VPN Services

Discussion in 'VPN (Virtual Private Network)' started by SkystreamX, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. SkystreamX

    SkystreamX Administrator Staff Member

    What is a VPN and do you need one?

    A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service or program that does a few different things to make your internet usage more secure. We could go into a long winded 20 page article on how exactly a VPN works. But we are not network engineers, nor do we think that our user would be interested in all of the nuts and bolts. So we will keep it as short as possible.

    When you are on your computer at home and click on a website link, your internet connects to that websites server. That server can see your IP address (Think of an IP Address as your computers home address.) When a server sees your IP address it keeps a record of it. Pretty much each and every website that you visit keeps track of each and every connection / IP address that connects to it. This process happens billions of times a minute all across the world.

    There are two negative things about how this works. The first is that your IP address / Computers home address are out there and can be viewed by a wide range of people. These people include Hackers, Government employees (NSA, FBI, CIA) and most people with a modest knowledge of computer networks.

    Basically whatever you view or websites that you visit can be tracked. This means that while you may feel secure surfing the web in your office or bedroom, basically everything that you do on your computer can be tracked and monitored. Privacy is nonexistent on the internet. You can use Incognito Mode or Safe Browsing all that you want, but that just does not keep a browser history on your local device.

    The second problem with this is hackers. Hackers used to be more of a mischievous group. Hacking into things to see if they could, or for bragging rights. But today hacking is big business. It is estimated that over 15 million people in the United States have their Identities stolen Each year. That is roughly 7% of the population. These staggering numbers grow each year and are only poised to get even worse.

    While there are many various ways that hackers get credit card number and back account information, one of the main ways that this happens is when people make online purchases. Most of the larger online retailers such as Amazon use HTTPS & SSL Certificates to encrypt customers sensitive data (Skystream does both as well,) not all retailers do.

    If the online merchant and you are not using an encryption system or connection, the data is vulnerable to be intercepted by hackers. They basically hack into the connection between you and the merchant and intercept the data. You will never notice, the transaction will be completed just like any other. But now someone in some part of the world has your name, address, email address and your credit card information. They have everything they need to begin making purchases on your behalf without you knowing it. Sometimes banks will notice this activity and notify you. But most of the time you will only notice once you get your credit card statement and notice some crazy charges.

    How a VPN (Virtual Private Network) Works

    Instead of directly connecting to a website, A VPN service first directs your IP Address to a server of theirs. From there it encrypts the connection and then connects to the website you are connecting to. By doing this it keeps your IP address from being displayed all over the internet and by encrypting the data it helps prevent hackers or anyone else from seeing what you are doing or getting your personal information.

    More and more people are starting to use VPN services for a variety of reasons. Some people just don’t like the idea that their privacy online is nonexistent and want something that helps keep their privacy more secure. Some people like to download copy written content and do not want their internet service provider or government agencies to be able to see that and send them letters. Some people have used a VPN service to help protect their credit card information when making online purchases. Some people just use VPN for a better sense of security and privacy while using the internet on their mobile devices.

    Another nice feature of most VPN services is that you can use them on a variety of devices all while only having one account. IPVanish and Express VPN both have programs / Apps for Android, IOS, Windows, Mac, Linux and for your Router.

    This means that with one account you can ensure the utmost of privacy and security on all of the devices that you use to surf the web and make online transactions.

    Kodi & VPN

    At this time streaming is completely legal for end users. When you are streaming you are not in possession of the file in any way. You are just viewing a stream that is widely available on the internet. So you do not need a VPN service for strictly Kodi. However added security is never a bad thing. No one has ever said that they were glad that they had too much security. So while we do not feel it is necessary to have a VPN service while using Kodi, we do feel that it cannot hurt and can only add more privacy.

    Do you need a VPN Service?

    We cannot answer that question for you. Each person uses the internet differently and has different level of privacy and security needs. But in this day and $$$ of professional hackers and big brother keeping an eye on everyone, we feel that any level of extra security and privacy is worth its $$$$$$ in gold. For a small monthly or annual fee we feel it is a great addition to your internet usage. And the fact that you can help secure every device in your house and that you use on a daily basis with one account is a great value.

    There are so many VPN services. Which one do I choose?

    Only the past few months we have tested about 15 different VPN services. We tested all of them on our Android TV Boxes, Android Phones, Android Tablets, IOS Phones and Windows Computers. Out of the 15 VPN services that we tested, two of them stood out as the best overall. IPVanish and Express VPN beat all of the other VPN’s in speeds, ease of use and overall performance.

    If you would like to check out either of these highly recommended VPN services just click on the links below to learn more.

    Please note that Skystream does not provide support for any VPN service. If you need technical or customer service for a VPN service you will need to contact the VPN service directly.

    IPVanish VPN Service

    Express VPN Service

    Stay Safe, Secure and Stream On!!!
    SVENSWORLD likes this.

    SVENSWORLD Administrator

    Im going to check these out
  3. BeachGirl

    BeachGirl New Member

    I'm taking a Skystream to the UK and it was suggested that I install a VPN so that some of the add ons we use in North America won't get blocked. Just reporting that the one I already subscribe to - PrivateInternetAccess - gave me the simple directions to get their app from Google play and it installed easily. Thanks for suggesting a VPN and I'm happy at how simple it was to activate.
    SVENSWORLD likes this.

    SVENSWORLD Administrator

    He is going to love his new toy
    Glad everything is working out
  5. Gustavo Romero

    Gustavo Romero New Member

    I purchased the skystream One through Amazon last week. I am very happy with the box except for the fact that every time I click on the home button in the remote, the active application is killed (it does not remain running in the background) . Is that how it works by design? Is there a specific setting that I have to enable in the box? I need VPN connectivity so this is definetely a deal breaker for me. I did try the factory reset but the behaviour remains the same.
    Thank you!
    SVENSWORLD likes this.

