A VPN, or a Virtual Private Network, is a great tool to protect your privacy and security while you use the internet. Whether you're at home or using public Wi-Fi while traveling, the best combine great pricing with security features and privacy guarantees that make them worth your trust. -Alan Henry
This is definitely a much better reason to make sure that your phone's WiFi is shut off when you leave your house.
That includes the sites you visit, credit card information entered or saved on different sites, location data, usernames and passwords. Each phone has a unique identification number, or MAC address, which the drone uses to tie the traffic to the device. -Erika Fink
Millions of people use a VPN service to protect their privacy, but not all VPNs are as anonymous as one might hope. In fact, some VPN services log users' IP-addresses for weeks. To find out how secure VPNs really are TorrentFreak asked the leading providers about their logging policies, and more. -Ernesto
VPN Services You Should Know About
The free PDA-NET+ allows you to use WiFi tethering via USB or Bluetooth connection without the phone being rooted (download > Google's Play Store).
Watch the video below to see how to download and install PdaNet+ if your carrier blocks the app (they'll do that to force you to pay their monthly fee). FlippySize will also show you some of the settings to enable and/or change.
The free version has a usage limit that requires you to restart PDA-NET+ to continue using it. If the free version works to your satisfaction then I'd recommend that you purchase the full version key to unlock the usage limitation. It's a one time cost of $7.95 and is well worth it versus paying your carrier's monthly fees.
Of course I didn't know for sure that stores were tracking us through our Smartphones. But, I was aware that as long as our phones were sending out a signal to connect through WiFi, someone could try to use it against us.
Don't forget that other businesses can implement the same tactics as the stores (eg: restaurants & cafes).
If you don't want to be tracked while you're out-n-about, simply shut your phone's WiFi off when you leave your house (it saves your battery as well).
When you walk into a brick and mortar retail store like a Nordstrom, Cabela, or even Family Dollar, you're being tracked around the store. Not by an over-suspicious security guard, but by the store's wireless network, using your phone's Wi-Fi. The store then uses your phone to track you around the store, determine if you're a repeat visitor, see what departments you visit, and more. -Alan Henry
VPN = Private Internet Access (PIA)
Top 7 Reasons That I Prefer PIA
Of course there are many other features that are useful but you can read through those on Private Internet Access' website.
Unsecured Public WiFi Connections
Whether you travel a lot or just prefer using public WiFi, you should definitely consider using Private Internet Access to secure your connection.
Who should consider adding strong public WiFi security encryption layers to protect your privacy and data?
That's an excellent question and the short answer is, "YOU".
Do you perform any of the following activities while using an unsecured public WiFi access point (eg: cafe, library, bookstore, airport or hotel)?
If you answered, "Yes" to one or more of above then you should sign-up without further delay to enjoy all the same benefits that I do.
Low Cost Peace Of Mind For 5 Devices
I recommend paying for the $39.95 yearly subscription because then you'll receive the lowest price possible.
Now, if you take the $3.33/month cost a step further and divide that by 5 devices, it's a mere $0.67/device each month.
If you're not 100% convinced, then sign-up for a month initially ($6.95). You can always pay the yearly subscription after your 30 day test drive.
Computer Settings Once PIA is Installed
Smartphone App Settings
Watching Netflix With PIA App Loaded via 4GLTE
It protects my privacy in 2 ways:
- Stops nearby prying eyes who may be using spy software to intercept login information.
- Prevents Netflix from tracking my actual location through their app.
I've read about why I really should use a VPN and I've been looking into different providers, but there's one thing I'm worried about. Can't a VPN provider just look at my traffic all they want and see what I'm doing? Don't I just have to trust them not to spy on me? If that's true, how do I pick one I can trust, when they can all see what I'm doing? -Alan Henry
Should also work on the following phones but has not been tested:
- US Cellular
I recommend that you follow Max's step-by-step instructions and download the files you'll need from his website.
I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to sit on a cell tower in order to make phone calls. Nor do I want to dance around in my house or drive at high speeds in order to capture that ever-elusive signal.
Of course having a landline seems to be the only solution that will guarantee good service from home, but that comes with an additional monthly cost. For example, our landline has an approximate cost of $38/month with only 30 minutes of long distance included; that's $456.00 per year.
That Price Must Be a Misprint...
But before you start jumping up and down, I must warn you that this may not be a good fit for everyone, especially if you have:
- Dial-up or satellite service.
- Under 5 Mbps broadband download speed (based on my experience).
- Under 128 kbps upload speed (higher is better of course).
- 1-port-only modem from your ISP (internet service provider).
Be aware that you have to register with MagicJack once you have the device so you can choose your personalized phone number.
- Since there are 12 months of service included with your MagicJack purchase... you can look at it as $59.95 - $35.00 (service) = $24.95 for the MagicJackGO device (not counting any taxes).
- After the 12 months of included service, you pay $35.00 per year (plus applicable taxes).
Your smartphone just has to be connected to your home WiFi to make/receive calls via the app. Of course if you have problems using the app for whatever reason, then you just hook up a regular phone to the MagicJack device.
Test Drive Android App without a MagicJack Device/Account
I've used the android app many times via my home WiFi without any problems at all (DSL - 15 Mbps/768 kbps). I can hear every word that's being spoken to me and vice-versa, even if I'm walking around the house.
Just be aware that when using the free android app without a MagicJack device/account, the receiver of the call will see an unknown phone number. That can have an advantage if you want to call someone without your real cell phone number appearing on their caller I.D.
As an example, when I call someone, or when people have called me, using only the free android app, I've seen 2 different numbers (1 digit difference - see below screen captures).
Reminder: You need a high-speed broadband connection in order for the app to work properly (dial-up will not work).
Where Can I Purchase The MagicJack?
The $59.99 cost is the normal price but their s/h is free ($59.99 - $35.00 for 12 months service included = $24.99 for the device).
The $48.91 cost at Walmart does not include s/h but you could have sent to a store near you to pick-up in person ($48.91 - $35.00 for 12 months service included = $13.91 for the device).
Other option is to purchase it from MagicJack's website.
How To Register Your MagicJack:
How To Access Your Voicemail:
Blog Post Updates:
- Updated a few lines of verbiage
- Added more recent pictures
- Changed YouTube video to "The Chase"
- Added 3 PDF documents
March 6, 2014:
- Added Radio Shack current sale price for online purchases
March 19, 2014:
- Removed Radio Shack's sale pricing.
August 3, 2014:
- Updated screenshot.
- Added MagicJackGO information
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Always looking for new experiences, cultures and ideas to share with my friends and family. I'm a gruBBy huBBy, Dad, Grandpa x5, business owner and fuRRy cOmpaniOn
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