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VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:17 am
by Heo32
I've seen a lot of YouTube videos of people promoting the use of VPN services. It seems to be their go-to sponsor for all video uploads these days.

I'd like to get unbiased opinions by people that are not being paid. Recently, I saw a few of the members advertise their IPs here, and it got me thinking... is it so bad that my IP is being advertised to the world through websites and other services? I've been using the Internet for over 15 years now, so why should I start using a VPN service now?

Is this just their way to get sponsor money using scare tactics, or is there some truth in this regarding the security and privacy aspects that make it a worthy investment? I can see it being required for some countries with strict laws, but for those that don't, what's the point?

P.S. I live in Canada.

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:17 am
by david63
In my opinion there is a lot of "hype" about IP addresses and security/privacy these days. For the vast majority of private users their IP address is dynamic which makes it meaningless - it does not give away any private information. If I lookup my current IP address it is saying that I am 50 miles away from where I actually am.

This could be a different issue for anyone with a static IP address and could become a problem in the future if/when IPv6 starts to be rolled out

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:38 pm
by Lumpy Burgertushie
the main reason of consumer VPN is to hide what you are doing from your ISP.
for instance, if you are downloading things that maybe you shouldn't be. If you are using a good VPN then your ISP has not idea what sites you are visiting or what you are doing.

the other reason a lot of people use a VPN is to be able to access sites from one country that does not allow you to access them.
with a VPN you can set it so that it looks like you are in a country other than the one you are actually in.


and, since so many people are using free wifi in coffee shops etc. if you have a VPN you can use it to protect your data from hackers watching wifi users etc.


however, for most people it is not needed just to block your IP from others. it is just not like the TV shows that make us believe that they can track you down to your house by knowing your IP address.

I find it amusing that the movies/tv show this happening all the time when it is really not that simple if possible at all.
however, they still show the copys telling people to keep the bad guy on the phone long enough to get a trace when these days with cell phones they know exactly where that phone is instantly.


robert

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:47 pm
by spaceace
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:38 pm
I find it amusing that the movies/tv show this happening all the time when it is really not that simple if possible at all
it is very possible and not too difficult to get down to a street name with the right linux box setup. i got out of that stuff years ago so i know personally that this can be done as i used to do it ;)

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:15 pm
by Lumpy Burgertushie
not sure what you used to do but it doesn't matter what type of box setup you have. the IP address does not relate to a physical street address of the user. only the relevant ISP of the user would know what IP was assigned to that user at any given time. as far as I know, you have to have a court order to get that info from the ISP and only LEOs can get that.


robert

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:50 pm
by </Solidjeuh>
VPN is mostly used by people that are hiding something. (like me) :lol: I've been using VPN since ..... long 8-)

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:16 am
by Heo32
Lots of good info here. Thanks, guys.

I may get a VPN in the future for trial and testing purposes only, because I'm totally not one of those guys that downloads anything illegal.

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:22 am
by 3Di
A simple free browser's add-on will do
https://setupvpn.com/how-it-works/

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:01 am
by AmigoJack
Numerous people using VPNs think they add security, when in fact they have to trust the VPN provider. Both unpaid and paid VPN providers now have most likely all the traffic of the user and can log/inspect it, which is a great attack vector. Almost nobody thinks about this. If I want to spy on people I'd offer free VPN.

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:16 am
by John connor
VPNs like mentioned are nice when you use public WIFI or some VPNs offer an App that can be used in your phone. If you're at a hotel using their free VPN it may be prudent to use a VPN. Even if you use an airplane's WIFI. It's VERY easy to sniff all the traffic on an open WIFI connection and perform MiTM attacks to bypass TLS. Also, people are using something called Kodi in a modified Amazon Firestick to stream free stuff, so a VPN in the router becomes necessary.

Now on the subject of whether you should hide your online IP address is a different matter. For the most part you don't have to, but it dose help Google et al use it for analytics. Another thing is that I wouldn't go publicly posting my IP address all over the net. If your router has a vulnerability (which many do) a hacker can turn it into a zombie and use it to conduct shady business. I can't tell you how many infected routers try to do things on my site. All legit IPs, not cloud hosters or anything like that. If you're hacking someone you don't use your home IP address. You'd run a server or thought other servers or infected routers which they do. But if your router is vulnerable from the get go, you don't even have to tell anyone your IP and it will get found eventually to be turned into a zombie. The FBI has warned about this. You can mitigate it by staying abreast of all firmware updates, changing the default username and password, don't allow port forwarding and turn off UPnP. I use third -party firmware for my router. Done that since circa 2006. Used to run DD-WRT and now I run ASUS Merlin.

Anyway, VPNs are in fact big business entangled with a lot of scare tactics. And this very topic will probably try to get spammed because of the business it attracts. I've written a post about how to select a good VPN here: https://cyberpcforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1491#p1491 It's what I have learned thus far.

To answer your question. Do you need a VPN? No.

And Shodan knows all...

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:17 am
by John connor
AmigoJack wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:01 am
Numerous people using VPNs think they add security, when in fact they have to trust the VPN provider. Both unpaid and paid VPN providers now have most likely all the traffic of the user and can log/inspect it, which is a great attack vector. Almost nobody thinks about this. If I want to spy on people I'd offer free VPN.
Or setup a Tor relay. :twisted:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:11 am
by LaxSlash1993
david63 wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:17 am
This could be a different issue for anyone with a static IP address and could become a problem in the future if/when IPv6 starts to be rolled out
Ehh, I don't totally agree with that statement.

When IPv6 rolls out widely, there will be an allocation of something like 5,000,000,000,000 IP Addresses (literal, not exaggerating...) per person. Whilest you are right in that if a person keeps his IP address for an extended amount of time, it can be traced to a suitable identity, there's no reason that a person has to keep the same exact IPv6 Address. An IP should have no problems what so ever with continuing to dynamically allocate IP Addresses to a person the same way that they do IPv4, or at the very least, have no problems with doing so on request.

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:01 am
by John connor
In my VPN I can disable IPv6 for some reason. So why it's there must be a security reason. I'd have to ask my VPN as to why it's there.

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:22 am
by LaxSlash1993
John connor wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:01 am
In my VPN I can disable IPv6 for some reason. So why it's there must be a security reason. I'd have to ask my VPN as to why it's there.
Probably for the weird/rare times when someone's dealing with something that's not compatible with IPv6.

There's also some mis-led privacy concerns that people have on IPv6 in general that this probably caters to, as well. https://www.networkworld.com/article/21 ... -not-.html

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:09 am
by thecoalman
If the site is over HTTPS you are already protected from most spying. HTTPS not only secures the communication it also secures against the domain being spoofed. With HTTPS the exact URL is not know by the ISP or anyone else eavesdropping , they can only determine the domain/IP. A VPN will protect you from that.

When it's a HTTP site it can help protect you some, plain text traffic between your computer and the VPN is now encrypted so the ISP cannot read it, if you were using public wifi plain text logins are not exposed, etc. Keep in mind the hop between the VPN and the origin server is not encrypted.

A VPN would also prevent Google and other major tracking services from being able to use the IP as a means to track you.