Google still localizing despite connection to foreign VPN

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by gumbyy, Mar 31, 2011.

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  1. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    On several occasions, when I've connected to Hotspot Shield and get an IP address in the US or other country, and go to google.com, Google still seems to know my real location and I get the localized Google for the Asian country where I reside. Baffled by this, I tried a number of things, including deleting all cookies, all tracking cookies, and disabling Firefox geolocation. Even after doing these things, Google is still coming up localized for my resident country.

    Yahoo.com, which also localizes, is not localizing, it's taking me to the US page as it should.

    I tried connecting also with a different VPN, ProXPN, and don't get the localized google.

    I checked my Hotspot Shield IP with a bunch of different online "What is my IP?" websites and they all say my IP is in the US or other country, not my real country.

    So what the heck is going on?
     
  2. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    Just tried Opera. It's doing the same thing.o_O
     
  3. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    try with disabled javascript
     
  4. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    I found this review dated Nov 2010:

    http://alternativeto.net/software/hotspot-shield/comments

    I don't know if this review is correct, but you seem to have done everything correctly. I haven't tried Hotspot Shield, and I'm too lazy to try it just to confirm this.

    What do you see when you visit this site?

    http://browserspy.dk/
     
  5. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    I just tried it. Google redirects to localized version of an Asian country, Google's secure page(-https://encrypted.google.com/) shows the English page but has a link at the bottom to another Asian country, Bing shows the German version...

    So nothing important, their geolocation database is not perfect.


    P.S. The Ads are annoying. o_O
     
  6. redcell

    redcell Registered Member

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    Hotspot Shield is not really anonymous based on proxy check.

    Recently, I'm detecting a change in ProXPN (US server) routing - to China and Philippines locations. I'm not sure why or whether they did it on purpose.
    Before this change, I could happily signup new anonymous Gmail account since having a US origin. Not anymore for ProXPN.

    Security Kiss is still OK. It's responding correctly based on selected VPN server locations like "Go to Google Deutschland" if using German VPN.

    My other VPN services are also OK.
     
  7. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    Hi, I no more. When I visit that site and click IP address I get the information that my IP is in Houston, Texas. That screen only lasts for 2 seconds and then it is redirected to a site asking me to download Java.

    When I check other IP address websites, one tells me my IP is in Seychelles. Another reports the same IP address as the Seychelles address but tells me it's in New York City. Another tells me it's in California. Pretty strange.
     
  8. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    Yes, I've sometimes gotten the English page with a link to go to the localized page, which is also disturbing and unacceptable. So you think this is nothing important?
     
  9. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    that's a good idea. I will try it. but the problem is that today, Hotspot Shield is behaving correctly, and taking me to the US Google page. Yesterday it was taking me to the localized page. This problem happens to me occasionally, but not always. Now when I connect I always go to google to see if everything's okay, before i start surfing.

    next time it happens, I will try disabling javascript.

    It's very strange. It seems that sometimes Hotspot tells you you are anonymous--its icon is green, meaning you're connected to Hotspot--but you're really not. But the "what is my IP" websites still say you are.
     
  10. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    I just went there, that site is telling me I am anonymous, with IP address in US.

    I think ProXPN always gives me a US address. I will look carefully next time to see if this has changed.

    Hey, I never heard of Security Kiss. Seems to be another free VPN? I will try it out. Thanks.
     
  11. redcell

    redcell Registered Member

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    ProXPN (US server) gives US IP 173.xxx.x.xxx. But when surfing to Google-related sites (eg. https://encrypted.google.com/ or signup Gmail), it's giving China and Philippines localization which doesn't make sense.
     
  12. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Removed Off Topic Post.
     
  13. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    I don't understand why this would be the case. I thought they all localized based on IP unless geolocation is enabled in the browser.

    I guess I'll have to install Hotspot Shield out of curiosity. It's strange there isn't more information about the level of anonymity this VPN provides. I just hope it doesn't install a bunch of junk I can't get rid of when I uninstall.
     
  14. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    Sorry, I meant IP geolocation database, you know, like MaxMind or -www.ip2location.com etc, I think Google has its own database.

    btw I installed it in VM so getting rid of it was easy.
     
  15. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    Just to clarify, I meant to say Google, Bing etc are unable to correctly map Hotspot's IP to US, Google shows that localized version to anyone using Hotspot Shield regardless of their location.
     
  16. I no more

    I no more Registered Member

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    I tried installing this program, and, even after making numerous exceptions in my firewall that I normally wouldn't allow, it still failed to start up properly. Something about failing to connect to 127.0.0.1:895. I just gave up on it. It's probably some setting in my firewall blocking it.


    It's possible, but the OP stated that it was localizing to his country, which seems somewhat of a coincidence to me.

    I guess it's also possible that something in his browser (e.g. language) is advertising the country of origin, but I would think Google would interpret all VPNs the same way if that were the case.

    o_O
     
  17. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    Yes, IMO it's just a coincidence.
     
  18. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    Today Hotspot is back to its old tricks, taking me to the localized Google page despite deletion of all cookies.

    I then deleted cookies again and disabled Javascript but it still goes to the localized page.

    Today ProXPN is taking me to the Hong Kong google page for some reason (Hong Kong is not the country I'm in). It usually goes to the US page.

    I'd love to use ProXPN all the time but it's horribly slow. Hotspot is fast.

    I can't see how this would be a coincidence. You mean you think google chose the obscure country I'm in just due to a coincidence? I highly doubt it.
     
  19. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    I just tried Security Kiss for the first time. It took me to the US google page.

    I don't trust Hotspot at all anymore. Are there any other free VPNs with good speed?
     
  20. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Just to add to the thread I have been reading FF's privacy policy which led to the following quote regarding your Rights.

     
  21. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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  22. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    I suggest JanusVM.
     
  23. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    Firefox is lying. I installed Firefox 4.0 recently and Geolocation was enabled by default. FF never asked me to opt in.
     
  24. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    That's not the point, doktor. Yes, google.com/ncr will always take you to the English language page. The point is, how the hell does Google know what country I'm really in when I enter the generic "google.com" in the URL field if I'm using the Hotspot Shield VPN which gives me a US IP address? Why are they taking me to the localized google for the country that I'm really in, instead of the US google as they ought to?

    By the way, I've started using SecurityKiss. Yesterday it gave me a US IP and took me to the US google page when I went to "google.com". Today, it gives me an IP that's in Ireland but takes me to the US google page with a link to go to Google China. China is also not the country I'm in.

    The point is, I feel that Hotspot is not really shielding my location from prying eyes. And if they're not shielding my location, are they shielding anything at all?
     
  25. gumbyy

    gumbyy Registered Member

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    I've never tried Janus, though I've heard about it. It uses Tor, doesn't it? That's why I didn't try it before, because Tor is too slow. Or is it true that Tor is now fast, as I read somewhere?
     
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