VPN – Virtual Private Networks

You have probably heard of VPN, but wondered what the heck it was and why you may need it? In short a virtual private network encrypts (hides) your internet traffic. Hides is not entirely correct but think of VPN and creating a tunnel between your machine and some other machine (a server) at the far end. This is definitely useful at a coffee shop or on a hotels network. Did you know that its fairly easy to see what you are doing otherwise? You go to a bank site or a financial institution and your username and password are not all too difficult to capture. Would you give your brokerage login info to a stranger? Guess not, use VPN!! Read a pretty good article on this HERE

We use a VPN service that starts every time we start our computers, this hides our ip address and makes it appear that we are somewhere other than where we are. If needed we can make it appear as if we are in the States when we are actually in South America for example. Try this: go to https://www.iplocation.net/find-ip-address

You will see your ip address displayed, further down on the page your location (or pretty near) your ip address is your “internet protocol”, basically your computers street address like 123 Main Street, YourTown, YourState. Not something you want to advertise to people intent on doing you harm right? In my case it showed my actual ip address (the 99.XXX.64.XXX that I’ve blurred out) and my location (or close enough) in Campbell, CA.


This is without VPN, which I have disabled for this explanation. When I go to connect to my VPN, I can choose where I can appear to be:


In this case I chose Switzerland, when I check my ip and location:


I now appear to be in Zurich and while connected to VPN not worried about people snooping on my activities. Could have picked any country or Auto connect, this was for the demo only. Say you were in Mexico and could not access Netflix or something else you were interested in seeing, by choosing a US location you may be able to. Or if you were doing banking, by using VPN you would ensure yourself a bit more security from prying eyes…