What is a Tunnel Bet and How Does it Work

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Types of Binary Bets: Tunnel

The Tunnel binary bet is a type of binary options trade where the trader purchases a contract to bet on whether the price action of the asset he has bought will stay within a price range, or break out of that price range. The Tunnel binary trade is also known as the boundary binary trade or the In/Out binary trade.

Now it is important to mention here that there are two variations of the In/Out bets. A few brokers offer both varieties, but most will only offer the conventional variant. These variants are:

– Stays between/Goes outside

– Ends between/Ends Outside

In the first variant, if the trader selects “stays between”, the price has to stay within the tunnel but does not touch any of the price barriers that mark the boundaries of the tunnel throughout the duration of the trade. If he selects “goes outside”, then the price has to touch either barrier before trade expiration for the trade to end in profit.

The second variant is the conventional tunnel trade where the price has to be within the price barrier on expiration, or strictly outside either the top or the bottom price barriers on expiration.

How does this trade setup work?

Firstly, the trader has to setup the trade by selecting the asset he wants to trade. After that, the next thing is to select the price ranges that would create the “tunnel”. This consists of a price ceiling, and a price floor. Once this is done, the next thing is to select the expiration time for the trade, and then select the trade direction which in this case, would be either in the tunnel (IN), or outside the tunnel (OUT). Once this is done, the trader can then execute the trade.

Now it seems pretty easy right? Yes, it seems and sounds easy in theory, but the practice of this trade is a different reality.

For an “In” trade to be successful, the trader has to basically assume that the price will remain in a state of consolidation. In other words, the asset has to be range-bound or trading sideways without any defined trend. This trade condition usually exists before a major news event is to occur in the market. The markets are usually unpredictable and there is no way of knowing with certainty that the price of the asset will remain range-bound until your trade expiry. The situation is made more difficult by the fact that some brokers do not allow traders to set expiry dates at anything less than 5 to 7 days for a tunnel trade; giving a seemingly range-bound asset time to experience a major trigger to breakout and neutralize the trader’s position.

On the other hand, the asset has to experience a major breakout to put the trader’s position in the money. Brokers will generally give a better payout if you stretch the boundaries of your tunnel. So for an “OUT” trade, it is a case of stretching the tunnel boundaries for better payouts, or limiting the boundaries to get a smaller payout. Even in these instances, it is not guaranteed that the breakout needed for this trade to succeed will occur.

So how can a trader profit from the tunnel trade? Picture this image above, which is a depiction of the tunnel trade. The yellow area is the tunnel, which is where the “IN” trader would want his asset to end up on expiration. The green and blue areas are where the “OUT” traders hope the asset would end up. You can use the trade definitions above to understand how to map your trade strategies out.

There are various ways of trading the tunnel binary bet. One school of thought likens the image above to a dart board, where it is more difficult to hit the yellow area than either the green or blue area. This trade type will then aim to use the “goes outside” strategy to pick a trade.

Recall that you only need the market price to touch any of the barriers just once during this trade. Please note that this is not to be confused with the Touch/No Touch binary where the trader has to define the price barrier to be touched. In this binary trade example, the trader does not need to define which barrier must be touched. All that is needed is for any of the two barriers to be touched for the trade to succeed.

VPN tunnel: What is it and how does it work?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel is an encrypted link between your computer or mobile device and an outside network. In 2020, CNET reported that around 16 per cent of Australians were using a VPN to protect their privacy online 1 .

A VPN tunnel allows for your IP address to be hidden and encrypts all data you generate while using the web.

But why is this so important?

Much like your home address, an IP address identifies your location while online. Whether you are using your smartphone, laptop, computer, or tablet, your online activity can easily be tracked by potential threats. This means without a VPN, businesses, government bodies, or even hackers, have access to your personal information and browsing activity.

Are you worried yet?

Don’t fret; if you are prepared, you can maintain your safety. A VPN acts similar to a shield, protecting you from harms way.

Using one is highly recommended when you’re logging onto the internet using public Wi-Fi at hotels, coffee shop, or library.

How does VPN tunnelling work?

To connect to the internet through a VPN tunnel, you’ll first have to sign up with a virtual private network service, better known as a VPN. The VPN is the key to hiding your IP address and hiding your information from predators.

Before visiting websites, you’ll log into your VPN provider’s service. When you then start searching online, the websites you visit and your internet service provider — ISP, for short — won’t see your IP address. Instead, they’ll see the IP address of your VPN provider, helping to protect your privacy.

Put simply, when you click on links or download files from a site, no one will be able to see this activity. Figuratively, your VPN provider has built a tunnel around your online activity, providing a barrier between it and everyone else.

