Now how to choose a VPN / anonymizer service ?

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

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  1. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Wonderful! Thanks for explaining that.
     
  2. Jon Lund Rasmussen

    Jon Lund Rasmussen Registered Member

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    You can get a month for free at Relakks.com - it's a swedish service and it works very well!

    Code:
    https://www.relakks.com/
    Only EUR 50.00 for 12 months.
     
  3. MikeNAS

    MikeNAS Registered Member

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    Yeah but I (we?) don't want to use PPTP.
     
  4. Jon Lund Rasmussen

    Jon Lund Rasmussen Registered Member

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    Okay, sorry, should've read the thread... you probably give reason to that somewhere in this thread, so will read instead of ask ;)
     
  5. Reve_Etrange

    Reve_Etrange Registered Member

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    It's okay, PPTP is not a no go for me.
    However, several people advised me against relakks, based on their poor support and quality of service - according to them.
     
  6. fuzzylogic

    fuzzylogic Registered Member

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    you could always give it a try, a month trial will certainly give you an idea of the service. Relakks wasn't the best service, its good enough to surf with, i had it for a month but its constant dropouts were a pain. it may of improved since i've used it.
     
  7. Jon Lund Rasmussen

    Jon Lund Rasmussen Registered Member

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    Hmm... yeah I have to say, for the time I've tried it, it hasn't been completely stable. Sometimes it can't connect and one time it just lost connection.
     
  8. SafetyFirst

    SafetyFirst Registered Member

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  9. Genady Prishnikov

    Genady Prishnikov Registered Member

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  10. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    I have used Total Net Shield for several years, and am quite pleased with the service. It is fast and reliable (but not inexpensive), and technical support is excellent.
     
  11. SafetyFirst

    SafetyFirst Registered Member

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    Reve_Etrange asked about Findnot's reputation and I thought those posts might be helpful.

    Now would you tell us something about Privacy.li that we don't know? Do you have any proofs to support your statement? What do you base your claims on?

    Thank you.
     
  12. Genady Prishnikov

    Genady Prishnikov Registered Member

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    Not to be flip, but a simple Google search will give you plenty to read.
     
  13. fuzzylogic

    fuzzylogic Registered Member

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    just look at some of their topics and you'll just see how outrageous and downright racist they are at times, a golden one has to be how all the rich are jewish and how they are apart of some new world order to how 40,000 were in the WTC and not one died, just read the general news section for some great conspiracies, if you believe this then go ahead, everyone else avoid it like the plague.

    getting back on topic, privacy services are all up to what you are trying to protect and how much trust you place in one or more systems, there isn't a perfect solution from being completely anonymous. If anything these systems will only tools that can help protect you privacy from the perils and its up to you to use some common sense in how you protect your online information and how big your imprint on the internet is.

    I believe this thread will become a flame war long before any conclusion is drawn so let me sum up the information here.

    Depending upon what you need will depend upon what service is offered. They are only as good as you are at using them.

    Web based proxy(proxify, the-cloak, megaproxy): services like these conceal you ip from any web site you visit. however your isp will still see what you are doing unless its uses SSL and they are not perfect is concealing data tracking and retention. as pointed above pops and such will still reveal your true ip address.

    HTTP proxy (Cotse): move you entire web broswing session through a server, but again unless encrypted are only as good as web based proxy.

    SSH tunnel(anonymizer total net shield, secure tunnel): much like above but these are encrypted sessions are they protect not only you ip address but againest tracking, data retention and you isp cannot see anything more than your connect to that server. unfortunately you need to configure any application to use this connection.

    VPN (relakks, swissvpn, xerobank, metropipe, findnot, etc): top of pile when coming to anonymity on the web, these will push all communications to the web regardless of application through these connections, thus all connections push through this connection and no configurations are required, speeds are all dependent upon where the server is located.

    I left out logs for one good reason, everything on the web generates a log, and as such how these logs are dealt with is dependent upon policy and where the service is located, If this is a big deal to you then avoid countries like the USA and UK and focus on countries like sweden and the netherlands. Through again it all depends upon what you looking at and how legal it is, if you have nothing to worry about if keep on the straight and narrow.

