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VPN - Explain to a dummy

VPN - Explain to a dummy

Old Jan 27, 11, 9:05 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by dtsm View Post
When I turn on my witopia.net VPN stateside, google voice is not affected. Never tried when overseas....will do so next visit.
Thanks for reply.

Meanwhile, if any non-US based FTers wish to test GV with a US based VPN, I'd appreciate their input.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 9:48 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by dtsm View Post
1. When sending out emails while VPN is on, some recipient email networks will not accept it and/or consider it spam. So, while you'll be able to send out, the recipient might not be able to receive it. I use witopia.net, they are excellent. But at least two networks, mindspring and bellsouth.net bounce them back.

2. Many websites can detect you using vpn and will block access. Hulu is one example.
I suspect that some services may be aware of some of the commercial VPN IPs and are blocking them. I run an OpenVPN Linux server at home so my traffic appears to originate there and haven't had any problems with e-mail or accessing Hulu overseas.

I set up the home server because outbound e-mails are blocked by my work VPN. My reply-to personal email addy is: [email protected] and our work server only allows [email protected] mails to go out.

It's also pretty easy these days to pick up a $30 dd-wrt wireless router and reflash the firmware to give you a very cheap home VPN server.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 9:52 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
After creating the connection, all your network traffic - web browsing, email, IM, everything - is routed through your encrypted VPN connection. It's like your computer is plugged into your office network or your home network, but you can be across the street or across the world.
I've seen this mentioned a few times within this thread so just wanted to clarify that the above statement is not necessarily accurate.

If you're using a full tunnel VPN connection, then yes, the above statement is accurate. All traffic is routed through the VPN connection.

If you're using a split tunnel VPN connection, then no, the above statement is not accurate. Only traffic destined for the VPN network will travel through the VPN connection, while all other traffic ignores the VPN connection completely and goes straight out to the Internet.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 10:22 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Zarf4 View Post
It's also pretty easy these days to pick up a $30 dd-wrt wireless router and reflash the firmware to give you a very cheap home VPN server.
I use a Trendnet router that supports both IPSEC and SSH. I think it cost around $100. There are lots of inexpensive routers around that support only IPSEC.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 10:43 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by JClishe View Post
I've seen this mentioned a few times within this thread so just wanted to clarify that the above statement is not necessarily accurate.

If you're using a full tunnel VPN connection, then yes, the above statement is accurate. All traffic is routed through the VPN connection.

If you're using a split tunnel VPN connection, then no, the above statement is not accurate. Only traffic destined for the VPN network will travel through the VPN connection, while all other traffic ignores the VPN connection completely and goes straight out to the Internet.
Fair enough. The default behavior in the Windows VPN client is full tunnel.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 2:30 pm
  #21  
 
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Gizmodo.com article on VPN:
http://gizmodo.com/5713626/how-to-wa...ramming-abroad
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Old Jan 27, 11, 3:38 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
I use a Trendnet router that supports both IPSEC and SSH. I think it cost around $100. There are lots of inexpensive routers around that support only IPSEC.
Looks like a good place to mention the novice VPN configuration dilemma:

If you have DD-WRT on a router, you can setup the VPN client on any Win pc anywhere quite easily - they even have wizards to walk you through it. Not so with IPSEC - this can take considerable technical acumen.

OTOH, if you are able to install DD-WRT, you can probably handle either.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 4:04 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by deubster View Post
Looks like a good place to mention the novice VPN configuration dilemma:

If you have DD-WRT on a router, you can setup the VPN client on any Win pc anywhere quite easily - they even have wizards to walk you through it. Not so with IPSEC - this can take considerable technical acumen.

OTOH, if you are able to install DD-WRT, you can probably handle either.
Very true. Before getting the Trendnet, I'd successfully set up IPSEC vpn on other home routers, but it was a combination of internet, trial-and-error and witchcraft (e.g. always face east when setting up IPSEC and never do it on a Tuesday or during a full moon). The Trendnet is terrific. I just set it up for LAN and internet connection, quickly configured VPN and pointed the Microsoft VPN client at it and it connected the first time (and second, and third . . .). Best darn purchase I ever made.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 5:24 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
The basic idea of a VPN is that your computer creates an encrypted connection, over the internet, to a computer network that you trust. This could be, say, the network at your office, your home, or a third party VPN service provider.

