VPN + TOR Bridge or Exit Node?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Brosephine, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    I want to pair my VPN with Tor but am not sure which direction I should do it from. My Vpn provider offers tutorials on 3 different methods to do so.
    1. Configure OpenVpn client to connect VPN over Tor network
    2. Configure your Tor client bundle to use VPN as exit nod
    3. Configure your Tor client bundle to use VPN as a bridge
    I don't want my VPN to be able to see my Tor traffic and would prefer my real ISP not know I'm even using Tor. I have an idea which of these methods suits me best but am interested in your thoughts about it.
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    1) This routes the VPN tunnel through Tor. That's only useful if you've purchased the VPN subscription using Tor, with no leaks, and have paid with cash through the mail, or with thoroughly anonymized Bitcoin. No matter how anonymous Tor may be, your anonymitity is limited by links to the VPN account.

    2) I've never heard about this before. So are some VPN services running Tor exit nodes as login links? I have played with VPN servers as hidden services. But like 1), this effectively routes the VPN tunnel through Tor.

    3) This is the opposite. It routes Tor through the VPN.

    It sounds like 3) is what you want. Your ISP sees only the encrypted VPN connection. And the VPN provider sees only your encrypted connection to the entry guard.

    1) and 2) allow you to route UDP through Tor, and can get around Tor blocking.
     
  3. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    @mirimir That's what I would have guessed. How sufficient is simply using Tor browser while connected to a VPN client?
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    At minimum, I recommend using VirtualBox. Connect to the VPN service on the host. Use a VPN client that prevents leaks, or use the Whonix VPN Firewall. If you're not using a custom VPN client, straight OpenVPN is more secure than Network Manager.

    Do nothing on the host except run updates, and manage VMs. Work in VMs. If you want nested chains of multiple VPNs, use pfSense VMs as VPN gateways. For using Tor, run the Whonix gateway and workstation VMs.
     
  5. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    Yeah VM's are my next "area of study." :argh:
     
  6. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    You want number 3 from your description of needs. I run 3 most of the time as well. Regardless of the host OS you are using, I would strongly recommend that you build a Linux VM within which you can run the TOR browser bundle. That VM will NAT to your host OS, and as Mirimir stated there is NO workspace activity conducted on the host OS. Don't be confused by all the terms because they will make sense quickly as you learn this stuff.

    Model 3 also allows for TOR to utilize a key feature of its security ----- changing the relay route automatically every 10 minutes or so. Its an ignored feature but its huge!

    If you need any help post back and someone would be happy to give you a steer. Mirimir has some guides on IVPN that are great tools while you are learning. You can read them without being a member there. Have fun.
     
  7. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    Thanks @Palancar I appreciate the guidance. I've heard a lot about Linux systems and their value but have not used one. Aren't they strictly command line?
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Some distros install with no desktop. But you can always install one.
     
  9. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Those "cryptic" days of linux are mostly over except for a few diehards that install and want to run commandline stuff. Even when you install a linux distro with a beautiful windows looking desktop, you will shortly start learning how valuable the linux terminal is and setting up things like executable shell scripts, etc....

    You can move at your own pace. This isn't a contest and if you are like many of us here the learning process is actually so rewarding and fun (does come with frustrations too).
     
  10. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    I didn't know you could have a windows type gui with linux? I would need something like that start out with because I'm not very fluent in CMD!

    I will definitely be moving at my own pace. I'm right brained & artistic, venturing way out of my comfort zone with all this. :argh: Luckily, I have this great forum and the members on it who don't mind taking their time to explain something to a noob & are willing to pass on their knowledge.
     
  11. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    There are desktops that try very hard to look like Windows, and ones that try very hard to look like IOS. Most distros support most desktops, and vice versa. But there are a few tight associations.

    Check out http://distrowatch.com/
     
  12. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    If you wanted to start with a true newbie WINDOWS LOOK A LIKE then grab zorin. You can pick a windows desktop and someone sitting down at the screen might not even know it isn't windows. Truthfully though, once you stretch your wings with linux you'll want a flavor that allows you to "wrench" away and do some serious stuff.

    I am not using the systems I started out with. That should be expected and is natural for a "hobbyist". In fact I am studying going to another level myself but in truth I am not quite ready yet. What I have configured completely serves my needs. I simply want to go deeper to stretch my knowledge and do so as a hobby.
     
  13. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    I understand the difference between a traditional Linux system and a Windows system in terms of function and capability, but how does a Linux system that looks exactly like a Windows system differ from a real Windows system?
     
  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Well, "exactly" is exaggerating ;) The layout is similar. And it includes Wine for running Windows apps. But otherwise, it's just Linux. Any Linux distro can run Windows apps in Wine.
     
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