• Why should I disable my VPN to view here?

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    #2252428

    Why should I disable my VPN to view here?

    If you all are worried about “bad actors” then why not use hCAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA to filter them out?

    That’s what other sites do when faced with a similar situation.

    I’m not cool with turning it off for privacy reasons.

     

    PS:  I am a new subscriber.  That’s why I’m asking.

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    • #2252440

      Use of a VPN is not the problem. The problem is misuse of VPNs.
      VPNs are used to hide the User’s origin, for privacy reasons. But the fact that they hide the origin is the reason that spammers, brute force attackers, bots, etc. use VPNs.
      VPNs issue IP addresses from a pool. You do not get the same IP address with every use. If the IP address you are issued has been used for nefarious purposes, the history of that IP address is recorded on the Internet and it becomes “dirty.” It is the “dirty” IP addresses that are blocked.

      To be able to use your VPN, you need to verify that the IP address you are using is not “dirty.” You can do this by finding your IP address, then looking at how it’s been used. If it is clean, you should have no problem. WordFence and the spam filter will not block access.

      To find your IP address use WhatsMyIPAddress. Then use CleanTalk to find out how that IP address has been used.

      Read this article on proxies, VPNs and Tors.

      11 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2252441

      Welcome @gwt10.

      I’m wondering what it is that you are seeing that tells you to disable your VPN. Its been a long time since I registered, and I do use VPNs, so I’m wondering if this is something that might impact me? From my experience, as long as the IP is clean (not being used by spammers) it should be okay. Spammers do use VPNs to do their dirty work, so I make it a habit to double check the IP they use before doing my surfing, as many sites would have issues. VPN usage has never been a problem for me, here.

      And, please, I fail CAPTCHA, in all forms- a lot of people with disabilities have problems with them. Don’t encourage sites to use them, unless they have an accessible alternative without CAPTCHA (which would defeat the purpose of using it in the first place).

      Woody has the most liberal access policies I’ve seen anywhere, and the resources, except for the Plus Newsletter, are free… and he doesn’t sell or collect or use the info you register with. Pretty nice, right?

      Every Plus member is supporting the newsletter, and this site. We all appreciate your support, and I hope your VPN issue gets resolved, and that you get comfortable and settle into the Lounge.

      Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2252444

        And I see that PKCano has explained the VPN/IP problem, much better than I could. It is important to use a clean IP anywhere you go, not just here. A lot of the free VPNs are abused. Its just the way it is. But even paid ones can have problems.

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2265560

        I use Nord vpn and the servers change when I logon. Wordfence uses lists of sites that perhaps and perhaps not were /are bad actors. That’s the catch-maybe then not now, maybe now- it’s a [lottery]. Lists don’t always get current updates. Certificates aren’t always renewed etc. I get denied at least every 4th if not 3rd server I try. And checking ip’s doesnt help- it just takes up your time. Might better try the ucaptcha thing if I cant get in after 2 attempts at verify, I just go to someone elses’s sight who doesnt make me feel lik a suspect. I think there MUST be a better way. I have been denied access only one other sight due to server. So Elly do you have a static ip address? Just curious.

        Impatient and fail captcha most times.

        Plenty of other places on the ‘net to ask ?’s and get answers and help.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2252457

      To find your IP address use WhatsMyIPAddress. Then use CleanTalk to find out how that IP address has been used.

      You can also click the Check on Blacklist Status on WhatsMyIPAddress, or use this link.

      Some IP addresses are particularly toxic, and make major hard work at this end… VPNs are a major source of that.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2255688

        I’m  a fan of MXToolbox because it has a bunch’a tools and I only have to remember their site, exactly one in number 😉

        Here’s their link for checking mail Server IP or Domain blacklists. In the past I’d found it also showed blacklisted servers which had less to do with mail.

        • #2255708

          As with many spam databases, the information your link provides is somewhat less than thorough, when testing against a known spam IP#. We stick to using the ones we can rely on most 🙂

          3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2252534

      Word fence has booted me only from this site. I use nordvpn most of the time but after PKCano and Bluetrix pointed me to a few sites to test out my vpn ip, all seems ok…here. For example, I just tried to login to my cell phone site but denied!! Not word fence, just denied.Chaged server and all is well It is a pain but I feel comfy using a VPN so grin n bear it!

      or then again…don’t.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2252584

      I have to agree with Elly on this one. I hate CAPTCHA with a passion. At the end of the day, all you’re doing is training Google’s self-driving car AI.

      7 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2255610

      I know why you all do this.  It’s on the blocking page before I have to turn off my VPN and answer any questions here.

      I use the standard VPN IP that’s assigned to the server I’m logged into.  I even tried routing to different IPs through various other VPN servers and get the same kind of block.  And it’s only your website that I run into it.  There may be others but I’m not aware of them.

