Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

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azurekep
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Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by azurekep » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:02 pm

Now seems to be a good time to get reacquainted with VPNs. I used one several years ago in conjunction with work, but don't really remember the particulars.

Here are some starter questions:

1. Will a VPN cut down on broadband speeds? (Think DSL as well as FIOS)

2. What are some of the more reliable VPNs?

3. What is the typical monthly charge?

jayjayc
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by jayjayc » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:38 pm

azurekep wrote: 1. Will a VPN cut down on broadband speeds? (Think DSL as well as FIOS)
Most likely yes. Your broadband speed will be the ceiling so the very best a VPN can do is match the broadband speed.
azurekep wrote: 2. What are some of the more reliable VPNs?
I use Private Internet Access. It's been very reliable so far. I really like how they have apps to easily connect to the VPN without having to manually configure my phone for it. This is especially useful when I connect my mobile device to hotel and airport WiFi.
azurekep wrote: 3. What is the typical monthly charge?
PIA is $40/year.

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whodidntante
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by whodidntante » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:48 pm

azurekep wrote:Now seems to be a good time to get reacquainted with VPNs. I used one several years ago in conjunction with work, but don't really remember the particulars.

Here are some starter questions:

1. Will a VPN cut down on broadband speeds? (Think DSL as well as FIOS)

2. What are some of the more reliable VPNs?

3. What is the typical monthly charge?
There is always some overhead particularly with latency, but a good VPN provider will be able to keep up with your Internet connection in terms of download speed. Even the latency is OK if you pick a nearby server.

I've used PIA and TorGuard and I like them both.

With an annual plan and a promotion, you can pay about $30/yr. For example:
https://slickdeals.net/f/9857648-torgua ... SiteSearch

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XtremeSki2001
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:12 pm

Curious if anyone uses a VPN to to tunnel their back-ups to say Carbonite? Anyone use VPN for their SMART TV internet connection?
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bluebolt
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by bluebolt » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:28 pm

jayjayc wrote:
azurekep wrote: 2. What are some of the more reliable VPNs?
I use Private Internet Access. It's been very reliable so far. I really like how they have apps to easily connect to the VPN without having to manually configure my phone for it. This is especially useful when I connect my mobile device to hotel and airport WiFi.
I just tried to go to https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ and got an invalid cert error. Not terribly confidence inspiring.

blueman457
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by blueman457 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:32 pm

bluebolt wrote:
jayjayc wrote:
azurekep wrote: 2. What are some of the more reliable VPNs?
I use Private Internet Access. It's been very reliable so far. I really like how they have apps to easily connect to the VPN without having to manually configure my phone for it. This is especially useful when I connect my mobile device to hotel and airport WiFi.
I just tried to go to https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ and got an invalid cert error. Not terribly confidence inspiring.
Google started banning some of the certificates made by Symantec due to some poor quality control. Not PIA's fault.

https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/0 ... tps-certs/

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by bluebolt » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:49 pm

blueman457 wrote:
bluebolt wrote:
jayjayc wrote:
azurekep wrote: 2. What are some of the more reliable VPNs?
I use Private Internet Access. It's been very reliable so far. I really like how they have apps to easily connect to the VPN without having to manually configure my phone for it. This is especially useful when I connect my mobile device to hotel and airport WiFi.
I just tried to go to https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/ and got an invalid cert error. Not terribly confidence inspiring.
Google started banning some of the certificates made by Symantec due to some poor quality control. Not PIA's fault.

https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/0 ... tps-certs/
Interestingly, it's not showing that issue any more. May have been a transient thing.
It's clever that PIA lets you pay with gift cards so you can use it anonymously.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by runner3081 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:36 pm

Have been using WindScribe Free for the past year. No issues whatsoever.

Bfwolf
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by Bfwolf » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:53 pm

I generally don't worry about VPNs as I don't use a lot of unknown Wifis, but when I take long international trips, I do. I have used free services like CyberGhost and some free iPhone apps and they stink. Recently got a month of ExpressVPN and really liked it. It's pricier than some of the others though.

