VPN Novice Looking for A Second Home

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by ChillB, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. ChillB

    ChillB Registered Member

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    A relative novice in the VPN arena.

    Currently using Perfect Privacy. Like their security reputation, Multihop, Kill Switch, Trackstop, no logs, their own servers, etc. Have some non-technical issues which I won't list here.

    What other VPN's offer the above security. Was considering AirVPN which has a good rep but no multihop, no IPv6 support...Boleh? VPNarea, ZorroVPN? Then there's the 5/14 Eyes issue which, I guess should matter...

    The reviews out there are so contradictory. For example, so many recommend VPN's but then I read the reviews here and wonder: https://restoreprivacy.com/vpn-reviews/
    and https://thatoneprivacysite.net/blog/

    Thanks

    PS - While the second site is very good and thorough, i found that once I chose a seemingly good group of mostly 'green' VPN's from the chart, I went to reviews and they are torn apart in the Final Thoughts'.. Confusing for a novice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Most "reviews" that you'll find online are marketing BS. Both TOPG and Sven are honest, however.

    Many of us on Wilders have been recommending AirVPN, BolehVPN, IVPN, Mullvad and PIA for years. I don't see any reason to stop recommending any of them. I'm sure there are many other great ones. But I mostly know the ones to avoid, such as HMA ;)

    Some people obsess about the 5/14/? Eyes issue. But the NSA and their friends don't get access through negotiation/pressure on providers. They just get intercepts by compromising ISPs and such. So for such adversaries, it doesn't really matter what jurisdiction a VPN service operates from.

    It's important to note that PIA, which operates from the US, prevailed in US court with the "we don't keep logs" argument, regarding some kid who emailed a bomb threat or whatever. However, firms operating from the US are vulnerable to National Security Letters. And that's probably also the case for firms operating from countries that the US has agreements with. Maybe that's more-or-less the 5/14/? Eyes group.

    Also, I'm sure that every country has its version of National Security Letters. So it depends on who your adversaries are. Generally, for maximal security, people here have recommended nested VPN chains. Including at least one VPN service that's unlikely to cooperate with your key adversaries. For Americans, that might be one in China, Iran, Russia or North Korea.
     
  3. ChillB

    ChillB Registered Member

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    Your thorough, thoughtful reply is very much appreciated.
    Btw, TOPG today posted a review for Mullvad- his first 'TOPG Choice' Badge in 36 reviews!
    https://thatoneprivacysite.net/2017/10/03/mullvad-review/

    One last question- how 'necessary' is a vpn that allows server multihop? Very few VPN's provide this ability.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Thanks :)

    Cool :) Mullvad is ine of the first commercial VPNs. Not as old as Cryptohippie, but still ...
    It's a useful thing. But nested chains with multiple VPN providers is better, because you're spreading trust around. With one provider, you must trust them. With VPNs from three providers in a nested chain, any two of them can cooperate with (or be compromised by) your adversary, and you'll remain at least somewhat anonymous. As long as there aren't money trails, and you haven't compromised yourself through online activity. It's rather the same idea as Tor.
     
  5. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    For many years, VPN technology and providers have been under attack from the TLAs. It's an obvious "threat" to them.

    They will do this via technical, human and legal means. These can range from insider moles handing over the certificates, hunting of sys admins (as per Belgacom and Quantum Insert), attacking clients from compromised servers, to NSLs and equivalents. There may be holes in the crypto and leakage, but less likely from experienced providers.

    Which is why I think we tend to converge on the list above - while the non-technical attacks remain, at least the technically competent providers will understand and care about the threats and be able to mitigate them through painstaking care over certificates and securing their administration and management of their servers.
     
  6. assersegsten

    assersegsten Registered Member

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    IpVanish, EkspressVPN or VYPR VPN then you are safe, not sorry.:eek:
     
  7. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Besides privacy there are other issues to consider. For example, it maybe easier for someone in China or Panama to provide a fake VPN service to steal sensitive financial information. Versus a VPN provider in EU or US. Others maybe just selling your private info to advertisers. So there comes a lot of trust. EU countries may not be great from protecting you from govt surveillance but they generally have much stronger pro consumer laws than China or Panama.
     
  8. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Agree with Mirmir to look for ones that operate in countries that aren't friendly/likely to cooperate with the US. And also to likewise use servers in the same fashion. In addition to his list I'd add Panama and Singapore. And although Sweden is friendly with the US they're known as a privacy safe haven. Their citizens are very passionate about it and any legislature introduced to infringe upon privacy is shot down, because their votes depend upon it. Anyone that votes in favor of such a bill would never be re-elected.

    iVPN sounds like a good fit for you. It's multi-hop, claims to keep no logs and I believe them. I've talked to a few of the staff and they seem like stand up people. Mirmir knows some of them too and has done work for them. And so far they haven't burned anyone so that's reason to believe they don't keep logs. They're based in Malta that while geographically in Italy is it's own independent state not entirely in it's jurisdiction. They have servers in China & Sweden. And if you want to use a chain add Mullvad to your repertoire too. It's single hop, based in Sweden, also doesn't keep logs and has never burned anyone. That would give you 3 hops with 2 services. They have servers in China, Singapore, and Sweden.

    You can pay for both anonymously, via cash by mail. You just send money along with a customer ID# to them and either leave no return address or, better IMO, a fake one, that will look less suspicious.

    I use this combo. iVPN & Mullvad are my top picks (in that order). A long time ago in here several of us did extensive testing for VPN's to weed out the contenders from the pretenders, and these two came out as the undisputed champs. Boleh was also highly regarded by many though I wasn't personally too high on it... though not low either.

