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Thread: VPNs

  1. #1

    VPNs

    Do any of our computer geeks/gurus have an informed opinion on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)? I didn’t find any posts on the subject.

    Thanks for sharing your expertise if you have something to share.

    Harry


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Northern Florida
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    I researched this a few years ago and decided on Private Internet Access (https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/). I've never used it extensively but pre-pandemic there were times we would be in a motel or somewhere away from our home wifi that I would not have used the Internet without it. I sometimes turn it on before I follow a suspicious link or go to a web site I'm not sure about. It was not difficult to install or use but you can't be a complete computer novice. The most annoying thing was that Google would recognize I was using a VPN and would make me prove I was a human by playing games with fuzzy pictures. That's not the fault of the VPN. Except for Google, it worked seamlessy on several computers and my phone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    I could be considered that kind of resource, but I have zero interest in using a VPN nor do I have a specific need, such as wanting to access content that's limited to a specific region that I don't live in. I will also mention that more and more, the spam catch features on forums are flagging a huge number of legitimate users on VPN because the nefarious spammers, etc., are using them to mask their locations in an effort to penetrate said forums.The VPN service still shows IP addresses and they are both shared and flagged big-time. VPNs for secure access to business resources are the bee's knees. I'm not really sure of the real value for personal users other than accessing content as I mentioned above. The data stream is only secure while it's still in the tunnel for general Internet use...once it exits, it's still vulnerable to anything that could happen with a non-VPN connection.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    My IP address was blacklisted- again (Comcast's dynamic IP address blocks issue, if any IP address in the block is blackballed, ALL addresses in the block can get blackballed )-
    -and as such my own domain host shut down access to my email server. The only recourse I had was the TOR browser, it was the only way I could access my email for days.

    I also use TOR when shopping for gifts for the wife, because if I don't everything I looked at ends up as an ad on HER phone...

    Just 2 reasons I can think of for having a VPN...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    VPNs for secure access to business resources are the bee's knees. I'm not really sure of the real value for personal users other than accessing content as I mentioned above. The data stream is only secure while it's still in the tunnel for general Internet use...once it exits, it's still vulnerable to anything that could happen with a non-VPN connection.
    I couldn’t agree more

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Doylestown, PA
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    6,622
    I too use PIA, I spend some time on public WiFi. I think when my annual subscription is up, I'm going with Firefox's VPN. It's a little more $$, $5/month vs. $39/year for PIA but I like Mozilla's efforts re privacy plus their VPN provider is Swedish and Europe seems to be making an effort to limit dissemination of personal data. PIA's CTO (chief technical officer) has a 'colorful history' re cryptocurrency (he was convicted). I haven't heard of any problems at PIA but still .....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    I spend some time on public WiFi.
    That's actually another excellent use case where a VPN does make sense. The encrypted stream on public WiFi can be very helpful when one must conduct actual business that requires privacy.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for your input. So, my uninformed take on VPNs was that they would prevent someone from accessing my devices through a WiFi network whether it be my own or another system. It sounds like that’s true but also brings some unanticipated complications.

    Another question:
    I switched to an eero WiFi mesh system when my Apple router quit working and eero tried to sell me a subscription to their “eero secure” internet security software. Do you think this additional layer of security is necessary and effective?


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    I use Eero mesh...it's a really great system. Their security offering has a number of features that could be useful for folks. I already have a subscription to Malwarebytes for my Mac and don't need all the filtering and VPN, etc., so I opted not to subscribe. But if you would actually use the features including in the bundle, it appears to be a cost effective way to get them all at the same time.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Jim, I have to admit that when I open this thread I had you in mind 👍. It sounds like I need to take eero up on their “special deals” whenever they become available again.
    Thanks for your help.
    Harry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    No problem. Many of the features of that bundle are available out there in the market because they are "partner provided" You can easily determine if the cost of the features you would actually use is less with the bundle than by buying them a la carté. That analysis applies whether you opt for the bundle at normal cost or with the new customer promotion. Slightly off-topic, as to the EERO...I'm darn impressed with it. I have the Pro 6 version because we have gigabit symmetrical service and the wireless performance for devices that can take advantage of it is pretty darn good. Unlike at our previous property where I had a lot of hardwired Ethernet because of the nature of the property, here at the new place, it's all wireless except for the connection to my CNC machine's computer.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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