How to Get a Chilean IP Address from Anywhere in the World

Latin American is the third largest regional online market, with about 384 million Internet users in 2016. While Internet freedoms vary across the continent, Chile stands tall, having recently been upgraded all the way to “free” by Freedom House. Because of their virtually unrestricted access to the Internet, Chilean residents find themselves in relatively privileged position–one enviable to anyone living in a country bound by censorship, surveillance, and other methods meant to control the flow of information.

Luckily, this level of online freedom isn’t restricted to those living within Chile’s borders. By using a VPN, you can fool the entire Internet into thinking you are connecting from somewhere other than where you actually are, via a process known as “IP spoofing”. Changing your IP address is analogous to using a fake passport, allowing you to pass through digital barriers in order to visit the same sites, watch the same videos, and post in the same forums as native Chileans.

Today, we’ll show you what makes a good VPN, help you choose a reliable provider, then guide you through the process of claiming your Chilean IP address. We’ll wrap up with some general information on how IP addresses work, and why Chile is an appealing pick when you’re looking for a new IP.

Key features of a good VPN 

When using a VPN for your changing your IP address, certain features must be prioritized over others. Below are some of the key features to look for when choosing a VPN to change your IP address.

  1. Servers in lots of different countries. To get around region locks, you need to connect to a server in another country. Choosing a VPN with a large server network provides flexibility. If your VPN’s server network is small, your options of changing your IP address are limited, and you might not access the specific restricted content you are choosing to view. Needless to say, getting a Chilean IP address will be impossible without access to servers in Chile.
  2. Strong security. For the maximum security when using a VPN, we look for strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy to protect your privacy. Strong encryption leads to safer online brow VPNs encrypt all your data and information before it leaves your device making it impossible for any spy to track your activity and browsing history.
  3. Fast connections. All VPNs slow down your connection to some extent, but the best providers have refined their methods to minimize this effect. This is an important consideration to anyone who values smooth streams, lag-free gaming, or fast downloads.

Best VPNs to unlock a Chilean IP address

Here is our list of the top three VPNs to help you get a Chilean IP address from anywhere in the world:

1. ExpressVPN

One of the biggest and most popular VPN services in the world is ExpressVPN. The service has a reputation for both security and usability. It is also extremely reliable from anywhere in the world and provides a large server network to provide you with flexibility when changing your IP address. The ExpressVPN server network is very large, with more than 2,000 servers in 145 locations in 94 different countries. This makes it easy to find a fast server for you to use, and gives you plenty of options for getting around region locks and accessing content from different areas of the world.

The strong security policies include 256-bit AES encryption which will be almost impossible to hack, and a no logging policy which means ExpressVPN will never collect your information for its own purposes. The software is dead-simple to use, but also packed with plenty of extra settings when you need them. These include a kill switch to prevent you from accidentally using an unsecured connection, VPN split tunneling, and even a built-in speed test.

ExpressVPN offers dedicated software which can be installed on platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android with browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.

Learn more about this fabulous service in our complete ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN provides users with a bafflingly large network of 5,000+ servers in 62 countries, five of which are based in Chile. This is especially convenient if you find your connection a little laggy, since you can simply switch over to one of your ample options. That said, NordVPN is certainly no slouch in terms of performance–in fact, it stands tall as one of the faster providers on the market. Furthermore, NordVPN offers optimized connections to specialty servers tailored to specific use-cases, including onion over VPN, double VPN, obfuscation, anti-DDoS, and more.

NordVPN’s software is available across all major platforms (and then some). Considering the rich array of features packed under the hood, we found the interface intuitively designed and easy to use.

Rounding out the package are powerful 256-bit AES encryption, and one of the VPN market’s most comprehensive no-logging policies. Based in Panama, you’ll never have to worry about hostile foreign governments forcing your VPN to spy on you, either.

Learn more about NordVPN’s beneficial features in our full NordVPN review.

3. CyberGhost

With over 2775 servers located in more than 60 countries serving more than 15 million users across the globe, CyberGhost is one of the VPN markets true titans. Users looking for a Chilean IP address will find a lot to love as well, with 10 servers up and running in that country.

Despite its vast offering of servers, CyberGhost strives for utter simplicity in terms of its user interface. Simply launch the VPN, choose from one of six preset configuration profiles according to what task you want to complete (torrent anonymously, unblock basic websites, unblock streaming, and more), and let CybeGhost take care of the technical stuff. Of course, picking your own server and settings is dead-simple when you do need a little more control.

256-bit AES encryption and a comprehensive no-logging policy round-out CyberGhost’s privacy guarantee. Rest easier with an automatic kill switch and IP leak protection to ensure your VPN connection is never compromised. Available on all major operating systems.

Learn more about CyberGhost’s features in our full CyberGhost review.

Activating your Chilean IP address

Great! The hard part of choosing a VPN from a crowded marketplace is over. Now you just have to get up and running. Thankfully, each of our suggestions makes it super simple. The process generally looks like this:

  1. Sign up for a VPN subscription of your choice.
  2. Download and install your VPN software from the provider website.
  3. Once the VPN is installed, launch the software and sign in using your VPN credentials. When you initially sign in, your VPN will connect to the fastest local server with an IP address of your current location. Your information and privacy are still secure, but we want to change your IP address to Chile. Navigate to your VPN’s server list or world map (depending on your provider), find Chile, and click on it to connect. After a moment, the VPN will initialize, giving you a bona-fide Chilean IP address.
  4. Before you start surfing the web, though, you should test your IP address just to make sure everything is working correctly. Simply open a web browser and visit ipleak.net. Once the page loads, it’ll run an IP address lookup. Once complete, you’ll see a box displaying your current IP. If everything is ship-shape, you should see “Chile” in this box.

What can I do with a Chilean IP address?

To answer this question, we need to consider two layers of factors: general and specific. Generally speaking, spoofing your IP allows you to fool websites into serving you content as though you were physically located in another country. This can be extremely useful for unblocking Netflix, accessing accounts based in another country, or getting better deals when shopping online.

