There are more and more reasons for everyday internet users in Thailand to use a Virtual Private Network (puts all your network traffic into an encrypted tunnel, which exits at some remote sever location). Here are some of the main ones:
- Access USA based content like Netflix, Pandora and Hulu Plus.
- Bypassing Thai censorship and their blocked sites.
- Avoiding data logging by Thai ISPs
- Securely transmitting your data past packet sniffers or Thai ISPs
Once you decide you need one, you need to consider that not all VPN services are the same. A few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you care if they keep logs and for how long?
- Will you be downloading pirate content?
- Do you wish to gain anonymity?
Remember you can’t be anonymous if you pay with your credit card or payment service with your name on it. Some VPN providers like StrongVPN give you great access to to USA servers for Hulu and Netflix, however they don’t allow eztv and Pirate Bay torrent downloads and they don’t have a method for anonymous payment.
Here are two great round ups of VPN services:
I have tried a few, and can like the ease of set up of SecurityKiss.com. They offer Bitcoin anonymous payments, free accounts capped at 300 MB per day, Open VPN support, and helpful set up guides. Their free service is a great way to try out a VPN for the first time.
Here’s a checklist to look at when comparing services:
Do they make their logging policy clear
Logging directly affects your annonymonity. Based on the laws where the server is, the VPN provider may feel they need to log and keep those logs for long periods of time. Many countrys have mandatory data retention laws. Larger VPN services will feel the need the be compliant. Servers in countries without these laws can have no logging or short logging policies.
Do they make an effort to support multiple payment types
Some services offer only Paypal or Credit Card. This is a tell. A company serious about providing access to oppressed users around the world will need a method like Webmoney, Western Union, Liberty Reserve or Bitcoin.
Has Hulu or Nefix blocked their exit IPs
Some of the bigger services may constantly battle with US based media as they discover their US server and IP is being used excessively. They will block the IP and your VPN will no longer have access. Good providers with switch servers and IPs and keep the access flowing.
Do they have multiple server choices in the came account pacakage?
You should have USA for accessing certain regionally blocked sites. The Olympics TV coverage highlighted the need for a UK based server to watch live BBC coverage. But you also want servers in other countries for reasons like website testing, avoiding USA govermental snooping and changing your routine.