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triceratop
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by triceratop » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:55 pm

Bfwolf wrote:I generally don't worry about VPNs as I don't use a lot of unknown Wifis, but when I take long international trips, I do. I have used free services like CyberGhost and some free iPhone apps and they stink. Recently got a month of ExpressVPN and really liked it. It's pricier than some of the others though.
I think the concern prompting this thread is with the privacy of one's own internet connection, given possible policy changes. The intention is to not have the focus be on that aspect though.
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dave_k
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by dave_k » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:04 pm

+1 for PIA. I have gotten tens of megabits per second sustained speeds with them (on a 60mb connection).

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Conch55
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by Conch55 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:11 pm

Are those using PIA doing so for their entire home network by modifying their router or using the application on specific devices?

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by dave_k » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:02 pm

Conch55 wrote:Are those using PIA doing so for their entire home network by modifying their router or using the application on specific devices?
Only on specific devices for certain applications.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by investordoc » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:26 pm

+1 PIA. Use it on specific devices when away from home ie Starbucks, Hotels etc.
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:34 pm

Conch55 wrote:Are those using PIA doing so for their entire home network by modifying their router or using the application on specific devices?
That's what I'm thinking. Would be easier for the family to just put it on the router via DD WRT.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by azurekep » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:09 pm

jayjayc wrote:
azurekep wrote: 1. Will a VPN cut down on broadband speeds? (Think DSL as well as FIOS)
Most likely yes. Your broadband speed will be the ceiling so the very best a VPN can do is match the broadband speed
I recently "downgraded" to a slower broadband speed to get a much better price. That may have been unfortunate timing. So I'm wondering now if it's possible to try a VPN like PIA for a couple of months to see how ti works out. Or is one bound by a longer-term contract?

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by ericmc » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:34 pm

I recently "downgraded" to a slower broadband speed to get a much better price. That may have been unfortunate timing. So I'm wondering now if it's possible to try a VPN like PIA for a couple of months to see how ti works out. Or is one bound by a longer-term contract?
You can sign up for monthly, just cost more per month than a longer term would.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by Afty » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:42 pm

Why do you want to use a VPN? Do you have reason to believe that the company providing the VPN is trustworthy enough to proxy all of your internet traffic? Do you trust them to write secure code?

https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/0 ... re-secure/

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JoMoney
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by JoMoney » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:58 pm

I use a VPN for work, and have used VPNs to make it look like I'm in the U.S. when I'm actually overseas. It's handy if I have to visit a website that blocks access from non-U.S. locations, other than that though... I find it hard to imagine a scenario why someone would need one for personal use accessing the Internet... although I know someone who does have a highly connected/automated house and uses a self-run home VPN for remote access to all his home automation "stuff".
Using a VPN means having to encrypt all the data going through the VPN (often data that's already been encrypted), and requires additional hops to get the data to you. They will eat up more bandwidth from the encryption, and will lower speeds than a more direct connection for multiple reasons.
The VPN can be useful to mask where you're coming from to everything you connect to through the VPN, but on the flip side the VPN operator can see absolutely everything you connect to and where you're coming from. You're also susceptible to spoofing and man-in-the-middle attacks by whoever is running the VPN network you're tunneling through. You better have a very high degree of trust with your VPN provider.
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in_reality
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by in_reality » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:00 pm

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
Conch55 wrote:Are those using PIA doing so for their entire home network by modifying their router or using the application on specific devices?
That's what I'm thinking. Would be easier for the family to just put it on the router via DD WRT.
I bought a configured router from flashrouters (discount for cosmetic flaws) after trying to install DD WRT on two different cheap used routers (both supported DD WRT per the docs, but one didn't support a version that allowed openVPN and the other only supported an older version that I couldn't get to work). $80 for the router and $50 shipping (overseas). (+$45 wasted on used routers that didn't work)

