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  • VPN Caution: How Genuine is That Review?

    Home Forums Code Red – Security/Privacy advisories VPN Caution: How Genuine is That Review?

    This topic contains 37 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by

     deuce120 1 month ago.

    • Author
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    • #214707 Reply

      Kirsty
      Da Boss

      Is PureVPN Legit? Proof that PureVPN Bought Every VPN Review
      By Ripoff Reporter | August 30, 2018

       
      I found an interesting blog post written by an anonymous user. His post outlines how PureVPN owns almost every VPN review site that says they are a “TOP” VPN.

      PureVPN is owned by Gaditek which is operated from Karachi, Pakistan. PureVPN claims to be operated from Hong Kong but if you dig deeper…

      … it just so happens that most VPN review sites with reviewers that have PureVPN rated #1, also happen to work for Gaditek. This means that essentially, PureVPN has created a blog network giving users “informative review content” that is owned by themselves.

      Owned by PureVPN: BestVPNService.com, This site was penalised by Google [a] few years back, this is when they started VPNRanks.com.

      Another Tidbit- PureVPN Gave UP Logs in 2017
      PureVPN was claiming to be no log VPN provider and was recently revealed that the company was lying to its customers regarding their no log policy after a recent case where FBI demanded logs from PureVPN and they handed over all the details. PureVPN lost all the credibility.

       
      Read the full article here

      7 users thanked author for this post.
    • #214721 Reply

      Noel Carboni
      AskWoody_MVP

      I’d like to ask a question to no one in particular:

      Why do you want to use or think you need a VPN?

      -Noel

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #214817 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Well to answer to nobody in particular … 😉

        1. If you are using a laptop connected to a wi-fi hotspot in a public place, it is certainly a no-brainer to use a VPN service while connected to an untrusted network, and is highly recommended from both a security and privacy standpoint.

        2. If you live in the USA, you now have to worry about your ISP collecting data about everything that you connect to on the net.  Now they are permitted by Federal law to collect and sell this information without your permission.

        And you thought Microsoft snooping was annoying?  Do you realize that every device in your household connects to the world through through your ISP connection?  They have always had access to your connection logs, but now they can sell the data.

        If you use a VPN from your home network, the only thing that your ISP can now see is the IP address of your VPN service provider.  Everything that now passes through your ISP is encrypted, so they can only guess by your bandwidth consumption what it is you are doing.  Good luck with that I say!

        From where I sit I see a huge difference in the potential data collection activities by big internet companies like Google for example, from those of your local ISP.

        It is simply this:  You can choose what, if anything, that you share with Google, by declining to use certain Google services.

        But with your ISP, you cannot connect to the net without them, and then they can see everywhere that you go.  No opting out possible here.  Plus they already know a lot about you, such as exactly where you live, they have access to your credit reports and billing info, and possibly email and text messages, etc.  Since they already have tons of personally identifiable info about you, then collecting internet usage data and mining it would be a much easier task for them.

        I realize that many websites have secure connection already, but the ISP can still collect DNS queries and the metadata regarding the IP domains that you connect to.  That info is not encrypted.  Your ISP needs it to connect you to your net destination.

        So in light of recent developments, I would prefer to let the VPN collect connection logs on me (and many even do claim no-logging policies) instead of the ISP, as they have minimal personal info about me to start with.

        8 users thanked author for this post.
        • #214864 Reply

          Noel Carboni
          AskWoody_MVP

          I guess I have to wonder, though, whether the owner (and possibly ISP) of a VPN site doesn’t do the same thing. Perhaps the scrutiny is even higher, since presumably people who don’t want what they’re doing online watched may represent a higher percentage of the users.

          Most web access is https now, so the possibility of your ISP (or Panera Bread or Starbucks or…) being able to see into your communications is lessened.

          My eMail connections have been set up using secure connections for a very long time, though I don’t imagine this is true for everyone… I wonder how many people are using the easiest-to-configure mechanisms to make their connections. But besides that everyone should know that eMail communcations are most certainly not secure, even through a VPN!

