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Browse The Web Anonymously On Mac & Windows With VPN Software
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Browse the Web Anonymously on Mac & Windows With VPN Software

You can use VPN software to browse the web anonymously on Mac and Windows. Though understanding how VPNs work isn't vital to being able to use the software, understanding a bit about them may be interesting. It may also help you to find a better VPN service.

What is a VPN?

VPNs are used by businesses, schools, the military, and individuals to protect their private information while connected to the internet. Though it may seem like what we do online is private, there are actually many ways in which we lose privacy online. Though some of these are due to active decisions we make, like joining Facebook, Gmail, or other services that abuse our privacy, some of this data is accessible by default, and some may be accessed by eavesdropping on our internet connections.

VPNs use two types of technology to help us achieve anonymity online. One is the VPN tunnel. VPN software creates a virtual tunnel that makes you invisible on your current network. It erases your real identity, and in place of this, a virtual tunnel is used to transport your data to the VPN server. VPNs also make use of data encryption. Should the virtual tunnel be discovered and in the unlikely event your data is intercepted, encryption codes your actual data in such a way that only your computer and the VPN server are able to understand what is being sent. Without the proper credentials, it's impossible to make use of the hacked data.

How Do I use a VPN?

To use a VPN you need to sign up for a VPN service. VPN services are available online, and have a network of VPN servers spread across anywhere from a few countries to over 50. Download the software they provide you with, choose a plan with VPN servers located in the countries you wan, and you can connect to the internet with the VPN. The VPN software runs in the background, and you don't have to do anything else. Occasionally, the VPN may run into technical issues like disconnecting (dropping a connection). Restarting the VPN software, restarting your computer, or reinstalling the VPN software are all simple ways to get the VPN working properly again.

What about VPNs for Mac?

If you want to connect to a fast VPN server, you can use PPTP VPN software. It uses simple encryption so uses less bandwidth, and is a good option for those that stream and download a lot while online. For higher levels of encryption, L2TP and OpenVPN are also options. Though OpenVPN software would be the preferred software for privacy and security, not all services carry this type of VPN, in which case L2TP is a good option.

What about VPNs for Windows?

The same rules for Mac apply to Windows, with an added option for Vista and Win 7. For these two operating systems you can also use SSTP. Like OpenVPN, SSTP uses SSL encryption, which is basically the best encryption out there. Both are good options. You may find that the service you like doesn't carry SSTP, in which case OpenVPN is a good option even for Vista and Win 7. You may also find that there are some VPN servers which only have SSTP connections available. If this is your desired location, then of course, SSTP is a good choice.


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