    Also Mirmir is right... pretty much all of those lists you'll find online of "Best VPN's" are paid for, and the highest ranked ones are generally the worst in reality. Either that or even if no money was involved the people simply don't know what they're talking about, and merely went to the services web pages and read the information and thought to themselves: "Gee, that sounds good". That's the main reason many of us took it upon ourselves to compile an objective list. People need to know who they can "really" trust.
     
  9. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Also I feel it's important to elaborate on why it's a good idea to have a multihop VPN, and/or at least more than 1/chained VPN's. Because your ISP can see the IP address of the first hop you connect to. They can't see what you're doing, but they can see the IP address. But they can't see the IP address of your 2'nd hop.

    Of course this will slow down your computer a bit, especially if using 3 hops. But some things you can do to at least help yourself out. Be hard wired into your router. That'll make it much faster than if you're running wireless. To have a machine new enough to have gigabit lan, and the best/fastest cable you can get. And I've found that good brands can make a difference over generic cables. I like Belkin. Eliminate as much useless overhead as you can, meaning services & processes that don't really need to be running. An AV with web scanning enabled... I'd just nix that personally. Resident file scanning is enough. And really, if you use sandboxie and scan any new files introduced to your box (either by download or removable drive), even that isn't necessary. Even have new files sent to their own dedicated partition that's sandboxed if you're using XP. If not a sandboxed folder at least that's not in your OS partition.
     
  10. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Yes, there's a trade-off. For securing financial etc stuff from hackers at WiFi hotspots and so on, maybe use VPNs in places with strong consumer protection and oversight. For protection against LEA and TLA surveillance, use nested VPN chains that go through non-cooperating countries.

    Also, you can use VPNs in places with strong consumer protection and oversight as the last (inner) layer of your VPN chain. So the other (outer) VPNs see nothing except encrypted traffic.
     
  11. NiteRanger

    NiteRanger Registered Member

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    Can give ZorroVPN a try. A short review here.

    https://malwaretips.com/threads/zorrovpn-short-review.74520/

    You'll probably need VPNCheck (or Pro) as a Kill Switch if you are not using the Windows default firewall

    https://malwaretips.com/threads/vpncheck-pro-my-short-take.74937/#post-665569
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  12. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    But then if you use inner VPN with strong consumer protection then that VPN will see and potentially corporate with LE and outer VPN layer will not matter.

    Really for those who want both worlds or "three world" then compartmentalization is the only option. But then again you would need to be running 3 Virtual Machines at the same time with probably 3-4 different VPN services.

    As for me, I try to make things simple, with a VPN service preferably somewhere inside of EU, aware of the pros and cons of such service.
     
  13. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Sure. But you don't do anything that's associated with your meatspace identity. And those outer VPNs make sure that the inner VPN doesn't know anything about your meatspace identity.
    Yes, compartmentalization! And yes, I usually have a bunch of VMs and VPNs running :)
    Yeah, well, I left simple behind, long ago.
     
  14. ChillB

    ChillB Registered Member

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    Hi,
    Just checking in to find out if the VPN ratings/preferences have changed. Have been using mostly IVPN. Ocassionally Mullvad as backup when IVPN servers are having lag (not often).
    Any issues with ExpressVPN? and are AirVPN, BolehVPN and PIA still highly rated? No logs? Isn't PIA USA based?
    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2019
  15. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    I still recommend Mullvad. It's still the most privacy-aware. They also offer Wireguard, if you're inclined to try it. Also, now you can multihop with it. AirVPN is great as well. I would stay from PIA, as its operational headquarters are in the US. I don't trust them. Bolehvpn has been going downhill for a while now
     
  16. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    IVPN and Mullvad are IMO best that you can get. I also use ProtonVPN from time to time.
     
  17. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    not much has changed. ivpn & mullvad are still top pick providers. express, though not as much praised as the former here, is a pretty solid choice, too, if you're behind a corporate fw or doing torrents or in a country imposing heavy online censorship & restrictions.
    air and boleh have fallen from grace, they have slow speeds, technical issues and their support is subpar, so much that it's almost nonexistent with air. pia is ok, if you're low on budget, but their proprietary sw has many (performance) issues and their tech support is not good at any level.
    pia is us based, if that's an issue for you (for me, not a big deal).

    as for the logs, there's no such thing as no logs vpn, so it's not a valid criteria.

    another top-tier and solid choice is insorg. you should definitely give'em a try. very high speeds, multi-hop servers (double hop & triple hop), stable connection, great technical support at any level, out of 5-9-14 eyes jurisdiction (an aspect that you say which matters for you).

    also, take a look at this helpful thread started by @jaypeecee for customer & technical support info on most providers in the market:
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/vpn-providers-customer-service.406931/
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  18. ChillB

    ChillB Registered Member

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    Thanks all for the input and the link.
     
  19. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Yeah, I've loved them too. And they've been around for at least as long as AirVPN, IVPN and Mullvad.

    If you're chaining VPNs, there's an advantage to mixing jurisdictions that don't likely cooperate. These days, that's likely for the "N Eyes" vs Russia.

    I wouldn't use Insorg if you're in Russia, however.
     
  20. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    the op is in the states, but, that's a valid point, neither would i. :thumb:
     
  21. majorpain

    majorpain Registered Member

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    wich companies offer nested vpn's?
     
  22. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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  23. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Thanks :)

    Perfect Privacy does, for what it's worth.
     
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