Now how to choose a VPN / anonymizer service ?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Reve_Etrange, Mar 14, 2008.

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  1. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    Btw, that particular Kyle I spoke of is the same on who wrote JanusVM. I'm pleased to have him as a fellow team member, he is very smart. I'll talk to him about hooking up a service to SSH with JanusVM as a pre-package. I spoke with him the other day about that, I think he said he already included OpenVPN and SSH right into it.
     
  2. eternalbeta

    eternalbeta Registered Member

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    Thanks P2K, as always, your contribution has provided me with food for thought. The key issue here is most of all ISP (Phorm!)/P2P not the government as I don't think my surfing habits are of interest to them. Apart from that, I do like my privacy!

    So I'll be taking a look at Findnot (although I hail from Europe, it was the exit server of Secursurf which was based in Malaysia), a pity though that they haven't got any trial possibility to try it out like Xerobank (when it works that is).
     
  3. Reve_Etrange

    Reve_Etrange Registered Member

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    Do you take over every topic on privacy, XeroBank (the guy)?
    I don't want to be rude or anything, but it feels like having XeroBank (the product) thrusted down my throat. I guess XeroBank (the company) won't get hurt too much if one topic of Wilder's does not mention XeroBank (guy, product and company).

    Thanks Paranoid2k. I didn't know FindNot; does it have a good reputation?
    I will qualify my requirements, as it is no big deal if my ISP or the government can find out what I have been doing if they really want, provided it is not right there for them to scrutinize in plain text. I mean, if they want to go to court or analyse the IP packets, let them do so, it's not worth it lol. On the other hand, I certainly don't want neighbours or site owners to be able to get information about me.

    In addition, I need decent speed and JavaScript is a must (no Java is ok). Isn't 40$-ish/month a bit overkill for what I need? (genuine question, if it's what it costs, then ok)

    As of now, I have COTSE, secure-tunnel and FindNot on my short list. Sensible ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  4. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    Is it true?


    No, it's mandatory, I'm required by contract to make a guest appearance in all threads, and perform 2 shows a night in vegas. Perhaps if the username was different you would feel differently. I am very interested to find out what people want though.
     
  5. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

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    That iPhantom Router VPN Tunneling Device sounds interesting if it does everything it says it does its a bargain. Your correct it does not seem to be an item that the parent company really pushes. I did find it for sale through Trusty Files a P2P Application that I do not use or recommend. It was on sale for 89.95 dollars marked down from 119 Dollars. The issue would be that it actually works as advertised. It also says it includes an Antivirus & works on internet Gateways I suppose you coud say it was a complete internet security solution. Does it actually work?
     
  6. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I personally like to hear his input on anything concerning a VPN or internet privacy. As well as I appreciate Paranoid's input.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  7. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I asked one of their tech guys and they said they still offer it but don't advertise it up front anymore. I think that site that you mentioned is part of a program that they offered to get a commission from selling it.

    Aside from the fact that it is in the US, I think it is really cool. Just to let you know, to get secure DNS, you have to go into the security tab and select it. It has several different options there that I don't understand at all. But you can take it with you and use it on other computers.

    Something weird though. What is airlinereservations ? That is what the IP address lookup says. 208.70.74.13
     
  8. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    I don't know since I've not used it. That's why I suggest doing a forum search since it has been discussed here in the past. The two threads I linked to above also include very good pointers (specifically these posts).
    The Swedish-based Relakks service may be worth considering too. Others have complained about intermittent performance issues in the past, but they may have improved now.

    JAP's commercial service JonDonym (sounds more like a brand of condom than an privacy service...) is another option - it should be able to provide better performance than JAP itself (they do mention minimum speeds of 7-15KB/s, good for web access but P2P users should probably look elsewhere) and looks cheap enough to warrant a trial. They also plan to allow payment via PaySafeCard which would allow effectively anonymous purchase (any plans to offer a similar option XeroBank?).
     
  9. eternalbeta

    eternalbeta Registered Member

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    I have no problem with his contributions as he is knowledgeable on the subject and correctly identifies himself as Xerobank, he doesn't do so "anonymously".
     
  10. eternalbeta

    eternalbeta Registered Member

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    I've used them in the past and in principle they were OK although every now en then you would lose connection with their service while your internet went on in non-anonymous mode.

    What is worse though, if confirmed, Xerobank mentioned a 100% DNS leak otherwise I would use them again as it is a low cost service (even on a montly basis if you like).
     