Additionally, exchanging your native IP address for a shared VPN IP gives you the massive benefit of anonymity. If you’re worried about government censorship or oppression of free speech, you can rest easier behind a wall of encryption and a fake IP.

This brings us to the most specifically useful point with regards to Chilean IPs. Chile has recently made strides towards a freer, more open internet, and using an IP from that country allows you the same unfettered access as a Chilean citizen. What’s more, many neighboring countries do not enjoy the same internet freedoms, and can benefit from having speedy VPN connections available in nearby Chile.

Other benefits of spoofing your location

Beyond bolstering your privacy and enhancing your ability to consume international media, there are other good reasons to borrow another country’s IP address:

  • Cheaper digital purchases – Software is just a collection of code, so why should the same program or game cost vastly different amounts to people in different countries? Unfortunately, this common-sense question is defied by widespread practice across industries. By logging into a VPN and changing your IP to another country’s, you might be able to nab a deep discount on your purchase.
  • Unrestricted account access – In this jet-set age, it’s not uncommon for expats, students, businesspeople and tourists to sign up for various accounts with foreign services. Unfortunately, many of these sites (including banks, schools, and other highly specialized entities) restrict access to anyone without a local address. With the click of a button, a VPN-enabled IP address switcharoo can restore access without risking getting locked out of your account or simply getting flatly denied access.
  • Localized search engine results – Google and other prominent search engines tailor their results pages in no small part to your location. If you’re located in the U.S. and want to look up a Chilean news article, for example, you’re far more likely to zero in on it if it appears you are searching from within Chile. Yes, this remains true even if you’re typing your query in perfect Spanish. You’d be amazed at how differently the Internet is indexed for different people around the world.

Conclusion

A VPN will provide with you with security and the tools to change your IP address. When you want to bypass geological restrictions, increase your internet security, or watch movies from a different country, a VPN will help you by connecting you to a different server elsewhere and allow you to browse the internet from that location.

Chile is a fantastic choice for users in nearby countries that do not have the same level of internet freedoms. The same is true for Chilean expats abroad, or fans of Chilean media. Whatever the case, one of our VPN suggestions will make it possible!

What are you using your Chilean IP address for? Let us know in the comments below!

Read How to Get a Chilean IP Address from Anywhere in the World by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

What Are Virtual IP Addresses, And How Do You Get One?

In today’s world, it’s hard to function without some form of identification. Whether you’re looking to rent a vehicle, enroll in school, or apply for a job, you’ll need to provide some documentation to identify, validate and catalogue the transaction. This paradigm holds true even when hopping onto the internet to perform a Google search, check your Facebook, or stream shows and movies on Netflix. In these cases, your computer’s IP address functions online in much the same way as driver’s license or passport does in the physical world.

But what if you could change the information on your ID card at will? With a VPN, you can essentially do exactly this, albeit with your IP address rather than any physical documents. In doing so, you can pass yourself off as being from somewhere else in the world than where you actually are–thereby fooling websites into treating you differently than they normally would. Instead of reading your real IP, you hand them a virtual IP address, which contains fake information–forged to your specifications.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of how IPs are used in directing the flow of information on the Internet. Next, we’ll delve deeper into the concept of virtual IP addresses, then show you how to get one using a VPN. Finally, we’ll recommend the best VPN providers on the market.

Why are IP addresses so important?

Imagine placing an order with a company to ship a product to your home: you’d need to provide them with a shipping address in order to actually receive your package. The same is true with information on the web. Whenever you type “www.google.com” into your browser, for example, your computer transmits a request to receive the data it needs to draw a visual representation of Google’s homepage on your screen. Google is always happy to oblige–so long as it has a return address where it can send the requested data.

Your IP address acts as a shipping label accompanying the data you transmit, letting the receiver know who sent it, and where in the wide internet you are located. Using this information, a given website can accurately serve up a page, image, video, download file or whatever else to precisely where it needs to go–and no where else.

Geographical content restrictions

Now, recall that your IP address also contains information tied to your physical location. Depending on where you are in the world, you may experience restrictions on what data can be delivered to your device. (Imagine if your local post office banned all incoming packages from other countries.) In other words: your ability to view content online is almost always directly influenced by the location tied to your IP.

For example, if your IP address is from the United States, you’ll be able to watch the vast American Netflix library with no problem. If your IP is in Spain, Netflix will serve you a different content catalogue, and bar you from viewing the U.S. site. This limitation is in place by design, as it aids enforcement of international copyright law.

Privacy concerns

There are some other issues to consider. Because your IP address is completely unique and dependent on your exact geological location, it is easy for your identity and location to be tracked by malicious third parties, including government agencies, hackers, and even your ISP itself.

IP addresses themselves are not dangerous, but when you combine them with unencrypted internet browsing, you have a real privacy issue. Hackers, for example can steal your bank information, your identity, and browse your internet history. Copyright holders may also point the finger at you (often wrongly) for streaming their content in a way they don’t like.

By masking your IP address with a false one, then wrapping up your data stream beneath a layer of encryption, your doings online will become completely inscrutable.

What is a virtual IP address?

You already know, now, that your IP address is tied to your physical location. But why? Your ISP maintains a vast network of servers, which act as liaisons between its customers and the rest of the internet. This network is divided up into nodes, which have physical proximity to the areas they serve. It is these nodes that assign you an IP address, which in turn carries location information on the server itself, as well as your connection to it.

A virtual IP address (VIP) is something of a misnomer, as it is every bit as “real” as a standard IP given to you by your ISP. The difference is, VIPs do not necessarily correspond to a physical network interface. In plain English, when using a virtual IP, you are connecting to the internet through (and thus being served content from) a node located somewhere else in the world.

The precise method by which this is accomplished is highly technical, but a virtual private network (VPN) enables you to do it with ease.

So, how does a VPN work exactly?

