Guest Post – The Definitive Guide To VPNs – Part 4

Last week we took a deeper look at VPN services courtesy of a guest post from The Gadget Enthusiast.  This article concludes the series.

VPN and Torrenting

Torrents are just the files that contain the information related to other files and folders that are distributed across the computers. For example, if you want to download a movie using torrent, then a torrent gets you to know about the files and folders containing the film itself.

Hence torrenting is a process of sharing files among computers by using point to point connections. The computers in this process are connected in a point to point fashion just like an ad-hoc network, but a complex one.

As for as the legality of the torrent is concerned, it depends upon the scenarios whether whatever you are performing activities on the torrent is under law or outside the boundary of legal policies.

Inherently, using torrent is legal as long as you have not violated the legal actions.

Downloading the copyrighted material is an illegal activity, and due to that, the torrent has a bad reputation. In some countries due to these activities, using torrent to download anything (whether it is legal or illegal material) is completely banned.

And for that purpose, the Governments, Agencies, and ISPs put radar on you at all times and observing your activities.

Moreover, when you connect your computer for the P2P file sharing, the torrent protocol generates hundreds and thousands of user nodes which gives an obvious path for the intruders to gain access to the sensitive information.

In all these problems, choosing a reliable VPN while torrenting is the best solution.

It not only gives the anonymity to the user but also the data is transmitted in the encrypted form.

Before choosing a VPN that best suits your requirements you have to check out the policies of the VPN service providers in terms of the following factors:

  • The speed of the data transmission a VPN provider provides
  • Has Logging policy or not.
  • P2P file sharing allowed on the network or not.

VPN vs. Proxy

Most people wrongly think VPN and proxy to be the same thing because they have many things in common.

But what many don’t know is that they equally have some big differences.

Since we’ve already talked so much about the VPNs, we’ll skip that part and jump straight on the proxy.

In simple words, a proxy is a server that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the website you’re trying to access. It hides your IP address, so when you access a website, that website sees the IP address of that server instead of your real IP.

Being completely free, proxies are a great alternative in situations where you only want to bypass regional restrictions, like streaming live football matches, etc.

On the other hand, unlike VPNs, proxies don’t offer encryption of any type (as seen from the above picture), often have unstable connection, have less compatibility than VPNs, and the owner of that proxy server knows your actual IP address.

Also, there’s a possibility that the data passing through a proxy server has tampered.

All in all, if security is your main concern, then proxies are a big no. In fact, many free VPNs are just plain proxies in disguise and don’t provide any real data security/encryption.

This is the reason why Paid VPNs are your last resort when it comes to security over the web.

Which Devices Support VPNs?

At present, versatility is a common feature provided by all the VPN service providers. Each type of devices and almost every platform of the operating systems have the support of VPN technology.

In desktop computers, the popular operating systems that support VPN are Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. VPN client software is supported in all three OSes.

If you don’t want to install these softwares, you can enable VPN extensions in the browsers. Many browsers support these VPN extensions like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, etc.

The mobile devices that support VPN technology are:

  • Android Phones
  • Windows Phone 10/8
  • iPhones/iPads (iOS Platform)
  • Blackberry

Gaming devices that support VPN are:

  • Play station 4
  • Xbox One

Even other non-conventional devices, such as media streamers, support VPNs.

On the other hand, the devices on which you cannot set up a VPN, include Smart TVs, Amazon Alexa/Echo Devices, and other ‘smart’ home appliances.

What you need in this scenario, is a VPN router.

What is a VPN Router?

A VPN router is just a normal router that has a VPN client software installed.

Since many pro gamers use VPNs for a lower ping, you can also install a VPN software in your gaming router.

After this, every device that connects to a VPN router will be protected by the VPN.

Why we use VPN Router?

  • Flexibility: With a VPN router, you don’t need to set up a VPN software on every device. You just need to set up VPN on your router or router/modem gateway, and that’s it.
  • Compatibility: VPN router or Access point can give VPN service to any Wi-Fi enabled device, forexample, a computer, mobile phones, tablets, smart TV, etc.
  • Completely automotive: A VPN router will always connect with the Internet through VPN service. There is no need to connect with the VPN client on all your devices every time.
  • Non-Native Devices Security: VPN routers can also secure the devices that don’t support VPN, like Apple TV, PlayStation 3, etc.

This guide will help you in setting a VPN on your router.

Conclusion

In the end, I just want to say that, while choosing the VPN provider according to your needs, try to find out the ones which provides you free trial and money back guarantee so you can avoid spending money on the services which you don’t need.

More information:

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, Bob also conducts security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. Bob also teaches Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. Bob works as an instruction for CompTIA’s non-profit IT-Ready Program in the Twin Cities. IT-Ready is a tuition free 8-week program designed to teach students of all ages the fundamentals of IT support to prepare them for an entry level position in Information Technology Support. Graduates of the classes take the exams to become CompTIA A+ certified. Bob is a frequent speaker at conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. Bob has been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com
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