Whether you’ve just sit down for your first coffee of the morning down at your local Stumptown Coffee Roasters or are trying to get some work done on your CenturyLink fiber optic line, there are plenty of reasons why you should be on the lookout for the best VPN for Portland, Oregon.
Portland is a town that’s known for a lot of things: coffee, beer, and hipsters, just to name a few. But, it’s also one of the fastest emerging towns in tech, with many companies setting up new shops and offices from Silicon Valley and planting their feet in the Pacific Northwest. Portland is also one of the pilot towns testing out the “full-city WiFi” programs, which aims to set up several high-powered antennas throughout the city limits that can provide free, ubiquitous WiFi to anyone who wants to use it.
City-Wide WiFi is a Hotbed for Hackers
This is a blessing and a curse, however. While free WiFi anywhere you go in the city might sound great on the surface, it’s important to remember that for every person signed onto that network, the threat of being hacked grows exponentially. Portland’s city council has opted to run with OpenDNS as a way to mitigate some of the threats that might present themselves on such an ambitious project, of course this is only half the battle.
It will still be some time before the city-wide WiFi goes live of course, so until then you’ll have to trust whatever WiFi your favorite coffee shop is offering, or even what you might find down at the Moda Center during their next big event.
You can find a full list of all the free WiFi spots offered by checking out the website linked here.
And it’s here we come to the central issue of the problem: trust. It can be difficult to know what WiFi you can and can’t trust these days, which is why it’s so important to employ the use of a VPN.
According to Norton’s annual cybersecurity report/roundup, over 594 million people suffered some level of cyberattack in 2016, while upwards of 12% of all Americans who shopped online that year had to deal with their financial data being compromised in one fashion or another.
A VPN is a surefire way to guarantee that no matter what information you’re transmitting (or who you’re transmitting it to), it will be completely protected from any prying eyes which may be trying to steal it away from you in transit.
Local ISPs Turn Up the Heat
But why should public WiFi be the only place where you’re protected, right? If you’re familiar with the ISP situation in Portland, you know that just like everywhere else in the country, coverage is only guaranteed by a select number of controversial companies.
First there’s the ubiquitously-despised ISP who everyone loves to hate: Comcast. Comcast offers speeds up to 200Mbps for residential customers, which is decent, but then you remember that the fiber optic game has come to town thanks to the help of the only other provider in the region - CenturyLink.
CenturyLink is a company that has been rushing to fill the gap left by Google’s original promise to bring its Fiber service to Portland by 2018. After the internet search giant backed out of their deal, CenturyLink pounced on the opportunity, and offered up the only solution you could find if you wanted a true 1Gbps up/down connection.
But, for all that speed CenturyLink advertises, for whatever reason (customers believe it might be intentional throttling, but there’s no way to prove it for sure), performance on YouTube in Portland is absolutely dismal compared to anywhere else.
Even though I’m running off a hardwired 1Gbps connection (and it consistently tests as such on SpeedTest.net), I’m lucky if a YouTube video will load at even 240p before I can actually watch the whole thing through without needing to buffer again halfway through. Some suspect that this throttling is intentional, perhaps as a sort of a trial run for what it might look like when the company decides to nix net neutrality and start charging for fast lane access - though these suspicions haven’t technically been confirmed by anyone at the company just yet.
This is a known issue for customers of CenturyLink, and for now the only fix seems to be by circumventing a plain connection and going with a VPN instead! By using the Seattle node of the VPN.com network (from over 50+ locations available worldwide), I’m able to regularly achieve speeds of well over 300Mbps, while YouTube flawlessly loads in an instant for every video I visit. Unless I’m transferring large files over long distances (a rarity in the writing world), this is more than enough to make sure I’m never interrupted while working on my daily tasks.
If you’re tired of CenturyLink throttling your YouTube videos or just want a better way to protect yourself while you’re browsing on Portland’s incoming public WiFi service, a VPN is definitely the way to do it.
Choose the Right VPN for Portland with VPN.com
VPN.com is dedicated to providing users in Portland, Oregon with the best possible service at a level of performance and professionalism that is unmatched in this industry. Our servers only use the highest grade of encryption technology on the market today (256-bit AES), without ever having to sacrifice your speed to make sure you’re always as protected as you need to be.
So if you’re taking a ride up to Pittock Mansion on one of the rare sunny days we get out here or just want to spend a night blasting away at retro baddies down at Ground Kontrol, you should always keep your devices protected with a VPN that won’t slow your speeds or leave you cursing CenturyLink yet again over another throttled YouTube video!
Check out all available plans at VPN.com to find the price that best suits your needs, and remember fellow Portlanders - proper protection for you and your family on the web is out there, you just need to know where to look!