NordVPN is a popular choice for those who want to stay anonymous while accessing the content they love, whether it’s a movie, TV show, or game. While most VPNs offer some level of anonymity, these services are generally geared towards consumers who want to stay slightly anonymous while using some of the most popular apps and services. For those who want to dive deeper into security, NordVPN offers speciality servers that provide enhanced security and privacy for when you’re connecting to a server.
Specialty Servers and the Perfect Storm of Threats
With the growing popularity of the VPN app market, more and more users are discovering the benefits of encrypted connections and the increased security these services offer. NordVPN is responding by offering speciality servers that are configured to provide secure, private connections to its users. While this may sound like an interesting option for those desiring more privacy, this type of setup comes with risks that must be considered. Simply put, a specialty server is less stable than a general-purpose server and is more prone to crashes and disconnects.
Additionally, configuring a VPN to use a specialty server instead of a general-purpose server can introduce you to a world of threats you would not have encountered if you were simply connecting to a VPN. For example, if you’re connecting to the US, you may see certificate errors if the server you connected to is not configured to accept untrusted certificates. This could lead you to think your connection is unsafe and even cause you to disconnect from the server or change your default security settings to only accept trusted certificates.
Luckily, these scenarios are easily avoided if you know how to set up a VPN connection to a specialty server. To learn how to do this, follow these simple steps.
Step One: Choose the right location for your VPN
In order to connect to a VPN, you’ll first need to choose the location you’ll connect from. To do this, open the VPN app and click on the drop-down menu next to the input field at the top. Here, you can choose from a list of countries, regions, and the like that are connected to servers located in different locations. When you’ve picked your country, you can then choose the region to connect from within it.
If you’re in Australia, for example, and you choose the United States as the location from which to connect, you’ll be able to connect from within the country but will require an additional step to access content beyond what Australia’s own Netflix offers. This is due to the Great Firewall actively blocking VPNs that it doesn’t trust.
Step Two: Identify the type of server you’ll connect to
Once you’ve picked a location, the next step is to identify the type of server you’ll connect to. To do this, click on the link next to the word ‘Server’ in the list of locations to connect from. This will display a drop-down menu with several options, including ‘Polar’ and ‘Cisco’ (the latter of which is simply a naming convention for the company’s range of VPN servers).
From here, you can choose which type of server you’ll connect to. Bear in mind that not all of them are created equal, and that not all of them offer the same level of protection. For example, the polar server is more stable and secure than the icisco server, but the latter provides simpler log files that are easier to read.
Step Three: Configure your VPN connection settings
With your VPN app open, click on the ‘Settings’ button at the top right to bring up the app’s main menu. From here, you can configure a couple of options with the goal of enhancing your VPN’s security and privacy. First, you can choose a strong password to use when logging in to the VPN. A strong password is one that is a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Next, you can change the VPN’s encryption method to one of three options: ‘AES-256-CBC’ (Advanced Encryption Standard with 256 bits of encryption), ‘TLS-1’ (Transport Layer Security version 1), or ‘TLS-1.1’ (Transport Layer Security, newer and improved version).
The last thing you need to do to connect to a VPN is to click on the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the Settings menu. This will save your changes and take you back to the main menu of the app. You can then close the VPN app and re-open it to continue using the service.
Why You Should Use a VPN
The use of VPNs is growing rapidly, and not just among consumers. Governments and corporations are also taking notice of the benefits these services provide and are implementing ways to secure their own networks against hackers and potential attacks. One of the main reasons VPNs are growing in popularity is because of their ability to keep your personal information secure while you access public Wi-Fi at coffee shops, restaurants, and the like. If your personal information is compromised while using a public Wi-Fi network, it can be difficult to know who to hold responsible — the coffee shop owner, the restaurant owner, or the network provider. Using a VPN is the easiest way to ensure that your personal information is always protected when accessing public Wi-Fi networks.
Additionally, many people are unaware of the various threats lurking on the internet, and what new ones are constantly being created. This means that they’re vulnerable and at risk of being hacked. Using a VPN app before you go online can help protect you from these threats and keep your personal information secure.
Most people who use VPNs do so because they want to ensure their internet connection is not intercepted and their personal information is always protected. With the right set of instructions, this is simply a matter of connecting to a VPN and choosing the right server.