Tag Archives: internet

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!  

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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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Me This Week. . . And I Had so Much to Do!

23 Feb

Stick figure running toward its life goals, just about to drop into the pit of the internet.

Astrill Update

5 Feb

Yay! Astrill is semi-working on Apple again! And it actually seems a little better than before.  🙂  It started about 2-3 days ago and has been going on so far.  It drops every so often, but then it picks up again.  I haven’t tried visiting any blocked sites (I know some people who said those still threw them off), but it is helping keep my computer safe while I visit the allowed ones like my Outlook email again.  I’m happy!

VPN Update in Asia

26 Jan

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So, reports have been out recently that the VPNs in Asia aren’t working as well as normal.  The reports are definitely true.  Actually the internet in general isn’t working that strongly right now, but that could just be my specific place.  O_o

But in general, Astrill has been causing a lot of problems recently, as have ExpressVPN and VyprVPN.  Astrill is completely uncommunicative on Apple products, which is a bite to a lot of people here at my institution.  I’m not so sure about the others working on Apple, but I know that a lot of PCs and Androids are also having problems.  So far, Astrill is working just fine on my PC, but not all the time on my Samsung DuoS phone and not at all on my IPad.

Astrill says it is attempting to update an app for use in Asia, but we’ll see how it goes. To be honest, I don’t know a lot of VPNS that work well on IOS systems at any time.

How to Find Your Wireless Password without the Router

27 Nov

I ran into this problem today, so I figured I would share the information with you 🙂

If you need to find the wireless password and you don’t have access to the Router (I.e. you are at an extended family’s house like me  :P) Here is how you go about locating that.  

  1. Enter 192.168.1.1 into the URL box in your browser. That’s it. No www or http://.  Just those numbers.
  2. It’s going to ask you for a username and password.  Usually that’s admin and admin for both username and password.  Sometimes it’ll be something like admin and password.  It always works with just admin for me.
  3. Now it should bring up a page with all of your internet’s information- name, router information, etc.  Somewhere there will be a place for Internet Security (or something similar). That is going to have your password!
  4. Mostly, just fiddle around with the page it pulls up, looking at the different tabs and options, until you find security with the password’s information.

Worked for me; hope it helps you!!

 

Testing Out AirBnB . . . RESULTS!

5 Aug

I have recently been uploading/updating a rather long-winded post outlining my experiences with the website AirBnB.  While it took almost 4+ months, and lots of emailing back and forth, at last I can bring you my results!  

I ended up choosing a room hosted by a man named Jinwoo.  You can see the link that he had posted on AirBnB here.  My requirements were pretty simple:

A cheap room for 18 days in the middle of Seoul in a safe neighborhood that had free internet,a Lock on the door with a Key I could keep on hand.  Since I couldn’t pay upfront, I also needed to put down a deposit instead.

You can read from my other post most of the process I went through, but to sum it up:

  • I emailed him on AirBnB about the room with the information above and asking for price and room availability verification.
  • Since I had special issues regarding the deposit, He responded with a request that I speak with him via Kakao (the Korean version of Messenger).
  • He was incredibly kind to me and we sent back and forth about 4 messages setting up how I was to pay the deposit ($100) and getting all the details.
  • I finally got the address and he also attached directions on how to get there. So I set off!

And now, the RESULTS!

Ease of Locating the Place

Per the owner’s instruction, upon arrival at Incheon Airport, I grabbed the #6020 Limosuine bus for Seoul (it takes about an hour at ₩15,000 = approx. $15).  It took me to the Seoul Nat’l. University of Education (SNUE) stop (be careful–there is a Seoul Nat’l. University stop, but it isn’t the same one; look for the Education part of the title).  This was the intersection where the SNUE Subway Station was located. It’s too close to take a taxi and the owner recommends  taking the subway up to Seocho Station. However, I was carrying 2 heavy suitcases that didn’t make it feasible to go up and down the subway stairs so instead I hiked it. I was glad to discover that from Exit 9 of the SNUE subway station (you can see the numbers from the sidewalk above and each has a map posted at the top of the stairs), it was only about a 2-3 block straight walk to Seocho Station’s Exit #1.  From there I was told to take the first right then the first left and look for a kimchi shop. I’ve marked the location on the map below with a star so you can see it’s exact location. It only took about 2 minutes from the subway station. It took me a long time because I had to figure out how to get to Seocho Station from where the bus dropped me off and the walk was uphill; plus I wasn’t sure which Kimchi shop. But overall, it was really easy to find.

Map

GOOD LOCATION?

