Category Archives: Internet Privacy

How To Use Tails And VPN To Increase Privacy

If you’re concerned about your Internet privacy, you’ve probably heard about Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) and Virtual Private Networks.

Here is a rundown on how to use these tools to help protect your data.

What Is Tails OS?

tails-and-vpn

Tails is a Linux-based, live operating system that you can boot up on almost any computer from a USB drive or DVD. Tails runs independently of the computer’s operating system, leaving no trace unless you explicitly ask it to.

The goal of Tails is to preserve your privacy and anonymity and to help circumvent censorship. It includes several applications pre-configured with security in mind. These include but are not limited to: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, and many more.

Tails uses the Tor anonymity network to protect your online privacy. Tor works by bouncing your connection around a volunteer-based network of relays around the world.

Using Tails And VPN To Increase Privacy

The best way to use Tails and VPN in unison is by placing the VPN connection before the connection to Tor. This setup yields the most benefits, including but not limited to:

  1. The Tor network thinking you are the VPN server.
  2. If the Tor network is compromised, they must also get past the VPN server.
  3. If your ISP blocks the Tor network, the VPN allows access to the Tor network.

This configuration enables Tails to operate exactly as designed but with a VPN server between your computer and the Internet. This can be easily achieved with a VPN FlashRouter.

What Makes a FlashRouter Different?

A FlashRouter is a custom wireless router with VPN capabilities, allowing for easy connection to your favorite VPN provider. This set up allows for perfect connection from your Tails computer, to your VPN provider, to the Tor network, enabling multiple layers of security.Best DD-WRT Wireless-AD Compatible Netgear Router - R9000 Nighthawk AD7200

Have any questions on which FlashRouter to choose? Check out our most popular models or contact our support team for more assistance!

EU Copyright Directive Approved: Catastrophic Results Ahead?

The European Parliament has voted in favor of the EU Copyright Directive. This controversial piece of legislation could lead to catastrophic results for Internet users in the EU. Two articles within the EU Copyright Directive – Article 11 and Article 13 – have been referred to as the “link tax” and the “meme ban.” While defenders of the legislation state the Directive will help stop digital piracy, many fear the effects of these new laws will be nothing short of Orwellian.

Nevertheless, the Copyright Directive is not yet law. The European Council, Commission, and Parliament still need to decide on a final wording, a process that will likely last until December 2018. Once that happens, the Directive will need to be approved one more time by the European Parliament in January 2019. However, Internet users in the EU should still focus on protecting their home networks from even more totalitarian legislation.

First and foremost, the EU Copyright Directive is a form of legislation limiting the use of copyrighted content on online platforms. Proponents of the Directive say that this will help content creators as users will no longer be able to share copyrighted materials. As a result, these proponents believe that content creators will be properly paid for the use of their copyrighted material.

However, the Directive’s opponents see a much darker scenario. Article 13 of the Directive, referred to above as the “meme ban”, states “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorized protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.”

The Best VPNs To Prevent The Government From Viewing Your Data

What can EU Internet users do? While using a Virtual Private Network will not prevent the “link tax” or “meme ban” from going into effect, it will protect your network from any snooping intruders, be they of the government or unlawful citizenry. Here are some of the most popular and trust worthy providers:

  • NordVPN – Use over 5156 servers from 62 countries around the world. Pay using bitcoin for maximum security. No logging and military grade AES 256-bit encryption!
  • ExpressVPN – Over 2,000 VPN servers in 148 server locations in 94 countries. Unlimited bandwidth, speed, and server switches. Recommended VPN service for China.
  • IPVanish – No logs! Own and operate their own servers. Over 40,000 IPs on 1,000+ servers in more than 60 countries! Recommended VPN service for the Middle East, including UAE & Dubai.
  • HideMyAss – Connect to a VPN server in seconds. Automatically chooses the least loaded server in a location to ensure top speeds.

Article 11: The Link Tax

Now, back to the specifics of the EU Copyright Directive.

Article 11 has been referred to as the “link tax.” Concerning Article 11, “information society service providers” (news aggregators like Google News) must provide “remuneration” for the “digital use” of “press publications.”