After creating the connection, all your network traffic - web browsing, email, IM, everything - is routed through your encrypted VPN connection. It's like your computer is plugged into your office network or your home network, but you can be across the street or across the world.

The "tunnel" mentioned is simply the idea that any outsider trying to snoop on you would only see an encrypted connection between you and your trusted computer network. Within that encrypted connection, you are sending all kinds of information.
Finally, an explanation for dummies. Thank you. ^

It's always funny watching technical people try to explain concepts to non-techies, and being completely unable to avoid terms (certificate, protocol, tunnel, client, LAN) the non-techie won't understand.
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Old Jan 28, 11, 11:41 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by Zarf4 View Post
To dumb it down even a bit more...

. . .


SECURITY

When you connect to the internet at a Holiday Inn or Starbucks most of your web browsing can be intercepted by: a) other users close enough to hear your wireless connection and b) nefarious folks between the hotel router and the final www address you're linking up to. Sites starting with https:// (as opposed to http://) are relatively secure but not 100%. Since your traffic is encrypted all anyone in the middle will see will be unintelligible.

. . .
I use Starbucks wifi but the only (at least the only one of which I am aware) security issue for me is using Outlook to get email from my ISP.

Should I get VPN?

How about if I want to use something like www.aa.com to make and check reservations?
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Old Jan 29, 11, 7:11 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by Landing Gear View Post
I use Starbucks wifi but the only (at least the only one of which I am aware) security issue for me is using Outlook to get email from my ISP.

Should I get VPN?

How about if I want to use something like www.aa.com to make and check reservations?
If you are on a public wifi life Starbucks, there is most defintely security issues. VPN will give you security when using these public wifi's.
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Old Jan 29, 11, 9:53 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Zarf4 View Post
I suspect that some services may be aware of some of the commercial VPN IPs and are blocking them. I run an OpenVPN Linux server at home so my traffic appears to originate there and haven't had any problems with e-mail or accessing Hulu overseas.

I set up the home server because outbound e-mails are blocked by my work VPN. My reply-to personal email addy is: [email protected] and our work server only allows [email protected] mails to go out.

It's also pretty easy these days to pick up a $30 dd-wrt wireless router and reflash the firmware to give you a very cheap home VPN server.
Do you have a link to a tutorial to set up a DD-WRT OpenVPN server?

I'm in a similar boat as you and don't want to get a commercial VPN service where my data would end up at someone else's server needlessly if I can route it through home.

What are the Pros/Cons to this approach?
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Old Jan 29, 11, 10:35 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by payam81 View Post
Do you have a link to a tutorial to set up a DD-WRT OpenVPN server?

I'm in a similar boat as you and don't want to get a commercial VPN service where my data would end up at someone else's server needlessly if I can route it through home.

What are the Pros/Cons to this approach?
With all due respect, information on DD-WRT is readily available, and a couple of minutes of googling around would find it. Though it doesn't require a lot of technical expertise to mod a router, if you do it wrong you can wind up with a useless brick.

Why not just get something like this?



http://www.buy.com/prod/trendnet-4-p...207552331.html
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Old Jan 29, 11, 11:00 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
With all due respect, information on DD-WRT is readily available, and a couple of minutes of googling around would find it. Though it doesn't require a lot of technical expertise to mod a router, if you do it wrong you can wind up with a useless brick.

Why not just get something like this?



http://www.buy.com/prod/trendnet-4-p...207552331.html
I already have a WRT54G in DD-WRT already but it's set up as a wifi repeater with a hidden SSID which is feeding my VOIP adapter with a wired ethernet. I was mainly looking for some info on how to modify that set up to:

A) Keep the current role of the router as a repeater.
B) Be able to enable/access the OpenVPN on it even though it's behind my main network router.

Thanks anyway.
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Old Jan 29, 11, 12:11 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
Why not just get something like this?


http://www.buy.com/prod/trendnet-4-p...207552331.html
PTravel, do you have any thoughts on my question, supra in post 25, especially since you and I are in the same "racket?"
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