The number of people using VPNs has increased dramatically during the past few years. There are many companies that sell VPNs. I bought one based on its advert but soon discovered that was not the smartest way to select a vendor. It turns out that I may not have made the best choice.
So, I decided it would be best to learn more about the technology and I thought it might be useful to other people if I prepared a list of tips and a checklist for people to use before they buy one.
I am pretty much a novice when it comes to using VPNs. So why would I feel qualified to advise others about which VPN to use? While I haven’t seen any other articles that provide that specific info, I have seen this kind of info scattered around the web. So, even though I may be a novice, I figure that as long as the info I’m presenting is accurate, it can be useful to others. If it’s not accurate, I’m fairly confident that some more experienced people here will explain just what the problems may be. But that’s OK because even if this info prevents anyone else from making a mistake, I will be happy.
So, post a note here and tell me if any of my info is incorrect so that I can repair it.
Also check my previous articles on how to stay anonymous while hacking:
The complete list of questions is shown below. IMO, a good check list should contain the answers to many of these questions. Therefore, before buying another VPN from a diff company, I would check that company’s answers to the questions on that list. In addition, I included the following tips for you to consider.
If you receive a CIL (Confidentiality Infringement Letter) or other kind of communication from your ISP or anyone else about using BitTorrent or File Sharing, it’s important that you Do not answer. The person sending the communication may be trying to get some personal information in order to use against you like your full name, email address, ISP Name, etc.
It’s important to remember that no matter how well protected you are, if you send or post a message containing any of your personal information, that info can then be used against you. So it’s best to not say anything about yourself if it could possibly be used against you. This seems very simple and self-evident. But it’s extremely easy to forget – especially if you send or post a message when you are angry or otherwise emotional.
It’s possible that companies who bring legal action against people can actually be pretending to be a different kind of company than they really are and could be sending you a communication to which you feel that you should answer. But, they may not be who they say they are. They may have sent you that message with the sole purpose of trying to get information about you that they can use against you. So, don’t answer. It’s best to check it out and maybe ask for help first before answering them.
When communicating with a web site, try to use an HTTPS address (HTTP Secure) instead of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). For example, when you visit your bank’s web site, you should notice a little green icon that looks like a lock at the left end of the Web Site’s address bar (found in the upper left corner of the window). The following is a descriptions of HTTPS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTPS
HTTPS (HTTP Secure) is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network. The main motivation for HTTPS is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.
Does the VPN include a Kill Switch? IMO, a good VPN must contain a kill switch because if you are transmitting or receiving data and something happens to interrupt your connection, a kill switch immediately halts the transmission. In that way, nothing can be transmitted that contains plain text. A VPN encodes all information that flows between your PC (or other device) and the VPN’s servers. I think a VPN has little value if it ever stops encoding the information and instead, sends it in plain text.
Does the VPN have an option to automatically restart when you restart your PC? If it doesn’t and you forget to restart it, there is a danger you may transmit some info without using the protection of your VPN. That is not only a waste of money. It is also opening the door to potential problems.
Does the EULA (End User License Agreement) allow you to use BitTorrent? Some do and some don’t. If you want to use BitTorrent but the license does not allow its use, you may be wasting your money if you purchase that VPN.
There are other important questions listed below to which you may find the answers. I think it’s important for anyone to read these answers before buying a VPN.
Also Read: How to set up your system for hacking!
Here are the 12 questions that it asks of all 15 companies:
Questions to ask before getting a VPN of your choice:
1. Do you keep ANY logs which would allow you to match an IP-address and a time stamp to a user of your service? If so, what information and for how long?
2. What is the registered name of the company and under what jurisdiction(s) does it operate?
3. Do you use any external visitor tracking, email providers or support tools that hold information of your users / visitors?
4. In the event you receive a take-down notice (DMCA or other), how are these handled?
5. What steps are taken when a valid court order or subpoena requires your company to identify an active user of your service? Has this ever happened?
6. Is BitTorrent and other file-sharing traffic allowed on all servers? If not, why?
7. Which payment systems do you use and how are these linked to individual user accounts?
8. What is the most secure VPN connection and encryption algorithm you would recommend to your users? Do you provide DNS “leak protection” and tools such as “kill switches” if a connection drops?
9. Do you offer a custom VPN application to your users? If so, for which platforms?
10. Do you use your own DNS servers?
11. Do you have physical control over your VPN servers and network or are they hosted by/accessible to a third party?
12. What countries are your servers located in?
If anyone here sees any problems with the information in this post, please let me know so I can correct it.
Also Read: All Nmap tool commands at your fingertips!
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