    Feel free to add to this, this is only my understanding and a few things may of been left out. Make sure you look at the policies regarding a protenial service and good luck. (/rant mode off)
     
  14. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    Just to add some more info to help people make informed decisions, I would like to put forward some more information I found recently. SecureTunnel, whom I like as some of the best regarding speed (1mbps+), use multi-hop SSH. However, all the hops are in the same datacenter in Virginia (Langley? heh), so no wonder the QoS was good across the network. Additionally, they may developing an OpenVPN solution sometime in the future, but I have no idea when that may be. So that sheds some light on info we didn't have before.

    Fuzzy, i suggest taking anonymizer, relakks and findnot off the list, they aren't very serious about security at all, but you probably know why.

    Read everything, ask a lot of questions, take all the answers with a grain of salt.

    -Steve
     
  15. fuzzylogic

    fuzzylogic Registered Member

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    thats for the added information xerobank about secure tunnel, another good service. The reason i'm not going to remove anonymizer/relakks/findnot is for one fact, they are choices for people to research and find out whether or not they are suitable to their own needs. Relakks for sure is a poor choice, anonymizer fills the gap for people whom like to have a solution there and forget about it (many here use total net shield, anonymous surfing i'm not sure), and findnot i've never really found any solid truth.

    thats how people learn by looking at choices and researching them, for that reason i will leave them be.

    Something i didn't add in my last post was anonymous networks. The three are TOR, JAP and I2P. Most well known is the TOR network, which works with a 3 hop proxy jumps, all whom add another layer of encryption which ends at the exit node. it chooses a different 3 way hop for both upload and downloads which change every 10 minutes, this has the advantage of making it harder to trace. however the TOR network is not without fault, it is maintained by volunteers and therefore the burden of trust is put on unknown volunteers, some whom have used information gathered for any use. JAP uses the same 3 proxy hop (called mixes) with encryption but these mixes are known both to the user and JAP but which proxy will mix the data around and send it on to the next mix. this way data cannot be traced to any one user. the JAP network has both a free and paid version which only differs in speed and access to better proxy chains. the next one is I2P, this uses encrypted tunnels of various hops. the network is entirely independent and uses peers to maintain tunnels. the network is in a pre-alpha stage and the developers maintain that the network is not for people whom are serious about anonymity. for more info click here

    theres some more information for anyone looking at anonymous services, be aware those that they are not quick as the commerical services and thus don't abuse them as they are maintained by people for web browsing only and not for high bandwith like youtube, rapidshare or p2p.
     
  16. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

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    It's worth noting that JAP's default setup (Dresden-Dresen) is effectively just a single hop, though the other routes do involve 3 servers.

    The main difference between JAP and Tor's encryption (AFAIK) is that JAP uses a single layer of encryption between each mix, with mix servers decrypting incoming traffic and re-encrypting it for outgoing. With Tor, an encrypted channel is set up with each node in turn which means that traffic to node 1 has 3 levels of encryption, node 1->2 has 2 levels and node 2->3 has one level.

    Tor's implementation protects users from malicious interception/alteration of traffic by nodes 1 and 2 since they only deal with encrypted traffic (there's no way to do this with exit node 3 though, which has to send traffic in the clear). With JAP, mixes 1 and 2 may be able to view traffic contents but the potential for abuse is limited by JAP only allowing "trusted" operators to participate.
     
  17. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Why is it that everyone always mentions Relakks and Findnot as the alternatives for VPNs? And I am *VERY* confused as to why anyone would consider Anonymizer. Aren't they the company that was just bought out by government contractors? Wouldn't that be like paying someone your hard earned money to neatly collect all of your personal data? I have also seen a couple of other ones mentioned: https://www.intl-alliance.com/services.html and http://www.torrentfreedom.com. I guess these are both offshore. The torrent one is suppose to be fast.

    Anyway, I just got my one year XB cherry popped and they sent new credentials. I finally figured out what to do with them, hehe! I think it is by far the best service available but I like to keep some other choices around.....partly just for fun. I wish I had a background in computer technology. I am thoroughly amazed by it all.