          The DNS server you choose sees all the web site names your systems resolve. Again, is it one you choose by configuring your system directly, or your ISP and the servers they use, or the one the VPN provider uses… Presuming the VPN provider doesn’t track what you’re resolving, having all the requests coming out of the VPN provider’s site would serve to increase your anonymity. I don’t know how to gauge the trust factors there… Who’s more trustworthy? Your ISP and, say, OpenDNS – or the VPN provider?

          Going online involves several matters of trust no matter which way you cut it.

          I’m not yet convinced that paying extra for a service that moves the point at which your communications could potentially be monitored to another location is particularly useful, but I have an open mind…

          -Noel

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #214871 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            Regardless of whether your communications are encrypted, meaning the contents of your communications are secured, knowing what you connect with via your connection logs could reveal a lot about you personally if matched up with other data known about you.  Big data.

            4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #214969 Reply

        mindwarp
        AskWoody Lounger

        Main reason I have used a true VPN: to bypass region locking, to listen to free online radio streams mostly. Although on rare cases I’ve then used it to bypass an initial IP block on my fave online game – the Android client for that isn’t region locked unlike the browser client, but in rare cases the initial connection I need to make is blocked by whatever wifi I might be using. I do use a faux VPN as a standalone viewer program for that aforementioned game – on Android, that’s the only way to do the required packet sniffing the viewer needs to examine the game data. I’ve read the documentation/code on it, so I know what’s going on – considering all of the changes we just had in game lately, not having to manually go to a separate website to input my fleet info to calculate crucial data like I did without a viewer is a blessing.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #215015 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          mindwarp: ” Main reason I have used a true VPN: to bypass region locking, to listen to free online radio streams mostly.

          Forgive what is probably a very naïve question: Is bypassing region locking illegal? By ‘bypassing region locking’ I understand, for example, streaming in the USA (let’s say) BBC programs that supposedly can only be watched within the UK, that sort of thing. If that is what is meant, and it is not illegal in the USA, then VPN, that I have never considered using before, would certainly get my attention.

          Thanks.

          • #215020 Reply

            Kirsty
            Da Boss

            The legality of using VPN for evading geo-blocking has been considered in some places:

            Is it legal to use a VPN to evade geo-blocking?
            Are VPNs legal? ACCAN takes aim at ambiguities in Australian copyright legislation
            https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/573005/it-legal-use-vpn-evade-geo-blocking/

            By Rohan Pearce | April 20, 2015

            “Without clear legal precedent, there is ambiguity under the Copyright Act about what constitutes infringement in relation to the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to gain access to geo-blocked products and services,” states ACCAN’s submission to the inquiry into the bill

             
            Streaming TV rift heads to court in New Zealand
            Media companies contend that skirting regional restrictions on content violates copyright
            https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/573020/streaming-tv-rift-heads-court-new-zealand/

            Bu Jeremy Kirk | April 20, 2015

            Many of the popular services accessed such as the BBC’s iPlayer and Hulu have terms of service that prohibit the use of services such as Global Mode and VPNs (virtual private networks). The companies, however, have not yet taken technical steps to try to lock people using those services out.

            4 users thanked author for this post.
          • #215039 Reply

            Kirsty
            Da Boss

            The discussion on this off-topic thread has been continued Outside the Box

            3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #215075 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Why do you want to use or think you need a VPN?

        I use a VPN on my job to log in remotely with my work laptop. That’s the only way we are allowed to connect remotely.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #215077 Reply

          JohnW
          AskWoody Plus

          That was actually Noel Carboni that asked the question …

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #214716 Reply

      anonymous

      So which VPN is the recomanded and safe(r) to trust?
      Any actual user experience/recomandation is most appreciated.
      Thanks 🙂

      back to fishing for better dreams

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #214867 Reply

        Kirsty
        Da Boss

        My experience trialling TunnelBear lead me to be using “dirty” IP addresses – many of their addresses have been reported for spamming, so I kept having to check the IP# I was using, and change it until I found a clean one to continue with. My experiment was short-lived!