I haven't been able to get the router to play nicely with Hulu, but the NordVPN client works on the iMac (so unfortunately that mean Apple TV is out).
jayjayc wrote:
azurekep wrote: 1. Will a VPN cut down on broadband speeds? (Think DSL as well as FIOS)
Most likely yes. Your broadband speed will be the ceiling so the very best a VPN can do is match the broadband speed.
Yes, it does for me. Much to much, but it may be an issue of the ISP. Buffering is an issue for video over the VPN, but never for video without the VPN. Will move in a few months and get a non-shared connection which hopefully will improve things during peak usage times.
azurekep wrote: 2. What are some of the more reliable VPNs?
I use Private Internet Access. It's been very reliable so far. I really like how they have apps to easily connect to the VPN without having to manually configure my phone for it. This is especially useful when I connect my mobile device to hotel and airport WiFi.[/quote]

azurekep wrote: 3. What is the typical monthly charge?
PIA is $40/year.[/quote]

NordVPN was $96 for two years. PIA was said to not support watching Hulu from overseas.

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Just sayin...
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by Just sayin... » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:20 pm

dave_k wrote:+1 for PIA. I have gotten tens of megabits per second sustained speeds with them (on a 60mb connection).
+1 here too for PIA. However, one downside was my inability to log onto my Schwab account when using PIA. After a phone call to Schwab technical support, I learned Schwab blocks access via a VPN. They claimed it was a hacker attack vector in addition to the usage being discussed here. :oops:

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segfault
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by segfault » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:24 pm

+1 for PIA. Netflix (and, I assume, other streaming providers) have gotten pretty good at banning people connecting through VPNs, so that's likely to be an issue with all of them.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by lazydavid » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:37 pm

If the goal is to protect your traffic from sniffing when you're on untrusted networks, you can actually roll your own VPN. Lots of home routers support some VPN variant, with OpenVPN being the most common. When away from home, you would VPN back to your router and use your home internet connection to go back out. This protects you from snoopers where you are, at zero ongoing cost to you.

If your goal is to anonymize your traffic in general, obviously this doesn't work, since it all sources at your house.

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triceratop
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by triceratop » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:43 pm

lazydavid wrote:If the goal is to protect your traffic from sniffing when you're on untrusted networks, you can actually roll your own VPN. Lots of home routers support some VPN variant, with OpenVPN being the most common. When away from home, you would VPN back to your router and use your home internet connection to go back out. This protects you from snoopers where you are, at zero ongoing cost to you.

If your goal is to anonymize your traffic in general, obviously this doesn't work, since it all sources at your house.
People are increasingly desiring to protect themselves from possible snooping by their own ISPs. It is a reasonable concern given recent events.
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JoMoney
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by JoMoney » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:04 pm

triceratop wrote:
lazydavid wrote:If the goal is to protect your traffic from sniffing when you're on untrusted networks, you can actually roll your own VPN. Lots of home routers support some VPN variant, with OpenVPN being the most common. When away from home, you would VPN back to your router and use your home internet connection to go back out. This protects you from snoopers where you are, at zero ongoing cost to you.

If your goal is to anonymize your traffic in general, obviously this doesn't work, since it all sources at your house.
People are increasingly desiring to protect themselves from possible snooping by their own ISPs. It is a reasonable concern given recent events.
Quite a bit of traffic these days is going over 'secure shell' (HTTPS and the like) connections that are encrypted between the users web browser and the distant server anyway. I'm not sure why individuals want to hide where their traffic is going from their ISP (but trust a VPN provider ???), seems to me that this could make for some weird distortions in the way ISPs create peering arrangements.
I would rather my ISP know that they need to boost connectivity to some streaming video network, rather than think they need to increase connectivity to networks hosting some rogue VPN service provider.
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by azurekep » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:07 pm

triceratop wrote:

People are increasingly desiring to protect themselves from possible snooping by their own ISPs. It is a reasonable concern given recent events.
That's it exactly. It's pending legislation so we can't discuss, but people can check out the front page of their newspapers today and figure out what has motivated this thread. (Yes, there have been stories today other than healthcare. ;) )

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by azurekep » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:16 pm

runner3081 wrote:Have been using WindScribe Free for the past year. No issues whatsoever.
That sounds like a good place to start in terms of checking out speeds, the mechanics of a VPN, etc.. I usually wonder how free VPNs make money, but maybe that's less of a concern with WindScribe since they also have a premium service.