Using a VPN alone may not be enough to protect your online privacy. That’s why you need a VPN provider that takes further measures to encrypt the data you send and receive while you are online. When your data is encrypted, it is scrambled, preventing external bodies from interpreting and deciphering it.

When you enable this added layer of protection, businesses, governments, or even hackers, won’t be able to track your online activity.

Hiding your IP address and encrypting the data you send and receive is a powerful combination to help keep your online browsing sessions private.

VPN tunnel protocols

Not all VPN tunnels are equally effective in protecting your online privacy. The type of tunnelling protocol your VPN provider uses determines the strength of the tunnel.

Outdated protocols may provide weaker data encryption, reducing your defence against internet spies. It is imperative to choose a VPN provider that use adopts the most robust tunnelling protocol possible.

PPTP – A Hacker’s Prey

Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP) is a dated version, that is still in use today. It may be incredibly fast, but this is at the expense of strength and protection.

The data encryption is weakened alongside its lightning-fast speed, meaning it is much easier for external parties to prey on your details.

This form is ‘dated’ for a reason; therefore, stronger levels of protection are encouraged.

L2TP/IPSec – Tortoise-speed Net Surfing

Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol (L2TP), combined with Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), provides slightly stronger protection. This protocol offers two stages of protection – explaining its name. L2TP and IPSec portions of this protocol create their encryption, resulting in two layers of safety.

The downside? This type of tunnelling protocol, because of the two layers of encryption, can result in slower online connection speeds. Additionally, L2TP/IPSec used fixed ports, meaning it sometimes get blocked by firewalls.

SSTP – A Small Window of Opportunity

Secure Socket Tunnelling Protocol (SSTP) is unusual because it is only available on Windows operating systems. This type of tunnelling doesn’t use fixed ports, so can easily pass through firewalls. Its protocol is very secure, making it a safer choice. It also doesn’t use fixed ports, so it’s easier for SSTP to get through firewalls.

The problem, of course, is the ‘small window of opportunity’ in operating system choice. This protocol, being limited to Windows only, blocks out a lot of potential users.

OpenVPN – Your Best Bet

If you’re looking for the most reliable protection while online, you should consider investing in a VPN service provider that relies on the OpenVPN protocol.

This protocol overcomes the limitations with SSTP by being able to use all major operating systems, Linux, Window, and Mac, on the mobile operating systems of Android and iOS. An Open VPN is suitable even for an independent operating system, such as FREEBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, or OpenBSD.

OpenVPN is considered the best form of VPN tunnelling protocol due to its ability to pass through firewalls and strong encryption capabilities. Depending on your provider, OpenVPN can also transfer information at fast speeds.

Protecting your privacy while online

The key to VPN tunnelling is to actually use the service. It is integral to first connect to your VPN provider before accessing the internet. Skipping this step will mean your identity or personal data at risk.

In 2020, the ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corporation) reported that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) are required to collect and store their customer’s metadata for a minimum of two years 2 . This metadata includes information such as all your personal details associated with your account, your IP address and the destination of all your communications.

To ensure you’re completely protected, it is essential to enable VPN protection across all your devices. You may use the best VPN on your laptop, however, failing to utilise on your other devices will still leave you susceptible to internet threats.

The bottom line? VPN tunnelling is essential in this day and age to maintain online privacy (just make sure you’re logged into it first).

TunnelBear Review

TunnelBear offers its users both free and paid VPN service. However, the free version is only limited to 500MB/month bandwidth.

On a good note, their VPN software uses the industry standard (strong) OpenVPN protocol, as well as 256-bit AES encryption.

Unfortunately, their VPN connection speed is a little slow compared to other VPNs like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

Is it still a good choice when compared to the other VPNs out there?

Let’s find out in this TunnelBear review.

General Information on TunnelBear

OVERALL RANK: #30 out of 78 VPNs
USABILITY: 4/5
LOG FILES: No logging
LOCATIONS: 22 countries
SUPPORT: Ticket system
TORRENTING: Allowed
NETFLIX: Not working
ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL: 256-bit AES/OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2
JURISDICTION: Canada
COST: $5.00/mo
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.TunnelBear.com

TunnelBear is a provider of both free and paid VPNs.

It’s been around since 2020 when it was founded by Ryan Dochuk (Corporate Bear) and Daniel Kaldor (Quantum Bear).

Between the two of them, they have experience working at Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, RIM, and a mobile security startup. So they’ve certainly done their time in the tech world.

