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In the last year or so, I think we’ve all come to realise that our internet communications are really quite insecure. Using a public WiFi connection? FireSheep will easily grab your social network network passwords in seconds, giving anyone on the same network instant access to your entire life.

There are a lot of things that can happen to you too if you don’t secure yourself online. You have a reason to be scared, and there’s no point in lying to you about it. But this week, we’re giving 25 six-month subscriptions to ibVPN to totally secure your internet activity.

What a VPN does for you

Put simply, VPN creates a secure tunnel between your computer and remote location. Anything you communicate will be encrypted and secured between those two points – so the government can’t read your tweets, the national firewall won’t be able to see what pages your viewing or block them, and someone on the public WiFi won’t be able to grab your passwords. Of course, every user on the internet must have an IP address, and usually it’s quite easy to grab the details of who was on that IP at a precise time from your ISP. With a VPN though, your IP will be in a remote location on ibVPN’s servers. If a government agency was to try and subpoena those records, they would find none, because none are kept.

A pleasant bonus to having your IP address located in a different country is that you will also be able to watch streaming video services such as BBC iPlayer (UK) or Hulu (USA) that are normally restricted to viewers within that country.

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Types of VPN

There are three main types of VPN, and ibVPN offers all of them. A PPTP connection is the easiest to set up, but not 100% secure. To simply get an IP address in America for Hulu though, it is sufficient. If you’d like top security, OpenVPN is the best choice. Personally, I’d suggest OpenVPN for all your needs, and this is how I tested ibVPN.

Installation

On a Windows machine, setting up your ibVPN is a quick download away. Mac OS X is a little harder, but there are full instructions on the site. To connect to your ibVPN, right click on the new taskbar icon and choose a server.

ibVPN offers a choice of servers which will show as your physical location, and you can switch if you find one is a little slow. When the icon is red, your connection is insecure; when it’s green you are safe.

Testing

Connected to the US2 server, I was able to get a reasonable 1 MB/s download and 0.6 MB/s upload speed. While the download speed is clearly going to be lower than my regular internet speed, it is more than useable.

I tested by trying to access Hulu again, and sure enough I was able to watch the latest episodes streaming with no speed problems or jittery video.

We’re giving away 25 premium six-month subscriptions to ibVPN and here’s how you can win one.

How do I win a copy?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.

Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form

Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. Click here if you can’t view the form.

The giveaway code required to activate the form is available from Friday’s newsletter or on our Facebook page.

Step 2: Share!

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post. There are 2 options to choose from or you can do both!

Like it on Facebook

Or share it on Twitter

Giveaway eligibility
In accordance with Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines 2.4.2 and 2.4.3:
Individuals who are over the age of 18. If you are under 18, get your parents to participate on your behalf;
Individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States; Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India are not permitted to enter.

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, February 25th at 2100hrs PST. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

[UPDATE] And the winners are …

  1. Will Reichard
  2. Shaun Bell
  3. Philip
  4. Mike
  5. Kevin
  6. Jeff R
  7. Elise Schuchman
  8. Antanas Antaso
  9. Angelo Cruz
  10. Aimee Lee
  11. Colin Ripley
  12. Dhruv Shah
  13. Fabian Falatyk
  14. Graves De Armond
  15. Joseph Gorman
  16. Lashawnda Brown
  17. Luan
  18. Matt Coolbaugh
  19. Muki Dumbeldor
  20. Nick
  21. Ofa
  22. Renato H. Gatdula
  23. Rotem
  24. Saurabh Pandya
  25. Ted Betts

Congratulations! Your new account details will be sent to you via email next week.

MakeUseOf would like to thank ibVPN for their generosity while participating in this giveaway. Interesting in sponsoring? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via email.

  1. Daniel
    March 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    You're right. That's great, that there's people that stand up for what's right.

    BTW I would think twice before I would produce/sell/advertise a software, that used mainly for criminal purposes. Who wants to be even partly responsible for all the stuff, that will be done with it.

  2. teo
    February 26, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Please, count me in

  3. teo
    February 26, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Please, count me in

  4. Ronald
    February 26, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Pls consider me as it would be very useful for me to access some restricted sites

  5. Kakatin
    February 26, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Count me in PLS...

  6. neverall
    February 26, 2011 at 12:24 am

    i even need a proxy to be here
    what a hell...
    count me in

  7. James Bruce
    February 24, 2011 at 7:39 am

    You're right, we should shut the internet down and let the prevailing government decide what our personal freedoms are.

    Shut up and go live in China...

  8. James Bruce
    February 24, 2011 at 8:39 am

    You're right, we should shut the internet down and let the prevailing government decide what our personal freedoms are.

    Shut up and go live in China...

  9. Nate M.
    February 24, 2011 at 7:55 am

    This is going to make life a lot easier for pedophiles and terrorists. Watch all the kiddie porn and airplane training videos you want without the police ever knowing or being able to prove it.

  10. Osama
    February 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

    participated !

  11. Binoy xavier
    February 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Indians are Aliens? :|

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