      I do not use ‘free’ VPNs  I use PIA and recommend it.  It’s rates are pretty reasonable and I know some of you have heard of them before.

      Those VPN IPs are dynamic and change all the time and I do not have a static IP address so I can’t tell you what’s “clean” and what isn’t.  Even my ISP’s IP is dynamic.  All I know is I don’t run into this anywhere else.

      As far as CAPTCHAs go, they’re only bad when you have to go though about 5 or 10 of them before I give up.  I don’t really like them either, but I don’t like Verizon or Comcast snooping in on my web traffic even more.  And because I can’t trust them, I’ve had to resort to using an VPN

      This is bad enough that I may have to re-think my involvement around here.  I’m am very disappointed about this.

      🙁

      • #2255611

        There are links in this post that will allow you to find your current IP address (the one you are currently using) and see how/when that IP address has been used. You can change IP addresses used by your VPN until you find a “clean” one that hasn’t been misused recently.

        The site Firewall has no way of knowing the intent of the User on the other end of a “dirty” IP, and blocks it for obvious security reasons.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2255754

          There are links in this post that will allow you to find your current IP address (the one you are currently using) and see how/when that IP address has been used. You can change IP addresses used by your VPN until you find a “clean” one that hasn’t been misused recently.

          That’s besides the point.  I already know what my current IP address is and the fact that I’m blocked already tells me everything I need to know.  And when changing it, it blocks all the other IPs I use and finds them all “dirty”.

          I have to agree with Elly on this one. I hate CAPTCHA with a passion. At the end of the day, all you’re doing is training Google’s self-driving car AI.

          I don’t like CAPTCHAs either, but hCAPTCHA isn’t related to google, so no need for that fear.  Besides, how can you trust your local ISP but you can’t trust google?  That’s not consistent and doesn’t make any sense.

          Anyway, it doesn’t look like any change to this is going to occur.  I’ll be sure to warn my friends away from this site if they’re concerned about privacy and use a VPN.

          🙁

          • #2255765

            Interesting… there are VPNs that do not trigger the site’s protections… so using a VPN is not the issue, and that was explained, clearly, previously.

            I’m someone who is very privacy conscious… and never had a problem here… whether when using a VPN or not.

            You included a quote that refers to my objections to CAPTCHA- which is that it is very difficult for some disabled folks (like me) to use. Too often it decides that I am not human, and I tend to take offense at that… and it is an artificial barrier to accessing sites. I already have enough problems navigating on line, without additional barriers being erected. There are times, when my daughter isn’t home to do it for me, when I simply cannot access sites using CAPTCHA. It isn’t a good solution in general, although you, personally, may find it easier.

            The Lounge does not require registration to access, or to post replies… and Woody isn’t collecting e-mail addresses and selling them. You can’t get much more private than that… so your premise for warning people away doesn’t stand on its face…

            I’m really glad my friends come here and share, because I’d have missed so much information that really helped me with my computer. I’ve been able to secure my computer, and make informed privacy choices… things I was never aware of, prior to learning about it here.

            But… I suppose that each person needs to assess their own needs, and proceed accordingly.

            Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

            • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Elly.
            8 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2257104

            FWIW, I have tested this forum using two IPs from the VPN included with Norton 360 and both worked here without issue.  I’m using it now.  I also tried my IPvanish VPN and this website blocked access.  My guess is that Norton keeps their IPs cleaner.  The drawback is that Norton is usually slower.

      • #2255633

        They are also bad when they do not even show themselves and block further progress as is the case very often with my PaleMoon browser.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2256549

      I too use VPN’s (NordVPN) and have had no problem with them at any of the sites I frequent, so it seems to me that there has to be another problem that you are not aware of if all your vpn’s are considered to be BAD. You might want to see if there is some one who can help you run down this issue so that it will be resolved and you will be able to continue to enjoy the conversations here in the Lounge.

      I am so glad to be back in the Lounge myself, it has been horrid to not have this and the other features I enjoyed for many years. I hope you can find an answer to this problem and that your days will be brighter once you do. I have enjoyed this conversation very much and have garnered great information. Thank all of you for your contributions.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2256582

        Use of a VPN is not the problem. The problem is misuse of VPNs.

        Please read #2252440.
        It is not the VPNs that are the problem. It is the “dirty” IP addresses that people are issued. VPNs are perfectly fine, as long as the IP address they issue (and you connect with) are not habitually used by spammers, bots, hackers, etc.

        The Internet Security s/w and browser add-ons installed on your computer do the same thing for your computer that WordFence and the spam filter do for AskWoody. Are you willing to navigate the Internet without any protection? Does the use of a VPN mean you don’t need to take any other precautions or use any other security software?