The company is based in Toronto, though their 350+ VPN servers spread throughout 22 other countries around the world, including servers in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

TunnelBear Pros

1. No Logging

To start off, TunnelBear has a strict no-logging policy. Their privacy policy is very clear about this:

TunnelBear explicitly does NOT collect, store or log the following data:

  • IP addresses visiting our website
  • IP addresses upon service connection
  • DNS Queries while connected
  • Any information about the applications, services or websites our users use while connected to our Service

Image from: https://www.tunnelbear.com/privacy-policy

That’s great news for privacy-conscious users. It means that they aren’t selling any of your data and that when law enforcement comes knocking, they don’t have anything interesting to give them.

They will hand over the personal information they’ve collected, as is required by Canadian law (like WindScribe). (Canada is not a good jurisdiction for a VPN provider.)

The privacy policy outlines things like your name, email address, OS version, amount of data used, and the last four digits of your credit card number.

They don’t store your full credit card number, though they can access it through their PCI-compliant payment partners.

2. No Leaks Detected

A user-friendly interface and rock-solid encryption make this leak-free VPN a solid choice.

TunnelBear uses OpenVPN by default, paired with the most advanced, uncrackable encryption standard on the market in AES-256.

Tunnelbear repeatedly states that your browsing activity is “protected by a bear,” using a whimsical-looking cartoon bear to illustrate that point over and over again.

Fortunately, TunnelBear held its ground throughout our testing process.

Check it out for yourself:

Its installation software also persevered, delivering squeaky-clean results.

3. Free Plan & Works on Multiple Devices

It’s capped at 500mb (only), though.

Even though TunnelBear’s free plan is very small, it lets you check out the app and do a few speed tests on your own.

They provide streamlined apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. There’s also a browser extension for both Chrome and Opera, and a tracker-blocking extension that compliments all of their services (or can be used on its own).

4. Extremely Safe and Secure

Of course, no matter how cheap the VPN, you need to know that it’s safe.

Tunnelbear uses industry-standard OpenVPN protocol on Windows, Mac, and Android devices.

OpenVPN is a recommended option by default.

Recent iOS versions get IPSec/IKEv2, and older versions get IPSec (not recommended).

All in all, it’s the encryption you’d expect.

OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2 provide 256-bit AES protection, while the IPSec protocol offers still-respectable 128-bit AES encryption. The US government uses 256-bit AES encryption for data protection, so you can trust that this is a solid protocol.

The service also provides strong data authentication and secure Diffie-Hellman key exchange to ensure that you’re connecting to a TunnelBear server and not a nefarious man-in-the-middle miscreant.

One of the cool services that TunnelBear provides is called VigilantBear—this feature protects you while you’re connecting and disconnecting. If your WiFi drops or you move between access points, there’s the possibility that some of your data will go out over an unsecured connection. VigilantBear prevents that from happening (acting as a kill-switch).

In January 2020, Hackernoon took a deep dive into the TunnelBear code to see what they could find. You can read the entire breakdown if you like, but it gets quite technical. In short, they didn’t find any notable vulnerabilities or surprises. They were even impressed that TunnelBear includes functionality to detect both DNS and IPv6 leaks, which is great for protecting your privacy.

TunnelBear hasn’t had any big leaks or evidence of their encryption being cracked. All signs point to the fact that TunnelBear is extremely safe to use.

One thing to note is that the Diffie-Hellman key exchange method may have some flaws. While the desktop, Android, and iOS 9+ VPNs use 2,048-bit DH groups, which are considered safe, older versions of iOS use a 1,024-bit DH group. And it’s possible that some powerful nation-level attackers could be able to compromise that key exchange.

5. Nice Features

TunnelBear comes together with some great features, such as:

  • Anonymous IP
  • Kill-Switch (VigilantBear)
  • 5 Simultaneous Connections

Some websites are blocking traffic that appears to be coming from a VPN. It’s annoying, and a constant battle between VPN providers and those websites to gain the advantage.

For example, I found out that TunnelBear’s GhostBear feature does its best to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. This will fool some businesses and governments, but not all.

Before you use GhostBear, it’s a good idea to see if you can connect to the site you want via the standard TunnelBear connection. If you can’t, it’s worth trying GhostBear. Hiding the fact that you’re using a VPN will slow down your connection a bit, so I don’t recommend leaving it on all the time.

6. Easy to Use

TunnelBear’s mission is to make VPN usage easy for everyone.

And in my opinion, they’ve certainly done that. The app is extremely simple and easy to use. It may not provide all the advanced settings you want from a high-end VPN, but if you’re just getting started with encrypted browsing, it makes the process much easier.

By default, it only shows you what you need to see: where you are, the tunnel you’re using, and where you appear to be browsing from.

