VPN

cremeegg

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3,215
Is it a good idea to use a VPN. I don’t like the idea that my browsing history is available.

Are VPNs effective ? What do they cast ? Are they likely to cause my problems with viruses etc.

Any info. suggestions welcome
 

dub_nerd

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1,969
Who are you trying to hide your browsing history from? The police can get access to your ISP and can track via them to the VPN provider ... whether they can force the VPN provider to give up your browsing history depends on whether the VPN keeps logs, which you can't be sure of. Depending on your VPN's location and bandwidth it may also slow down your internet access. On the other hand, it might give you access to geofenced services like BBC iPlayer. The police can also access your emails, although it requires a warrant and possibly an international warrant. In general you are better off assuming that all online activities can be traced, even if the actual traffic between you and a website is encrypted.
 

gimp

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102
VPN have many uses not just your browsing history.
Its main use could be security if you are on public wifi etc or security if you are at home also.
Hackers will find it harder to penetrate a VPN
Online banking etc comes to mind.
VPN cost may depend on what you use it for so may define which one you need. Express and Nord are high on the list
Some may have more server choice and less stream breakdown if streaming.
You would want to be doing something serious for the police to be bothered with you. Many VPN providers do not keep logs etc.
 

gnf_ireland

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1,412
In general you are better off assuming that all online activities can be traced, even if the actual traffic between you and a website is encrypted.
I would agree with this, and to be honest the level of tracing is only increasing over time. If you want to stay 'safe' the only true means is to abstain from all internet activities.
However a VPN does offer an additional layer of security above a standard ISP service, and does offer a level of additional encryption of the data in transit.
I use one most of the time, but occasionally I have to disable it as the performance drops off too much and my patience levels match it !
 

Leo

Moderator
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11,085
Do some research before choosing a VPN also, all aren't created equally, and the free ones are likely best avoided.
 

crumdub12

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936
As advised above, VPN is an encapsulated tunnel , you connect to a server for all internet connections and they are your source point out, meaning people do not have your location

You need a layered approach to internet security, and question yourself who are you looking to block ... Hackers, Advertiser, Government etc

Harden browser, segregate functions, Work account from Play Account, use different browsers for both , close browsers regularly, clear cookies / history if appropriate

This is a good video regarding layered security


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLessJ4R6w8&t=

I use ProtonVPN, good company, and do not keep logs (if they are telling truth), also use OUTLINE , is a derivative of ShadowSocks

https://protonvpn.com/

https://getoutline.org/en/home
 

TestLink

Registered User
Messages
34
Express vpn or Nord vpn are the best. They are outside 5 eyes countries. No logs, no browsing history, shared ip address. Both have chat support. Avoid vpn service based in US, UK and other 5 eyes countries. Australia has recently passed a bill to put backdoor on all vpn services in that country.

Also use browsers like Brave, which has lots of features against browser fingerprinting, TOR support, Site based javascript setting etc.
 

Baby boomer

Registered User
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211
Been using ExpressVPN for while now and find it great. Simultaneous use on multiple devices. Very fast. Use it a lot for BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub etc. Will access sites blocked by Irish/UK ISPs. Have used it for RTE Player when abroad. No logs (they claim!) but caveat emptor on that!
 

Baby boomer

Registered User
Messages
211
It's fine on the web version of the iPlayer. There seems to be some problem with the Android app, though.
Right. Been doing some playing around with this. I now have it working on Android (Moto G6 phone) too. The secret is you have to disable the Sim card AND use a VPN. You can disable the Sim card easily from the settings menu. Hey presto, you're in the UK watching BBC iPlayer! Re-enable the Sim and it stops again.
Obviously the iPlayer app must be able to check whether you're getting a mobile phone network signal independently of the VPN.
Have tried it on Wi-Fi only Android tablet and it works fine too. I can also cast to Chromecast to watch on TV screen.

(My sim and Wi-Fi are both Virgin Media)
 

Zenith63

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Messages
459
Is it a good idea to use a VPN. I don’t like the idea that my browsing history is available.
Who are you concerned has access to your browsing history, this will determine whether a VPN will be helpful?

The vast majority of websites you will connect to use encrypted connections between your PC and their web server, all somebody in the middle will see is that you connected to askaboutmoney.com; not the thread you accessed, your username or anything like that, literally just “CONNECT askaboutmoney.com”. Adding a VPN into that mix will mean that somebody in the middle cannot see that CONNECT command, but the VPN provider will still see it and who are they?

There are lots of good reasons for using a VPN (lots mentioned above), but is it a good idea for your average Joe Public to use one who doesn’t have these needs, I’d say not. Extra cost, extra complexity, slower speeds, little real benefit.
 

Leo

Moderator
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11,085
Can you not just turn mobile data off instead of disabling the sim?
Mobile data isn't the issue, as once wifi is available, it won't use mobile data anyway. The app is using details of the mobile network the device is connected to to determine if it is in the UK or not.
 

Funnyname

Registered User
Messages
34
Is there a VPN switch type box I could get for the back of the TV whereby I can enter the VPN details into the box and anything connected to that goes through the VPN when required as I don't want all traffic going through the VPN, only when I want to watch progs outside of Ireland which is probably 10% of the time.
 

Baby boomer

Registered User
Messages
211
Yes, such devices do exist. Some of the VPN providers offer them. I've never used one myself so I've no experience or knowledge to offer barring the fact they exist!
 

cautious

Frequent Poster
Messages
35
I've just bought a years subscription to Norton Secure VPN specifically to watch BBC Iplayer. I set up a Northern Ireland postcode and a UK virtual location. BBC Iplayer won't allow me to watch. I think it's detecting that I am using a VPN.

Can any recommend a VPN that will allow me to watch Iplayer on home TV network and on my PC. I have good things about Nord VPN and Express VPN.

Thanks.
 

horusd

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Messages
1,604
I've just bought a years subscription to Norton Secure VPN specifically to watch BBC Iplayer. I set up a Northern Ireland postcode and a UK virtual location. BBC Iplayer won't allow me to watch. I think it's detecting that I am using a VPN.

Can any recommend a VPN that will allow me to watch Iplayer on home TV network and on my PC. I have good things about Nord VPN and Express VPN.

Thanks.
I use Nord VPN as a matter of course. It is a paid subscription and routinely figures in the best leagues of VPN. It is consistent and it is good. I had heard it said that if you're getting the VPN for free then you are the product in terms of making money. Personally, I don't like the idea of anyone tracking me or using my data, so that's my rationale in using it. I had used it for a while to bypass the Geo-location on some TV sites like the BBC and Nord VPN worked a treat.
 

cautious

Frequent Poster
Messages
35
Thanks horusd.

Nord VPN sounds worth a punt. I've seen them advertised on ebay for ridiculously low prices e.g £2.99 for 3 yrs subscription.

Can these offers be genuine? Are there different grades of Nord VPN available, e.g basic, premium,etc? Can I lock my Geo-location to UK with Nord VPN and use a Northern Ireland post code with my BBC account?
I assume Nord VPN can hide from the BBC the fact that it is a VPN.

Thanks.
 

tallpaul

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,071
Nothing is certain with VPN's to work with BBC iPlayer as it depends on how active the VPN company is in changing its IP addresses. The BBC constantly plays whack-a-mole with IP addresses of VPN's to block their access. So you might have the iPlayer working one day and it will be gone the next until such time as the VPN provider changes the IP address to access the iPlayer and then the whole dance starts all over again!
 
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