University administrators are becoming increasingly concerned about copyright litigation. The lawyers that sue internet users for downloading copyrighted content– so called “copyright trolls”– are becoming more and more aggressive.
Most of the time, copyright trolls don’t follow through on their threats. However, some do take internet users to court in order try to “send a message” to those who download copyright-protected content.
Because some institutions are concerned about becoming lawsuit targets, many schools and universities have started blocking access to large parts of the internet. Some IT university security managers are even throttling bandwidth, hoping that slower download speeds will deter software piracy. Others even cut out legal video game platforms like Steam and GOG.
Read on to find out how to use a VPN service to override your university’s internet policy so you can get full access to the entire web.
- 1 More restrictions, less privacy
- 2 Go wherever you want with a Virtual Private Network
- 3 How does a VPN work?
- 4 How to bypass your university’s WiFi restrictions with IPVanish
- 5 Can VPN server administrators see what I do on the web?
- 6 IPVanish features and benefits
- 7 A few more reasons on why we support IPVanish:
More restrictions, less privacy
Slow internet and reduced access to the web is only part of the problem facing users that access the web via university networks. On school networks, you get zero privacy. Anyone standing between you and the website that you want to access– IT admins, hackers, governments– can easily find out lots of information about you.
With the right tools, web admins can take over your computer’s web camera, compile a data file about your online activities or even view files stored on your computer.
Go wherever you want with a Virtual Private Network
Today, the average internet connection is about as private as a Greyhound bus. While you’re on the bus, you have to follow the rules. They won’t let you on if you bring a pet. You can only bring a limited amount of luggage with you. Also, the bus driver won’t drop you off just anywhere. You have to go where everyone else is going.
But surfing the web via a virtual private network is like driving in a sports car with tinted windows. Once you’re inside one, nobody can tell you where to go or what to do– and there’s no way for anyone to peer in and see what you’re up to.
How does a VPN work?
Once you connect to a VPN server, your digital footprint vanishes. A VPN service encrypts your web traffic, making it impossible for anyone to find out where you are or where you’ve been on the web. Our personal recommendation for the best VPN is IPVanish.
Without a VPN, the “powers that be” can collect your info and control where you go on the web. But even the Chinese government can’t stop its citizens from accessing western websites via VPNs.
How to bypass your university’s WiFi restrictions with IPVanish
Once you register for an IPVanish account, just download the program from their website to get started. Windows and Mac versions are available. You can even use IPVanish on your mobile device if you have an iOS or Android compatible phone or tablet.
Here’s what the interface looks like in Mac OS:
To connect to a VPN server, all you have to do is click the giant off button on the top right part of the screen. Once you’re connected, the black OFF button will turn into green ON button– and you’ll be able to enjoy private, restriction-free access to the web from anywhere in the world.
By default, IPVanish connected me to a United States VPN server. From the perspective of anyone monitoring my online activity, it looks like I’m located in Winter Park, Florida… even though I actually live in Budapest, Hungary.
If I’m not logged in to IPVanish, I can’t access streaming media services that are only available in the states. For example, when I try to view the Pandora website without IPVanish I get a message informing me that the folks at Pandora are “deeply, deeply sorry” that they won’t let me use their service:
But with IPVanish, I’m able to easily circumvent Pandora’s geo-block.
Can VPN server administrators see what I do on the web?
Yes they can– and that’s why you should choose your VPN service wisely. In our opinion, IPVanish is the best and most private VPN service out there now. Unlike many other VPN service providers, IPVanish does not collect user logs.
IPVanish features and benefits
IPVanish is bigger and faster than any other VPN service out there right now. The company has over 500 servers located in countries all over the world. Plus, their services are inexpensive compared to the competition. The company’s large user base allows it to offer discounted monthly fees.
Also, IPVanish’s leaders really care about security and privacy issues.
IPVanish’s CTO Josh Gagliardi hosts a podcast about privacy and security related topics called Secure Sessions. On the Secure Sessions podcast, Galiardi has interviewed:
- Jadzia Butler from the Center for Democracy and Technology
- Kate Knibbs of Gizmodo
- Katie Benner from The New York Times
- Russell Brandom from The Verge
- Priya Anand from Buzzfeed
- …and many others
A few more reasons on why we support IPVanish:
Bonus: AddonHQ readers will also receive 25% off their first month’s payment on any plan.