Just letting you know that VyprVPN is starting their end of the year sale if you’re interested!
As some of you know, I’m a big supporter of using VPNs to protect your computers from viruses, trojans, and other attacks. Plus, living abroad has taught me the importance of “location” for computers. By leaving the States, I immediately lost access to a lot of “location-centered” computer websites. As most of you know, China blocks a large number of websites (Youtube, Google, Facebook), but it’s more than that. Hulu is location based – outside the US it isn’t offered. Youku (a Chinese hulu) is location based – outside China it isn’t offered. My Chinese universities online system is location based – outside China, I can’t access their version of Blackboard to grade my students’ work. Kindle is also somewhat “location-centered.” Many of my friends in China and Korea have complained that they cannot download their Kindle books without a VPN.
Then there’s the fact that everything wants to automatically revert to the language of your “location.” So when I’m in Korea, everything on google, facebook, twitter, amazon, and my email turned Korean. When I’m in China, it all goes Chinese. For Amazon, it even sends me to the “Chinese Amazon” website instead of the “US Amazon.” Sure, not everything does that, but many sites that are “location-centered” will automatically change to the language or website of that country.
To be honest, I’m also not a fan of governments who want to snoop around and steal information from perfectly innocent, non-crime committing individuals around the world (aka UK and USA). And then you have companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google tracking your every move in an effort to “better market to you” (and other dubious matters such as tracking your political or religious beliefs).
One of my concerns as a teacher abroad has been the issue that immediately upon leaving the States, most teachers complained that their computers slowed down substantially. Several professors have been warned upon hiring computer fix-it companies to clean trojan or other problems that they have as many as 200-300 different tracking programs embedded in their computers at the end of one year. McAfee and other security programs were running and still missed these issues. Their computers turn on and off at night for no reason. Programs suddenly start crashing. Emails magically don’t show up when you send them. One of the US universities I traveled here with warned that it is entirely likely that we will have state, national, provincial and foreign governments all putting tracking info on our computers. I didn’t realize until I came how risky it was being a foreign teacher – I’ve known many teachers who were either teaching the children of important people or who were asked by different government / business institutions to translate or train their people for different projects. Or were wives of military personnel. One of my friends taught the daughter of a family who met with one of the royal families every week for tea.
Result? – 1) I’m not exactly confident in my computer’s security with just the usual virus-removal programs. 2) I am from the tecno-age. I have NO patience for slow computers or programs bringing my system down. 3) I have a moral / ethical belief that governments should not be invading innocent civilians computers without a legal warrant, and a strong desire to limit it as much as possible. 4) I don’t really want Facebook, Twitter, etc. following my every move, tracking me, my family, my friends, and my students just by watching what I email, my travel plans, etc. Think of it this way, what if you were an abuse victim and all your abusive husband/wife had to do was look on your Facebook/Google page to see “Abuse Shelters” and “Divorce Lawyers” show up on the ad side because that’s what you’ve been researching recently. It’s dangerous! 5) I want my websites in English! And usually I want the USA version of the site, not whatever foreign version they’ve come up with for other countries!
So far, my experience with VyprVpn has been really good. It works consistently, was easy to install, and simple to use. It often works when Astrill doesn’t, and I’ve rarely had problems with it. They have options available for Windows, Apple, Android, TVs, and Routers so almost everything is covered. I’ve never had problems with the Windows, Apple, or Android versions. The most basic version is either $80.04/year or $9.99/month. Their sale right now is on the best or “Premier” Vypr. Usually if you pay monthly, it’s $10/month ($239.88/year if paid monthly). But if you upgrade to Premier today, it’ll only be $120 if you pay for the whole year! That service gets you several of their “extra security” offerings like Chameleon and the Firewall, as well as access to Vypr on 5 devices simultaneously. It’s what I’ve been using for two years now, and I really like it! You can find out more information on http://www.goldenfrog.com.
*Disclaimer – I am a Vypr Affiliate. Every time someone buys Vypr by going through my website, I get an Affiliate fee from Vypr at no extra cost to you. However, please note that I am devoted to honesty and transparency (thus this disclaimer). I would never recommend a product I was not happy with myself. Note that I am also an affiliate of Astrill, but I’m not recommending them to you right now. That’s because I’ve had several problems with them recently (i.e. my location doesn’t change when I turn it on), and I cannot confidently recommend them to you as a working / safe system. Vypr, on the other hand, I’ve really liked!