The Internet has become so prevalent in the world these days that an Internet connection has become a necessity for us to live and operate in the modern world. Many of us make sure that getting a decent Internet connection ranks among the stuff we need where we live and travel.
However, not all Internet connections are free of restrictions. It is common for companies or ISPs to block certain sites. Some countries (in Asia and the Middle East) block sites like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and other sites (like blogs) that may be caught in the web of their firewall.
As I deal a lot with blogs and often encounter blocked sites. There are several tools i use to bypass these restrictions and connect to the restricted sites. Two common methods are using a Proxy or VPN (Virtual Private Network) service.
What is a VPN
In short, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnels you to a remote computer server to let you surf or access data directly from that computer. So if you are connected via a VPN from China to a remote VPN server in San Francisco, your presence in cyberspace will be identified as if you were in San Francisco.
The difference a VPN and a Proxy server is that a VPN Server
- Is easier to use and generally does not restrict which software you use to surf the web
- Works on a Network Level and affects all data traffic, not just your browser.
- Offers more secure encryption of your data
- Masks your IP address
Types of VPN Protocol
Here are some common ways VPNs connect on your iPhone or iPad:
- PPTP ? This is short for ?Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol? and is the most common protocol used. It enables users like us to log on to an exiting VPN network (with a username and password). Great for getting to blocked sites by does not provide encryption in itself.
- L2TP ? Short for ?Layer to Tunneling Protocol?. This provides data confidentiality and data integrity over PPTP. Great for any amateur Spooks out there.
- IPsec ? Short for Internet Protocol Security, as the name suggests this is optimal for Internet traffic security. This requires cumbersome client installations.
Without much Ado, I would like to talk about Strong VPN. Strong VPN has been my preferred VPN service for the last few years. These guys get the job done and have pretty decent service too.
When you purchase a VPN service from their site you get the following information via email ? this information can also be found on your account page of StrongVPN.com.
- Server ? This is the server that you will be using to tunnel thru
- Username and Password ? To authenticate your log in for VPN services
Setting up Strong VPN on your iPhone or iPad.
Strong VPN does not require you to install any program, which is one of the things I like about it. The site has a pretty comprehensive screen cast on how you can set up strongVPN on your iPhone or iPad.
Step 1: Got to the Settings -> Network
Step 2: Select VPN
Step 3: Add VPN Configuration
Step 4: Input information that was provided to you via email.
Step 5: Activate the VPN to “On”. You can also access the VPN button at the “Settings” Screen
Step 6: Go to the www.strongvpn.com and you should see that your IP is generated to another location’s, thus allowing you to browse away.
StrongVPN has packages starting from $55 a year for a 4 country selection where you can decide which country you want to base your VPN server out of. You are allowed to change to different sites to see which servers work better for you.