In need of a VPN service? Start here.

Photo Credit: www.zedge.net

For a $5.99 monthly price point, this VPN subscription with MYIP.io will give a lot of other VPNs, on the market, a run for their money, considering it will get you a dedicated IP in one of the best locations, as well as a pretty robust encryption, among other features.

Designed as a self-managed VPN network platform,  MyIP.io delivers fast, secure and reliable VPN services and comes with eye-watering offerings on three main layers of demographic:

 

The Personal VPN – starting at $2.49/mo.

The Dedicated VPN  – starting at $5.99/mo.

The Business VPN  – starting at $29.99/mo.

In other words, these three channeled VPN products make for a wonderful choice both in terms of personal or corporate use. You will also enjoy a bunch of enterprise level perks and benefits such as the robust encryption or the multitude of simultaneous connections and users that can reach up to 50 users per account for the business VPN, since the platform itself  was designed with the professional focus in mind.

It is why My IP.io’s sparked a new growth on the 2nd and 3rd quarter this year, being a trusted brand by thousands of happy members and business owners.  Slowly but surely MyIP.io is becoming a smart community, the platform of choice for many agile businesses and you too can join.

We engineered MyIP.io as a global platform and committed to developing applications and services that preserved an open and secure Internet experience while respecting our users privacy.

Regardless if you are going to go with our service or another, not wanting to sound like boasters, we skip presentation and get to the technicalities of where to start and what to look for when in need of a VPN service.

First things first, let’s shed some light on what the internet is really made of from this blogger’s wisdom:

Photo Credit: harvardmagazine.com

“The internet is simply a series of computers connected through wires. The computers are owned by everyone—you, me, companies, and governments. When I access a website, my computer routes a signal through my Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) tubes to the website’s computer. Naturally, the middleman keeps a log of all the traffic that goes through their property. And naturally, the middleman is always looking for new opportunities to grow richer. In a capitalistic economy, can you fault the middleman? The question is: why did we not think this was inevitable?” (you can read the full article here)

 

Skipping the middleman is exactly the kind of luxury that a VPN connection will afford you.

One little amendment though, you should avoid free services as a these providers  are sure to make their profits elsewhere. The phrase “when the product is free, you are the product” is an honest representation of what really happens when you enroll to a free service.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch” another wise phrase made popular by Milton Friedman back ’75, remains of great economic relevance today in describing things like “opportunity costs”. However enticing, free VPNs seldom defeat the purpose of what a Virtual private network should be.

  • IT AIN’T A FREE LUNCH

VPN service implies having servers in various countries. The maintenance or renting costs can amount a few figures, depending on volume.

  • SELLING USERS BANDWIDTH

using their users as servers by converting them into a botnet, some VPN providers have been revealed, while others admit in their lawyer-eese terms of service, they can sell your bandwidth to other companies.

As a general rule, mundane but incredibly important, reading the company’s Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy, before buying a vpn service is a thing you should really consider. Ideally, these documents are in plain English and not lawyer-eese.

Long story short, we recap 10 reasons you should look for when looking for a VPN connections (you can read article in full here)

№1: PRICE

Photo Credit: wikiart.org

 

When it comes to free versus paid, there is no debate really. Going with a free VPN service could defeat the very purpose you’re using such a service.

In other words, by searching a bargain you can be faced with two main issues:

  1. Slower computer and internet connection: as you’re sharing your bandwidth and processor with others;
  2. Higher Security Risks: assuming responsibility for what other users do online, that can be tracked down back to your IP.
  • Data Collection: In depth analytics of your use data can be sold to third parties companies. Choosing a VPN provider, like My IP.io, that goes on a “no log kept” policies is the best approach to the matter.
  • Ads: modifying the web code to show ads is a common practice for “free” VPN services.
  • A good VPNwill have its own servers and encryption protocols designed for it, reducing possible security failures to a minimum. Free VPN servicesare often an open door to malware and can be easily used by scammers.

In the FREE vs. PAID matter, its is important to understand that most legit businesses will offer 7 days of free trial, but a free connection on a indefinite period of time is sure to get its profit elsewhere; in ways that can harm your security and defeat the whole purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

We suggest you do yourself a favor and invest a good 5 bucks for a reliable VPNlike the dedicated VPN you can get from My IP.io or from another reliable provider. Prices are raging from $7 to $12 depending on the subscription time commitment, so going with My IP.io is a no brainer considering the unrivaled cost to features ratio.

№2: TEST SERVICE TIME

 

To test the service most providers allow 7 days money back guarantee and of course My IP is no exception when it comes to letting users try the service out.