        As to why to use a VPN (above), see whatismyipaddress.com’s article. Net Neutrality is one reason (they also have a pg on that subject).

        5 users thanked author for this post.
        • #214933 Reply

          Noel Carboni
          AskWoody_MVP

          On the Net Neutrality subject… Is there any reason to believe your ISP, through which you would be tunneling presumably, would not then throttle back ALL your communications to/from a VPN provider?

          And a secondary observation… Are people today actually experiencing performance problems (and I know how hard it would be to tell) with their non-sponsored comms? Yes, the expiration of the law is still recent. The FCC ruling seems to imply overall our service would be worse with the law still in place. Maybe “degraded” service will still be better than the “standard” service would have been because of the supposedly higher monetization of certain services?

          I’m not at all against the concept of VPN anonymization; I’m just trying to promote a healthy conversation.

          -Noel

          3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #214939 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      You can find some greatly discounted VPN subscriptions here, even a few lifetime deals for cheap.

      https://deals.ghacks.net/collections/software

      This site is linked with StackSocial/StackCommerce.  It is legit, and I’ve made several purchases with them.  Always got what I paid for.

      I have a couple of paid VPN subscriptions, after trialing several,  and the one I would consider the most reliable where I am located is WindScribe.  https://windscribe.com/

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #214944 Reply

        Microfix
        Da Boss

        WindScribe also offer 10Gb p/m VPN usage FREE from within your browser (browser only VPN)
        Get the extension for Chrome/ FF or Opera and sign up using an email address to activate.
        https://windscribe.com/download

        ********** Peng/Wins x86/x64 **********

        - µfix

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #214945 Reply

          JohnW
          AskWoody Plus

          The Windows client also works for free with that limited bandwidth.

          You can use Windscribe for free, for as long as you like. With a confirmed email address you get 10GB/month of data, unlimited connections and access to over 10 countries.

          https://windscribe.com/features/use-for-free

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #215013 Reply

            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            JohnW: Windscribe sounds interesting.

            In the Windscribe site it says that ” Generous free plans are available for those who are on a tight budget “. There is also a paid subscription “Premium” service with no cap on the number of Gigs, with an yearly plan equivalent to paying a monthly rate of some $4. Has someone here tried that, and what has been the experience of those who have?

            Thanks.

            • #215052 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              Yes it is 10GB/month free if you register with an email address.  I use a bit more than that, so I bought a 3 year unlimited Pro plan through ghacks deals for like $24.  That works out to like 66 cents a month.

              With the Pro plan you also get more server locations to connect to.  My experience with the free plan was some slowdowns due to possible high traffic on the available free servers.

              Connections are generally very reliable and usually stay connected without dropping.  The desktop applet is very easy to use, and includes a firewall (“kill switch”) that blocks all net traffic if the VPN connection does drop.

              Firewall (sometimes incorrectly known as a “killswitch”) blocks all Internet connectivity that happens outside the connection to our servers, so data does not leak your ISP provided IP address. This is helpful if your wifi suddenly drops or you restart your computer. With the firewall enabled, you can be sure that your true IP address doesn’t get exposed.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #222950 Reply

      Kirsty
      Da Boss

      Almost Every Major Free VPN Service is a Glorified Data Farm
      By John Mason | September 25, 2018

       
      If you are a VPN user it is time to come out from the myth that every VPN is here to secure your privacy.

      Thanks to recent policy changes such as the US government legalizing the ability of ISPs to sell user data without user permission, the repeal of net neutrality, and the metadata retention scheme in Australia, VPN usage is on the rise –, particularly in the West. According to a particular source, VPN usage rose 170 percent in the US in reaction to net neutrality repeal, 470 percent in Australia, and 89 percent in Turkey in reaction to similar attempts to curtail Internet freedom.

