Secure your internet use a virtual private network
Not too long ago, I had to educate some loved ones about the danger of using public WiFi hotspots. As convenient as they are, they are a hotbed of potential security risks for your personal data. Public hotspots are essentially a shopping mall for hackers. When you are on an unsecured network, like a public hotspot, you are susceptible to packet sniffers, which is like wiretapping on a telephone network except that it’s a way to gain access to personal data through a computer. In addition to this type of security breach, you are also playing the game of chance that the business you are visiting is not monitoring your activity. Take a close look at the image below. This was captured when I was having some work done on my truck. The company notifies its patrons that while they are connected to the public WiFi at their location that “no communication should be considered private” and that communications are “subject to monitoring”. To me, this is a very scary prospect and so I wanted to make sure my loved ones were using a VPN.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it’s a network technology that secures a network connection over a public network. This technology is used frequently by government agencies and large companies to make sure that users are securely connected to a private network. There are many VPN providers out there and it can be hard to determine which service will work best for you. For me, NordVPN is a clear winner for many, many reasons.
NordVPN provides you everything you need to protect yourself online. The system allows you to choose from several Double VPN combinations to encrypt your Internet traffic. In addition to the Double VPN, NordVPN features military-grade encryption and CyberSec technology that shields you from intrusive advertisements. When you are using the NordVPN system, you will experience online privacy with the following features:
- IP address protection
- A no logging policy – none of your private data will be tracked or monitored
- Automatic kill switch
- DNS leak protection
- Onion over VPN – the inclusion of the Onion Router
- Browser Proxy Extensions
There are over 2,100 servers in 56 different countries providing the NordVPN network. You have the freedom to stream videos and participate in P2P activities, which is not always allowed with VPN services. With one account you can connect 6 devices simultaneously and the software packages for NordVPN are available on the major desktop operating systems and through mobile apps.
After signing up for my plan and downloading the software, I was connected and using a VPN within about 90 seconds. Once you install the software on your system, you simply enter your account information and click ‘connect’. You do have the option to select a specific country of origin before connecting and your VPN broadcast will be illustrated on the map in the dashboard. You even have the ability to select your favorite servers in the dashboard.
NordVPN is now my VPN of choice. I recently was a full-time user of PIA until I started having issues with the service. It wasn’t allowing me to connect to it when I was on certain public WiFi spots. I had those issues enough times that I contacted the company to only get the runaround. What good is a VPN if you can’t use it? This led me to a search for a new service — one that not only would be fast but always work. Some businesses have found ways to block certain VPN services so that when you try to connect to your VPN of choice you’re left with what I had been dealing with while using PIA. This was something that I could not afford to deal with.
When searching for VPN services I had a lot of issues with websites only showing the ones they got the best commission from. This is a big problem when searching for virtual private networks. Because MacSources is not funded by any mainstream media providers, we do utilize affiliate programs but we aren’t biased. PIA was what we used before NordVPN and even though we did use the affiliate program with them while using their service, we can no longer recommend them due to the multiple issues with public WiFi hotspots. This is why we have pulled the advertising from our website and replaced it with advertising from NordVPN.
I mention this because I want our viewers to know that we aren’t trying to make money off selling you on a VPN service we don’t use. If at some point we find that NordVPN has gone down the drain, we will pull the affiliate advertising from them off our site. As long as you see it on our site we believe in the service they provide. When it came to testing, I primarily used my MacBook Pro and was looking to test the speed more than any other feature. I was very impressed that speed didn’t seem to be affected too drastically.
I am a happy NordVPN user and I keep it running on my Mac and iPhone all the time. In this day in age, a VPN in a public setting is a must. NordVPN is a very easy to use, online security system. I can recommend it wholeheartedly and think that anyone using public hotspots should use NordVPN. They do offer a three-day free trial and have plans that are as low as $3.29 per month with a 2-year commitment. Here is a list of all their subscription pricing.
- 1-Month $11.95
- 1-Year $5.75/month
- 2-Year $3.29/month
- 3-Year (special) $2.75/month
UPDATE April 18, 2018
- Currently 3700+ servers in 60+ countries; with the help of obfuscated servers, NordVPN works in countries (China, the Middle East countries) where Internet access is restricted and strong censorship is in place as well as in restricted local networks
- NordVPN offers encrypted proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers
- NordVPN will automatically initiate a VPN connection whenever a Wi-Fi network is joined. It can be set up to auto-connect to Nord on both secured and unsecured Wi-Fi networks
- Uses SmartPlay – a feature that unblocks over 150 streaming services by bypassing geo-restrictions. You can access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other popular streaming services