Dropped My VPN for UNLOCATOR

Yesterday I canceled my WITopia VPN renewal in favor of UNLOCATOR. Today, I received an email from WITopia providing me the reasons for continuing my VPN service.

Here is the content of that email.

Hello,

I just wanted you to know that your account will not be charged again when your service expires on August 19th.

There are many reasons to use a VPN. I believe just about anyone who uses the Internet can benefit from a VPN.

You may want to use a VPN if:

1.You want to protect your data over the internet
2. You wish to encrypt VOIP traffic (internet voice calls)
3. You use the Internet on public networks, where other users on the same network can tap into your connection.
4. You don’t want search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. storing your every Internet search – forever
5. You wish you navigate the Internet anonymously and privately.
6. You don’t want your ISP monitoring and logging your internet activity – including every webpage you visit.
7. You wish to protect yourself from identity theft.

Just a few things to consider before discontinuing use of the VPN entirely.

Thanks for trying us out.

Regards,

First let me say that my service with WITopia was stellar and their reasons are worth considering. My primary reason for using WITopia and UNLOCATOR is to be able to utilize NetFlix and other US services that are blocked in Panama. UNLOCATOR satisfies those needs with less speed degradation than a VPN.

Still the issues listed in in WITopia’s email are worth talking about.

1.You want to protect your data over the internet

Sending data such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and other information over the Internet is potentially dangerous. One thing you have to understand is the difference between accessing sites as http:// or https://. All banks, credit card companies, PayPal, cloud sites (such as DropBox) and other secure sites use https://, which designates a secure site. All information transferred when the connection is https:// are encrypted when sent or received. Also information kept in those sites is as secure as the security procedures the sites practice. Most store information and password encrypted. I use only secure sites and https:// for data stored on the Internet, so for #1 and my needs, a VPN or UNLOCATOR are equal.

2. You wish to encrypt VOIP traffic (internet voice calls)

Recent disclosures by Snowden have shown that your landline telephone calls are not secure from government agencies. The world has turned into a large party line and government snoops can listen to what they want to. I don’t have the time to concern myself with that. For calls to the U.S. and Canada, I use Magic Jack and it is a VOIP technology.

However, I also use Apple iMessage and FaceTime to talk to many of my family in the U.S. and Costa Rica. Both iMessage and FaceTime use encryption and conversations using this technology are safe from prying eyes and ears. Other texting protocols using encryption are appearing, but I have moved to Apple and for security, it is becoming the best choice.

3. You use the Internet on public networks, where other users on the same network can tap into your connection.

I have written multiple time about the security risks of using public wi-fi which don’t require a password to connect. I do not use them and further complain to those businesses that use such poor security standards. A VPN would solve this problem and if you travel enough to justify a VPN for this reason, it is a solution. I don’t need this capability often enough to justify it.

4. You don’t want search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. storing your every Internet search – forever.

I use startpage.com as my search interface. While it uses google for the search it doesn’t pass on your IP address. DuckDuckGo is similar site. With that change UNLOCATOR is as effective as a VPN.

5. You wish you navigate the Internet anonymously and privately. and
6. You don’t want your ISP monitoring and logging your internet activity – including every webpage you visit.

If you don’t want the IP address reflecting your location or care about the history of the sites you visit being stored by your Internet Provider, then this is another justification for a VPN. For me, it is not a necessary feature I need and UNLOCATOR is just as good for me.

7. You wish to protect yourself from identity theft.

A VPN really doesn’t prevent identity theft. How you manage your information does. A VPN is only another tool in your arsenal. The advance of social media sites have created peer pressure to share a lot of information about your self. Places like FaceBook are the best place to go to lose your identity or have it stolen. On it you can list your email address, your phone number, your birthdate, your dog’s name, etc.

Many secure sites (such as your bank or credit card sites) ask you to provide answers to questions the site may ask you to insure that only you are accessing your information. It is better if the site allows you to put in the questions and answers, but many don’t. So they ask questions like Your first school’s name?, Your birth city?, Your birthday?, etc. Have you noticed how many of answers to these questions may be found on FaceBook.

If you do not manage your passwords to all secure sites on the Internet, you also are vulnerable. Every different email address you use, each secure site you use, and all places that request a password should have a hardened and unique password. One password for all sites is not sufficient. HERE is a previous post I did on being careful on the Inter, which covers passwords.

Take special notice to the last portion of that post. It talks about data stored on your smart phone and tablets. With the migration to these devices, more and more personal information is contained in the portable devices. I use Apple devices and have each locked with a passcode. I further have them actives with “Lost Phone” tracking. If my iPhone is stolen or lost, which has happened twice, I know that anyone that enters the passcode 10 times incorrectly will automatically erase its contents.

Losing an iPhone is bad, but putting all of the information I have on my iPhone in the hands of others would be much worse. That would truly be identity theft.

Usually the people that find their way to Chiriquí Chatter come here because they live in Panama or are considering moving Panama. It is hard to live in a foreign country without the need of technology for communication, banking, movie watching,etc.

Movie streaming has become my primary idle time entertainment. Moving to UNLOCATOR from a VPN, which had to introduce the overhead of encrypting and decrypting transmissions, has made movie watching much more enjoyable. I employ my down security practices which meet my needs.

11 thoughts on “Dropped My VPN for UNLOCATOR

  1. Great post…..you’ve sold me on UNLOCATOR. Thanx will switch over after my daily nap.

  2. Excellent write-up.

    I have added Tor to my collection of methods for privacy while on the web. I don’t have any real expectation of privacy with any form of electronic communications, all one can do is try to be as small a target as possible for the criminals. Privacy where the government is non-existent.

  3. I am currently living in Costa Rica and use Hola to get Netflix in the US. It is free. I haven’t had any problems with it. My daughter introduced me to it and all I had to do was download it.

  4. It lists itself as a VPN and therefore has encryption in both directions. Also says it uses a plugin on a browser so would not work with Apple TV or similar devices. It would not work for me, but may be of interest to others. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I can’t use Unlocator. It says It will not allow more signups from my IP adress. Cable onda will give you a new IP Adress?

  6. Timely subject: UNLOCATOR drove me crazy this past week. The Unlocator Server went down in Mexico, thats the region that I use to get Netflix movies with sub-titles in Spanish. I need movie sub-titles in Spanish because my wife is Panamanian and can follow along. I had no idea it was a Unlocator problem, I thought that it was a Netflix or MLBTV.COM problem and had teckies on their sites trying to troubleshoot the problem. After two days of troubleshooting, I found out it was a Unlocator problem. I decided to unhook Unlocator from my router as I can still stream Netflex and MLBTV.COM without Unlocator. Think it is easy getting Unlocator DNS out of a router, think again. Somewhere burried in the router (ASUS) is code that wouldn’t allow me to connect to the Internet once the Unlocator DNS were deleted and get Dns were set to automatic. Two days to trubleshoot this problem, thank God that I had a .CFG (configuration backup file) from two years ago that I restored from.

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