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AlwaysHome offers a pretty sweet alternative to VPNs

AlwaysHome offers you a way to appear as though you’re logging on from your home network, without the need to actually be at home. Great alternative to VPNs.



What is a VPN and why should you care?

If you travel, you’ve likely experienced the following situation: you come back to your room after a long conference and all you want to do is binge watch Netflix until you drift off to dreamland. However, when you attempt to connect to the hotel Wi-Fi, you find out Netflix is unavailable in your region, or logging into the Internet is blocked entirely. You resolve to grab a book, but you cannot catch up on your work project without the Internet.

One solution is a VPN (virtual private network) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Super convenient, but they can also be a hassle. Since they are point-to-point, they may not be fully supported (or work exactly as they would on real LAN).

Enter AlwaysHome, the kick ass alternative

Enter AlwaysHome. It’s not a VPN; it’s “space shifting.” AlwaysHome is an easy set up that allows you to appear as though you’re browsing from your own living room or office, regardless of your actual location.

The setup is based on a pair of dongles. One is connected to the USB port of the router for power and to the LAN port (via the network cable) for Internet access. On the other side (the user end side, or mobile side) the dongle can be given access to the Internet either through a router of through a public Wi-Fi hotspot. The dongle will then act as a wireless AP for multiple devices from iPads to Xbox.

AlwaysHome is super easy to set up

Simply plug the target dongle in the USB port of your home router and connect to any empty LAN port. The other dongle travels with you. When you need it, you’ll connect it the same way. When it’s ready to use (a few minutes) all four lights will be on and you’re ready to connect. AlwaysHome also offers the added benefit of a secured network. While you can connect it to public Wi-Fi, like hotels and cafes, you gain an extra layer of protection against hackers with built-in security. Also, if you use Apple TV or Chromecast, this is a great option, as these devices do not allow for the configuration of VPNs, but they will work with AlwaysHome.

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In my opinion, and I have yet to try AlwaysHome, the best benefit is being able to access your files anywhere and everywhere. If you have large files to access, or regularly upload/download large files, you know the pain of using hotspots and public Internet. They are not secure. They are far too slow to access your files when needed, and can be incredibly frustrating. Typically, VPNs are they way to go, but if you do quite a bit of international travel, or work in a high-security field, AlwaysHome is a great alternative to VPNs.

More reading on AlwaysHome:
Bypassing Internet Controls with AlwaysHome: It’s Not VPN, It’s ‘VPN on Steroids’


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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