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  • Any opinions on VPNs?

    I've been thinking about VPNs for a while and a recent incident with email while travelling (see my other thread) has me thinking even more. What's your opinion/experience with VPNs? Are they worth it? I never do anything involving banking or using credit cards on public WIFI so is the added security worth it? I understand you can access the internet from your choice of servers so you can pick a server that allows access to Netflix or Shaw TV while out of the country, how well does that work? I've read some VPNs are secure but slow.
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  • #2

    Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

    I use VPN's extensively while travelling. My 2 favourites are NordVPN and ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN seems to work better in China but that could be transitory.
    If a man speaks in the forest, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong

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    • #3

      Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

      Originally posted by Steve in Ayr View Post
      I use VPN's extensively while travelling. My 2 favourites are NordVPN and ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN seems to work better in China but that could be transitory.
      Steve, is it primarily for business travel security or for access reasons? Any downsides?

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      • #4

        Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

        Both. China is the worst for access, Dubai has access restrictions on voip calling that I like to bypass. Lot of snooping in many countries so for anything secure I use the vpn. No downsides that I've ever noticed. I generally don't stream behind the vpn.
        If a man speaks in the forest, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong

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        • #5

          Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

          I don't know anything about it really but heard one comment that scared me away. When you are using VPN you are piggybacking onto someone else's account/ identity and at the same time someone else could be piggybacking onto yours. Maybe it's pure bunk but decided I don't need to be online that badly.

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          • #6

            Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

            I used a free one some years ago until Netflix got wise to Canadians accessing prohibited programming and over came it. I understand that you can pay for better vpns that do work well.

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            • #7

              Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

              Originally posted by Kayak Jim View Post
              I don't know anything about it really but heard one comment that scared me away. When you are using VPN you are piggybacking onto someone else's account/ identity and at the same time someone else could be piggybacking onto yours. Maybe it's pure bunk but decided I don't need to be online that badly.
              There was an old pseudo vpn that worked like that a few years ago. It was great for tricking services like netflix et because you were always using a clean ip address. I would never use it due to seurity concerns. A true vpn does not work like that. It is the most secure way to transfer information for the average person. My wife works for the bank and they always have to use a vpn when off the banks network.
              If a man speaks in the forest, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong

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              • #8

                Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

                Main question is why do you think you need a vpn? Are you accessing another private network over the internet? If not then you probably do not need one.
                Steve The Drill Sergeant
                Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

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                • #9

                  Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

                  Actually not sure if I do which is why I started this thread. I avoid accessing banking or investment sites or using my credit card on public networks so I'm not sure if the extra security is worth it. I understand I may be able to use Shawtv and Netflix outside of Canada with a VPN but not sure if that's worth it. My internet security Bitdefender keeps trying to upsell me on their VPN service but my research indicates while their VPN is secure and easy to use it is slow and their support is poor. So I'm looking to hear what others experience is.

                  Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk

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                  • #10

                    Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

                    I wouldn't count on being able to use Shawtv outside the country. A friend with Rogers ignite has been playing with options to watch tv while on vacation and hasn't been able to come up with a solution. As far as Netflix, many countries have a better selection on Netflix than Canada, and your Canadian netflix account will work in any other country where Netflix is offered. Also, you can download shows here in Canada (or elsewhere) and watch them where ever you want. Just shut your wifi off if it won't play at destination
                    If a man speaks in the forest, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong

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                    • #11

                      Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

                      I got NordVPN on a special offer for 3 years. I don't do financial stuff out of the house and I don't really care about trying to fool Netflix.
                      What it does is make it look like you are coming from another location. It encrypts all of the communications from your computer to the VPN server but there may not be encryption from the VPN server to the desired site. This encryption is what protects you when you are using public WiFi.The big downside is that a lot of public WiFi doesn't allow VPN use although you may be able to get around it with trying different port numbers. If you have the "S" on https: when you are logging into anything you are already encrypted but that isn't always the case.
                      I really don't think it is worth a lot for my use.
                      billh

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                      • #12

                        Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

                        Originally posted by Steve in Ayr View Post
                        I wouldn't count on being able to use Shawtv outside the country. A friend with Rogers ignite has been playing with options to watch tv while on vacation and hasn't been able to come up with a solution. As far as Netflix, many countries have a better selection on Netflix than Canada, and your Canadian netflix account will work in any other country where Netflix is offered. Also, you can download shows here in Canada (or elsewhere) and watch them where ever you want. Just shut your wifi off if it won't play at destination
                        Are you saying that if you are actually in the other country your netflix account will work there but not if using a vpn? The idea of the vpn is to provide an ISP based in the country whose media you wish to watch but Netflix found a way of knowing it was a vpn. It still worked fine for ABC,NBC, CBS etc. online. I used it for some British television shows that I no longer need access to.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

                          I use a VPN all the time for my iMac. I got a great deal through stacksocial for a 'lifetime' with one of the bigger VPN providers. I do have the software to protect my cell phone/tablet, but really i hardly use any of them outside with a free WiFi so it's a bit of a nul point for me. You need to really answer what does a VPN do for you to answer why you'd want one. It takes all the internet traffic from your computer, encrypts it and then sends it to a 3rd party that decrypts the packet and sends it out from their server IP location. Why would you need that??

                          well, I guess in the case of using your device in an unsecured wifi like a coffeeshop, then there is the possibility that someone else can 'sniff grab' all the internet packets and play man in the middle and see everything you are doing. So yes, it does a pretty good job of defending against that.

                          the second reason is that the big brother doesn't have to stop at unsecured wifi. When you are at home, your ISP can also do the exact same thing in logging where, when and what you are looking at or doing. So that goes like they can see that you stream music from Spotify, read news from CNN and log onto Canadian Woodworking between these certain times. All this is profile information about you, and they can sell this. What a VPN does for you is all your network traffic is going to a VPN service. the content of what you are doing, or looking at is all encrypted so they cannot extract any information from it.

                          But the logging doesn't just stop at your ISP. All the sites that you connect to also can gleam information from you. Most of this is done through cookies, but they do get stuff like what ISP and Geo Location tracking information too. Again, a VPN sort of puts you now into control as they can't tell any more.

                          So you then move all the logging and safety to the VPN. A free VPN might get their funds by selling the information you are trying to keep to yourself outwards to pay for the 'free' service your are getting. Others have policy that they simply don't log track users, so even if someone back-tracks you to the VPN server, there is no way to pick who you are out of the other thousands of people running through that server at any given point in time.
                          Last edited by matt.mackinnon; 01-15-2020, 11:24 AM.
                          Matt

                          People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

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                          • #14

                            Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

                            CNET has recommendations. I have had problems in the past with whatever it is that invades computers so I went to CNET and got IPVanish. No problems for past two years.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Any opinions on VPNs?

                              I use vpn for work because that is the only way to get onto my works network, other than that I do not. I use public networks and routinely go onto my banking sites or whatever. I just make sure I have a secure connection. https which is ssl and that means I have an encrypted link between my device and the site.
                              Steve The Drill Sergeant
                              Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

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