The internet is a wild and wonderful place, but such frontier-like freedom comes at a price. That cost comes in the form of dangers such as computer viruses, identity theft, hacking, doxxing, and censorship. So how do you protect yourself against these threats while still enjoying the benefits of the wild, wild web?
Simple install a VPN. Abbreviated from Virtual Private Network, a VPN allows you to access and exchange data online without revealing your identity or location. It's the only surefire way to browse in total anonymity, protecting you in ways your browser's private mode fails to. For example, you can't hide your IP address in private mode, which is exactly what a VPN accomplishes.
But why is that important? Knowing how VPNs work and what they can do for you is the first step toward an internet that's double the freedom with half the risk.
A VPN links your device to a private server, which allows you to securely access data on a public network. Think of it like a middleman connecting your computer to a website. That middleman can be a server located anywhere in the world, from Canada to Singapore. Information is exchanged between the website and the server as though you're browsing from the middleman's location, and not from where your computer actually is.
That means all the data the website receives comes from the VPN server and where it's located in the world. No one other than you and the VPN provider can see your activity or trace your IP address and location. So, what does that do for you?
When you go to a café or other WiFi hotspots, accessing the public network is like sending your computer to a back-alley clinic that doesn't sterilize its needles. Any two-bit hacker could infect and break into your system through the unprotected and shared network, spying on your activity from a car parked outside. They can then proceed to swipe your personal information, such as your passwords or credit card number.
Setting up a VPN gives your computer a much-needed layer of protection, like a hazmat suit, when connecting to public WiFi. It allows you to remain private despite exchanging data with an unsecure network, keeping anyone from slipping into your device.
But simply opting to use the internet only from a private, home network doesn't eliminate all the dangers. Hackers can still break into your computer and trace your IP address, which can lead to the selling of your information on the dark web, cyberbullying, or doxxing--the act of exposing your home address to the internet. A secure and private VPN protects your personal information, location, and computer's IP address from criminals seeking to harass or steal from you.
Privacy on the internet is painfully illusive. Your internet provider knows exactly what you're up to, and anyone can track your footsteps and see where you've been. Erasing your browser history or using private mode does not make you anonymous.
Here's where having a middleman comes in handy. When you access the internet through a VPN, the simulated server is all anyone can see. No one can spy on you behind the server, and your computer's IP address remains hidden.
Private browsing isn't just useful for hiding your activity. Censorship walls deny people access to content based on their geographic location. This means, depending on where you are, there's information out there you can't see. So, if you live in a region where you're denied that information, you can use a VPN to browse from a different location and bypass the censorship firewall.
Now that you understand how a VPN works and why it's so beneficial to use one, you're that much closer to a secure and limitless internet.
VPNs are an essential tool you need to use when browsing the internet. Setting up a virtual server is the only way to achieve true anonymity for private and safe web browsing. In addition, using a VPN allows you to securely access the internet from anywhere in the world, unshackling information and truly making the web the free entity its meant to be.
Trust.Zone is a new player in the VPN provision service, but they already have a decent network and a user-friendly client. Their prices are reasonable and there’s good respect for users’ privacy. Scroll down to read our full Trust.Zone review.
Trust.Zone lets customers try the VPN before signing up with a three-day free trial. Keep in mind this free trial also limits you to one GB of data, so streaming or downloading large files isn’t recommended.
Pricing for Trust.Zone follows a standard model, with various discounts depending on the length of your plan. Paying on a monthly basis at $6.99 is quite affordable when compared to the industry average.
If you skip the free trial and sign up for a Trust.Zone paid plan, you have a ten-day money-back guarantee to fall back on if you aren’t satisfied. Keep in mind that this will require informing Trust.Zone by email of your decision to cancel.
Trust.Zone accepts a wide range of payment types: all major credit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, Alipay, and even direct bank transfer.
Trust.Zone is registered in the Seychelles, which is great news if you are looking for privacy. The Seychelles is exempt from any mandatory data retention laws, making it an awesome base of operations for a VPN.
Trust.Zone also claims to keep zero logs of user activity on the VPN servers. Extra Solutions Ltd is the parent company of Trust.Zone and further research doesn’t indicate anything suspicious with this company.
Trust.Zone boasts an impressive 105 servers in 32 different countries, with locations like South Africa, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore standing out. Somewhat disappointingly, there is only one server on both the African and South American continents.
Trial users can connect one device at a time, while Trust.Zone paid subscribers can have up to three devices simultaneously connected to the VPN.
With the primary aim of a VPN being to encrypt and secure your internet connection, a VPN provider needs to be using excellent encryption standards in order to be recommended by BestVPN.com. Trust.Zone passes this test with an AES-256-CBC cipher, SHA256 authentication, and an RSA-2048 handshake.
As I mentioned earlier, Trust.Zone claims a strict no logging policy, which matches up with the absence of any data retention laws in the Seychelles.
I’ll also mention here that Trust.Zone keeps an active warrant canary page. This page shows whether a VPN provider has had to comply with any judicial orders. A warrant canary is a nice way of increasing transparency.
Trust.Zone uses the OpenVPN protocol with the Windows client, which is good news if you are looking for a secure VPN. Setting up a connection through L2TP/IPSec is also possible, although only recommended for certain mobile platforms.
Looking to increase your security while torrenting? Downloading movies, music, and software via P2P is allowed on all Trust.Zone servers.
The Trust.Zone Windows client comes with an automatic internet kill switch, as well as the ability to auto start and connect to a VPN server when booting up your PC.
One of the most important factors when looking at a VPN is the customer support given by the provider. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to learn that Trust.Zone only offers ticket support and a standard FAQ page.
Ticket support also isn’t available 24/7, with business hours being Monday to Friday, 6:00 am to 4:00 pm GMT.
Signing up for Trust.Zone is an easy process that takes about ten minutes from start to finish.
Registering an account requires an email address (Trust.Zone sends you an activation email), password, and completing a security captcha.
Once your account is created, you can select the Trust.Zone plan you wish to purchase, followed by the payment method. Once paid, download and install Trust.Zone on your platform of choice and you are all set!
At the time of writing, Trust.Zone is offering a 10% discount if you pay using bitcoin.
The Windows client does come with a lot of welcome features, including an automatic internet kill switch, auto-start feature, and a nice selection of ports you can use to connect to the VPN.
Trust.Zone offers a number of setup guides for many platforms (and even specific distributions like Windows Vista, Linux Mint, and previous Android versions).