The Ultimate Guide to VPNs
The three-letter alias “VPN” is a buzzword, but what is it? Below we explore the world of Virtual Private Networks and Help You Make Smart Decisions and Protect Your Privacy. Completely updated for 2019.
How Virtual Private Networks Operate
The consumption of pornography has evolved—and skyrocketed. What was once a matter of stealthily stealing someone’s father’s naughty magazine and getting it put back in place before being discovered is now as simple as turning on your smartphone. Our devices go everywhere with us, and now porn can, too.
History of VPNs
- learn exactly the path your internet traffic takes around the web
Benefits of VPNs
- all the terms you need to know presented in a visual manner
Future of VPNs
- with so many options here is what to look for when finding a VPN
Shocking VPN & Cybersecurity Statistics
How to Set Up a VPN Connection on an iPhone
On your iPhone make sure that you have iCloud set up and Family Sharing added. Make sure you have added all your kids to Family Sharing.
From Home Screen
Tap on your name
and then tap on [Family Sharing]
Now, Scroll down to bottom and tap [Screen Time], and select the children you want to control, then turn on [Screen Time].
Now, tap on the child you want to set up content filtering for
On this screen, tap [Turn On Screen Time]. Then click “Continue”.
This will be a summary screen, Click [Continue] here
Steps 6 & 7 Are Optional
You can skip Downtime by tapping [Not Now]
You can skip App Limits by tapping [Not Now]
Next you will need to create a Parent Passcode. This can be the same or different than your screen passcode. Make sure your child does not get this code.
You will now see a summary screen for your child.
Tap [Content & Privacy Restrictions] to continue
*You will be required to enter your parent passcode that you just created to continue.
Step 11 – 12
Toggle [Content & Privacy Restrictions] to ON (Green), then tap on [Content Restrictions] here to set the web filtering options.
You are now at the Content Restrictions screen
Scroll down to middle of screen and tap [Web Content]
Here is the final step. Tap [Web Content] and tap [Limit Adult Websites]
Once the Limit Adult Websites is checked you are finished and can return to the home screen. Read the notes below on some limitations.
Notes & Limitations on using Screentime to block inappropriate content on iPhones
Kids may still gain access to adult websites via certain browsers and apps. Browsing via Safari should work well but certain apps will hide behind web proxies and may get through.
There are hundreds of web proxy sites that kids will go to which will allow them to go to any website and bypass Apple’s filtering.
Netsanity, for example, provides a 100% Free Service that uses Artificial Intelligence to keep an updated list of adult websites, in addition to blocking anonymous proxies by default.
Implementing the instructions above in addition to using NetsanityFree creates the ultimate porn blocking layer of protection.
How to Set Up a VPN Connection on Android
When it comes to blocking porn on Android devices your options become more limited. There are no good built-in options to filter adult content websites, but there are some steps you can take. First, there is Google’s Safe Search. You can either enable Safe search yourself or, if your Android mobile devices are on a Samsung platform, you may utilize Netsanity where Safe Search is built into the free service. As an alternative to using a cloud-based service like Netsanity, you can also manually adjust your DNS settings to use a service like OpenDNS which offers porn blocking. Again, the issue we find with this set up is that the list of blocked sites can grow stale since new sites are launched every day. The smart A.I. behind Netsanity, PIERCE, finds and categorizes these sites 24/7 in order to provide the most robust porn-blocking service possible. And, it’s free for life – so if you or your kids have a Samsung device, why not give it a try?
Watch us set up NetsanityVPN on an Android Device
How to Set Up a VPN Connection on Apple iOS
It’s very easy to set up NetsanityVPN on your Apple iOS Device. Follow the complete tutorial video here to see us sign up for a free trial, install on a device and activate the VPN .
Watch us set up NetsanityVPN on an iPhone
History of VPNsLarge companies have been using VPNs for a while. In fact, VPN-like connections go all the way back to the days of dial-up, when Frame Relay PVC and ATM VC links between individual hosts were established to provide some primitive security. Confusingly, the term Virtual Private Network was already in use by phone companies, used to refer to private voice networks. True VPNs started to appear in 1996 when PPTP was developed by Gurdeep Singh-Pall. PPTP or Peer-to-Peer Tunneling Protocol is still used as a basis for VPNs today. It creates a tunnel, through which authenticated, encrypted data is sent. The concept of data VPNs has expanded over the years, as has the various ways to handle it. These days, there are several ways to establish a VPN, which include Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, which is used to protect networks, and the more advanced OpenVPN protocol that supports most “consumer level” VPNs. Recently, there has been an explosion of VPN providers. It used to be, not that long ago, that the only people who used VPNs were remote workers who had the client software provided by their employers. Nowadays, one in four people uses a VPN at least some of the time to connect to the internet.
Benefits of Using a VPN
- It can keep people, including your ISP, from logging and monetizing your browser history. Those ads that seem to read your mind can be creepy or amusing, but they are a sign that your online activity is under surveillance.
