Those of us living outside the US and Europe are sometimes blocked from accessing sites that we may want to access. One way to get around this and also to ensure anonymity when browsing is through the use of IP blocking software. I was recently provided with temporary use of hideipvpn to write a review. Here it is:
How hard is it to set up?
It was very straightforward to set up. Speaking as a technical communicator the instructions were clear and easy to follow.
Is it hard to connect and disconnect?
Not at all. You connect and disconnect as you would for any other internet connection.
Is it legal?
Although I am not a lawyer from what I understand it is legal. There is no law stating that you have to show your IP, it is like blocking your phone number from caller ID
Does it work?
Yes it certainly does. I confirmed this by first of all going to a site that you can use to look up IPs and it showed my IP as being in LA California USA, I then went into Google News and in the local news section instead of Israel it gave me news from Seattle. Finally I signed into a site whose access is blocked to IPs outside the USA and I was able to enter.
Third, does it slow your browsing?
Yes it does. I went to a site that checks your browsing speed and checked with the hidden IP and with my normal IP. The download speed of the hidden was slightly half that of my normal IP. The upload speed of the hidden IP was slightly slower. I repeated the test three times and got similar results each time.To be honest in normal browsing and streaming I didn’t notice any difference.
For additional details about the product see http://www.hideipvpn.com.
How many of your clients have you met? I got to thinking of this question because I recently made an unexpected trip outside of Israel for two weeks. I took my laptop with me and left my cellphone on, and I can honestly tell you that except for clients who I told that I wasn’t in the country, no one would have known. For technical writing there is usually a real need to meet the client. For documenting hardware this is a must and for software it is generally helpfully to get a face to face explanation. In the medical writing world, however I have not actually met many of my clients. It is usually sufficient that they send me material and we speak on the phone. I spoke to a colleague of mine in the States in the medical regulatory field and she said that she estimates that she has actually met only about 5% of her clients. In Israel, probably because the country is so small and about half of it is sparsely populated desert it is expected that you should have at least one face to face with the client.
To tell you the truth I prefer it this way. If I don’t get out of my home office at least a couple times a week I go stir crazy and it is also interesting to visit new companies and meet new people. I also think that projects generally go smoother and you are more likely to get additional projects if the client has a face to attach to your e-mail address and phone number.
In an earlier post I wrote about why when you are starting out it may be worthwhile to work for free. However, once you are established, with the exception of volunteer work, you should try to avoid working for free. Here are a few tips:
1. Don’t agree to work for free. Makes sense right? I sometimes still get potential clients who want me to do a small project for free so that they can judge my work before deciding if they want to work with me. I refuse. I explain to them that I have been in the field for more than 15 years and will be glad to send them as many examples and recommendations as they want, but I wont work for free. I also explain to them that if they are unsatisfied with the work they will not have to pay.
2. Don’t do any work until you get a purchase order or e-mail authorizing you to go ahead. I’ve been burned by this several times. The client says that the PO is on its way and that I should start working in the meantime. Do not ever do this unless it is some one who you have worked with in the past and you know the people involved.
3. Try and find out something about the financial health of the company before you start working. Did they turn to you because they stiffed the previous writer? Are they about to go under? Do you see lots of empty desks? If you have doubts try and get as much money as possible up front.
Here’s a video that nicely complements this post: http://www.vendorclientvideo.com/