In other words, if a news aggregator site posts a portion of a news article, they will have to pay the publisher of the original article. Article 11 is not clear on just how much of the original article will have to be posted before the initial publisher must be paid. The most recent version of the bill does provide an exemption for “legitimate private and non-commercial use of press publications by individual users”. However, the idea of having to pay for posting a portion of an article should be disturbing for anyone who believes in a free and open Internet.

Article 13: The Meme Ban

Article 13 states that “information society service providers,” sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, which rely heavily on user-generated content, will be responsible for taking down content that infringes on copyright. A preceding version of the article mentioned the use of “content recognition technologies,” referring to a potential “upload filter”.

Furthermore, Article 13 has been referred to as the “meme ban” as many memes use copyrighted images. Defenders of the Directive believe that memes will be protected by parody laws. However, many believe the “upload filters” will not be able to distinguish between memes and other material.

Protecting Your Network From Draconian Governments

Best DD-WRT Wireless-AD Compatible Netgear Router - R9000 Nighthawk AD7200

There is not much that EU Internet users will be able to do to protect themselves from the Copyright Directive. Facebook, YouTube, Google, and other giants of the Internet will be forced to comply with the legislation if it passes. With this, users will be forced to comply as well.

However, this does not mean that EU citizens need to fall prey to any and all draconian Internet rules. Using a Virtual Private Network from a service like IPVanish or NordVPN on a FlashRouter (like the R9000 pictured above) will allow you to encrypt your entire network. While encryption will not be able to protect you from having content blocked by “upload filters”, it will be able to protect your network from any outside intruders, like the a snooping government or individuals with prying eyes.

In a world of ubiquitous Internet use, it is important to make sure your connections are secure and encrypted. Just as we remember to lock the door to our homes at night, we should do the same for our WiFi networks. While we may not be able to stop every totalitarian action placed by governments in order to limit our Internet use, we can still protect ourselves using a VPN.

What Can I Do With A FlashRouter?

What Can I Do With A FlashRouter?

What exactly is a FlashRouter? What makes it different from a store bought router? What can it do for you?

In short, a FlashRouter is an open-source, all-in-one privacy solution for your home networking needs. So, why do you need one? Read on to find out!

What Exactly Is A FlashRouter?

What Makes a FlashRouter Different?

A FlashRouter is a powerful wireless router that comes pre-installed with open-source firmware called DD-WRT. The DD-WRT firmware enhances and upgrades performance and features of wireless routers. The firmware lifts restrictions that are built into the default stock firmware that comes with store-bought routers.

DD-WRT Upgrades And Enhancements

DD-WRT firmware comes with a slew of upgrades to stock firmware. Some of these upgrades include, but are not limited to:

  • Firmware bug fixes to stock firmware
  • Improved network stability & network status information
  • VLAN (Virtual LAN) support
  • Advanced wireless modes such as access point, wireless client bridge, & repeater mode
  • Advanced DNS forwarding
  • Processor overclocking
  • Increased wireless signal strength
  • OpenVPN, PPTP, & L2TP support
  • VPN server and client integration and support

What Does A FlashRouter Do?

With DD-WRT pre-installed on a router like the popular, reliable Linksys WRT3200ACM, possibilities for network security nearly endless. With VPN support built into our devices, users can easily integrate their VPN service straight into their wireless router.

This enables users to protect their entire home network with a secure VPN connection, creating a wireless home VPN network. Here are some other advantages:

Counts as only one VPN connection

  • VPN providers typically only offer a limited number of connections to their VPN service.
  • A FlashRouter counts as just one connection, allowing for all devices connected to the FlashRouter to count as one connection as well.
  • This nullifies the VPN providers’ connection limit, freeing up the other available connections for other devices.

Protects all devices under your VPN subscription

  • Any device connected to the FlashRouter will go through the VPN connection.
  • This goes for wired or wirelessly connected devices.
  • Devices that don’t natively support VPN connections will be encrypted to the VPN.

Comes with our new VPN Privacy App

  • The FlashRouters VPN Privacy App allows for easy setup and configuration of your wireless network.
  • Access your FlashRouter simply by entering FlashRoutersApp.com.
  • An optimized UI enables users to set up their router via any browser or mobile phone.
  • Easy access to login to your VPN account
  • The app also includes easy-to-use server switching (seen in the screenshot below).

 

Now that you see what a FlashRouter does, you may be asking, what can I do with it?

