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Now that our fearless leader, in the interests of lessening government regulation is allowing ISP's to sell whatever data they can gather, I am looking into using a VPN. I assume there are some good and some not so good. Any suggestions from members? Don/George please move to another forum if this is in the wrong place.
Thanks, Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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Peter,

As usual, you are being disingenuous.

ISPs could always sell/share your browsing information. The current administration merely removed Obama's regulations limiting their ability to do so.

As for your question, use the Opera browser; it has a built-in VPN feature.

George


 
Posts: 14623 | Location: San Antonio, TX | Registered: 22 May 2001Reply With Quote
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Thank you George. I will check it out. So, removing Obama's regulations limiting the ability of an ISP to sell personal information is NOT the same as "allowing ISP's to sell whatever data they can gather? Weird!


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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Peter, politics aside, I do not believe the VPN will help you much in this regard. The VPN is just a different type of connection to your ISP. You will still have an ISP that actually provides the connection to the internet, unless you have the money for a purely private connection to the backbone.

The VPN will give you a virtually private connection, but to whom? Unless you suspect someone of sniffing your current connection, there will not be much difference. You will still go to the ISP (although privately) that will still connect you to a web site. The ISP and web sites are where the data is collected, not the connection between.

I use VPNs all the time, but they connect me directly to my client's servers and data networks and nowhere else. Once you hit the public, you are public. If you are using it to mask or eliminate your IP address, that will still only have limited functionality. The ISP will still have the information since they assigned you the VPN.


Larry

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading" -- Thomas Jefferson
 
Posts: 3927 | Location: Kansas USA | Registered: 04 February 2002Reply With Quote
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larrys, thanks very much for the input. My understanding is that I go through the ISP to connect to the VPN server, that connection is in plain text, but, after that, all my communications are encrypted by the VPN server, and thus somewhat protected from the ISP.
As to the IP address, the IP address assigned by the ISP tends to remain the same as long as I don't reboot the wireless router in my house. But, again, the VPN router can, and does, manage the IP address as responses now go to the VPN router, so the websites that I go to do not know who I am.
I honestly don't know why politics has to enter into this. I know PLENTY of Republicans that do not want their ISP selling their information. No doubt you and George don't mind, but one does not need to be a "liberal" to not want this to happen.
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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Good luck with your invisibility cloak mission, but hate to tell you you're not even safe on the Dark Web...


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci...ls-think-hidden.html


If you are that worried about the sites you frequent, maybe you should find a hobby...


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Peter, I agree, that is why I said politics aside. It should not matter. I was countering George's commentary. I did not vote for the current President, nor the last two.

As to the rest. You are mostly correct. Since your ISP is providing the IP address via DHCP (the protocol that allows it to change with every reboot), in my opinion, that is a good thing. You can change daily if you feel like it. You talked about two things, though. Communications and surfing. Communications can certainly be encrypted as long as the other end has decryption, it is the surfing that is an issue. The surfing can be somewhat "masked" and this certainly should help in that effort, but I am not yet convinced that the ISPs themselves aren't the ones that do the majority of the collection. Yes, there are lots of programs that do it behind the scenes, but I know that most of the ISPs do it as well. They track where you go for legal reasons, if nothing else. They certainly track where you go every time. In talking with a few ISPs for my work, they say the government forces them to so they can report things like underage porn transmissions and possible terrorism. The GOOD ones archive the information for a while and if nothing illegal or terroristic hits their web analytics, it is trashed after a while. The bad ones, well you don't want to know.

Anyway, good luck (seriously) with this. I even go so far as to use search engines that do not track and NEVER use Chrome or any Google function. They track keystrokes.


Larry

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading" -- Thomas Jefferson
 
Posts: 3927 | Location: Kansas USA | Registered: 04 February 2002Reply With Quote
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larrys, you are correct. In my researches there is at least one VPN provider that claims not to archive web communications. The surfing issue is interesting, but, I believe that it, too, is tied to the IP address that you use, so, if this changes every time (via the VPN) provider then "they" don't know who you are or where you are. IP addresses assigned by the ISP can be tied to one's geographic location.
My sincere apologies if my tone was inappropriate. You did answer my question! I guess I just don't like a bunch of ads which reflect the Google search that I did 10 minutes ago! My next project is to research different browsers! If I use Google then I am not surprised when they know what I do. However, I do not especially want Google to know the contents of my emails etc.
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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The Patriot Act and the various overreaches from it, ensure that everything you do online can and most probably is tracked.

If the ads are bothering you, simply dump your cache or use CrapCleaner to erase your tracks on your local machine.

Anything else you attempt to do to "hide" is futile and is only making yourself feel good. In fact, using a VPN is most likely ensuring your activities are tracked. Sorta like waving a flag...