VPN providers maintain their own network of proxy servers, which effectively take over the job normally done by your ISP, transmitting data between your device and the rest of the internet. Of course, you can’t completely avoid going through your ISP, but you can fool it into thinking you’re invisible. Here’s how:

In order to interface with the VPN network, you need to download and install your provider’s software onto your device. Once you activate it, the software communicates with one of the nodes in the VPN proxy network, and establishes an encrypted link between you and it. Think of it as an underground tunnel that uses the same ground as the ISP “above”, but passes through that territory completely undetected. The tunnel is secured by a layer of cryptography known as encryption, which encodes your data stream to look like random nonsense to ISPs, hackers, governments, and anyone else.

This seemingly scrambled data passes through your ISP without incident, and goes onto your VPN’s network. The proxy server receives this data, unscrambles it, then sends it onto its original destination (like Netflix). Because the proxy server is sending your request off, rather than your ISP, your IP address and location data change to match your VPN connection. This new address is the so-called virtual IP address that is the focus of this article.

What do you use a virtual IP address for?

The cute answer is: “anything you want!” However, there is real utility to “spoofing” your IP.

VPNs typically maintain networks of servers all over the world, so you can connect in London, but be routed through New York City. Netflix will see your request coming from NYC, and serve you content as though you were American. This is great for media-hungry users, who want to catch their favorite shows without being bothered by geographical content restrictions.

However, VIPs are useful for much more than entertainment. Because you are sharing proxy nodes with some of your VPN provider’s other clients, you all share an IP. None of the traffic flowing through that server can be linked back to any individual thanks to the encryption behind it, giving you true anonymity.

This can be useful when trying to make your voice heard through heavy censorship, for example. When you connect to public Wi-Fi, it’s also useful to have a false IP and encryption on your side to hide from any hackers or bots that may be lurking in wait to prey upon unprotected data streams.

Best VPNs for getting a virtual IP address

So, we’ve gone over what a virtual IP is, how to get one, and how to make good use of it. Now, you need a VPN! The market is flooded with options–some good, some bad. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best VPNs to get a virtual IP address:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN promises fast speeds and the highest security. Your information and data are completely secure with its 256-bit AES encryption accompanied by a zero-logging policy on all traffic. This VPN also comes with unlimited bandwidth, no speed caps or throttling, no restrictions on P2P networks or torrents, and is great for Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming sites.

Additionally, ExpressVPN deploys 2,000 servers in 94 countries, making it a breeze to spoof your IP. Each connection boasts some of the best speeds in the industry, yielding buffer-free streams and rapid downloads. If your proxy server has too many people on it and is laggy, fire up the built-in speed test to check out your other options for faster connections.

ExpressVPN also features browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. No matter how you choose to connect, ExpressVPN promises a fast, secure, and flexible service overall.

Check out our full ExpressVPN review to learn more.

2. NordVPN

Above all else, NordVPN is known for its absurdly large server network. At the time of writing, it spans over 5,100 nodes in 62 countries worldwide, but it is expanding all the time. This provides unprecedented choice for users looking for a virtual IP address.

But there’s more to it than sheer numbers; NordVPN also offers a variety of specialty servers, which are tailored to different use-cases. For example, streaming sites like Netflix often blacklist the shared IP addresses typically used by VPNs, thereby blocking access to its various content catalogues. NordVPN, however, gives the option for a dedicated IP, which can still be spoofed into another country, but without getting hit by the blacklist.

256-bit AES encryption along with a comprehensive no-logging policy veil your identity and cover your tracks online, so no one will ever know who you are or what you’re doing. Overall, NordVPN offers astounding choice in achieving total anonymity.

Learn more in our full NordVPN review.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost manages to achieve an incredible balance of utility and usability. Your subscription enables access to a massive network of over 2,700 servers in 60+ countries worldwide, which might seem overwhelming to a newbie. CyberGhost makes it easy, with one of the most streamlined software interfaces we’ve ever seen. Simply fire up the app on your device, and pick from one of six preset configuration profiles (each tailored to what you want to do online, like torrenting, unblocking websites, or spoofing your IP), and let the VPN do the rest.

This simplicity belies an incredible sophistication in terms of security. Unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption locks your data stream down, which one of the industry’s best no-logging policies acts as your unassailable alibi. Connections are speedy and smooth, and perfectly suited to virtually any task you’d want to take on. A kill switch and DNS leak protection round-out this already-attractive cybersecurity package.

Learn more in our full CyberGhost review.

Conclusion

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, but hopefully you have a much deeper understanding of what virtual IP addresses are, and how spoofing works. Additionally, you should have a grasp on the importance of using a VPN as a cybersecurity tool. We’ve presented some of our favorite providers, along with some special discounts to get you started.

What will you use your VIP for? Do you have any questions we didn’t address in the article? Leave us a comment below!

Read What Are Virtual IP Addresses, And How Do You Get One? by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Unblock Skype Calling in Qatar

In Qatar, where just 12% of the population is actually Qatari, VoIP services like Skype are a communication lifeline to residents. Whether you travel or work there, Qatar is now blocking Skype services. So your option are to rely on the local telecommunications service and pay extortive fees, or – use a VPN and circumvent Qatar’s ban on Skype.

In this guide, we’re going to show you how we chose the best VPNs for unblocking Skype, give you a list of our selections, then walk you through step-by-step how to unblock Skype in Qatar. Finally, we’ll give you some context on the VoIP situation in Qatar.

