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  • VPN providers, Who's yours & Why ?

    Hello all,

    So it is evident these days that the use of VPN's over the years has increased exponentially and for good reason. With lots of online entities wanting a piece of you, or by you, I should say your usage data (and sometimes worse), it is certainly reasonable and understandable why people want to obfuscate their activities to retain their privacy. I myself frequently use a VPN for general browsing as well as for work reasons to ensure that my traffic is protected.

    So our questions is, Do you use a VPN, If so who ? and why did you choose that vendor. If you don't have a VPN do you ever plan on getting one ?

    I myself use TorGuard, I have used them for years now and the first reason was for starters their prices were reasonable but also the fact of the cross compatibility of their services across many different device types including routers etc. Luckily their support is also great !

    Let us know !
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  • #2
    I use three VPN's for different purposes:

    1) PulseSecure (Work VPN): This one probably won't apply to most people, but some feedback on different options for someone else researching for small business never hurts. This one works great and allows 2FA via Microsoft Authenticator and can link up with AzureAD to allow less passwords to be remembered as it's the same as your Windows username which makes it much easier for general users. It works great and allows network drives to work at near in-office speeds depending on your internet connection.

    2) WireGuard (Personal Home Access): I have WireGuard installed on my home UnRaid server and I use it for two purposes. One connection profile is a full tunnelled connection to my UnRaid server to allow me full network access when I'm away from home to access UnRaid's Web interface and other resources on my home network like network drives, etc. The Second connection profile is simply to force DNS settings to me phone. So I can connect to my WireGuard VPN while on LTE on my phone to have the DNS forced to a PiHole I have running on a VPS. From my testing, just ad-blocking alone through PiHole saves a substantial amount of battery life while on LTE and browsing sites and apps. My home network also uses the same PiHole.

    3) Private Internet Access (Geo-IP restrictions): I use Private Internet Access in two ways as well. The first is through a Windows 10 VM at home that can be used when I want to bulk download some stuff. The second is using the Chrome extension for when I want to watch Geo-IP restricted content, like Last Week Tonight on YouTube or Anime on Funimation or Vrv that just isn't available in Canada.
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    • #3
      Nice, sounds like you certainly have your ducks in a row regarding VPN. I had heard of 2 & 3 but not PulseSecure, sounds fairly handy as it can work with MS 2FA and AzureAD, will have to keep that one in mind ! I hear of PIA all the time, but having been happy with TorGuard I have not shopped around since, will need to start looking into some others for when my renewal comes up.
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      • #4
        I use Hotspot Shield because it was one of the first well rated free VPNs that came up. I don't really use VPNs for privacy, I just use them to get around geoblocks. I get up to 500MB a day for free on it which is well above what I use. The highest I've ever used was 280MB when I was having issues joining the Minecraft server Axi is running.
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        • #5
          Likely the paranoid aspect, but I never trusted free VPN's. Sure paying for things also does not ensure a trustworthy service, I just don't know. Again, silly paranoia. However if you are using it simply for bypassing geo blocks then that is fine.
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          • #6
            I'm only now jumping on the VPN train. Especially with that whole FBI no warrant search history stuff going on. I mean, honestly, that won't totally protect things since "cloud" but whatever.

            I have two VPNs right now but I'm willing to try out more paid ones if they have enough glowing praise from people on here. The two I'm using are kind of meh, not bad, but it does suck losing all my internets speeds when I use 'em. Keepsolid and Surfshark. I dunno, impulse buys and they had deals. Both perform about the same when I set my router to connect to them and route all my WAN to them.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by NavJack27 View Post
              I'm only now jumping on the VPN train. Especially with that whole FBI no warrant search history stuff going on. I mean, honestly, that won't totally protect things since "cloud" but whatever.