There are additional settings you can find, but if you don’t want to dig into them, you can just enjoy the simple, clean interface.

The browser extensions are the same; just turn them on and leave them alone. It doesn’t get much easier than this.

7. Independently Audited for Security

There’s been a lot of bad press for some VPNs over the past few years.

Bandwidth selling, logging data, overstated security… it all erodes confidence in VPNs. That’s why TunnelBear has an independent organization audit their VPN for security.

This is a rather rare thing in the industry, and it takes a lot of humility for TunnelBear to give it a shot. They published the results of the audit, and you can read them online.

TunnelBear claims that it is the first and only VPN service in the world to offer this, and it’s definitely the only one I’ve ever come across. It should be noted, however, that the last audit period was in July of 2020, and the company has yet to update it again.

8. Allows Torrenting and TOR

TunnelBear used to be a service that did not allow torrenting. That all seems to have changed recently.

While there’s not much information about torrenting services on their official website, I got the low-down from a TunnelBear representative through their customer service department.

They confirmed that their service does allow both torrenting and the use of the TOR network. This is a huge change from when we first reviewed TunnelBear. Back then, their stance on the P2P file sharing was a hard no. We’re glad to see them joining us in the present and embracing one of the key services that people want to use a VPN for.

TOR stands for The Onion Router, and it is a private and encrypted web browser. A lot of users like to use a VPN in conjunction with TOR to maximize their anonymity. Some VPNs don’t allow the service to be used at all. Tunnelbear lets you use TOR but the representative I spoke with warned me that I could see severely decreased speeds while using it.

9. Responsive and Thorough Customer Support

Another service we did not love the first time around was TunnelBear’s ticketed-based customer support system.

Unfortunately, TunnelBear still doesn’t offer any live chat. So here’s how we typically assess ticket systems:

  1. How much time will they take to get back to me?
  2. Will they answer my question in a thorough and complete manner?

I was very impressed with both of those factors. TunnelBear’s new commitment to customer support ranks as one of my favorite out of all the ticketed support systems we’ve tested.

First off look at that adorable cartoon bear with the little headset on! I’ll “paws” to let you appreciate it.

Enjoy that pun? Well, buckle up, because their customer service department is full of them.

I asked about torrenting and file sharing, as well as TOR and Netflix.

Before I dive into the actual response (and all of the delicious puns inside), I want to talk about the time it took to get it.

They give you a generic timeframe of 48 hours. I sighed and prepared to hate on this department. I got a response within two hours.

That’s lightning fast for tickets!

Now, for the response itself.

It’s complete, it has personality, and it has links to help me along. I couldn’t ask for anything more from a customer service department… (besides live chat).

But baby-bear steps…

You can’t be told to have a pawsome day and not smile.

TunnelBear Cons

1. Speed Problems (Slow)

Everything was going so well with TunnelBear until it was time to test their server speeds.

Some users have reported good download speeds. But in our test, my 100 Mbps connection dropped down to 52.26 Mbps when I was using the EU servers.

That’s a huge drop.

Here are some of the results that I achieved with a 100mb connection:

TunnelBear Download Speed (EU to EU servers)

US Server (New York)

  • Ping: 120ms
  • Download: 33.38 Mbps
  • Upload: 15.04 Mbps

EU Server (Amsterdam)

  • Ping: 39ms
  • Download: 52.26 Mbps
  • Upload: 27.20 Mbps

Asia Server (Hong Kong)

  • Ping: 345ms
  • Download: 7.54 Mbps
  • Upload: 2.63 Mbps

UK Server (London)

  • Ping: 44ms
  • Download: 50.10 Mbps
  • Upload: 48.36 Mbps

You should always expect to lose some speed. However, this is a significant drop that will affect your browsing experience.

They’re not the worst we’ve seen. But overall, they’re bad when you put them up against more reliable VPNs we’ve reviewed, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

2. No Netflix

Unfortunately, Netflix is getting better all the time at blocking VPNs.

They’ve successfully blocked many larger VPN providers (including PIA) with more servers in more places around the world.

TunnelBear support did tell me that many users have had success in unblocking Netflix.

But unfortunately, none of the servers we tested worked properly.

If you need a VPN for unblocking Netflix geo-restrictions, here’s a list of top 100% working VPNs for Netflix.

3. No Router Installation

TunnelBear doesn’t support installing its VPN software directly on your router. If you weren’t planning on doing this anyway, it’s no big deal. But if you’re considering using a VPN this way for the increased protection and ease of use, you’ll need to find another provider.

