What's a VPN and Do I Need One

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Leesbro63
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What's a VPN and Do I Need One

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:02 pm

A friend of mine is all hot to get a VPN. I Googled it and it seems to add some level of internet security...but it's not really clear that it matters. What exactly is a VPN and do "little guys" like me really need one? I use the internet for the usual stuff including financial.

fabdog
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Re: What's a VPN and Do I Need One

Post by fabdog » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:13 pm

I use a VPN when accessing my finances away from home on my tablet or PC. As you noted an extra amount of security. If you don't travel a lot or access your finances away from home, not sure I'd get one

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whadyaknow
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Re: What's a VPN and Do I Need One

Post by whadyaknow » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:24 pm

There have been several recent threads about VPNs. https://google.com/search?sitesearc ... .org&q=vpn
You can use the search box at the top of the page.
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BolderBoy
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Re: What's a VPN and Do I Need One

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:30 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:02 pm
I use the internet for the usual stuff including financial.
Do you do all that only from your home? If so then a VPN isn't going to add much security. If however, you make use of internet connections (wired or wifi) from motels, hotels, coffee shops, your auto and such, then you should be using a VPN.

Check out your home internet modem or router. It may have VPN-server capability built in (many of them do). Then you would put a VPN-client on your laptop / notebook, etc and you would simply VPN into your home internet service and save the cost of paying a VPN provider.

A caveat to the last suggestion - VPNs are not standardized quite yet. Many systems are moving toward the "OpenVPN" standard (open source and free) and if your router / modem uses that then you are set. The learning curve can be a bit long (took me weeks to fully understand how it all works).
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lthenderson
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Re: What's a VPN and Do I Need One

Post by lthenderson » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:50 am

I only access my financials through a wired desktop at home so I don't have or plan to get a VPN. I also don't live in a densely packed area and the only way someone can get close enough to tap into my wifi network at home is to camp out on my front lawn. I might have questions for them if that was the case.

takeshi
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Re: What's a VPN and Do I Need One

Post by takeshi » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:59 am

Leesbro63 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:02 pm
What exactly is a VPN and do "little guys" like me really need one?.
It's not really a matter of big or little but how important security is to you and what steps you're willing to take for the sake of security.

Security while out and about is usually the more popular reason but security at home is certainly a possibility as well. There are some who use a VPN at home to keep their ISP's from affecting traffic or to keep the ISP from tracking their usage for things like this:
https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/28/house ... tions-fcc/

Some use VPN's to get around geographic restrictions.

It's really up to you to sort out if you need/want a VPN. There are a lot of resources out there including simple guides for those not familiar at all with VPN's. As with any topic, you have to sort out your needs and then find a solution rather than finding a solution and then trying to find a reason to justify it.
whadyaknow wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:24 pm
There have been several recent threads about VPNs. https://google.com/search?sitesearc ... .org&q=vpn
You can use the search box at the top of the page.
Here's a very recent one though it is in the context of KRACK:
viewtopic.php?t=230631

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Rob5TCP
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Re: What's a VPN and Do I Need One

Post by Rob5TCP » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:28 am

I have VPN on all my computers. My main PC,at home, is wired; but I use VPN as an extra level to hide my IP address.
On my Surface Pro I turn on WiFi and only use it with VPN engaged. And whenever I am on any public / private WiFi;
VPN is engaged. For $30 a year and a very small hassle I have Private Internet Access (https://privateinternetaccess.com/)
on all the time.

The hit to my speed is about 3% and well worth it. A few select sites will not allow me to go to them via VPN, so I turn them it off when accessing those sites.

PS I live in Manhattan and within 50 feet of me are a few fairly device sophisticated millennials. I have no clue if they have hacking abilities, but It is one less thing I want to worry about. Even my Bluetooth I make sure is up to date and secure.

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