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VPN security on all your devices

I have been using VPN encryption on my iMac since October 2011. It has worked great. The company that I signed up with — Private Tunnel — now has apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android, along with the Windows and Macintosh versions.

I’ve written about VPN (virtual private networks) many times in the past as a form of basic computer security that I think we all need. When using a VPN connection on your computer (or smartphone), all Internet traffic into and out of your device is encrypted and sent to your VPN provider’s servers. There it is decrypted, and all your travels on the Internet appear to come from their servers. The sites you are browsing don’t know your real IP address. And your Internet Service Provider (Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, etc.) have no way to monitor or track what you’re doing on the Internet, since all your data is encrypted when it passes through their systems.

Private Tunnel has continued to improve their service since I signed up in 2011. I have very rarely had any trouble with it. They’ve also added new servers in Canada and Switzerland, plus a new server in Chicago, in addition to the servers they had in 2011 — San Jose (California) and London. You can choose which of these servers you’d like to use and switch among them as you please. This means that, if you choose, all the sites you visit on the Internet think you are in Switzerland (or whichever server location you choose).

The service costs $10 for 50 gigabytes of data. There is no time limit for using the data. When you run out, you buy more. That much data lasted me a year. You can pay with a credit card, but you also can pay with PayPal, which I think is more secure for Internet transactions. Your iPhone or Android app uses the same Private Tunnel account and draws on the same pool of data.

I have tried other VPN apps on the iPad and iPhone, but they did not work as well as Private Tunnel. The other apps disconnected from VPN every time the device went to sleep, which meant that you had to constantly reconnect. But the Private Tunnel app stays connected as long as the app is running in the background.

I believe I can now reach my goal of encrypting 100 percent of my Internet traffic.

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