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Windows 7: Are Virtual Private Networks Helpful?

2 Weeks Ago   #1
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 
Are Virtual Private Networks Helpful?

I've been seeing adverts recently for Nord VPN saying they make your internet connection safer and your internet traffic is not tracked, keeps you safe from hackers etc and a host of other benefits.

Is anyone using a VPN and could comment on their experience? I use a VPN on my works computer when I'm working from home, but I'd not considered using one on my personal computer and whether they are a good idea, particularly for Windows 7 users for additional security.

Any thoughts?
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2 Weeks Ago   #2
z3r010

Windows 10 Workstation x64
 
 

VPN's are the new fad for the paranoid, despite all the claims from these VPN providers that it makes your connection private and more secure, in fact all you are doing is outsourcing your internet browsing to some random company on the internet that says on it's website that it's secure and not tracking you while at the same time slowing your internet connection as you have put something in-between you and the internet.

You will see lots of sites on the internet that rate VPN's on speed and security, these are just affiliate sites rating by who pays the best commission.

At the end of the day who do you trust more your ISP which is well regulated or some random company on the internet that for all you know could be being run from a kitchen table in Romania and harvesting all the data going through the connection.


Work VPN's are something completely different as they are just creating a tunnel to your employer network and should not be confused with the things that the likes or Nord are selling.
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2 Weeks Ago   #3
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

Thanks, that's really helpful. It did feel like a new thing as far as considering for a personal computer.
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2 Weeks Ago   #4
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by z3r010 View Post
VPN's are the new fad for the paranoid...in fact all you are doing is outsourcing your internet browsing to some random company on the internet...
This is funny--you basically say Paranoia is a bad thing, and then express your own paranoia about "random compan[ies]!"


@LevelBest if there is anything about your internet activities that you aren't proud of i.e. wouldn't want on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper, then research VPNs and choose one that feels right for you. I do not think it keeps you "safe from hackers" but OTOH if you have reason to believe that you are being targeted by someone i.e. directly threatened then a VPN could keep you safer from them.
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2 Weeks Ago   #5
z3r010

Windows 10 Workstation x64
 
 

But you have no idea who is controlling the VPN, in reality it's far worse for your privacy than your ISP.
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2 Weeks Ago   #6
LevelBest

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit (Service Pack 1)
 
 

if there is anything about your internet activities that you aren't proud of i.e. wouldn't want on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper, then research VPNs and choose one that feels right for you. I do not think it keeps you "safe from hackers" but OTOH if you have reason to believe that you are being targeted by someone i.e. directly threatened then a VPN could keep you safer from them.


If any company wants to track my research on health and nutrition, and my interest in motor racing and gardening, they’re welcome. I was wanting to know if adding a VPN would add another layer of protection, particularly since W7 is now end of life but I do take the point of implicating additional servers.
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2 Weeks Ago   #7
z3r010

Windows 10 Workstation x64
 
 

What would be handy in adding an extra level of protection to the end of life W7 is using a secure dns such as Quad9 or 1.1.1.2 that filter malware and encrypt your DNS, both are run by some of the internets biggest players so there is less likely to be anything shady going on.
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2 Weeks Ago   #8
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by z3r010 View Post
What would be handy in adding an extra level of protection to the end of life W7 is using a secure dns such as Quad9 or 1.1.1.2 that filter malware and encrypt your DNS, both are run by some of the internets biggest players so there is less likely to be anything shady going on.
Ha! See, here I disagree with you again. There's nothing about being a Big Player that improves the likelihood there's nothing "shady going on!" Sort of the opposite actually, as Big Tech leans polically in only one direction.

I will say simply, as with all things in life, do your homework and make your decisions based on your own needs. Consider the Internet companies you deal with as carefully as you'd choose a Financial Advisor or Attorney.
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2 Weeks Ago   #9
z3r010

Windows 10 Workstation x64
 
 

VPN supply is a complete unregulated market, I could set a few servers up to log all traffic going through, harvesting surfing habits passwords and bank details, then setup a website to market my secure VPN service - and there would be absolutely no oversite and nobody would have any idea what I was doing.

Big players such as Cloudflare and IBM have regulators and governments they have to answer to and tbh they really wouldn't have any interest in your passwords or bank details.
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2 Weeks Ago   #10
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It is true that there are many VPN providers and they've become a fad today. Because of that, most people don't know jack about the technology and a plethora of other things one would need to do in the browser to keep their IP address hidden.

All a VPN does is give you a new IP address and encrypts the connection between you and the VPN server. From the VPN server it's unencrypted unless you visit a site that uses HTTPS. Most do.

It comes down to sheer research and knowing who to trust as a VPN provider. A couple I know of and use are VPN.AC and Protonvpn which also has secure email Protonemail.

Where a VPN shines is if you use an open WIFI network. If you do then you'll wanna use a VPN. Another instance might be with Kodi for an Amazon Firestick so that your ISP doesn't hammer you.

I've written about how to chose the right VPN on my site here.

There are many, many facets to a VPN and why you'd use one and how to use one.
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