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How To Choose The Best VPN & Use It Like A Pro

You’ve heard the horror stories, haven’t you?

Hackers are stealing millions of dollars. Governments are getting unrestricted access to your browsing history. And, service providers are throttling your internet access.

It makes sense that you’re worried about your Internet Security and Privacy.

Nobody wants to be an online victim.

But, what can you do about it?

Well, there is one simple way that’s cost effective and can be set up in minutes.

All you need is a VPN that securely encrypts your internet activity and keeps you safe from the threats of the online world.

What You Will Learn

I’m going to show you everything you need to know about a VPN-

  • What is a VPN?
  • What is the best VPN (And should you use a free VPN)?
  • How to set up your VPN the right way

I’m also going to show you how to use the VPN to watch your favourite TV shows, get cheaper flight tickets and some other tricks you can use to get the most from your VPN.

If that sounds good to you, let’s get stuck in, shall we?

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Don’t worry; I’m not going to get too caught up in the technical stuff. Instead, let me explain to you simply.

A VPN exists to protect your information, your identity, and your location.

Not only does it keep you safe from hackers and online crimes, but you can also use it for some fun things as well (more on that later).

Let’s say you’re sat in your local Starbucks working on your laptop, hooked up to their internet. Their free WiFi is what you’d call a public network.

free-wifi-danger

And it’s easy for hackers and other people to get hold of your data while you’re on it.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a VPN when you connect to any free Wifi when you are out and about. That includes your phone, tablet and laptop!

Because all it takes is for someone to install a freely available android application like this one-

protect yourself

And in a click of the button anyone can steal your passwords and logins for any website you visit. That includes Facebook, Gmail, PayPal, Amazon – literally anything that requires a login.

But by connecting to a VPN all of your data becomes encrypted and hidden from the prying eyes of strangers.

How does it do this?

Well, it encrypts all of your internet activity and channels it through private VPN servers that are 100% secure.

You can also use a VPN to trick the connection into thinking that you’re in a different part of the world entirely. You could be sat in New York but appear to be in Tokyo when browsing.

That feature also carries on into different uses, too. You can use it to dodge geo-restrictions – such as YouTube Videos or On Demand Streaming – to allow yourself access to services from other countries.

I have friends who live outside of PayPal regions that use a VPN to make payments through Australia or America.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to always use a VPN when connecting to any public or free WiFi source.

Which Is The Best VPN?

The best VPN in my opinion is IPVanish. I have tried many different VPN providers over the years and IPVanish is hands down the best VPN for a number of reasons.

Not only is it quick and easy to setup, but it’s also amazingly fast and doesn’t slow down your connection at all unlike many VPN providers I have tried.

It is also comes with clients for all of your devices including Windows, Mac OSX, Android & iOS so you can secure everything easily.

I’ve recommended it in different articles in the past, and now I’m going to strongly urge that, if you have a choice between IPVanish and another VPN, you choose IPVanish.

IPVanish is the best VPN service I have used

They market themselves as the fastest VPN on the planet and in my experience I’ve found that to be true. While there may be an occasional lapse in speed, there is rarely anything worth noting.

You will also receive access to over 40,000 different IPs on over 700 servers in over 60 countries. That is, by far, the best VPN access you are going to find.

To put that into perspective, if you were to use a new IP address every day for the rest of your life, you’d have to survive for the next 109 years to use them all.

As an SEO I’ve found this access to so many services truly invaluable. I’ve been able to create local listings on almost a street-level, by targeting with precision through these servers.

vpn server locations

It’s also opened up revenue stream in lots of different countries, by being able to efficiently build niche affiliate sites that rank in countries I’ve never even been to.

All by being able to see the true search experience of search and adjust accordingly.

But one of my favorite features which is unique to IPVanish, is that they help you block:

  • Unwanted Marketing: You can block banners and ads that you don’t want to see, all in just a few clicks.
  • Deep Packet Inspection: Stop your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from finding out deep data about your usage and clamping down on your internet speed.

For me, IPVanish is the most flexible platform for everyone including marketers with the most benefits to your end result, while providing next level security protection.

You can get access to IPVanish right here.

Which Is The Best Free VPN?

The best free VPN service is TunnelBear because they give you 500MB of secure encrypted data to use each month without any location restrictions.

