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Last post Author Topic: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?  (Read 3051 times)

Steven Avery

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should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« on: October 13, 2016, 02:20:43 AM »
Currently reading the Lifehacker articles as to the basics.
2013 - http://lifehacker.co...rustworthy-508866499
2012 - http://lifehacker.co...t-one-for-your-needs

They go into paid vs. free
Free refs - Hotspot Shield, CyberGhost VPN, and HideMan, 

A few hours a week would cover cafe use, if that is the purpose.

===

Companies like Windscribe in Canada (a new company that made a splash) and VPN Unlimited seem to have specials along the usage of one year at $20 or lifetime at $40.

Some discussions (e.g. Reddit) have been fairly favorable.
Reddit has threads here for Windscribe (which may or may not be available now.)
https://www.reddit.c...n_3120_does_not_log/
https://www.reddit.c...n_unlimited_devices/

Could check Wilders and others too.

While TechDirt has something on VPN Unlimited here, which apparently has won various awards:
https://deals.techdi...ifetime-subscription

My VPN questions?

Where does this help? 
What does it mean in terms of speed and stability?
Do I take a free spin to see if I like the interface and such?
Do I have to up my techie level?

Can I tell them to not fudge my home location? I am on forums where I want to say "hey, this is from Dutchess County".
Is that a global situation?

Does anything over 3 years really matter? In a likelihood probability sense.

Am I doing this for "Jade Helm" invisibility protection? 
Financial security in transactions? 
Connections between puters (currently use Teamviewer and stuff like that, on low-key connections.)
To be cool.

There is a thread here about a baked-in Opera VPN.

I am generally just interested in knowing more and hearing what you folks think.
Thanks!

Steven
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 02:30:25 AM by Steven Avery »

Contro

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 10:40:42 PM »
Opera browser includes now a free VPN.
 :-*

Contro

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2016, 10:44:02 PM »
Cyber Ghost offer - in my opinion- several offers, but the premium one is more expensive than others.

Contro

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 10:49:04 PM »
Cyber Ghost seems to me a little tricky with its offers. But this seems not true : https://deals.techdi...ifetime-subscription

Lifetime subscription ? .

holt

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 01:02:27 AM »
Whatever you choose, I would suggest you make your home page one that tells you your IP address so that you will have a built-in warning if you're in 'direct non-VPN mode' and forgot to switch back to encrypted mode. In fact, if you can configure it, set up your 'new tab' page to also be an IP address checker web page. I use TOR, and every once in awhile I do slip up and get a faithful heads-up warning I goofed up somehow and I'm unprotected.

It's also convenient to put a bookmark in the bookmarks toolbar already set to ask duckduckgo for links to IP finders, like so; what's my ip address. When your usual site is unresponsive, just choose another.
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far." (cf. 'Argo'.)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 02:12:51 AM by holt »

holt

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 05:00:29 PM »
Here is one possible scenario which may favor a switch to a VPN or TOR;
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far." (cf. 'Argo'.)

holt

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 05:07:29 PM »
Here's another good reason to use a VPN or TOR; a little more fanciful, but there do exist those who would fit the scenario (stalkers), if only they had the ways & means;
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far." (cf. 'Argo'.)

holt

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2016, 10:26:46 AM »
Pardon my sarcastic wit, but while alternate news web surfing in encrypted and ad-blocked TOR mode, I was reading a news article when suddenly the following message popped up and blocked the web page;
We've noticed that you are using an ad blocker.
Advertising helps fund our journalism and keep it truly independent. It helps to build our international editorial team, from war correspondents to investigative reporters, commentators to critics.
Click here to view instructions on how to disable your ad blocker, and help us to keep providing you with free-thinking journalism - for free.
Thank you for your support.

While I admit to being curious about the rest of the news article that I missed out on when the pop-up appeared, I'm not the slightest bit interested in disabling either TOR or my ad-blocker. For one thing, there was a recent report that people who were willing to disable their ad-blockers, were promptly treated to a deluge of malware-infested ads which their ad-blockers had been filtering out.
So No, I'm neither tech-dumb enough not to know how to disable the ad-blocker I had installed, nor witless enough to leave myself open to malware, to heed the pop-up's 'how-to' prompt; two blinks and I had closed the web page to web surf elsewhere that isn't so picky.
'So many alt-news articles; so little me'.
  8)
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far." (cf. 'Argo'.)

holt

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2016, 10:32:59 PM »
Anonymous Speech - The IT Law wiki.
Inherent in the panoply of protections afforded by the ((American)) First Amendment is the right to speak anonymously in diverse contexts.[2] This right arises from a long tradition of American advocates speaking anonymously through pseudonyms, such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, who authored the Federalist Papers but signed them only as "Publius."

