Using a VPN for your online security is no longer a necessity. There are a large number of VPN services that are owned and operated by companies with shady reputations, such as London-based Kape Technologies, which also owns VPN review sites that provide VPN services.
It has become increasingly clear that many of the VPN services that were supposed to protect your web browsing are not trustworthy any more. You can also do it in the following ways.
The days of having to pay for a virtual private network are over for me. It’s a service that promises to protect your privacy online if you’re connected to a public WiFi network at the airport, a coffee shop, or a hotel.
There have been a lot of security experts who have been recommending that users use a VPN to protect their communications from malicious actors who were trying to spy on them on the internet for more than a decade. Nevertheless, as with most gadgets, some tech advice also becomes outdated as time goes by, just as tech gadgets do.
Despite the fact that web security has significantly improved in the last few years, many security researchers argue that VPN services, which charge customers subscription fees so high as Netflix, offer insufficient protection for most people worried about privacy, especially since the internet security has improved so much in recent years.
Due to the fact that many of the most popular VPN services have been bought by larger companies with a shady track record in the past, they are now less trustworthy than in the past, as well. The fact that a VPN service intercepts our internet traffic is a deal-breaker for me when it comes to using it. There is no point in using a product that claims to protect your privacy if you are not able to trust it.
It is crucial to trust people who handle VPNs, according to Matthew Green, a computer scientist who studies encryption and who works with VPNs on a daily basis. In my opinion, there is no way to know what they are doing with your data, which they have enormous control over.
This is something I had to learn the hard way. As a subscriber to Private Internet Access, a popular VPN service, I have used the service for several years now. In 2019, I learned that Kape Technologies, a security firm based in London, had acquired the service, which I was familiar with. According to the University of California and Google, Kape was previously known as Crossrider, a company that was acknowledged in a research paper as part of a network of businesses using a so-called ad injection technique that has the potential to behave maliciously and should be avoided by businesses. After canceling my subscription, I was able to save a lot of money.
The company has also acquired several other popular VPN services over the past five years, including CyberGhost VPN, Zenmate, and, most recently, ExpressVPN, which was purchased by Kape in a $936 million deal that closed just last month. It was also announced this year that Kape acquired a group of VPN review websites that provide top ratings to the VPN services that it owns.
It was confirmed by a Kape spokeswoman that Crossrider, a development platform that had long been shut down, had been abused by malware distributors who used it as a distribution platform for malicious files. In spite of Kape’s independent editorial standards, she said, the VPN review sites still adhered to the same standards.
Sven Taylor, the founder of the tech blog Restore Privacy, says it sets a concerning precedent from the consumer’s point of view. I agree with him. As users go online to find out more about the product, do they realize that whatever information they’re finding online might be written by the company, which owns the end product, that they’re reading?
However, VPNs do still have their limitations, such as in authoritarian countries where citizens use VPNs in order to create the impression that they are using the internet in places other than where they are in reality. As a result, they are able to view web content on the Internet that they would not normally be able to access. There is no longer a good reason to use this as a mainstream privacy tool, because it has become obsolete.
As a result, I went down a rabbit hole of searching for alternatives to the cost of paying for a VPN service. In the end, I was able to create my own private network for free by using a few web tools, which wasn’t an easy task at all. Nevertheless, I have also learned that a VPN may no longer be necessary for most casual users.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about this.
What’s changed about VPNs
When it comes to web security, not too long ago there wasn’t a lot of security mechanisms in place to protect websites from bad actors eavesdropping on what people did when browsing their websites, which left them vulnerable to their data being hacked. As a result, VPNs have become one of the most important security products on the market today. By creating a tunnel of encryption on their servers, VPNs offer to help cloak people’s browsing information and allow them to mask their identity while browsing the Web.
Despite this, the internet has undergone vast changes over the past five years. There have been many privacy activists and tech companies pushing for website creators to rewrite their websites to support HTTPS, an encryption protocol that can encrypt traffic and solve the majority of the problems that have been mentioned above.
It is likely that you have noticed that on your web browser there is a padlock symbol. The padlock on the top of a website indicates whether it is using HTTPS; if it is not, the site is more likely to be hacked; if it is unlocked, the site is not. There isn’t much chance any more of finding a website with an unlocked padlock these days – 95 percent of the sites ranked in the top 1,000 by W3Techs, a site that collects data on the technology of websites, now use HTTPS to encrypt their content.
Dan Guido, director of Trail of Bits, a cybersecurity company, believes that this means VPNs are no longer necessary for most people when they browse the internet in public, especially when they are browsing on a public wireless network.
According to him, it is unlikely that you will find any cases in which people have been harmed by signing on to the Wi-Fi at the airport, a coffee shop, or a hotel. It has been observed that the people who benefit most from using VPNs today are those who are working in high-risk fields and might be targets, such as journalists who communicate with sensitive sources and high-ranking business executives who travel abroad with trade secrets on their person.
What are the best options for you? Fortunately, most of us are able to secure ourselves online with basic protections that are free, unlike VPN services, for those of us who wish to protect their privacy online.
As a result, people should ensure that they keep their devices and web browsers up to date, he said, since new software updates contain security protections against the latest vulnerabilities that have been discovered.
Lastly, you need to ensure that you set up your online accounts with two-step verification, which is a process that requires you to verify your identity two times before you can access your account. In addition to that, it can provide a safeguard that prevents your information from being accessed by attackers if they get a hold of your password.
In case you’d prefer not to browse the web on a public Wi-Fi network, most smartphones include an easy solution for those who still don’t want to use a public Wi-Fi network. It is possible to activate the personal hot spot, which is a feature that allows you to wirelessly share the cellular data connection from a smartphone with other devices, such as your computer, by adjusting the settings on your smartphone. It’s important to note that many cellphone plans do not charge extra for using hotspot, although hotspot does count against your monthly data allotment in the case of your cellular plan.
How to Create Your Own VPN
I think there are still a lot of people (including myself) who find it beneficial to use a VPN, and not all VPN providers are bad.
In the latest issue of Wirecutter, a publication that tests products for the New York Times, some of which are still reliable have been recommended. Hence, it may be necessary for you to verify a VPN’s trustworthiness all over again if it is purchased by a larger company in the future. Having suffered from whiplash for so long, I have decided to create my own private network service to help me cope.
Algo VPN, a free tool developed by Mr. Guido, is the best way for me to protect my browsing activity by setting up a virtual tunnel on an outside server through which all my internet traffic can pass through. Algo VPN automatically creates a VPN service in the cloud, which shields my browsing activity by creating a virtual tunnel in the cloud.
In order to use the Algo VPN project, I followed the instructions listed on its website and developed a cloud service that would be accessed via Amazon’s web services, a reputable and widely trusted provider of cloud services. Afterwards, I had to install some scripts on my computer and type in commands in order to generate my VPN on the server.
After spending about an hour setting up the VPN, I was able to get it to work flawlessly. What is the best part of all? It’s not just that it’s free to use, but I also don’t need to worry about trust since I’m the operator of the technology and I’m the one making sure it works.