What A FlashRouter Can Do For You

In the age of Internet streaming, data breaches, and of course a restrictive government, a FlashRouter is an all-in-one solution. With seamless setup, US-based support, and our new FlashRouters Privacy App, taking the Internet back into your hands has never been easier.

1. Easily get around restricted content and geo-blocking

Some services, such as Netflix or Hulu, only offer certain shows and movies in different areas of the world. Using a VPN connection allows you to change their IP to a different location, allowing you to stream whatever you want, wherever you want.

The FlashRouters VPN Privacy App features a seamless way to easily switch VPN servers at your leisure, enabling you to appear as if you are anywhere in the world.

2. Prevent data breaches and potential hackers

Unfortunately, data breaches and hacking is becoming the norm. Protecting your home network with a VPN encrypts your sensitive data and information by routing it to a secure VPN server.

Using a FlashRouter effectively shrouds your entire home network and any connected device with the VPN service of your choice.

3. Securely circumvent government censorship

With countries such as China and Russia cracking down on Internet censorship, true Internet freedom is slipping away. A VPN enabled FlashRouter allows for an easy way to get around new laws and regulations restricting access to the Internet.

Not only does a FlashRouter allow for a secure VPN connection on all your devices, it encrypts and routes your data to bypass any government censorship.

FlashRouters: The All-In-One Solution

Premium performing VPN Router for HideMyAss - HMA 2017-2018

As you can see, there are many advantages to using a FlashRouter (like the WRT3200ACM pictured above) for your home network. The DD-WRT firmware pre-installed on our devices upgrade and enhance the stability, security, and functionality of a standard wireless router.

With that being said, the added VPN support on our FlashRouters allows for unprecedented security and privacy on any and all connected devices.

So what are you waiting for? Upgrade and secure your network today!

Have any questions or concerns? Contact our support team for more information.

Comparing A VPN Router To A VPN App: Why A VPN Router Is Better

Why A VPN Router

Our team has quietly and stealthily released what we think is a revolutionary solution for users looking to simplify VPN setups in their home network – the FlashRouters VPN Privacy App For Routers. We thought this would be the perfect time to showcase how using a VPN service on a router separates itself from just using a VPN app on your phone or laptop.

The Shortcomings Of A VPN App

If you purchase a subscription to a Virtual Private Network, you will more than likely have access to a VPN App. VPN Apps run as a client on popular devices including desktops, Androids, and iOS devices. Unfortunately, a client VPN app trades ease-of-use for flexibility.

Client VPN apps are only compatible with specific devices and operating systems, often forcing users to update their devices and seek support for their device. Users are also only able to use VPN apps on a limited number of devices, often having a cap of 3-5 simultaneous VPN connections.

Along Came The FlashRouters Privacy App For Routers

Single Router Setup

With a FlashRouter, VPN subscribers will not have these problems. A FlashRouter is a wireless router flashed with open-source DD-WRT firmware. With this firmware, a FlashRouter can be used to create a wireless VPN network. This remedies the many problems that appear with VPN client app.

No More VPN Device Limits

VPN App: 3-6 Devices 

VPN Router: Unlimited Devices

Using the FlashRouters Privacy App for Routers allows you to maximize for almost limitless connections.

ExpressVPN Multiple Devices Infographic

For instance, a basic subscription to ExpressVPN includes three simultaneous connections. This means that you can only use the ExpressVPN App on three devices at a time. As stated in the image above, adding more connections will require the purchase of additional licenses.

  • No need to worry about going over VPN device limits.
  • Save additional VPN connections for on-the-go usage.
  • All connected devices count as one connection.

One Setup For Full Network Security

VPN App: Install One Device, Secure One Device

VPN Router: Install Once, Protect Every Device on the WiFi Network
  • All devices connected to the router will be going through the VPN.
  • This is the case for all devices: wired and wireless connections will all be encrypted.
  • Not interested in WiFi? Disable wireless and use the FlashRouter as a wired VPN hub.Connect All Devices To VPN

Connect Devices Without Native VPN Support

With support for wired and wireless connections, any device can reap the benefits of a VPN. Many Smart TVs, video game consoles, and various other Internet of Things devices offer no native VPN support. A FlashRouter remedies this issue by offering any connected device protection through your favorite VPN service.

Easily Switch Between Multiple VPN Servers And VPN Services

Do you use multiple VPN services for different servers or features such as supporting our preferred streaming video services? Do you wish you could easily toggle between different providers?

