Safer Internet Day USA Livestream

Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity to for kids and young adults to learn more about steps they can take to stay safe online.  Safer Internet Day is recognized in over 100 countries around the world.  Many will be celebrating with events.  In the United States the celebration includes a special day for students at the Omni hotel in Austin, Texas.  The event will include guest speakers, a special guest, and an opportunity for students to get involved.  The theme this year is “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you” which points to the fact that we all have a responsibility to help keep the Internet as safe as possible.

Safer Internet Day

A number of schools in Pennsylvania will be on site for the Safer Internet Day event at the National Constitution Center.  For those of us who are aren’t in the area, the organizers are making the event available via a livestream.  You can watch the event live starting at 9:30 am EST.

Here’s a look at the agenda for today’s event (all times shown in CST):

9:30 a.m. – Doors Open & Exhibits

10:30 a.m. – Welcome Remarks

10:50 a.m. – Keynote Speaker: FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

11:25 a.m. – Youth & Tech Industry Issues in Perspective

1:00 p.m. – Student Activity

1:30 p.m. – Announcing the What’s Your Story? Video Contest

1:40 p.m. – A Teen Who Doesn’t Just Play Games — He Builds Them

2:00 p.m. – Event Wrap-Up

2:30 p.m. – Program Close

Whether in attendance or watching via livestream I encourage teachers and parents to get involved in Safer Internet Day.  Many times our kids know as much or more about technology as many parents.  That can be good in some cases but it also means that new obstacles are in their path that we didn’t have to deal with when we were young.  Understanding the threats and steps you can take to promote a safer Internet is well worth the effort.  Cheers to the students at the event in Austin.  Have a great time and stay safe online.

Watch the 2018 Super Bowl Ads

I was really looking forward to seeing the Eagles match up against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.  The second half of Super Bowl 52 was exciting to say the least.  It’s hard to imagine a better way for the Eagles to get their first Super Bowl victory.  While last year’s game was a blowout in the first half, this year the game was close all the way through.  Then there were the commercials which never fail to entertain.  There were some good ones this year.  My favorites included ads from Doritos and Mountain Dew Ice with Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman, M&M’s with Danny DeVito, Tide, and Amazon Alexa.  You can view them all on YouTube.

Dorito Super Bowl commercial

Here’s some help if you are currently in a location that blocks YouTube.

How using a VPN can help you unblock YouTube?

Let’s see how a personal VPN service can help you access YouTube  from anywhere in the world:

  • A virtual private network (VPN) gives to access to IP addresses in the United States.
  • Your web traffic is routed through a secure tunnel to help ensure your privacy.
  • Since speed is critical for streaming, a VPN can help you achieve better performance.

As you can see a good privacy service will help secure your connection with a US IP address.  Giving you access to YouTube no matter where you might be physically located at the time.

Connecting to YouTube through a VPN

We’ll guide you through signing up for a VPN service and connecting to YouTube from outside the US.  We recommend a fast VPN connection for streaming videos.  There are lots of VPN providers that can’t support the bandwidth necessary for YouTube.  Two of our favorites for speed and reliability are IPVanish and SrongVPN.

We’ll be using IPVanish in our tutorial since they have very fast VPN servers in the United States.   The first thing you’ll want to do is get an account.  You can sign up for unlimited VPN access from $4.87 a month.

2017 Best VPN Service Awards

After you sign up watch for the welcome email.  Once received you can either follow the link in the email or go to IPVanish.com and download their client software.  IPVanish offers a free VPN client for Windows and Mac.  Along with set up guides for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the IPVanish client go ahead and launch it.  You’ll see this screen:

IPVanish Windows 2.0 client

From here you can choose a server location in the U.S. or another country with uncensored access to YouTube.  For me the servers in the United States are the fastest but IPVanish also performs very well in other areas of North America and throughout Europe so you really can’t go wrong when selecting a server location.

We won’t make things too technical.  Feel free to connect to any IPVanish server.  They offer locations throughout the United States.  If you ever want an IP from elsewhere they offer servers in 63 countries.  As a member you can switch between locations anytime.  With up to two simultaneous connections.

You’ll notice a dropdown box at the top of the client for OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP.  These are the protocols used to secure your connection.  You can test them to see which one works best from your location.  For streaming content like YouTube we recommend OpenVPN (UDP) for the best performance.

That’s all there is to it.  The VPN will also help you gain access to Sling TV, Hulu, Skype, Twitter, Facebook and other sites.  Follow us @VPNSP for more how-to guides along with VPN reviews and discount offers.

HMA Pro VPN Winter Sale

HMA is celebrating the season and winter Olympics with a discount on their popular VPN service.  New and existing members can sign up for unlimited VPN access from just $4.99 a month.  The HMA Pro VPN service includes access to over 280 server locations across 190 countries.  This gives you access to a wide range of geo-blocked websites around the world.  Visit the HMA Winter Sale page to sign up and save up to 57% off.

