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Todays blog post is brought to you by FastestVPN. FastestVPN offers a competitive all in one VPN solution that is perfect for anyone from casual connector to business professional. With some of the best rates in the business, Fastest VPN offers rates as low as only $0.83/month, or a lifetime subscription for only $80! Visit their site today by clicking on the bold text within this post. I've been using a VPN service FastestVPN for a little over 3 weeks, and during that I have been exceptionally impressed with its ease of use, up-time, connectivity speed, and its suite of features included within the base subscription service. In a previous forum post on this site, I talked briefly about the benefits of using a VPN and why you should be considering one. In case you missed that post, I will link it here (http://bit.ly/2GK8KYV) but also quickly summarize it below: A VPN grants you complete online anonymity (Providing the service you use does not collect/track LOG files), as well as granting you a new geolocation. Why is this important? Well, not every connection you use is secure, especially when it comes to publicly accessible access points. In basic terms, a VPN will act as a tunnel or gateway between you and the internet which will hide your traffic from any prying eyes that may be lurking about. This includes masking P2P usage from your ISP and preventing service/speed throttling if your ISP restricts or limits specific online content or services. Lastly, VPNs can also grant you a new geolocation to theoretically any location across the globe (Dependant on your services server locations), which is great for accessing region locked content like Netflix/HULU/PrimeVideo or preferred pricing while online shopping for digital goods and services. Now, I've been around the block and I've tested a handful of VPN services of the last couple of years. Most start out ok; however, in my experience they tend to either inflate in cost or lose their competitive speed advantages once more people buy into their platform. With that being said, my limited time with FastestVPN has been exceptional to date. I have tested FastestVPN across my wired AMD based desktop PC, my Apple MacBook Pro via Wi-Fi (2.4Ghz & 5Ghz), and my Google Pixel 3 XL via both Wi-Fi & LTE+. Across all services, I found almost the exact same results with the only exception coming from my Pixel 3 XL via LTE+. Upon connecting all of my devices to my closes Hamilton based FastestVPN server, they all yielded 80+% of their connection speed compared to connecting directly through my ISP. On my desktop PC, I my pre-VPN connection was roughly 900mbps upload and download, with a ping of 3. When connected to my VPN using the included FastestVPN software, my results were averaging in the low 800mbps range for download, with the upload staying closer to 850mbps. As for the ping, I saw an average increase of about 10-20ms. I then decided to connect using my MacBook Pro in the far corner of my home with the lowest quality Wi-Fi signal. My pre-VPN results were averaging 90mbps for both my upload and download, with a ping of roughly 22ms. When connected via FastestVPN my speeds were very similar to the slight 80% drop I saw across my wired testing. Download was averaging at about 75mbps, with upload staying higher at roughly 85-90mbps. As for ping, I again noticed about double that of my pre-VPN, going from roughly 22ms to exactly 40ms across every speed test. These results were again replicated with similar results on my Pixel 3 XL via Wi-Fi; however, when testing via LTE+ noticed a drastic change. My pre-VPN LTE+ speeds were averaging 200-215mbps download and 12-15mbps upload, with a ping of 61ms. When connected via the FastestVPN application on my device over LTE+ I was cut down to the mid 30mbps range for download and 15mbps upload, with a ping of 48ms. I'm not sure why I experienced such a drastic change in speed over the LTE+ network; however, I will likely never mask my connectivity over cellular and only performed the testing for curiosity's sake. The next thing I tested was streaming media. At first this looked promising, as I was able to see the entire US library of content via Netflix; however, upon testing a couple of shows I realized Netflix saw right through my ruse and would not allow me to access any of the media. I may test other streaming sites in the future, but for now at least I can tell you that this is not a viable option for Netflix US content from here in Canada. There are other VPN services that offer specific servers to work specifically for this feature. As far as P2P traffic is concerned, I have had no issues to date. Everything downloads and uploads as it should via my client of choice, and I have the peace of mind that if my VPN fails then the built in Kill-Switch will terminate my desktops internet connectivity it allows any traffic to be logged by my ISP. In my 3+ weeks of testing, this has yet to happen, which should hopefully speak towards FastestVPNs overall reliability. Other than that the 256bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, unlimited