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Personal VPNs

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TomTees

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Post Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:54 pm

Personal VPNs

Has anyone ever used a Personal VPN?

Any help on learning more about these, and what things I need to take into consideration would be helpful.

Sincerely,


Tom
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rattis

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Post Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:52 am

Re: Personal VPNs

What do you mean by  personal VPN?

Are you talking a paid for service that uses a pool of ip addresses to hide you? Or do you mean a vpn that you set up and use while in untrusted locations like starbucks and hacker cons?
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TomTees

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Post Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:05 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

chrisj wrote:What do you mean by  personal VPN?


I have seen that term used by others to describe a VPN you use for your personal uses.  (As opposed to a "Business VPN" your company might give you.)


Are you talking a paid for service that uses a pool of ip addresses to hide you? Or do you mean a vpn that you set up and use while in untrusted locations like starbucks and hacker cons?


I mean a service you pay for that helps hide your surfing behavior online, and also possibly helps protect you if you are using free wi-fi.


Tom
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rattis

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Post Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

Ok.

I've built my own, that I use on occasion via Wifi or other un-trusted networks. Using either OpenVPN, or ssh tunneling.

As for the paid service. I've only looked in to it briefly. Cory Doctorow like Ipredator (https://ipredator.se/) enough that he put it in to Little Brother and Homeland. In the book it talks about it being a little slow. Torrent freak has a list http://torrentfreak.com/vpn-services-th ... on-130302/

however when I'm doing stuff that requires me to be anonymous (due to operational security) on the internet I tend to stick with Tor.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.
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TomTees

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Post Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:41 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

chrisj wrote:Ok.

I've built my own, that I use on occasion via Wifi or other un-trusted networks. Using either OpenVPN, or ssh tunneling.


Yeah, I'm not building anything on my own!


however when I'm doing stuff that requires me to be anonymous (due to operational security) on the internet I tend to stick with Tor.


What do you mean by "operational security"??


Sorry I couldn't be more help.


No, I think you helped some.

(Really interesting article!!)

I guess my OP was just more of "What does a Personal VPN do, and why would I want to pay a service provider for one?"


Tom
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rattis

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Post Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:10 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

TomTees wrote:
however when I'm doing stuff that requires me to be anonymous (due to operational security) on the internet I tend to stick with Tor.


What do you mean by "operational security"??



The steps I take to protect myself when doing things online, that are of a semi-questionable nature, or wanting to stay off radars. Things like checking some really questionable sites for research papers for school. Like Google Scholar. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XaYdCdwiWU
Last edited by rattis on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TomTees

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Post Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:57 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

chrisj wrote:
TomTees wrote:What do you mean by "operational security"?


The steps I take to protect myself when doing things online, that are of a semi-questionable nature, or wanting to stay off radars. Things like checking some really questionable sites for research papers for school. Like Google Scholar. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XaYdCdwiWU


Just spent an hour watching that.

Wow...


Tom
Last edited by TomTees on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SephStorm

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Post Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:17 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

This topic always confused me. By reading, I understood a VPN as a tunnel through the internet, and eventually I understood that firewalls and routers could provide this capability.When I originally encountered them however, I found online services, and dyndns services and I was confused as to why this stuff was needed and how it worked (still confused).
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rattis

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Post Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:33 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

vpn 101. vpns create a "tunnel" which is just another way of saying it makes sure your traffic is encrypted from point a to point z. Sometimes they only show two hops. point a (your end of the tunnel), and point b (end point) of the tunnel when tracerouting. The traffic is still going over the regular internet.

There is nothing fancy think of it as an ssl connection to a website, but all your traffic can go across the SSL instead of just your web browser to a single site.

Point A and Point z pre-agree to an encryption method and key. Session starts, confirms pre-arranged key and method. All data between point a and point b is encrypted. You can put other things behind point z, like servers, email, etc.
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Triban

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:59 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

chrisj pretty much explained it.  I'll add that firing up your own OpenVPN is fairly easy with the help of Google.  There is an .ISO out there that makes installation into a Virtual Machine pretty easy.  If you run it at home, all you would need is a Dynamic DNS account so you don't have to sit there checking to see if your IP address is still the same.  Oh and OpenVPN installed at home is free. You would need some sort of dedicated box (physical or virtual) and it doesn't need to be powerful. 
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superkojiman

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Post Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:36 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

TomTees wrote:I guess my OP was just more of "What does a Personal VPN do, and why would I want to pay a service provider for one?"


You would want to pay for one if you're not interested in managing it on your own. Typically it means having a dedicated server with a static(ish) IP address that you can access when you need. If you don't have the time or knowledge to secure and manage it, then purchase one instead. One thing I should mention with regards to anonymity, in case it isn't obvioius: if you setup your own VPN at home and you VPN to it in an attempt to anonymize yourself, the IP address that gets logged when you connect to a server is your home IP address. This would be another reason to pay for a service, as some of them have gateways around the world (Greece, Netherlands, etc) and clients share a single IP address making it difficult to map an IP address to a person.

From what I've seen, there are generally three things most regular people use personal VPNs for: downloading pirated content anonymously, viewing streaming video content that's not available in their region (eg: US only), and added security when using public wifi.
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TomTees

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Post Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:27 pm

Re: Personal VPNs

superkojiman wrote:From what I've seen, there are generally three things most regular people use personal VPNs for: downloading pirated content anonymously, viewing streaming video content that's not available in their region (eg: US only), and added security when using public wifi.


I am just interested in additional privacy and security if/when I need to use unsecured, free wi-fi like at McDonalds.

Although I am hoping to buy a Verizon JetPack, so if that happens, then I guess the "Personal VPN" would more to prevent websites that I visit and my ISP (i.e. Verizon) from keeping tabs on what I do online...

As far as the "illegal downloading" and "hacking" go, I don't do any of that. 

So while I *think* services like WiTopia would "anonymize" me to websites like www.Yahoo.com and Verizon, but from what I read, if I ever did do anything illegal, most companies would give you up to the Feds in a heartbeat, regardless if they say "We don't track your online activities."  if you doubt this, look at what HideMyAss did to that hacker in the UK...)

In closing, I *think* that buying (and always using) a Verizon JetPack in combination with some Personal VPN like WiTopia would give me a very high level of "security" and "privacy" for the things I need it for:

1.) Keeping Websites, Advertisers, and my ISP out of my personal surfing habits
2.) Keeping Websites, Advertisers, and my ISP oblivious to where I am connection from
3.) Keeping Snoopers and Hackers out of my communications (e.g. Accounts, Passwords, Websites Visited, Conversations)
4.) Guarantee that 99% of the time I can connect to the Internet from nearly any location (which is not true now!!)


Tom

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