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Stealthy Slacker Goes VPN w/ a Little Help from Josh


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#26 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:22 PM

Good deal with the workaround :thumbsup:

Luckily mine uses UDP with SSL tunnel by default anyway
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#27 OFFLINE   kiakeu

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 04:12 PM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 02 June 2016 - 02:22 PM, said:

Good deal with the workaround :thumbsup:

Luckily mine uses UDP with SSL tunnel by default anyway

Ah ok, fair enough. Seems I get lower speeds over SSL than SSH so I just stick with SSH.

#28 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 10:25 AM

Bumping this older thread because I decided to go with Private Internet Access myself. I didn't get quite as good a price as Eric did last year but for $40/year I figured it was worth it. Less than a Starbucks coffee per month really.
My Impressions so far:

Installation
Pretty easy with Windows. Download and install as administrator. Not bad with Linux either - download a TAR package, extract and run a shell script. It worked fine in Linux Mint and MX-16. Android has an app that works great with a tablet.

Performance
Bandwidth tests a bit slower but still OK for surfing and videos. Nothing to be concerned about.

Interface
Quite minimal and unobtrusive. Seems to have the appropriate settings though.

Geolocation
Went over to the UK to read The Guardian in its UK edition rather than the International version. Works fine. I don't intend to mess with Netflix.

Settings
I found it's better to wait until you've booted up and then launch PIA. If you launch automatically on boot with Windows, ESET starts complaining about a new network. I got around this by having ESET automatically mark any new network as Public. I don't share data between the machines on my LAN so this is no problem.
With Linux Mint Cinnamon started crashing if I tried to launch PIA on boot.

The main reason for me to get a VPN is to be safe on coffee shop nets or if I travel. I am not concerned too much with privacy or government snooping as they'd be pretty bored with what they'd find out. But it's nice to safely use a public network when you need to.
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#29 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 10:43 AM

Nice :thumbsup:
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#30 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 12:04 PM

View Postraymac46, on 27 February 2017 - 10:25 AM, said:

Bumping this older thread because I decided to go with Private Internet Access myself. I didn't get quite as good a price as Eric did last year but for $40/year I figured it was worth it. Less than a Starbucks coffee per month really.

I think my $31.95 was a special intro rate. When it renews (via auto-payment w/ PayPal) in May, I think it'll increase a bit.

Quote

My Impressions so far:

Installation
Pretty easy with Windows. Download and install as administrator. Not bad with Linux either - download a TAR package, extract and run a shell script. It worked fine in Linux Mint and MX-16. Android has an app that works great with a tablet.

It was a wee bit more complicated with Slackware using Network Manager, but no big deal.

Quote

Performance
Bandwidth tests a bit slower but still OK for surfing and videos. Nothing to be concerned about.

Yup. The encryption payload does add some latency and slowness to the initial handshake packets, but it zips along close to my ISP rating after that.

Quote

Interface
Quite minimal and unobtrusive. Seems to have the appropriate settings though.

In the advanced settings area, you can tweak ports and other settings to improve and stabilize speeds.

Quote

Geolocation
Went over to the UK to read The Guardian in its UK edition rather than the International version. Works fine. I don't intend to mess with Netflix.

Settings
I found it's better to wait until you've booted up and then launch PIA. If you launch automatically on boot with Windows, ESET starts complaining about a new network. I got around this by having ESET automatically mark any new network as Public. I don't share data between the machines on my LAN so this is no problem.
With Linux Mint Cinnamon started crashing if I tried to launch PIA on boot.

As stated above, settings can be tweaked. One problem I developed a couple months after signing up for this is that my Thunderbird stopped sending (smtp) with some of my email accounts. I contacted PIA customer support and they explained that it was a DNS error and to change my server settings for my accounts to the IP addresses rather than URLs. For example: smtp.mail.yahoo.com became 63.250.193.228. That resolved that issue.

I've been very impressed with their customer/technical support, by the way. It's some of the best I've ever experienced with online services.