bandwidth (This one is HUGE!), and more offer a well rounded suite of options that should please both your average and more advanced users out there. The icing on the cake here is it's pricing and ease of use. I tested the service out for it's $10/month tier; however, will be switching to their $80/lifetime platform once my initial month expires. I have used and cancelled other services in the past that started at a decent up front price; however, would always inflate exceptionally after their given time-frames expired. I remember being shocked a couple years about by a charge of over $100CAD on my credit card, only to find out it was an auto-renewal from the VPN service I signed up for the year before with an introductory offer of I believe $19USD for the first year. After that I tried out a couple other budget oriented options; however, most would only yield speeds around 20-30% of my pre-VPN results when connecting to the closest Canadian server they offered. At the time I was supplementing my entertainment needs with an in-home Plex Server for movies and TV, and those speeds just weren't cutting it for P2P downloads and regular usage all from the same machine. As far as using FastestVPN, it's honestly as easy as downloading the app, selecting your desired server, and hitting connect. This rule of thumb plays true across all the devices I was able to test, and I had no problem using the services at all. For the more technically advanced out there, they also offer the ability to use their services on open-source software driven routers, servers, and more. I honestly think there is something here for everyone, which is very nice to see. So, let's draw a conclusion solely based on my needs, usage, and experience thus far. Opening the application and hitting connect is as easy as pie, in fact it almost feels too easy. Connectivity is fantastic across the testing I had done over the last 3 weeks, and for me I honestly just wanted a VPN that was affordable, log-free, and reliable. FastestVPN checked off all those boxes for me and I love the fact that I can just buy into the lifetime subscription and be done with it. No more worrying about auto-renewals, future costs, or anything else. If they go away or fold in a couple of years, well at least I would have still gotten my moneys worth compared to the alternative VPN services on the market. I honestly urge you to test out their services with their risk-free money back guarantee trial. If you've ever considered a VPN in the past but were maybe scared away by the thoughts of it being too difficult or pricey, then this is the service you should be using. If you're currently using a VPN, which one are you using? I would love to know in the comments section below.
Should I use a VPN? This is a question I hear quite often, and one that I think deserves a little more attention in the modern day. So, what are some of the benefits of using a VPN? - P2P downloads (Depending on VPN services) - Anonymity - Security - Service purchasing & geographical restriction prevention - Throttle prevention - Much more I myself have been using various VPN services off and on for a number of years from various different VPN providers, and recently had the chance to test a service from FastestVPN. The main reason why my usage has been off and on is mainly due to pricing. I find most VPN providers offer an amazing introductory offer; however, tend to inflate their pricing once you become an established client. This has resulted in me cancelling many subscriptions in the past and moving on to test new services. Over the last week or more of testing, I have to say that FastestVPN has been one of my favourite services to date. Let's break down some of the advantages of VPN services in general and why I think you could benefit from them. P2P Downloads: In the modern day of PLEX servers and cord cutting, everyone is either currently downloading or has considered downloading their content. Years ago this was a viable solution to supplement your entertainment needs with little to no repercussions; however, with the recent crackdowns on Anti-Piracy in Canada, Canadians run the risk of receiving notices/warnings and possible fines between $500-$20,000 for infringement damages. Users are found via the "log" files given by their ISP to the copyright holder if requested in order to track down the user(s) downloading and/or distributing copyrighted content. So, can a VPN help you P2P safely? Yes it can, providing it offers a couple of features. The first thing to look for is whether or not your VPN service collects log files. If they do, the copyright holder can still request the downloader/uploader information to determine the origin of the offence in order to serve potential repercussions. A second feature I always look for is a "Kill Switch". This allows the VPN service to disconnect from the internet if the VPN service fails or disconnects for any reason. This means your downloads/uploads will not continue if the Kill Switch terminates your connect rather than having your activity continue uninterrupted via your actual IP. Anonymity/Security: We do almost