    SVENSWORLD Administrator

    It doesnt matter what box manafacturer you purchase from, if the box is runing Android 5.0 or higher, Android will kill all apps when you hit the home button
    Just start your VPN, and use the back button, everytime you go home by hitting the HOME button, all running apps will stopped.Android designed it this way
    Another reason why when Exiting KODI, always exit using the KODI power button, and never the HOME key
  7. Gustavo Romero

    Gustavo Romero New Member

    Thanks! That makes sense. I was used to press the home button in my old KitKat box.
    SVENSWORLD likes this.
  8. TK648

    TK648 New Member

    How would I install a VPN into my SkyStream....

    Thanks in advance
    SVENSWORLD likes this.

    SVENSWORLD Administrator

    Go to Google Playstore and Install IPVanish
    Set up a log in
    Connect to a server
    Do not hit home key on remote or keyboard
    Use back button
    Everytime you hit home you will have to restart ipvanish
    TK648 likes this.
  10. TK648

    TK648 New Member

    Thank you for the info....
    SVENSWORLD likes this.
  11. TK648

    TK648 New Member

    Thanks for the Info :)
    SVENSWORLD likes this.
  12. Byzantium

    Byzantium New Member

    We are regularly given this advice, about properly exiting Kodi. I try to always do that. The problem with this is that sometimes an app running under Kodi will lock up completely, or lock Kodi up. When that happens, your remote or keyboard can become unresponsive and all but useless. The one thing that may still work to get us out is hitting the HOME key, getting you back to the underlying Android OS -- however reluctantly. (This goes well beyond the continued VPN integrity question. And if you never have lockups, your experience is very different from mine.) If even that does not work, it's down to a Reset with the Power button. I'm much more concerned as to whether this might damage the installed Kodi than anything else. But sometimes you have no choice.
    SVENSWORLD likes this.

    SVENSWORLD Administrator

    I hear you
    I too experience lock ups where KODI just freezes, after 5 minutes I give up, hit the home key, what I do then is go to android app settings and clear the Cache in the KODI app, and then reopen KODI and give it a few minutes to normalize, hoping all is well, generally, it is
    you can tell when KODI becomes problematic, when addon shortcuts start disappearing, when addons across the board become sluggish , when addons take forever to open and links don't ever resolve

    that's when I do a fresh install with the Skystream updater

    whenever you open KODI for the first time, you must let it talk to the internet, ensure all the addon update pop ups bottom right of KODI screen are finished, trying to navigate KODI while it is updating causes major headaches, so when you start it up, do nothing for a few minutes

    SVENSWORLD Administrator

    BTW what do you mean an app running underneath KODI
  15. Byzantium

    Byzantium New Member

    I guess what I meant is that Kodi appears to some of us almost like a secondary-layer OS, beneath the Android OS itself. The Addons -- or Apps, or Services, or "Channels" or whatever you choose to call them {such as Exodus} -- run under Kodi, which is running under Android. From the vantage point of a longtime observer in the computer world, this reminds me of running DesqView, in the days before we took built-in computer multi-tasking for granted, with your productivity apps and utilities being shuttled in and out courtesy of the DesqView environment.
  16. Byzantium

    Byzantium New Member

    I do appreciate your advice on these things.
    As I said in another thread, the problem I have with your suggestion to "Just re-install everything from scratch", as the solution for the very many non-working Addons I listed, is that it will be a lot of work, and will also toss out a lot of stuff that was working, plus customizing of settings etc. Just listing all of the Addons that are on a particular box is a chore. I'd almost rather just access those other services from the non-Skystream boxes, where they are (mostly) working. There's no guarantee I wouldn't wind up with a situation that is as bad, or worse, after redoing it all. (But I will try this, if it absolutely can't be avoided.) Not as a regular, repeated solution though, by any means.

    I always hated it when some obdurate IT people insisted that the every case panacea for OS problems was to re-install Windows from scratch. WRONG ! I've run Windows since the 3.1 days, on a great many computers, becoming something more than a hobbyist in the process, and have hardly ever resorted to that ! IT AMOUNTS TO CRUEL & UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT ! With the extent of apps, endless MS patches, individual settings, shortcuts, desktop layout etc. that I have, doing everything over from scratch could literally take two weeks of work here, while getting little else accomplished. I know this, having done it. (Not suggesting the Kodi situation compares to that, but still . . . . )

    In the computer example, my response is: THAT'S WHAT IMAGING IS FOR ! I would much rather roll-back to a known-working image that is three months out of date, and build it back up, than to contemplate doing it all over from scratch. In fact, No Contest ! That is why I was so interested in finally getting some Kodi backup solution working, in my other-thread post. Of course, I recognize that you would want to back up a setup that is already solid . . . .

    SVENSWORLD Administrator

    This is a Skystream ONE correct

    I Am not suggesting a Factory Reset of The Android Operating System

    Im saying run the Skystream Updater app

    Its SIMPLE

    Run The Skystream KODI Updater
    Choose Save User Settings

    That is the reason they made it

    But I truly believe your KODI has become corrupt, nothing to do with the BOX
    I think you need a FRESH KODI

    Go to Setting, Apps, KODI, Clear Data,Uninstall KODI

    Open Skystream Updater, follow prompts as it says it needs to update itself Then choose install media player, click done when installed, choose a build, adult or family, run the updater, let KODI sit for 5 minutes when it opens at the end before you do anything

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