- It allows you to connect as if you are from another country. This can let you get around geoblocking of content. Some companies also use this for testing to see how sites are working from across the globe. A good example of this is so you can order from companies at home while traveling, without being routed to a local site. I know when ordering on my Amazon site while in London on business – it can be confusing seeing a totally different site! You can sometimes also use a VPN to buy cheap airline tickets or rental cars. Some people have even had success getting around government censorship, such as the inability to access Facebook while in Beijing.
- VPNs provide security when using public wi-fi. As many airport and hotel networks are completely open and unencrypted, using a VPN means it is safe to actually use them without having to worry about man-in-the-middle attacks. (However, VPNs can sometimes be prohibitively slow over these networks). Hackers will have a much harder time stealing from you and will likely go for an easier target instead. This peace of mind improves productivity and can help you avoid awkward situations.
- If your ISP has been known to throttle content, a VPN can prevent that. Because your ISP can’t tell what kind of traffic is in the VPN “tunnel,” they can’t hit you with targeted throttling. Some ISPs may try to get around this, though, by throttling or blocking VPN connections. However, this tends to make them less than popular with people’s employers.
- Some free VPN services have been known to sell your browser history to marketers – which might be the very thing you are trying to avoid. Many are China-based and have no protections for consumers. Browse our extensive list of links at the end of this article to read more. In general, you should not use a free VPN.
- VPNs can slow down your browsing speed, sometimes noticeably.
- Some apps may not play well with your VPN.
- If using a VPN on your smartphone at home or at a hotspot, be aware that many routers block VPNs and you will neeed to turn off the VPN to get connectivity.
The Future of VPNsSo, if that is where we currently stand on VPNs, where will we be in a few years? First of all, newer VPN providers have more of a focus on privacy over security, especially as governments in some places seem to be taking steps to roll back privacy protections or even becoming the snoops themselves. VPN technology, for example, may start incorporating anonymous tokenized authentication, which will make it much harder for even a dedicated hacker to find out who is behind web traffic, and protocol obfuscation, which gets around most ways to block a VPN. Many pundits think that VPNs will be, in a few years, in the same place firewalls are today. That is to say, everyone will be using one as a matter of course and, like modern firewalls, they may well be simply built into your operating system, acting without any input from you. VPNs are also adapting to mobile, and are starting to use new standards designed for the lower memory and bandwidth. Finally, VPN providers are likely to start offering NAC solutions to businesses. This would allow the VPN to check that an employee’s device meets the standards for connecting to the network, such as keeping anti-virus software up-to-date, before allowing a connection. This might seem like a bad thing, but it would allow things like connecting from public or borrowed computers. In short, VPNs are on their way to becoming ubiquitous, and we all need to learn to use one. Thankfully, they are very easy to install and use and work on all of your devices.
What Happens When You Don’t Use a VPN?The internet is chock full of opportunities for businesses to market and sell their products and services all over the world. The reason internet marketing has become a multi-billion dollar industry is that nowhere in the world – and at no time in history – has more information been available to marketers than today via the internet. As an example, let’s say you recently looked at reviews for an As-Seen-On-TV product. Although you read the reviews and decided the product was not for you, you continued to see advertisements for this product. This is because the information that was shared with your internet service provider (ISP) the second you opened up the review webpage or did a search for it, was spread to various other sources, indicating that you are interested in that product. This is called targeted advertising which is already in use by major companies like Google and Facebook.
What Does Your ISP Collect?The second you open a web browser on any internet-connected device, data is sent in packets to your ISP and then dispersed Your IP address is assigned by your ISP and is connected to all of the devices on your home network including printers, smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and any other device that uses the internet. This is called a private network: the devices in your home that are connected to each other and/or your internet through your router. Consider your ISP like a virtual nosey neighbor: All of the traffic that goes in and out of your home is seen, stored, and remembered and – should anyone ask – they can provide that information to them. Further, since Congress repealed FCC rules that prohibit ISPs from selling data, service providers can collect and sell your information without your knowledge or consent. Your ISP can see things like:
- Internet searches
- Which online games you play
- Which web pages you visit
- Which apps you use
- Physical location (particularly through a smartphone)
- Whether you’re torrenting (downloading/uploading pirated materials)
- Usernames and passwords
- Financial issues
- Medical problems
Why Does It Matter?Often, the information your ISP collects is fairly harmless. As mentioned, it helps businesses and organizations show you advertisements that are more suited to you, based on your internet usage. It’s another way that ISPs make a lot of money. ISPs are not the only threat to consider when it comes to internet privacy. You can find out basic information about your IP address just by looking it up yourself. You’ll see your unique IP address, type of device, even longitude, and latitude of your location. Tech-savvy hackers can go even deeper into your unencrypted data and go as far as stealing your identity to using collected information to target vulnerable users like children or the elderly. Experts report that identity theft through cybercrime reached record highs and cost victims nearly $17 billion last year. Would you want your nosey neighbor to know your children’s’ favorite games? Your financial situation? Your medical problems? Smartphones are becoming increasingly vulnerable as hackers are learning that people use their mobile phones even more than their PCs. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to take every precaution available to protect the identities and internet habits of yourself and your family.
