Step-by-step Hide your traf­fic with IPVan­ish

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - EXPLORE -

Get started

Open your web browser and head to www.ipvan­ish.com, then click the Start Now but­ton. Note that IPVan­ish isn’t free; a VPN is a rel­a­tively de­mand­ing ser­vice, and the com­pany charges a monthly fee for use of its fa­cil­i­ties with a seven-day money-back guar­an­tee. There are free VPNs, but IPVan­ish is our top pick – and who knows what the free ones are do­ing with your in­for­ma­tion?

Ver­ify and in­stall

You’ll be sent an email to the ad­dress you sup­plied. Click the link within, head to the ‘My ac­count’ link at the top of the site to log in with the de­tails you used in the pre­vi­ous step, then click the Apps link. Click ‘Down­load now’, fol­lowed by Down­load Win­dows App, then run the file you down­loaded. Sim­ply click through the in­staller to get it in­stalled, then Run IPVan­ish when it’s com­plete.

Sign up

Select your pay­ment op­tion (bear in mind that any­thing other than the monthly pay­ment is billed in one chunk) and cre­ate your ac­count – in the spirit of anonymity, all you need is an email ad­dress and a pass­word. You can even pay anony­mously, al­though this means own­ing Bit­coin. Here’s a tip: loi­ter on the site for a while, and you’ll be of­fered a dis­count on your first billing.

First steps

Sign into the app with your user­name (your email ad­dress) and the pass­word you set ear­lier. You’ll be taken first to the Quick Con­nect screen; click the big green Con­nect but­ton for the first time and IPVan­ish will ask to in­stall a TAP de­vice – this isn’t sin­is­ter. Con­firm it’s OK to do this, and click the rel­e­vant prompts when they pop up. You’ll be prompted again when it’s com­plete.

Fi­nally on­line

Click ‘Con­nect’ again, and IPVan­ish will hook you up to a ran­dom server in the USA. You’ll see the lo­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion at the top left of the win­dow change as it does so, and the graph in the cen­tre will start mov­ing to show that traf­fic is flow­ing through the VPN. Open your web browser and head to www.whatismyip. com. The in­for­ma­tion shown there should match your new lo­cale.

Mov­ing around

Click the red Dis­con­nect but­ton and you’ll go back to broad­cast­ing your lo­ca­tion, with your traf­fic back out in the open. Now’s a good time to try one of IPVan­ish’s other servers. Click ‘Server List’ in the left-hand menu to see the map; drag it around with the left mouse but­ton, and zoom with the mouse­wheel. Click one of the green lo­ca­tions to move your con­nec­tion there.

Find the fastest

If you want the speed­i­est con­nec­tion, se­lect­ing the server with the light­est load is key. You can con­nect to spe­cific servers us­ing the drop-down boxes above the Con­nect but­ton on the Quick Con­nect screen, but head to the My Ac­count sec­tion of the IPVan­ish web­site and click the Server List but­ton to see cur­rent loads. Click the top of the sta­tus col­umn to find the light­est ones.

Low­est la­tency

You can also find servers by their la­tency. A low-load server won’t be much good if it’s half the world away and be­hind a clogged con­nec­tion. Head to the server list within the IPVan­ish app, and click the Fil­ter tab. Use the lower drop-down box on the left, and select 50-100ms to see servers which of­fer a rea­son­ably fast re­sponse – dou­ble-click a likely look­ing one to con­nect to it.

Au­to­mate it

If you’re para­noid, you may want to set IPVan­ish to work on your con­nec­tion the mo­ment you boot up your PC. Just go to the Set­tings screen and check the box at the top of the Gen­eral tab. You may also wish to set it to au­to­mat­i­cally con­nect to your last server or a coun­try of your choos­ing us­ing the ra­dio but­tons below. Us­ing a VPN isn’t a great choice if you need top speed.

Auto switch­ing

If en­crypt­ing your in­ter­net con­nec­tion and send­ing it across the world isn’t quite enough for you, you can har­den IPVan­ish fur­ther in the IP Set­tings tab. Check the top-most box, and spec­ify a time: IPVan­ish will now au­to­mat­i­cally change your ad­dress for a new one pe­ri­od­i­cally. Be warned that you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence a blip in your in­ter­net con­nec­tion when it does so, but it won’t last long.

Where am I? Your vis­i­ble lo­ca­tion shows where in the world your in­ter­net con­nec­tion pur­ports to be from. Keep an eye on it. Move house The server list is the quick­est and eas­i­est way to select a new lo­ca­tion any­where in the world you fancy con­nect­ing to. Sta­tus up­date Use this box to find out how long you’ve been on­line, and the to­tal amount of data you’ve sent through your VPN.

Graph­i­cal Are you con­nected prop­erly? Is traf­fic flow­ing? This graph should be sweep­ing to the left if all is well with con­nec­tion. Choose it You can man­u­ally select the server you wish to con­nect to with these drop­down boxes. Be sure to dis­con­nect first. Power swi tch This but­ton is both a con­nec­tion in­di­ca­tor and a quick way to tog­gle the VPN con­nec­tion on or off with a click. Alex’s best tip! IP Van­ish can slow your In­ter­net con­nec­tion , so you may not want to use it all the time . Use se­lec­tively.

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