TunnelBear Pricing, Plans, & Facts

Tunnelbear’s pricing and plans are as simple as their app:

It’s always good to see a free option, as you can use that to test out the app and the service. The bandwidth you can use is only 500 MB per month, though.

The first paid plan, Giant, will run you $9.99 per month for unlimited data.

The biggest plan, Grizzly, is an annual plan. So you’ll pay $59.99 upfront for 12 months of unlimited VPN service.

On each plan you buy, you can use up to five devices protected. So if you’re looking for a VPN that will cover your whole family, TunnelBear is a good bet.

Overall, this one is pretty cheap. However, a few, like the deal we have from NordVPN, has been able to surpass it.

Incredibly, TunnelBear does NOT offer any refunds, either. So no money-back guarantees here. Instead, they let you use their free version. You better be sure before you upgrade.

  • No logging: Yes.
  • Ease of the VPN software: Their app is quite simple and straight-forward.
  • Hidden fees & clauses: No refunds.
  • Upsells: No upsells.
  • Instant access after payment: Yes.
  • DNS leaks: None.
  • Jurisdiction: Canada
  • Tunneling Protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2
  • Kill-switch: Yes.

As for payment options, TunnelBear allows you to pay via major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. They also accept PayPal & Bitcoin, a digital form of cryptocurrency which is 100% untraceable.

They also claim to accept jars of honey…but we’re pretty sure that’s a joke. I think…

Do We Recommend TunnelBear VPN?

So is TunnelBear worth using?

It depends on what you need a VPN for.

If you just want something to protect your privacy while you browse without getting in your way with complicated options and interfaces, it’s a great choice.

You might suffer a bit on the speed side, but there’s no disputing that it’s very easy to use and does offer solid security.

But if you need more than that, you’ll probably want to choose another VPN.

I was impressed with their improved customer service and the new ability to torrent. They took many of our major complaints and corrected them.

But their lackluster speed means I can’t recommend this as a go-to for everyone.

So, if you’re looking for more, go ahead and buy NordVPN ($3.49/mo) instead.

Check out one of the other top VPNs here.

Add your own TunnelBear review:

Have you used TunnelBear? Or maybe using it? Don’t hesitate to leave us an honest, unbiased review. Do it below :).

What Is a VPN, and Why You Need One

Congress just moved to let ISPs sell your personal data. Here’s how to protect yourself.

We review products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use.

Take a step back and consider how much of your life is transmitted over the inherently insecure internet. Do you feel a creeping sense of dread? That’s entirely reasonable, considering the forces arrayed against your privacy. One of the best ways to secure your data is to use a virtual private network (VPN), which also provides some control over how you’re identified online.

What Is a VPN and How Does It Work?

Simply put, a VPN creates a virtual encrypted tunnel between you and a remote server operated by a VPN service. All your internet traffic is routed through this tunnel, so your data is secure from prying eyes. Best of all, your computer appears to have the IP address of the VPN server, masking your identity and location.

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When your data reaches the VPN server, it exits onto the public internet. If the site you’re heading to uses HTTPS to secure the connection, you’re still secure. But even if it was intercepted, it’s difficult to trace the data back to you, since it appears to be coming from the VPN server.

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  • If you connect to that same public Wi-Fi network using a VPN you can rest assured that no one on that network will be able to intercept your data—not other users snooping around for would-be victims, nor even the operators of the network itself. This last point is particularly important, and everyone should keep in mind that it’s very difficult to tell whether or not a Wi-Fi network is what it appears to be. Just because it’s called Starbucks_WiFi doesn’t mean it’s really owned by a well-known coffee purveyor.

    Another example showing the value of VPNs is using these services to access blocked websites. Some governments have decided that it is in their best interest to block certain websites from access by all members of the population. With a VPN, those people can have their web traffic securely tunneled to a different country with more progressive policies, and access sites that would otherwise be blocked. And again, because VPNs encrypt your traffic, it helps protect the identity of people who connect to the open internet in this way.

    For the most part, VPN clients are the same for both Windows and macOS. But that’s not always the case, and I have found marked performance differences depending on the platform. I have split out reviews of Mac VPN applications, in case you’re more into fruit than windows. Note that you can skip client apps altogether and connect to the VPN service simply using your computer’s network control panel. You’ll still need to sign up with a VPN service, however.

    For mobile devices, the situation is a little thornier. Most companies offer VPN apps for Android and iOS, which is great because we use these devices to connect to Wi-Fi all the time. However, VPNs don’t always play nice with cellular connections. That said, it takes some serious effort to intercept cellphone data, although law enforcement or intelligence agencies may have an easier time gaining access to this data, or metadata, through connections with mobile carriers or by using specialized equipment.

