Why Should I Use a VPN

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by merisi, Jan 3, 2013.

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  1. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    Okay I'm still quite new to knowing my way around privacy and security so my question is, why should I use a VPN? My only experience has been with TOR and it's not ideal for financial transactions as you don't know who's sniffing around exit nodes. It's also very, very slow and then pages start to appear in foreign languages. Isn't using a VPN just paying money on top of paying for your internet to make it slower, more insecure and much more difficult?

    I know people really like their VPNs here so obviously they've had different experiences of them to me and I'd be really happy to learn what they are.
     
  2. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    VPN is not TOR.
     
  3. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Spend a couple days searching Wilders, and you'll find discussions about all that, and more.
     
  4. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    A VPN accomplishes something very specific, ie it encrypts the connection between your computer and the VPN server. I use one to connect to the internet over open wifi at Starbucks, etc, so my activity can't be "sniffed". I'm not trying to make my computer untraceable. There's a difference between privacy and anonymity. A reasonable degree of privacy is easy to attain while anonymity is very difficult and perhaps impossible to attain. With regard to performance a VPN needn't slow things down. My experience with paid services has been good in that regard. What exactly do you want to achieve?
     
  5. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I've seen a few threads about VPNs and they just leave me feeling much more confused but it appears that I'm unsure what they actually are so I should maybe research that first.
     
  6. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    Thanks for your explanation. I'm definitely not looking to be invisible or untraceable because I know that's pretty much impossible. I was just wondering if there was any additional advantage to my security set up. I only use a computer at home with any of my passwords.
     
  7. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    You can be pretty damn untraceable. Get a non logging VPN where the providers live in a different country to yourself which is not UK/US. Connect to a server that's not in your country or the providers country including UK/US. Download and connect to the Tor Browser Bundle and properly configure it to block all scripts.

    (You) -> (VPN) -> Tor (3) -> Tor (2) -> Tor (1)

    VPN Knows your IP and that you are connected to TOR. but can't see any data or what your searching.

    Tor (3) Knows your VPN IP address and can't see any data. If your using a shared IP its even more anonymous.

    Tor (2) Knows the IP of Tor (3) and can't see any data.

    Tor (1) Knows what data is going out but only can see Tor (2) and if you don't log into any personal accounts you are well removed.

    If someone manages some-how to trace-route your Tor connection then they will find your VPN servers IP address. This would take time and by this point your already long gone, and since your VPN keeps no logs, there's no way to track who was using Tor at that time.

    If you configure everything correctly, only the most secret and unknown adversary would be able to find you, and trust me they don't care about anything you would ever do.
     
  8. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    merisi, I think that you need to figure out exactly what are your requirements first. Because sometimes it's better to connect to a site directly (if you want maximum speed, for instance), sometimes TOR is perfect (for very good anonymity, but lower security - especially because of exit nodes) and some other times a VPN is what you need (if you want to protect yourself from your ISP or you are on a hostile LAN, but you don't mind a third party - the VPN provider - knowing things about you).
     
  9. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    Thanks for the information Cubones, I very much appreciate the lengths you gone to explain things to me, and in answer to your question Nebulus, I don't have any special needs or requirements and I'm pretty much able to do online what I'd like to at the moment. I certainly don't need to hide what I'm doing from my ISP. I guess I'm just interested in trying out a VPN to see what it's like but it seems there might not be much of an advantage.
     
  10. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Do you use wifi on your home network and do you have the WPA2 security enabled? As long as the security is enabled on the wifi you don't need the VPN. A VPN also has the effect of shifting your public IP to the location of the VPN server. That can be a benefit if you want to access services which are unavailable from you home IP, but it doesn't sound like that's something you're wanting to do...
     
  11. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I do use wifi and it is secured with WPA2 and a strong password. I guess it might be good to have access to Hulu but other than that I'm pretty much able to surf anything that I want to.
     
  12. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    Securitykiss has a free VPN that is well regarded and keeps minimal logs. If your not out for anything extreme then its a good entry-point into learning how VPN's work, you can also try CyberGhost free which is where i got my own start.
     
  13. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    I used SecurityKiss for a while. I got a six month giveaway to their 50gig/month service. The performance was good and there were many servers to choose from. When it reverted to a free account though the number of servers was greatly reduced and the performance was poor, so I wouldn't expect too much.
     
