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Anyone using VPN for home/travel internet connection?

edited February 2018 in Off-Topic
Howdy,
Would appreciate any user experiences and suggestions regarding use of a "VPN" network connection for home/travel use;
as to which company you use with any pro and con considerations.
Thank you in advance.
Catch

Comments

  • I use hotshield based on PC mag review. It is clunky and doesn't always connect, I looked a them all again recently and might switch
  • I've used Private Internet Access (PIA) for years. Great service, reliable, multiple devices, excellent speeds, and dirt-effing-cheap!! (like $4/mo or something)
  • I have multiple VPN profiles using OpenVPN with an Asus router (free). The router is running a 3rd party firmware called Asuswrt-Merlin.
  • edited February 2018
    @catch22: I have found using a VPN enabled router the easiest to use. In some cases it can be as simple as enabling the server on the router and then downloading the OpenVPN Gui on your device. Then on the router, you'll export the config file and drop it into the config directory on the device. Then you're all set and it is free. I have it running on my PCs and phone. I setup a VPN enabled router in three separate homes and can connect to either whenever needed.
  • I stopped using a VPN as it slowed my internet connection considerably. Plus, the VPN provider gains access to your internet traffic.

    My solution is to use unsecured wifi for "general purposes" only such as looking at maps and restaurant menus. I don't log in to financial websites using an unsecured wifi connection
  • @MFO Members: This 81 year old Linkster has a confession to make, what hell are talking you about. Is VPN as new ETF ?
    Regards,
    Ted:)
  • edited February 2018
    I use a VPN to guard against local eavesdropping by my local ISP and prevent them from shaping my traffic or injecting ads into it. I don't care if the VPN provider or the exit node in Toronto, NYC, Chile, or Sydney sees my traffic. And I only encouter noticeable speed hits on my encrypted VPN bandwidth when using hardware-based VPNs ... when I fire up the software client on my computers, I am at pretty much full speeds since the performance hit is very very negligible.

    @Ted: VPN - Virtual Private Network, essentially creating a private tunnel on the internet.
    Bitzer said:

    I stopped using a VPN as it slowed my internet connection considerably. Plus, the VPN provider gains access to your internet traffic.

    My solution is to use unsecured wifi for "general purposes" only such as looking at maps and restaurant menus. I don't log in to financial websites using an unsecured wifi connection

  • edited February 2018
    Hi @Ted
    Basically, a VPN (virtual private network) program allows for an encrypted connection to a server; after which when one completes the connection, may use their pc, apple desktop/laptop or smart phone to connect to whatever one would normally be doing.....Google search, your financial vendor site, bank/credit union web site.....all of your normal travels on the internet.
    VPN connections, early on; were used mainly by companies to help protection their data streams among their employees who may be scattered around the globe.
    I'm reviewing this for use mostly away from the house when using a pc.k There are pro and con issues with this.
    This particular link to PC Magazine about a particular VPN provider offers a few paragraphs early into the write about 'what is a VPN'.

    https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414799,00.asp
  • @rforno
    My reading indicates some speed may be lost with VPN; but I'm not dealing with hugh data files either upload or download. I periodically run a speed test (internet speed test....ookla) and average 60 meg up and 6.5 meg download. One could suppose a lost of 10% would be high, and yet this would still allow for more than enough bandwidth for my needs.

  • Exactly. If you don't notice it, it's not a big deal. I have a 250GB line and with VPN software client my speed goes down to maybe 210GB ... barely noticeable! If I tried it on my home router, my speed would be down by 50-60% which is problematic.
    catch22 said:

    @rforno
    My reading indicates some speed may be lost with VPN; but I'm not dealing with hugh data files either upload or download. I periodically run a speed test (internet speed test....ookla) and average 60 meg up and 6.5 meg download. One could suppose a lost of 10% would be high, and yet this would still allow for more than enough bandwidth for my needs.

