Why you should use a VPN in the UK
So, its been a while since there was an update on UnlockWorldTV. But i feel its high time we addressed a non TV related issue. Regular readers will know, I have often championed the use of VPNs as an easy way to unlock geo restricted content.
When this site first started though, it was more a mix of why you should use VPNs for privacy and security too. I focussed on the former as the readers seemed to enjoy it more. You can find some fairly practical guides on remaining hidden and anonymous online right here or here.
But we need to talk
Sometimes though, we need to cover a topic together if its really important.
In the UK at present, I don’t think there is anything more important than the recently implemented ‘Snoopers charter’.
To be clear, the act will mean that all ISPs will retain a 12 month ‘browsing history’ or ‘log’ of your online activity. Im not sure, if the gravity of this has quite been understood by many but this is Why you should use a VPN in the UK.
What if I don’t have anything to hide?
There will always be those who say “well i have nothing to hide” and frankly thats simply a non argument, you cannot give up your liberty and privacy because you have nothing to hide. You keep your privacy and liberty in spite of having nothing to hide.
- You don’t leave your front door unlocked because you have nothing to steal.
- You don’t leave your car door open because you trust the immobiliser will thwart a thief.
- You don’t have password for your email just because you think someone will read them if you don’t.
- You don’t have letters sent to your house out of their envelopes, and;
- You don’t check your kids’ phones and diaries because you KNOW its not right.
By the same token, the very people who this act is aimed at are the criminals and terrorists. Mention terrorism in the media and parliament will pass a law. Its easy to get things passed because its nigh on impossible to have a reasonable debate about it.
But the practicality of it is that no terrorist worth their salt is going to be affected because they will used to using technology to hide their movements and activity. They already use end to end encryption chatting apps, they already use Tor and the dark web, they already use encrypted connections, keys and non online methods of communication.
Whats left then is simply a huge net that catches one or two big fish at the expense of catching millions upon millions of other tiny fish. The only difference between this and real fishing is that the little fish don’t get thrown back. They get kept on the boat for 12 months. and thats Why you should use a VPN in the UK.
So what is online activity?
So 12 months. Online activity. Meh. So what is “online activity”. This is the scary bit isn’t it, Its every time you google a medical symptom, every time you google a sensitive question on health, politics, religion, your employer.
Its every time you fire up your favourite streaming app, lets say Kodi, and you watch a film or tv show, its every time you switch to private browsing and watch porn, yes i said it. Its every time you pick your phone up and check for updates on your favourite app, its every time you play an online game with your friends on your Xbox or playstation, its every time you watch Netflix, its every time you watch a catch up show, its every time you download torrent file, and while its downloading, its every peer you seed to. Its every time someone unauthorised connects to your network without you knowing, its overtime your friend connects to your wifi and you ask no questions. Its every time the pensioner with rubbish security on their wifi (think np password, or WPA or WPS security (i.e. no security) has a car full of kids sat outside connect to wifi doing god knows what with it.
Its every time in a 12 month period that you, your device or devices has made a connection with another device or network.
I simply cannot convey to you in words the gravity of it. You just to try and let it sink in for a minute to understand Why you should use a VPN in the UK.
How does the snoopers charter affect me?
I like to look at it like this.
Over the course of a year, i may download a handful of torrents, i cant think what really but every few months I might get one. I watch online streaming all the time, the kids use their iPads to watch stuff and type random characters into the browser / you tube etc (they cant write yet!). This is all fine. I’ve looked up a few health things, some parenting advice, some employment advice, general news browsing, youtube cat videos etc etc. Nothing out of the ordinary really.
But if someone came to the house and said, “Hi, can i please see your browsing history for the last 12 months?” two things might happen, i might laugh and tell them to go away, or they don’t go away and i punch them in the face. See its not the content thats the problem here, its the notion that its acceptable.
And speaking of acceptable. What happens if the ISP gets hacked? there is hacking in the news every day at the moment, I’m looking at you talk talk, Tesco, South Korea! (ISP, Bank, COUNTRY!)
What will happen if you download a movie torrent, the movie publisher decides to sue you and in the process asks the ISP for logs, finds you downloaded more stuff, lets say unrelated, lets say it was music, and forwards it to the music company, who decide they want a bite of the cherry because you must be a prolific pirate if its in the logs.
What happens to the actual prolific pirates when he rightly gets sued and the company that has requested the log gets hacked and the log is out in the wild, what happens if loads of logs get out there in the wild and people start getting blackmailed.
I am not my IP Address
Repeat after me “I am not my IP address!”. See here’s another thing. A log tells the ISP and whomever reads it what site was visited. It does not, and cannot tell “who” visited that site. I live with 4 other people, 3 of whom consume the internet actively.
Now two are young, no issue, but when they are 16 lord knows what they might want to look at or download. What do I do then, do i incriminate them if the time comes? will i be forced to incriminate or be incriminated myself? I mean the whole premise and practicality of this silly law appears to be useless unless you are a copyright troll.
And i don’t mean to be cynical but i cannot fathom that a terrorist is even remotely likely to be caught out by casting such a large indiscriminate anti privacy net.
How an you stop being spied on, or rather Why you should use a VPN in the UK
There is only one solution that can possibly fit the sheer gravity of this scenario. Not only do you need to use a VPN, but you need that VPN to simply be on at all times, not on demand like we have been used to for streaming.
You need a VPN that can either either be installed on a router (in applet form) or a VPN that can be configured on the router itself.
And with that in mind, it may very well be, and in fact is very likely to be the case, that you need a new router. Your ISP issued one is NOT going to allow you to do this. Don’t even bother looking it up. The Virgin media one, as an example, won’t even let you change a DNS address, neither will the sky one.
You need a decent router and you need a VPN. and you need it now, and you need to tell your family and your friends to do the same.
I will put some links in for some recommended providers and products but i need to do a little more r search first. It is far more important that this information is available and useable quickly than it is to add links to the site to earn income to support the site this time. Please stay tuned and I will update this post with
VPN providers with router apps
VPN providers that support Routers such as DDwrt and OpenWRT or Tomato
Routers that allow you to best implement the required security settings and maintain ease of use
Get more cool stuff like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get more stuff and updates to your inbox.