One of the largest frustrations for VPN users when it came to routers was the annoyance and confusion on how to manually configure the device and even worse the frustration on how to change servers.

The FlashRouters Privacy App has that problem licked as well. The FlashRouters VPN Privacy App is a user-friendly way to access your router settings and options. It runs directly from your Internet browser, allowing for easy network tweaking and VPN configuration. Some features include:

  • Easy device management.
  • Kill switch and VPN bypass by device
  • Seamless VPN server switching.
  • Optimized UI on any browser or mobile phone. 

In one move, you can upgrade your router performance, privacy and avoid another monthly fee for more devices.

The FlashRouters VPN Privacy App For Routers

Every DD-WRT FlashRouter now comes included with our new VPN Privacy App.

FlashRouters Internet Privacy App for VPN Routers

The new FlashRouters Privacy App is designed to make the VPN router experience user-friendly and stress-free. It eliminates the shortcomings of typical VPN apps while also streamlining and improving the user’s wireless network experience.

Get started with one of our Best VPN Routers Of 2018 today!

Any questions? Feel free to contact our support team.

How Does A VPN Work & Why Do I Need One? (FlashRouters FAQ)

How Does A VPN Work?

Now that we have moved even further into the age of the Internet, protecting your privacy online has never been a bigger issue. There are a few options to protect yourself online, but your best bet is definitely using a Virtual Private Network.

A virtual private network, or VPN for short, provides security and flexibility for Internet users. So how does a VPN work? Why would you need one? Read on to find out!

How Does A VPN Work?

A VPN is a service that lets you encrypt your Internet connection and circumvent various restrictions while keeping your information secure.

This is done by routing your Internet connection and data to a secure VPN server, typically located in a different country. This allows your computer to appear as if it was virtually in any country, effectively preventing geo-blocking.

After your Internet connection reaches the VPN server, the VPN server then directs your connection to the website or service you’re trying to access. These websites and services only see your VPN connection rather than your personal home connection.

Recommended VPN providers include IPVanish, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN.

Why Do You Need A VPN?

In this day and age, a VPN is a must for both protecting your privacy and accessing streaming video content. It is necessary to protect yourself as well as your home network from snooping governments, potential hackers, and data breaches.

With a VPN secured wireless connection, you can:

1. Protect and encrypt your Internet connection

A VPN service effectively protects all your data because it routes your Internet connection to a secure VPN server before ever reaching the Internet. No one will be able to see your online data or personal information, whether it be a website, service, or even your ISP.

2. Get around restrictive laws and regulations

Around the world, governments are cracking down on our Internet freedoms. Countries such as Russia and China are starting to censor Internet users, making a VPN an ideal choice to access what you need without governmental restriction.

3. Access and watch geo-blocked content online

Streaming service providers such as Netflix, Hulu, and even YouTube have put geo-blocks on some of their content. For example, this prevents a user in Indonesia from accessing content available on United States Netflix. If this user were to connect to a United States VPN server, they would be able to access United States Netflix content.

Using A VPN FlashRouter

A VPN FlashRouter supercharges your home router with the use of open-source firmware, such as DD-WRT. A DD-WRT FlashRouter upgrades standard router firmware with features such as:

  • Bug fixes and security patches
  • Improved network stability
  • Increased wireless strength
  • And of course, VPN service support

Running a VPN on the FlashRouter allows for any device to have VPN encryption. This enables any wired or wireless device to connect to a VPN service even if it does not have native VPN support.

Linksys
Linksys WRT3200ACM AC3200 R7000 NighthawkLinksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 AC1900
Wireless-AC3200 Mbps
1.8 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Top Gaming Router
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1 Ghz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
One of our Most-Popular Routers
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1.6 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Use in Small-Medium Homes
$349.99$299.99$299.99

A FlashRouter also only counts as one of your limited connections to the VPN service, allowing for a virtually unlimited amount of connections to the VPN!

Additionally, all new FlashRouters now come included with the FlashRouters Privacy App, streamlining and perfecting your wireless network experience.

This new Privacy App allows for access to your configurations and settings via a nifty website that can be run straight from your Internet browser. With an optimized user interface, simplified device management, and easy VPN server switching, using a FlashRouter has never been easier.

Any questions or concerns? Contact our support team for more information!