  • @catch22 & rforno: This only proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks ! Thanks !
    Regards,
    Ted:)
  • I use it on the road in hotels and routinely on my cell phone. I do not notice any degradation. I wouldn't view any financial information outside the house without a VPN.
  • What do you do? Just install/ download on a specific device? Is it free?
  • [email protected]
    Go to the link in my above post for pcmag.
    The link is for a review of a particular VPN vendor, but there is a list of other companies, too. You'll see a grouping of names and you may click the right arrow to browse through the list.
    And yes, it is a software load for pc/apple and there are apps for smart devices, too. Some vendors allow for 5 devices to be loaded with one subscription. I believe the linked review is $40/year for up to 5 devices. I personally wouldn't do 'free'.
    I have not used VPN for several years and was curious about any new experiences or recommends. In particular, the likely great value today is the hugh smart phone population using non-secure wi-fi at McD's and similar.
    Also, I recall the reviewed program in the link has a disconnect feature that if the VPN connection is lost, your internet connection is terminated so that no personal data is 'naked' on the web.
    Do a Google search. There is a lot of info available.
    Catch

  • BTW the firm I use, PIA, is offering a sale @ the moment - $60 for two years
    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/kinja-deals/lifehacker

    It constantly is rated one of the better VPN services out there ... I've used them for probably 7 or 8 years w/o any problems.
  • MikeM said:

    What do you do? Just install/ download on a specific device? Is it free?

    Pretty much, yeah. Once you set up an account, you just fire up the software, log in, and go from there!
  • Thanks for the info catch. You turned me off with a $40 charge. I use public wifi often when I stop at Panera Bread or McD's to read and have coffee. I actually bought a small Lenova IdeaPad for $150 just to do that. Never access any personal or money accounts with this device, so I' guess I don't need VPN. Thanks for the feedback.
  • @MikeM: since I'm using a router based solution it is free and fairly painless to setup.
  • Hello All, old thread but planning to get a VPN connection this year for home/travel -same Q with what Catch22 started this thread with - which company you use with any pro and con considerations? - looking update to your experiences before deciding. Thanks and wish you all a Happy New Year.

  • I've used Private internet Access (PIA) for probably 10 years now. No problems, ever, and great speeds.

    Hello All, old thread but planning to get a VPN connection this year for home/travel -same Q with what Catch22 started this thread with - which company you use with any pro and con considerations? - looking update to your experiences before deciding. Thanks and wish you all a Happy New Year.

  • Hi @rforno

    Are you aware of breaches in smart phones as a result of the "permissions" needed for folks to have use of a particular "app".
    I'm sure most folks are not aware of the "permission" feature needed to run an "app".
    Thank you for your time and knowledge.
    Catch
  • edited January 2020
    I'm sure some VPN providers are 'evil' in what permissions they ask for. I'm on an iPhone and while I don't use the VPN all the time on it, the one i use doesn't require root-level permissions due to how IOS is implemented. Android, I presume there's more potential for evilness and possible problems like you describe.

    When I use VPN on my Macs the only permissions it asks for is OSX asking if it's ok to install it.

    EDIT: Never, ever use a free VPN service/app. Gods only know what you'll download. After all, if something is free, chances are you - or your actions - are the product.
  • Hi @rforno
    I didn't provide proper detail as to my "app" question, apologizes for my error.
    I'm referring to add-on apps, not a VPN app; that are widely used with smart phones, as a printer app, WhatsApp, flashlight app, game apps, etc.; and the permissions list required to download the app.
    Thank you again.
    Catch

  • Catch, that's the type of app I was referring to in my prior post. But common sense should prevail -- if it asks for access to your photos/contacts/calendar/camera/microphone and/or other unrelated things to providing network-based VPN services, that's immediately suspect. But if it asks for network access, WiFi access, etc, that's probably acceptable given what it's doing for you.
    catch22 said:

    Hi @rforno
    I didn't provide proper detail as to my "app" question, apologizes for my error.
    I'm referring to add-on apps, not a VPN app; that are widely used with smart phones, as a printer app, WhatsApp, flashlight app, game apps, etc.; and the permissions list required to download the app.
    Thank you again.
    Catch

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