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Thread: VPN Recommendation

  1. #1
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default VPN Recommendation

    I plan to eventually have a VPN, to protect my online activities from outsiders, but I am not certain if I should pay for a VPN service or use a router with VPN capability; a router would likely save me money over time, but paying for a service might offer better security. What does everyone else say about this? Is it better to use a VPN service or a router with VPN functionality?
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

    "Those who would trade their freedoms for security will have neither." -Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: VPN Recommendation

    I've been looking through online VPNs as well.
    Important to me that they do not make/keep logs, they are located somewhere outside of Canada/USA corporate-bought law, and they don't hit network performance too much.

    My short list: NordVPN, TorGuard, PerfectPrivacy, CryptoStorm. And any which offer the "Chameleon" cryptoprotocol, although the few of these that I've checked didn't look too trusty.

    It seems that the farther away you isolate yourself from legal surveillance/enforcement, the closer you move into the realm of criminal-run VPNs which make money through frauds, scams, and theft.

    Many VPNs maintain servers across multiple countries. I'm unsure if national laws apply to servers located in a given nation or if the legal trail ends at the "HQ" country. I think it likely varies, depending on how much money can be pumped into prosecution efforts. Note that some VPNs have weak security, either digital or physical, which has compromised their user records in the past. A few operate out of volatile countries where war and corruption and crime are just daily business routine, so beware.

    Beware that "free" VPNs typically have hidden costs: they collect user data to sell to advertisers. It's worth paying a few bucks a month to keep your anonymity as anonymous as can be, lol, and nobody wants to be targeted by more spam and ad trackers, the fewer databases your identity and activities float around in the better you'll be off in the long run.

    https://thatoneprivacysite.net/simpl...parison-chart/

    Routers and VPN-capable hardware aren't going to hide your online activities on a one-computer-with-internet-connection configuration. They'd only obscure your identity (or, more accurately, your machine's identity) when a single network device is used to provide internet to a cluster of networked machines.

    VPNs aren't bulletproof, either. You can bet that the same companies/agencies which monitor your open activities are also monitoring all the VPN entry and exit nodes, and whether you have anything to hide or not you're still going to get flagged for attention simply because you're skulking around in a way that looks like you don't want to be seen.

    You can install browser plug-ins like IBA and Ghostery and Tor to block tracking efforts and data-mining stuff, they are far from perfect but the less traction you give the trackers the harder it'll be to connect the dots and build profiles about your online activities.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  3. #3
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: VPN Recommendation

    Final note ... the only truly anonymous method of going online is to use anonymous payment (cold hard cash!) on an anonymous account (like a prepaid SIM from an ISP which never bothers to confirm the false signup info they're given) and an anonymous device (say, a cheap laptop/smartphone off craigslist). Although the paid service and the device might eventually get shut down, the mysterious untraceable user can otherwise internet and P2P away with impunity.

    It'll be years before artificially "intelligent" software can recognize and match usage patterns enough to figure out who the anonymous users really are, lol.

    I have little faith in crypto. Yes, we've all heard it will take n lifetimes of the universe for a supercomputer to brute-force it's way through a percentage of all possible code combinations, etc etc. But I've observed over my lifetime that (at any time, lol) a decade-old crypto can be defeated by a modern computer within a trivial timeframe. While digital data can be duplicated and stored indefinitely. So keep in mind that anything you ever submit online will automatically have compromised security, though it may take years to come back at you, lol.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  4. #4
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: VPN Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Konrad View Post
    ...

    It'll be years before artificially "intelligent" software can recognize and match usage patterns enough to figure out who the anonymous users really are, lol.
    ...
    You might be very surprised to find out that Google, Facebook and Apple can already recognize usage patterns of their users pretty darn accurately. It's kind of scary what they know about you. Facebook has even taken it one step further trying to track and analyze non-users (there is a lawsuit winding it's way through the courts concerning this). Anytime you see the little Facebook logo, they are tracking what you do even if you are not a user or not even logged in.

    I agree with the crypto statement. The only thing you can do is upgrade often and change passwords even more frequently. At my last company we had started a policy of passphrases instead of passwords. That in itself eliminated 99% of the break-ins we were seeing.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  5. #5
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: VPN Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Airbozo View Post
    I agree with the crypto statement. The only thing you can do is upgrade often and change passwords even more frequently. At my last company we had started a policy of passphrases instead of passwords. That in itself eliminated 99% of the break-ins we were seeing.
    The other thing you can do is simply control what information you do and do not submit to hardware you don't control. Only a fool would trust his secret deathray plans or killer patent or classified corporate documents on cloud storage. I've always thought of wireless keyboards and network connects as being intrinsically insecure because the only thing they've really got going for them is crypto which will eventually be broken.

    But the sad truth is that most of us simply aren't interesting enough to engage a skilled hacker's time. We're anonymous because our emails are just not worth the effort, lol. Our money and online banking accounts and such stuff are interesting, but keeping your tech updated and clean and secure (and wired) while changing passwords with some frequency is enough to safeguard it.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  6. #6
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: VPN Recommendation

    Funny. I am a geek, love technology, but refuse to do any online banking or bill pay. I have a cc I use specifically for things like amazon that I must transfer funds to before making any purchase. Not really a hassle, just takes an extra step. I also have all my accounts locked down so that if I leave town I have to let my bank know so I can use my debit or cc card.

    I use cash 90% of the time otherwise.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  7. #7

    Default Re: VPN Recommendation

    I had an experience with Expressvpn and happy with VPN service.

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