What Can You Do?The internet and technology are constantly evolving so protecting your information can be an overwhelming task when trying to keep up with the latest advances. Still, there are some things you can do to help prevent your information from being monitored, sold, or hacked right now.
Use Secure BrowsingSome browsers will warn you that you are entering an unsafe website because the website is not secure. When the internet first began, websites began with “HTTP” which stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol but the internet is now shifting so that credible websites include an “S” on the end: “https” – the “S” standing for “secure.” This matters because nefarious hackers can build a clone site of, for example, your bank or doctor’s office and you might end up, accidentally, on those sites. When there, you will likely enter sensitive data that can then be stolen. However, with a site that begins with “https,” the browser you are using is able to verify the site is legitimate and was launched (and is owned) by the proper authority.
Keep Security UpdatedCnet reported that as much as 42 percent of Android users do not have the latest version of Android which equates to approximately 846 million devices exposed to malicious attack. Be sure you have your device set for automatic updates or manually check for updates daily.
What is NetsanityVPN and Why Us?NetsanityVPN uses the proven technology and security that Netsanity is known for. After protecting kids all over the world, with our Netsanity mobile parental control service, NetsanityVPN offers customers with Apple and most mobile Android devices a secure way to connect and communicate through the public internet without any privacy or logging concerns. NetsanityVPN provides customers with secure connectivity without the need for any app to be downloaded from the app store. NetsanityVPN will initially target US-based consumers. After the successful USA launch, Netsanity will offer convenient and automatically-configured VPN servers globally. There are specific benefits of using NetsanityVPN service versus others or none at all. Scroll below to see how our Apple and Android service works. Also, we are a service company and not an “app”. We maintain a cloud architecture, our own VPN servers, and are based in the US. We do not offshore work and do not host our code elsewhere. Many VPN providers are offshore and do this to avoid US-led efforts at legal subpoenas and other obfuscation reasons. We are a US-based business and feel that if you are a criminal and want to use our service for nefarious reasons, we may not be a good fit for you!
The “Netflix’ VPN gameMany VPN providers pride themselves of trying to game Netflix, and other similar media streaming services, and their attempts to block VPN’s. The providers are constantly trying to provide service to Netflix customers outside the distribution area that Netflix has rights to show the content – these are specific Netflix “catalogs”. Netflix owns its original content and usually makes it available to all subscribers. Much of the content is not produced by Netflix so they have to abide by the copyright restrictions placed on them by the copyright holders for their owned content. By accessing content that Netflix is not allowed to show without violating copyright laws, VPN providers that market this capability specifically, are adding to this complicity. And customers should note that using a VPN to access content without permissions for that content is against the Netflix Terms of Service. Go ahead and Google ‘Netflix and VPN ban’ and you will see dozens of “articles” on it – the truth being it is all a ploy to get you to sign up to their VPN service. There is a good reason that a user in China, for example, is not allowed to watch US-based Netflix content. Copyright holders don’t want their content stolen, repackaged and uploaded to Warez and other video sharing sites as pirated content without getting royalties. We feel that we do not want to support the efforts of some customers that try to go around the policies of other companies. We rather work with Netflix on solutions.
NetsanityVPN for Apple iOSNetsanityVPN is unique in a few ways. First, we do not require any Apple iOS app to launch or maintain the VPN. Not having an app reduces one more area where collection and analytics can be gathered by an app developer. Remember that most analytics sites are third party sites that provide app developers with crash, location, behavior, gender, and network usage reports. So even if you take the word of your preferred VPN provider that they do not collect info, they cannot control what their third-party analytics companies collect and keep. Companies like Crashlytiocs, Mixpanel, Flury, Localytics, and dozens of others make money from app developers on reporting analytics and statistics. The more data they count and report on, the more they feel they benefit their customer – the app developer. One app can generate thousands of website requests per month all reporting information on the app. For this reason, NetsanityVPN does not require an app at all. Like our parental control service, our VPN is strictly integrated within iOS using a simple encrypted profile that is installed by the user. You can see how easy it is to install our VPN once you create an account – it takes a few seconds and you are ready to browse securely: That profile once installed, allows you to toggle and turn on the VPN directly from your Apple iOS settings screen and no app is ever installed. It looks like the screenshot below: As you can see, all you need to do is toggle VPN on when needed, and you have an encrypted tunnel created to maintain privacy.
NetsanityVPN for AndroidSimilar to our Apple iOS service, NetsanityVPN for Android requires no custom Netsanity app. You download a general VPN client, in our case strongSwan client from the Google Play store and then import our VPN profile. This again allows anonymity as there is no relationship between the strongSwan client and our VPN profile – the client is only there to assist in connecting our VPN profile to the Android operating system. Installation is also quick and easy. First, the user installs the strongSwan client from the Google Play store and then imports their VPN profile. That’s all there is. See the process below:
SummaryThere are many reasons to subscribe to a good VPN service. Without one, you risk being hacked, having your data stolen, and having your internet service provider snoop on your website activities. But you get what you pay for and free is not always best when it comes to VPN providers and your privacy. For $12/year NetsanityVPN offers a great alternative from the glitz and glam of expensive VPN providers that promise the world and under deliver.