HMA VPN Winter Sale

If you haven’t used a VPN in the past this is a great time to see the full advantage.  In addition to Internet anonymity you can enjoy the best of the Olympics and other exciting events throughout the year.  When you connect to any of HMA’s 860 VPN servers you will get an IP address in that country.  At that point you might as well be sitting in a coffee shop there.  You will have access to all the websites and streaming services available in that country.  You will also appreciate just how easy the HMA Pro VPN client software is to use.  I recommend you try the new HMA Pro client for Windows.

Hide My Ass VPN users have access to a full range of free software.  Starting with a nice client for Windows and Mac.  Not to mention the new client style for Windows users.  They also have free mobile apps for both iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android devices.  I mainly use their Windows app now.  It let’s you easily connect to any server location and secure your connection.  From there you can switch between VPN servers and update your IP address anytime with just a few clicks.

Read our HideMyAss review to learn more about the service and follow us @VPNSP for the latest VPN deals.

Data Privacy Day : Protect Your Data

Sunday,January 28th, is Data Privacy Day in the United States.  That might sound like an oxymoron given the Snowden revelations and continued news of our growing lack of privacy.  That’s all the more reason to wake up and start paying attention to your data.  Understand what happens to your personal information when you visit sites, use services and download apps from Internet giants like Google, Facebook, iTunes and Amazon.

Data Privacy Day

You can learn more about Data Privacy Day on StaySafeOnline.org.  They have a full list of events happening across the country that deal with making your data privacy a higher priority.  That’s really what it’s all about.  At least as a beginning to understand the kind of information and just how much data is being stored as you browse the web, use search engines and talk to your friends on Facebook.  Not to mention your mobile apps.

The second image above reads “Terms and Conditions May Apply“.  This is a documentary released in 2013 that examines how free services are gathering your personal data with your approval.  Because let’s face it no one reads the terms and conditions.  After watching the documentary you might think twice before sharing so much personal information online and trusting sites that carry the big brand names.  It’s an eye opener.

  • If something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product

Give that sentence some thought next time you log into Facebook to share your activities and family photos.

Since we spend most our time reviewing VPN services it would only be right for us to read the terms and conditions along with privacy policies closer and share the details of what we find.  We’ve started through the list of top VPN providers and will be sharing our findings throughout the year.  Trust me it’s insanely boring to read legal speak but it’s also revealing to see how many companies are tracking your online activities.

ibVPN Anniversary Sale

ibVPN is celebrating the eight year anniversary of their online privacy service by offering up to 78 off two years of unlimited VPN access.  The ibVPN team is celebrating their 8th anniversary with a sale on their VPN and Smart DNS services.  This year they are offering a promotion with discounts ranging from 69% to 78% on all plans.  Visit the ibVPN sale page for your chance to take advantage of the great sales prices.

ibVPN Anniversary Sale

Cheers to ibVPN as they celebrate eight years of service this week.  We’ve been around since they started and are happy to see them continuing to grow and innovate.  We’re especially fond of their ibDNS feature that makes it easy and fast for users to stream content in other countries.  Remember to sign up during the promo to save up to 78% off during the ibVPN anniversary celebration.

ibVPN sale

There are four ibVPN plans to choose from. My favorite is the Ultimate VPN plan which includes access to 180+ servers in 57 countries. Those who want support for torrent downloads will want to choose their Torrent VPN or step up to the Ultimate VPN plan. If you want to unblock content in other countries but don’t need the privacy protection of a VPN, then the ibDNS plan is a good choice.

We’ll end by sharing a video ibVPN published a few year’s ago to celebrate their anniversary.

Read our ibVPN review to learn more and sign up on during their anniversary sale to save.

IPVanish Guard Your Gadgets Holiday Special

We’re excited to share a holiday special from our friends over at IPVanish.  They have been kind in offering our visitors once of the deepest discounts ever offered on their popular VPN service.  The Guard Your Gadgets holiday promotion offers new members two years of VPN for just $3.33 a month.. That is a savings of over 72% off the normal retail price of $11.99 a month.  We’ll present you with the necessary coupon code below along with the start and end dates for their holiday special.

IPVanish holiday sale

IPVanish is a well respected online privacy service.  They have over 700 servers in 60+ different countries around the world.  We test VPN services on a regular basis and IPVanish is the top performer.  Their top tier network provides excellent speeds.  Customers have access to free client software for Windows and Mac.  Along with free mobile apps for iOS and Android.  Members receive unlimited usage and five simultaneous connections.

