VPN protection

Blu_2

New Member
VPN's were developed for business originally, not for crime, or political activism, or whistleblowers. A VPN uses a public network (internet) and establishes a private network on top of the public network using an encrypted "tunneling" protocol. This lets remote users, like a bank branch office, communicate with the corporate computers and maintain their privacy and security. Before this technology, companies used a LOT of dedicated landline phone circuits... at great expense. So VPN's were good for the banks, but bad for the phone companies. :eek:o_O:D

As the folks above said, the ability to mask your true IP address with VPN's and proxies has had the "side benefit" of allowing a lot of activities to to be somewhat hidden... activities that might not be legal in all countries. And it has helped to protect identities of people who really do need protections. But this ability may be doomed. If you want to read a strong (but short) "anti-VPN" rant, check this out.

Bitcoin, the unbreakable cryptocurrency, is not so unbreakable after all (see here and here, for example). VPN's and proxies are not invincible either, as also being discussed above while I'm still typing this. The Tor Network is not invincible either. This is one of the reasons I've not really pursued any of these technologies... I haven't really felt that I've needed them myself, and I also don't want to be trapped in a false sense of security. But I am certainly a strong advocate for privacy and security for average, everyday people like us, not just for rich and powerful people and governments.

The battle over encryption is one of the greatest cat-and-mouse games at play today. Many teams want to make encryption stronger and ever more secure... and that is needed because other teams are constantly working to break it and hack it, both in the name of law enforcement and as a means to steal your money.

And here we are, caught in the middle. I like online banking and pay all my bills with it. But I am always reading technology news to consider whether I should reevaluate my use of it. It does indeed make me nervous, at times.

And don't even think about asking me for biometric security, like submitting a fingerprint or iris scan online.... I absolutely do not trust technology for that. In no way would I give Google or Apple my fingerprint just so I can check my email. I can change a password, if it is compromised. If biometric data is ever compromised, then what?

Stepping down from my soapbox. Thanks for your attention. o_O:D

Cheers
All true, and I always wish I had a 700 word disclaimer as a signature lol.
One has to consider what kind of technical knowledge they have and what platform they must do their business on, and do the best they can. Having followed careful directions and observed the results since I don't have the technical knowledge to structure my own controlled experiments, and seen that anonymity is nearly impossible against someone with unlimited resources, I certainly agree.
I can't however read a single article even mentioning Linux security without encryption as the keyword. For those who insist on not learning to use Linux or make any attempt beyond downloading some apps to a device that clearly states (perhaps on page 27) that they can and will get in your business, VPN and encrypted application are so much better than nothing, the gurus alluded to will hardly advise without mentioning both.
I shiver at the thought of google and such with my every detailed biometric measurement but I feel sure they already have those, and did long ago.
The entire issue applies less to Linux users in general though which is why I'm here trying to learn about it :)
 


atanere

Well-Known Member
VPN and encrypted application are so much better than nothing
Except when using them may actually be the reason to draw attention to you. (Especially think TOR.) It shouldn't be this way, but I wonder about it. I like the old analogy... if you're not worried about privacy, you send a postcard... if you are worried about privacy, you send a letter. But what matters most, I think, is the destination.... both with physical mail or with internet connections. If you are surfing to a site with illegal intentions, I would say: be afraid. If you are a political dissident, I would again say: be afraid. Someone along the way may intercept and steam open that letter and read it, and even re-seal it and let it be delivered. And you don't know that you've been caught. The argument between free and paid VPN's is not strong enough for me... I don't get a sense of trust there. If I really want to jump on the VPN boat, I will have to follow the more difficult route of renting a private server and configuring my own VPN... but so far I'm a bit too lazy for that. :D
 

Blu_2

New Member
Not really, it seems. Read this part from one of my links above. That links to this article. The company in question is still in business.
More disclaimers needed lol.
The greatest and most gifted minds in the world, or rather a sizable number of them, and those who do care and depend upon their knowledge, would certainly make their displeasure known if a VPN provider swore one thing and then threw their clients under the bus by doing another.
There are too many assumption to make here, one being people who use these things will make a reasonable effort to understand and keep up, and care. That's a big assumption I often make since I can't find a clear spot for all the security-related notes, texts, and articles laying around.
I'm guessing many Nord users had no idea of the recent breach for example, so I must agree 'most' won't care. It floors me, personally but I do understand why most don't bother.
 

Blu_2

New Member
Except when using them may actually be the reason to draw attention to you. (Especially think TOR.) It shouldn't be this way, but I wonder about it. I like the old analogy... if you're not worried about privacy, you send a postcard... if you are worried about privacy, you send a letter. But what matters most, I think, is the destination.... both with physical mail or with internet connections. If you are surfing to a site with illegal intentions, I would say: be afraid. If you are a political dissident, I would again say: be afraid. Someone along the way may intercept and steam open that letter and read it, and even re-seal it and let it be delivered. And you don't know that you've been caught. The argument between free and paid VPN's is not strong enough for me... I don't get a sense of trust there. If I really want to jump on the VPN boat, I will have to follow the more difficult route of renting a private server and configuring my own VPN... but so far I'm a bit too lazy for that. :D
Awe come on atanere, you can do so on a Raspberry Pi on your lunch break:D
 

Blu_2

New Member
Also you most certainly will put a target on your back using advanced techniques and elaborate efforts to hide one's self. Or not so elaborate but the very first thing I was ever told when I began studying this stuff was "if you're breaking the law in any way or intend to, stop that, and don't."
Oh yes it will.
Read. Read every single word, twice, at least, before using technology that indicates you don't want your activity followed.
 

Granny Sue

Active Member
What a great and eye opening discussion!! Thanks so much, I really do learn so much here. I have a VPN set up on my one of my tablets, but didn't really now if it was doing me any good or if I even needed it. I think I really don't. I'm a pretty innocent user of the WWW. That being the case, I won't be adding one to my PC. Heaven knows, I have so many other, more relevant things to learn.
 

Chuck_919

New Member
The idea behind using a vpn.... is to try and ensure that the various 'authorities' only receive an altered ip address. For example if a pc user is downloading torrent files such as movies or tv shows, they would safeguard themselves by using a vpn.

The question is often asked 'which is the best vpn".......and that debate is still raging....and will continue to do so.

Personally I think the paid vpn's have a distinct advantage. The "free" vpn's stand accused of selling users information in order to help the fund the 'service' they provide.

If a user was using a vpn as a security measure when browsing seriously dubious sites, ....then I suppose the same would apply...their ip address would not be accessible to the owners of that dubious site.

It is also used by people in countries whose political masters deny them the right to access certain information. China stands as the most well known example with their great firewall of china......The Great Firewall of China (GFW) is the combination of legislative actions and technologies enforced by the People's Republic of China to regulate the Internet domestically. Its role in Internet censorship in China is to block access to selected foreign websites and to slow down cross-border internet traffic.
Good point! But it has to be mentioned that not all VPNs can punch through GFW. It has to have support of the SSTP protocol, that will be able to bypass DPI firewall (technology that GFW is using, as far as i know).

But as per VPN services in general, I would recommend to make your own VPN on any appliable to your requirements infrastructure. For example, you can make a VPN service on Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Packet, DigitalOcean, Scaleway. Many of these providers already have VPN appliances, which can be deployed with minimum actions from your side. Yes, this will for a few bucks more expensive, but you will have your own service, which will be under your full control and you will be able to choose that provider, which can provide better channel bandwidth, etc.
 

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