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that "an author's decision to remain anonymous . . . is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment."[3] This is because "the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry."[4] The Supreme Court has also held that there is "no basis for qualifying the level of First Amendment scrutiny that should be applied to . . . [the Internet] medium."[5] Accordingly, "it is clear that speech over the internet is entitled to First Amendment protection" and that "this protection extends to anonymous internet speech."[6]
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far." (cf. 'Argo'.)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 10:38:08 PM by holt »

4wd

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2016, 11:33:59 PM »
Anonymous Speech - The IT Law wiki.
Inherent in the panoply of protections afforded by the ((American)) First Amendment is the right to speak anonymously in diverse contexts.[2] This right arises from a long tradition of American advocates speaking anonymously through pseudonyms, such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, who authored the Federalist Papers but signed them only as "Publius."

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that "an author's decision to remain anonymous . . . is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment."[3] This is because "the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry."[4] The Supreme Court has also held that there is "no basis for qualifying the level of First Amendment scrutiny that should be applied to . . . [the Internet] medium."[5] Accordingly, "it is clear that speech over the internet is entitled to First Amendment protection" and that "this protection extends to anonymous internet speech."[6]

All of which only applies to American Citizens.

holt

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2016, 06:47:15 PM »
Anonymous Speech - The IT Law wiki.
Inherent in the panoply of protections afforded by the ((American)) First Amendment is the right to speak anonymously in diverse contexts.[2] This right arises from a long tradition of American advocates speaking anonymously through pseudonyms, such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, who authored the Federalist Papers but signed them only as "Publius."

The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that "an author's decision to remain anonymous . . . is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment."[3] This is because "the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry."[4] The Supreme Court has also held that there is "no basis for qualifying the level of First Amendment scrutiny that should be applied to . . . [the Internet] medium."[5] Accordingly, "it is clear that speech over the internet is entitled to First Amendment protection" and that "this protection extends to anonymous internet speech."[6]

All of which only applies to American Citizens.
^True, whereas the Internet is an international virtual reality where everyone is a Netizen endowed with virtual powers, wherein most strive to practice a form of beneficent 'common law' based on 'common good sense', and who naturally strive to self-police the domain for the betterment of all.
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far." (cf. 'Argo'.)

holt

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"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far." (cf. 'Argo'.)

4wd

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2016, 06:25:59 PM »
Companies like Windscribe in Canada (a new company that made a splash) and VPN Unlimited seem to have specials along the usage of one year at $20 or lifetime at $40.

I actually picked up one of the VPN Unlimited Infinity Lifetime (Lifetime = 99 years, IIRC) deals late last year for <US$40.  Was less than for a year with the provider I was using, so even if VPN Unlimited die in the next month I've saved money :D

Their software is easy to use, (application for most OSs, an app for Chrome based browsers, and instructions for various other devices), they allow torrents on specific servers, and allow up to 5 devices to connect at once as standard, (Chrome with the app counts as one device, separate from the whole computer).  You can cover more devices if necessary at a monthly/yearly cost, (they have specials on that occasionally).

Speeds are fine for me with no real impact, (only on ADSL2+ at 6-8Mb/1Mb), using the Optimal VPN gateway (the closest).

tomos

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2016, 09:05:30 AM »
Companies like Windscribe in Canada (a new company that made a splash) and VPN Unlimited seem to have specials along the usage of one year at $20 or lifetime at $40.

happened across this offer on Techradar -- no idea if it still valid or not -- the article is 14 days old
Get 50GB free VPN bandwidth [Windscribe] every month for life
(Normally free version is 10GB)
Tom

Deozaan

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2016, 08:07:43 PM »
I just signed up with Windscribe with that offer and it seems to have worked. :Thmbsup:

Tuxman

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2016, 04:22:39 AM »
Opera browser includes now a free VPN.
 :-*


No it doesn't.

4wd

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2016, 06:20:10 AM »
I just signed up with Windscribe with that offer and it seems to have worked. :Thmbsup:

Then you probably also got the email with their Christmas special: 12 months of Pro access for US$12

Voucher code (Valid until December 26, 2016): WS12XMAS

MilesAhead

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2016, 08:25:34 AM »
Opera browser includes now a free VPN.
 :-*


No it doesn't.