The IPVanish Holiday Deal will be active from Saturday, December 23rd through Monday, January 1st.  During that time you can sign up for two years of unlimited VPN for just $79.99.  That’s 72% off the retail price and brings the price down to just $3.33 a month.  To take advantage of the offer visit our IPVanish sale page and enter coupon code GADGETS during checkout.  Note: the coupon is hard coded so you should not need to enter it. The discounted price is clearly shown on the sign up page.

If you miss out on the 2-year deal or prefer monthly billing then our other coupon code will save you money as well.  The IPVanish team kindly offers our visitors 25% off the first billing cycles of any term.  Including monthly, quarterly and annual terms.  To take advantage of this offer simply visit the IPVanish VPNSP promo page. You’ll notice our coupon code is automatically filled in during checkout.  They also clearly show the discount.

Read our IPVanish review to learn more about the service including speed tests for each server location.

Private Internet Access Holiday Sale

We’d like to start by thanking Private Internet Access for offering our visitors a discount on their popular VPN service.  With some of the lowest price we’ve seen from a leading provider.  You won’t need a coupon code to take advantage of the discount.  Simply visit our PIA Holiday Special page and enjoy unlimited VPN for $59.95 for 2 years.  That works out to just $2.50 a month for 24 months of fast, reliable VPN access.

PIA Holiday deal

Don’t miss out on one of the best VPN deals of the year.  Please share the promotion with your friends.  PIA is perhaps the best value in VPN.  With a mix of server locations in important areas and a price that’s hard to beat.  Along with a strong no-log policy.  Making Private Internet Access a favorite of many VPN users.  I’m especially fond of their Windows client which includes a VPN kill switch option and configurable levels of encryption.

Let’s review PIA’s VPN service real quick.  They manage a network of over 3,000 VPN servers across 25 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and many more.  You can connect using their free VPN client.  The service supports OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP protocols.  Connect with up to 5 devices simultaneously with a single account.  All new members are covered under PIA’s 7 day money back guarantee.

You can read our Private Internet Access review to learn more or visit the PIA special page to save.

Introducing ExpressVPN Privacy Research Lab

The ExpressVPN development team has always been focused on user privacy. Now they are taking things a step further with a new initiative to help users test the privacy of any VPN service. The ExpressVPN Privacy Research Lab has developed a series of privacy testing tools that you can use. Best of all they have decided to open source under the MIT license so others can review the code. Paul Bischoff conducted a series of initial testing for Comparitech. His insightful article includes the testing results for a number of leading VPNs.

ExpressVPN Privacy Research Lab

We have not had a chance to use the new privacy testing tools from ExpressVPN yet. Before jumping in we wanted to share the news so you can try out the privacy tools as well. From what we read on the ExpressVPN website and the initial results from Comparitech, we look forward to incorporating the new privacy tools into our testing. Speed and reliability are important but strong privacy is the end goal of using a VPN for most users.

Here’s a quick list of leaks that the ExpressVPN privacy tools will help you test:

  • IP address leaks
  • IP traffic leaks
  • DNS leaks
  • WebRTC leaks
  • Bittorrent leaks
  • Leaks resulting from unstable network connections
  • Leaks resulting from VPN servers being unreachable

The new privacy testing tools were developed in Python so you’ll find that they support a wide range of devices. You can download the new tools from Github to test your current VPN service. Please share any feedback with ExpressVPN so that they can continue to develop the testing tools. Share your impressions with us @VPNSP.

2017 Black Friday / Cyber Monday VPN Deals

December 24th update: The holiday season is still under way with some of the best deals of the year. Check out these holiday promotions which will run from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day:


Click on any VPN provider below to sign up for theie Black Friday deal. All promotions shown are already live.

Multi-year VPN deals:

Annual VPN deals:

Monthly VPN deals:

  • IPVanish$7.50 for 1 month of VPN
  • OverPlay$7.46 for 1 month of VPN + SmartDNS
  • LiquidVPN$6.50 for 1 months of Road Warrior VPN
  • StrongVPN$7.50 for 1 month of VPN
  • SaferVPN – $7.50 for 1 month and get a 2nd month free

VPN Router promotions:


We’re excited to present this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.  Some of the promotions start early.  While others will be announced as they launch on Friday and again on Monday.  We suggest you bookmark this page as we’ll be posting the promotions right here throughout the holidays.  Even after Cyber Monday you’ll find a list of specials running through the end of the year.  Protect your privacy and save money at the same time.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals

We’re be sharing the top 10 Black Friday / Holiday VPN deals of 2016.  Like many retail stores, some VPN services like to keep their promotions secret until the last minute.  We’ll have all the info and will update the list Thanksgiving week and throughout the holidays.  You can expect us to start dropping in the deals on Wednesday, November 25th. We’ll post the details of each deal along with links at the top of the page for your convenience.

