It’s been almost a year since I moved from the US to Indonesia. Before that, I lived in the States for over 10 years. Moving back to Indonesia has forced me to re-learn even the most basic interaction skills and generally acceptable behaviors. One of the first things you’d notice about Indonesia once you really start living here is that the internet service, for lack of a better word, sucks. And it’s not that fast and reliable internet is not available here, but it’s simply too expensive for anyone to afford. So the internet being a life line for me and so many other people, we all reluctantly spend more than we want to get a decent internet service at our homes and offices.
However, that’s not where the problem stops. I discovered more issues like Internet filtering. The Indonesian Government recently started a new censorship program called Internet Sehat(“healthy/clean internet”) to block out sites of pornographic nature. The problem with this program is that its algorithm often generates false positives for a number of “clean” sites, resulting in an “ACCESS DENIED” page. Some of the more recent attempts to filter the internet has been to reroute all DNS activities via their server, resulting in a “Page Not Found” error on our browsers. For those of you unfamiliar with what DNS is, it is basically a “phone book” of the Internet. It tells you which IP address to “dial” when you enter an address on your URL bar.
On top of that, I’ve also lost access to all of my US Cloud subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video.
The answer to this problem is VPN, or Virtual Private Network. In its early days, VPN was used as a secure wide-range method of connecting distanced computer networks together, such as in multinational corporations that need access to their remote networks. Nowadays however, VPN is widely used, among many things, to either mask one’s IP address, or to gain access to sites that utilize geolocation services for access. In other words, VPN enables its users to create a secure connection (tunnel) to a server anywhere in the world, and hides their true location. Most VPN today use 256-bit or higher SSL encryption, which is the same technology used in the worldwide banking system. Suffice to say, whatever you do behind your VPN cannot be viewed by anyone else. Don’t confuse this with a proxy service. Proxies are very similar to VPN in the sense that it redirects your IP and hides your location. But because proxy services are unsecured, websites with smart java scripts, cookies and other scripts can detect and reveal your true location and deny you access.
After scouring the internet and trying out a few providers, I found one that works well and is quite reliable (12vpn.com). It even works in China to bypass the Great Firewall, giving me access to Facebook, Twitter, or any other website I desire. It costs USD 80 per year for a subscription, and what you get is unlimited connections to servers all around the US from San Francisco to New York 24/7. The best part is you can even share it among your laptops, phones, and other devices like Smart TVs, tablets, or game consoles, as long as you know how to set it up.
And with that, I can relax and enjoy my favorite TV shows after a long day’s work.
Padlock Ethernet – getusvpn.com
No Hulu – mandeewidrick.com
VPN Diagram – vpnresource.com
This article was happily contributed by:
Whether it’s gadgets, cars, politics, or philosophy, Anthony has always had an opinion about everything. Anthony has a problem restraining himself from a good discussion. Fortunately for him, the Internet is a playground for that. When he is not looking up how-tos on Google, he’s either busy tweaking his cars and gadgets or saturating himself in a good TV show. Anthony dreams of going to space one day, if his love for greasy burgers doesn’t kill him first.