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Old Jan 27, 11, 8:50 am
  #13  
dtsm
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tri-State Area
Posts: 4,733
Originally Posted by Zarf4 View Post

VPNs address 4 major problems: 1) Security, 2) Port blocking, 3) IP geographic restrictions and 4) Access to your local network.

PORT BLOCKING
Ever notice that from some wireless hotspots you can't send/receive e-mail through Outlook? It's probably because the hotspot specifically blocks the ports used by e-mail (generally ports 25 & 110). They do this so their guests can't send out SPAM coming from their IP address. With the VPN connected it's like you are directly connected from home and mail should work normally.

GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS
When you're in another country your IP address (which is actually the hotspot's IP address) gives that away, so if you're in Australia and you go to www.google.com, it will actually take you to www.google.com.au bleh. Some COUNTRIES actually block traffic in/out to specific sites -- we since you're clever enough to be using a VPN, the country block is blind to where you're going and the IP address will be the one of the VPN server. Useful for watching Netflix in China....
This is a very thorough explanation.

A couple of caveats:

1. When sending out emails while VPN is on, some recipient email networks will not accept it and/or consider it spam. So, while you'll be able to send out, the recipient might not be able to receive it. I use witopia.net, they are excellent. But at least two networks, mindspring and bellsouth.net bounce them back.

2. Many websites can detect you using vpn and will block access. Hulu is one example.
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