  14. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    Good for someone who wants to learn how they work. ;)
     
  15. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

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    You want to use a VPN because your government (doesn't matter where you are) wants to know what you are doing...as does the entertainment industry, including your ISP.

    A VPN encrypts your connection to a distant server (pick a foreign provider that will be a PITA to your country as far as subpoenas go) and in essence, you are surfing from that country, not your house.

    All your ISP will see, is a connection to the foreign server or Tor entry node if you apply that technique (tunneling the VPN through Tor)...that is it.

    Also read up on DNS Leaks.

    I think it's nuts *not* to use one in 2013. JMO.

    PD
     
  16. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I agree.

    I would also use CryptoHippy but the price is way too high for someone like me.
     
  17. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    A nice combo is using Tor via mainstream paid VPN, and then a free VPN. The outer VPN hides your Tor connection, and the free VPN protects from Tor exit nodes. You register for the free VPN via Tor and Tormail, so they don't know who you are.
     
  18. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I've read elsewhere that you use BolehVPN and that seems quite highly rated but I'm interested in why Cryptohippie is better and they also seem to have two websites, one based in Panama the other in the USA.
     
  19. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    With the planned snoopers charter in the UK I must admit I don't like the idea of the government being able to invade my privacy and keep logs of what I do for years.


    Mirmir, your suggestion seems like a rock solid form of privacy but would you experience any major slow down by using two VPNs and TOR? Also how can you get two VPNs to work at the same time to act at different points?
     
  20. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I do use BolehVPN, its very good and would recommend it. I have no problems with it and it fits my criteria for good security. I have not used Cryptohippie, but it intrigues me how they protect themselves by hosting the servers and the client info in two different company's one on-shore and the other off-shore in panama which is a great idea. I would say that I'm more then happy with BolehVPN though, its the best service I have used since starting to use VPN's 5-6 years ago. I have used Perfect-Privacy/Trilight/Cyberghost/Hidemyass/Nvpn/StrongVPN. Boleh is the best out of these and is what I'm currently using.
     
  21. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    Forget CryptoHippie, useless service as they never answer emails and the owner has vanished.

    To me, you have 3 options. AirVPN, BolehVPN & Mullvad. The rest are not worth mentioning.

    And tunneling through TOR? You reduce your anonymity by using more than one service so I wouldn't bother unless you are a major hacker and uber paranoid.
     
  22. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    VPN-Tor-VPN doesn't seem slower than just Tor.

    I use VMs. See https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=316044.
     
  23. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I gave SecurityKiss VPN a go and I found that both my AV avast and my firewall Comodo didn't seem very keen on it and that McAfee's web rating thinks it's suspicious but it did work and I did try it with TOR and while it crashed first time round it did work the second time round but it does seem maybe a little bit of an overkill to have two running. I don't want to make my web life overly complicated, I just want a respectable level of privacy. While I feel I have a very good level of freedom in the UK, I really feel that is being gradually eroded.

    Cubones, I've been reading up on BolehVPN and it seems very user friendly, reasonably priced and there seem to be a lot of happy customers and an active forum. One thing I can't establish is how much you can use.

    ComputerSayNo, I looked at the Cryptohippie website and it seemed very expensive, I couldn't find a contact email address and I was concerned that they only accepted credit cards as payment. Saying that I have read posts from others that rate it highly but I'm not going to take my chances.

    Mirmir, you're right when I did try VPN, TOR it didn't seem slower than just TOR but I don't know what it is but I've never felt comfortable using TOR just because anyone can be controlling nodes. I've always been interested in using a VM but not felt savvy enough to take that step but I guess that's a subject for another thread.
     
  24. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I'm also from the UK

    BolehVPN ~ Unlimited, No Logs.

    There is no connection limit, and I'm sure they would be fine giving you a test account.
     
  25. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I emailed BolehVPN yesterday and still not heard from them but with it being unlimited with no logs sounds perfect. It's a choice between that and AirVPN. I'll generally only pay for something once I've spoken to someone that works at that company.

    Just out of interest, is it safe to partake in financial transactions while using a VPN?
     
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