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With Quote
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quote:
In fact, using a VPN is most likely ensuring your activities are tracked

You may well be correct Opus1! If they want to waste time decrypting my communications maybe they should just have at it. I can't stop them. I am not really that concerned about my "local machine" as I only use my own "box" be it laptop or tablet. I don't use other folks machines. The only site where I am automatically logged in is A/R. However there are a couple of sites where I let my browser keep my login credentials. Not kosher I know, but they are not financial sites.
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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You should check out CrapCleaner. It is a free program and will not destroy your registry like others will. Flushes your computer of a lot of unwanted files and data that could be tracked. Plus you can easily control startup programs that needlessly eat system resources.

Every computer should have:

CrapCleaner
Malwarebytes
Avast
Auslogics Disk Defrag

With over 30 computers, these programs ensure that our systems are up and malware free. We catch a lot of malware and tracking software before it becomes a problem.


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Thanks, I will! I do have Avast and Malwarebytes. Haven't defragged in a while.
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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tu2


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Well Opus1 I just downloaded the 30 day free trial of CCleaner (no longer called Crap Cleaner) and ran it. very fast analysis and a pretty quick fixit. It of course wiped out my A/R cookie but my email from A/R back in 2009 resolved that problem for me! As I recollect Windows has a Defrag program so I plan on running that. I will then restart and see if that process is any quicker.
Thanks very much for the tip!
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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Peter the CCleaner (C for Crap) you downloaded was the professional version. The free version does not have a time limit. But you should be able to resort to the free version after 30 days.

If you will go through the options for cleaning, you can leave passwords alone. I check most of the boxes, but I leave the Advanced options alone as they include Windows Event Logs which are useful for debugging.

Don't forget to use the registry cleaner as this flushes a lot of broken and old registry keys. And also remove most of the startup options. The only one's I have loading are antivirus and security stuff. Everything else is turned off.

After you do all this, then defrag. Restart and you should be golden. Remember with Win !0 the Restart option should be used from time to time as this loads new updates that may not occur with turning your computer off and then back on.


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Thanks very much! I guess I was in a hurry when I downloaded, but I very much appreciate the advice on options.
Peter


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by larrys:
Peter, I agree, that is why I said politics aside. It should not matter. I was countering George's commentary. I did not vote for the current President, nor the last two.


Larry,
I was countering Peter's political prefatory statement. His left-wing bias is well-documented.

George


 
Posts: 14623 | Location: San Antonio, TX | Registered: 22 May 2001Reply With Quote
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Another very useful addon is a secure password keeper. There are many out there, but they allow you to set 256-bit key secure passwords and the best part is, it remembers them since most are 16 to 32 characters long.

Was reluctant to switch over to them, but after years of use, we've never had a slightest issue with them.

The best part is, we routinely change passwords and a password keeper makes this process very simple.


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Thanks. I have Password Safe but honestly, I haven't used it. I am concerned about having everything in one place, so that if someone did have access to my box they could take their time and break into it!
BTW Avast has a VPN option that I may look into. Not too expensive either.
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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A VPN is a very useful tool.

Many people here use different VPNs.

Mostly to access media programs from other countries, which their producers do not allow to be seen outside that country.

As keeping anything secret, forget it.

Anything you do on the Internet can be accessed.


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Posts: 55264 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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Saeed:

I do the same if I am outside of my country and want to watch our TV (news or whatever).

Peter:

It is not a problem to use commercial service VPN (Comodo, Securstar and many many more), or just rent VPS server on the other end of the globe, install linux there, openvpn server and you have your own. You can set your routers at home to use VPN server as default gateway, so everything connected behind that router will be encrypted and you ISP will see only "encrypted traffic to the other end of the Earth".

Jiri
 
Posts: 1751 | Location: Czech Republic | Registered: 22 May 2002Reply With Quote
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And you can use TOR too. But it is slow, some exit relays are monitored etc.
 
Posts: 1751 | Location: Czech Republic | Registered: 22 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Peter, here is a pretty good article that came out this weekend on the subject.

Is VPN your best friend?


Larry

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading" -- Thomas Jefferson
 
Posts: 3927 | Location: Kansas USA | Registered: 04 February 2002Reply With Quote
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Larry, thanks very much. It will take me some time to review the detailed list at "That One Privacy Site" but it looks like the guy has done his homework. I am not familiar with Tor, but it has been mentioned a couple of times here so I had better research it as well. I am sure it is a waste of time as I KNOW that Congress has my best interests at heart, still... Interestingly my implied question about Avast's VPN was answered right off the bat...they do log! As he said, free VPN is good but how do they make their money...?
Peter


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10321 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Peter:
I am not familiar with Tor, but it has been mentioned a couple of times here so I had better research it as well. I am sure it is a waste of time as I KNOW that Congress has my best interests at heart, still...


TOR was brought into being by the government. My guess is, it will keep script kiddies from seeing your stuff but not Bluffdale...

An undecipherable email is probably a red flag, too. I doubt there is a publicly-known solution to the problem of internet privacy.


TomP

Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right, when wrong to be put right.

Carl Schurz (1829 - 1906)
 
Posts: 12474 | Location: Moreno Valley CA USA | Registered: 20 November 2000Reply With Quote
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