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2265451

      If you haven’t yet given it a try, you might download and install the latest version of Opera browser, which comes with a built-in VPN.  I’m using it now to access this page to post this comment.  I moved to Australia three years ago, and had to start using a VPN last July to access my bank account in Texas for online transactions, after the national telco here began blocking my access last year.  I discovered Opera with built-in VPN and began using it exclusively to access my stateside bank account, and it works wonderfully for that purpose.  No cost security.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2265452

      I think that much of this discussion misses the point: Woody blocking by IP address doesn’t protect the site but does annoy a significant number of users.  It is sort of like the old “copy protected disks” for installing software from many years back.

      It doesn’t protect the site because, as people have said above, you can just ask your VPN provider for a new IP address or server until you find one that works.  Does anyone think that they bad guys don’t know how to do this, too?  If Woody’s doesn’t think it is too inconvenient for users to do that, won’t the bad guys put up with the same inconvenience?

      But the WordFence blocking does annoy and confuse legitimate users, since several people above (and I) have run into the block.  There are probably plenty more who had the problem and didn’t contribute to this thread.

      I understand and appreciate Woody’s desire to protect its site, and I would not want to see it hacked.  But blocking “dirty” VPNs doesn’t block many/any attackers, and is not effective enough to be worth the annoyance to real users.  Surely there is something that has fewer false-positives and is not so easily circumvented.

      -- Peter R --

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2265454

        You say a significant number of users are annoyed at the blocking.  Do you know that for a fact?  You are the first one I’m aware of who has complained.  I really do not think any of us have missed the point.  I understand your frustration and not trying in any way to downplay it, but are you willing to try any of the suggestions offered?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2265457

          Make me the Second. I am annoyed by the blocking but I am annoyed far more by trying to decide whether or not that blurry photo among a grid of many has or has not a traffic light shown. Often a small(!) bit of the traffic light will be in adjacent photo to add to the annoyance.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2266153

          You are the first one I’m aware of who has complained.

          Well actually no, I’m the one who started this thread so I too complained.

      • #2265458

        Woody blocking by IP address doesn’t protect the site

        I would argue that isn’t correct. I can provide dozens — if not hundreds — of attempts a day as proof.

        you can just ask your VPN provider for a new IP address or server until you find one that works

        Quite true! Or you can restart your VPN, or log on to a different exit point. If you’re using a reputable VPN, the VPN company works with us (and Wordfence) to block the bad actors. Good for everybody. But if you have a lackadaisical VPN, there’s no intermediary pulling for you. Or us.

        Surely there is something that has fewer false-positives and is not so easily circumvented.

        The problem isn’t with manual circumvention – which, as you note, can be as easy as disconnecting and reconnecting. The problem is with automated pummeling.

        Wordfence works with IP addresses. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a much, much better choice than any alternative I’ve found. We’re big enough (143,000 users, 1 million+ posts) that we draw attacks all day, every day. Yesterday, Wordfence claims that it blocked 1,037 brute force attacks on this site.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2265567

          Yesterday, Wordfence claims that it blocked 1,037 brute force attacks on this site.

          I think you might find the stat you were looking as was for today, all <7 hours of it at the time you posted, not yesterday's?

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2265497

      I use KeepSolid VPN Unlimited and just had no trouble connecting to this site.

    • #2265625

      Something changed a few months ago when I began to be blocked while using a VPN.  I have three (more or less :)), got in with Mullvad/Wireguard today, haven’t tried the others yet.  All of them are real VPN’s, highly regarded, standalone programs that do nothing but provide a tunnel.  Rare beasts.

      The odd thing about this whole situation is over many years of using VPN’s, this site is one of the very few out of thousands of sites that have blocked me .  Definitely not going to argue against keeping the site secure but there’s nothing unusual about this one that would attract more Evil Elements than similar sites.

      Maybe WordPress recently made some changes reverting their algorithms, IDK.

      Anyway, I should probably register and fork over a few bucks, this is an excellent source for Windows info.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2265632

        While the IP number you are using may be clean, VPNs often mena sharing IP addresses, and you don’t know what has previously been done by those using it before you. For instance, your VPN could be one of those that have big spam history – some are quite toxic.
        Have you checked yours out?

      • #2265727

        I was blocked from AskWoody.com many times while using Mullvad with OpenVPN. Never tried their Wireguard service however. If this site is the only one causing you grief while on a VPN consider yourself lucky. While using many different VPNs and VPN servers, Amazon always wants extra confirmation from me after I logon with my userid/password. And, just today, I was blocked by camelcamelcamel.com while on a VPN.

        Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org and Defensive Computing at DefensiveComputingChecklist.com

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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