Many people who are concerned about their online privacy are looking for a high quality VPN service. Such a service allows you to get better online security, by encrypting all of your online traffic, which is especially useful if you use a shared or public WiFi connection. A VPN will also give you more anonymity by hiding your real IP address. Finally, you can use a VPN service to bypass Internet censorship and limitations. For example, you can access websites that would be blocked in your country, or access certain types of content, like streaming videos and music, which would be unavailable due to your location.
As far as VPN services go, Private Internet Access (PIA) is currently one of the most popular ones. However, many users will wonder whether they actually provide quality service that will be suited for their needs. Here is an overview of their service:
First, the pricing. PIA offers 3 different subscription options, where you can sign up for 1 month, 6 months, or a year. Naturally, if you pre-pay for a longer period of time, you will get a lower price. All of their plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee. Signing up for their service and setting up your account is very easy, as they support numerous payment methods, such as credit card, PayPal, WebMoney (in some countries), wire transfers and for those who want more anonymity, Bitcoin is accepted as well.
Connecting to their VPN service is very easy and doesn’t require much technical knowledge. Windows and Mac users simply have to download and install the Private Internet Access VPN software and run it. The interface is very simple. You would simply enter your username and password, then select the server you want to connect to. Currently, there are over 463 servers in 61 countries. PIA supports the 3 main VPN protocols, OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP. You can select which protocol you want to use right from the software’s dashboard. Using OpenVPN is recommended for those who are using an Internet provider that blocks or throttles PPTP connections.
There is a Linux version of the software, however for now it is only command-line based. PIA is planning on releasing a GUI for Linux soon. Their service can also be used on iOS and Android mobile devices like tablets and smartphones by using the built-in VPN client on those devices. There is no app to download. Finally, those who would like to put all of their devices, such as gaming consoles, media players, etc. behind the VPN can set up their connection on a compatible router.
The speed is actually quite good compared to some other VPN services. However, it is possible that you may experience slightly lower download speeds when compared to connecting to the Internet directly. This is because the traffic must be first routed through the Private Internet Access servers. To get optimal speeds, you can select a server closer to you in the PIA software, however this may not always be practical if you want an IP address from a different country. One advantage of PIA’s service when it comes to speed, however, is that their software can automatically do load balancing. If there are too many users on a server you are connecting to, their software will recommend using another one in the same country if available. Bandwidth is unlimited on all servers.
Finally, the support provided is quite good. Email inquiries usually get a response within a few hours (usually faster) and there is a detailed FAQ and user forum that can be used to troubleshoot problems with the Private Internet Access review.
When traveling the world, it is clear that Ireland is home to some of the greatest hot spots for people of all ages. From the adventurous type to those who love to party the night away, there is plenty to do in this country. Check out some of the exciting must-see areas below:
Slea Head Drive
If you are looking for a breathtaking view, you have to visit Slea Head Drive. At this spot, you can see the Atlantic Ocean sweep in off the coast, while the sun’s rays shine off both the water and the mountains. This is a certain kind of scenery tourists can’t get enough of. There, visitors can also watch small fishing boats travel around the sea, while also taking a peek at the Blasket Islands off into the distance. This is the perfect spot to lay back and take in all that nature is offering.
For those that are visiting Ireland around Christmastime, Grafton Street is a spot you have to check out. Located in Dublin, tourists are treated to school kids singing Christmas hymns. This area really is rather festive between the crowds, street artists and buskers. Come out and enjoy the Christmas cheer.
Anyone that wants to learn more about the history of Ireland should visit Kilmainham Jail. There, you will get to hear incredible stories about the lives of the men who led the infamous Easter Rising 1916 and exactly how they reacted to the idea of death. Tourists who choose to stop at Kilmainham Jail throughout their time at Ireland will be granted the chance to stand in the actual cells where these inmates stood while waiting for their execution to take place.
Obviously no trip to Ireland is complete without a stop at the Guinness Storehouse. There, visitors will get to sit down and relax while having a pint of beer. After all, Guinness Storehouse is known for their tasty carbonated alcoholic beverages. There is even a fun tour offered here where guests will learn more about how this beer that is served all over the globe is made.
It is clear that when tourists visit Ireland, there is plenty to do and see. With stops at the location
Created in 208 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is an open-source virtual payment system that is recorded on a public ledger under its own unit of account (Bitcoin). Payments do not require a central repository and payments are as easy to transferring from peer-to-peer. As a result, the United States Treasury has identified the Bitcoin as being a decentralized virtual currency. Since the Bitcoin concept is just gaining popularity, many are unaware of its history, need, economics, regulation or security
After its discovery in a 2008 research paper created by Satoshi Nakamoto, the first Bitcoin client was developed in 2009 that created a number of Bitcoins. The idea sat dormant for several years until March 2013 when a technical glitch disrupted its production. The result was two Bitcoin networks operating simultaneously for six hours. As soon as the issue was uncovered, the developers halted transaction. Standard operation soon restored with the network being downgraded.
