cyber security

Nord VPN – What is a VPN and why you need one….

If you are familiar with a VPN, chances are that you think they are only for criminals. Though it is true that some people try to hide their online life due to illegal activity, it is wise to guard yourself from exploitation. We as a society, have lost sight of the importance of privacy. We have handed over our privacy in the name of security and convenience.

You may have noticed little ads that always target your searches which proves you are being monitored in real time. Well, the advertisers are not the only, or scariest, people watching you online. As soon as your data hits the internet, it becomes available to anybody that is looking. Even certain ISP (internet service providers) have been known to sell info about their clients.

And even worse, their have been cases innocent people being profiled due to common internet searches. Can you imagine trying to research a book you are planning on writing, just to be woken up to a knock on your door by men with guns wanting to interrogate you.

The point I am trying to make here is, even though you are more than likely not online trying to scam people or pirate software, your privacy should be valued. Innocent people are targeted by hackers, authorities and exploitation every day.

Below I am going to talking about Nord VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that protects your identity and allows you to privately browse the internet. But the sad fact is, not all VPNs do what they say they will…

VPN

 

P2P – Sharing and Streaming

The SmartPlay technology used by Nord allows buffer free streaming. It provides access to over 400 streaming sites. You can access Netflix from anywhere in the world. It unblocks geo-restricted sites like Hulu, Netflix, HBO, ect. You can also view content from other countries simply by connecting to corresponding servers.

Before I go into Peer to Peer sharing I want to let you know that I in no way suggest you to use this protocol to illegally download software or movies. You should also beware of malicious files containing viruses. Please be careful.

There are also servers dedicated to P2P. This allows you to access torrent sites anonymously. Many people think very low of P2P file sharing. They believe that peer to peer sharing is merely a means to download “free” games, software, music and movies illegally. Though pirating is a commonly known use of P2P it is far from the only use.

There are many legal and practical uses of P2P. For example, if you or anyone you known has ever downloaded Diablo 3 or World of Warcraft, Blizzard entertainment used a BitTorrent client to get those files to you. There are also many open-source software, government and scientific documents that can be downloaded through P2P servers or networks. They also make sharing large amounts of corporate data to be synced to multiple devices effortless.

That being said, P2P also leaves you open to attack. Every time you download a file your IP address is visible to the source of the download. The IP address of all the people using the server or network are visible. This opens the door to hackers and other security threats.

 

 

Hackers – Military grade encryption

cyber security

Hackers are always on the hunt for victims to exploit. Nord protects your data using AES-256 bit encryption. That means that your data is converted into a binary code using a 256 bit key. Anyone trying to break it would require 2^256 combinations to crack. This is among the most secure ciphers in the world.

The U.S. Government and the NSA uses 256 bit encryption to secure classified and national security data. It has become the most frequently used algorithm in cryptography because it is nearly impenetrable.

 

Double VPN – Double protection

 

double protectionThe term VPN refers to the servers your data will be traveling through. Once you begin your session online you will connect with a VPN server via VPN tunnel. From their you will be connected to the website you trying to to view. Anyone looking for your IP address or your location will be directed to the VPN server. This will keep away prying eyes and not allow your IP address to be tracked.

Double VPN, also known as chaining VPN servers, Will direct your data through a second server further protecting you. Doing so decreases the chances of decryption exponentially. Even if someone miraculously cracked the 256 bit code they would then track your activity back to the first VPN server.

 

 

Compatibility and ease of use – Very user-friendly

Nord allows you to protect up to 6 devices simultaneously. It can be used on Windows 10 to Windows XP and everything in between. (10, 8, 7, Vista and XP) It is also compatible with Mac, Android and iOS. This is simply the best VPN I have found for multiple devices.

Use of Virtual Private Networks can be very intimidating and complicated. But with Nord you simply purchase, create a password and install. The interface is easily navigated. On the main interface you will see a map. In order to turn your VPN connection you simply click on the country that you are located in. Nord will then use an algorithm that will connect you with the best server for your location.

 

Server network –

worldwide

Nord server network spans 60 countries and has around 5000 servers on their network. It is one of the largest in the industry. Other than Antarctica, they have servers in every continent. With a few clicks you can easily switch the server you are using. You simply switch one off then click on the one you wish to connect to.

Just a couple of seconds and you are all set. On the main interface you will see a map. In order to turn your VPN
connection you simply click on the country that you are located in. Nord
will then use an algorithm that will connect you with the best server
for your location.

 

DNS Leaks – Destroys anonymity

When you connect to a website online it begins with searching for a domain name such as Yahoo.com. It then has to be converted to an IP address to the server that is hosting the site you wish to view. This is done through a DNS (Domain Name System). So every search can be boiled down to two requests. One to a DNS to locate an IP address and one from the website for the data you want to see.

The connection to the DNS are typically not secured. This enables people to track the servers and websites that you are accessing. It is even possible for a skilled hacker to change IP address to direct you to a different site to steal your information.

Domain Name System servers will leave behind a trail of everything you do online. The whole purpose of a VPN is to keep your online life private. If you have a DNS leak you can be compromised. Nord has their own VPN servers and they keep no logs of your activity online. The only information they keep about you is your email address. They have a great track record with confidentiality.

Even if you are not breaking the law you should understand the importance of your privacy. Nord does not log or track your record your interactions. They have a great track record with confidentiality.

It is also wise to use a service like dnsleaktest which will check the servers you are connecting to. I use this even when using Nord VPN to ensure that I am secure.

 

 

My final thoughts – Pros and cons…

PROS                                                                                                           CON

– packed with features                                                                             A bit expensive

– very user-friendly

– vast server network

– can stream without turning service off

– privacy and security

 

The only thing that I have negative to say about Nord is the cost. You can find cheaper VPN services. If you do choose to go a cheaper route I highly recommend you to look into them first. I do have to say though that Nord far exceeds my expectations and is definitely worth the extra cost. I hope that this has helped you better understand the importance of privacy. If you are interested in Nord VPN you can purchase or take a closer look here,

Buy Nord VPN

 

If you have any questions about Virtual Private Networks feel free to comment below or you can reach me at tony@tonypcmd.com.

 

 

Best of luck,

Anthony

Founder of tonypcmd.com

tony@tonypcmd.com