It works a little bit like a mobile data plan and once you use up your 500MB of data they cut you loose.

But if you tweet the TunnelBear team they’ll raise that to a 1GB of data per month for free. So, you can get a good few hours of VPN coverage each and every month.

tunnel bear dashboard

And even with the free version you can access their servers in:

  • The UK
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • Germany
  • India
  • Australia
  • Spain

BUT… you should be aware that your internet connection will be considerably slower when using the free VPN service.

So while it is fine for general web browsing, it isn’t much good for anything else.

Tunnel Bear is mostly for the protection of your data and so that you can take advantage of some of the fun stuff you can do with a VPN (which you’ll read more on later on).

Also you don’t get any way near as many server locations to choose from as you do with IPVanish.

That stays true even if you upgrade to their Premium version, too.

If you’re just looking for casual protection serving the net, or just want to use it for when you access your bank details in a coffee shop, then 1GB should be more than enough.

But, I wouldn’t use it to stream because it’ll run out after around 10 minutes.

However because free VPNs do restrict your access, I’d recommend that you don’t use them.

For example, my first experience with a free VPN was ZenMate. After a week-long free trial of premium I was only able to access servers in a handful of locations:

zenmate location

Which is great if you just want the security benefit of hiding your IP address for a short period of time. But, I don’t need to find local search results, or test geolocations, from Hong Kong or Romania, so the free version is a little lost on me.

So, I’d strongly recommend that you don’t use a free VPN.

They are never a replacement for a paid VPN and for the small cost per month, the level of protection you can’t really put a price on.

As someone that uses a lot of public WiFi, a paid VPN like IPVanish has been a highly valuable tool at the core of my work.

But I also see it in the same light as having a seatbelt in my car or wearing a helmet on a motorbike. It’s an essential you can’t quite do without.

Whichever you decide to use, let’s look at how you can get it set up…

How To Set Up A VPN Network Easily

VPN’s are available on most operating systems and smartphones, but for the purposes of this tutorial I’m going to focus on the setup for Windows.

You’ll find that the setup process for all Operating Systems is similar and will only require a few minor tweaks depending on what you’re using.

We’ll also be following the process for setting up IPVanish as a VPN because I’ve done it so many times for other people I’m really familiar with the system.

But, again, you’ll find the process quite similar regardless of your provider.

Step #1: Download Your VPN Tool

As I said earlier, I highly recommend IPVanish for this. It’s the tool I personally use for all of my VPN needs.

But if you already have a tool in mind, go ahead and find the download page for that.

ipvanish download

That’ll prompt you download and install a .exe file so you can run the VPN software from your desktop. Alternatively, if you’ve downloaded a browser-only VPN, it’ll add to your extensions.

When prompted be sure to make sure the VPN has permissions to make changes to your computer. This is what will allow you to mask or change your location and IP address.

Remember this is a security focused program, so don’t be worried about letting it have access.

Step #2: Get To Know The Basics Of The Tool

Once downloaded the program should load on its own. And will probably do so every time you start your computer from here on out (unless you set it to do otherwise).

In the first tab, the Dashboard tab, It’ll show you all the details about your current VPN connection (if you are connected)-

ipvanish dashboard

In the next tab you’re going to find a list of all the available servers through IPVanish.

They can be ranked in different orders such as Ping time and the order they were used last.

IPVanish vpn server list

If you don’t touch them, they’ll be ranked in order of distance from your location.

You can also select which location you would like to connect to via a zoomable map-

VPN map

In the fourth tab, Settings, you can access all of the settings for your IPVanish tool.

You can take a look here and see if there are any changes you want to make. But, should you need to change any settings I’ll let you know throughout this article.

ipvanish settings

Okay, once you’ve taken a tour of the tool, it’s time to make your IP vanish. (See what I did there?).

#3: Mask Your IP Address

Now is time to get connected! This is really simple.

Just press the grey ‘Off’ button in the top right corner or the green ‘Connect’ button in the bottom right corner and you’ll be connected instantly-

how to start vpn connection

And that is all there is to it!

Your internet connection is now encrypted, secure and protected against hackers or people trying to hijack your passwords.

What I really love about the IPVanish tool is that you can choose from so many different servers, locally and internationally.