Edit: I just checked. They only offer the pay version for Linux. That's a non-starter for me.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by kramer » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:11 pm

Just sayin... wrote:
dave_k wrote:+1 for PIA. I have gotten tens of megabits per second sustained speeds with them (on a 60mb connection).
+1 here too for PIA. However, one downside was my inability to log onto my Schwab account when using PIA. After a phone call to Schwab technical support, I learned Schwab blocks access via a VPN. They claimed it was a hacker attack vector in addition to the usage being discussed here. :oops:
Schwab definitely does not block access via VPN, I access my Schwab account that way from overseas all the time and so do some friends. Based on what they told you, it is possible they blocked a set of IP addresses from PIA VPN service that had been causing problems.

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in_reality
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by in_reality » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:16 pm

in_reality wrote: I haven't been able to get the router to play nicely with Hulu, but the NordVPN client works on the iMac (so unfortunately that mean Apple TV is out).
Oops, had the DNS setting wrong.

NordVPN impressed me with their very quick response. Wish Vanguard were that good!!!!

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by killjoy2012 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:25 pm

triceratop wrote:People are increasingly desiring to protect themselves from possible snooping by their own ISPs. It is a reasonable concern given recent events.
The problem is, in using some 3rd party VPN service, all you're accomplishing is trading one devil for another. Assuming you set it up correctly (no leaks), you're hiding your traffic from you ISP, only to entrust it all to the VPN provider. Why do you trust Andrew Lee (CEO PIA) and his swarm of off-shore admins more than your MegaCorp ISP? Wanna talk about a true man-in-middle security vulnerability? How secure do you think your banking TLS/SSL traffic is when your VPN provider can monitor the complete session setup?

Not trying to be argumentative, but please consider the implications. Would you be willing to route all of your traffic through my 'vpn service'? If I charged you $3/month, would it make you feel that I'm more professional/legit? Ever wonder how PIA could possibly pay for all of the network bandwidth you're consume by routing all of your traffic through them, for a measly $3/month? GBs of traffic. (As compared to how much you're paying your ISP for that same amount of bandwidth?) And be ready for Netflix and other services to break, as many content providers are going to block the major, well known VPN providers.

If you really feel the need to VPN all traffic, I'd favor a DIY OpenVPN gateway setup on a free tier of AWS ec2 that you are the, and the only, admin of. Even then, there's nothing stopping Amazon from capturing your traffic and providing it to the NSA/FBI/CIA/Google Ads.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by azurekep » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:04 pm

killjoy2012 wrote:
triceratop wrote:People are increasingly desiring to protect themselves from possible snooping by their own ISPs. It is a reasonable concern given recent events.
The problem is, in using some 3rd party VPN service, all you're accomplishing is trading one devil for another. .
There are plenty of villians to take aim against, but to me, the prospect of an ISP selling our browsing history and other personal information without our consent is a good place to put up a fight. VPNs are not covered under this legislation, or at least it wouldn't make sense for them to be covered since they're basically protecting us from our ISPs.

Additionally, it's been mentioned that some VPN services can be purchased anonymously, through a gift card. As far as I know, no ISP allows for the signing-up of internet service anonymously or via a gift card.

Also, last time I talked to my ISP, they actually wanted my birth date. What a useful piece of information to combine with my browsing history! Along with my address, phone number and if I were just signing up, my SSN as well. VPNs may have flaws, but unless I am mistaken, they don't ask for birth dates, SSNs or other such personal information. And if a VPN did collect sensitive personal information, they would not be allowed to sell that information without our express consent -- unless these VPNs are included in the new legistlation, which again, wouldn't make sense.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:56 am

killjoy2012 wrote:If you really feel the need to VPN all traffic, I'd favor a DIY OpenVPN gateway setup on a free tier of AWS ec2 that you are the, and the only, admin of. Even then, there's nothing stopping Amazon from capturing your traffic and providing it to the NSA/FBI/CIA/Google Ads.
Thanks for adding this DIY suggestion. After looking into PIA and others, many sites block VPN. My household is cable free so we use Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Getting PIA set up via DD WRT only to find some services are blocked would be a pain.

I assume a DIY option is less prone to blocks given it would not be widely known.
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by pondering » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:29 am

Is there anyone here who thinks the 3 letter agencies can't monitor your traffic?

