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[Consolidated] VPN Provider Recommendations

[Consolidated] VPN Provider Recommendations

Old Aug 25, 11, 9:35 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by thegasguru View Post
OK, I'm not familiar with dd-wrt. I'm assuming it allows a vpn that can tunnel thru any corporate IT dept web site blocking and user traffic snooping.
Yes, provided that your IT department doesn't firewall VPN clients.

But what IP address does it show?
The one where your VPN server is located, i.e. your home LAN.

Where does it geo-locate?
Same. As far as anything you reach on the Internet, you're working from home.

I'm assuming that it gives the same IP address every time - which doesn't really cloak your identity that well.
Sure. I thought the idea here was to make a service think that you're within the U.S. This isn't about cloaking identities -- for that, you need an anonymizer service.

Please correct me if I'm ignorant here. Also - if a dd-wrt based vpn can only geo-locate you to where your home router is, then I would consider it an advantage that some of the commercial vpn services can provide geo-located IP addresses in various other countries. As I mentioned earlier, Astrill allows you to change servers/countries on the fly.
It depends on what you're trying to do. If you're trying to disguise your identity, a home-based VPN isn't the solution. If you want the internet services to which you connect to think that you're connecting from home, rather than somewhere else, e.g. overseas, than that is how to do it.

Of course, as garyschmitt points out, that also means that your IP address can be identified on a database as being owned by a commercial entity. For my purposes, that hasn't yet posed a problem.[/QUOTE]
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Old Aug 25, 11, 9:36 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by theworld View Post
I've been using a service called Unblock-us for the past few months.

Its not quite a VPN, what you do is you change the DNS addresses to the one that the service provides you. It basically runs as a "whitelist".

I've done a small write up on the service here:

http://www.browngeek.net/unblock-us-...-proxy-service
Is it free? Does it work with Netflix?
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Old Aug 25, 11, 9:46 pm
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Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post
Is it free? Does it work with Netflix?
Read my blog write up, more details there.

No its not free, something like $5 a month. It works with Netflix and a bunch of other sites like Hulu, Pandora and BBC.

I've had it set up on my router, so all my devices at home can access it. Result is I get Pandora on my Squeezebox boom and Hulu, etc on my HTPC.

It only re-directs traffic of the "whitelisted" sites. Everything else goes through normally (i.e. normal browsing).
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Old Aug 26, 11, 10:45 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by Global_Hi_Flyer View Post
PPTP has some security shortcomings but is easier to set up than OpenVPN.
PPTP is also very lightweight, which is why it's commonly used for mobile phones and PDAs. This would seem to make PPTP ideal for Netflix, where you're streaming copious amounts of audio video data and don't care about disclosure anyway.

In fact, openvpn in it's fully-featured implementation is too heavy for routers, which is why dd-wrt strips it down. DD-WRT routers cannot handle some of the algorithms because they were too CPU intensive, so they were removed.

Consequently, not all VPN providers that support openvpn will authenticate to a dd-wrt router. However, that's only an issue if the router is used as a client and someone else is serving.
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Old Aug 27, 11, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by garyschmitt View Post
PPTP is also very lightweight, which is why it's commonly used for mobile phones and PDAs. This would seem to make PPTP ideal for Netflix, where you're streaming copious amounts of audio video data and don't care about disclosure anyway.

In fact, openvpn in it's fully-featured implementation is too heavy for routers, which is why dd-wrt strips it down. DD-WRT routers cannot handle some of the algorithms because they were too CPU intensive, so they were removed.

Consequently, not all VPN providers that support openvpn will authenticate to a dd-wrt router. However, that's only an issue if the router is used as a client and someone else is serving.
Agree.

My main VPN is running L2TP/IPSec on a Sonicwall. The Sonicwall also supports SSL VPN. I've got a DD-WRT router running OpenVPN - I have less problems with that being blocked by ISPs than I did when I was running a straight IPSec connection.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 3:42 am
  #66  
 
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I also use "unblock-us" and I like it because it redirects traffic for only a specific list of sites. I live in eastern europe and the unblock-us service redirects traffic only for netflix, hulu, etc to the US (or UK in the case of BBC) without redirecting traffic for many local sites which I use. And it is not expensive and and easy to implement (change your DNS server and thats it).
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Old Aug 29, 11, 1:17 pm
  #67  
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Configuring dd-wrt for VPN

Another FTer asked me via PM what the configuration should be for VPN on a dd-wrt router. Because we can't attach pictures to PM, I'm posting it here:

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Old Jan 10, 12, 2:22 pm
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smartDNS

I do realize this topic is fairly old, but felt like updating it.

I'm one of those who recommended Overplay.net and I still stand by what I said, but now they become even more awesome! (No, I'm not working for overplay, but I simply love the new service they rolled out)

Basically, instead of connecting to VPNs each time you want to watch Hulu, iPlayer, Netflix and other region-locked sites, you change the DNS settings in your computer to their web server. (it is very simple to do so and they have nice tutorials)

What does this do? Well, first of all, you don't have to connect to a VPN every single time, but do take into consideration that if you use smartDNS your connection isn't encrypted. Also, your speeds increase, because instead of tunneling to a VPN service,the overplay initially tricks the website into believing you are in US but the actual streaming is carried out by your connection.

