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 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  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.

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.

Le VPN Birthday Special

Le VPN is celebrating their 7th anniversary.  To celebrate they are offering two years of VPN service for $69.90. That works out to just $2.91 a month. You can visit for more details.  The birthday discount will conclude at the end of the day on Nov. 17th.  Cheers to Le-VPN on six years of service.  Over that time the Le VPN team has expanded their network to over 110 countries.  We look forward to the next seven years!

Le VPN Birthday Special

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the Le VPN birthday special.  You will want to purchase 24 months of VPN in order to qualify for the promotion.  To take advantage of the offer simply visit their birthday special page and sign up for the 24 month plan. Remember that the offer is only available through November 17th. Anyone who subscribes to the 24 month plan through the cirthday promo page will receive the discount. That means you will have unlimited access to the Le VPN network for just $2.91 a month which is 70% off the regular monthly price.

If you are already familiar with Le VPN then I suggest you head on over to their website and grab two years of VPN at a great price.  The promotion will end in a week on Nov. 17th.  For those new to the service I’ll take a moment to share some details.  In the seven years since Le VPN launched they have been hard at work protecting users privacy and improving their service.  In the Fall of 2015 they announced a huge network upgrade.  The Le VPN network now consists of server in 114 countries around the world.  That gives them one of the largest VPN networks.  Members enjoy unlimited VPN access and can connect on two devices simultaneously.  You can use their custom VPN client to connect from Windows and Mac.  They also have mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Follow us @VPNSP for the latest VPN news and promotions.  Black Friday is just around the corner so stay tuned for more great deals!

How KRACK WiFi Hack Impacts Your Privacy

Key Reinstallation Attacks (KRACK) hacks use a vulnerability in WPA2 WiFi encryption to spy on your Internet traffic when connected to WiFi networks. Since most modern WiFi networks use WPA2 encryption the vulnerability spans millions of devices around the world. The problem spans from routers to phones and a wide range of iOT devices. Whether you are connecting to WiFi from your favorite hangout using your iPhone or connecting to a hotel network on your laptop, the KRACK hack puts everyone at risk.

Whack a mole

The news of the KRACK vulnerability broke a few hours ago. You can expect fixes to be released in the days and weeks to come. The problem is a big one since the researchers that discovered KRACK, Mathy Vanhoef of imec-DistriNet, and KU Leuven, found that the security flaw let’s hackers attack all modern WPA2 protected WiFi networks. This means that any device that supports WiFi is very likely impacted by the issue.

The KRACK researchers found that Android, Apple, Windows, Linux, and other platforms are all affected by the attacks. This means that you should be very careful when connected to WiFi networks. In time vendors like Linksys and other router manufacturers will release patches. The attacks go much deeper though since millions (perhaps even billions) of iOT devices are also vulnerable to the attacks. What can you do to protect yourself from the attacks? For now the best answer is to use a VPN like IPVanish.

It helps to understand KRACK a little better to protect yourself. For starters you should assume that all WiFi networks are vulnerable at the moment. The attack requires the hacker to be nearby to intercept your data. The first step to protect yourself is to make sure and install updates on all your devices as soon as they become available. As always, you will want to make sure that any website you log in to or share information on uses SSL encryption. Look for HTTPS in the site address or a lock symbol on most web browsers. The final and best step to protect your privacy is to use a VPN. This will encrypt all of your data as it passes over vulnerable WiFi networks. This is the best solution to protect your privacy until the patches are released.

IPVanish Privacy First Sale

Last week you may have read that the DOJ demanded the data for visitors to an anti-Trump website. This is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy that shines a light on the current political landscape in the United States and beyond. In response the IPVanish team is offering a Privacy First Sale to help protect user’s online privacy. Those new to IPVanish can sign up for a year of unlimited VPN for just $3.25 a month. That’s 50% off the already discounted pricing on 12 months of VPN access.. The sale will be active through Wednesday, August 23rd.

IPVanish Privacy First Sale

IPVanish is a strong supporter of groups that focus on online privacy rights. This certainly includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which will receive a portion of the proceeds for the sale. The EFF was founded in 1990 to help promote civil liberties on the Internet. That’s quite impressive considering the state of the Internet in 1990. Back then we were using BBS and newsgroups to communicate online. Fast forward 27 years and we’re all interconnected. It’s hard to go anywhere or do anything without being tethered to your cellphone. This is yet another reason to encrypt your data. IPVanish allows members to connect on 5 different devices at one time using a single VPN account. This will help protect all your devices. You can even set up IPVanish to run through a router to protect every device on your home network.

The IPVanish Privacy First sale will end soon so you will want to sign up today to take advantage of the discount. To be more exact, the sale will be available until midnight EST on Wednesday, August 23rd. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to help fight for our online privacy.