Securing Your Connection using VPN–TunnelBear

During my last trip to Lombok, Indonesia, I was thinking of ways to secure my connection to the content that I accesses from the other side of the world. Therefore while searching for a reliable VPN provider, I pondered on a couple of them and ended up with TunnelBear.

Setup Process

Although most of the VPN providers provide very easy means to get started but what TunnelBear really buy me in is the aesthetic side of things. Let’s take a look on Android platform. You can easily obtain the TunnelBear VPN mobile application from PlayStore via here.

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This is the start. Usually in this era of mobile application design, on first load of an application will be the guide to make sure you get on how to use the application in general in a few swipe and short sentences.

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Once you are done or you maybe a professional in just swiping through, click on “Get Tunneling!”.

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On the first look, what I really like about TunnelBear mobile application is that, it serves the following:

  1. It tells me where is my location (although it is obvious that I should be knowing that!), but who knows shits may happen and the internet gateway that you may be connecting is already routing traffic from another provider or worst, another country. Can you imagine where you are in Singapore and your network routing always route to Hong Kong before it gets your request out? (I wouldn’t want that!)
  2. Just tell me whether my VPN is Connected or NOT.
  3. On just one-click, I am able to get a list of the endpoints that I want to connect to.

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Security prompt: It simply ask you for permission on whether you trust that this application is making changes to your mobile phone.

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What I am trying to explain here is that, I really appreciate how some small animation would buy me in that I have bought something that I prefer. The animation as shown when attempting to connect to an endpoint is that the Bear itself will dig down into the ground from your present location and dig underground all the way till the destination endpoint before coming up from the tunnel that was dug.

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Now I am connected to the Japan TunnelBear server and thus all my traffic will be routed through the connected VPN by TunnelBear.

A little thing to read while connected via VPN. Although this are just some fun facts but it just tells how much a Service Provider is trying to provide to their customers.

 

Here is a list of VPN endpoints that you can choose from and I really like the option where if you don’t know in term of geographically which country is nearer, you can always select the “Closest Tunnel”.

Pricing

I really hate providers who have many different plans which usually made people confused and don’t know which plan to select from. While TunnelBear only has 2 Plans (1 – Free, 1 – Paid) and further boil down to whether you want to pay Month-to-Month or on a yearly basis.

 

There is promotion on-going right now! Go for it!

Any Other Device?

TunnelBear supports Android, iOS and Windows. So let’s take a look at the iOS version.

It is almost the same as setting up for Android, just that it required installation of the VPN Profile in iOS as shown.

 

 

I have no idea why the Profile isn’t signed. Kind of interested to know why too. I only did an installation on Windows 8.1 on my Toshiba Encore Mini 2 and it also get installed and connected easily without much effort.

Testing

I did a simple verifications after connected using my iPad running on iOS.

Verifications completed to show that my IP address is from the US instead of Singapore.

I highly recommend the readers of my blog to give TunnelBear a try-out!

Cheers!
Milton Goh

Securing Your Connection using VPN–TunnelBear

I seems to love with “66”. Welcome ASUS EA-N66 to the family! :)

After the introduction of the ASUS RT-N66U to the family previously here, I am still not satisfied with the speed that I am getting through the HomePlug that I have been using all along. Just for informational sake, I am using AzTech HomePlug through out of my whole house but due to the way electricity cable is being laid, I can’t seems to get anything more than 20Mbps of speed to my lab server situated in my room.

Therefore, as a technology freak, I went ahead to do some slight research and decided that I should be doing something to further boost the ROI for the hard-earned money that I have been paying to my internet service provider monthly. Therefore, I narrowed down to using Repeater or Access Point, however, there are so many brands available in the market! How?!

Was looking at my RT-N66U box, I saw that there is this product that is compatible or somehow in the marketing term that explains it is designed to best work with the following family line of products. So I saw ASUS EA-N66 which fits my needs.

I like the packaging, it is pretty unique even though it is simple.

I like it when the design team focus a lot on telling the customer how they can make use of their product despite having a small area to work with on the creativity portion.

Some simple un-boxing to show the items within the box. Pretty organized and I love the word “VIP”. 🙂 I will be filling in with some network diagram of how I deployed it within my home and how I fully utilize the power and features of these two monsters!

Cheers.

I seems to love with “66”. Welcome ASUS EA-N66 to the family! :)

Welcome ASUS RT-N66U to the Family!

A couple of days ago, I finally decided that I cannot live on with the router that was given when I signed up with my Fiber Optic Internet Package with Singtel. It simply doesn’t meet the requirements that I have and partially I am yearning for performance since I am subscribed to 150Mbps of bandwidth. Getting a better router has been on the top of my head for awhile, or rather months, but I didn’t make that swift move due to some cash-flow reasons where the priority of the router isn’t up on my top 3 ‘must-spend’.

After much reading on all the reviews that are available on HardWareZone (HWZ) forum, I wouldn’t go wrong with this router. Therefore, I decided to compliment ASUS products by writing a few posts to describe the process that I have since day 1. In today post, it will be about the “Setup” of this beautiful monster.

ASUS have designed their firmware to be packed with user-experience that makes setup simple, neat and organized. Let’s see why I said that…

I was wondering, how amazing they have done it. This wizard opens up in my favorite browser the moment I am connected to the router network. Simply amazing! Rather than the usual one where I have to enter “192.168.1.1” after launching the browser and have to key in the usual username and password. Amazing welcome page!

 

It’s awesome that “security” is being focus here. Instead of bringing you round and round in the panel, it just bring your attention to the screen and explain the importance of changing the default password away.

 

This is the part that once again simplified the life of us consumers especially the Non-IT Savvy folks. By checking the checkbox “Special Requirements from ISP”, I am able to select the profile settings for Singtel Fiber Optic. There are also profile that are built in such as M1 and Singtel MIO.

 

Enter the hostname and mac address, as shown in the image, it’s optional. Although there is no harm in entering the value but it really depends on individual.

 

Enter your preferred DNS server, however I always choose to let my Network Terminal to decide what is given by the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

 

Step by step with pictorial explanation is really more than what consumer is expecting! I simply love the way how things are made simple!

 

There goes the connection setup process…

 

Although at times to times people will meet into error, but neverthelessly it is a good learning experience. The reason why I am getting this error above is because I didn’t select the Singtel profile at the start instead. I was trying to force the router to pull the configuration settings from my ONT (Terminal Box) but since selecting the profile is just one more click away, it shouldn’t be much of a problem to do so to avoid such error.

 

The best practices that can advise to anyone out there, if you are setting your router for the first time, ALWAYS update to the latest firmware unless you know why you wouldn’t need to do so!

In the next post, I will talk about adding one more companion to the existing network to extend the network speed to my lab server that is located in the room.

Cheers.

 

Welcome ASUS RT-N66U to the Family!