What is a VPN? Part 2

Imagine if you will, that you go to a car dealer to buy your first car.  You tell the dealer that your new car doesn’t have to look good or be very large, and it doesn’t have to be classy or have any of the bells and whistles other cars have.  You explain to him that what it absolutely does have to have is, speed, it has to be as fast as possible.  So, the dealer tells you that they just got this new car and everyone has been buying it.  He shows you a graph of the speed your new car comes with along with the price and you agree to move forward with the purchase.

The dealer yanks the paperwork from a plastic bin on his desk and starts his conversation by going over the fine print.  He tells you that, he has to go over several important bullet points about the agreement of the purchase.

  • The dealer has to be able to see everywhere you go with your new car
  • We have to know who gets into your car every single time
  • We have to know where you and your passengers are going every single time
  • We have to know what you’re going to do when you get there
  • We have to know what is in the car at all times
  • We have to know who’s driving the car and we have to know what their personal credentials are to get into the car, otherwise the car cannot be sold to you.


The dealer also tells you that if you visit a store or bank or a supermarket, dentist or doctor, they have to be able to see, hear and record everything you do while transacting with those merchants and businesses.

On top of those rules, the dealer will store all the information it collects from your use of the car they sold you and possibly sell it to the highest bidder and if the dealer were to be asked by a governmental authority to relinquish it, all your information would belong to them as well.

In a state of shock, you at this point sit back on your chair, drop the pen they handed you on their desk and now wonder if purchasing this car is the best choice for you.  So, in your naive mental state, you ask the dealer if there is any way you can buy the car and keep all that information private?  Without laughing, the dealer earnestly tells you NO.


It is a great thing that we don’t have to deal with car dealers that way.  Unfortunately, the scenario I just described, happens every single day to every single person that sings up with an ISP.  The minute you connect to your home or business network, you basically lose any and all anonymity.  So, to answer the question that was asked to the dealer about keeping information private, the answer is actually a resounding YES!

A few years ago, I tried using a VPN service specifically to mask my IP address from my ISP, the problem with this technology was the lack of speed and the stability.  As of this article, VPN service providers have become very competitive.  The connections have become a lot more stable, robust and affordable.


The connection

It is important to follow a process when connecting to your VPN client and make sure that when you need it, your connection is secure and active.  Here’s a small step by step guide to follow before you connect to your VPN client/service.

  1. Open up a browser and enter the following address: https://whatismyipaddress.com
  2. Check your current IP address
  3. Confirm that the location of the IP address matches your city
  4. Now logon to your VPN client and activate the service
  5. Open a different browser and recheck the IP address
  6. Confirm that both the IP address and the city are different from the first IP search
  7. You’re now ready to surf anonymously.


Things to keep in mind:

Check the VPN upload/download connection regularly

Know when you are connected and when you are not connected to your VPN

You don’t have to be connected to VPN all the time you’re on line but if your VPN speed is great, you might as well stay on it.


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