Picking 1st VPN service

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by securitynoob79, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    @tepe2

    I don't have optinions about any of those. Hotspot Shield is certainly very popular.

    For a free VPN, I recommend SecurityKISS.

    For a first paid VPN, I recommend AirVPN, Private Internet Access or SecurityKISS.

    I recommend against HideMyAss and EarthVPN.
     
  2. ad18

    ad18 Registered Member

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    Re: Good free VPN easy to setup and easy to use

    Hotspot Shield leaks your real IP address all the time. They also don't allow P2P. Private Internet Access is really fast (I get 40 Mbps no problems) but is US based. I would not worry about based on what you want to use it for.
     
  3. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    Thanks

    I did not know that :(

    I think I will use a VPN that is free. Is SecurityKISS easy to use/setup? Will it work with Utorrent?

    Other good free VPN? Any point using 2 free VPN? Or combine one free VPN with other solution?
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    @tepe2

    Free VPNs limit speed and usage, so you won't have a good torrent experience.

    If money is an issue, go with Private Internet Access for 40 USD per year.
     
  5. cb474

    cb474 Registered Member

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    mirimir, I know this has been presented frequently in this forum as a way to think through the question of how location effects VPN choice. I do wonder if it's more complicated than this.

    If a country is very authoritarian, therefore presumably willing to put extreme pressure on individuals and to operate in secret, then are there perhaps not ways to pressure a business to log activity and keep it secret? In addition, a small country like Malta may have far more interest in cooperating with larger more powerful and economically important countries, like the U.S. or countries in the EU, than protecting one tiny little business. Especially if they can keep any pressure and logging secret.

    As bad as things are with secret court orders in the U.S., that fact that Levinson was able to take the stand he did with Lavabit and had real recourse to courts that might really take his side is a measure of the relative openness and legal protections in the U.S. In a more authoritarian country, someone in Levinson's position might really have no choice but to capitulate.

    I suppose that with a business like iVPN that's incorporated in Malta, but I assume the actual owners and operators of iVPN do not live in Malta, there may be some protection. They would have to move their business, under pressure, but might not feel personally threatened by the Maltese government. In contrast, I assume the owners and operators of BolehVPN are Malaysian and are more susceptible to any pressure from their government (which I don't think has the strongest democracy).

    In the end, all things being equal, I think a more robust and open democracy, with a real rule of law, is probably preferable as a VPN location to an authoratarian regime that may or may not want to cooperate with other countries.

    We should also probably not forget that those regimes that are the most openly opposed to the U.S. (as an example), such as China, Russia, Iran, even (perhaps) North Korea (not that there are any North Korean VPNs), behind the scenes all have reasons to make deals with their global adversaries. There are all kinds of elements of trade, global finance, even things like prisoner swaps, that adversaries make deals over. There is always constant ongoing diplomacy between adversaries; they don't just spend all their time thumbing their nose at each other (although they do it a lot in the media, but that's usually more for domestic politics). I would think that throwing some tiny VPN business under the bus as some small part of a behind the scenes deal would be something an authoritarian regime would do in the blink of an eye, even at the behest of an adversary. These countries all have much bigger things that they want from each other, they're not going to hang it up over a tiny business.
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    @cb474

    We've been discussing these issues for years here on Wilders.

    You make some good points. However, while the US does have a fair and open legal system, overall, it's also home turf for the NSA.

    How can we know which are the best bets? I don't know. But I do think that it helps to hedge our bets by distributing trust. Tor is the best example, according to the NSA. VPNs are far less anonymous, but are much faster with lower latency.

    What's most important, I think, is learning how to pick the right tools for each job.
     
  7. cb474

    cb474 Registered Member

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    Yes, I've seen many of those other discussions, I've just never been that satisfied with what seem to be some of the generally accepted conclusions.

    I certainly agree that a VPN outside of one's own home legal jurisdiction is a good idea. So for those in the U.S., a U.S. VPN would not be idea. One does not want one's VPN to be subject to a court order from one's own government. (Although, as far as the NSA is concerned, it's really a mixed bag. To the extent that there are any restrictions on the NSA, they are within the U.S. NSA activities outside the U.S. are not restricted at all.)

    But beyond that, I think the assumption that the next most important factor is a VPN in a country less likely to want to cooperate with one's home country, is based on some pretty speculative leaps of logic (as I explained above). There are other factors that could be equally important. And in the end it all depends on a lot of political and economic realities and behind the scenes (often secret) relations between countries, that it's just hard for any of us to know. You'd probably have to be a legal, political science, and security expert on each country in question to even be able to make a halfway educated guess.

    So in the end, to me, it's not obvious that a country with poor relations with one's home country (regardless of the nature of its political regime) is better than a country with good relations with one's home country but that is a robust democracy and juridical regime.

    I think all of these factors (relations to home country, political regime, juridical regime, specific nature of privacy and surveillance laws) are potentially equally important and sorting out which factors matter most, in any specific real world case, may be beyond what any of us can really know.
     
  8. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    What does multi-hop mean? What is the difference between multi-hop and non multi-hop? Does it really matter when considering VPN solution?

    I have changed my mind. I will go for a paid VPN. From friends I have heard good things about IVPN. But they are too expensive. And so is BolehVPN. So I guess I choose among these:

    AirVPN
    Mullvad
    Private Internet Access
     
  9. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Multi-hop means that you're connecting through a chain of VPN servers, rather than through just one. With a two-hop VPN, you connect to one VPN server, and then through that VPN tunnel to a second VPN server in another country. That makes it harder for adversaries to trace your traffic through the VPN connection. But you're still counting on one provider to protect your privacy.

    From my experience, all of those are good. Private Internet Access is the least expensive.
     