№3: COMPATIBILITY

Compatibility with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices are a given for most VPN products out there. Stepping up a notch come browser extensions and compatibility with Kindle/eReader, TV or gaming systems.

All My IP.io products are compatible with all major OSes (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android) plus Routers and Linux.

№4: ENCRYPTION

Photo Credit:  tumblr.com

They say that a VPN is only as good as its encryption capabilities, but encryption in itself is not the simplest of topics. The terminology used to determine how secure a VPN connection is, can get very confusing, very quickly.

Before getting familiar with security standards and encryption protocols, let’s just focus on this pretty impressive feature for a VPN to have, the Open VPN Cipher: AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys — also known as the AES-256. This security standard is basically the same encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government and used by security experts worldwide to protect classified information.

Right below we have AES- 128, the Open VPN Cipher used by My IP.io, which remains secure as far as the AES in general is regarded. The mathematics of the 128 bit AES goes to show that a billion billion years are required and a supercomputer for a brute force attack to crack it.

Pretty impressive, huh?

Of course AES is not perfect, but hey! math doesn’t lie.

My IP.io comes bundled with a variety of VPN encryption protocols, supporting all the latest security protocols including SSTP, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP and 128bit –AES, OpenVPN cipher.

When you use the MY IP.io app, you can easily switch between protocols, although it’s recommended that you stick with defaults.

№5: LOCATIONS

Generally used to epitomize how the right or wrong location can determine the outcome of a property sale or a new business venture, the phrase “location, location, location” acquires new meaning when referenced in Tech. Just as sometimes access to venture capitalists is somewhat more difficult, if you’re not in Silicon Valley, Alley or Prairie, often digital access requires geographical variables to wire.

Ok, but what’s the right location for you, right?
Long story short, if you’re in east Asia try to connect to Singapore or US; or if you’re in the Middle East, try connecting in Europe. The first thing to consider is the nearest location to yours.

№6: LOGGING POLICIES

A common misconception goes to say that US VPN services are legally required to log activity on their network. While required to cooperate with US law enforcement, as opposed to other countries, the location of servers is often more important.

Not compliant with DMCA are a lot of server locations outside the US.

MyIP.io is a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service ,with servers located in France, Romania and Canada, hence is not subjected to Ministry of Industry and Information Technology or DMCA compliance.

№7: SUPPORT

Most VPN providers offer support centers and entire achieves of How Tos or FAQs, but let’s face it, having a reliable support features means more than that. You want to be able to talk through live chat or with a live representative at times.

A VPN with My IP.io will give you access to one of the most diverse support system a VPN provider could give you. 24/7 Support through live chat or by phone, a comprehensive video gallery of how tos, ticket or email support and even remote desktop support, where the case.

№8: DEDICATED IPs

Very useful when playing online games or logging into services such as banks, Paypal, e-mail providers, etc., a static IP is an underrated asset, than not many VPN providers, big names (surprisingly enough), offer.

The ones that do offer a dedicated IP will charge the service as add on and will not always be that transparent about prices.

At My IP.io you can get your own static IP address for as little as $5/ month.

№9: BUSINESS PLANS

 

Credit Photo: John Holcroft illustrator

 

VPNs are often the communication platform of choice for virtually any business that takes itself seriously, as they enable site-to-site connection with a service provider managing the end-to-end network. A VPN enables a computer that is located outside the corporate network to connect to that network as if it were inside the building, allowing access to internal resources such as file shares, applications, and printers. Beyond connectivity a VPNimplicitly means that a secure bridge has been created between any given device using that connection and your business server, which can be on your premises or in the cloud.

 

With our business VPN suite comes strengthened security, as the service is not limited to encryption. We also support all the latest security protocols including SSTP, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP, and OpenVPN.

The level of sophistication depends on the number of accounts and/ devices: our business VPN solution can consolidate all your team’s accounts into one master account, a convenient scenario in terms of having control, management and payment. We can allocate a whole subnet, so that you won’t be constrained as to having to whitelist multiple IPs or we can engineer a custom solution for your, in which we install a LDAP server. You will be given a password manager and VPN server and you’re free to run your own network to your preference. The business VPN solution allows multiple people to be logged in and proxying through a single IP address at one time, simultaneous connection for all on multiple devices, editing and monitor access, from a single, easy-to-use central admin area.

My IP.io Business VPN Benefits:

Multiple VPN Accounts

Dedicated Suppot

One Master Account

Discounts

To get started in full big business connectivity way, just connect with My IP.io and we’ll assign an account manager that will guide you through the whole installation process and assist you each step of the way for the whole period of your subscription. Once the number of accounts and connections are defined, we can set things in motion for you and your team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VPN APPs: What are the most important features to have?

