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Surfshark: My VPN of Choice

SearchingI finally got serious about using a VPN for my computers and devices. Surfshark is the VPN I chose. I had been considering a VPN for quite some time, but it wasn’t until my latest experience with the Kartrite website that sealed the deal (That was before I found out about Apollo TV).

Looking for a Family Adventure

I had been searching the web for things to do with the grandkids when I came across an indoor waterpark. The waterpark is in Monticello, New York, and boasts that it’s the biggest in New York. I thought it would be fun to take a trip with the grandkids and spend the weekend there. In addition to the waterpark, it has a hotel.
I spent a little time on the website looking at what they had to offer, the rates, and hotel accommodations. I bookmarked the site so I could come back to it later when I had more time.

A Surprise Phone Call

Later that day, my home phone rang (yes, I still have a landline), and the caller ID read “Kartrite Hotel.” I recognized the name but couldn’t place where I had seen it before. Then, it dawned on me: it was the name of the waterpark I had researched online.Caller ID

Interestingly, I had poked around on the website but didn’t enter any of my information. I did not sign up for a newsletter or request additional information. I had not entered information on any of the input fields. I did bookmark it within the browser to come back later to gather more info, but that was the extent of my contact with Kartrite.
After I received the call (I did not answer it), I knew it was time for a VPN.

How Did They Know My Home Number?

I don’t know how all the spying and data collection is done on the Internet, but I do know they connected my web visit and my phone number. That is disturbing. Then I started thinking about 90% of the incoming calls on my home line. They’re mainly from unknown numbers. I wonder how many were initiated from web searches.

Past Experience with VPNs

In the past, I used IPVanish. It worked when I turned it on but was slow and cumbersome. Not only did it slow down the transmission of my streaming services but toggling it off and on became a pain. In the long run, I stopped using it and never renewed the service.

Enter Surfshark

I’ve heard about Surfshark from some of the tech gurus I follow. I respect these folks and have followed one or two of theirSurfshark recommendations in the past, which worked out very well for me. So, if several of them endorse and use Surfshark, I figured I’d give it a try.
Sign-up was easy. I opted for the 29-month deal. It’s inexpensive when considering everything you’re getting for the price. I’m paying less than $3 a month.

Surfshark Setup

What I like about Surfshark is the simple setup and configuration. And, once it’s set up on one device, adding additional devices is even easier. I have it on all of our tablets, iPhones, Firesticks, and computers.

Surfshark and Internet Speed

I have yet to notice a difference in Internet speed. It has not slowed web browsing or caused my streaming services to buffer. While I’m new to Surfshark, it runs seamlessly in the background. Toggling it on and off varies depending on the device I’m using. For example, on the Mac computer is easy since it has a clickable icon in the upper right-hand corner. With one click, it brings up the menu to make changes.

Surfshark on MacOn the iPhone however, the VPN icon is only visible if I swipe to access the control center. I have to swipe down from the upper right-hand corner to see if the VPN is running. I cannot turn it off or on unless I open the Surfshark app. It behaves the same way on the iPad. As such, I’ve added the app to the doc.Surfshark on iPhone

Amazon Fire Tablet and Firestick

When it comes to the the Fire Tablet, there’s a key in the upper right-hand corner. Toggling Surfshark on/off on the Amazon Fire tablet is simple. You know it’s running because it has a key indicator at the top of the screen. A quick swipe from the top of the screen displays the option to turn it off/on is there. It’s the easiest of all devices to toggle on and off.Surfshark Amazon Tablet

Not so easy on the Fire Stick. There’s no toggling on the Fire Stick or Fire TV. You either turn it on or turn it off. There’s no quick access to Surfshark. You must navigate to the app to turn it on or off.

The New Normal

Unfortunately, VPNs are here to stay if you value your privacy. It’s more than just a way to watch programs through streaming media. It’s necessary to prevent sites like Kartrite from calling.

While having Surfshark doesn’t mean your data will never be accessed by nefarious ne’er-do wells, at least you’re doing what you can to protect yourself.

About the Author: Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, writer and low-tech blogger.

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