VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) provide a “tunnel” for your internet traffic from one place to another. So instead of taking the freeway with everyone else you bore your own tunnel, like Elon Musk, and take that. No one sees what goes through your tunnel except you and your VPN provider. Traditionally these are used to let remote emplyees securely connect to a corporate network.
Now that the Republicans have decided all of your data is up for grabs you may want to have your own VPN. I’m currently trying Private Internet Access. It’s not a snappy modern internetty name (I mean, look at all of the vowels it has) but it’s pretty descriptive of what you’re getting. In the simplest setup you install an app on your desktop, laptop or mobile thingy and start it. This will connect to a remote VPN server and now all of your traffic is obscurred. Signing up for this (or another VPN if you like) is easy and relatively inexpensive. PIA allows 5 simultaneous devices so you can probably share an account with your other…if you trust them! Oh, by defautlt PIA blocks local network traffic. This is meant to protect you when you’re on a public network like the one at the hipster coffee shop you keep going to. You’ll want to turn that off at home if you need to access your own network to do something like, say, turn off the lights from your phone.