For example, if you’re based in New York, but you want to help an SEO client boost their local listings in Chicago, you can head to a Chicago server and see what’s happening there.

Chicago location

Just double click on any of the servers to be connected instantly!

5 Fun Things You Can Do With Your New VPN

Once you have your VPN up and running, you can use it for some really cool different things, too.

If you want to catch up on your favourite TV, get cheaper plane tickets and hack YouTube, then you’re going to want to pay attention to this section.

#01: Stream Your Favorite TV Shows From Anywhere

If you enjoy watching your favorite TV shows online, you’ll often find that they’re geo-blocked.

For example, if you were to try and watch BBC iPlayer outside of the UK, you’d see this message:

bbc iplayer

But when you swap your IP Address to show from a UK server, you’ll be able to access all of their programming:

mrs browns boys

This works if you want to watch TV from other countries, too. You can access programs from anywhere in the world as long as your provider has a server there.

Meaning if you want to get ahead on an American TV show that hasn’t come out where you are yet, you can pretend you’re in the States while you watch it.

However you will find that most free VPN providers throttle video playback and you may experience a lot of buffering, that’s why I use IPVanish to avoid all of those problems.

#02: Book Cheaper Plane Tickets

Did you know that airfare is often cheaper if you book it from a different country?

Not just because of a currency exchange either (although that helps). It’s been found that airlines will make their fares cheaper in their home country.

ryanair

For example, MapHappy found that if they booked flights to Cartagena from the USA from their Columbian site, they were able to save anywhere between a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.

It makes sense that AirFrance would promote their cheapest fares in France. Swissair in Switzerland. And British Airways in Britain.

Leverage this the next time you’re looking for a long-haul trip.

#03: Immerse Yourself In A Language

Language Learning can be hard when you’re not surrounded by the language each and every day.

But, you can do a virtual immersion by tunneling through a country that speaks the language.

Let’s say you’re learning German. By setting your VPN to Germany, Switzerland or Austria, you’ll be able to see German Language results through search engines. (For some you may need to swap your settings).

amazon deutsch

This’ll also give you access to other language perks, like YouTube. If you go on there and look at the Trending section you’ll find all the top videos in the language:

german youtube

So you can be sure you’re getting every exposure to the language without any additional effort.

No excuses to not practice now, eh?

#04: Use Spotify While You Travel

Spotify has been part of my everyday life for a while. But it’s not available in every country, which sucks when you’re traveling.

spotify

Having a VPN can allow you to jump back to a country where it is available and access all of your favourite tracks.

Alternatively, if it’s not allowed in your country, you can use a VPN to gain access to a country where it is available.

#05: Unlock Hidden YouTube Videos

YouTube has become pretty crafty in recent years. Instead of showing you a video and then telling you it isn’t available in your country, the results just no longer show up.

I discovered this once when I was desperately searching for a video to show a friend while I was abroad. And, it was only when I returned home that I found it to show to them again.

For example, if I search for BBC through YouTube on my local servers, I get this result that doesn’t show too much:

bbc de

But if I search for it through an English VPN server, I’m able to see many more results and the geo-blocked videos become available to watch:

bbc uk

If you’re really looking for something that is specific to a country – or that you know is only allowed in that country – set up your VPN to bypass it and take you to where you (virtually) need to be.

How To Use A VPN For Digital Marketing

The biggest benefit of having a VPN as a digital marketer is that you’re able to mask your location.

If you’re an experienced marketer, your head might already by bubbling with ideas about what you can do once you have this ability.

But if you’re new to the marketing game, you might not be so sure. If that’s you, don’t worry, because we’re going to go through what that means right now.

We’re going to look at this from two different perspectives:

  1. An SEO Professional (or Agency)
  2. An Affiliate Marketer

I’d suggest you read both sections because the two aren’t completely exclusive. But, if you’re in a rush, jump to the section that fits you best.

How SEO Professionals Can Use A VPN

No two users have the same search experience.

While there are similarities, there will always be exceptions and differences that are tailored to whoever is searching.

And these differences are intensified the further from your location you go.

Even if you search for the exact same keyword, you’ll often find a completely different set of results. For example, if I route my VPN through London and search for plumbers I get this result:

plumbers uk search

And if I then route it through a server in Canada, I get this result:

plumbers canada

This creates a problem if you are, for example, a London based SEO agency working with a client in Toronto that wants to improve their local SEO rankings. Why?