    I also have one of those Metropipe Tunnelers (?) I have only opened 3 or 4 times. I open it with Returnil activated because I don't like anything making any alterations to my computer. XP Pro is barely noticeable. I do have a 20MB connection so it does slow me down a bit. So if I am downloading a moving in rapidshare, I sometimes download the first split link (ending in.001) under XB and then disable it for the rest. I can download 15 links at a time fast fast fast! I am pretty sure that you have to have that first link to join the rest.

    Also, a big reason that I trust XB and Steve is because I have read that he is associated with the Cult of the Dead Cow and Hacktivismo. I haven't really looked into them that much yet, but from what I have read, the CDC are are free thinkers, very creative (a huge plus for me), and they have a really cool sense of humor....HILARIOUS! I love it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDc_communications

    I certainly don't get the impression that they are Christian Right Fundies:argh: , nor do I get the impression that they are power hungry government thugs:doubt: . They appear to be very serious about human rights issues and I admire that. They are actually doing something besides just complaining about it. Bravo! So despite all of the criticism and lack of trust that some people have, I feel far more comfortable with Steve than I do any other service. People complain about not knowing who XB is, but Steve is here. Where are the Reps from Findnot, Relakks, torrentfreedom, or International Alliance? (I'll pass on Anonymizer)

    And of course I am impressed with Tor and I appreciate the EFF. Tor is just too slow for me to use often.
     
  18. fuzzylogic

    fuzzylogic Registered Member

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    have a search for torrentfreedom will provide that the owner is somewhat of a shady character, as for the service i have little knowledge of it. For the other services i use them for reference and not a recommodation. Relakks has the advantage of been in sweden and is very cheap but lacks any support or constant connection. i understand people do not trust anonymizer, its in the US, has a history of co-operating with US agencies and will not allow people to abuse its services, however it does provide privacy against data retention (i.e google), websites logging and does provide a degree of privacy for the average joe. Serious privacy advocates will need bigger and better protection and will look else were.

    the troubles with xb are not with the service but the lack of information that has been released about it. you can't find any options on the service beyond a few (and greatly repeated) PR articles about forecoming services that at the moment has not released. steve talks alot about xb being the mecca of all anonymous networks but has only released a network that is very much like the competition. I have tried a plus account which is prefect for web browsing but there are a few that offer exactly the same thing at even cheaper prices. I haven't tried the VPN offer but i'm not paying 35 dollars a month for VPN account. Even the beta was a disappointment, i was expecting a TOR like setup for entry/exit nodes but only found a clone of findnot like system setting up to different servers in different countries. months ago xb 2.0 should of been released and threads like this would be non-existent, but no its 3 months later and xb 2.0 continues to be a dream. what respect steve had for his project is evaporated from the constant lack of transparency, straight information and time put into xb. good luck to those whom use it but i've moved onto bigger and better systems.
     
  19. Hillsboro

    Hillsboro Registered Member

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    I think Fuzzy is right in most regards. Xerobank is much too expensive and 2.0 seems to have become vaporware. I think given their pricing scheme they have priced themselves out of the market and I imagine they are in cash flow bind given the global economy. They are a new kid on the block and it looks like a one-man operation and there is a lack of transparency. Lot of salesmanship but little else. What they are trying to do is not exactly leading edge technology. They are using openvpn just as Findnot, Steganos, et al are doing and server farms in other countries that I suspect are the same ones used by Findnot. There is just so much demand for these services and it looks like Xerobank got into the game a little too late to compete effectively and economically.

    One thing to be said for Swiss VPN is the price and it is always running and it does offer EAP-TTLS support. Relakks has no support, and is down quite a bit.

    Caspian mentioned a lack of presence here by the other VPN providers with the exception of Xerobank which is a startup and the price is right for them here. The fact is the others have an established track record, good or bad, and have their own forums or support channels. So there is no need to be here.
     
