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I am currently renting an apartment with shared guest internet and I don't have access to the router. For several reasons (mostly privacy), I don't want others in my apartment to see what I am doing online.

I have purchased a VPN-license from a third-party which provides reliable PPTP, SSTP and OpenVPN vpn.

This question is partly divided into two things:

  1. Is it possible for other people (in my apartment and network provider) to see what I am doing online when I have SSTP-vpn enabled?
  2. Do I need to do extra steps to enhance my privacy at home?
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If you use a VPN which originates at your computer (no matter of PPTP, SSTP or OpenVPN) it will - if properly implemented - protect your traffic against sniffing by anybody on the network path between your computer and the VPN endpoint of your VPN provider. Since this VPN endpoint is somewhere on the internet for the kind of VPN you bought, it will protect your traffic details from getting sniffed by others using the same shared internet, the owner of the shared internet access and also your direct internet provider for the internet access.

But note that to achieve this kind of protection all data must go through the VPN. It is a common misconfiguration that DNS traffic and/or IPv6 traffic does not go through the VPN. There are several sites which let you check for such leaks like check.ipredator.se.

Also note that even if you use a VPN others can still see traffic patterns, i.e. amount of data transferred and timing. From that they might conclude activities, like that you watch a video or do large up- or downloads.

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VPN'S operate in a very specific manner.

Here's what a VPN does not do:

  • DNS
  • Encrypt I.P. traffic behind a firewall
  • Route beyond VPN Tunnel I.P.'S

VPN's simply secure (encapsulated) I.P. traffic between two points, be they on a LAN, WAN that transports traffic through two or more routing points. This is accomplished using encryption.

SSTP is so named because it transports traffic through the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol. Because it uses SSL over TCP port 443 it is much less susceptible to blocking by firewalls than L2TP.

Although it doesn't share the same open source advantages as OpenVPN, SSTP is generally considered to be one of the most secure protocols.

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    While you describe what a VPN does you don't specifically address the question of the OP, i.e. "Is a SSTP-VPN connection enough to hide my internet traffic?" – Steffen Ullrich Sep 30 '18 at 15:56
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Is a SSTP-VPN connection enough to hide my internet traffic?

I am currently renting an apartment with shared guest internet and I don't have access to the router. For several reasons (mostly privacy), I don't want others in my apartment to see what I am doing online.

  1. Is it possible for other people (in my apartment and network provider) to see what I am doing online when I have SSTP-vpn enabled?

It's not "impossible" only unlikely (time best spent elsewhere, if they have the technology).

It's possible to have Deep Content Inspection and your ISP almost certainly has Deep Packed Inspection. You can buy a box like the Cisco SSL Appliance it allows "Decryption of traffic up to 3.5 Gbps with over five million simultaneous flows" and permits "Logging the details of all SSL flows to detect suspicious trends or patterns".

Cisco SSL Appliance

There's a good chance that your roommate doesn't own one, there's an excellent chance that your government has much better equipment. You can build your own box, it's just a computer with a couple of ethernet ports, and there's software available. Since SSTP is proprietary you won't find people publically advertising that they're selling equipment that's not licensed and if there's a court order for lawful interception it's not helpful to announce the availability and usage of such equipment.

  1. Do I need to do extra steps to enhance my privacy at home?

Against your roommate?, probably not.

The usual rule applies: Don't have or do anything you don't want anyone to know about.

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  • I don't think "unlikely" is even accurate. A VPN can be surprisingly tricky to configure properly, and if improperly configured it can easily leak information to the local network. See Stefan's answer. – Conor Mancone Sep 30 '18 at 22:06
  • You'll need to apply context and scoping. – Rob Sep 30 '18 at 23:18

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