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Choosing a vpn


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#1
CabezaEnFuego

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In the interest of securing my privacy, I've been looking into setting up a VPN connection for my home computers. I'm not quite sure what I should be looking for, whether there are good free services or decent moderately priced options.

I've done some research, read some other posts here and from what I can tell it is completely legitimate and shouldn't violate the TOS to be asking this, but of course that would be the call of the mods.
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#2
DaffyKantReed

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In the interest of securing my privacy, I've been looking into setting up a VPN connection for my home computers. I'm not quite sure what I should be looking for, whether there are good free services or decent moderately priced options.

I've done some research, read some other posts here and from what I can tell it is completely legitimate and shouldn't violate the TOS to be asking this, but of course that would be the call of the mods.


What exactly are you trying to accomplish with your home network?
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#3
CabezaEnFuego

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My main focus is to protect myself online as much as possible. I do a lot of shopping and banking online and a VPN seems like a good way to provide additional security for that. Also I just don't like the idea that my activity can be monitored.
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#4
dsenette

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you're completely incorrect as to what you're looking for and what you think it will do for you.

a VPN is a Virtual Private Network. A VPN basically sets up an encrypted (hopefully, assuming you're using the right technology) tunnel through the internet from point A to point B and while that sounds neat for keeping your INTERNET connections secure, it's not (completely)...a VPN requires a client and an endpoint. the client would be your computer, and an endpoint would be a router/firewall/concentrator on the other end of the connection (like your office). by definition a VPN has a finite start and a finite end so you can't just throw up an open ended VPN that would keep your traffic secure while surfing the INTERNET.

you could check out the TOR anonymity network (specifically vidalia and TOR) as a bit of an option (though not complete as this just anonymizes your connection, not secure it) but even going through several proxies and anonymizers isn't fool proof, if someone REALLY wants to track you they will.

the closest thing to what you're looking for that i've found is the secure browsing technology built into the IronKey USB drive. it basically routes all of your internet traffic (assuming you've got the drive plugged in and you're using the secure sessions browser built into the drive) from your machine into a modified version of the TOR network that's encapsulated in a VPN tunnel...so basically when you go to a website, someone could see the traffic leave your computer destined for the closest entry point on the IronKey TOR system, once your traffic hits that entry point it would fall off the map untill it comes back out through a random exit point on the network (which the person looking at your local traffic would never see because they wouldn't know where to look)
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#5
CabezaEnFuego

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Thanks dsnette. I had a hard time finding any good explanation of a VPN and I guess obviously I still didn't get a good idea of its purpose. The TOR setup does sound a lot more like what I'm looking for.
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#6
DaffyKantReed

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MokaFive might be a good solution for you. It uses the VMware player and Ubuntu to provide a fairly secure environment. You can also use Tor and Privoxy from Firefox with one mouse click.


You can do the same thing by booting from a Linux Live CD or by dual booting, which is something I have done for more than a decade.
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#7
dsenette

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while mocha or a live CD would keep you from getting your actual computer infected, neither would particularly protect your internet traffic from interception
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#8
DaffyKantReed

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dsenette: the OP wants to feel safer while shopping and banking. Booting from a live CD will keep them free of malware, viruses, etc. As long as the certificate is valid, the browser takes care of SSL/TLS. Of course something as simple as a hardware keylogger or not so simple ACPI rootkit would have this machine compromised.


From a remote PC to home a person can tunnel X over SSH or do just the opposite, depending on the circumstances.

For general surfing, Tor/Vidalia/Privoxy may be a good choice, as long as the user knows the exit node can not be trusted entirely.

If I'm missing something here please feel free to point it out.
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