Tag Archives: Usenet and VPN

UNS_PiChallengeWinner_blog

Innovation Challenge: Announcing the Winning Project

It has been many weeks since we first launched the UsenetServer Innovation Challenge, but at last, the time has come for our winner to claim victory and take home his or her Raspberry Pi 2 to build and complete their new project!

Before we declare our winner, we have a bit of background on the project and how our judges arrived at their decision. Our panel of judges consisted of four experts in the world of Usenet. They were tasked with judging and scoring their top two favorite entries based on four main criteria: 1) Creativity, 2) Feasibility, 3) Originality, and 4) the inclusion of a UsenetServer service. Each of the criteria was given a score rating from 1-10, meaning that with a perfect score, a winner could earn up to 80 points. The entry that received the highest overall rating score in all of the combined categories was declared the winner of our challenge. In all, there were 27 total eligible entries and our four judges narrowed it down to five finalists. It was a close race — our winner won with 69 points and our first runner-up earned 56. Many of the other entries considered included home automation projects and smart home features. Our winner, Jason, won by proposing the following project with a Raspberry Pi:

Jason – The current Raspberry Pi project I’m working on includes a PHP backend that runs a PHP script that routinely checks an NZB RSS feed from any online NZB search site service that offers one. It then pulls any newly posted NZB links, cleans up the RSS entry, and sends the NZB download link (via Pushover) to my Android phone and tablet. From there, Android’s Tasker and Auto-Notification intercept the notification, and create a new notification with a “Download” button and the name of the Usenet binary posted. Once the download button is pressed, the NZB Link is sent back to SABnzbd’s API (which is also running on the Raspberry Pi). Then the download is queued up and started. I also get a Pushover notification when the download has completed, and whether it was successful or not. This system currently works great, and I can easily queue up new binary downloads from my Android Wear watch-device as soon as they are posted to the NZB search site. The next phase of the operation is to build a web-based interface to tell the PHP script to skip notifying me if a post has any specific text in the title, or send a “high-priority” notification with different text in the title.

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We look forward to following Jason’s progress on his winning project, and we will have more posts in the future detailing its development! We were so excited and pleased with the variety of entries we received and would like to give a big thank you to everyone who participated in our challenge.

Never stop inventing and creating new things — you, the innovators, are building our future!

What is a VPN?

What is a VPN?

Since we launched our VPN service, we’ve received a few inquiries from our users to the effect of, “what exactly is a VPN?” and “why do I need one?“ So in this post we provide clarification as to what a VPN is, and why everyone needs one.

What is a VPN?

VPNs provide many benefits, but one of the most common uses of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is as an encryption tool. You might have heard about using a VPN in the workplace; when an employee needs remote access to the company network because they’re traveling or working from home, they’ll typically log in to a VPN. You might have thought this was just a way to log in to the company’s network from outside the office, but the actual reason it’s used is to guarantee the connection is secure and the data that is passed back and forth over the Internet cannot be accessed by outsiders.

When connected to a VPN, all online traffic and data such as emails, instant messages, banking and credit card information is passed through an encrypted tunnel, preventing identity theft and cybercrime. When logged into a VPN on your mobile device or laptop, especially when using a public WiFi hotspot at your local coffee shop, you’re safe from hackers who would otherwise be able to easily access your private data and use it at your expense.

Why use a VPN?

A VPN does a lot more than keep you safe online.  One of the most desired benefits a VPN offers is the control it provides you over your IP address.  Your IP (Internet Protocol) address determines your geolocation, and depending on where you’re trying to use the Internet from, streaming services, websites, and social networks can be restricted or blocked altogether. When you are in control of your IP address, you’re also in control of your virtual location.

Some streaming services are censored in certain regions of the world, or the catalog they provide is based on geographic location. When you’re in control of your IP address, you can change your location, making this type of media more readily accessible, regardless of where you’re physically located. You also prevent your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from slowing your streaming traffic, a reported tactic that major providers use to divert users from accessing specific websites.

This works for Usenet access as well, by using UsenetServer VPN, you’ll have a secure tunnel to our servers, essentially bypassing any connection blocks or throttling.

How do I sign up?

UsenetServer VPN is available as a low cost add-on to your current UsenetServer account. Just log in and activate on the left hand side of the control panel. If you’re new to UsenetServer, for just a few extra dollars a month, you can:

  • Protect your online identity
  • Control your IP address
  • Bypass geolocation restrictions, and more!

UsenetServer VPN is as easy as pushing a button, try it today and see for yourself!

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Protect Your Privacy with UsenetServer VPN

We’re excited to announce that we now provide a custom and easy-to-use VPN (Virtual Private Network) software that protects your privacy!  A VPN is an encryption tool that puts you in control of your IP address and provides the following benefits:

  • Online Identity and Data Protection
  • Keeps you Safe at Wi-Fi Hotspots
  • Stops your ISP’s Throttling of Netflix and YouTube
  • Provides a Virtual Firewall
  • Shields from Cyber Crime
  • Bypasses Internet Censorship Blocks
  • Blocks Unwanted Marketing

The greatest benefit of having access to both UNS’s Usenet and VPN services is that you can truly enjoy all that Usenet has to offer with complete freedom. You don’t have to worry about identity thieves, or your ISP spying on or throttling your traffic. 

Sign up for UNS Usenet and VPN service today and you’ll get a 14-day free trial of both!