Quote

The main reason for me to get a VPN is to be safe on coffee shop nets or if I travel. I am not concerned too much with privacy or government snooping as they'd be pretty bored with what they'd find out. But it's nice to safely use a public network when you need to.

Ah, yes... I've heard that statement many, many times over the years when the topic of privacy/security comes up. My response usually is something like, "Well, you probably don't do anything illegal in your bedroom at night. That doesn't mean you like to have government cameras and mics in there monitoring your activities." I rarely do anything untoward on the Internet, either. However, it's the principle of the thing. Privacy is a RIGHT. Expectation of even minimal privacy in one's life is a must. ANYTHING that weakens privacy rights should be analyzed and considered very deeply before it becomes law. Unfortunately, in this day and age, privacy rights have been thoroughly trampled by governments in the stated interest of security. I italicize "stated" above because that's what they tell you, yet when they get the permission/means to spy on you they will, regardless of whether or not you're some perceived security threat. Why? Because they can.

A favorite quote of mine: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~Ben Franklin*

*His quote was taken out of context and really has nothing to do with personal privacy/security issues. However, the words themselves speak volumes in that context in this day and age.

#31 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:26 PM

I'm in a different country and as far as I can figure out, the Canadian government cannot get my ISP to turn over my ID even if they know my IP address - unless they get a warrant. Even a child pornographer was protected when the cops did NOT get a warrant and went after him by getting his ID from the ISP.
Mind you they can still get after you if they can come up with enough evidence to get a warrant.
There was a security bill passed a couple of years ago but most of the stuff in it was about sharing information between government departments and taking down websites that encouraged seditious activity. There was nothing about logging Internet activity and making it available to CSIS - our version of the NSA.
@Eric I agree with your previous post about the right to privacy - but I wonder really how much privacy anyone has when you can look up where they live on Google Earth with a couple of clicks.

For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. ..Lk. 8:17

Edited by raymac46, 27 February 2017 - 03:37 PM.

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#32 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 08:47 PM

The average joe on the Internet would have a difficult time finding me. Now, people I've interacted with for decades online probably know enough to show up at my doorstep. But average joe, who doesn't know me and only gets my "name" and IP address from some forum admin log would have a difficult time finding me. However, average Big Brother probably knows what I had for breakfast today. ;)

Shhhh... don't tell anyone, but I know someone who is a "data" analyst for the US. Navy and the NSA. You'd be amazed what the spooks can find out about U.S. citizens or ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the world. :unsure2:

#33 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:14 PM

No doubt there are folks out there who could find out a great deal about me if they wanted to be bothered. However since I am not running an organized crime syndicate, or a child porn operation, or plotting to overthrow the government in some way - they move on to more interesting targets. Any one who wants to make my life an open book would probably get chewed out by his boss for wasting time and precious resources.
I do jealously guard my personal ID and banking information as that might be worth stealing. If someone wants to datamine the fact that I like AMD or drive an old Jeep, well - more power to them. Targeting me with a few ads won't bother me.
In fact sometimes the results are comical. I just bought a couple of remanufactured ink cartridges for an old printer the grandkids use here. Amazon sent me an email offering to sell them to me again a day or so later. The kids didn't print THAT much over the weekend. :Laughing:
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#34 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 12:20 AM

The key is to stay off of the radar, to blend in with the rest of the metadata... :zorro:
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#35 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 11:42 AM

Most of the people who have trouble in my experience are Windows users who cause their own problems. Either they click on email attachments or they visit dodgy sites. They don't pay for security apps like Malware Bytes Pro that could help keep them out of trouble. They worry about being hacked all the time and fall for fake virus warnings and phone scams. They either don't secure wifi or they surf in coffee shops without checking the network.
If you are reasonably careful you should be able to avoid the majority of bad guys out there.
But even the best of us can get something or other. I got a fake virus warning from trying to check the weather for a soccer game in Warsaw. At least I knew it was fake. That probably wouldn't happen today because I run Malware Bytes Pro on Windows.
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