How to choose a good VPN

When it comes down to researching and picking a VPN to use. There’s a lot of things to consider – security (how much do you need?), network size (how many servers should they have?), free or paid? Well, we’ll cut to the chase – here are the criteria we used to choose the best VPNs and the reasons behind each:

  • Encryption – You’re going to want 256-bit AES encryption. It’s military-grade and the best available. Having powerful security like this will help keep your data, traffic, and identity safe from prying eyes, while also allowing you to get around Qatar’s blocks on Skype.
  • Fast speeds – To be able to run Skype smoothly, you’re going to need fast connection speeds. All the services we included here have proven to be reliably fast.
  • Device compatibility – You’re probably not just going to be using Skype on your desktop/laptop, so you need a VPN that’s supported for your other devices, too, no matter the operating system. Each VPN on this list has a wide array of devices and runs on many different operating systems, like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, and iOS.
  • No logging – It doesn’t matter how strong a VPN’s encryption is if they keep records of your metadata each time you connect. You might trust your provider, but as long as these logs exist, they are a liability and can theoretically be used to trace your identity.
  • Paid – It can be tempting to choose a free VPN, but they aren’t really “free.” So-called free VPNs can’t guarantee your security because they store your data and sell it to 3rd-parties, putting you at risk. Many are even used as vehicles for malware to steal your information. A paid VPN with a strong zero-logging policy prevents this from happening and keeps you well-encrypted and safe.

Best VPNs for Skype calling in Qatar

With the new ban on Skype, the best way to unblock it is to use a VPN provider. The Qatari government itself said that, “any person or business within the State of Qatar may use VoIP services for voice calls for their own use.” So although they’ve blocked them, if you’re able to get around the block you can still use Skype.

Ergo, use a virtual private network. Here is our 2018 list of the best VPNs for unblocking Skype calling in Qatar:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN comes in at the top of our list. With more than 2,000 servers in 94 countries, they have a big, fast, widespread network to meet your needs. They’re lightweight, too, and among one of the fastest available, helping you stream buffer-free, download fast, and browse easily.

256-bit AES encryption with a wide variety of encryption protocols to choose from if necessary can help you get past even the toughest blocks. A DNS leak test, built-in kill switch, and zero-logging policy keeps you safe and secure. There’s no throttling of your connection with ExpressVPN’s unlimited bandwidth and they’re available for just about every software system. Worried about logs? ExpressVPN has you covered, with a policy against collecting any metadata on your traffic, DNS requests, or IP addresses.

No matter which device you make Skype calls on, you’ll find a dedicated ExpressVPN app. With a single-click interface, you can gain the protection you need without needed a degree in Computer Science.

Learn more about this great provider in our 2018 ExpressVPN review.

BEST FOR QATAR: Sign up for a year with ExpressVPN at $6.67 per month and get 3 months FREE. Trial risk-free with an amazing 30-day money back guarantee.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN has one of the biggest networks on the market, weighing in at 5,000+ servers in 62 countries. This means you’re practically guaranteed to find a server that enables crystal-clear, latency-free calls at any given time. If you feel like doing more than Skype calling, NordVPN offers an array of specialty servers that can help you with specific use-cases, like P2P, Anti-DDoS, Onion over VPN, and Obfuscated servers, to name a few.

Military-grade 256-bit AES encryption keeps you secure against virtually all penetration attempts. Meanwhile, NordVPN’s logging policy is one of the most complete in the industry: they keep zero logs on your traffic, IP address, timestamps, bandwidth, or browsing history.

NordVPN is also one of the fastest providers, and extremely reliable for bypassing VPN blockers like those Netflix puts up. Their graphical map features makes choosing a server a breeze. Dedicated software available for all major platforms.

Check out our full NordVPN review to find out more.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhosthas everything minimalist in mind, right from the beginning. Easy to install, with a colorful, simple display, CyberGhostoffers you 6 preconfigured profiles that can help you find the best server for your use-case. Alongside their 256-bit AES encryption, they also offer you toggles that can provide you with more protection against malware, ads, tracking, and malicious websites.

With more than 2,700 servers in 60 countries, an immaculate no-logging policy, unlimited bandwidth and speed, and even the ability to connect to as many as 5 devices with different operating systems at once, CyberGhost is sure to fulfill all your VPN needs.

Find out more about this provider in our 2018 CyberGhost review.

BUDGET DEAL: Get up to 77% off CyberGhost’s retail price when you sign up for 18-months – pay just $2.75 per month. Deal comes with a no-questions asked 45-day money-back guarantee.

How to unblock Skype with your VPN

VPNs work by running all of your traffic and data through an encrypted tunnel that routes to a server elsewhere (the VPN’s server). You can choose where this server is located, allowing you to connect to the internet in a country where Skype calling is open and allowed. Once you connect, you appear to have that server’s IP address instead of your own, so you “look” as if you’re physically outside of Qatar and can make calls with Skype.

Here’s how to do so:

  1. Once you’ve chose which VPN you’re going to use, click through one of our links to access their “Plans” page. Select a plan of your choice and fill out the details provided.
  2. Next, download and install the VPN application to the device or devices you want to be able use Skype on.
  3. Launch the application and sign in using your VPN account information.
  4. Connect to a server that allows Skype calling. Many VPNs automatically select the fastest server nearby, so you may have to manually look through your VPNs list of servers if that one isn’t located in a place that allows skype calling.
  5. Now that you’re connected, before you continue, run a quick test: open your web browser and visit ipleak.net. The site will automatically run an IP address lookup. When this completes, you should see a box near the top of the screen that says “My IP Addresses.” Just underneath it should say a country other than that you’re sitting in – i.e. if you connected to a server in the US, the country under the box should say “United States.” If you do, you’re VPN has successfully connected and you’re good to go.

Tips for seamlessly using Skype calling once unblocked

Once you’ve successfully unblocked Skype, make sure you keep these tips in mind to optimize your Skype calls:

  • Pick a VPN location as nearby as possible – this will give you the best speeds. Using a VPN in the U.S. (per our example) may not the be best choice in Qatar, since it’s a great distance away. A closer country might be more appropriate.
  • Use the strongest internet connection you can find. This could be the best Wi-Fi signal available or even an ethernet cable.
  • Use the latest version of Skype. Since it’s been blocked, you may have missed an update since you last used Skype. Make sure the person you’re calling is using the latest version, too.
  • Make sure your camera, microphone, and speakers are working and aren’t muted.
  • Finally, close any other apps or browser that could be eating up bandwidth so your connection on Skype doesn’t lag or fail.