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The “Gangnam” title is a little bit of a misnomer since it’s actually about 3 subway stops away from Gangnam Station; however I didn’t find that to be a detraction.  The hotel was 2 minutes away from a subway station (amazing location for Seoul–the subway is your lifeline), which was on a busy intersection where tons of taxis pass by. If you couldn’t get to your location via subway, there was always a taxi.  There’s nothing there for tourists, but it’s right beside the Prosecutor’s office, the Supreme Court, and a bunch of other legal facilities so it’s definitely in a safe location.  This part of town is also close to a major college, so there are several coffee shops on the main road and some local restaurants across the street and next door.  The main road also had a Lotteria and a 24 hour convenience Mart less than a minute (literally maybe 2 buildings) from the subway. There was a bar across the street and the restaurant downstairs served alcohol so people could sometimes get pretty loud, but closing the window fixed that.  One nice thing was that you always used Seocho Station as your taxi’s address (they knew where it was just by me saying Seocho Yok (station)) and you only had a minute’s walk so you didn’t have to carry the address around and it was easy to locate 🙂 .  All in all, I liked the location.

Room Itself

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At last we come to the room itself.  The room was incredibly small (barely walking room, maybe the size of my bathroom back home) and included:

  • A Twin Bed with a blanket, sheet, and pillow. The bed was fine, but I wish I’d gotten a replacement sheet/blanket. The pillow was pretty flat too, so I might have been better off bringing my own.
  • A desk. The desk was awesome; it was the length of the room and left me plenty of room to stash my laptop, camera, and other school-related supplies.  It also came with an ethernet cord in addition to the wifi (although wifi was kind of sketchy some nights).  It had plenty of outlets which was really nice.
  • A Closet. The closet had a couple of hangers and was pretty small, but I made do.  Mostly I just stashed my suitcases in there to keep them out of the way.
  • A mini-Fridge. I loved the mini-fridge. There was a refrigerator in the kitchen, but I liked to keep drinks and snacks here.  Saved me from moving in the heat unless I had too and I kept my drinks cold.
  • 2 windows. Some rooms apparently didn’t have as many windows, but they all had one that opened indoors. I kept the inside one open during the day to get the air-conditioning, but that didn’t always seem to be on at night. Since it was usually coolish and raining at night, I’d open up the outside window then. It really depended on the weather. It could sometimes get cooking in that room, but over time I learned when to stay away in the afternoon’s heat.

It didn’t have bells and whistles, but it was what I had been looking for. A cheap room to myself that came with internet and a lock.  The heat could be a nuisance, and sometimes I got claustrophobic, but overall it was definitely worth the cheap price.

Amenities

So the hotel came with some amenities that I admittedly didn’t take that much advantage of.

  • Since Koreans don’t like to wear shoes indoors, outside the hallway at the top of the stairs there is a row of shoe lockers where you store your shoes.
  • It did have a washer, but drying clothes could sometimes be a problem. However, that seems to be true no matter where you go.  I felt that my clothes always stunk, so I tended to wash them elsewhere when possible.  Plus, the washer was frequently full.
  • There was a kitchen that was pretty nice. It was shared by everyone so the refrigerator was often full, so I used the fridge in my room. It came with rice and kimchi pre-made, but I never really used that. It also had filtered water though and that was a blessing.  It came with a microwave, which is probably what I used the most.
  • The bathroom was probably my least favorite part. On my floor, the bathroom had 2 toilet stalls, each next to a shower stall that it shared a sink with. In one stall on the side was the washer.  It tended to be pretty dirty and was frequently out of toilet paper, but the downstairs toilets were better. My main problem was showering, but that was because I was a girl. Most of the people here were men, and I never felt comfortable showering when I thought a guy could come in and be next door at any time.  Plus it was often full.  Guys would have found it fine I think, and the other girls didn’t seem to mind.  Since I don’t really like the sink-showers anyway, I usually just went to the Dragon Hill Spa in the afternoons. It let me shower and swim for a while, so I enjoyed it.

Conclusion= For $15/per night, it was definitely worth it!

Benefits:

  • The owner was willing to work with me on the deposit instead of upfront issue. He even waited a day while I went and got money exchanged so I could pay him in cash. Great service.
  • The owner was always quick to respond. He usually responded within a couple hours if not sooner. I really appreciated that since I was emailing him from the US mid day making it mid-night in Korea 🙂
  • The room had a lock and key and internet, all of which I needed.
  • The location was amazing in regards to getting around town.
  • The convenience store and Lotteria being so close made dinner and drinks really easy.

Cons:

  • It was hot, sometimes unbearably so. And the air conditioning didn’t always make it through all the rooms .
  • It was small; I didn’t mind too much but it made getting to clothes and things a little difficult.
  • The bathroom situation. The bathroom is really kind of a guys room; it tended to be dirty, stinky, out of supplies and full of guys. Made it awkward for me as a girl, but I made up for that with the spa.  But that cost more, so it was worth taking into consideration.

Want to Try AirBnB Yourself?  Here’s a 25$ coupon!

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