    While VPN apps are fairly similar in look and function regardless of mobile platform, iPhone VPNs often use different VPN protocols than their Android counterparts. This is fine for the most part, however.

    Do you use a less common OS? That won’t necessarily protect you online. People spying on network traffic don’t care what kind of computer it’s coming from. Accordingly, we offer a roundup of the best VPNs for Linux as well as tips for how set up a VPN on your Chromebook.

    Three-Letter Threats

    Among the enemies to free speech and privacy, there are two three-letter groups to be especially concerned about: the NSA and your ISP.

    Through years of reporting and the Snowden leaks, we now know that the NSA’s surveillance apparatus is enormous in scope. At one point, the agency had the ability to intercept and analyze just about every transmission being sent over the web. There are jaw-dropping stories about secret rooms inside data infrastructure hubs, from which the agency had direct access to the beating heart of the internet. With a VPN, you can rest assured that your data is encrypted and less directly traceable back to you. Given the mass surveillance efforts by the NSA and others, having more ways to encrypt your data is a good thing.

    That’s not to say a VPN makes you invisible to spies or law enforcement. Your traffic could still be intercepted in any number of ways. A VPN does make it harder to correlate online activities to you, and adds a layer of encryption during parts of your online traffic’s journey. A determined, well-funded adversary that has singled you out for surveillance will likely find a way. But VPNs and widespread adoption of HTTPS make it much harder for mass surveillance to work as it has in the past.

    Your ISP may already be involved in some of these spying operations, but there’s an even-newer concern. The FCC has rolled back Obama-era rules that sought to protect net neutrality, and in doing so allowed ISPs to profit off your data. The ISPs wanted a slice of that big data monetization pie that has fueled the growth of companies like Facebook and Google. Those companies are able to gather huge amounts of information about users, and then use it to target advertising or even sell that data to other companies. ISPs now have the green light to bundle anonymized user data and put it up for sale.

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    While it is true that companies like Google and Facebook make money off your behavior, you are not necessarily forced to use those services. If you suddenly decided to stop using Facebook, you might miss out on cute pet pics and political rants from your friends and family, but you could still live a decent, perhaps better, life. You could even choose to avoid the Google-o-sphere entirely by using the privacy conscious DuckDuckGo for your web searches, and drop the Google-backed Chrome for the nonprofit Firefox.

    You don’t have this same level of choice when it comes to your ISP, which controls your home’s gateway to the entirety of the internet. While there are alternatives to Google and Facebook, most Americans have limited home ISP alternatives. Some areas have only one ISP offering wired internet access. That makes recent changes that allow ISPs to sell data from their customers all the more troubling. It’s one thing to opt into a shady system, it’s quite another to have no choice in the matter.

    “ISPs are in a position to see a lot of what you do online. They kind of have to be, since they have to carry all of your traffic,” explains Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) senior staff technologist Jeremy Gillula. “Unfortunately, this means that preventing ISP tracking online is a lot harder than preventing other third-party tracking—you can’t just install [the EFF’s privacy-minded browser add-on] Privacy Badger or browse in incognito or private mode.”

    What a VPN Won’t Do

    We should note that there are multiple ways your behavior can be tracked online—even with a VPN, things like cookies allow web services (Amazon, Google, Facebook, and so on) to track your internet usage even after you’ve left their sites (here’s a handy guide to pruning cookies on your browser.)

    VPNs also only do so much to anonymize your online activities. If you really want to browse the web anonymously, and access the dark web to boot, you’ll want to use Tor. Unlike a VPN, Tor bounces your traffic through several server nodes, making it much harder to trace. It’s also managed by a non-profit organization and distributed for free. Some VPN services will even connect to Tor via VPN, for additional security.

    It’s worth noting that most VPN services are not philanthropic organizations that operate for the public good. While many are involved in progressive causes, they are all still for-profit organizations. That means that they have their own bills to pay, and they have to respond to subpoenas and warrants from law enforcement. They also have to abide by the laws of the country in which they officially reside.

    This is why it’s so important to read the privacy policy for VPN services, and to find out where a VPN company is headquartered. NordVPN, for example, operates out of Panama, and is not subject to any laws that would require it to retain user data.

    Things can get tricky when it comes to trusting a VPN. Recently, PureVPN handed over log information the company had to federal investigators building a case against a cyberstalker and general dirtbag. Some were surprised that the company had any information to hand over, or that it did cooperated with investigators at all. It seems to us that PureVPN stayed within the bounds of its stated privacy policy. But it’s also true that other companies, such as Private Internet Access, aren’t able to connect any of your personal information to your account information.