Other benefits of using a VPN

Even if you’re just investing in a VPN for Skype-usage, there are numerous other benefits you can gain from using a VPN:

Enhance your privacy and security

Whether you like to surf, browse, or complete online transactions, you expose yourself to possible monitoring and hackers every time you access the internet and input personal information. While many websites do their best to be secure, they aren’t always successful.

Many ISPs – especially government-controlled ones – also monitor your internet usage, traffic, and bandwidth. This allows them to track, log, and store your info – which can then be sold to 3rd-parties, which is a common practice. And, they can throttle your connection if you use too much bandwidth.

But, when you use a VPN your location is masked, preventing your ISP from telling what your traffic is or where it’s coming from – and if they can’t see it, they can’t slow it down. Hackers have difficulty seeing your data, too, due to the encryption that wraps it up securely. VPNs give you back a measure of privacy that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

Bypass geo-blocks

If you like to view streaming content from services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or YouTube, you’ll find some major restrictions. These services are required to restrict content based of the user’s country of origin. This means that if you’re from the U.K., but are living in Qatar, you won’t be able to view your home country’s content.

But you can get around this with a VPN. Simple select a server located in the U.K., and access your favorite content. Although some of these services employ VPN-blockers to try to stop this, VPN providers work constantly to continue to get past these.

Access home accounts

Again, if you’re an expatriate working or living in Qatar and are maintaining bank accounts, credit cards, etc. in your home country, you may have trouble accessing them. For example, bank accounts employ anti-fraud measures. Thus, your bank may block access to your account if it sees that your connection originates in Qatar.

Use a VPN, though, and you can appear to be sitting in a café in your home country and access any of your home accounts with ease.

Punch through censorship

While most of Qatar’s censored content is related to pornographic material, the government maintains stricter parameters for what falls under this umbrella. Many dating services and homosexual content are also blocked, which results in many sites with no offensive content being censored. Political censorship also happens. With a VPN, you can dodge these censorships and have access to the free and open internet.

Why you need a VPN for Skype calling in Qatar

After putting the ban on Skype and other VoIP services, the Qatari government released a vague statement as to why, saying, “there are no laws or rules that prohibit the use of [VoIP] technology within the State of Qatar” but, Qatari law makes “it illegal for any person to provide telecommunication services to the public for a direct or indirect fee without a license issued by ictQATAR for that purpose.”

What that means is that while individuals can useVoIP services like Skype, Skype and other VoIP providers can’t sell their service in Qatar. With just two such services licensed (state-controlled Qatar Telecom and Vodafone Qatar), it’s rumored that this is being done to help QTel monopolize the lucrative long-distance phone call market.

Using a VPN allows you to regain control over who you contact, and how. Whether you’re a journalist breaking a sensitive story, transmitting vital business data, or simply want to talk to your friends and family back home, it is essential to always have access to modes of communication you can rely upon and trust.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a resident with family outside of Qatar, or an expatriate living and working there – the Skype ban affects you. Thankfully, you can use a VPN to legally unblock Skype and get back to connecting with family and friends – at a much more affordable rate than long-distance calling.

Are you currently living or working in Qatar? Has the ban on VoiP services, and Skype in particular, affected you? What has your experience been? Tell us your story in the comments section.

Read How to Unblock Skype Calling in Qatar by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN for Mexico to Protect Your Online Privacy

Find yourself unable to stream your favorite show while in Mexico? Or perhaps you’re unable to access your favorite telenovela while abroad? Maybe you just found out that the government requires every Internet Service Provider and mobile network to log and report the activity of every user. Or – most terrifyingly – you discovered that digital news publications suffered cyber-attacks and individuals receive death threats for what they say online.

By using a virtual private network, you can solve all these problems and more. VPNs allow you to appear as if your IP address is elsewhere (even another country on the other side of the globe), enabling you to view and stream content that would normally be blocked, like Netflix and Hulu. VPNs also send your info through an encrypted “tunnel,” which prevents ISPs, governments, and hackers alike from viewing, logging, or tracing your activity online.

Today, we’ll show you how to pick the right VPN provider amidst a crowded marketplace. We’ll also provide you with a few of our favorite suggestions. Read on to learn about the best VPNs for Mexico.

Ranking the best VPNs for Mexico

To sort through and find the best VPNs for Mexico, you need a ranking system. We used the following criteria to separate the wheat from the chaff:

  • Fast connection speeds – All VPNs add overhead to your connection, opt for a service with refined protocols to minimize slowdown and lag.
  • Strong privacy provisions – Look for 256-bit security software at the very minimum, with DNS leak test and automatic kill switch functionalities as serious bonuses.
  • Device compatibility – A provider’s software must function on a wide range of devices. If it’s not compatible, you can’t use it.
  • Wide range of server locations – The best VPNs have a network with many out-of-country servers to choose from.
  • Easy-to-use software – If you can’t make heads or tails of your VPN’s software interface, you won’t be able to reap the full security benefits it might offer.
  • No logging – VPNs which keep user logs undermine the privacy they claim to protect. Make sure your provider isn’t keeping records of your activity.

With these factors in mind, here is our list of the best VPNs for Mexico:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has unlimited bandwidth, no speed caps or throttling, and claims to be the fastest VPN on the market. In our extensive testing, we found no reason to dispute this, with seamless streaming, downloading, and browsing being the absolute norm. We especially love how their lightweight software is activated with just a single click, then stays completely out of your way.

ExpressVPN’s 256-bit AES encryption the industry standard for a reason – the world’s biggest supercomputer would take millions of years to crack it. With that kind of backing, you know your data and location are being kept secure. And with a kill switch on board, you’re protected from exposure during the accidental drops that occur from time to time, regardless of your provider.

Finally, ExpressVPN maintains servers within Mexico (as well as over 2000 in 93 other countries abroad), allowing you to surf and stream the local internet in complete privacy.

Learn more in our comprehensive ExpressVPN review.

BEST FOR MEXICO: 12 Months + 3 Months FREE for the yearly plan, only $6.67 per month. Try risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee – “no questions asked.”

