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48

I've researched this subject for more than 3 years*: Looking for VPN providers, reading through their Privacy Policy and Legal pages, contacting them, contacting their ISPs when possible, and I've concluded the following: I was able to find zero reputable/trustworthy and publicly-available (free or paid) VPN service provider that: Actually doesn't keep ...


22

VPN means "Virtual Private Network". It is a generic concept which designates a part of a bigger network (e.g. the Internet at large) which is logically isolated from the bigger network through non-hardware means (that's what "virtual" means): it is not that we are using distinct cables and switches; rather, isolation is performed through use of ...


19

2 reasons: Asymmetric encryption is slower, much slower, than symmetric encryption. Orders of magnitude slower. Given the same keylength, asymmetric is much weaker than symmetric, bit-for-bit. Therefore, you need a much larger key to provide equivalent protection. This also contributes to the slowness mentioned in 1. (As per @ThomasPornin's comment:) ...


19

Most anonymizing services who claim that they "don't keep logs" actually do keep logs, because otherwise they would be in even deeper trouble when the Feds drop on them at 6:00 AM with terrorism charges. A VPN service like the ones you quote is basically saying: "yeah, we accept to take full legal responsibility for everything you do online for only 7$ per ...


18

The cryptography involved in the VPN is designed precisely to keep your data safe even in the situation of an attacker who can intercept all traffic; the best an attacker could do in that situation is to disrupt traffic (namely, cutting off the wires). Both SSL, and IPsec-with-IKE, use cryptography in proper ways, so there should be no qualitative ...


16

If you consent, Firefox gathers information about nearby wireless access points and your computer’s IP address. Then Firefox sends this information to the default geolocation service provider... https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/geolocation/ Firefox knows the IP address, which is used to connect to the VPN provider. Many geolocation services, ...


15

Your forum accepts posts from anybody. That is your core problem. Connecting to your site from various IP throughout the world is trivial, if only by using Tor. Tor provides "high anonymity" in that not only the user's identity is hidden, but each request is anonymous -- you cannot, from the outside, make sure whether two distinct requests are from the same ...


13

Yes, a VPN connection encrypts the connection between your computer and the remote VPN host. The connection would just look like gibberish to anyone sniffing the traffic, either in the coffee shop or on the Internet. It is worth noting that the same applies to any content sent over HTTPS even if you aren't using a VPN. It is also worth noting that if you ...


13

If you give them the username and password of your personal home router then they could (depending on model and firmware) configure it to log your traffic and forward the logs to them, or do other unethical things as described in this question. It's very unlikely that they would use the credentials to do such things, however I would refuse to give them ...


13

More precisely, from the privacy policy for the VPN service: We will store a time stamp and IP address when you connect and disconnect to our VPN service together with the IP address of the individual VPN server used by you. We do not store details of, or monitor, the websites you connect to when using our VPN service. In other words, they log that ...


12

Asymmetric encryption algorithms are far less efficient than symmetric algorithms. So essentially all use of encryption via asymmetric keys involves encrypting a symmetric session key, with which the actual message is encrypted. Besides AviD's helpful notes about key length, note that if quantum computing attacks become feasible, they will render all ...


12

One possibility is that modern browsers support a feature called the Geolocation API which states the following: Common sources of location information include Global Positioning System (GPS) and location inferred from network signals such as IP address, RFID, WiFi and Bluetooth MAC addresses, and GSM/CDMA cell IDs, as well as user input. No ...


11

IPsec is actually a family of protocols, it has several sub-protocols that could be used or not used, and the overall security depends on each of these in turn and how they're configured: IKE for protocol negotiation and key management AH for authentication, integrity and I think some protocol protection ESP for encryption and then some. Advantages: ...


11

This depends on weather you are worried about being convicted, or dealing with probable cause (in the U.S.). Let's assume that you are at home. You start up your VPN and connect to your offsite VPN provider. If I am monitoring outgoing traffic (from your house), I know that you just connected to a certain IP address, and that the IP address is a VPN ...


11

You might use low-bandwidth sidechannels. For example, one could set up a site offering pictures, and the site could sport a "thumbnail wall". HTTP protocol allows for requesting those thumbnails in any order, which means that using twenty pictures you can encode up to 20! (i.e., around 60 bits) in the request scheme. There is no way of detecting or blocking ...