  11. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    DNS leaks can be a concern if you think that your connection is being actively monitored (i.e. someone specifically looking at every packet you send or receive). However if your goal is avoiding data retention, it should not be an issue - no ISP is going to spend the resources necessary to log every DNS query generated by every user. Aside from the huge quantities of data involved, it would affect the performance of their DNS servers and a DNS query alone could not serve as proof since pings/traceroutes to a domain will trigger them.
     
  12. eternalbeta

    eternalbeta Registered Member

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    Thanks P2K for putting the DNS leak issue in perspective. As always, your contributions are very much appreciated. :D
     
  13. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    P2K,

    While the problem of the DNS leaks in slightly concerning, perhaps more so if you are German (and they are storing all connection data, and maybe DNS, on Jan 1 2009), that isn't the main problem itself. If the company is willing to be so cavalier to let all security be weak externally, that begs the question as to what they do internally where they aren't being monitored.
     
  14. Reve_Etrange

    Reve_Etrange Registered Member

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    I eventually settled for Cotse's SOCKS subscription ($10-ish), and so far so good. Connection speed is alright, and support got back to me within 24h when I asked for them. They provide several mail services that may come in handy, like email addresses [xxx]@[yournick].cotse.net (useful for registering on websites and you don't want to be spammed to death). There is some other stuff thrown in with the subscription, like web hosting, that I have not tested. All in all, it feels like these guys are good *NIX admins that have set up a solid infrastructure (so it's no big deal to them to offer various extra services), and they focus on doing that well.
     
  15. Webby

    Webby Registered Member

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  16. MikeNAS

    MikeNAS Registered Member

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    COTSE looks good but this isn't ok to me:

    * No p2p or filesharing. Incoming connections are the problem with these services, thousands of machines trying to connect becomes like a DoS attack to the SSH server.

    So I can't even download or share legal files :(
     
  17. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    That's how they keep their prices about 1/3 of others providing these services.

    Torrentfreedom is interesting. Canada though - ehh.

    edit: They claim to be in The Netherlands. Their WHOIS info is Private Registration through Network Solutions. According to WHOIS the servers are in Canada - not The Netherlands.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  18. MikeNAS

    MikeNAS Registered Member

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    https://unitethe.net/TorrentFreedom.html

    This TorrentFreedom user video show that server is in The Netherlands.
     
  19. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    You may wish to check out SpamGourmet for this - unlimited aliases with the ability to shut down ones that receive spam and a few optional features to stop spammers from "gaming" the system. You do need to enable reply address masking (to ensure that replies are sent via SpamGourmet, concealing your real email - this is disabled by default) but apart from that, it's an excellent system and free also! (it does rely on donations however).

    SpamGourmet isn't an email anonymizer though, so use it in combination with an anonymous address if you need that level of protection.

    Hope all goes well with your stay at COTSE - that was one service I did seriously consider myself a while ago - increasingly draconian US legislation was what ultimately put me off.
     
  20. MikeNAS

    MikeNAS Registered Member

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    SpamGourmet is very good. I have used that couple of years. Boxbe is other good alternative...
     
  21. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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  22. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I looked at paysafe and it looks like they are strictly European (no US option). But is there actually any type of anonymous payment option in the US? I mean don't you have to show ID even when you buy a prepaid credit card or use Western Union? As far as I know, you have to prove who you are no matter what method you use.
     
  23. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Oh. I thought ISP's automatically logged all of the websites that you visit.
     
  24. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    You don't have to show ID to purchase the most popular gift cards - the Simon Gift Card (available from Simon Mall properties) and OneGreatGiftCard (available at Macerich Mall properties). You walk up to customer service, hand them cash and get your card. It's that easy and that quick. They both work fine on the Internet with no problems. As for the pre-paid cards you buy at places like Walgreens, CVS and the like, they don't require ID, but you must register online with a social security number. The key word here is "a" and I'll leave it at that. If you're serious about your privacy you won't register your cards from your home/work IP and do it from a public hotspot. Do everything associated with your cards in this way, or, you can trust a VPN like XeroBank, Relakks, COTSE and others.
     
  25. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    Website connections and DNS queries are different types of traffic. While visiting a website will normally trigger a DNS query (to find the site's IP address, unless it has been cached from a previous query), most other network activities will do this too (email access, pings, etc). Therefore logging DNS traffic would not provide a reliable indication of online activity (a DNS query of domain "X.com" could not prove that you subsequently visited "X.com's Guide to Being an Internet Subversive") and it would not provide the level of detail (like the actual page of a site) that logging web traffic would.
     
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