In the meantime check out some of the best holiday prices available from leading VPN providers.  You can click on any service listed below to learn more about their promotions or read our review with speed test results.

1. IPVanish$4.87 unlimited VPN access

IPVanish is our favorite VPN service.  They provide members very fast access.  We test our top 10 VPN providers on a regular basis and IPVanish performs the best.  Connect to any of their 850 servers in 60+ countries using the free IPVanish client.  Read our IPVanish review to learn more about the service.

2. NordVPN$2.75 unlimited VPN access

NordVPN recently added a new promotion that gives you 3 years of VPN for the lowest price ever.  This is a great opportunity to get a long term VPN account from a leading provider at a rock bottom price.  Unblock Netflix and other popular streaming services with the service. Read our NordVPN review to learn more.

3. Private Internet Access$3.25 unlimited VPN access

Private Internet Access is a great value.  They offer unlimited access to over 3,200 VPN servers in 25 countries.  Along with a nice client and Android app.  Read our Private Internet review to learn more.

4. OverPlay$6.25 unlimited VPN access

OverPlay offers both VPN and SmartDNS service.  I suggest their combo account for anyone who wants both privacy and fast streaming access to channels in other countries.  OverPlay manages a large network of over 650 VPN servers in 50+ countries.  Read our OverPlay VPN review to learn more about the service.

5. StrongVPN$4.37 unlimited VPN access

StrongVPN is known for reliability.  Their holiday special includes unlimited access to 500 VPN servers in 23 countries around the world. The promotion also includes StrongDNS which is a good Smart DNS service to help you unblock geo-restrictions.  Read our StrongVPN review to learn more.

6. VyprVPN$3.75 unlimited VPN access

VyprVPN is offering unlimited access to their network of 700+ servers in 60+ countries.  You will find their software very intuitive.  They offer clients for Windows and Mac.  You can even set up your router.  Along with mobile apps for iOS and Android.  Read our VyprVPN review to learn more about the service.

7. PureVPN $2.45 unlimited VPN access

PureVPN is offering a special discount on their service which includes two years of VPN access.  The promotion gives you unlimited usage of their VPN servers across 140 countries.  Read our PureVPN review to learn more about them.

8. ExpressVPN$8.33 unlimited VPN access

ExpressVPN is offering unlimited VPN along with full access to their network of VPN servers located across 94 different countries.  We also like their Windows client.  Read our ExpressVPN review to learn more.

9. Hide My Ass$6.55 unlimited VPN access

With a great a name and the quality to match it, Hide My Ass is a favorite of VPN users worldwide.  They manage a large network of over 840 servers in 190 countries.  Members can use their free HMA Pro VPN client and iPhone app.  You can read our Hide My Ass review to learn more about the service.

10. CactusVPN$4.89 unlimited VPN access

CactusVPN has servers located in the US, UK France, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands.  With their own client software and support for OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and SSTP protocols.  Read our CactusVPN review to learn more.

We’d like to thank all the VPN providers who are offering special promotions this holiday season.  Take advantage of the deals to save big on VPN.   Enjoy deals from Black Friday through the end of the year.

Visit VPN service providers to learn more about VPN.  Follow us @VPNSP for the latest VPN news and deals.

IPVanish Cyber Week Sale

We’re excited to continue this year’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday specials with a deep discount from IPVanish.  They have been kind in offering new members the best price ever on unlimited access to their network.  This means your can get a two years of unlimited VPN for just $69.  That works out to just $2.87 a month.  We’ll present you with the necessary coupon code below along with the start and end dates for their Cyber sale.

IPVanish Cyber Week sale

IPVanish is a leading online privacy service.  They have over 700 VPN servers in 60 different countries around the world.  We regularly test our top 10 providers and IPVanish has outperformed the competition.  Their top tier network provides excellent performance.  Members have access to free VPN apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.  Each account includes unlimited usage and five simultaneous connections.

The IPVanish Cyber Week Sale will be active from Wednesday, November 22nd through Wednesday, November 29.  During that time you can sign up for a two years of unlimited VPN for just $69.  That’s 76% off the normal retail price.  To take advantage of the offer visit the IPVanish Cyber Sale page. The coupon code should already be pre-filled for you but just in case its not you can enter promo code CYBERWEEK during checkout.   Once again the code should be autofilled for you but we are including it here so you can enter if if necessary.

If you miss out on the Cyber Week deal or prefer monthly billing then our other coupon code will save you money as well.  The IPVanish team kindly offers our visitors 25% off the first billing cycle of any term.  Including monthly, quarterly and annual terms.  To take advantage of this offer simply visit our IPVanish VPNSP Promo page.  You’ll notice our coupon code is automatically filled in during checkout.  They also clearly show the discount.

Read our IPVanish review to learn more about the service including speed tests for each server location.