Well this difference in rankings makes it hard for you to track the local listings effectively. Because, even if you were to search through Google.ca you’d never see an accurate result.

A VPN is the magic bullet to solve this problem.

Your VPN tells the search engine that you are, in fact, in that location and are making the same searches a local person would.

It’s like being an Undercover Cop, only with less risk of death or going Donnie Brasco.

You can then forge a better educated and more effective SEO campaign based on more accurate data.

And, you can see local paid advertising listings, too. If your client asks for some help on the paid advertising side of their business, you can again, use a VPN to assess the situation and make educated decisions related to ad copy and targeting.

Okay, that’s a VPN from the perspective on an SEO, now let’s look at how Affiliate Marketers can best make use of it.

How Affiliate Marketers Can Benefit From A VPN

Being active in affiliate markets around the world can really help to boost your income. And, it’s not often something you think about.

If you take a look below, you’ll see that there are some big international affiliate markets outside of the USA:

digital goods

Having a VPN can allow you to tap into income streams, and find offers, that would usually be hidden from you.

For example by using a VPN, Colin Klinkert, the owner of SERPed, has been able to create niche sites in France and rank them with ease, without being fluent French.

He was able to target people and create an income stream from an otherwise closed-off market.

And you can benefit from the same tactics.

Using the tips from the SEO section above, as well as being able to:

  • Analyse different landing pages
  • Look for country-specific affiliate offers
  • Network with top affiliates in different countries
  • View local advertising and creative banners

Because VPNs cause ‘local’ creatives to trigger, you’re now also able to work out which marketing angles you should use for this international audience.

Different nationalities tend to respond to different styles of marketing. The approach that works in one country, won’t necessarily work in another – even if the offer is virtually similar. So you can also ‘hack’ copywriting in that respect.

Using a VPN you can see the creatives shown to the local audience, and then easily break down what approaches you need to take, so that your creatives resonate with the audience you’re going after.

VPNs also help you deal with the challenges associated with reviewing international landing page offers. It may be the case that your affiliate network provides you with the ability to run international offers.

However, the actual company behind the offer might only want traffic from specific locations to see that landing page– and so they may automatically redirect people trying to view the landing page from the ‘wrong’ location.

Odds are, you want to see a landing page before sending traffic to it – even if there is data suggesting that the page is producing great results. But with the redirect being active, it’s hard to do this.

If you have access to a VPN, you can mask your location and view the landing page as if you belong to the target audience.

Now you can check out the landing page, and see if it’s any good.

On a slightly unrelated note, it’s also worth noting that a VPN can help you manage multiple accounts more easily too.

If you find that is easier to manage your affiliate marketing efforts, with the help of multiple accounts, then you can essentially use a VPN to help you with this. It helps you do this by masking your I.P.

For example, you can sign up to all of the best survey sites with a VPN.

If I try to access SwagBucks from my current location then I just get redirected to a blank white screen-

blank screen

But if I enable the VPN and connect to a UK server I see this-

uk vpn connection

That’s the nuts and bolts of how you can use the tool for Marketing.

How A VPN Secures Your Digital Marketing Activity

If you’re working while traveling, say in a cafe or airport, there is a possibility of a hacker being nearby.

They can easily gain access to sensitive information – think bank details, client accounts, and sensitive documents – through those public networks.

The encryption (you can see a diagram of how that works below) keeps it safe.

vpn

But it also helps if you’re active in the Marketing (or any) community. If you’re commenting on forums, or something similar, people may be able to track your other online activities using your I.P. address.

Using that information, they might be able to negatively impact your campaigns.

With a VPN, however, people can only really identify server locations, and not your actual IP address, making it easier to hide your footprints.

It is also worth mentioning that a VPN will help protect you from getting banned if you’re frequently visiting particular websites.

That’s because security systems can sometimes ban your IP if you’re sending too many server requests – with a VPN you’re less likely to trigger such an event.

This makes it easier to conduct research activity, without raising any ‘red flags’ that could damage your ability to run campaigns.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, by now you’ve got a clear idea of how a VPN can help you be safer on the internet and give you brilliant SEO and Affiliate benefits.

