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chiefneon

Do we need a VPN?

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Howdy!

Now days all I hear about is you need a VPN when connecting online. I’ve Looked into into purchasing one of the top rated VPN’s that are recommended. My question is to those in the know. We don’t use public WiFi we have iPhones and IPads with MiFi and also our own Verizon and AT&T hot spots we use to connect online. Is there a need for a VPN?

“Happy Trails”
Chiefneon

 

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2 hours ago, chiefneon said:

Is there a need for a VPN?

That depends on many variables. Do you want your internet history hidden? Do you have a reason to want everything you do online to be encrypted? Do you have a reason to want your IP address hidden? Do you travel to foreign countries where your access to some sites may be restricted. Do you want to use a streaming or TV service while abroad, that is blocked by your foreign country IP address? 

From just a security sense, my opinion is that unless you're doing something very risky, like visiting known hacker sites; or using open public wifi to conduct financial transactions, then a VPN is completely unnecessary. But others opinions will vary. 

Some folks just don't like the idea that with a search warrant or court order, any law enforcement agency can use your  public IP address to identify you. If you don't do anything online that interests law enforcement, this isn't an issue. A VPN gives you a virtual IP address than can be traced to their server, but not to you. 

If you visit web sites that you want hidden from your ISP, then a VPN blocks that data. 

When I was in the Bahamas on my sailboat, trying to watch some US TV shows on my laptop, many of them would not allow me access using my home accounts, since they sensed my IP address was outside the US.  Connecting through a US based VPN eliminates that issue since you have a US based IP address regardless of where you are located around the world.

etc, etc  , its not a one size fits all, or a simple yes or no answer. Its part personal preference and part how and where you use the internet. 

Edited by JRP

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W10 has a built-in VPN under Advanced Options, I tried it for a few weeks then "dis-enrolled" if that is the proper terminology.

Edited by Ray,IN

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JRP's thoughts pretty much mirror my own,  I primarily use a VPN when connected to public Wi-Fi (campgrounds, McDonalds, Walmart, etc.).  Another use is to view hometown TV when traveling outside the normal viewing area.

I have been using Private Internet Access for years and have been quite satisfied.  Derek (RV) prefers Nord, which also has a good reputation.   Based upon your usage, I don't believe you need a VPN  but they are relatively inexpensive when purchased in yearly or multi-yearly increments and provide some additional security.

Safe Travels...

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Roger, Nord is adding a Password manager:https://www.windowscentral.com/nordvpn-announces-new-password-panager-nordpass

And nordlocker soon: https://securitybaron.com/news/nordvpn-nordlocker-file-encryption/

I don't believe most folks need one or that I do, except that our ISPs have been allowed to use our browsing history as they want without permission. I'm not playing since they are not paying me. It is that simple. Privacy. While I do nothing illegal, I consider the corporate and federal spying on us to be a constitutional violation of my rights under castle doctrine and protections against government search and seizure. That's just me and I don't advocate anyone assume that everyone is out to get you. This is tantamount to the old Bell companies selling our data from private phone calls without a wiretap warrant. I do nothing illegal, heck, I get to use Marijuana legally if I choose in my new home state! I don't drink or smoke so I can assure I won't be smoking any weed. Gummy bears, maybe!

I do like Nord's direction in encryption and password management, both best with companies not in the US who don't have to keep records for law enforcement. Besides, it's my hobby if you will, playing with these computers.

 

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VPN add value when you need to hide your origin IP, for the reasons JRP pointed out.

The security case is harder to make.  Data sensitive sites are already encrypted (https).  For folks who are still worried VPN can lure one into a false sense of security, since typical implementations expose data while raising or dropping the circuit.  

Careless folk ("my password is password.  I use that for all my accounts!") will successfully expose their data no matter what technology is employed.

Having said that, the previously mentioned PIA is well respected.

 

 

 

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In our professional careers, due to security requirements while traveling, my DW and I both had VPN's. 

We do not have a VPN today. But, we do use WifiRagner GOac as our primary in coach combo WiFi repeater, and all of our Data Sources (ATT, Verizon, etc.) also are repeated for inside the coach usage. Either hardwired via CAT5, or via WiFi. 

WiFi Ranger has an feature called Safe Surf, which is basically a 'tunneled' source. So when doing sensitive banking and or stock trading, we use Safe Surf. (It also came in handy, when traveling in Canada, to still see us content movies and shows via Netflix, HBO GO, Prime, etc.) 

We do a good job of monitoring our finances, and credit cards - and feel we have reasonable protection. 

Best to all,

Smitty

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