11

There isn't really enough information out there to know exactly what is being collected, but if most of it is meta data in nature or user records from services, then a VPN isn't really relevant. For the first situation (phone/Internet connection meta-data), the contents are not being requested, but only what connections are made. While the contents of your ...


10

I have to say that in my opinion, VPN is very overrated in terms of privacy. It's meant to tunnel your private data over an insecure medium, so provide confidentiality from your VPN client to your VPN server, and only between these points. The way from your application to your VPN client and the whole way from your VPN server to your wanted destionation ...


10

A VPN is for wrapping raw IP packets into some kind of "tunnel" between two sites (one of the site being possibly reduced to one computer, i.e. yours). TCP is a protocol which sits on top of IP, and uses IP packets (which are "unreliable": they can get lost, duplicated, reordered...) to provide a reliable two-directional channel for data bytes, where bytes ...


9

Both have security issues if not configured correctly. But first lets start with some definitions: Cisco have a good definition of a VPN: VPN can take several forms. A VPN can be between two end systems, or it can be between two or more networks. A VPN can be built using tunnels or encryption (at essentially any layer of the protocol stack), or both, or ...


9

You can indeed use tun/tap tunneling. The easiest way I know of to do so is using OpenVPN. There are graphical clients for that for most OSs. If you use 'tap' tunneling, your laptop will show up on the remote LAN, since layer 2 network traffic is also sent through the tunnel. Using 'tun' tunneling however, which occurs at layer 3, only your IP traffic is ...


9

Depending on how your VPN is configured, you might or might not use the same DNS for your VPN and for Internet. VPN's are (typically) like an additional IP stack on your system, and can have a separate DNS server address configured. But not all systems do this. If your VPN does not assign a new DNS for the VPN session then you will continue to use the DNS ...


9

When you're wondering about that kind of thing, it really pays to go and read the full privacy policy. It details what they keep in the log. Specifically, speaking about HMA, they keep a log of what IP address was assigned to you. This means that, given a court order, they will (be required to) provide your real identity to law enforcement agencies. Other ...


8

L2TP/IPSEC wraps a simulated data link layer in IPSEC. Plain IPSEC just encrypts the network layer. If you want hosts to think they're on the same LAN, use L2TP/IPSEC; if you'd rather skip the extra bandwidth and processing overhead, use IPSEC.


8

Just don't use the VPN. Honestly. If there is a reason why you want to use that VPN you can do the same as for normal network. Firewall Anti-Virus Use sandbox like virtual machines Keep uptodate of your software and OS Maintain maximum network isolation in order not to compromise other computers.


8

I'm with @M'vy - Don't use the VPN. For that matter, don't connect to the compromised network at all by any means. Contact the appropriate help desk, network administrator, and/or incident response team and advise them of the situation. Don't plug into the network or connect via VPN until they've neutralized the threat to the best of their abilities, and ...


8

No. Well, yes, but probably not the way you're thinking. You'd have to block all outbound traffic by default, and then white-list only the outside hosts (not ports, not services) which you can guarantee won't be usable to bounce traffic (generally because they are also similarly restricted). If you wanted to block all traffic types that for which tools ...


8

Let's look at a breakdown of all the files, whether they're sensitive, and where they came from. /etc/openvpn/ca.crt Publicly disposable, this is the certificate for your VPN's certificate authority. It can be shared with anybody and allows the client to verify the VPN server. /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/hostname.crt This is a certificate identifying the ...


8

Boot to a live CD containing Tor bundle, for the activities you want to be anonymous. Or, boot to a live CD and use a VPN. See also: Different strategies for online anonymity and their +/-s? How much can I trust Tor? Surfing anynomously How to browse the Internet safely? What are the pros and cons of a VPN How can I use a VPN to protect my privacy How do ...


8

You could try downloading a file via either method and seeing if the download speeds are drastically different. The trade-offs between TCP and UDP (regardless of VPN usage) is always the same: You sacrifice speed for reliability as UDP is connectionless and the server sending the data theoretically (depending on the implementation) doesn't care if it ...


8

Let's clear up some confusion here first. Internet Key Exchange (IKE) is a hybrid protocol, it consists of 3 "protocols" ISAKMP: It's not a key exchange protocol per se, it's a framework on which key exchange protocols operate. Oakley: Describes the "modes" of key exchange (e.g. perfect forward secrecy for keys, identity protection, and authentication) ...



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