What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network. There are several reasons why you could benefit VPN, but there are really two main two reasons we recommend it for everyone, especially online business owners:
- You believe in the right to privacy, and want to maximize your online privacy
- You want to protect yourself from hackers/malicious users when using public or shared wi-fi networks. This is especially important if you’re running an online business, have a website with customer data, online often, etc
If you want to learn more about the technicalities of how VPNs work, then check out this great article by LifeHacker: https://lifehacker.com/5940565/why-you-should-start-using-a-vpn-and-how-to-choose-the-best-one-for-your-needs
How do I choose the right VPN?
There are dozens (probably hundreds) of providers in the VPN space, some premium and others free. Choosing the right tool can be a tough decision. We typically advise people to be weary of free service providers in general, because as the saying goes “there’s no such thing as a free lunch!” Many “free” VPN providers won’t charge you up front for your services, but in order to monetize they’re business model, they will sell your browsing data to third parties – for this reason, we recommend paying a little bit every year for peace of mind with a reputable company. We recommend Private Internet Access (PIA) primarily because:
- No Traffic or Request logs (The VPN company couldn’t even view your data even if they tried)
- US Based (There are extra regulations in place to ensure your data is safe.)
The yearly package is great for new customers and runs $35/year: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/buy-vpn/plantedsky Once you get to the download page, you’ll get guided through instructions for installation and activation. If you’re still having issues, here’s backup guide links: Mac OS: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/helpdesk/guides/mac/mac-os/macos-installing-the-pia-app Windows: https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/helpdesk/guides/windows/windows/windows-installing-the-pia-app Questions, comments, suggestions? Feel free to provide any feedback in the comments!