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How secure are VPN's?


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#1
shadowsbayne

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Hi all.

My question is this:

I use a pay service called Private Internet Access and they claim to a) not log where you go on the internet and b) that when using their service your ISP (in my case AT&T Uverse internet) has no way of knowing what you are doing on the internet. That doesn't make any sense to me, because you would think that even when using the private service that your ISP would see where you go and what you do, and only the website on the other end of the connection would be fooled. Am I right? Is using a VPN as secure as using a service like TOR? And are they telling the truth about never logging?

I ask these questions because I am concerned about my privacy, and if my ISP can see where I go and what I download then I feel like I would be wasting money on this private service. Any information would be appreciated, especially on how internet connections and proxies work.

Thanks!
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#2
PatrickU

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Hi,

Good day.

There can be both the cases - can watch and cannot. The former is very hard and sort of impossible but still can be done if they place a software like Keylogger which can track your keystrokes. But that is called "hacking" so like I said, not very likely.

I think the term VPN and what it exactly does is not very clear to you yet. What a VPN basically is just an IP address which is same as any other domain name when you resolve their DNS. So what YOUR IP will see you surfing or doing would be just connected to THAT VPN IP and nothing else which makes the PIA (Private Internet Access) and any other VPN's claims true. It works the same way technically.

I carried out quite detailed video on how VPN works and how it keeps you private by drawing things out, if you want you can watch it here. :)

Hope that helps.

Feel free to ask more questions if anything is still unclear.

-Patrick.

Edited by PatrickU, 08 January 2014 - 06:00 AM.

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#3
SpywareDr

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http://windowssecret...plus-from-2013/

The only catch to using VPN is that you have to trust your VPN provider. As the man in the middle, the provider knows who you are and where you are. An unscrupulous VPN provider could easily snoop your decrypted data. So it's important to use only reputable companies.

The various free VPN providers are fine for lightweight, anonymous surfing. But for sensitive communications, where a security breach could have serious repercussions, it's best to use an established commercial VPN provider with a good reputation.


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#4
AdvHomeServer

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If your ISP is your DNS resolver, then it probably knows where you want to go. Whether it saves that information is another matter. I really don't know. If you use a different DNS service, then they can save whatever they choose, if anything.

Messages you send out contains the originating IP address so the endpoint knows where to return it. I think Tor modifies that so only the first hop knows where the inquiry originated.

Your VPN service can probably hide you. Your local ISP will only know you connected to them when you made your DNS request to find their site. Their privacy policy is a contract with you and is as good as they want it to be. If you log into Facebook or Google or the like while surfing on your VPN, you might as well consider yourself as using a neon sign concerning your browsing. They will cookie up your session just as if you never heard of a VPN service.

Advanced Home Server
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#5
tk3608

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Good answer.

Edited by tk3608, 25 January 2014 - 12:22 AM.

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