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least common denominator
 
scottmandue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: San Pedro,CA
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School me on VPN

I am a computer tech but my job focuses more on hardware and keeping ancient computers running with bubble gum and bailing wire.

We got high speed internet a few months ago at home and a few people (and a few websites) are suggesting I set up a VPN.

A quick search and it appears this is a service you have to pay for?

I get that a VPN makes out internet connection super safe, but for a casual home user is it really necessary?

TIA
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Last edited by scottmandue; 02-21-2019 at 11:47 AM..
Old 02-21-2019, 09:01 AM
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dennis in se pa's Avatar
 
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not necessary
Old 02-21-2019, 09:02 AM
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The Unsettler
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmandue View Post
....but for a casual home user is it really necessary?

TIA
Depends.

How paranoid are you?

Do you want to access content that may be geofenced?

I use Nord.

I need to access backend systems at MSFT, Sony and Nintendo and that access is based on IP whitelisting which kind of restricts you to one or two locations, my office, home.

Using a VPN I can give them an IP address to whitelist that I can access from anywhere.

VPN will slow things down a bit but not something you'd generally notice.

Plus it's cheap as hell, currently Nord is $36 a year with a 3 year commit.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:09 AM
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VPNs are useful if you travel or connect to unknown or untrusted wireless access points, etc. Basically all traffic is encrypted and tunneled over the VPN and exits to "the world" from the other end point of the VPN.

I'm too lazy to do it, so when I need that functionality, I use a SSH tunnel and either create a SOCKS4/5 proxy or simply forward X11 over the SSH tunnel.
Old 02-21-2019, 09:12 AM
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In an ancient past life...had at least 2k sales folks around the world, and many others VPN'd into "our" secure Intranet daily...solves a lot of issues.

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Old 02-21-2019, 09:17 AM
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least common denominator
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stomachmonkey View Post

Do you want to access content that may be geofenced?

I use Nord.

I need to access backend systems at MSFT, Sony and Nintendo and that access is based on IP whitelisting which kind of restricts you to one or two locations, my office, home.

Using a VPN I can give them an IP address to whitelist that I can access from anywhere.

VPN will slow things down a bit but not something you'd generally notice.

Plus it's cheap as hell, currently Nord is $36 a year with a 3 year commit.
Yes, this is RE: my thread about internet video streaming and me thinking of signing up for HULU/Sling to get sports but after research they may block some games due to my location. A pelican suggested a VPN is a workaround for that.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:29 AM
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He said " a casual home user". Don't you people read a post before responding? A casual home user does not need a VPN. Unless he becomes a non-casual home user who wants to access websites that disallow the IP from his actual locale.
Old 02-21-2019, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmandue View Post

I get that a VPN makes out internet connection super safe, but for a casual home user is it really necessary?

TIA
I wouldn't say it makes it "super safe", I'd say marginally more safe. VPN's won't stop you from downloading malware, or buying things online so your identity info is out there.

If you travel a lot, they can be great since you don't have to worry about fake hotspots, network sniffers, etc but for home use, there isn't a huge benefit (except for geofencing like mentioned above)
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmandue View Post
Yes, this is RE: my thread about internet video streaming and me thinking of signing up for HULU/Sling to get sports but after research they may block some games due to my location. A pelican suggested a VPN is a workaround for that.
Correct, geofenced content.

When you visit a site you get on the internet from your IPS's entrance ramp.

It's a known IP range and it's geographic location is known so it can be blocked.

When you use a VPN tunnel you can pick the entrance ramp you appear to be getting on from.

So if you wanted to access content that was geofenced for let's say Germany only you pick a server located in Germany and it spits you out there so it appears that's where you are located.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:36 AM
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The Unsettler
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis in se pa View Post
He said " a casual home user". Don't you people read a post before responding? A casual home user does not need a VPN. Unless he becomes a non-casual home user who wants to access websites that disallow the IP from his actual locale.
With the prevalence of cord cutting and retaining access to content the casual home user is the largest target market for point n click VPN services.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis in se pa View Post
He said " a casual home user". Don't you people read a post before responding? A casual home user does not need a VPN. ...
I don't read my own posts....you expect me to read others' ?

Yer right...
Old 02-21-2019, 09:52 AM
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Funny, when I clicked I thought he meant VPN to connect to work with.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipper35 View Post
Funny, when I clicked I thought he meant VPN to connect to work with.
That's where I went too.....
Old 02-21-2019, 09:53 AM
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I just use the Opera browser, you can enable VPN natively for free, and basically gives you an IP from a different country of your choosing. It will solve your geoblocked content, but i'm not 100% sure if it'd work with hulu/netflix.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:24 AM
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Biggest reason to have one is if you have a need to pretend you are somewhere else in the world

I guess there are some advantages if you at least have an encrypted connection to their server.

I have Nord - for emergencies, etc.
Old 02-21-2019, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric at Pelican Parts View Post
I just use the Opera browser, you can enable VPN natively for free, and basically gives you an IP from a different country of your choosing. It will solve your geoblocked content, but i'm not 100% sure if it'd work with hulu/netflix.
beat me by a minute - how well does their vpn work? for $0? interested...
Old 02-21-2019, 10:27 AM
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I've used it for the past few years to watch sportscar racing and shows in the UK and Asia- it hasn't let me down. There was a free Le Mans stream with audio only which was pretty darn awesome.

Doesn't hurt to give it a shot on the side to see if it suits your needs!
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:39 AM
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The Unsettler
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric at Pelican Parts View Post
I just use the Opera browser, you can enable VPN natively for free, and basically gives you an IP from a different country of your choosing. It will solve your geoblocked content, but i'm not 100% sure if it'd work with hulu/netflix.
Works fine if browser traffic is all you need to deal with.

A VPN Service like Nord will handle everything going through the pipe from your device.

They have solutions for Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android and Android TV's, as well as browsers.

The iOS and Android stuff is useful for mobile devices on public WIFI.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:01 AM
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I access my company network programs, my LAN folders, my building's A/C and security systems through VPN at home. So sitting at home VPN connected to the company's network is virtually the same as being at my company computer in the office.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:22 AM
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I too use Nord; at home when I'm downloading and on my phone when I'm travelling.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:41 AM
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