    It’s easy to want to find the perfect, magical tool that will protect you from all possible threats. But the honest truth is that if someone targets you specifically and is willing to put forward the effort, they will get to you. A VPN can be defeated by malware on your device, or by analyzing traffic patterns to correlate activity on your computer to activity on the VPN server. But using security tools like a VPN ensure that you won’t be an easy target, or get scooped up in mass surveillance.

    The Complications of Privacy

    We heartily reject the idea that security and convenience are necessarily at odds. There are, however, some notable complications that arise from using a VPN. These aren’t deal-breakers, but they warrant consideration.

    Chromecast and other streaming protocols send data over your local network, but that’s a problem when you’re using a VPN. Those devices are looking for streaming data from phones and computers on the same network, not from a distant VPN server. Likewise, smart home devices may be gathering lots of data about you and your home that you’d rather not have intercepted. Unfortunately, these devices simply cannot run VPNs. The solution for both problems is to move the security up a level by installing a VPN on your router. This encrypts data as it leaves your safe home network for the wild web. Information sent within your network will be available, and any smart devices connected to your network will enjoy a secured connection.

    Do you like Netflix? That’s too bad, because Netflix hates VPNs. The problem is that Netflix in England is different from Netflix in the US, which is also different from Netflix in Australia, and so on. Just because you can see your favorite show in one country doesn’t mean you can watch it in another. The company has a complex global web of regional licensing arrangements, and it has a very real interest in making sure people don’t circumvent the resulting restrictions.

    In order to ensure that you can’t access streaming content that is not licensed for your region, Netflix blocks most VPNs. Some VPN services, however, work hard to ensure their customers can still stream movies and TV shows. It’s something of a cat-and-mouse game, and a VPN that works with Netflix today might not work tomorrow.

    Similarly, many VPN companies would rather not have to deal with the legal implications of their services being used to download via BitTorrent. BitTorrent is, of course, not inherently illegal but it is often used to pirate copyrighted material. Very few VPN companies outright ban BitTorrenting on their servers, while others restrict its use to specific servers.

    Another major concern with VPNs is speed. In general, using a VPN is going to increase your latency (or your “ping”), and decrease the speed at which you upload or download data. It’s very difficult to say definitively which VPN will have the least impact on your browsing, but extensive testing can give you some idea which service is the fastest VPN.

    While download speeds are one thing, gamers have particular concerns when it comes to internet connections. While there are some VPNs for gaming, they are few and far between. But a few VPNs offer split tunneling, which routes the traffic from some applications outside the VPN. It’s less secure, but also has less impact on latency.

    Protect Yourself With a VPN

    When the internet was first being pieced together, there wasn’t much thought given to security or privacy. At first it was just a bunch of shared computers at research institutions, and computing power so limited that any encryption could have made things extremely difficult. If anything, the focus was on openness, not defense.

    Today, most of have multiple devices that connect to the web that are vastly more powerful than the top computers of the early days. But the internet hasn’t made a lot of fundamental improvements. Consider that it is only in the past few years that HTTPS has become widespread.

    This means that, unfortunately, it is up to individuals to protect themselves. Antivirus apps and password managers go a long way toward keeping you safer, but a VPN is a uniquely powerful tool that you should definitely have in your personal security toolkit, especially in today’s connected world. Whether you opt for a free service or even go all-in with an encrypted router, having some way to encrypt your internet traffic is critically important.

    Over and Under Betting Explained: How does It Work?

    If you’re a rookie punter, chances are you have so far focused on the head to head betting, where you essentially bet on the outcome of the match, placing a stake on whether one team will win, lose or, in the case of football, come draw.

    But there are other markets you can invest your bankroll on.

    A less traditional form of betting, but equally popular, is Over and Under betting.

    In this article, we’ll go through Over and Under betting explained and how does it work. Also which sports it can be applied to, and what to keep in mind when placing stakes on totals.

    We’ll also go over some of the details that can be a bit confusing, like the ‘2.5’ goals line found when betting on the totals for football matches.

    What Is Over And Under Betting?

    An over-under or over/under (O/U) bet is a wager placed on whether the combined total score of both teams (or players) will be over or under a nominated number set by a bookmaker.

    The nominated number is usually assessed based on the average number of goals a team scores per match. One main advantage of this market is its focus on one single statistic, making it quite easy to understand.

    Over and under betting is extremely popular with American football, but is also available in other sports, including baseball, basketball, netball, rugby, and tennis.

    Let’s look at an example:

    Consider a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls.

    If the bookmaker sets the statistic at 185 points, and the Cavaliers win the game 98-95, the final combined score is 193.