People should focus on honeypotting and logging their networks in addition to trying to secure their boundaries. For things of a transactional nature adapt services that use multiple authentication methods. Don't leave data out that you don't want read without encryption.
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:39 am

pondering wrote:Is there anyone here who thinks the 3 letter agencies can't monitor your traffic?
Of course they can monitor your traffic. Burglars can get into my home even though I lock the doors, doesn't mean I should keep them unlocked :D
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by terpfan122 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:46 am

azurekep wrote:
killjoy2012 wrote:
triceratop wrote:People are increasingly desiring to protect themselves from possible snooping by their own ISPs. It is a reasonable concern given recent events.
The problem is, in using some 3rd party VPN service, all you're accomplishing is trading one devil for another. .
There are plenty of villians to take aim against, but to me, the prospect of an ISP selling our browsing history and other personal information without our consent is a good place to put up a fight. VPNs are not covered under this legislation, or at least it wouldn't make sense for them to be covered since they're basically protecting us from our ISPs.

Additionally, it's been mentioned that some VPN services can be purchased anonymously, through a gift card. As far as I know, no ISP allows for the signing-up of internet service anonymously or via a gift card.

Also, last time I talked to my ISP, they actually wanted my birth date. What a useful piece of information to combine with my browsing history! Along with my address, phone number and if I were just signing up, my SSN as well. VPNs may have flaws, but unless I am mistaken, they don't ask for birth dates, SSNs or other such personal information. And if a VPN did collect sensitive personal information, they would not be allowed to sell that information without our express consent -- unless these VPNs are included in the new legistlation, which again, wouldn't make sense.


Great Points.

Additionally, we can apply the no free lunch concept here. In the connected world it is important to understand how service and product providers get paid. Many of the VPN providers out there generate revenue exclusively by selling a product that does not invade your privacy. Disclosures about logging and breaches can easily be researched. Personally I would rather "trust" my VPN provider vs my ISP. Accordingly, if one is taking their security and/or privacy seriously and using a VPN to accomplish this then free VPN providers should be avoided.

Other things have been mentioned that prompts me to point out another issue. There is often (but not always) a significant difference between privacy and security. Privacy is how information is used and what information is used, whereas security is how/if that information can be accessed. For example, everyone knows that Google controls ad-based revenue by using information about you to sell ads. However, at the same time Google also drives security by making websites more secure through https and identifying questionable websites. So, with all things being equal one could log into their Vanguard account while using Chrome (signed-in) on a non-VPN protected home wifi and feel reasonably secure that Google and Vanguard's efforts are securing your information. I would not however, use the same connection under a Google profile to browse, particularly if I want that history to be kept confidential.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by brcarls » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:27 am

Most ISPs these days are also in the content business. As long as they provide both internet access and content(e.g. cable TV) they have a conflict of interest.

Using a VPN gives you a personal slice of net neutrality since the cable company can no longer "shape" your traffic.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by dollarsaver » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:08 am

azurekep wrote:Now seems to be a good time to get reacquainted with VPNs. I used one several years ago in conjunction with work, but don't really remember the particulars.

Here are some starter questions:

1. Will a VPN cut down on broadband speeds? (Think DSL as well as FIOS)

2. What are some of the more reliable VPNs?

3. What is the typical monthly charge?
Picked up PureVPN the end of last year. Went on sale via Stack Social for $50 total for a lifetime membership. They're based in Hong Kong. They have a very large number of servers around the world. Getting started required a few chats with them;but, very good customer service and website. At home my TWC/Spectrum speed is 15-18 mbps. After connecting to one of their servers I check with speedtest.net and can get upwards of 50 mbps. I'm not very computer savy but I have no problem with speeds through their servers. Check out their website re: privacy.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by triceratop » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:59 pm

pondering wrote:Is there anyone here who thinks the 3 letter agencies can't monitor your traffic?

