Do you ever receive an unexpected call from a number you haven’t saved in your contact list? If so, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to lose your place in the conversation, or worse, have your phone interrupted by a call from someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to quickly end a VPN call?
Windows 10 makes it easier to end a call without hanging up. When you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize, you’ll see a little padlock icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. Just click on it to quickly end the call. (If the call is being transferred to another number, the icon will turn red.)
You can also use the Cortana search feature to find and cancel calls. Just type in “cancel” followed by the name of the person you want to end the call, and you’ll find all the numbers associated with that person. (If you’re not sure which number is the call you’re looking for, press the # symbol on your phone keypad until you’re connected to the person you want to call.)
Another great new call feature in Windows 10 is the ability to block calls from certain numbers. Just go to Settings and find the Calls tab. Here you can specify which numbers you want to block and why. (You can also use the “contact blocker” feature to end calls from people you don’t want to speak to. So if you’re feeling generous, you can give your phone to your kids to make calls and have peace and quiet in your home.)
How to Use the VPN Setting to Its Full Potential
Since its inception, the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) has increased by leaps and bounds.
A VPN can be a great tool to protect your personal information as you browse the internet, or use public wifi hotspots to watch Netflix or stream Spotify. (Check out the VPN reviews on Wirecutter to find out which one is best for your needs.)
VPNs allow your computer or mobile device to connect to a remote network via a secure connection, hiding your IP address so that you appear to be located in a different location. This location can be anywhere in the world, which provides you with the ability to access local resources and have online conversations with people nearby. (The term virtual is used here because the location appears to be somewhere else, but it’s actually quite close to where you are.)
As a result, the use of VPNs has increased the available bandwidth for all of us because more people are able to access faster and more stable networks. (Incidentally, the more you use a VPN, the more you save in bandwidth costs.)
Five Things You Need to Know About VPNs
Here are five things you need to know about VPNs before you go any further:
1. Keep Your VPN Configuration Simple
While it’s great to be able to connect to a VPN and access all the websites you want to visit, having a complex VPN configuration can be a real pain. (Complex VPN configurations can lead to headaches and major hiccups down the road.)
If you’re taking the time to set up a VPN, make sure that it’s simple to use and understand. Don’t get tangled up in too many settings and options, and make sure that you’re always doing the right thing. (Did you forget to pay your VPN subscription? Did you download the wrong version of the app? Did you put the login details in the wrong place? Etc.)
2. Use Only Apps You Can Trust
Apps can be great, but only if they’re from a trusted source. (Phishing, malware, and other forms of scamming are on the rise, so it’s more important than ever to be careful about the apps you download.) The best VPN apps are verified to work reliably and have a good reputation. (See point 4 below for more info on reputation checks.)
If you use an unverified or uninstalled app to connect to a VPN, you’re taking a huge risk. (These are the apps that you get when you download a VPN from the App Store or Google Play.)
3. Consider a Free Trial Before You Buy
Most companies offer a free trial period for their products. (Think about the many times you downloaded a new app or game and immediately cancelled after seeing how cumbersome it was to use.) Why should you be any different?
A free trial period gives you the chance to check out the app or game and decide whether or not to buy it. (It’s rare that a trial period leads to a purchase, but it’s nice when it does.) If you stumble upon an app or game that you like during its free trial period, it’s usually a good idea to purchase it. You’ll be able to use the app or game for as long as you like without any restrictions — unless you decide to cancel your subscription, that is.
4. Do Your Research Before You Buy
In the age of the internet, everyone is a potential victim of scams. (Sadly, there are many scammers out there who try to trick people into purchasing useless objects that they claim are “exclusive” or “limited-edition”. This type of “scam” is very common, so it is crucial that you do your research before you buy anything online or via email.)
The simplest way to ensure that you’re not being scammed is to perform a reverse search on any website or email address that promises to sell you a product. You can enter your email address and the website will search for all the other websites and blogs that are owned by that particular company. (This can lead you to find out that the product you are interested in purchasing is actually a scam.)
5. Review Reputation Reports
VPNs are only as good as their reputation. (If you’re wondering why this is critical, it’s because scammers often use VPNs to hide their identity online. Since you can’t always trust what you see on the internet, it’s essential that you check out a VPN’s reputation before you decide to use it.)
Any time a product or service has the word “verified” or “trusted” alongside it, you can rest assured that it is very unlikely that you’ll be scammed by that company or individual. (Some companies only put trusted symbols beside their names to make it easier for people to find and connect with them online.)
What’s more, many verified and trusted companies offer money-back guarantees if you meet the right conditions. (You have to meet the conditions in order to get your money back, though. It is not a guarantee that you will definitely not be scammed by that company or service.)
With the right precautions and knowledge, you can enjoy all the perks that a VPN can offer without any worries about your personal information being compromised. (If you’re still wondering about the security of a VPN, check out this Wirecutter guide to learn more about the topic.)