VPN suggestions

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Ravenwing
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VPN suggestions

Post by Ravenwing » 26 Oct 2017, 02:33

So given several recent events in the US and worldwide, I've become increasingly concerned with my internet security. I've started looking into VPN solutions and figured you all probably have some experience and suggestions. I'm thinking a paid service might be worth it as long as they're cheap simply because they have more of an interest in actually maintaining your privacy and security. I don't know if this is a common feature, but I'd like to just set it up with my router directly so any device in my apartment is automatically protected. My other half is not tech savvy at all so I figure this would make it foolproof. Anyway, any thoughts and suggestions are welcome!

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psi29a
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by psi29a » 26 Oct 2017, 09:41

Events such as?

(don't get me wrong, I've been paranoid since 1994, the year I first got dialup)

Bulbulator
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by Bulbulator » 26 Oct 2017, 10:08

In Russia since 2014 more and more sites blocked by goverment (even XL engine forums for some reason was blocked for some time lol) so it impossible here to live without proxies and vpn... but I using free ones, like frigate and annonymox

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psi29a
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by psi29a » 26 Oct 2017, 11:25

To be fair, sometimes xlengine website was just down because lucius forgot to pay someone... ;)

magamo
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by magamo » 26 Oct 2017, 12:34

One thing to do with VPNs, is make certain that if you use one, to truly use it. Make certain that you are routing all your traffic through it, and not using 'split tunneling'.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by AnyOldName3 » 26 Oct 2017, 17:45

Also bear in mind that in a lot of countries, VPNs are under the same obligations as ISPs to share data with the government, so getting a VPN from one of these countries doesn't protect you much. Other countries may not have reasonable consumer protection laws, though, so you may find they still log everything so they can sell it to advertisers. There are even issues with TOR these days, as the NSA and GCHQ etc. run a lot of exit nodes. If you really want to keep your private life private, you need to live in a shack on a mountain, grow your own food, and never let anyone who's seen you leave. 😓

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Deltaxus
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by Deltaxus » 26 Oct 2017, 18:18

Ravenwing wrote:
26 Oct 2017, 02:33
So given several recent events in the US and worldwide, I've become increasingly concerned with my internet security. I've started looking into VPN solutions and figured you all probably have some experience and suggestions. I'm thinking a paid service might be worth it as long as they're cheap simply because they have more of an interest in actually maintaining your privacy and security. I don't know if this is a common feature, but I'd like to just set it up with my router directly so any device in my apartment is automatically protected. My other half is not tech savvy at all so I figure this would make it foolproof. Anyway, any thoughts and suggestions are welcome!
If I feel additional privacy is necessary, I usually use AirVPN. You can use it with the C written open source OpenVPN client and start it from the command line. To further increase your privacy, you can evade detection combining multiple solutions, like tunneling tor through a vpn. You may also want to try proxychains. You can configure a Raspberry PI to be an Access Point (Basically operating as a router) and let it route all traffic through a VPN or TOR (or even better: both). There are many more, funny but not in all countries legal options depending on the hardware you have at your disposal.

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psi29a
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by psi29a » 26 Oct 2017, 20:35

Or, like, don't use the Internet. There is no reasonable right to privacy when you're connected to every other being on the planet with an IP address, regardless of what a law says. As a result, treat your access accordingly. It all comes down to how determined your adversary is.

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raevol
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by raevol » 27 Oct 2017, 02:40

psi29a wrote:
26 Oct 2017, 20:35
It all comes down to how determined your adversary is.
This is a good point. How you manage your privacy really depends on who you're trying to be private from. For example, I don't want my roommates reading my text messages, so I have a PIN on my phone. But if I didn't want the NSA reading my emails, that PIN would do nothing.

VPNs are "good" for hiding traffic from other users on your network, and from what I understand can help you out if your ISP is throttling or tampering with your traffic. But they're still going to see that encrypted data is going through your tubes. And of course if it's not all completely set up right, they're still going to know what's going on.

But if you're trying to be private from facebook, google, or any of the other big web companies out there, you have to completely not use their services, and in the case of something like email, make sure none of the people you are communicating with are opening your messages on their services. This gets pretty tough. I, for example, don't like google's targeted advertising, but given that even if I had a non-gmail address, almost everyone I email with uses gmail, and absolutely zero of them use encryption, so there's no reason for me to use a more inconvenient email service when it gives me zero privacy gains on my emails.

