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  • A note of caution when using proxies, VPNs or TOR to get to AskWoody

    Home Forums AskWoody blog A note of caution when using proxies, VPNs or TOR to get to AskWoody

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    This topic contains 12 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  JohnW 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

    • Author
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    • #315314 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Proxies/VPNs /Tors encrypt the data from the source to the server, but on the other end it’s not encrypted from the server to the destination. That me
      [See the full post at: A note of caution when using proxies, VPNs or TOR to get to AskWoody]

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #315390 Reply

      NetDef
      AskWoody_MVP

      Reminds me of a support call last year.

      They: I can’t get onto the company SharePoint site!

      Me: Hmm, everything’s running fine here.

      After much diagnostic foolishness, come to find out they had left their VPN (for torrent?) connected, and we had long ago blacklisted it’s entire block.

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #315503 Reply

      Kirsty
      Da Boss

      There was a discussion or two on VPNs last year, like this one.

      To check your own IP address, and whether it is blacklisted, whatismyipaddress.com is a good place to start. That will show you what IP address you are currently using, and give a link to see if it’s on a blacklist. They also have a lot of good resources on internet security, such as IP101: The Basics, at the bottom of the homepage, and How Proxy Servers Work.

      • #315633 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        I have occasionally run across a “dirty” IP address assigned by my VPN provider.  It becomes obvious that I am on a blacklist when I run up against a web server that refuses access, but my access elsewhere works normally.

        That happened with this askwoody website, as recently as last week, with the WordPress security turned up high. I had to drop the VPN temporarily to get access.

        Out of the 80 blacklists shown on “whatismyipaddress”, my current VPN IP address is clean on all blacklists except for one, and that one doesn’t seem to affect my access to askwoody today.

        Any time I connect to my VPN, I get assigned a new IP address.  So apparently it is just a roll of the dice that determines whether I get assigned one with a bad history or not.

        It is frustrating to be surfing along, and then bam, hit a roadblock.  At least by using that “whatismyipaddress” blacklist lookup you can keep re-connecting to your VPN until you find an IP address that is reasonably clean! 🙂

    • #315632 Reply

      alfscousin
      AskWoody Lounger

      As has been undoubtedly stated here several times, in the age when your ISP can monetize your web history every user concerned with privacy should be using a VPN.

      The problem of course is the difficulty in finding a good VPN service and then successfully using it.  I’ll leave finding a good VPN provider for another time, the frustrations with using a VPN are lengthy enough.

      I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve purchased something only to have the vendor summarily cancel my order due to the use of a VPN, often after they’ve sent me an order confirmation e-mail and without sending me an order cancellation e-mail.  The product simply doesn’t show up.  Ugh! This is all due to third party anti-fraud insurance companies hired by online sellers.  I don’t blame them for doing so, but crikey, a bit of customer service and follow up would be nice.

      Then there are websites which simply don’t work through the VPN.  Apparently this includes AskWoody for some users.  I don’t blame Woody for this of course, he’s a small operator who’s had substantial problems with attacks (DDOS?), but the internet is becoming less and less usable for sophisticated but not professional users like myself who value their privacy.

      Maybe an idea for a book, Woody?  Privacy for Dummies?

      • #315645 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        You make some good points here.

        But I do have a question about the cancelled ecommerce orders.  I have been using a VPN for some time and I have never had an online order rejected for that reason. I typically pay online with a credit card, or paypal if available. Any problems that I have experienced were related to getting access to the site to begin with.

        Are you registered and signed into said sites using a verified email address at the time of purchase?

      • #315741 Reply

        anonymous

        ProtonVPN is a VPN from the operators of ProtonMail. They are widely trusted, due to their focus on personal privacy. They have a free plan that has no bandwidth limits, though it’s limited to just a few of their busier servers.

        • #315766 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          I wonder how they can stay in business giving free VPN service with no bandwidth limits. They have to pay the bills somehow. And if they aren’t charging the customer, could it be that they are selling the customers’ information? I don’t know of any way they could pay their bills other than those two options.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          • #315865 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            The legit free services usually have paid plans that pay the bills.  They use the limited free services to draw new customers in and get broader exposure.  The same model has been used by some services offering “lifetime” subscription deals.

    • #315800 Reply

      Rawr
      AskWoody Lounger

      Curious, does VPN use separate IP ranges that differ from IP ranges give by your ISP of that country or can they even use those as well?

      • #315802 Reply

        PKCano
        Da Boss

        VPN services have their own block of IP addresses, separate from your ISP. And it’s their block that is use for the connections from their server to the destination.

    • #315908 Reply

      alfscousin
      AskWoody Lounger

      You make some good points here. But I do have a question about the cancelled ecommerce orders. I have been using a VPN for some time and I have never had an online order rejected for that reason. I typically pay online with a credit card, or paypal if available. Any problems that I have experienced were related to getting access to the site to begin with. Are you registered and signed into said sites using a verified email address at the time of purchase?

      I have had issues with sites I’m logged into and have used for years, including Costco and Newegg.  The “Verified by Visa” third party security seems the culprit here. The problem is geolocation of the VPNs IP address.  The vendors don’t think it’s “close enough” to the shipping address.  I don’t understand why a matching credit card billing address and shipping address aren’t enough to guarantee a successful transaction, but apparently not.

      My wife has the same problem ordering things from work, which is only eight miles from home, but uses a corporate VPN which makes her look like she’s on the US east coast rather than in the midwest.

      • #316086 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Ahh, ok that explains a lot! I have just generally always used one of the closest VPN servers to my actual geo location.  I do that to reduce circuit mileage and reduce latency (ping time) and response time over the net.

        I use this tool to check performance of the VPN server that I am connected to: http://www.speedtest.net/

        I get a 20ms ping using the VPN server located in my home town!  🙂

        But I have seen a few verification emails from some websites asking me if I actually logged in from another city/state in the same region. Usually just a heads up thingy with no actual blocking.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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