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Posted: 2/6/2021 1:02:00 PM EDT
Dinesh D'Souza recommends Expressvpn. My wife and I are considering buying into it. A question:

Does the VPN only encrypt data between my computer and its computers? In other words, when it gets to Expressvpn's servers, the data is unencrypted and then sent to, say, my insurance agent's computer, or to Ar15.com? If so, the data itself is no longer "safe." But (I'm assuming) that the address data on each ingoing and outgoing packet is still secure.
Link Posted: 2/6/2021 1:09:55 PM EDT
Another question: Expressvpn says that certain routers may be used to handle all the household traffic; could I repurpose a PC or laptop to serve as a single VPN, ahead of the router?
Link Posted: 2/6/2021 4:41:49 PM EDT
Correct. A VPN encrypts from your machine to the provider's servers. Then it is normal traffic from there.
You could use a computer as a VPN gateway, but the setup would probably be beyond you (no offence).

A VPN is really only good for three things. 1. Bypassing region blocks. 2. Hiding the source of your traffic. 3. Protecting your information when you are on public wifi.
Link Posted: 2/6/2021 6:45:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2021 6:46:33 PM EDT by bighorse44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Imzadi:
Correct. A VPN encrypts from your machine to the provider's servers. Then it is normal traffic from there.
You could use a computer as a VPN gateway, but the setup would probably be beyond you (no offence).

A VPN is really only good for three things. 1. Bypassing region blocks. 2. Hiding the source of your traffic. 3. Protecting your information when you are on public wifi.
View Quote


It's really not even good at 3), or at least 3) is  mostly irrelevant. I don't even know the last time I used a site that wasn't SSL/TLS...

I use a VPN (to my house) to get around the BS corporate firewall at my work. When I used torrents, I would use FastestVPN (I got a lifetime sub for like $25).

As an aside, I would honestly wouldn't be surprised if 25% of VPNs are really just .gov honeypots. My suspect#1 is all of the ones you hear about marketed on Podcasts. Hell, if I was the corrupt fascistic government that we have, I would set up several VPNs and make them significantly faster and cheaper than the competition, and market them better.

A lot of people fail to understand that with a VPN, all you are doing is changing who you trust....
Link Posted: 2/6/2021 6:48:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/6/2021 6:49:45 PM EDT by bighorse44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:
Another question: Expressvpn says that certain routers may be used to handle all the household traffic; could I repurpose a PC or laptop to serve as a single VPN, ahead of the router?
View Quote


You can, yes. In fact, I think a lot of newer consumer grade Wifi routers actually support OpenVPN, now.... If you are going to repurpose a PC for this, you might consider just using the PC as your router with PfSense (free, open-source, enterprise-grade router software). You would probably have to another NIC ($20ish for a used one on eBay).

I bet 90% of consumer routers are gigantic security holes.
Link Posted: 2/6/2021 6:50:21 PM EDT
I would add a potential fourth advantage, which addresses an issue that may or may not exist with your ISP.  Network traffic management.  Some ISPs have been known to throttle certain types of traffic, such as video, ostensibly to maintain better service to their customers.  With a VPN, the data traffic between you and the VPN is encrypted and the various network monitoring systems can't tell if you're watching video from the data format itself.  As such, you wouldn't be throttled by the ISP under some automated algorithm - if the throttling is based on total data used, you're still going to be throttled, though, and you may find that the VPN itself results in poor throughput or latency, so you won't necessarily see improvements using a VPN, even if throttling is an issue.

Mike
Link Posted: 2/7/2021 4:15:57 PM EDT
More questions: How do I know the VPN is even working?

Someone said that some browsers have VPNs built in. I looked at Google's browser which says it does, but I'm not gonna trust them at all.
Link Posted: 2/7/2021 6:53:23 PM EDT
A VPN masks your traffic from the VPN client to the host.  This means that your ISP can only see that you are sending and receiving encrypted traffic from the VPN server.  If you are using a VPN if you do a what is my IP you will get a result that is an IP range your VPN provider gives, which is what all external traffic sees.
It's not a total privacy thing though.
Switch to Dissenter Browser on your PC.  Get rid of Chrome or Edge.  Still a lot of fingerprints in the browser that can be used to track and follow you.
Link Posted: 2/8/2021 12:46:04 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:
More questions: How do I know the VPN is even working?

Someone said that some browsers have VPNs built in. I looked at Google's browser which says it does, but I'm not gonna trust them at all.
View Quote
Fire up your VPN, then go to https://www.whatismyip.com/

It will show you the IP address that the website is detecting, which should be the address from your VPN server at whatever location you chose.

Then disconnect the VPN and go back to the same page. It should show a new IP address, probably very close to your actual location.
Link Posted: 2/8/2021 12:53:14 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sartorius:
Fire up your VPN, then go to https://www.whatismyip.com/

It will show you the IP address that the website is detecting, which should be the address from your VPN server at whatever location you chose.