       
      Read the full article here

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #222954 Reply

      BobbyB
      AskWoody Lounger

      Think your ISP is snooping or throttling access to your favourite sites or hawking your Data etc all over the place just reset your DNS in your Router and or Cable box to the following settings:
      IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
      IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111
      and 2606:4700:4700::1001
      Cloudflare is free and fast and bypasses your own ISP’s DNS servers it tallies favourably on speed with my ISP to within thousands of a second, well I cant see the difference and that’s it no need to swop one snoop for another.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #223029 Reply

        anonymous

        BobbyB, this is a very reasonable recommendation. I only wish to point out this change simply moves the locus of trust from your paid contract with your ISP to a free service Cloudflare. Evaluating the relative integrity should be a part of everyone’s decision process.

      • #223043 Reply

        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody_MVP

        Another possibility is to use OpenDNS (now managed by Cisco).

        Google “how to use OpenDNS

        -Noel

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #309130 Reply

        Steve
        AskWoody Plus

        Here are more DNS Servers which you can contemplate using in your Internet Service Provider’s connection. I am using these mostly at the abode on my V.92 connection.

        ISP Primary and Secondary DNS Servers
        Network Primary DNS     Secondary DNS
        te        205.199.193.2    205.137.48.7
        qwest    205.171.3.65    205.171.9.251
        qwest    63.226.138.15    216.111.65.217
        uunet    198.6.1.218        198.6.100.218
        uunet    198.6.1.125        198.6.100.125
        st|fi|ip 216.126.128.40    216.126.136.250
        mpp        216.126.136.250    216.126.128.40
        wn        206.15.168.70    206.15.168.65
        el        209.63.0.2        207.173.86.2
        n3|n6    206.134.133.10    206.134.224.5
        level3    209.244.0.3        209.244.0.4
        level3     4.2.2.[1-6]
        Google    8.8.8.8            8.8.4.4
        quad9    9.9.9.9            149.112.112.112
        opendns 208.67.222.222    208.67.220.220
        norton1 199.85.126.10    199.85.127.10
        Yandex    77.88.8.8        77.88.8.1
        uncnsrd    91.239.100.100    89.233.43.71 {Danish}
        hurcane 74.82.42.42
        4th est    45.77.165.194
        4th est 45.32.36.36 {Japanese}
        cloudfl 1.1.1.1
        opennic    35.196.105.24    63.231.92.27

        Alternately, you can inspect this World-Wide Web page[/url] showing numerous DNS Servers.

        Important links you can use, without all the fluff or sales pitch = https://v.gd/sdr28
    • #316640 Reply

      Steve S.
      AskWoody Plus

      I’ve been using NordVPN for a couple years and am overall satisfied. This is my go-to site for evaluating the features of various VPN services. I’m now considering looking at ExpressVPN once my current subscription expires.

      The Best VPN Services

      Win7 Pro x64 (Group B), Win10 Pro x64 1809, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

      • #316660 Reply

        b
        AskWoody Plus

        That site is more likely to recommend one of the seven VPNs from which they earn commission, each of which is in their Top 10 Best VPNs (out of 74 tested).

        Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/"Sucker" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1903

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #316881 Reply

          Steve S.
          AskWoody Plus

          Yes, and as that linked page shows, they’re up front about it. Nothing wrong with being an affiliate to keep the doors open. Even AskWoody has done it. So, for me the information presented, the tests done, the comparisons made, the reduced ads and the fact one doesn’t pay more for the products – all add up to a useful site. (Caveat: one should always do due diligence to search out other reviews and info online.)  This site is considerably better than most other “Top 10 whatevers” sites I’ve seen, most of which are fluff and puffery.

          Win7 Pro x64 (Group B), Win10 Pro x64 1809, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

          • #316882 Reply

            b
            AskWoody Plus

            Nothing wrong with being an affiliate to keep the doors open. Even AskWoody has done it.

            Yeah, but AskWoody doesn’t review, rate and rank products for which it earns affiliate commission.

            Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/"Sucker" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1903

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #316679 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Take a look at Windscribe VPN. I bought a few years of the Pro subscription through a ghacks deal.  https://windscribe.com/

        But I took a demo first with the 10GB a month free version. And I liked most things about it.  The demos/trials of other major, highly reviewed VPNs had major showstoppers for me.

