VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Discussion of non-phpBB related topics with other phpBB.com users.
Forum rules
General Discussion is a bonus forum for discussion of non-phpBB related topics with other phpBB.com users. All site rules apply.
Heo32
Registered User
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:08 pm

VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by Heo32 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:17 am

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.

User avatar
david63
Registered User
Posts: 16058
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 8:08 am
Location: Lancashire, UK
Name: David Wood
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by david63 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:17 am

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

User avatar
Lumpy Burgertushie
Registered User
Posts: 66230
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 3:11 am
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:38 pm

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

User avatar
spaceace
Registered User
Posts: 1847
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by spaceace » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:47 pm

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 ;)

User avatar
Lumpy Burgertushie
Registered User
Posts: 66230
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 3:11 am
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:15 pm

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

User avatar
</Solidjeuh>
Registered User
Posts: 1538
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:45 am
Location: Aalst (Belgium)
Name: Andy Dm
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by </Solidjeuh> » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:50 pm

VPN is mostly used by people that are hiding something. (like me) :lol: I've been using VPN since ..... long 8-)

Heo32
Registered User
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:08 pm

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by Heo32 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:16 am

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.

User avatar
3Di
Former Team Member
Posts: 13661
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:09 pm
Location: Milan (IT) Frankfurt (DE)
Name: Marco
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by 3Di » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:22 am

A simple free browser's add-on will do
https://setupvpn.com/how-it-works/

User avatar
AmigoJack
Registered User
Posts: 5569
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:33 am
Location: グリーン ヒル ゾーン
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by AmigoJack » 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.

User avatar
John connor
Registered User
Posts: 2046
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:14 pm
Location: U S Of A
Name: Aaron
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by John connor » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:16 am

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...
Last edited by John connor on Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:21 am, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
John connor
Registered User
Posts: 2046
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:14 pm
Location: U S Of A
Name: Aaron
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by John connor » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:17 am

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:

LaxSlash1993
Registered User
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:20 am

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by LaxSlash1993 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:11 am

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.

User avatar
John connor
Registered User
Posts: 2046
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:14 pm
Location: U S Of A
Name: Aaron
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by John connor » 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.

LaxSlash1993
Registered User
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:20 am

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by LaxSlash1993 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:22 am

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

User avatar
thecoalman
Community Team Member
Community Team Member
Posts: 3155
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:52 am
Location: Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: VPN discussion: Are they necessary?

Post by thecoalman » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:09 am

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.

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”