VPNs, Internet Security, and Why I Don't Bother

SlowCoder

Gold Member
Gold Supporter
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
456
Reaction score
313
Credits
3,611
So many people use VPNs, but don't seem to understand the underlying fundamentals, and the fact that they are generally not as secure or hidden as they think.

This is a good video describing the nature of VPNs, with some perspective on the best and worst use cases:
 


KGIII

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
6,462
Reaction score
5,724
Credits
51,991
I touched on that in my inebriated rant. It's possible to use a VPN for security purposes, but that's not how people use it. I'm kinda annoyed that VPNs market themselves as security solutions and pretend that they're protecting your data.

Nobody cares what your IP address is. No hacker is sitting there, monitoring the forum, waiting to see if someone posts their IP address in a code block while asking for help.

Here, this is my public IP address:

2001:5b0:50cc:5278:9fec:8f31:2c78:6103

I use a VPN. I use it to access things I'd otherwise be unable to access due to geolocking. I also use it to test things. I also use it so that I can appear to be somewhere other than where I am for a small bit of privacy that's limited mostly to site owners. Google and government agencies know who I am regardless of what IP addresses I'm using.
 

Fanboi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
499
Reaction score
406
Credits
6,114
That onesie... Lol, I remember seeing this vid a while back. I wish I had a VPN right now though as YT is blocking a lot and having to use a "youtube downloader" site is tedious. Geoblocking should be a crime punishable by death by being eaten alive by Amazon ants (if that's true about man-eating ants and not made up).

I use a VPN. I use it to access things I'd otherwise be unable to access due to geolocking. I also use it to test things. I also use it so that I can appear to be somewhere other than where I am for a small bit of privacy that's limited mostly to site owners. Google and government agencies know who I am regardless of what IP addresses I'm using.
...and be honest, without my saying it due to plausible deniability, let me infer it: "and to do what The Brethren do best! Yaaar!" ;)
 

osprey

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2022
Messages
86
Reaction score
49
Credits
760
KGill wrote:
Nobody cares what your IP address is
That's interesting. I recall a new user on the forum some time ago who posted a query, and then answered it himself with another user name. The wizardfromoz picked him up and exposed the sham. How did he do that? Was it that the poster posted from the same ip address? That would make sense, no?
 

KGIII

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
6,462
Reaction score
5,724
Credits
51,991
How did he do that?

Oh, we can see your IP address... I probably could have worded it better. I also care what your IP address is for certain things on my site - such as metrics in making sure you're not counted twice.

I probably could have said 'no bad actors care about your specific IP address, except maybe to connect with after you're already compromised.' Or something similar.

Point being, your IP address should be considered what it is - public information.
 

f33dm3bits

Gold Member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Messages
4,799
Reaction score
3,444
Credits
34,968
There are use cases for vpn and/or tor, in certain countries where the government tries to control the press and doesn't think to kindly of reporters who say bad things about them.
 

bob466

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
356
Reaction score
269
Credits
2,664
Oh, we can see your IP address...
My IP shows I'm in the USA...
confused0006.gif
 

wizardfromoz

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
7,317
Reaction score
6,204
Credits
25,022
The wizardfromoz picked him up and exposed the sham. How did he do that? Was it that the poster posted from the same ip address? That would make sense, no?

Yup
 

Fanboi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
499
Reaction score
406
Credits
6,114
There are use cases for vpn and/or tor, in certain countries where the government tries to control the press and doesn't think to kindly of reporters who say bad things about them.
TOR most certainly, because it has pretty strong anonymity and backtracing traffic through nodes is next to impossible (I'm sure some clever security analyst will prove me wrong, though). However, you can't use the internet through TOR because of all the requests coming from whatever exit node you're assigned. CF is especially guilty of blocking TOR traffic under the guise of security, but we all know it's coz Google wants to know who you are and what you're reading so they can spam you across the web. Anyway, those Captchas will continue ad infinitum until you give up the site or privacy. However, TOR is, I agree, a good way to unlock stuff, especially less savoury parts of the web ;)
 

KGIII

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
6,462
Reaction score
5,724
Credits
51,991
(I'm sure some clever security analyst will prove me wrong, though).

If you stay on .onion domains (and are smart) you're pretty much safe. If you browse the regular web, there are a number of ways you can be detected, including 'timing attack' which I suspect any major country could do.
 

KGIII

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
6,462
Reaction score
5,724
Credits
51,991
My IP shows I'm in the USA...
confused0006.gif

I use the browser extension only, from NordVPN. So, where I "am" depends on the browser I'm using. This one, at this time is also from the US.
 

KGIII

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
6,462
Reaction score
5,724
Credits
51,991
I'm in France.

I'm still in the US, Virginia or New York often.

*checks*

Wow. Nope. I'm in North Carolina. (Though geolocation varies a lot depending on the database you use and how frequently you update it. I use MaxMind for some applications.)

Selection_064.png


That's a weird one, as it's seemingly using some bizarre ISP that's decidedly not very American sounding.

Ah well...

Oh, my public IP address, that is the one assigned by my ISP, will not have changed from what's posted above. It only changes when I tell it to/restart the router.
 
$100 Digital Ocean Credit
Get a free VM to test out Linux!

Linux.org Hosting Donations
Consider making a donation

Members online


Top