VPN use

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by W4PG, Jan 7, 2019.

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  1. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Curious how many here routinely use a VPN when surfing the interwebs??
  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had one on my phone for a while, but it just seemed to slow things down, so I removed it. I have a work-related VPN connection that I use for that purpose.
  3. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used NordVPN for a few weeks, and it worked well for the most part, but I ran into a couple of problems:
    • It didn't play well with Chrome--websites would be flagged, or wouldn't load, that loaded fine in other browsers, e.g., Amazon.com.
    • Because you can choose a server not anywhere near your location, websites' cookies that depend on location--such as weatherunderground.com--would pull up weather from the remote server's location and not mine--the websites I visited thought I was in Slovakia instead of Lewiston...but then again, when you think about it, conditions here aren't much better than there, anyway. : )
    I'm sure I could've tweaked NordVPN to accommodate things better, but The Wifoid was impatient so I pulled it off our machines. For value and performance, though, I recommend it, but as K0RGR pointed out, using a VPN you might take a noticeable performance hit on a mobile device; desktop computer, not so much.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  4. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Frequently. I have two VPN endpoints that are on VLANs and I get to them through their own wireless SSIDs.

    One reason is that my previous employer was a global ecom giant, and it helped to debug their problems if I were actually trying to access data from that region of the world.
    Another is privacy. Sometimes I don't want sites knowing where I am or I want a particular session to fall under European GDPR.
  5. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use to use VPN to get access to my work place (Aerospace Giant) from remote areas. Actually, any place outside the plant was remote. If I went out to the parking lot, I would need VPN to access companies computers. But I did need it for trips around the US. It was a bit slow, but usable. Except for the times when I needed to run X-Windows over a VPN connection. It's doable, but you need a lot of patience.

    I worked in Germany for a number of years, but that was before the big home computer thing happened. Then, if you weren't in front of the computer, you didn't have access.

    But I never used VPN to just access the internet. I don't really care if sites know where I am. They would be wrong by over 150 miles anyway. For me, the main hub for internet access is in Phoenix. But access where I liver is routed east to Flagstaff (50 miles) and then south to Phoenix (100 miles).
  6. W4EAE

    W4EAE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Speed seems to be the most common complaint with VPNs. The truth is, there are a lot of variables. Different protocols certainly make a difference as to speed, and the device running the client must have the requisite specs for speed.

    With OpenVPN, your distance from the server makes a huge difference as to speed. I have a 100Mb/s x 10Mb/s connection with Spectrum. Accessing an OpenVPN server 50 miles away, I still have 100x10. If I connect to a server on the other side of the Atlantic, is goes to about 15x10.

    From the standpoint of ease of setup and level of security nothing beats OpenVPN. I wouldn't even consider using a VPN service that didn't offer OpenVPN. Modern iPhones and Android phones certainly have the processing power to run it well. The problem is, consumer routers do not. And--of course--if you desktop or laptop is a 'slow' computer, a VPN will only compound the problem.

    I have never really considered my use of a VPN as primarily to keep websites from seeing where I am. I use it more because I don't think that my internet service provider has any business tracking where I go on the web. I don't really think they plan to do anything malicious with it, but they would certainly monetize that information if they had it.

    Also, my ISP can't speed up or slow down my connection for monetary gain based on what I viewing when all they see is encrypted traffic. If everyone used a VPN, then the potential problems for consumers that could result from end of net neutrality would vanish.

    If you wouldn't mind your mobile phone company listening to your phone calls, don't worry about a VPN. If that idea would bother you, get started.
  7. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go here, see how wrong it is. The geoip databases can be surprisingly accurate.

  8. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    VPNs or anonymizers?

    anonymizer def - An anonymizer or an anonymous proxy is a tool that attempts to make activity on the Internet untraceable. It is a proxy server computer that acts as an intermediary and privacy shield between a client computer and the rest of the Internet.
  9. W4EAE

    W4EAE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you mean 'Anonymizer' as the company of that name, they use proprietary security protocols (un-auditable). Stay away.

    If you mean a generic web proxy, then also beware. There could be security (encryption) built in, or not. I would not trust a web proxy for anything other than spoofing a location; and as I said be, that isn't my primary concern.
  10. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I was just curious since internet providers have the right to start selling browsing information whether folks feel the need to use a VPN. I have NordVPN and have had no problems with is and Chrome, though I use Firefox most of the time. It slows down the speed slightly but not that bad. I just connected through a node in Atlanta and got 190 Mbps via the VPN and 220 without it. That's not bad. NordVPN provides the "anonymizer" services described above, allowing one to connect through various proxy servers around the globe.

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