Not sure if it is just the proxy bits of the browser code but I noticed on my tablet while perusing Google Play Store that Opera has a VPN App.  I could not get it to connect in the public library.  Perhaps the libraries are hip to the servers used and block them since Opera is so well known.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 08:39:48 AM by MilesAhead »

f0dder

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2016, 01:13:07 PM »
A VPN connection is useful for securely accessing LAN machine across the internet (corporate use), or securely using the internet from an insecure location (hotel, café, whatever). Nothing more, nothing less. If you think you're getting "protection" or "anonymity", think hard about what you're doing and which consequences it could have; while it will be sufficient to hide you from a nosey neighbour, it doesn't take a nation-state adversary to decloak.

Stay the hell away from the "free" offerings, unless you have the technical skills (and spare time) to routinely inspect all the network traffic - there's been some "free" proxy and vpn software doing very, very, very dodgy things.

And even for the paid ones, even if the "we do not keep any logs" and "we are definitely not a NSA honeypot" statements are true, there are things that can be done without the VPN company coöperating, from hacking concentrator nodes to analyzing traffic at the datacenter.

There are uses for VPNs, but anonymity (especially combined with "anything worse than petty crime") is definitely not a safe use.
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2016, 09:20:32 PM »
Thanks for the response, f0dder. I was still waiting for someone to answer the "why" part of this thread's question(s).

MilesAhead

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2016, 10:40:25 AM »
Thanks for the response, f0dder. I was still waiting for someone to answer the "why" part of this thread's question(s).

One of the "whys" in my case is totally legitimate https access to a server.  In the case of MDC WiFi there are times when it does not like the certificate it gets from the server.  HawkHost provided me a work-around by accessing my account control panel via http.  But by using the VPN that comes with Opera I am given the option to access the server via https even though it has a certificate out of date or whatever.

If I log in to the wired network in the college library it connects to the HawkHost server without squawking.  So it is not like it is a pirate site or anything.  Just the WiFi is a bit more paranoid because they leave it open to the public I suppose.

f0dder

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2016, 09:59:05 AM »
I guess "MDC WiFi" means the WiFi network on your college?

If you get HTTPS certificate errors while connected to it, your college sysadmins are probably some misguided fools that are doing nasty man-in-the-middle shit on your connections.
- carpe noctem

Innuendo

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2016, 07:31:13 AM »
Whether or not to use a VPN is something that must be considered carefully. When someone asks me if they should be using a VPN I tell them that they need to tell me first why they think they need one. A VPN will not make you 'invisible'. While your traffic will be encrypted, there's no way to hide that your IP address is connected to and communicating with the destination IP address. Your IP address is like your home address. While you may receive a big honkin' package from UPS and your neighbors will not be able to see its contents, your neighbors are still going to be able to easily see that you did receive a big honkin' package of some sort. While we're on the subject, Tor isn't nearly as safe as it used to be, either, if you are trying to keep everything you do on the 'net on the down-low.

Do your due diligence and homework. All VPN services are not equal. Some have shoddy VPN clients that leak data and personal details. Some services keep logs for months, sometimes years. Again, ponder carefully why you think you need a VPN as that will weigh heavily in which service you should go with. For a lot of people, using a VPN is far more trouble than its worth with little benefit because they chose the wrong service or configured the VPN client on their machine improperly or don't bother to turn on and off the client at appropriate times. Yes, some sites will reject traffic if they detect any VPN activity so you will toggling it once in a while. A VPN is not a fire and forget solution.

In short, a VPN can be a very secure tool for the right people in the right circumstances, but it's not a cure-all for everything malevolent on the internet.


f0dder

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2016, 02:42:08 PM »
While your traffic will be encrypted, there's no way to hide that your IP address is connected to and communicating with the destination IP address.
A VPN masks what you're communicating with - snoopers will only be able to see that you're communicating with the VPN concentrator. The destination host won't see your IP either, it will see the IP of the VPN concentrator.

But as already mentioned, it's not foolproof and there's way to unmask you.

In short, a VPN can be a very secure tool for the right people in the right circumstances, but it's not a cure-all for everything malevolent on the internet.
Again: securely using the internet from an insecure location (hotel, café, whatever). Nothing more, nothing less.

If you're doing malevolent stuff and think a VPN will do anything for you, prepare for some jail time :-)
- carpe noctem

Innuendo

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Re: should I be using a VPN? why? what about the recent deals?
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2016, 07:00:51 PM »
But as already mentioned, it's not foolproof and there's way to unmask you.

That's what I was trying to get at in a roundabout way. Too much data in my head sometimes...A VPN will protect you from casual scrutiny. If you are targeted and singled out it's not a silver bullet to prevent detection.