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3 reasons you NEED a VPN!

3 reasons you NEED a VPN!

Let’s face it, everyone is connected to the internet in some way, shape, or form. In today’s society, internet users face a lot of security challenges when accessing the WWW (World Wide Web).

From being tracked by the government or ISPs (Internet Service Provider) to their neighbor stealing their wifi and monitoring their transmitted traffic.

There’s no safe haven on the internet as long as you’re connected! Luckily, there’s a technology called “VPN” (Virtual Private Network) which can help protect your identity, location and data. It’s not the magic answer, but it will help keep you from being an easy target.

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First, what’s a VPN?

A VPN is a complex network of computers/servers over the internet. Also, it’s a method used to add another level of security and privacy to a private/public networks (Like at your local coffee shop or when using the internet).

Business on the fly

VPNs are commonly used in business industries because they are a great way to protect sensitive data when employees are teleworking. An example of this would be if an employee was working from home and needed to access sensitive work files on a public internet. They could download and use VPNS client/server software or even applications like Rocket VPN, which is a free app on Google Play and iOS.

VPNs like Rocket VPN, are great for encrypting data, unblocking geographically restricted content, and keeping you anonymous while conducting business on the web. This is why businesses prefer using VPNs on a public network.

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Bypassing content filters

The internet should be open and available to all, in a perfect world, but behind the scenes, content filters are actively controlling what a user sees. Content filters can be placed in a number of places including: Schools, offices, or even placed by the government; blocking sites such as YouTube or popular News media channels.

Filters can also block many other digital paths a user may want to take, but they are unable to because of the restrictions. International travelers often become innocent victims of these filters, because they are using IPs from their distant location.

VPNs will be the answer to this issue, because it will allow you to alter how you are “seen” on the internet. Example: If you’re in one of my favorite countries Mexico and connect to a VPN server located in the United States, you would be able to browse websites that only U.S residents will be allowed to access even though you are physically located in Mexico. All traffic will look like its coming from a United States IP.

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The only downsides will be an increase in latency because of the additional overhead you are using, additional “hop points”, and sometimes having to use a third party server, but it’s a small price for internet freedom. VPNs are also great for bypassing countries firewalls, like “the great firewall of China” and can work the same in all countries.

Have your data encrypted, increase your security and privacy

VPNs provide security and privacy with the use of encryption. VPNs rely on ‘tunneling’, forming an encrypted connection between the VPN server and the device. By encrypting the data while it travels, it prevents MIM “man-the-middle” attacks. This is a common tactic in which criminals intercept and modify the data packets after putting themselves in the middle of the path.

A few security protocols that are commonly used with VPNs are IPsec, SSH and OpenVPN. There are a few companies that use AES 256-bit encryption and SHA2, authentication along with other proprietary algorithms.

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Try downloading any of the preferred VPN’s from the app stores for use.

Featured photo credit: www.petri.com via encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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