2. NordVPN

With over 5,000 proxy servers in 62 countries, NordVPN almost always offers a route through to bypass censorships and geo-blocks, even in Mexico. If that weren’t enough, NordVPN offers a variety of specialty servers tailored to specific use-cases, including obfuscating servers which completely hide the fact that you’re using a VPN from even the most sophisticated detection methods.

There’s even a double VPN feature, which gives you two layers of encryption to completely lock down your identity, location, activity. Whether you’re trying to bypass Netflix geo-restrictions or access the free and open internet from behind the Great Firewall of China, NordVPN is the provider for you.

And with a zero-logging policy that covers bandwidth, time stamps, traffic, and IP addresses – and everything in between – your activity is never recorded or shared.

Check out our full NordVPN review.

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3. CyberGhost

Arguably, CyberGhost’s greatest feature is its ease of use. When you open the app, it suggests six pre-configured profiles, which automatically apply the best VPN settings for your specific use-case. This means you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to configure the best settings for what you spend the most time on – like surfing anonymously, streaming, protecting your Wi-Fi connection, torrenting, or unblocking basic websites.

With more than 2,700 proxy servers in 60 countries, CyberGhost is a robust, well-established provider, proving its reliability time and again among a loyal customer base. Combined with its “choose your VPN” feature, the vast number of servers gives you plenty to choose from. Their security is top-notch as well, featuring five encryption protocols that give you enough options to maximize speed, security, or device compatibility – or to keep an even balance between speed and security.

If you’d like to learn more, visit our CyberGhost review.

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4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN runs a network that’s a little smaller than the others on this list, coming in at 100 servers in 56 countries. But don’t count them out – PrivateVPN offers balanced performance between speed and security, without compromising on either. Lightweight and easy to use, this provider’s software works well across a wide range of devices, like smart phones and tablets, as well as desktops and even Fire TV.

With their 256-bit AES encryption, PrivateVPN keeps your data safe, and includes an automatic kill switch to ensure your defenses are always up. DNS leak protections and a zero-logging policy help keep your traffic private, too.

Although a smaller network of servers, Mexico is included, helping you to connect to your home network while abroad.

Learn more about PrivateVPN in our full review.

SPECIAL OFFER: Get 64% off the yearly plan, and get an extra month FREE. That’s just $3.88/mo. Try risk-free with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

5. PureVPN

With PureVPN, you get a full-featured security service. In addition to the standard VPN encryption, you get anti-virus protection, anti-malware, app-blocking features, DNS website filtering, and more. All you have to do is download their easy-to-use software, select which features you want turned on, and you’re good to go.

Their privacy features include best-of-the-best data encryption, a zero-logging policy for traffic, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch – so you can use the internet free of worry (and more importantly, free of censorship and surveillance). Their 2,000+ self-owned servers across a whopping 140 countries give you plenty to choose from to access the unblocked, uncensored web.

ACT NOW: Sign up now for a 73% discount on the 1-year plan – just $2.99/mo. Offer backed by a 31-day, money-back guarantee.

Internet privacy concerns in Mexico

In 2014, legislators in Mexico passed the Telecommunications Law. This law deregulated the provision of telecommunications, and laid out the skeleton for Mexican internet infrastructure. But along the way, the law created requirements for ISPs and mobile networks to store their users’ activities for up to two years. These logging policies were enacted in the hope of catching Mexican drug and gun smugglers, but anyone’s information can be pulled by lawyers – including yours.

VPNs, however, are not beholden to this law, and thus they don’t have to maintain logs of your activity. Once you disconnect, all trace vanishes. And with all your data going through a VPN, any data your ISP receives and logs cannot be traced back to you. If anyone were to try to follow the trail, they’d be taken to your chosen VPN and find a dead end.

Should you use a VPN in Mexico?

Freedom House reported in 2017 that Mexico faces a challenging internet environment:

“while access has steadily improved, Mexico’s internet freedom environment declined due to revelations concerning government spyware used against human rights lawyers, journalists, and activists.”

So it’s not just geo-blocking when using internet in Mexico – journalists (including bloggers) and activists actively face prosecution for the things they say online. Reprisals have included intimidation, threats of physical violence and death, and even cold-blooded murder.

Obviously, if you fit the bill of any of these roles, this makes using a VPN critical. It’s a matter of safety, for yourself and your family, while still allowing you to report on issues that matter to you.

What else can you do with a VPN in Mexico?

Besides staying safe, there are many other things you can do with your VPN in Mexico:

Access and stream Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are often blocked or restricted to local shows outside of the U.S. due to copyright restrictions. This is fine if you speak Spanish – but if you want to access the US or Canadian Netflix library, it’s no good. The best way to get around this is to connect to a US or CA VPN server.

To make things further complicated, many major services employ VPN blockers. Netflix especially has made many attempts to block VPNs – some successfully, other not. That fact notwithstanding, all the VPNs we mentioned above regularly find ways to get around the blocks to grant their users access to whatever content they like.

Access Mexican accounts and media while abroad

If you’re from Mexico, are traveling abroad, and would like to access content from back home, you can use a Mexican VPN server to get all your typical local channels and shows.

Likewise, if you’re Mexican but are trying to use your bank account from the US or another country, your request may be denied in a well-intended effort to quell fraud. The opposite is true, too – if you’re from another country and try to use your bank account from a Mexican IP address, you may be denied. In either case, using a VPN that makes it appear that you’re in your country of origin can help you dodge extra security questions or having to speak to a representative to get your request through.

How does a VPN work?

Before you activate your VPN, you need to select a mediating server. Since VPNs have servers all over the world, you can easily choose one outside of Mexico. Once you turn your VPN on, the software connects you to your chosen server. All information is encrypted between these two points, and the VPN server forwards everything to its intended destination.

And here’s the important part – the VPN changes your IP address to match that of the server you selected. If that server is in Mexico, you’ll get a Mexican IP; if that server is located in the US, you’ll get an American IP.

This means your IP address is now masked, and your traffic – and identity associated with that traffic – are now secure. If you don’t publish your name or other identifying characteristics, anything you say online can’t be traced back to you.