—5 actionable tips that work for all—

Photo Credit: Asaf Hanuka illustrator

Using an internet connection without a VPN in place has its shortcomings. Ranging from security issues to data throttling and data selling without consent, using a VPN to overcome these threats while online has become increasingly popular nowadays. It is safe to say that VPNs are a thing of mainstream culture today,  rather than an exotic tool for all the right reasons.

 

A few years ago, adopting a VPN was not the simplest of tasks for IT managers for a number of reasons which included: deployment, compatibility or interoperability issues and the expense of these systems. Things have changed. VPNs are now entering the mainstream, and many companies view them as a telecommunications necessity from both security and cost perspectives.

 

Originally designed to reduce the costs of connecting branch offices to the main office of a business, VPNs addressed the concern of high costs of leased lines and dedicated connections. The next matter-of-course step was to adapt VPNs to individual remote use, for internal network access and secure operations across the internet.

Widely used by companies to protect corporate data, Virtual Private Networks took over the personal data arena, as well, to such a degree that the use of a VPN has become an almost inalienable, “basic right”, for virtually any kind of private data exposed to the internet.
Beyond connectivity a VPN implicitly means that a secure bridge has been created between any given device using that connection and your business server and that can be on your premises or in the cloud.

 

Photo Credit: Gabriel Silveira illustrator

However, there is still a level of abstract that goes into a VPN connection, especially the ones designed via cloud, since it’s an intangible product and often little know in terms of what aVPN connection should offer as features. As VPN providers ourselves we listed some of the most important features that make the whole VPN concept a bit more streamlined. When choosing a VPN provider we also recommend reading reviews for specific feed back from people who already tried that VPN app.

FEATURES TO LOOK FOR:

* ENCRYPTION*

They say that a VPN is only as good as its encryption capabilities, but encryption in itself is not the simplest of topics. The terminology used to determine how secure a VPN connection is, can get very confusing, very quickly.

 

OPEN VPN CYPHERS

 

AES- 128, the Open VPN Cipher used by My IP.io, remains secure as far as the AES in general is regarded (AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard- right above AES-128 is  the 256-bit keys — also known as the AES-256, which is basically the same encryption standard adopted by the U.S. government and used by security experts worldwide to protect classified information.)

The mathematics of the 128 bit AES goes to show that a billion billion years are required and a supercomputer for a brute force attack to crack it. With this in mind we say that 128 is pretty impressive on its own.
PPP

In a remote- access VPN, tunneling typically relies on Point-to-point Protocol (PPP). When searching for VPN apps you should come across one of these three protocols based on PPP:

  • L2F (Layer 2 Forwarding) — Developed by Cisco; uses any authentication scheme supported by PPP;
  • PPTP (Point-to-point Tunneling Protocol) — Supports 40-bit and 128-bit encryption and any authentication scheme supported by PPP;
  • L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) — Combines features of PPTP and L2F and fully supports IPSec; also applicable in site-to-site VPNs

Credit Photo: Adrià Fruitós – illustrator

SECURE SHELL— SSH

SSH, also known as Secure Socket Shell, is a network protocol that provides administrators with a secure way to access a remote computer. SSH also refers to the suite of three utilities that implement the protocol: — slogin, ssh, and scp — that are secure versions of the earlier UNIX utilities, rlogin, rsh, and rcp.
My IP.io comes bundled with a variety of VPN encryption protocols, supporting all the latest security protocols including SSTP, PPTP, IPSec, L2TP, SSTP and 128bit –AES, OpenVPN cipher.

*AUTO-RECONNECT AND PORT FORWARDING*

One exciting feature is also port forwarding that enables you to connect to considerably more seeds/peers. The disadvantage of port forwarding is having an open port in your firewall, which always carries some security risk, so as a rule, it is best to have as few ports open as possible.

*TRANSPARENCY*

Always go with the VPN provider that is most transparent about things like: logging and the privacy policy they have in place.

 

*KILL SWITCH*

This is a feature that will make sure your IP Address isn’t accidentally exposed in case of a dropped connection with the VPN server. It can react virtually instantly, block your internet connection before your computer has a change to reconnect to the internet outside of your secure VPN tunnel.

*LOCATION SWITCH*

If you are more of the globetrotter typology than the security oriented one or a combination of both, then watching the Olympics live while they happen is a thing for you. For bypassing geo restrictions that your local networks might have for remote gaming or remote working, or listening to location-restricted streaming internet radio a good VPN means a location diverse server list you can chose from.