People should focus on honeypotting and logging their networks in addition to trying to secure their boundaries. For things of a transactional nature adapt services that use multiple authentication methods. Don't leave data out that you don't want read without encryption.
Is there anyone here that said they were interested in using a VPN to shield themselves from a 3-letter agency? The real reason for this thread is the conflict of interest that ISPs have regarding consumer privacy. Additionally, nobody is talking about security.
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by pondering » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:20 pm

You wrote (triceratop » 2017-03-25-12-59-10):

Is there anyone here that said they were interested in using a VPN to shield themselves from a 3-letter agency? The real reason for this thread is the conflict of interest that ISPs have regarding consumer privacy. Additionally, nobody is talking about security.[/quote]

Earlier in the thread someone posted:
"killjoy2012 » 2017-03-24-22-25-12

If you really feel the need to VPN all traffic, I'd favor a DIY OpenVPN gateway setup on a free tier of AWS ec2 that you are the, and the only, admin of. Even then, there's nothing stopping Amazon from capturing your traffic and providing it to the NSA/FBI/CIA/Google Ads."
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

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triceratop
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by triceratop » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:46 pm

It's not correct to say that because one points out a flaw in a *recommended* privacy solution relating to 3-letter agencies, that privacy from 3-letter agencies is the goal. In fact it's pretty much the reverse don't you think (otherwise....change the recommended solution?) ?

The real point behind that comment is the claim that that solution is more private than needing to trust a VPN not to snoop on you. You would see that if you included the full context, rest of the comment that you snipped out of the quote.
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by azurekep » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:26 pm

yorkpond wrote:
Picked up PureVPN the end of last year. Went on sale via Stack Social for $50 total for a lifetime membership. They're based in Hong Kong. They have a very large number of servers around the world. Getting started required a few chats with them;but, very good customer service and website. At home my TWC/Spectrum speed is 15-18 mbps. After connecting to one of their servers I check with speedtest.net and can get upwards of 50 mbps. I'm not very computer savy but I have no problem with speeds through their servers. Check out their website re: privacy.
I want to make sure I'm reading this right. You're getting much faster service through a VPN than from your own ISP???

To help round out the question, what is the rated or max speed for your ISP line? IOW, is 18 mbps the max speed listed on your ISP bill for your service? If so, what sorts of technical things might the VPN be doing to double or triple that speed? I know there are network parameters that can be adjusted and myself have used a "speed boost" app back in the dial-up days, but I don't remember what was involved.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by harrychan » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:38 pm

runner3081 wrote:Have been using WindScribe Free for the past year. No issues whatsoever.
+1

I've also been using windscribe for a few months now and got in when they had the deal where you got 50GB / month for free. I've noticed I barely use over 5GB and would happily switch to paid membership.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by azurekep » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:39 pm

triceratop wrote:

Is there anyone here that said they were interested in using a VPN to shield themselves from a 3-letter agency? The real reason for this thread is the conflict of interest that ISPs have regarding consumer privacy. Additionally, nobody is talking about security.
Yep. There are a lot of things to talk about these days but they seem to break down into:
  • [1.]Privacy
    [2.]Security, esp. financial security and protection from hackers
    [3.]Government snooping
I would venture to say that #1 and #2 are the areas most people are, or should be, concerned about. #3 is probably most relevant to people who correspond overseas, especially with "bad" countries, and may be swept up in that so called "incidental collection" that may require a special warrant. Of course, there is such a thing as "mission creep", which is a concern when it comes to governments.

The human brain is able to concentrate on only a few things at a time. It's enough having to protect both our privacy and security, let alone to have to worry about our government. But the more ambitious of us, I assume, would try to deal with all three issues.

But as for this thread, yes, privacy is the only concern.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by JoMoney » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:47 pm