That same year and in 2014, several mainstream websites began accepting the virtual currency as a form of payment or donation. In October 2013, Baidu, a Chinese Internet social media site, allowed customers of website security services to pay in Bitcoins. A month later, BTC China, a China-based Bitcoin exchange acquired Mt. Gox (Japan) and Bitstamp (Europe) to become the largest Bitcoin trader in the world.
Shortly after, the United States Senate deemed that virtual currencies were considered to be a legitimate financial service. This caused the price of Bitcoins to skyrocket. However, in China, the People’s Bank of China prohibited the use of Bitcoins amongst Chinese financial institutions resulting in the elimination of the currency in China. Also in 2013, the first Bitcoin ATM was installed in Vancouver, Canada.
Bitcoins were created to reward payment processing work for utilizing a user’s computing power in order to confirm and record payments into the public ledger. Companies engage in “mining” to exchange transaction fees for Bitcoins. This virtual currency has since transitioned into a means for purchasing goods and services as well as receiving Bitcoins electronically through transaction fees with wallet software. The number of merchants using Bitcoin is growing because the fees tend to be 2-3% less than credit card processors.
Economists agree that the formal definition of money is a store of value, medium of exchange and unit of account; Bitcoins meet these three requirements. Unfortunately, at this time, the Bitcoin marketplace is extremely volatile with high risk and little reward. For those few locations where Bitcoins are accepted as a form of payment, prices are denominated in the local currency. When compared to gold and the S&P 500, Bitcoins are considered to be seven and eight times more volatile. This can be attributed to insufficient liquidity and uncertain long-term value.
At the moment, there are few governments that are regulating the digital currency. Some countries are extending rules to include Bitcoin and their companies but no official laws and regulations have been implemented. In 2013, the United States Treasury released a statement that identified virtual currencies as money transmitters that must comply with the same rules as traditional currency.
In 2014, the United States Treasury extended its definition to confirm that Bitcoin cloud mining and escrow services are not considered money transmitters. Most recently, on July 17th, 2014, the New York State Department of Financial Services published draft regulations for those companies that exchange, receive, store or transfer virtual money.
One of the most important aspects of the virtual currency is preventing unauthorized transactions from a user’s wallet. All Bitcoin transactions transfer ownership to a new address consisting of strings of random letters in numbers generated by public keys which safeguard the owner. Therefore, for a payment to process, a valid message from a specific address must contain that public key and digital signature. The loss of this key can result in theft, which has occurred many times. Therefore, the practicality of the Bitcoin security is a regular concern.
The worst violence seen between Israel and Palestine in years began in Jerusalem in June, with the seizure and murder of three Israeli teenagers who were doing nothing more than heading from school to home in the West Bank. Tensions reached the boiling point when these killings were followed by the revenge slaying of a Palestinian teen. Since then the conflict of Israeli–Palestinian, always simmering beneath the surface, has increased in intensity with massive Israeli airstrikes that have killed hundreds and left many more homeless, and punctuated by Palestinian rocket attacks. Israel followed its airstrikes with a martial ground operation known as Operation Protective Edge into Gaza.
For people alive in the area, the situation has become desperate, with truce after truce falling through and no end to the conflict in sight. Now these individuals must accept the reality of mass death, air raid sirens and fleeing their homes for shelters as part of their every day life. But they are not alone in their suffering. Protests have sprung up in countries like the United States, Europe and even Africa.
While the majority of these protests have been peaceful, some of these demonstrations have also ended in violence, with protests in the United States and France turning hostile. In Paris a mob carrying baseball bats, broken bottles and even knives stormed a synagogue. A pro-Israel rally in Los Angeles deteriorated into violence after one of the demonstrators reportedly stomped on a Palestinian flag.
Elsewhere around the world including Germany there have been hostile confrontations between demonstrators from both sides of the conflict. These tensions have now subsided, however, the fact that they exist in the first place is disturbing.
If the latest Gaza truce continues to last and Israel ends its Operation Protective Edge, what has really been accomplished? Both Israel and Hamas will insist that military victory is theirs, with Israel boasting of the destruction of Hamas militant tunnels and the huge dent made in their rocket supply; Hamas will brag about the dozens of Israeli troops that were killed and the fact that despite Israel’s best efforts, Hamas leadership in Gaza is still alive and well. Now it’s left for the Palestinian people to hold their breath and wait for the next conflict to arise. And they know that it will, sooner or later, as it always does.
The only real difference is that relations between the United States and Israel are now more strained than ever. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama have had tensions between them for years, and their already frayed relationship doesn’t appear to be heading towards reconciliation any time soon.