Win your online privacy battles with this app

Published April 30, 2018 12:33PM (EDT)

The online privacy war made news last year when the Senate and Congress mutually agreed to end net neutrality. Net neutrality was the concept behind what made the internet, for many, a free space — and its repeal allowed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to have total control over what consumers see and experience on the web. That includes how quickly users can access content (a process known as "throttling"), what types of content get priority visibility and complete access to consumer's browsing history and app usage. To many, it's the end of an era: the dramatic crumble of the formerly free and anonymous space of the internet. The recent Facebook scandal highlights the effects of this new reality, where user data is used for aggressive product and service advertising, against the desires or even knowledge of the average consumer.

And although the repeal passed months ago, it only really went into effect as of April 23 — meaning that your ISP can now access and sell your data without limitations or repercussions, unless you use specific tools to prevent it from happening. A popular solution is to use a VPN, which cloaks your IP address, effectively hiding your location and concealing your activities from the government or any other hackers/spies that might pass you by while you browse. If you're looking for a more comprehensive solution, Disconnect is a great choice. It features both a VPN and a tracker blocker, to made your browsing faster and circumvent data mining.

Benefits of using Disconnect include:

Faster browser speed. 

Most websites these days use trackers, cookies and more to deliver content that's more relevant and interesting to you — and happens to collect data for advertising as you pass. That, unfortunately, weighs on your CPU usage and browsing speed. Disconnect blocks those trackers and can improve your browsing speed by up to 44% while using up to 38% less bandwidth. Disconnect actually works better than most VPNs, especially when you're trying to get something done fast. While VPNs can be robust, they often have the effect of slowing down your browsing speed, due to heavy encryption, routing through distant servers or being recognized and especially slowed down by ISPs who recognize their IP addresses.

Data security.

Just like a VNP, Disconnect protects your data from anyone who tries to steal or mine your data, whether it's the government or a corporation — all you need to do is add an encrypted Wi-Fi connection. And unlike some VPNs, who actually take a log of your data (meaning they're liable to handing it over, should the case require it), Disconnect does not keep a log of your IP addresses or any other personal information unless you volunteer it.

Identity masking.

Disconnect brings back that old idea of internet anonymity: just like a VPN, you can browse in total privacy. Since Disconnect conceals your true IP address and location, you can appear as if you're a user from anywhere in the world — and without being attached to your unique IP, your data won't be subject to scrutiny for advertising's sake.

Take the issue of your online privacy into your own hands: usually, a three-year Premium subscription to Disconnect is $150, but you can get it here for $29 — that's 80% off.

By Salon Marketplace

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