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US Senate clears the way for ISP’s to sell your browsing history

March 31, 2017
Cyberghost VPN

Recently the US senate cleared the way for American ISP’s to sell user history.  What does this mean to you?  For the average American, this means that the ISP’s can collect and sell all your browsing history to anyone.  Not just how many times you access Facebook, what types of things you shop for on Amazon and eBay, but also what sort of medical conditions you search for on the web, what bank do you use, and what political parties or groups do you post about.

For an American you may see this as troubling, but for anyone in another country this may be equally concerning.  Many countries around the world follow the American lead when it comes to technology legislation.  A decision that the American people dislike is also likely to be disliked by people in many other countries especially people in countries with more oppressive regimes.

One thing you can do to protect your privacy is to start using a VPN service.  A VPN service works by tunneling your traffic directly between your computer, tablet or phone to an exit node of your choice in the country of your choice.  A tunnel is encrypted and funnels all of your traffic thru this encryption protected tunnel thru your ISP all the way to the exit node.  The encryption protects you from anyone in between your device and the exit node from seeing what you are doing.  The important factor is the encryption and most services use industry leading encryption algorithms that have not (that we know of) been cracked by any 3 letter agencies and would take enormous amounts of computing power and many months or years to crack.  Also in most of these services the encryption key used to protect your data rotates so frequently that by the time someone with access to enormous computing power and time was to be able to (maybe???) crack the encryption, the key would have changed many hundreds or thousands of times.  In many cases these VPN services will work equally as well at home, in your RV on an untrusted public campground WIFI, or while using your phone on the highway or while using a hotspot in a campground.

There are many VPN services available on the net.  One question you should always ask is if I cannot trust my government, can I trust this service with my private data and do they log my private data.  Typically with a paid service they are more trustworthy and many services do state if they retain or sell your data.  A good strategy when choosing a free VPN service is to look for a service that offers free and paid tiers of service.  Their free tier will likely follow the same levels of service as the paid service but with a reduction in how much you can use it (based on time or bandwidth).  Services that are only free, advertise or are only offered as a web browser search page are ones that it is good to be most critical of, their business model is often based on advertising or click based revenue and privacy is secondary to them.  Relying on a respected computer magazine like PC Magazine or site like Lifehacker.com  is often a good way to help find a trusted service.

I have been using Cyberghost for several years as it has all the features that I am looking for.  They are very clear about their data retention (or in this case non retention) policy.  They have exit notes in many countries around the word including countries that do not have sharing agreements in place, like USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand (the 5 eyes) do.  They also do not restrict bandwidth usage which means that you can also do things like stream YouTube and Netflix.  They support more installation options than just about any other offering I have seen including the standard: Windows PC, Apple and Android but also many other options including setting it up directly on your home router (so your entire home is protected), Linux and other less common devices.  They also offer many tiers of service including free and a number of paid options with more features and flexibilities the more you pay.  They also offer free trials as well.  Their pricing is also one of the better pricing models on the market and their pricing models and the prices themselves do not change frequently.  The most important thing for me however is that they are one of the most respected options on the market and are almost always rated in the top 3 services and frequently rated the number one service.

download Cyberghost VPN

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