VPN

You’ve probably all heard of a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, and you’re probably pretty aware they’re more popular than ever before. And for good reasons. There are a huge number of VPNs on the market these days at a snip of their previous cost, seeing an explosion of new users.

Those offering the best VPN service have a large range of benefits, with some of the top brands offering programs which can help both individual and business users.

VPN

Below you’ll find the top 5 reasons you’ll want to use a VPN

1. Anonymous Browsing
Perhaps the main benefit, which spawns many others, is the fact you can browse the web anonymously. The way a VPN works is by connecting to a different server in order to camouflage your IP address and completely bypass identifying you.

2. Get Past Geoblocking
This in turn allows you to get past geoblocking. Geoblocks are one of the key reasons people use VPNs, allowing users to set their server to one in a different country and access all content limited by geoblocking. This is incredibly useful, particularly when traveling, as the likes of Netflix and other on-demand services only allowing content to be accessed in certain countries. In Europe, regulations have been changed slightly, but still many services have geoblocks in place.

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3. Access Any Online Content
It isn’t just geoblocks which limit your browsing capability. VPNs are also ideal for when in countries that have strict censorship. Internet censorship is rife all over the world, with many countries blocking social media channels and monitoring browsing. A VPN will allow you to browse anonymously and access content just as you would at home whether that be social media, news channels and much more.

Additionally, you can also use the same methods in public or private spaces that have blocking on certain websites. For example, the school you work in may block Facebook so children can’t access it.

4. Added Security
By browsing anonymously, you’re adding an extra layer of security to you, especially if you’re regularly using public connections. It will boost your security posture against hackers and spammers because a VPN allows you to browse on a separate server, meaning your information won’t be on the public connection. You don’t know who’s also connected to Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or airport lounge, so a VPN is well worth using purely for security purposes.

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The high level of encryption used with VPNs means that it’s almost impossible for hackers to access your information.

5. Remote Access For Businesses
The extra level of security is also useful for businesses. Many companies operate using internal tools with employees required to use them outside of office space. A remote access VPN allows employees to enter business tools and resources securely. This is perfect for employees who spend large amounts of time working from home or on the road as it doesn’t limit how they can work and ultimately affect your business’s output.

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18 Responses

  1. Also ran into the broken support for crypted disks when trying to install Gnome Ubuntu 14.04 next to Windows. Having to type my high entropy disk crypto passwords multiple times is not an acceptable option to me.

    So I used the steps below to get all my partitions into a single crypto container.

    —-

    Follow guide upto the point where you created 1 encrypted volume.
    Then push the back button to leave the partitioning tool.
    Goto the shell ([ctrl]+[alt]+F1) and execute the following commands

    Create LVM volume groups:
    # sudo -s
    # vgcreate gnome /dev/disk/by-id/dm-name-sda5_crypt
    # lvcreate -L 2G -n swap gnome
    # lvcreate -L 20G -n root gnome
    (next command assigns remaining space to home partition)
    # lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n home gnome
    # lvs

    Switch back to the installer([ctrl]+[alt]+F7)
    select “something else” again and “continue”.
    Once the tool is done rescanning you should now see the new devices(if not go back and forth again).

    Reconfigure the /boot partition as done earlier.
    Continue with the guide/installation, upto the point it asks for a reboot.

    DON’t reboot yet.

    Switch back to the console.

    Create crypttab:
    # blkid /dev/sda5
    # echo ‘sda5_crypt UUID=(uuid from prev cmd without quotes) none luks’ > /target/etc/crypttab

    Regenerate initramfs and grub config
    # mount -t proc proc /target/proc/
    # mount –rbind /sys sys/
    # mount –rbind /dev /target/dev/
    # chroot /target
    # update-initramfs -u
    # update-grub2
    # exit

    Now reboot, and you should be able to boot into you’re newly installed Ubuntu.
    (note: if booting hangs with a black screen, press [esc])

    1. Hey

      when i type: vgcreate gnome /dev/disk/by-id/dm-name-sda5_crypt i get an error.
      The error is: please enter a physical volume path.
      I need to encrypt my whole computer (dualboot win+ubuntu) and dont want to type in my encryption password for ubuntu 2 or 3 times…
      I use ubuntu mate 14.10
      I hope its possible with ubuntu mate.
      I cant find an article about it.
      Thanks!

      1. Have you verified that sda5_crypt is the device name of your unlocked crypto container?
        # dmsetup table
        sda5_crypt: 0 512989948 crypt aes-xts-plain64 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0 8:5 4096

        The steps above are written for my setup. Other setups(eg. Distro/Distro version/partition setup) might use other names and numbers. I’m sure that with the man pages and some googleing you will figure out how to get this working for your setup.

        1. Thanks!

          Now its working. But now i have another problem…
          The command: mount –rbind /sys sys/ gets an error.
          The error is: mount: mount point sys/ does not exist.
          I hope you can help me with this problem too.
          Sorry for the questions. 🙂

          1. The solution might be something as simple as creating the directory yourself. If /target exists, try creating /sys under it with:

            mkdir /target/sys

            Then retry the original mount command. Just a guess, but nothing breaks if it doesn’t work.

    2. Thank you David – your instruction helped me to properly encrypt my disk with three partitions! Linux Lite 3.4.

  2. thank you for this post!
    just to make the boot faster, is there a way to type the encryption password just once? (even for the prize of having the same password for all separate partitions)
    thanks!

    1. support for good LVM and disk encryption setup in the current installer is not that good, so, no, that’s not possible at this time.

      Note that in this situation, having the same password for all partitions is ok.

  3. These steps no longer work under 14.04. I’ll list some details below. Can you provide any guidance on how to do a similar setup with 14.04?

    Details:
    I’ve been building similar test systems under 13.10 for months now, and they have all booted sucessfully. However, with 14.04 I’ve found that none of the systems will boot. I’ve built the systems the exact way I have before (identical to these instructions). When booting, I never get as far as being prompted for a pass-phrase. I get the initramfs prompt after the boot sequence times out. One thing I’ve noticed, is that dm_crypt is missing under the module list that I pull from initramfs.

    1. I just installed 2 systems using the same instructions, minus the /home partition. Both booted successfully. One is in a virtual environment (250 GB storage) and the other is on real hardware (320 HDD). Will publish a tutorial using screenshots from one of them in a few hours.

  4. Thanks for this – surely someone cleverer than I could describe how to use initramfs (or similar) so that the passphrase only has to be entered once?

    1. But Swap also has to be encrypted. Otherwise you are not really getting full disk encryption.

      I don’t even consider that a bug. That’s the installer just telling you to encrypt the Swap partition.

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