everything via the internet these days. Whether it's from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer, we are almost always connected even when we are inside or outside of our homes. For most of us in Canada with lower GB mobile data packages or for those constantly on the go for work, this fact really hits home. So, how does anonymity come to play in these situations? Well, open/public Wi-Fi networks at hotels, resorts, coffee shops, and more tend to be a feeding ground for those looking to phish for information. This information could include passwords, emails, phone numbers, banking information, maps data, and the list goes on from there. This is done by placing a digital wedge between you and the open Wi-Fi connection, and filtering/collecting data logs in the process. A VPN service can offer additional safeguards by encrypting the traffic sent/received across open Wi-Fi networks, as well as adding additional Firewall protection to prevent potential intrusions. Service Purchasing & Geographical Restriction Prevention: This can either be a key feature or an added bonus for those considering a VPN. Since a VPN allows you to connect to another country while maintaining your physical home placement, you can do a lot more than just secure your connection. As an example, video games tend to have a wide variation in cost and promotions depending on where you live. I've seen fluctuations of $50+ between our Canadian market and promotions found for those who live in locations such as Mexico, India, The USA, and more. A VPN has allowed me to connect to another countries marketplaces in order to purchase game keys at a fraction of our Canadian market price. Once purchased, you can easily connection back to your home country outside of your VPN in order to install the game to your local region. I've done this for titles like TitanFall 1 and 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and many more. You can also use this same method to get around geographical restrictions for services like US Netflix, HULU, Amazon Prime Video (US), and more. Throttle Prevention: Things in Canada have been getting better when it comes to ISP throttling; however, I still see a little slowdown here and there. ISPs tend to throttle high demand games and services in order to maintain network uptime and limit network congestion. The most notable ISP throttle in Canada is probably against gaming services like WoW, as well as PSN and Xbox Online Services by ISPs. Since these services have high traffic demands, ISPs would throttle the connection in order to maintain network speeds across other services. We've also seen or have heard tell of ISPs throttling competitive services in order to give first party services more appeal for their users. Since a VPN redirects and masks your traffic, ISP throttling can easily be prevented. As I mentioned before, I have tried probably half a dozen VPN services from various providers in the past. I am currently using a service offered from FastestVPN, and have been extremely satisfied with the results and pricing thus far. They offer everything mentioned above, as well as a large variety of servers, 0 bandwidth restrictions, server hopping, DNS protection, ad-blocking, and more. One of my favourite parts of FastestVPN is the ability to have multiple sessions logged in at once (10 per account at once). This means I can have multiple devices operating on the VPN across various servers, while still operating others via my regular home connection. They also support a wide variety of devices such as Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, FireTV, Kodi, AndroidTV, and more. I currently have FastestVPN on my main desktop PC for safe P2P connectivity for my PLEX server with the Kill Switch enabled. Since my desktop PC pretty much runs 24/7, this feature is a must as I do not want file sharing to resume outside of my VPN in the event the VPN ever fails. I also have the client on my Google Pixel 3 XL for safe connectivity to open Wi-Fi networks and for my upcoming vacation outside of North America. As far as speeds are concerned, I am acheiving on average about 80% of my advertised download speeds and 90% of my upload speeds with the VPN enabled and connected to my closest Canadian based server, with my Ping only increasing by 15-20ms. These are much better results than some of my previous VPN services that would provide speeds of only about 20-30% compared to results directly connecting to my ISP and drive my Ping into the 100s. If you want to try FastestVPN, I will leave an exclusive subscription link here: https://goo.gl/d4Qk4v FastestVPN is currently offering a lifetime subscription for only $80 for a limited time, which is well under the average yearly price of competing services. You can also choose shorter terms such as $50 for 5 years, $40 for 3 years, $30 for a year, or $10 a month. All subscriptions are backed by their 7 day money back guarantee, so testing the service based on their better valued plans is more comfortable as there is no obligation to keep the service if it's not right for you.
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