  10. MrWayne

    MrWayne Registered Member

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    I think I'm going for AirVPN, but before paying for a subscription, I would like to ask something.

    I'm a little bit paranoid when it comes to privacy and security. I'm going back home for Christmas and it will be a pretty long trip. In my way back home, I'll have to check my email account for work related stuff so I'm almost forced to use the hotel's wi-fi. This is the main reason why I'm looking for a good VPN service.

    So, my question is: do you use a VPN just for surfing? Or do you use it also for checking your email and logging in different services such as online banking, forums, email, etc... ? Should I trust a VPN service for such purposes?

    Thanks in advance,
     
  11. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I use VPN services to provide online pseudonymity.

    People also use VPN services to provide security while traveling. However, for that it's better to run a private VPN server on your home LAN, rather than using a third party service. But I doubt that any of the VPN services that I've recommended would steal from you or whatever.

    What's important, though, is not using the same VPN service for both purposes. If you use it for checking your work email, or doing online banking, the VPN exit IP is associated with your true name. And if you're using the same machine for both sorts of activities, they're linked through browser fingerprint etc.
     
  12. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

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    The connection to your email account is also encrypted point to point, so the VPN can't really steal anything anyway.
     
  13. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    After 1 year with VPN4ALL, some months with AirVPN and some weeks with Boleh, my personal preference list is:

    1. Air
    2.VPN4ALL
    3. Boleh

    As soon as boleh has expired, I am gonna try PIA or back to Air.
     
  14. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    It would be interesting to know why you prefer Air over the other two. And why VPN4ALL before Boleh?
     
  15. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    My list:

    Private Internet Access
    Mullvad
    AirVPN
    BolehVPN
    IVPN
    SecurityKiss

    Too many to choose from. Need to make the list shorter.

    - which one include/does not include a kill switch?
    - which one is multihop/or not?
    - use on 'Win 7 laptop, Win 8 desktop, and maybe iPhone 5.

    I dont know anything about ip switch and shared ip. Is this important? What should I look for?

    I will use it with uTorrent.

    Price and payment method - not that important right now. I will look at this later.
     
  16. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Hey, compiling a list as long as that, of VPN services that none of us has vetoed, is quite an accomplishment ;)

    I'm not familiar with Windows clients, and so defer to others.

    iVPN is the only multi-hop VPN service on the list. Cryptohippie is also multi-hop, I believe, but they're expensive and cap monthly usage. Insorg is another multi-hop VPN service, but they've been unreliable in recent months. They're in Russia, and the government has been cracking down on Internet "hooliganism".

    Check their websites.

    All of those have shared exit IPs. Some may also offer dedicated exit IPs, for those who want to run servers, but otherwise you don't want that.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "ip switch". If you mean a traffic kill switch for VPN failure, it's not prudent to trust the VPN client for that. In Windows, use the Comodo firewall. You can find instructions in the AirVPN forums.

    Don't use iVPN for that ;) And don't try that with the free SecurityKISS plan, because it's slow and you only get 300 MB per day.

    Most of them accept Bitcoins now.
     
  17. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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  18. MrWayne

    MrWayne Registered Member

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    Thanks for the answer mirimir and PaulyDefran. I think I'll go with AirVPN then. Will post some feedback when I'm back from the holidays.
     
  19. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    Basically because its speed.
     
  20. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I don't know about PIA but I can tell you that airVPN does NOT contain a kill switch. I just tested Mullvad and it does in fact block internet access when the internet connection is interrupted and it will not allow your bare connection through. airVPN and Boleh have not added this feature. I have no idea why and they're not talking.

    Of the ones that I have tried, 3 contain a "kill switch":

    Mullvad
    Cryptohippie
    Riseup
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  21. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I must also add that I just tested MUllvad at speedtest.net and I got 20M download!
     
  22. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    Thanks Caspian. You are right. I can see that now. I read in AirVPN forum that you must use firewall to stop traffic.

    PIA has kill switch: https://www.bestvpn.com/blog/3711/private-internet-access-review/

    I dont know if I can trust the kill switch built in Mullvad and PIA. That would be great of course. Or maybe the use of a firewall is more reliable.
     
  23. Paranoid Eye

    Paranoid Eye Registered Member

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    Great info as always am glad mirimir mentioned with double hop your still trusting one company which is bad. It would be best to use different VPN providers to provider the same double hop effect or VPN tunneling as its known.

    I tried mullvad on speedtest few days ago and hit something silly to the point I realized it was fake since my connection was not that fast anyhow. Its best to sometimes do a more consistent and full heavy download of a large file to test real broadband speeds.

    I agree with cb474s thoughts also, I feel a VPN is better if its either moving around or sitting and running its service in a european country certainly not in the country like an english speaking country.

    Also yes Airvpn does not have a kill switch well it did not when I trialed them I questioned the admin over there ages ago and it appears a new client version was due soon but it never came about. I think this is bad service overall especially since others have IP leak and DNS protect options. If you are tech swavvy then its fine and can set up firewall rules or pfsense. An alternative is VPNcheck or VPNetMon which can do similar but at a cost.

    I like mullvad but may test ivpn or boleh once my months trial is up.

    PIA is US based according to the other thread here so more risky and not worth it.
     
  24. Paranoid Eye

    Paranoid Eye Registered Member

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    I too think its best to use firewall rules however I tried to follow the only guide I could see which was on airvpn regarding blocking and allowing rules with comodo firewall but the guide was very old and wrong even on step 2! it also skipped how to configure some options and I gave up.

    If anyone has any simple and up to date guides on how to prevent IP and DNS leaks on comodo firewall it would be appreciated very much.
     
  25. lucygrl

    lucygrl Registered Member

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    Anyone tried PRQ in Sweden? I understand they offer VPN as well as other services. From my understanding they hosted the Wikileaks website.
     
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