Lastly, if you're trying to hide from the government, or the NSA, the amount of work you're going to have to do to encrypt and anonymize both ends of any communication that you do probably is not going to be worth it considering the privacy goals that you have. If you've got something that you really need to hide that bad, you probably 1. shouldn't be doing it and 2. shouldn't be doing it on the internet.

Now all this is NOT to say "you shouldn't have anything to hide". I strongly believe that every individual has a natural right to privacy. In an ideal world we would all be running completely open source devices that have completely encrypted and anonymized communication between them. I'm just saying the technical reality of what it takes to hide your traffic is something you need to come to terms with, depending on your goals.

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Ravenwing
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Re: VPN suggestions

Post by Ravenwing » 27 Oct 2017, 04:34

psi29a wrote:
26 Oct 2017, 09:41
Events such as?
Well, that our dear government decided ISPs should be able to legally collect and sell our information is at the forefront of my mind, but there's also the Krack vulnerability, and I'm an adult with things that can actually be stolen now lol. It seems like every other week some new thing happens that's more unsettling than the last, like the Equifax breach, which wouldn't have been solved by using a VPN, but is a near universal risk for those in the US.
magamo wrote:
26 Oct 2017, 12:34
One thing to do with VPNs, is make certain that if you use one, to truly use it. Make certain that you are routing all your traffic through it, and not using 'split tunneling'.
Indeed! That's why I was hoping for one I can configure directly with my router. Unfortunately, it turns out that my router, which is also my modem because I wanted to eliminate the extra box and needing to rent anything from my ISP, has its firmware controlled by the ISP! I suspect this is the reason that there is no VPN option on mine vs a very easy to use option on the router-only version. Incidentally, this also means I can't update it myself in regards to the Krack vulnerability, which I would be more concerned about if I didn't do most of my financial work on my desktop which is hardwired.
AnyOldName3 wrote:
26 Oct 2017, 17:45
Also bear in mind that in a lot of countries, VPNs are under the same obligations as ISPs to share data with the government, so getting a VPN from one of these countries doesn't protect you much. Other countries may not have reasonable consumer protection laws, though, so you may find they still log everything so they can sell it to advertisers. There are even issues with TOR these days, as the NSA and GCHQ etc. run a lot of exit nodes. If you really want to keep your private life private, you need to live in a shack on a mountain, grow your own food, and never let anyone who's seen you leave.
Haha too true on that last part. I'm not terribly worried about the government for the most part apart from the principle that what I'm doing is none of their business. I've been reading about ones that do some kind of IP sharing so they literally have no way of tracking what YOU are doing specifically. Private Internet Access is one that I've been reading about that seems to be recommended by a lot of people. Does anyone know more about them or had experience with them? They seem to be one of the cheaper ones that aren't free.
psi29a wrote:
26 Oct 2017, 20:35
Or, like, don't use the Internet. There is no reasonable right to privacy when you're connected to every other being on the planet with an IP address, regardless of what a law says. As a result, treat your access accordingly. It all comes down to how determined your adversary is.
That would be an unacceptable solution :lol: But the determination of your adversary is really I think the crux of the matter. I read a really interesting piece a while back about an average journalist who wanted to find out how difficult it was for someone to steal their identity and hired some guys to try and do it. It ended up being almost trivial for a pretty good hacker unless you're just super paranoid and hide absolutely everything you can and have aliases and that kind of nonsense. The biggest reason was because as long as you find out a few snippets of information about someone you can easily call into customer service different places and get them to give you the rest of your info. Your anonymity as an average person with nothing that significant to put in the effort to steal is your biggest safety factor. Anywayyyyy, this is a way to add on an extra layer of security to make it just a bit harder for someone who isn't determined to steal my stuff specifically.
raevol wrote:
27 Oct 2017, 02:40
But if you're trying to be private from facebook, google, or any of the other big web companies out there, you have to completely not use their services, and in the case of something like email, make sure none of the people you are communicating with are opening your messages on their services. This gets pretty tough. I, for example, don't like google's targeted advertising, but given that even if I had a non-gmail address, almost everyone I email with uses gmail, and absolutely zero of them use encryption, so there's no reason for me to use a more inconvenient email service when it gives me zero privacy gains on my emails.
Le sigh, that ship has sailed unfortunately. All good points though.

Anyway, still looking for any more thoughts on the matter. Thanks a ton for all the advice and such so far!

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