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what is a VPN? how does it work?

A VPN is a "virtual private network" that provides a secure, encrypted way to connect to the internet. Watch the video to learn how a VPN works.

VPN stands for virtual private network

When you connect to the internet through a VPN, all of the internet traffic is encrypted and routed through the secure servers.

Instead of directly connecting to websites, HQ VPN asks websites for content on your behalf. The VPN uses the same IP address for multiple users. Since your IP address functions as your main address when communicating with websites, 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://). It would look to them that you were obsessed with talking with us.

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 open WiFi, like you might find 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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