Everyone should be using a VPN. Understandably, not everyone knows how to get one or why they even need one in the first place. To tackle the how, I’d suggest starting with your smartphone with CloudFlare‘s new and free app designed for iOS and Android. I haven’t tried many VPNs, especially paid ones as there always seems to be some sort of imposed limitations, but the app is the first to truly peek my interest.

The app is simple to use because it inputs all the necessary settings and information on your device to setup a VPN profile to connect directly to and use CloudFlare’s DNS for free with the tap of the screen. Simple set it and forget it. For the more tech savvy of us who’d rather not install an app you can just follow that same link to find the manual setup for all your devices minus the VPN profile.

What I like about CloudFlare itself is that they don’t log IP addresses and purges all DNS requests every 24 hours along with having hired a private company to audit their systems to make sure it’s always done right. Also since they’re business is cloud networking that includes services like website hosting, domain name registration, network security and other internet related services they are able to provide this for free and not ask you for any information at all. The app itself shows you exactly what’s its doing and all the information it’s entering on to your device along with offering the same protection via your cellular connection so it’s not just a WiFi only thing.

Now that we’ve covered how let’s look at why. The easiest way to explain why we need a VPN without going too deep into the rabbit hole is to look at it this way. The Domain Name System (DNS as it’s commonly called) is like an address book and an Internet Protocol address (IP address as it’s commonly called) are the physical addresses of everything on the internet.

So when you type in a website (which is it’s domain name) and your browser looks through the DNS to find it by its associated IP address in order to show that website to you. Since this system is open; meaning that your ISP and anyone else can easily see the websites you look up and go to; it’s inherently insecure by design.

Using a VPN helps to solve this by connecting to an external DNS (hopefully designed for speed) along with encrypting everything which means your ISP can’t readily see the sites you visit. The advantage here is that any blocks put up by your ISP no longer affect your queries because you’re no longer using their servers for search which may also get you faster access to information depending on which servers your VPN is connected to.

I’ll be trying out this app for awhile and I’d recommend everyone at least take a look at it. It’s free, simple to use and since this isn’t CloudFlare’s main business, they aren’t going anywhere unlike some other companies who also offer VPNs. If this has made things even a little bit clearer then I’ll have done my job. If not just post your question and hopefully I’ll have an answer. Surf safely.


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