  20. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    Hillsboro,

    This is a neutral forum, a perfect place. We're all on equal footing here, whereas some other places inconvenient or unflattering threads can disappear. Hosting our own forum isn't an issue, it just isn't needed right now. I don't think this server is taking much of a pounding from this thread, do you?

    I'm not sure if you've checked the website out recently, but you may find a little more info there, specifically about the xerobank team. We've also been around a lot longer than most of the other guys, we just came together to form this service. We've been operating for about 6 years under private label. For the cheaper services out there, you're getting what you pay for. Xero offers a professional service meant to withstand everything short of global adversaries, the others out there can't stop leaking DNS requests, or operate entirely out of a single DC or jurisdiction. They don't have custom fabricated FOSS security software, multi-jurisdictional hops, multiplexed traffic for low observability, intelligent routing, hot backups, defense in depth encryption on servers, anonymized payment, identity/account separation, decentralization of administration, distribution of servers, self-destruct for mail and data, sweet-spot crowding for good anonymity, or immunity from surveillance societies. From what I can tell, there isn't any competition, everything else out there is just a commercial private proxy, this is real anonymity. Naturally some people are going to confuse how proud I am of our achievement with salesmanship because they don't understand these massive differences in offerings, probably because nobody else has ever offered them. Of course I'm proud of what we are doing here. This will advance the entire playing field of commercial and public anonymity design, we'll all be safer because of it. In fact, we already are.
     
  21. fuzzylogic

    fuzzylogic Registered Member

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    its seems very suspicious that as soon as a few people complain PUFF up comes a new website with people other than steve running the show and alot of new promises. i'd love to see another business just dump their product range and throw up another website. i'll give credit were its due, and say its a very good step. however it promises more now than ever and seems to suggest that its not going to deliver its previous promises.

    i can see the pride and principals that you stand for, how about getting other team members together and posting on this forum, otherwise its looks like another attempt making xerobank look at something that it really isn't.
     
  22. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    Well I told you new services and details were coming, people ask where they are, and then you see the new website and suddenly you're surprised? Of course, I can understand impatience for something you've been anticipating.

    Regarding other members, we post wherever we like. I sometimes post on wilders, and likewise the rest do their own things (or don't). Perhaps I can ask Kyle to occaisonally inhabit the xB Machine thread since it is mostly in his court now. I remember he was laughing at one of wide-eyed rants in the other xb thread, so I know he lurks. Kyle, are you reading this?
     
  23. Genady Prishnikov

    Genady Prishnikov Registered Member

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    A PERFECT example of your many unfounded claims. You throw this stuff out and then come up with a reason why you can't talk about it.

    Question: Could you explain your "private label" comment above? If not, chalk it up to another wild claim from your puff posts for Xerobank.

    As for not "needing" your own support forum yet - that says a lot.

    Your making it sound as if it's okay to use Mr. Wilders bandwidth for your marketing and support - also says a lot.
     
  24. traxx75

    traxx75 Registered Member

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    http://www.trilightzone.org/

    Has anyone had any personal experience with these guys or know anyone that has used them? I haven't been able to find much at all on them so far except seeing their name dragged into a poop-flinging match surrounding privacy.li, with whom they are apparently affiliated.

    I haven't seen any evidence of this so far and a quick search of the privacy.li forums hasn't shown anything, either.

    I'm not assuming for a minute that they're a completely anonymous service but they don't seem _too_ bad in terms of services provided and price :)

    thx

    traxx
     
  25. MikeNAS

    MikeNAS Registered Member

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    I really like Trilightzone SSH Privacy Tunnel & TriShell service options. So much what I can do with it and price is "very" cheap. Now I'm waiting what other people thought about it :D No I don't have it... yet.

    • All major operating systems supported like Unix, Linux, OSX, Windows and more.
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    • Virtually all applications supported like IRC, P2P, MSN, Newsgroups, FTP and so on.
    • All proxies are "High Anonymity" or "Elite Proxies" - no one can determine if you're using a proxy at all.
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    • We don't oversell so performance cannot suffer !
    • We developed a clear howto document with screenshots showing how to use your account - We keep updating the document based on feedback.
     
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