VPN: Virtual Private Network
It may be easiest to think of a VPN as a Forwarding Internet Service Provider (ISP): you conceal the traffic from your actual ISP and forward it to the VPN.
Home Broadband (Cable, DSL, Fiber), and Cellular (3G/LTE) connections that you own/control are typically considered private “trusted” networks and won’t usually require the use of a VPN.
You may also be offered a VPN by your work or an organization you are a part of; these VPNs should be restricted to that specific traffic if/when at all possible.
My recommended VPN for Most People, Non-Technical, Beginners, Friends, and Family is ProtonVPN
Use whenever on shared public “untrusted” networks: Ethernet and WiFi connections at friends, family, businesses, coffee shops, restaurants, airports, hotels, etc.
You can also use while on private “trusted” networks for Peer to Peer (P2P), Tor, and Streaming.
Why use Tor over VPN?
Advanced, Technical alternatives depending on the use case, risk assessment, threat modeling, operational security, etc:
- Private Internet Access
- Riseup Black
- Recommended especially for activists if not too technical
Note: If you cannot trust the provider (Pinky Promise as a Service), then you’ll have to build you own:
- You must also agree to Vultr Terms of Service
- Algo + Your own physical or virtual Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Server
- You must agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of any Services and/or Internet Service Providers (ISP) you use.
- Did you need me to help you setup and manage an Algo server? Contact me now!
Important companion reading: Choosing the VPN That’s Right for You
A look at the future: Testing WireGuard with an early-adopter VPN service
Why the change from TunnelBear to ProtonVPN?
- Free tier is not capped at 500MB/month
- Better monthly pricing if/when you do decide to pay
- Basic plans include P2P (Peer to Peer)
- Plus plans include P2P, Plus Servers, Secure Core, Tor Servers, and Secure Streaming
- TunnelBear was acquired by McAfee; while TunnelBear may not deserve the bias, McAfee certainly has. I don’t recommend or use McAfee products, but I definitely recommend ProtonMail.
- Special thanks go out to Kenn White and Ely H for having the Twitter discussion with me about this!