              I have two VPNs right now but I'm willing to try out more paid ones if they have enough glowing praise from people on here. The two I'm using are kind of meh, not bad, but it does suck losing all my internets speeds when I use 'em. Keepsolid and Surfshark. I dunno, impulse buys and they had deals. Both perform about the same when I set my router to connect to them and route all my WAN to them.
              Yeah that FBI no warrant thing is a move in the wrong direction, another good reason for a VPN and clearing all your searches haha. You should not see too much of a hit on you throughput, what can kill your throughput is when you setup the VPN to be processed on say your router, if the router does not have a powerful enough CPU to encrypt/decrypt the information fast enough then it will bottleneck you. I used to run it on my router, actually bought a new router to keep up but after the VPN client was being an ass on the router I know just run the client on the PC. Running the client on the PC will yield the best results so far as speeds.

              As I said above, I use Torguard, Really nice client, good configuration options and a plethora of servers to choose from. I have never had an issue with speeds via there services. Further more they do have decent support with live chat too and if you wanted to run your client on the routers they fully support that as well and can provide you with the configuration files etc. They even sell routers that are pre-flashed with DD-WRT and the likes with the VPN ready to go if you are the type of person who is unsure which router to get and how to go about custom firmware etc.

              You can see their packages here : https://torguard.net/anonymoustorrentvpn.php

              Happy to take some pictures of the PC client if it helps you get a feel for it.
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              • #8
                I'll do some testing and see if the router is a bottleneck. My 1900p with asuswrt-merlin has been a surprising beast with most things but yeah, an arm dual core can only go so far.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NavJack27 View Post
                  I'll do some testing and see if the router is a bottleneck. My 1900p with asuswrt-merlin has been a surprising beast with most things but yeah, an arm dual core can only go so far.
                  Dual cores are still capable, just depends what it is clocked at. I have the Asus AC-RT5300 which is a quad core at 1.8Ghz, serves me well, just using that as a frame of reference.
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                  • #10
                    I use Windscribe - The member package is $3 a month but even the free version is pretty good. Never lost any of my download or upload speed which was important to me. Works great!
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                    • #11
                      Not using a VPN. Most of the free 1's will still give in to court orders for their records,even apples encryption isn't enough if the Govt. wants what U were doing bad enough so them encrypting records is useless.I just use my addons in the browser to block some trackers and Real Debrid for any questionable downloads I do. That way the download is going to THEIR servers and I just get it from there later. Haven't had a notice from my ISP since I started doing movie/music downloads that way. Everything else I stream and if I'm geo blocked,I can usually find what I want on kodi.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NavJack27 View Post
                        I'm only now jumping on the VPN train. Especially with that whole FBI no warrant search history stuff going on. I mean, honestly, that won't totally protect things since "cloud" but whatever.

                        I have two VPNs right now but I'm willing to try out more paid ones if they have enough glowing praise from people on here. The two I'm using are kind of meh, not bad, but it does suck losing all my internets speeds when I use 'em. Keepsolid and Surfshark. I dunno, impulse buys and they had deals. Both perform about the same when I set my router to connect to them and route all my WAN to them.
                        You should take a look at Mullvad and ProtonVPN.

                        Mulllvad has a pretty stellar privacy policy, open source clients, easy to sign up with 100% anonymity (you can mail them cash in an envelope), no log policy, decent speeds, independently audited, and it has easy WireGuard and OpenVPN configuration.

                        ProtonVPN has most of the same positives as Mullvad except for easy anonymous sign-up and currently they do not support WireGuard. ProtonVPN also has a number of servers and datacenters that they own rather than everything operating on shared hosts/data centers.
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                        • #13
                          I SHOULD add that most of what I see people asking about VPN's for @ my end is involved with streaming video. Unless your ISP has the app/program you're using blocked,then it's rarely needed for basic streaming.Add in 1 of the debrid services and you're even covered for streaming files that are torrents. Unfortunately ALOT of the youtube people are funded by vpn services so they give the impression that a VPN is NEEDED for streaming kodi. So @ least once a week on our pages we get someone asking "What VPN would you recommend I use to stream with..." When asked WHY they want a vpn it's always because they seem to think they NEED 1 to stream kodi safely,NOT because they are worried about their privacy or are doing anything else they'd need to worry about.
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