VPN and automatic logins

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hoops777
Posts: 1996
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

VPN and automatic logins

Post by hoops777 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:11 pm

Quick question about using a VPN.I am trying out Nord and thought that a site like bogleheads might not recognize me and log me in automatically.Every site has logged me in like nothing is different, I am misunderstanding something about using a vpn.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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samsoes
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am

Re: VPN and automatic logins

Post by samsoes » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:26 pm

Sites will recognize you based on the information stored on your computer ("cookies" and other browser fingerprinting mechanisms). Visiting a site through a VPN merely changes your IP address making it look like you're connecting from a different place (different IP address). If you use the same browser configuration, with the same fingerprint, etc., with and without a VPN, the site will still recognize you.

The anonymity features of a VPN have to do with logging your activity from the standpoint of your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If your ISP is Comcast, Comcast will see you went to Bogleheads. If you go to Bogleheads through a VPN, Comcast won't know where you went (data is sent to the VPN encrypted), but your VPN will know (although VPNs claim not to log activity). Of course, you have to trust that the VPN doesn't actually keep logs, and aren't participating in their own hacking attacks with their customers' data. YMMV.

And please don't use a VPN to do something illegal. Its best legitimate use is to guard against man-in-the-middle attacks at public WiFi hot-spots, hotels, etc.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren at Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

hoops777
Posts: 1996
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: VPN and automatic logins

Post by hoops777 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:38 pm

Thank you.I was considering vpn to use when we travel because we changed our cellular plan and took the iPad with cellular off,for now.I never use public wi fi So was looking in to this.I thought it would be a pain in the butt because the sites I go to would not recognize me.I am on a 3 day trial and was surprised to see no difference,thus the posting.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

ccieemeritus
Posts: 433
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:43 pm

Re: VPN and automatic logins

Post by ccieemeritus » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:09 pm

Lots of people get NATted to the same IPv4 address. So a website that used the remote IP address as some sort of authentication would be horrifically insecure. So they don’t do that any more.

What they sometimes do is identify your country from your IP address and enable/disable services based on that. BBC and HBO are examples. They just aren’t licensed to provide their content in all countries.

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