Conclusion

You should now have all the information you need to stay safe with a VPN in Mexico or when traveling abroad. With our recommended providers, you can get to streaming, surfing, and posting online – all privately, securely, and geo-block free.

Are you currently living in Mexico? Or, do you frequently travel there? What are your primary concerns with online security? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Read Best VPN for Mexico to Protect Your Online Privacy by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Best VPN for Cuba: Bypass Govt Restrictions and Stay Safe

Cuba has one of the harshest sets of Internet censorship laws in the world. Whether you’re traveling to or living in the country, you’ll want to ensure that governmental restrictions don’t negatively impact your access to the free and open Internet. The best way to do that is with a VPN.

Today, we’ll show you what makes a good VPN, which providers you can trust, and take a closer look into the state of Internet freedoms in Cuba.

How to choose a good VPN

A quick search for VPN services will reveal an absolutely overwhelming variety of choice. Beneath the bold claims and complicated terminology, however, only a few VPN providers are capable of standing by their word to safeguard your Internet privacy while delivering superior performance. We’ve narrowed down this crowded market to a handful of the best companies using the following criteria:

  • Strong encryption – when you’re in Cuba, the government can easily view your unencrypted data transfers. Personal conversations, online habits and more can all be compromised. VPNs help by encrypting your data in a way that hides your online actions, messages and identity.
  • Zero logging –  a strict no-logging policy will ensure that the VPN provider doesn’t record any of your personal information while you are browsing online. 
  • Fast speeds – the VPN you use can slow down your connection, so picking a provider with fast connection speeds is important. Pick a quality service and you’ll never have to deal with lag, slow download speeds and video/music buffering while using the web.
  • User-friendly software – ease of use is crucial, especially if you want to use a VPN across different operating systems. Look for cross-platform compatibility; apps that make it easy to run a VPN; an interface that’s intuitive for users of all levels.

What about free VPNs?

You might be tempted to save a few bucks by opting for a free VPN. However, there is one universal truth with online service to keep in mind before making this decision: if a product is being offered free of charge, you’re the product. It is common practice for cost-free services to bombard you with ads and cut corners in their offerings. That leads to an overall unpleasant experience just to get sub-par privacy provisions–if you get anything at all.

What’s worse, many free VPNs have been shown to make you less safe by collecting your user data and auctioning it off to the highest bidder. Others still have even been caught recruiting their unknowing users into becoming part of a botnet. Top-tier providers offer you what no free VPN can: peace of mind. And really, who can put a price on that?

Recommended VPNs for Cuba

The following VPN providers are proven reliable and safe for users in Cuba:

1. ExpressVPN 

ExpressVPN is a solid choice for users of all experience levels. It doesn’t matter if you’re an advanced VPN user or a complete IT rookie: ExpressVPN comes with easy-to-install, intuitive apps that are a breeze to use – and compatible with macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and even some gaming consoles and smart TVs. The apps are surprisingly user-friendly, despite how powerful ExpressVPN is. Security-wise, ExpressVPN’s 256-bit AES encryption protects your data so well that cracking it would take a supercomputer millions of years. Furthermore, the no-logging policy ensures that you do not leave crucial information in the hands of your ISP, the government or cyber criminals. 

ExpressVPN delivers some of the fastest connections we’ve ever seen in our tests, thanks to a powerful and expansive server network (numbering 2,000+ nodes across 94 countries worldwide). If you’ve been trying to figure out how to access all the good TV on Netflix and Hulu from within Cuba, ExpressVPN gives you reliable access to a massive variety of IP addresses to access foreign content libraries with ease. Rounding out the package, ExpressVPN imposes zero throttling, bandwidth restrictions, or bans on file types. There are also very welcome DNS leak and kill switch features that help make sure your information is secure at all times. 

Learn more in our complete ExpressVPN review.

BEST FOR CUBA: Sign up for a year with ExpressVPN at $6.67 per month and get 3 months FREE. There’s also an amazing risk-free 30-day money back guarantee, just in case you’re not completely satisfied.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN has an immense amount of security-oriented features to offer, making it optimal for use inside Cuba. Given Cuba’s political situation, users will be happy to know that NordVPN has military-grade 256-bit security that no computer on earth can hope to crack. This is coupled with a strong zero-logging policy that includes browsing history, DNS requests, IP records and more. With NordVPN, you can feel safe knowing your information won’t be seen by third parties – and that’s not all. The app comes with a built-in kill switch that shuts your connection down if your VPN connection drops–even if just for a moment. 

In addition to its security, NordVPN has one of the biggest networks in the business with 5,000+ servers spread across 62 different countries. Connections are fast, secure, and low latency across the board. Get optimized connections for your use-case when you connect to one of NordVPN’s many specialty servers, dedicated to onion over VPN, anti-DD0S, double VPN, P2P and more.

NordVPN’s intuitive software is available on all major platforms, and then some. This VPN is certainly jam-packed with extras, but you’ll never have a problem using them thanks to smart, user-focused design and helpful customer support.

Check out our full NordVPN review.

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3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is perfect if you’re new to VPNs and looking for something simple to get the job done. The service is also a good fit for experienced users who want high speeds, bulletproof security, and a large server network. If you’re visiting or living in Cuba, CyberGhost will help you stream HD videos from Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and many other sites without delays or error messages. To get started, all you need to do is download, install and open CyberGhost and select the VPN profile that fits your needs – all it takes is one click. Once you make a choice, the software will allocate you to a server and optimize your connection for streaming, gaming, or whatever else you’re using the Internet for. 

With 2,700+ servers in over 60 countries around the world, CyberGhost has high download speeds and low latencies no matter which country you choose. All servers come equipped with 256-bit AES encryption protects all your data. The service’s  zero-logging policy is tugh too, with absolutely no records of your IP addresses, DNS queries, browsing histories; not even your e-mail address. The lightweight app works on a variety of platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.