Then disconnect the VPN and go back to the same page. It should show a new IP address, probably very close to your actual location.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sartorius:
Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:
More questions: How do I know the VPN is even working?

Someone said that some browsers have VPNs built in. I looked at Google's browser which says it does, but I'm not gonna trust them at all.
Fire up your VPN, then go to https://www.whatismyip.com/

It will show you the IP address that the website is detecting, which should be the address from your VPN server at whatever location you chose.

Then disconnect the VPN and go back to the same page. It should show a new IP address, probably very close to your actual location.



"The site you are trying to reach has been included on a blocklist of suspect addresses for malware, phishing or spam."

My VPN must be working
Link Posted: 2/9/2021 4:13:35 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bighorse44:


It's really not even good at 3), or at least 3) is  mostly irrelevant. I don't even know the last time I used a site that wasn't SSL/TLS...

I use a VPN (to my house) to get around the BS corporate firewall at my work. When I used torrents, I would use FastestVPN (I got a lifetime sub for like $25).

As an aside, I would honestly wouldn't be surprised if 25% of VPNs are really just .gov honeypots. My suspect#1 is all of the ones you hear about marketed on Podcasts. Hell, if I was the corrupt fascistic government that we have, I would set up several VPNs and make them significantly faster and cheaper than the competition, and market them better.

A lot of people fail to understand that with a VPN, all you are doing is changing who you trust....
View Quote


Oh it gets better, 86 of the top 100 common VPN subscriptions are owned by 5 different Chinese holding companies.
Link Posted: 2/12/2021 11:25:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2021 11:32:35 AM EDT by veritas8985]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mike_c130:
I would add a potential fourth advantage, which addresses an issue that may or may not exist with your ISP.  Network traffic management.  Some ISPs have been known to throttle certain types of traffic, such as video, ostensibly to maintain better service to their customers.  With a VPN, the data traffic between you and the VPN is encrypted and the various network monitoring systems can't tell if you're watching video from the data format itself.  As such, you wouldn't be throttled by the ISP under some automated algorithm - if the throttling is based on total data used, you're still going to be throttled, though, and you may find that the VPN itself results in poor throughput or latency, so you won't necessarily see improvements using a VPN, even if throttling is an issue.

Mike
View Quote


Agreed. If you are tethering your phone to a computer or using a SIM card/cellular modem setup, a VPN is a great thing to have.  1080p TV through a tethered laptop in the middle of nowhere is nice.

I hear that they are also good for acquiring movies, music, software, etc. through entirely legitimate means.  

OP, a few things when selecting a VPN.

1.  Make sure they are located outside the US and don't have an information sharing agreement with the us.  (there's a term for this, I forget)
2.  Make sure they don't keep activity logs.
3.  Avoid free VPNs.  They are most likely selling your data.  On the other hand, they shouldn't be very expensive.
4.  Make sure all of your devices are compatible with the software or you can connect manually.
Link Posted: 2/12/2021 1:09:06 PM EDT
Regarding logging of ExpressVPN vs. Nord:

ExpressVPN versus NordVPN: Logging

The logging status of any VPN administration is a significant selling point, and both have been checked by a free PricewaterhouseCooper review which fulfilled their cases of positively no logging.

ExpressVPN logs a negligible sum – simply the date of association and the decision of worker. That data alone doesn't place the client in danger in any capacity, and as no other information is put away.

In the two cases, the logging strategies are clear and straightforward. It's consistently a decent sign when all important data is promptly accessible, and we acclaim the two administrations on their responsibility to straightforwardness.


How does someone review the VPN company's logs?
Link Posted: 2/12/2021 1:52:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2021 1:54:46 PM EDT by wildearp]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Imzadi:
Correct. A VPN encrypts from your machine to the provider's servers. Then it is normal traffic from there.
You could use a computer as a VPN gateway, but the setup would probably be beyond you (no offence).

A VPN is really only good for three things. 1. Bypassing region blocks. 2. Hiding the source of your traffic. 3. Protecting your information when you are on public wifi.
View Quote
Region blocks often lock out a VPN BECAUSE it can't determine a region.  

Some streaming services also block them, so be sure to check into that.

I can't stream Youtubetv on my VPN.  I also can't go to one local grocer's site, not even the home page, it is completely blocked.
Link Posted: 2/15/2021 10:39:11 PM EDT
I pulled the trigger and got a year's subscription. Doesn't seem to lag appreciably. But I've been logged off all my websites, probably because of the new IP address.
Link Posted: 4/4/2021 4:28:56 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Enigma102083:


Oh it gets better, 86 of the top 100 common VPN subscriptions are owned by 5 different Chinese holding companies.
View Quote

@Enigma102083

Source??
Link Posted: 4/4/2021 5:23:22 PM EDT
Now it seems to lag at least 20 seconds from home screen to VPN connection.
Link Posted: 4/4/2021 7:30:18 PM EDT
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