Someone above mentioned setting up your own VPN via a hosted cloud computer (AWS or the like), rather than bother with the VPN system though, if you just used the hosted cloud computer as your primary desktop it would have the same effect of masking your home IP if all your web browsing etc.. was done via thin-client access to the hosted computer. It could theoretically give you higher speeds/bandwidth because if you're only browsing/downloading/streaming from the cloud hosted system you're using Amazons superior internet connection and just pushing relatively small remote desktop connection to your home system. You could even setup the hosted computer as a 'sandbox' that clears all history and reverts back to a static clean state every time you logoff.
The technology for pushing remote desktop thin clients has come a long way, you can get high resolution high frame rates over very low bandwidth now'a'days (look up stuff being done with 'cloud gamingn / Gaming as a Service') .
As far as using an ISP that doesn't have your personal details, that can be done as well. I'm not familiar with all the options currently in the U.S. but I'm sure they're there. Overseas I've used a service called FON several times for internet access, just searched for available WiFi connections and when FON was available I could buy an access pass for an hour, day, or month using a Visa gift card and anonymous email.
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by dollarsaver » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:29 pm

azurekep wrote:
yorkpond wrote:
Picked up PureVPN the end of last year. Went on sale via Stack Social for $50 total for a lifetime membership. They're based in Hong Kong. They have a very large number of servers around the world. Getting started required a few chats with them;but, very good customer service and website. At home my TWC/Spectrum speed is 15-18 mbps. After connecting to one of their servers I check with speedtest.net and can get upwards of 50 mbps. I'm not very computer savy but I have no problem with speeds through their servers. Check out their website re: privacy.
I want to make sure I'm reading this right. You're getting much faster service through a VPN than from your own ISP???

To help round out the question, what is the rated or max speed for your ISP line? IOW, is 18 mbps the max speed listed on your ISP bill for your service? If so, what sorts of technical things might the VPN be doing to double or triple that speed? I know there are network parameters that can be adjusted and myself have used a "speed boost" app back in the dial-up days, but I don't remember what was involved.
I disconnected the VPN connection and did a speedtest.net. Download was 30 mbps and upload was 5 mbps. I connected to a server using PureVPN located in Houston, TX and got 38 mbps download and 5 mbps. It seems to vary by server by location. Yesterday it connected to a server in Chicago, IL and the download was 50 mbps upload was 5 mbps. I am not especially tech savvy but these seem to be the accurate results. I could test other cities in the US and list them.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by reriodan » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:53 pm

Another +1 for PIA. Whatever you choose make sure they don't keep any logs.

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by communipaw » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:55 pm

If yiu use a VPN, does it hide your country so that you can receive UK, French German Netflix?

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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by dollarsaver » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:28 pm

communipaw wrote:If yiu use a VPN, does it hide your country so that you can receive UK, French German Netflix?
Yup, using PureVPN I can choose the country server and log on. I did try it using Canada and was easily able to watch Canadian TV online. I'm sure most VPN providers have numerous servers located all over the world.

azurekep
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by azurekep » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:47 pm

yorkpond wrote:
azurekep wrote:
yorkpond wrote:
Picked up PureVPN the end of last year. Went on sale via Stack Social for $50 total for a lifetime membership. They're based in Hong Kong. They have a very large number of servers around the world. Getting started required a few chats with them;but, very good customer service and website. At home my TWC/Spectrum speed is 15-18 mbps. After connecting to one of their servers I check with speedtest.net and can get upwards of 50 mbps. I'm not very computer savy but I have no problem with speeds through their servers. Check out their website re: privacy.
I want to make sure I'm reading this right. You're getting much faster service through a VPN than from your own ISP???

To help round out the question, what is the rated or max speed for your ISP line? IOW, is 18 mbps the max speed listed on your ISP bill for your service? If so, what sorts of technical things might the VPN be doing to double or triple that speed? I know there are network parameters that can be adjusted and myself have used a "speed boost" app back in the dial-up days, but I don't remember what was involved.
I disconnected the VPN connection and did a speedtest.net. Download was 30 mbps and upload was 5 mbps. I connected to a server using PureVPN located in Houston, TX and got 38 mbps download and 5 mbps. It seems to vary by server by location. Yesterday it connected to a server in Chicago, IL and the download was 50 mbps upload was 5 mbps. I am not especially tech savvy but these seem to be the accurate results. I could test other cities in the US and list them.
Interesting. Thanks for doing the tests.

communipaw
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Re: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Post by communipaw » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:56 pm

Yup, using PureVPN I can choose the country server and log on. I did try it using Canada and was easily able to watch Canadian TV online. I'm sure most VPN providers have numerous servers located all over the world.
Thanks for the information.

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