        Windscribe pros:

        Built-in firewall can block all traffic if VPN connection drops

        Good choice of server locations in the Pro version

        Good network performance and speed

        Good encryption

        Desktop applet is user friendly and easy to use

        Launches with Windows

        Can be installed on any OS or device, including a router

        No logging policy

        No leaks

        Good customer service

        Windscribe cons:

        Pro version is not free  🙂

        Note: I do not use the Windscribe browser protection, so I cannot comment on that, but they do offer it.  I stick with the VPN only because I already use some advanced browser protection against trackers and malicious sites, so I have not given that a look yet. It might be worth checking out if you haven’t locked down your browsers yet.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #316885 Reply

          Steve S.
          AskWoody Plus

          Looks like a solid contender. Thanks for the suggestion.

          Win7 Pro x64 (Group B), Win10 Pro x64 1809, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #321783 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      IIRC DNS requests are unencrypted UDP packets by default, no matter what DNS server you use your ISP can still see what addresses you are requesting unless you are properly routing you requests thru a VPN or have a secure encrypted connection to a DNS server.

      What ever VPN you use this site may be of interest to check your setup:

      https://www.dnsleaktest.com/

      🍻

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      b
      • #321803 Reply

        b
        AskWoody Plus

        True: DNS requests routinely spied on

        Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/"Sucker" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1903

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #322412 Reply

      DriftyDonN
      AskWoody Plus

      I tried expressvpn and had a difficult time connecting to 3 out of 8 URLs…couldnt figure it out. Then Pure VPN….grrrrr…drop, timed out etc etc etc. Told them not to automatically sign me up after the yr but did they listen?? NO. The card I used had expired in March and had been replaced anyway, But I got 43 attempts to charge my NEW(er) card( 1yr was up 25Jan) . Talked to bank, was told they can continue to try to charge (and it isnt the bank but MC). There is practically no way to contact them Purevpn and when I did they nicely said ok we’ll stop. But no they didn’t took a week of customer service calls to Bank and about 12 emails to pure vpn. If you sign up for anything long term use a card company you plan on dropping!! What a headache. Finally stopped. Been using NordVPN for about 5 months now, Only problem I had was connecting to some bank sites…customer rep gave me a list of servers that would work for me. Nord is good for me. so far..

      Drifty

       

      I have wondered if I cut the cable will my ISP just throttle me down out of spite……

    • #343517 Reply

      DriftyDonN
      AskWoody Plus

      FYI

      Nordvpn DNS servers do not leak whereas Nordvpn when servers set to Cloudfare DO INDEED leak.

    • #343612 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      … yeah, this is far from simple…

      First, I’d have thought “public VPN service” would be an oxymoron, and seeing notices of “leaks in VPN service” makes me think someone’s snooping inside your home/work VPN tunnel (where endpoints are typically your laptop and your workplace’s networking rack)…

      Second, given that you’re concerned about ISP snooping, surely you’d prefer to be able to switch routes easily, and actually do that fairly often? As in possibly have two or more tunnels up simultaneously with different target masks?

      Third, surely you’d not be happy with doing this just from the PC, given all kinds of networked appliances… if you could stuff all of those in the tunnels, all the better? So, run it on your own edge router?

    • #343624 Reply

      cyberSAR
      AskWoody Plus

      I’ve been using ivpn.net for a few years now and am very satisfied with them. I tested a bunch of free and paid providers back then and settled on IVPN due to their speed and some of the things I heard about them. Not the cheapest but a few more bucks for a usable speed works for me.

    • #1659267 Reply

      deuce120
      AskWoody Plus

      I have been using PIA for a number of years. The interface has vastly improved with the most recent version. It is cost effective if one goes for a long(est) term. You can use up to 10 devices at once. I do realize it is based in the US but they do not keep any logs and that has been proven in court. They also have clients for Windows, MacOS, IOS, Android, and Linux. There have been reports that their customer service can be spotty. Myself, on the times that I have had to contact them, I have had a response within 24hrs.

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

    Reply To: VPN Caution: How Genuine is That Review?

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