But, just to be sure, here’s a quick recap of everything that we covered…

  • What is a VPN? A VPN is a private network that keeps you safe online by using encrypted, safe to use, servers.
  • Which is the best VPN? IPVanish is my personal favorite and the only VPN that I recommend.
  • Are there good free VPNs available? TunnelBear is a good fee VPN, but I strongly suggest you use a paid service.
  • What are the Digital Marketing benefits? Not only does it keep your business data safe online, but you can also create more accurate SEO campaigns and find new affiliate offers.
  • What other fun stuff can you do? Stream TV and Music from blocked locations. Find cheaper airfare. And, use it to help you learn a language.

Now, over to you!

How do you use a VPN to make yourself safer online?

Have you discovered any fun stuff you can do with it?

Let me know in the comments…

76 Responses

  1. sam
    1.17.2017

    i was looking for the VPN. IPVanish is pricey, it seems there are some with lifetime rate.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      I have never seen any with a lifetime fee but I would be very careful with that because a ‘one time fee’ pricing model in a business that has recurring server/bandwidth costs can only end badly. Cash flow will eventually kill them.

  2. William
    1.17.2017

    Wow. That’s a long post about VPN.

    Thanks.

    Now with it’s use on SEO purposes, I am wondering, do you think it is possible to set this up for “click and search.”?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Yes you could do that along with AHKScript or WinAutomation

      • Daniel
        January 26th, 2017 at 5:47 am

        Is it safe to do the bot clicks with IP’s from IPvanish vpn?
        Or Google will find out and punish my website?

        • Matthew Woodward
          January 31st, 2017 at 9:52 am

          I don’t have any experience with doing that

        • Chris
          May 19th, 2017 at 7:06 am

          Hi Daniel

          Google tracks your screen location, OS, browser type etc. So its better to stay away.

  3. Sumit Chhikara
    1.17.2017

    That is awesome post I used to use Express VPN but now now not using it anymore but after reading these benefits from you I will definitely give ipvanish a try

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      No problem Sumit :)

  4. Jonathan Bloor
    1.17.2017

    Do you think Private Internet Access is any good – I went of these and others when Netflix clamped down, although I like the fact my account works in all my devices and I never connect to a strange/public network without it in place.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      I used them before switching to IPVanish. Initially the service was very good, but then I had constant problems with videos buffering and sluggish connection speeds so I moved and eventually landed on IPVanish.

      • Jon
        January 17th, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        Thanks for the feedback – I think I discovered them from your monthly reports. I too had issues but still have some time left on my subscription so ok for now.

        • Matthew Woodward
          January 20th, 2017 at 8:15 am

          Sorry to hear that Jon!

  5. Jason Stovall
    1.17.2017

    Amazing information and worth the time to read. So next time I grab my laptop and use it in open wifi I’ll have security now! Would like a better understanding how to use it in helping local businesses rank websites in different cities! Thanks a million

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      It helps you in your research and also monitoring of the results, eg you can easily do local SEO for someone in Seattle vs someone in Chicago and get a real look at how things look from different locations

  6. Donna White
    1.17.2017

    Thank you so much for this post. For a couple of months, I have been wanting to get a VPN service but I kept putting it off. I plan to use it for just about everything you mentioned.

    I know I can trust your recommendation so I got the year plan through your link.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks Donna, yes IPVanish is like my 5th attempt at a provider and I’m happy with them after 6 months of usage :)

  7. Kristjan
    1.17.2017

    Very comprehensive article. There is one thing people should know when using vpn. If you log in to your PayPal then PayPal will block your account. So please be aware! I personally use PIA which stands for private Internet access but I have yearly dilio with them, when it’s over I will go ahead and use Ipvanish. Thanks again for such a great article Matthew

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      That is who I used to use, but they service degraded and video was always buffering every few seconds so I canned them.

      I’ve never had any problems with PayPal though and always connected to VPN

  8. Shabu
    1.18.2017

    I use VPN for rank tracking though I’m not familiar with IPVanish. Will give it a try. So far I know you are familiar with Rank tracker by Link Assistant, do you use any VPN to that software?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Which VPN are you using? Yes you can use it with link assistant software

      • Shabu
        January 20th, 2017 at 8:30 am

        Thanks for the info, will give it a try. I use Windscribe now, which is a desktop software.

