As I dive deeper and deeper into the cryptocurrency world I am surprised every day at how amazing some of the current projects are. It seems like every month there is a host of new blockchain based platforms that are raising money through ICO's. I am constantly impressed with companies like Envion, SingularityNET, and indaHash, but their ICO's are closed to US residents! This makes it a bit of a challenge to make a purchase if you live in the US like I do, but with a little VPN magic... presto-changeo! Now I live in the Czech Republic and I can buy whatever I want.
A Need For VPN Speed!
After being disappointed a few times lately with not being able to participate in some of my favorite ICO's I decided it was time to try out a VPN service and see for myself how it would work in this particular situation. In general, a VPN provides epic privacy, allows you to circumvent censorship, and best of all it allows you to geo-spoof your location!
Just days before I decided to take the plunge and start looking at VPN providers I was contacted by the fine folks over at TorGuard VPN about checking out their services! How crazy coincidental is that?? It's like they heard my thoughts through my insecure internet connection and decided to reach out and nudge The 'Stache in the right direction. Seeing as how they loved my blog about crypto so much I decided to take them up on a 30 day trial of their VPN service to see if it was the right fit for me.
Getting Started With TorGuard VPN
I am a very tech focused person, but I can honestly say that I have never had a REAL need for a VPN until now. I signed up for my 30 day trial and was sent an easy-to-understand email that explained exactly how to get started. I guess I was under the notion that setting up a VPN would be difficult, but to my surprise there were only 4 steps!
There are several options to get started, but I found that downloading their TorGuard Client was straightforward. Once you have the client installed you can see that the interface is very simple (love a clean design!), and the most important options are right up front. Being the VPN noob that I am, I did not touch any of these main settings on this page and just decided to find a cool location that I wanted to connect to. Czech Republic here I virtually come!
In the startup guide they mention trying to find a location that is closest to you for speed purposes.
"For speed, try to select the closest location to you, if the closest isn't the best try work your way out to see what works best for you - also try between Tunnel Types, Ciphers and Protocols: TCP/UDP to see if those make any difference."
While this may make sense for others to do, a "close" location was not what I was looking for, so I loaded up Czech Republic and connected away! The connection was made lightning fast and I thought it was kinda cool to see this pop up in my tray.
Built For Speed Or Built For Privacy?
One of the first things I noticed was that when I went to Google.com, everything was automatically translated into Czech. I can't read Czech, but it was still cool to see and an indicator that the VPN was working exactly like I expected. My first real test was to see what the speed differences were going to be. I picked the Czech Republic because it is almost as far from my hometown of Long Beach, CA as possible so it will give me a good base for testing.
Loading up my favorite speed testing site, speedof.me, I first tested my connection on the VPN and then tested again on my local network. As you can see from the screenshot comparison below, the VPN connecting out of Czech Republic is much slower in both upload and download speed as well as latency. I expected as much, but when I was just doing normal web surfing I really didn't notice that much of a difference in the speed of pages loading. This would not be ideal for things like online video games, but it seems to work PERFECT for my needs of being able to buy into international ICO's that block US based residents. Privacy wins out!
The Crypto Wool Over Their Eyes
When it comes to security & cryptocurrencies you really have to be on top of your game. Not only does the VPN help me to get around the US censorship for ICO's it also helps to keep me more secure. With a VPN now in place I can stop snooping governments, ISP’s, hackers and more from tracking me by my IP. I like to keep my crypto locked up tight in cold storage for the most part, but an added layer of security for your internet connection when you are dealing with large amounts of crypto is priceless!
My very first experience with a VPN has been a great one! After all my testing and review of the TorGuard VPN service I have to say that I am really loving what they offer. It is easy to setup, straightforward, affordable, and secure. After giving TorGuard a good test I can say that I highly recommend them if you are looking for a VPN service for similar crypto needs. If you are looking to signup and want to support The 'Stache, use my super secret 'Stache Club link - https://torguard.net/aff.php?aff=3687 - and it will help to support my anonymity on the net!