Geared with brand new locations from California to Florida, from United Kingdom to Germany or Australia to Japan, My IP.io comes with brand new locations to chose from.

Introducing a much more location diverse dedicated VPN service, our latest server acquisitions are located in:

  • USA California
  • USA Oregon
  • USA Ohio
  • USA North Virginia
  • USA Florida
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Japan

Now that you know how to address the “location” aspect of a VPN, remember that My IP’s latest server locations were hand-picked to deliver the most reliable speed. We continuously update our server locations by analyzing numerous data points, among which: Connection success rate, Customer usage and Speed.

*SPEED*

It is a known fact that major mobile network operators purposely curtail the speed of your connection in order to limit the amount of data you consume. Sometimes as low as 32 kbps.

 

Using a VPN hides the kind of traffic you’re using, so ISPs can’t discriminate against high-bandwith ones— Netflix and possibly other streaming services like Hulu or YouTube can fall into the same category. Major companies like Verizon or Comcast have previously used these practices.

 

When choosing a location it is also important to check things like: Speed Index, Latency, and Download Speed, as these are all important factors.

This is what they mean:

Speed Index: shows how fast the VPN server is; the higher the number, the better the server.

Download Speed: it tells you how fast your VPN server is able to download information; also the higher, the better.

Latency: it’s the time it takes for a data packet to go from your device to reach the VPN.

You can also check the speed of your VPN here.

All in all, we can’t really imagine or sometimes even function outside the online paradigm, from accessing sensitive data at work, to hailing a cab, to social media, to online shopping, we’re putting a lot of corporate or personal data out there in what has become a too easy to be felt routine.

All this data is subjected to government snoop, hacking and “hacktivism” and evensimple browsing can be susceptible to data trawling. You don’t have to be a security advocate to understand the necessity of using a VPN while online, but simply a privacy minded person in a strictly monitored environment or in a completely open one, it makes no difference, really.

Credit Photo: John Holcroft illustrator

My IP.io, the platform of choice for many agile businesses, trusted brand by thousands of happy business owners.

MyIP.io is a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , designed with the professional focus in mind. Our platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.

Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WannaCry Cyber Attack left a lot of data crippled. Guess who’s not crying? VPN users

Photo Credit: thehackernews.com

 

Last Friday, WannaCry “ransomware” cyber attach struck globally in what has become one of the fastest –spreading extortion campaigns on record.

The virus infected more than 300,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday and the victim numbers continue to grow. In this very moment, someone could be clicking a link or activating macros in a malicious document.

 

 

A few seconds later, the entire hard disk content, personal files and sensitive information, everything including cloud storage accounts synced with PCs could be locked for good. Or for a good tidy ransom. A pop up in bad graphic could then appear on screen asking for “cold hard cash” in return for a decryption key.

 

Photo Credit: heimdalsecurity.com

 

 

If this is what you’re experiencing, well then tough luck. You’re device has been infected with WannaCry. Guess who’s not crying? All those people who are using a VPN. That thing you could never quite grasp the importance of. But wait! How is this even possible, how frequent these things can happen and could they happen to me? you ask.

Ok, let’s give some context and background to the story for clarity.

The first ransomware attack struck in 1989, almost 3 decades ago. It’s hard to fathom now, but the virus spread via floppy disks and involved sending $189 to a post office box in Panama.  AIDS Trojan was the WannaCry ransomware from back in the day.
The following graph shows just how intricate this type of malware has become, in the past 10 years, eased by the appearance of Bitcoin and the evolution of encryption algorithms. Starting out as a minor threat of cyber vandalism, this type of cyber crime is now a high scale money making machine.

Photo Credit: heimdalsecurity.com

 

To name the most recent inglorious attack of this nature we can name the bank heist of no less than $81 million stolen from a Bangladesh bank, that took place only last year.

But ransomware attacks are believed to have broader implications in much more than just making money, as they have been used as tool in cyber battles of political substratum, the attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment – in retaliation for the comedy film “The Interview” is a telling example. The hacker attack was aimed at Sony Pictures for the satirical comedy directed by Seth Rogen, that involved a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  Who knew a Seth Rogen film could get this “inflammable”, right? Well if we think that the attack is believed to being launched by Lazarus Group, allegedly a North Korean run hacking operation is starting to make sense.

 

 

Technical clues found in the code of WannaCry ransomware by researchers could link to the same North Korean group. However, no conclusive proves have been found for a clear conclusion in any of the aforementioned attacks.