  9. KnowledgeTpoint
    1.18.2017

    I was not so much aware of VPN but after reading this i learn many things like how to Set up VPN things.

    Nice details info. Thanks Matthew!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:14 am

      No problem :)

  10. Hardeep Singh
    1.18.2017

    Can you suggest any free vpn?
    I don’t use public wifi much, so I think it will not be worth to buy any paid service

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:13 am

      I could suggest you read the post

  11. Michael
    1.18.2017

    With IPVanish can i use it on say my smart phone, tablet and laptop with 1 account or do u need separate accounts for each device.

    Do you have any experience using Intel True Key with a VPN.

    Thanks for the informative article

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Yes you can do that no problem. I have never heard of Intel True Key sorry =/

  12. mohammad umair
    1.21.2017

    Never thought VPN can be this helpful for digital marketers. Thanks Matt. This was very handy.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      No problem Mohammad

  13. Jeff
    1.21.2017

    Why not just use the https version of the sites. All traffic is encrypted from local computer to web server, free.
    And as more websites move to https, for the Google love, it will become less of an issue. Of course all financial and sensitive sites should already be secure.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Not every site has that option, nor is it a ‘default’ and you would still be leaking your IP address along with any other encrypted traffic.

      It’s better take responsibility for your own security

  14. Rajat
    1.21.2017

    Thanks for sharing this post. I am currently using Hoxx VPN. It is good VPN.
    Thanks once again. :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      How is it with streaming video?

  15. Rajpal Singh
    1.22.2017

    Cyber crime incresing day by day and reason behind is lack of awarness towards cyber security. i think we made hackers job more easy as i can guess most of my friends email and social media account password.

    we should use VPN atleast when we are using a public wi-fi. its really helpful to encrypt your online activity.

    i am already aware of vpn but like the idea to use it for SEO purpose and affiliate marketing. thanks for idea.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      No problem Rajpal, security is often overlooked!

  16. Emenike Emmanuel
    1.23.2017

    Hi Matthew,

    I know about VPN but talk of using it to build a safe and secured online business like my blog is what I’m just hearing for the first time. It’s a long post full of jargons, most of them I’m not familiar with but I had to read to the end. Without reservation I can boldly tell you that I learnt so much from this. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Emenike

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 24th, 2017 at 10:23 am

      If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask :)

  17. Ales
    1.23.2017

    What I would add is that everyone should use VPN providers that don’t log users activities also. This can additionally increase anonymity for those who are looking for the highly anonymous web surfing.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 24th, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Yes IPVanish ticks that box :)

  18. hazel kumar
    1.24.2017

    Hi Matthew,

    I have a noob kinda question.
    Do I need to operate my all of the PBN’s using the different VPN to avoid and footprint ???

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 24th, 2017 at 10:22 am

      No a VPN isn’t really important to building a PBN

  19. Dan
    1.24.2017

    Great article Matthew, but how do you know that IPVanish is a company you can trust?

    Sharing all your emails access codes…Paypal… and other sensitives infos. with a totally virtual company, that is somewhere on the planet., uhm.

    I looked at their website to find information about the company and could not find much. They are also hiding their physical address from their FB account. Why are they so secretive about their identity, executives etc…? If they were US/UK/Aus/Can based company they would most likely share this, I guess.

    Of course using a public network is also not a good alternative.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 10:12 am

      I think you have misunderstood how the VPN works, you are not sharing anything with them as all of the data is encrypted.

  20. The Guy Who Flies
    1.24.2017

    Great review Matthew, very comprehensive.

    I’ve also written a couple of VPN reviews on my blog which has lead to me being inundated with various VPN providers wanting a mention (you have been warned).

    I’m an old user of TunnelBear and think it is a good starter model for people new to VPNs.

    I’ve tried a few over time yet in the last few years I’ve happily settled for Hide My A** (who claim to be bigger and offer more IP/Servers than anyone else). I ended up with them because they were the only one out of those I tried who managed to get around the great firewall of China. (I visit Shanghai most years.)

    I find them very good for accessing geo restricted sites as I often use iPlayer and SkyGo. I’m currently here in the US using Hide My A**.

    You make some good points about what you can do to benefit from a VPN, more ideas than I thought of.

