VPN Not Only For Security Anymore

A self observation today: When I first signed up for a VPN service on the Internet it was to protect myself mainly when I am using unencrypted public Wi-Fi in hotels and other places. Since then, however, I have found various other uses for a VPN tunnel.

Lately for example, I have discovered that over some fixed line connections, Youtube HD videos don't stream very well and have lots of interruptions. Interestingly, when using a VPN over the same link and then streaming the HD video, everything is o.k. In other words, one part of the newtork between me and the VPN gateway seems to meddle with the data stream if it detects that it is a Youtube stream.

I have made similar experiences over cellular connections and some carriers by default compress pictures and other contents. While some offer a web page to disable this behavior I travel a lot and don't really have the time to figure out how this is done in each network. Again, turning on the VPN is a quick solution.

And then some content on Youtube, for example, can only be viewed while you are at home due to regional broadcasting rights. Again, the VPN helps to virtually bring you back home and makes things work.

Quite frankly, I've grown a bit tired by all this interference. Hm, net neutrality? Difficult to find these days without having a VPN exit point in a "neutral" part of the net. So more often then not these days I don't bother anymore to think about whether the VPN needs to be up or not, I just turn it on and be done with it.

3 thoughts on “VPN Not Only For Security Anymore”

  1. What you are experiencing with video streams is bound to become typical, as exemplified by what Verizon is doing under the justification of network optimization:


    There might be technical and performance issues if a substantial portion of the mobile Web community starts relying on VPN systematically though. Beyond that, I just wonder what impact all these laws and regulations supposedly intended to fight terrorism and pedophily will have on the right to use VPN.

  2. Martin,
    Where is the other end of the VPN tunnel? Is it in the USA? Do you get to choose if you want the whole IP packet encrypted or just the payload?

  3. Hi Dan,

    I use Witopia and they have gateways all around the world that you can use. Works very well, I’ve subscribed for the second year now. Their solution is based on OpenVPN so the full IP packet is encrypted. They also have a PPTP but I think there are only servers in the UK and the US for that. Quite handy for the iPhone for example 🙂


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