

Go to VPN >> SSL-VPN Portals and VPN >> SSL-VPN Settings and make sure that the same IP pool is used in both the VPN Portal and VPN Settings sections to avoid conflicts.

If there is a conflict, the portal settings are used.

SSL VPN Throughput Is Slow

Although many factors can contribute to slow throughput, one recommendation is to try the FortiOS datagram transport layer security (DTLS) tunnel option, available in FortiOS 5.4 and above.

DTLS allows the SSL VPN to encrypt traffic using transport layer security (TLS) and uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP) at the transport layer instead of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). This avoids retransmission problems that can occur with TCP-in-TCP.

To make sure the DTLS tunnel is enabled on the FortiGate solution, use the following command:

# config vpn ssl settings
    set dtls-tunnel enable
end

FortiClient 5.4.0 to 5.4.3 use DTLS by default. FortiClient 5.4.4 and later use normal TLS, regardless of the FortiGate DTLS setting. To use DTLS with FortiClient, go to File >> Settings and enable “Preferred DTLS Tunnel.