    • The Guy Who Flies
      January 24th, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Since your website seems to restrict the last word of the three word provider I use (although that is the genuine name – no offence intended) it maybe best if I refer to it as HMA in future.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Hahahah yeah I am getting spammed by them as well :)

  21. dave
    1.25.2017

    Mat,

    Are you saying our data can be hacked only when we use free Wi-Fi or PAID services as well?

    And, how about if we don’t save our passwords for Paypal etc on our Laptops, how can the hacker nick it if we haven’t saved it in our browser in the first place?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Essentially if you are on any Wifi network, then any other user on that Wifi network can monitor your traffic/passwords/logins as they all get sent over the air which anyone on the same WiFi network can intercept.

      Unless it is encrypted.

      It has nothing to do with saving passwords in your browsers.

  22. Ajs
    1.25.2017

    thanks for this well covered post, most interesting, will be looking into this VPN in the near future.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 10:05 am

      No problem Ajs!

  23. Hiff
    1.25.2017

    Hi I am currently with PIA but I often have to fill in CAPCHAs and cannot even access my own email without getting the message “Access forbidden on this server”. Obviously somehow certain sites are detecting that I am using a VPN and it is a real pain because I have to disconnect and go back in again, which somewhat defeats the object.. Is IPVanish any different?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Ooo that sucks, I haven’t had that problem with IPVanish – however that is not to say it can’t happen.

      Usually these systems are in place because they are getting too many requests from a single IP address, and although IPVanish has a lot of IP addresses – it’s still possible to have that problem.

  24. Debarati
    1.25.2017

    VPN are the most important tool for an individual who is stuck with a wifi network blocking people after a stipulated time. Thus it is very important to know the best VPNs to enable smooth and fast internet with no damage to the local area network connection. The best VPN will help redirect the internet connection with minimal detection.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 9:58 am

      And get around any pesky network/website blocks :)

  25. Chris
    1.25.2017

    HI, great post, but why not just a simple proxy to connect to the internet?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 9:58 am

      That doesn’t offer any encryption

  26. Kashif Raza
    1.26.2017

    Hi Matthew,

    Did the change of location in google search engine produces the same result? Same as mocking the IP from VPN ??
    correct me if I m wrong….

    BTW thanks a lot for a great article.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 31st, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Can you explain your question a little more please?

      • Kashif Raza
        February 9th, 2017 at 4:52 am

        Sorry for late reply,

        I mean let’s suppose I m at google.com.au and doing SEO for a Columbia Website and want to check results for Columbia … I Simply type http://www.google.com.co and it shows me Columbia Google Search Engine.

        So, i mean, Do i have to Buy A VPN or I can change my location with that trick. ?

        • Matthew Woodward
          February 27th, 2017 at 10:24 am

          You would see different results if you were in the country

  27. Ian Parks
    1.31.2017

    Thanks for this…. Finally pushed me to set it up and it’s up and running like a charm!

    • Ian Parks
      February 1st, 2017 at 4:33 am

      Just want to say, Netflix USA worked for a day then it’s warning of me streaming…. I guess there is no fix for this with IPVanish.

      • Matthew Woodward
        February 27th, 2017 at 10:44 am

        Speak with support they can probably work it out

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Awesome :)

  28. Onehalf AU
    1.31.2017

    Thanks Matthew for highlighting the advantages of VPN. I agree that online security is a big problem especially for website owners.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:45 am

      No problem :)

  29. Bill
    2.17.2017

    I use a VPN when I’m in Thailand. It’s essential because the country blocks many sites and the government monitors browsing activity.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 8:45 am

      That is good to know! I just got back from Thailand myself but didnt notice any blocks because I was using the VPN

    • Cris Fl
      February 28th, 2017 at 6:44 am

      This is close to me. I have been very often in such a situation especially by travelling. VPN is amazing solution.

  30. Saurabh Mathur
    3.7.2017

    I read your post you describe VPN in very easy way thanks for sharing use full information.

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 7th, 2017 at 11:55 am

      No problem hope it has helped you out Saurabh!

  31. Hostingsafety
    6.22.2017

    Very informative post, I really got very useful information.
    Keep updating such informative post.

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 12th, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      No problem :)

  32. John Lees
    7.22.2017

    Hi, I am based in the UK and if I use a VPN server in the UK would it still be anonymous ?

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 3rd, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Yes

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