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#Ivacy VPN 2017

7 Aug

Ivacy VPN

If you pay any attention to my blog, you’ll know that for the last 3 years I have been living abroad and traveling to many countries including China, Korea, Japan, US.  All truly beautiful countries, you should try reading some of my other posts to see my adventures!

As always, I want to start by saying I do NOT support using a VPN to avoid legal blocks (like the Great Firewall), accomplish illegal or illicit activities, or do anything that the government would not approve of.  Those things are illegal – if you don’t want to follow their local laws, find a different country to live or travel in. 

So if you aren’t looking to break firewalls and get into sites you shouldn’t be getting into, why would you want a VPN?  You can find my list of the pros and cons of a VPN here. In general, I like the security a VPN provides to me, whether at home or abroad. I still use my VPNs in the US, especially if at a public location to avoid the same hacks, viruses, and trojans I worry about while traveling.  A VPN can help keep you fast and safe. Sometimes. Depending on which VPN you choose.  Also, it sometimes helps me bypass technical issues in the system. For example, my university uses Blackboard, but it does have random glitches that drop it a lot.  About 25% of the time, it only works if the teachers use a VPN.   When other teachers are down and out, those with a VPN can still get on.

To be honest, I actually go back and forth between several VPNs right now including Astrill and VyprVPN.  You can read my reviews for them here and here.  But I recently  Ivacy offered me the chance to test them out – kind of a new VPN on the shelf. Here’s my experience so far!
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Life in China ~ #Ivacy #VPN

5 Jun

Image result for Ivacy

Hey guys!  I’m about to test out a new VPN called Ivacy.  I’m curious to see how it works. I’m downloading it today, and I’ll put it through it’s paces. Then I’ll let you all know how it goes!  Can’t wait to see how it compares to Vypr and Astrill!  I’ll also be posting a 2017 update on Vypr in the next couple weeks! 

So much going on in the VPN department!  Exciting! 

*yes, I am a nerd – these things excite me 😛

Life in #China – #WeChat 

28 May

#Astrill VPN 2017

4 May

Astrill VPN

If you pay any attention to my blog, you’ll know that for the last 3 years I have been living abroad. The world has many wonderful aspects to it (the mountains are GORGEOUS!), but stable and safe internet service is not one of those. My friend recently took her computer back to the States after a trip abroad to be repaired and the tech guy said she had more than 200 viruses on her system.  

So if you aren’t looking to break firewalls and get into sites you shouldn’t be getting into, why would you want a VPN?  You can find my list of the pros and cons of a VPN here. In general, I like the security a VPN provides to me, whether at home or abroad. I still use my VPNs in the US, especially if at a public location to avoid the same hacks, viruses, and trojans I worry about while traveling.  A VPN can help keep you fast and safe. Sometimes. Depending on which VPN you choose.  Also, it sometimes helps me bypass technical issues in the system. For example, my university uses Blackboard, but it does have random glitches that drop it a lot.  About 25% of the time, it only works if the teachers use a VPN.   When other teachers are down and out, those with a VPN can still get on.

To be honest, I actually go back and forth between Astrill and VyprVPN which runs at about $80/year for 1 device or $100/year for 2 device. Another one recommended to be was ExpressVPN which runs at about $100/year for 1 device and 1 phone/ipad (I’ve never tried them so I have nothing to give you for Express).   

After more than 3 years as an Astrill user, I thought I would offer you a report on how it’s going.  Continue reading

The #Tech Life ~ #VPN Pros and Cons

26 Apr

As always, I’m actually a supporter of people using VPNs to protect themselves when on the internet.  Although a VPN is never completely anonymous, it does go a long way towards protecting your identity and computer from people who want to hack and steal your data.  For those of you interested in how a VPN can help you or hurt you, I thought I’d compile a list of benefits and problems I’ve run into with my 3 years of VPN experience 🙂

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Installing #WordPress Site on #HostGator

21 Apr

How to Install and Start Editing your WordPress Site on Hostgator!!

STEP #1 – Sign Into your CONTROL PANEL.  If you aren’t sure how, look here.

WP 1

See the button in the picture above that says “WordPress – 1 Click Installation?”  Click it 🙂

WP 2

Click the down arrow and choose the domain name (URL: http://www.deceptivelyblonde.com) that you have created on HostGator and was to set up as a WordPress Site. Click “Next”

WP 3

Fill in your Name and information for the WordPress Site.  Be careful – if the email address you use already has a WordPress Site attached to it, they’ll want to add this site to your old WordPress account. If you don’t want to do that, you’ll have to create a new WordPress account.

