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what is a VPN?

A VPN is a "virtual private network". It provides a secure, encrypted way to connect to the internet.

virtual private network

VPN stands for "virtual private network". when you connect to a VPN, all of the internet traffic from your device is securely encrypted and routed through the servers.

Instead of directly connecting to websites, HQ VPN asks websites for content on your behalf. HQ VPN uses the same IP address for multiple users. Your IP address functions as your address when communicating with websites, so using it for multiple users makes it difficult for websites to correlate who is making specific requests.

what are the benefits?

Your traffic is more anonymous. If someone were to inspect your traffic, all they would see is encrypted data — even for connections that are not normally encrypted (anything served at http:// vs https://).

By connecting to the network using the built in secure VPN software that Apple provides, HQ VPN protects web traffic coming through apps as well as websites.

further reading

If you want to learn more about the risks of public WiFi, this article from The Correspondent looks at the risks by taking a hacker to a coffee shop. "We see that someone has just logged on to FourSquare. The name of this person is also shown, and, after googling his name, we recognize him as the person sitting just a few feet away from us."

To see the risks of partly secured WiFi, like at a hotel, this article from @nicklum shows "it was actually the outsourced hotel WiFi provider that was injecting the ads... Thanks to these ads, my 2014 MacBook Air was at 85% processor load with just 3 Chrome tabs open to the NYT."

published sept 4, 2018

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