Practical Technology

for practical people.

A VPN to call your own


With Firesheep potentially looking over your Web-browsing shoulder and password management becoming essential, wouldn’t be nice if you could easily keep all your Internet traffic really secure? As it happens, there’s long been a way to keep your online wandering secret: Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

If you’re lucky, your company, school, or some other organization provides you with a VPN service. Most of the time you may have used this just to work on office matters from the road or home. You can, and should, also use it anytime you’re on the Internet. Far more so than many Wi-Fi security measures, application proxies, or the Web-based security measures such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or TLS/SSL over HTTP (HTTPS), a VPN can keep your information safe all the way from your laptop to servers and back again.

Even if your company doesn’t provide a VPN though you can also use VPN firmware on your home router, such as DD-WRT, or on a computer working as a VPN server with a program like OpenVPN. All these require at least some technical expertise to set up. But, what if you’re all thumbs when it comes to technology? Well you still have an answer: a VPN provider.

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