    If you bet the over in that game, you win. If the total combined score is the same as the nominative number (statistic set by the bookmaker), your risk amount – your bet stake – is returned to you.

    However, the nominated number is usually set to eliminate this possibility.

    What Is The 2.5 Goals Line?

    You may look at a soccer’s sportsbook and see ‘2.5’ as the nominal number that you can bet over or under.

    If you’re new to soccer betting, you may be wondering:

    How can a football match have a total of 2.5 scores?

    There is no such thing as a half goal, but to avoid refunds in cases where the total score is equal to the nominated score (i.e. the score set by the bookmaker), and not over or under, bookmakers use the 2.5 goals line.

    Average total scores of football matches are relatively low, so the 2.5 goals line is used in most leagues.

    In this case, punters will either bet that

    • 2 goals or less will be scored (The Under 2.5 goals market)
    • 3 goals or more will be scored (The Over 2.5 goals market)

    The number 2.5 is used because it falls in the middle of both markets. In other sports with higher average scores, you may get higher scores with decimal points.

    When Should You Use Under And Over Betting?

    ‘Totals’ betting is growing in popularity because it is often the best wager you can make on a game.

    Think of top-tier leagues – some games are a toss-up and you really can’t find an edge to pick one team over the other – this is when pro punters tend to opt for over or under betting.

    Of course, this does not mean that with totals betting you shouldn’t still be analytical.

    Finding your edge remains the best weapon any pro punter worth his salt has, but the more popular an event, the more easily-accessible information on it will be, and the harder it is to find any long-term edge over other pro punters.

    One fight perfect for a ‘totals’ wager is the Floyd Mayweather vs Connor McGregor boxing match.

    Most of the bookmakers have set the nominal number of rounds to 9.5. This means you can select whether the match will have more or less than 9 rounds.

    The odds vary on every sportsbook, so we suggest looking at more than one bookmaker to get the best line.

    At Bet365, the odds currently are:

    OVER 2.00, UNDER 1.72

    This is for the 9.5 total.

    Some bookmakers, like Bet365 and 888sport, are offering different totals that you can bet on, starting at 2.5 rounds, and go up to 10.5.

    We recommend sticking to the 9.5, and you’ll understand why once you’ve read our recommendations for what to keep in mind.

    An understanding of betting odds is important when judging whether to opt for over or under in a totals wager.

    What To Keep In Mind When Betting With Overs And Unders

    Don’t Base A Team’s Scoring Form On Recent Matches

    We have discussed this in previous articles, when it comes to outwitting the odds: Do not just consider the last 5 matches a team or fighter has played when assessing totals.

    Recent form matters, but to obtain a true assessment of a match’s potential score, you have to take a longer term view. Consider scoring form over the last 20 matches, or even longer. It depends on the sport, league and in general, the number and frequency of games played.

    Don’t let a recent streak of losses or wins cloud your judgement. Not letting emotions affect your decisions is something professional bettors should always keep in mind.

    Keep Occurrences In Mind

    Don’t quote scoring averages when assessing a particular match.

    You may be reasonably wondering:

    What? You just said to look at scoring averages over a large sample.

    What we mean is, look at occurrences. One irregular result can distort the average completely. Look at the times a team or fighter (in the case of boxing) has gone over or above a particular score total. What happened on these occasions?

    Don’t Get Overconfident

    There are bookmakers offering odds on different totals for the match between McGregor and Mayweather, but these bookmakers who offer these irregular goal totals tend to take a larger than average commission. Understand how bookmakers set up their margins, and keep that in mind.

    Keep your Over/Under bets to whatever the ‘even money’ line is for a particular match. In this case, it is 9.5.

    On the other hand, if you’ve crunched the numbers, looked at occurrences that may have skewed averages, considered the factors that will be in play for the match, and you have identified a greater value in a total that is lower or higher than the typical score total line, then by all accounts, you should trust your judgement. Consider Context

    Consider The Context Of The Match

    What are the conditions at play here? How will they affect certain players? A player could be sick, or a team may be playing in an arena they haven’t before.

    Apply this to Mayweather and McGregor. Take a look at our articles analysing the different factors that will be in play during the match, the rules, and how they may affect the fighters (particularly McGregor).

    Final Words

    We hope that this comprehensive guide to Over and Under betting explained and how does it work, has provided a thorough explanation of what this alternative betting market involves.

    Now that you have a sound understanding of Over and Under betting (or ‘totals’ betting), you can apply it to the different kinds of sports as you bet.

    On many occasions, totals betting can be a smart and lucrative way to make money from sports which you may find harder to profit from through traditional betting markets, so take full advantage of betting systems like this one!

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