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How Virtual Private Networks Work

How Virtual Private Networks Work

These days there’s a lot of talk about Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs for short, and for good reason. As online privacy becomes an increasingly hot topic of discussion among politicians and activists, individuals have started to take online privacy into their own hands.

While you may not have as much to hide as Edward Snowden, everyone can appreciate online privacy and should take the necessary steps to protect yourself. One of the best things you can do to protect your privacy and establish your anonymity online is by using a Virtual Private Network.

VPNs allow you to connect to a private network through your regular connection to the world wide web. Upon establishing a connection to this private network you’re able to mask your online activity, thus establishing your privacy online. Even your Internet Service Provider (ISP) won’t be able to make sense of your internet activity.

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This has a great many number of benefits, especially if you are constantly accessing sensitive information like private health or financial records that you’d like to keep safe from prying eyes. These days you can never be too safe on the world wide web.

So, now that you have a general idea of what a VPN is, here’s an awesome infographic that will explain how a VPN works. Enjoy and be sure to share the article if you found it useful or leave a comment below if you have questions.

How Virtual Private Networks Work

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How VPNs Work Graphic

     

    Detailed Explanation on How VPNs Work

    At its core, a VPN is just a private network connection that you access through a public network like the world wide web. Basically, you connect to a remote server of your choosing. You’ve either setup this server yourself, know of another server somewhere else in the world, or you’ve subscribed to a VPN service that allows you to gain access to their servers all around the world.

    When you connect to the Virtual Private Network your computer attempts to establish a connection with this remote server. At this point the remote server authenticates your computer and your computer does the same to the server. Assuming the computer and server authentication is successful, you’ll gain access to the remote server.

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    At this point you’re able to connect and access the internet through this remote server. This is powerful for many reasons: the biggest is that you’ll have a new IP address. Having a new IP address means your computer thinks it’s in a different location.

    To give you a quick example, if you’re in Singapore but you connect to a server in New York through your VPN connection, your computer will be able to surf the internet through the New York server and all your internet traffic will appear to be coming from New York.

    This is great, especially if you’re trying to do something like watch Netflix from Europe or access a blocked site abroad.

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    A VPN connection does a lot more than help you fake your location. With a VPN connection you’re able to encrypt your internet traffic, protecting yourself and your data. In fact your internet activity will be encrypted to the point where even your ISP won’t be able to make sense of the data.

    A VPN can also help you protect yourself when you access the internet over public wi-fi like in cafes or airports. This is important because it protects your and your personal information.

    If you’re looking for a great VPN service you can type “best VPN services” into a search engine and come up with a lot of options.  When looking for a VPN provider you want to look for speed (fast download speeds and unlimited bandwidth usage). There are a lot of great choices online when it comes to VPN providers so you’ll have no trouble finding one that works for you.

    Privacy will be the hot topic for 2014, so now is a good a time to become more knowledgeable about privacy technology and leverage it in your favor.

    Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below!

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    Published on September 20, 2018

    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

    In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

    Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

    In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

    Minimizing Tabs

    Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

    Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

    Incognito Mode

    Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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    1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
    2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
    3. Download extension New Incognito Window

    This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

    Save Webpages as PDF Files

    Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

    Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

    Open Recently-closed Tabs

    Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

    One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

    The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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    Solve Mathematical Problems

    Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

    For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

    Play Media Files

    Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

    In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

    Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

    With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

    Stay Focus(e)d

    Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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    Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

    With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

    This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

    Grammarly for Editing

    Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

    You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

    Loom

    There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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    There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

    With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

    Chrome Calendar Extension

    No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

    Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

    Final Thoughts

    Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

    Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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