If you’d like to know more read our complete review of CyberGhost.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Save 77% on 18-months with CyberGhost – pay only $2.75 per month. Your satisfaction guaranteed by a 45-day money back policy – no questions asked.

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN may not be the most massive VPN on our list, but it is one of the best-rounded. Powerful 256-bit encryption locks down each data packet that leaves your device, equipping you with industrial-grade protection versus hackers, ISPs, and anyone else who might try to brute-force their way into your business. A solid no-logging policy allows you to browse with peace of mind, knowing that your activity can never be used to identify you. Lightweight software is available on most operating systems, from Windows to MacOS, Android, Linux and more.

Beyond these core offerings, you’ll be delighted by some of the most consistent access to streaming sites you’ll find anywhere. In fact, PrivateVPN bills itself as being custom-built to unblock Netflix content catalogues from the most desirable countries (yes, that includes the U.S.) with ease. What’s more, with a record of 99% uptime, you’ll never have to worry about your VPN letting you down when you need access to the free and open Internet from Cuba. Of special interest to Cuban users is an anti-ISP throttling toggle, which helps you overcome the artificial speed limits so often imposed by ISPs the world over.

Learn more in our comprehensive PrivateVPN review.

HOT DEAL: Get 1 month free when you sign up to a year with PrivateVPN. Total discount comes to 64% off – only $3.88 per month. Plan comes with a “no questions asked” 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. PureVPN

PureVPN is an all-in-one service designed with complete cybersecurity in mind. In addition to impregnable 256-bit AES encryption, the service has an anti-spam filter, anti-DDoS protection, app filtering, and even a NAT firewall. The zero-logging policy is thorough, with no records of anything that can help identify you in any meaningful way getting stores. Between PureVPN’s commitment to keeping your data and identity secure, and its large server network of 2,000+ nodes in 140 countries, the service is strong on all of its fundamentals. 

PureVPN supports a wide range of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, Android TV, iOS and even Firestick – and lets you connect as many as 5 devices simultaneously. It also offers browser extensions, which are even easier to use and just as safe and quick as the VPN app. If you want a reliable, safe service while visiting Cuba, give PureVPN a look. 

SPECIAL OFFER: Save 73% on the yearly plan – pay just $2.99 per month. Deal comes with a risk-free, 31-day money back guarantee.

Cuba and the Internet

Although most Cubans now have online access, government restrictions still limit locals from freely accessing all of the free world’s websites. While the local mobile Internet is still limited for residents and travelers inside the country, there are some 500+ Wi-Fi locations around the country plus thousands more wired connections.

Unlike most other countries, Cuba has a constitutional ban on all independent private media. Although the new generation of journalists and entertainers is attempting to sidestep this ban, they are facing a constant threat of potential punishment. The reason the Cuban government is so strict about the content shown to residents is that they want as little political discussion–especially criticism about Cuba–as possible. To this end, they don’t mind sacrificing residents’ Internet freedom in order to exercise more control over the media they get to consume. Websites get blocked, data gets logged and nothing you do on the web while in Cuba is truly private.

All of this means that using public Wi-Fi in Cuba can potentially expose some or all of what you do online. In order to maximize your online safety and stop personal information from getting into the government’s hands, you can use a VPN to mask your location and encrypt your data. A quality service will make sure all your data remains anonymous – and store no logs of what you do online. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of using a VPN and help you pick one that will best fit your needs.

Why use a VPN in Cuba?

Now that you have a better understanding of Cuba’s infrastructure and public policy with regards to the Internet, you can see there is a profound need for privacy and security when going online in that country. The major benefits of using a VPN to accomplish this include the ability to…

Access blocked international websites

With restricted access to the Internet in Cuba, you’ll need to overcome the national censorship filter to surf the web freely. If you try to access most of the Internet, you will immediately receive a message stating that this website is blocked – or else just get a blank page. Even if you do manage to get through this censorship filter, there’s the question of national content libraries. For example, if you try to watch most TV shows on Netflix using a Cuban IP address, you’ll find that they’re unavailable outside the US, the UK, Canada, and the EU. The same applies to streaming sports games, music, and more.

So can you still access a blocked website in Cuba? Yes, if you use a VPN to bypass the national filter and get a foreign IP address. For example, Iceland and Canada have some of the most liberal Internet laws in the world, and using a VPN would allow you to surf the web as though you were located there rather than Cuba. This “digital relocation” would help you browse the web freely. Alternatively, you might want to get a US IP to access Netflix and Hulu, or a UK IP to watch BBC iPlayer, and so on and so forth. When you have a VPN, you – not the Cuban government – get to choose what you do online.

Lock down your data

Cuban users may feel concerned when it comes to protecting their privacy. Typically, when connecting to the Internet, your Internet service provider, or ISP, can track all your online activity and hand this information over to the government or other companies. Considering how tight government controls are in Cuba, protecting yourself from this kind of exposure is important when you’re in the country. Fortunately for you, a quality VPN can anonymize your data by encrypting it and making it indecipherable to third parties. 

When you connect to a VPN proxy server, you are actually sharing that connection with your provider’s other customers. This means that each user’s connection bears the same shared IP, making it impossible for ISPs, governments, hackers, or anyone else to trace your requests further back than the server itself. Beyond this server, your connection is completely scrambled via encryption, which makes it virtually impossible to crack into and read. These two factors together provide you with the means to fly completely beneath the radar of most forms of censorship, filtering, and surveillance–and provide you with unparalleled levels of cybersecurity in the process.

Conclusion

Using a VPN lets Cuban visitors and residents surf the web anonymously, accessing websites that are otherwise be blocked off by the government. With the services on this page, you’ll be able to stream and browse content as though you were located anywhere else in the world, given that the VPN you choose has servers in that location. Just sign up to one of the VPNs we discussed above and you’re good to go. 

Have you had experience with a VPN in Cuba? If so, do you have any suggestions or experiences to share? Leave us a comment below and let us know. 

Read Best VPN for Cuba: Bypass Govt Restrictions and Stay Safe by Diego Villena on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter