With the recent legal change in the US, your ISP (internet service provider) is now allowed to sell your private data — including medical information, bank information, Social Security numbers, any darn thing they can squeeze a nickel out of — without your knowledge or consent.
When Comcast, AT&T, or another ISP follows your every move online, that’s different from Facebook or Google planting a cookie and tracking your browsing.
The good news is, they can’t (yet!) follow you around and collect your data when you’re using an encrypted connection.
Installing a VPN (virtual private network) on all your devices, or on your home or office router, is a good way to circumvent this spying. (It still won’t keep your browsing private from sites you visit, but that’s an issue for another day.)
I’ve written quite a bit about VPNs in the past. Here’s a good summary article about what they do, and why expats need one.
Ideally, your VPN shouldn’t slow down your browsing, and they shouldn’t keep logs. After all, a log can be subpoenaed. If there’s no log, there’s nothing to produce.
You should be able to use it on your home or office network, and on your mobile devices as well.
VPNs to Check
- VPN4All – No logging, and prices range from $4.08/month for a mobile plan to $11.83/month for an unlimited plan.
- VyprVPN – Plans start at $5/month for up to three simultaneous connections, unlimited data. Their connections are fast, and they’ve had good success getting through blocked connections in countries like China.
- Hide My Ass – Yes, that is really its name. Prices start at $6.55/month.
- Earth VPN – Prices start at less than $40 per year. Fast access to US and UK television from anywhere in the world.
- Strong VPN – From $5.83/month, this can be installed on lots of devices in addition to computers and phones. For example, Roku, Apple TV, XBox, Wii, smart TVs, and more.
Note: Some of these are affiliate links, meaning that if you order the service after clicking the link, I receive a small commission. It’s not a lot, but it helps keep this site going, and I never affiliate with any product or service that I haven’t used myself and/or thoroughly checked out.
Before you make any decisions about a VPN, check out this article by Lifehacker on the drawbacks of VPNs. They also make some recommendations.
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