 

Photo Credit: thehackernews.com

If in the case of Sony Pictures cyber attack, the goal was to prevent the release of The Interview, a film that mocked a North Korean leader, in contrast WannaCry was wildly random infecting everything it could.

WannaCry didn’t seem to have a pecuniary goal, with more than 200,000 machines infected and around $70,000 paid in ransoms, it’s a terrible return.

Analysts are now turning to another hypothesis, maybe the ransom was a distraction for a political goal that has yet to clearly surface.

 

And here’s were things get really confusing and could take a really steep turn for the left so brace yourself for what I will reveal in the following of what the political implication could be

 

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft Corp, confirmed in a blog post on Sunday that WannaCry attack made use of a hacking tool developed by the NSA (US National Security Agency) that had leaked online in April. This pours fuel on the long running debate over espionage and cyber warfare conduct and software flaws best kept secrets.

 

Photo Credit: www.ft.com

Elevating the subject far beyond the immediate need to improve a computer defenses, the WannaCry attack has turned into a political debate in Europe and the United States with discussion of the role national governments play.

 

Since China was among the worst hit, it seemed unlikely to some that Lazarus was behind all this, as antagonizing North Korea strongest ally would not hold as a good strategy. Having been speculated as having an implication, Russia denied all accusations, but Putin did not waste the change to draw attention on the NSA in the light of Smith’s revealing on the topic.

 

If this story is not in the realm of a true Matrix scenario unfolding, then I don’t know what is. But just as Neo is looking for a way to Zion, you too could be wondering for the same path.

Photo Credit: fliwave.com

These days data that is a day old can usually be recovered, but potentially losing real time data for even 24 hours can produce massive damage for a company, for example,  just like a lack of oxygen to the brain.

 

Unless you have a back up, which companies usually have, but most people don’t, you can be faced with a cyber attack that could damage tones of done work,

memories stored on picture or film or well put together playlists that took years to build.
Here are the most common infection methods used by cybercriminals.

  • Spam email campaignsthat contain malicious links or attachments
  • Security exploits in vulnerable software;
  • Internet traffic redirects to malicious websites;
  • Legitimate websites that have malicious code injectedin their web pages;
  • Drive-by downloads;
  • SMS messages (when targeting mobile devices);
  • Botnets;
  • Self-propagation(spreading from one infected computer to another)

 

SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?
In all cases prevention is the best thing you can do. Considering how intricate these attacks are in the large scheme of things is better to take the matter into your own hands and not wait for government to regulate. Besides, do you really trust the government with your personal data? Just a question.

Remember we talked about VPNs at the beginning. Did you know that having a VPN in place can protect your computer from remote attackers? All attacks will stop into the VPN vendor.

 

Having a robust VPN to encrypt your personal data is nowadays, the only way to Zion.

 

Photo Credit: ifc.com

 

Across the world, businesses use VPNs to connect to remote data centers, or for employees to connect remotely to the physical network of their workplace, while individuals can use VPNs to get access to network resources when they’re not physically on the same LAN (local area network), or as a method for securing and encrypting their information from the potential liabilities that lie ahead once exposed to unsecured networks such as public WiFis or hotspots.

REASONS YOU SHOULD START USING A VPN APP. NOW:

  • PROTECTS YOUR DATA FROM REMOTE ATTACKERS

your internal data, sites, git repositories, banking credentials and all information will be coated in multiple layers of encryption;

  • REMOTE ACCESS

as IT is being challenged to enable safe access to employees remotely by providing mobile VPN, secure email, encrypted containers and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), living outside the data security paradigm is simply not smart anymore, whether we’re talking about corporate or personal data;

  • IP CAMOUFLAGE

A simple VPN download gets you a new location identity so that you can use geographically dispersed resources;

  • BYPASSING FILTERS AND GEORESTRICTIONS

Bypassing Internet censorship in countries where censorship is applied;

  • SHARING FILES

You can share files and sensitive information inside a secured group away from prying eyes;

 

MyIP.io is a self-managed VPN network platform, delivering fast, secure and reliable VPN service , designed with the professional focus in mind. Our platform caters to a wide demographic through three channeled directions:Personal,Dedicated and Business, so it makes for a wonderful choice for corporate or personal use at the same time.

Engineered as a global platform,MyIP.io is a VPN service provider committed to developing applications and services that preserve an open and secure Internet experience while respecting user privacy.

MyIP.io is the result of the craftsmanship of our engineers, with many years of experience supporting large-scale, custom deployments for businesses , telecommunications companies, multi-service operators and enterprises.” Dave Wilson, CEO My IP.io