RT Cunningham

Using a VPN for Privacy and Getting Around ISP and Country Blocks

Windscribe VPN I recently purchased a VPN (virtual private network) subscription because I don’t like to take chances. I view sites that some people might consider pirate sites.

Since I don’t watch broadcast TV anymore, checking out the so-called pirate sites makes it easy for me to keep up. I can find out what new TV series (or episodes) are available and when blockbuster movies are available on DVD and Blu-ray discs.

The Windscribe VPN

There are a lot of VPN choices but I settled on Windscribe (that’s an affiliate link, by the way). The yearly amount is less than half of what I would pay if I paid monthly. It’s $49 for a year, which comes out to $4.08 a month. The monthly subscription amount is $9.00.

There’s a Google Chrome extension to go with the VPN. The extension makes it easy to automatically switch from one location to another and to block ads at the same time. I only use it when I know I’m going a website with too many heavy ads (like Fox News).

I used a torrent privacy service until December of 2014, when I left the United States the last time. The Windscribe VPN is actually less expensive.

My VPN Usage

I don’t use it every day, not even every other day. Josie (my wife) and I are staying with our older son, Joseph, and his family in Florida for a few months. We’ll be staying with our younger son, Jonathan, and his wife in Hawaii after that.

Both of them have Netflix subscriptions. Netflix won’t let me watch anything while I’m using the VPN. The Windscribe software makes it easy to turn it on and off. I’m sure some of the other services I use from time to time will block me as well when I’m using it.

I only turn it on when I know I’ll be visiting some “iffy” website. Again, I don’t like taking chances. I won’t be using it very often because I spend a lot more time reading online than anything else. I watch old TV series on Netflix at night, which makes me drowsy enough to sleep in short order.

I haven’t experienced an ISP (Internet service provider) or country block yet, but I’m sure I will when I return to the Philippines. I used an SSH tunnel a few times but I could still be identified as the website owner. Using a VPN is much safer, in my slightly educated opinion.

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July 8, 2018

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Technology