WP 4

You’re installing!  Wait, Wait, Wait!

WP 5

Awesome! Your Installation is Complete.  Pay attention to the “Installed to:” “Username” and “Password” — You’ll need these next.

Take that “Installed To:” URL and put it in your URL field at the top of your browser. It should be the url you chose for your website.  Basically, just go visit your new site. It’ll show the image below:

For example: “https://www.deceptivelyblonde.com”

wP 6

This is the page that everyone else is going to see until you finally publish your completed site.  But for now, just click “Admin Login.”  In the picture below, enter the username and password that they gave you before.    

WP 7

Viola!  You’ll be on the familiar “WordPress” dashboard instead of the Hostgator dashboard.  Now you can go through the steps and start setting up your website.  (I’ll post another instruction set for that later. 🙂

WP 8

#Hostgator – Changing Your Control Panel Password

11 Apr

Changing Password.png

To change the password, sign into your Control Panel.  On the top right, you’ll see your username. Click it.

The drop-down will say “Password & Security”

Now just enter your old password and your new one. 🙂

#HostGator – Payment Verification Process

4 Apr

Hostgator is a little serious about protecting your privacy. So you have three ways to purchase your package — Credit Card, E-Card, or Paypal.

 If you use a Credit Card or E-Credit Card, you may have to do verification of your identity.  If you don’t do this within 48 hours, they will cancel your purchase.  I had to submit a copy of my driver’s license and a picture of my credit card.  For the Credit Card, they asked me to hide the first 12 numbers of my card. I also went ahead and blacked out the DOB, Middle Name, and some other private details on my Driver’s License.  

Verification

*To hide information on a photo – 1) Save the image on your computer. 2) Right Click on the photo and choose “Edit.”  It should open the photo up in a program where you can draw on it.  3) Use a big brush or something to draw lines through the information you want hidden. 4) Save the picture. 

If you have to do this verification process, they’ll send you an email asking you to do the requirement. They’ll tell you what to send, but not WHERE.  

Go to your Billing Account (your password will have been in an email with the subject ‘billing’ along with a link to your Billing Account).

Look on the top bar for “SUPPORT.”

Verification 2

 

Once there, go to “TICKET HISTORY.”  You’ll see a support ticket is already open with the subject “Hostgator – Verification Requested.”  

Verification 3

Click on the Ticket ID#.

It’ll open up a page where you see basically the same message as was in your email.  But at the bottom of the page you can “Reply” with a message and attach your documents.

Verification 4

Once you add your files, click “UPDATE TICKET”

Then you just have to wait for them to verify everything. 

Setting up HostGator Website (Part 1)

4 Apr

BUYING YOUR HOSTING SERVICE:

You can get a discount on your service if you purchase HostGator with the PCMAG discount code via this link.  The basic service (I did a Hatchling program) is around $3-5 per month with the discount and depending on how many months you purchase.

Additional Costs & Available Services:

  • Domain Name (prices vary based on what ending you want – .com, .org, .net, .me)
  • Domain Privacy Protection Service at $1.08/month.
  • Protect Your Site from hackers at $19.99/year
  • Professional Email (if you want one – I don’t) at $5/month
  • Back-up your work daily at $19.95/year

PAYMENT & CARD VERIFICATION

Hostgator is a little serious about protecting your privacy. So you have three ways to purchase your package — Credit Card, E-Card, or Paypal.  For the cards, your billing address and phone number must be the same as you have on your Card Statement each month.  

You may be asked to verify your card or payment information afterwards. You must do this in 48 hours.  For information on how to do that click here.

YOUR ACCOUNTS

On HostGator, you have two websites you’ll be operating with.  As soon as you finish your purchase, you’re going to get two different emails from them.  

  1. The first should have the Subject ‘Billing.’  That’s your Billing Account information.  This email should give you a link to the Billing Account, your Login Name / Email Address, and a Password.
  2. The second should have the Subject “Your Account Info.’  That’s the information for accessing your new Control Panel for your Website!  It will also tell you the link to the CP, your Login Name, the Password, your server and some other details.  

KEEP BOTH OF THESE EMAILS!

I recommend logging into both websites and changing your password to something more memorable.  But you won’t be able to do anything with the billing account until verification is completed. 

Vypr VPN Sale!

6 Dec

Hey darlings!

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!  

Image result for vypr

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!

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