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Do you believe that VPN protects online security?


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Depends on the type of VPN and what its used for. To remote home from another location, would be fairly safe if you needed to access your home network and protect the traffic you while at places like a hotel or coffee shop to securely access your machines remotely **.

If say, you had a corporate LAN at work, and used a VPN client from home or on the road, to get onto the work LAN, then it should be relatively secure in most scenarios **. From there, you could then remote into other workstations and servers at work over the VPN and the traffic would be secured from prying eyes, depending on the type of VPN, since you would send all data through the VPN's server(which needs to be secure and one you trust if not your own).

Paid for VPN's, have to comply with laws though, and are rquired to give law enforcement access to accounts when served by the courts which many times also comes with a gag order, but Corporate VPN's and Home VPN's generally, should be secure between just two nodes not on the internet in general but in their respective networks only.

If you used a VPN from a coffee shop to visit a site not your own though, people at the coffee shop shouldn't be able to see what site you are on, but the end site knows you and your machine, as mentioned above, has access to the data being sent back to you since you would exit the VPN network(ie: egress IP) on the other end, so if that site were compromised on their end, or even the VPN service doing the retrieval for you, its possible to compromise you as well since all data flows back to your machine, could be changed before it reaches you and you're at the mercy of the paid VPN service, just like using an anonymous proxy, which personally, I would not recommend using free socks proxies since the owner can sniff all your data(just like a paid service, but I tend to put a bit more faith in a well known paid service vs free proxies out of Russia where all your packets are belong to them). I use a Paid VPN service for almost everything, but I also know the owner of the VPN company and worked on his site and know the setup, which fortunately, he doesn't keep logs (unless of course served by the courts to do so).

** However, if the network you are on has been compromised and someone gained direct access to YOUR machine itself, you then become a pivot, which in any scenario, your machine becomes the weakest link in the chain and the VPN traffic would be readable by any person who attacked your machine on the same LAN if someone managed to hack into your box while you were using the VPN to access something remotely. With any VPN, you still have your main NIC connection to the LAN, while the VPN sets up another virtual encrypted tunnel, but if they hack you on the same lan over your main NIC's IP in their subnet, then they can wireshark your own VPN traffic in plain text since the VPN shows as another NIC. I do this at home with my own traffic and can see whats on my VPN, but if I try from my main NIC, all the data looks like SSL encrypted traffic which is what you would hope anyone trying to sniff your traffic would see, encrypted traffic. If my box got whacked though, anyone could see my VPN traffic and use its connection to logon to whatever my destination is.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is it me, or did the thread topic suddenly go from use of VPN's and security to links for services? /rant

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Agreed, looks like some advertising spam. The person has removed it though. Also changed their profile to Male, but in the introduce me section:

My name is Melida, I am new here:
Favorite game: Guild Wars 2
Favorite OS: Debian
Favorite console: Xbox 360
Nationality: American
Sex: Female
Age: 26
Race: White American
Height: 4'15"
Status: Married
Wish to make more friends with you!
Almost sounds generic.
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