Absolutely love the service, so felt obligated to let others know.

Link to overplay.net
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Old Jan 11, 12, 7:41 pm
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Originally Posted by bondars View Post
I do realize this topic is fairly old, but felt like updating it.

I'm one of those who recommended Overplay.net and I still stand by what I said, but now they become even more awesome! (No, I'm not working for overplay, but I simply love the new service they rolled out)

Basically, instead of connecting to VPNs each time you want to watch Hulu, iPlayer, Netflix and other region-locked sites, you change the DNS settings in your computer to their web server. (it is very simple to do so and they have nice tutorials)

What does this do? Well, first of all, you don't have to connect to a VPN every single time, but do take into consideration that if you use smartDNS your connection isn't encrypted. Also, your speeds increase, because instead of tunneling to a VPN service,the overplay initially tricks the website into believing you are in US but the actual streaming is carried out by your connection.

Absolutely love the service, so felt obligated to let others know.

Link to overplay.net
So basically what the likes of Unblock-us and Unotelly have been doing for ages?

Mind you its a nice little add on if you already use Overplay's VPN services.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 6:44 am
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Update to my earlier post. I configured one of the Sonicwall units for SSLVPN before my trip to Beijing last week. It worked very well - bypassed the Great Firewall & gave me full access to everything on the 'net, including Facebook and other social media sites. Streamed YouTube just fine (with a few stops for buffering).

Speed was acceptable, but I suspect that the bandwidth of the non-encrypted internet would have been insufficient for Hulu or Netflix (meaning that the encrypted link with it's overhead would have been worse), but I never ran actual end-to-end speed tests. FTP protocol (I wanted to send photos to a server as backup) would have taken all night for 6 GB.

If one travels a lot and has access to a static IP in the States, some kind of personal VPN endpoint router is worth considering. The limiting factor will be bandwidth.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 7:53 am
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no security

Originally Posted by bondars View Post
I do realize this topic is fairly old, but felt like updating it.

I'm one of those who recommended Overplay.net and I still stand by what I said, but now they become even more awesome! (No, I'm not working for overplay, but I simply love the new service they rolled out)

Basically, instead of connecting to VPNs each time you want to watch Hulu, iPlayer, Netflix and other region-locked sites, you change the DNS settings in your computer to their web server. (it is very simple to do so and they have nice tutorials)

What does this do? Well, first of all, you don't have to connect to a VPN every single time, but do take into consideration that if you use smartDNS your connection isn't encrypted. Also, your speeds increase, because instead of tunneling to a VPN service,the overplay initially tricks the website into believing you are in US but the actual streaming is carried out by your connection.

Absolutely love the service, so felt obligated to let others know.

Link to overplay.net

Just be sure to note, there will be NO SECURITY with such a solution. It might work for getting around IP routing/streaming issues, but won't offer any security layer protocols-which is why many/most would use a VPN remotely or internationally.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 9:18 am
  #72  
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Originally Posted by nmenaker View Post
Just be sure to note, there will be NO SECURITY with such a solution. It might work for getting around IP routing/streaming issues, but won't offer any security layer protocols-which is why many/most would use a VPN remotely or internationally.
Yeah, I'm not sure I understand what Overplay does. Looking at their website, they seem to have a variety of for-real VPN servers on a variety of protocols. These would seem to provide excellent security with standard encrypted tunnels (L2TP, OpenVPN, SSTP).

I don't understand SmartDNS - is it just using a different DNS server? I don't see how that would work with location-restricted content. From what I understand, Hulu/Netflix use IP geolocation so if you connect from a European IP, no matter what DNS server you use, they will see that you're not in the USA and won't let you stream.

On the other hand, a different DNS server might just work for accessing Facebook in a place like China, because I think the Great Firewall is essentially a DNS construct.

Right?
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Old Jan 12, 12, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
On the other hand, a different DNS server might just work for accessing Facebook in a place like China, because I think the Great Firewall is essentially a DNS construct.

Right?
Wrong.

See this recent article from Slashdot and the links therein. Very fascinating.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 11:54 am
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Global_Hi_Flyer View Post
Wrong.

See this recent article from Slashdot and the links therein. Very fascinating.
Ah, very cool. Thanks!

Though, I don't really understand enough about the nitty gritty of Tor. From what I understand of this article, though, the Great Firewall looks for certain SSL certificates that the Chinese government associates with Tor. When it detects those certificates being used, it tries to make a Tor connection to that host. If it can do so, the host is a Tor node and gets blocked. Right?
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Old Jan 12, 12, 12:14 pm
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MLB

So would this allow me to watch MLB in my area?? Right now I can't watch Yankess, Mets or Bosox. I'd love to dump cable but I have to watch these teams. I have very strong bandwidth.
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