Author Topic: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use  (Read 1244 times)

Michael in ABQ

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VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« on: November 13, 2019, 04:42:20 PM »
I am heading overseas for a while and I'm looking for recommendations for a Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider I can use. I will have local internet service available at a reasonable speed (2-3mbs) but want to use a VPN to encrypt my internet usage when accessing my online banking, or just using Netflix so I still show up to them as being in the US.

I've heard of a few providers, the most notable being NordVPN. However, it appears they've suffered some hacks recently so that takes them off the list. When I've tried Google I get lots of lists of providers but they're pretty much all just affiliate links and I don't know who to trust in this space.

I plan to use a computer and a phone to connect via WiFi  to make calls, texts, video chats via an app.

My primary criteria are:

Speed - fast enough to be able to stream Netflix on a laptop and normal web browsing plus make video calls on my phone
Security - decent security, I'm not too paranoid
Ease of setup
Price - looking to pay $10+/- per month but willing to go higher if it's worth it. Internet access is already relatively expensive.

I've heard of some people paying hundreds of dollars per year and seen other options for a couple of bucks per month. I know some providers probably have numerous servers all over the country and the world and are quite fast while others might be cheap but slow.

reeshau

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2019, 02:22:22 AM »
First, understand that this is a cat-and-mouse game, and there is no perfect solution.  And whatever is the best solution today, may degrade in the future.  (and, vice versa)  Also, don't discount using Netflix / Amazon Prime wherever you are going--the mix is likely to be less, but you may get some additional things.  (In Ireland, I get Star Trek Discovery as a "Netflix Original")

That said, I switched 6 months ago from Private Internet Access to ExpressVPN, and have had good results.  NordVPN is an excellent solution if your first criteria is access to services.

They all will be used by "bad guys," so will have hacking issues.  Personally, I take the argument that, after the attack is addressed, formerly hacked organizations tend to be in the best security positions--they have already had their catalyst moment, and spend on security.

Daley

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2019, 09:33:52 AM »
NordVPN is an excellent solution if your first criteria is access to services.

Yeah, about that recommendation for NordVPN... I'm just gonna leave this here.

I've heard of a few providers, the most notable being NordVPN. However, it appears they've suffered some hacks recently so that takes them off the list.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/10/hackers-steal-secret-crypto-keys-for-nordvpn-heres-what-we-know-so-far/
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/11/nordvpn-users-passwords-exposed-in-mass-credential-stuffing-attacks/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVDQEoe6ZWY

That Youtube video might be useful for you too, Michael. If you still want/need a VPN to be a gay pirate assassin, there's always Windscribe. They're not throwing advertising money around like they're a front for the FBI over-enthusiastic venture capitalist firms lined their pockets, but nothing in life is guaranteed.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 10:09:23 AM by Daley »

DoNorth

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2019, 12:08:33 PM »
Been overseas for 18 months.  Express VPN works best; with Pandora, Netflix, Amazon Prime and pretty much anything else you would need.  Tried Nord when my subscription came up for renewal and it didn't work with any of them so i went back to Express VPN.

crimp

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2019, 06:51:34 PM »
If you're a little bit technical, you might try out algo and just host it yourself with your favorite cloud provider.

https://blog.trailofbits.com/2016/12/12/meet-algo-the-vpn-that-works/

Michael in ABQ

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2019, 09:28:19 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations. Looks like several people I'll be working with also went with Express VPN. $100 for a year and it was very easy to setup.

ApacheStache

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2019, 10:54:01 PM »
Not that it matters at this point, but I still use NordVPN despite their breach from 2 years ago. I really only use it to find cheaper flights, or consume media that isn't made available in the States.

VPN aside, I'd also recommend you check out the Brave Browser. https://brave.com. Visually and functionally it's Google Chrome/Chromium but with more security, ad blockers, tracking blockers and auto HTTPS upgrades. If you really want to go under the radar when accessing your banking info, you have the option to Open a New Private Window with TOR. I've been using Brave on Mac, Linux and Windows for almost 2 years and it's great.

Daley

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2019, 09:18:46 AM »
If you really want to go under the radar when accessing your banking info, you have the option to Open a New Private Window with TOR.

Why would anyone want to potentially compromise their bank accounts by using some random insecure Tor exit node where they can be MITM'd? You're talking about using credentials with an organization that already knows your name and location - what on earth could be gained by anonymizing your internet connection and location FROM YOUR BANK, unless you're being directly targeted by bad actors, and if that's the case, why are you even posting here, don't you have bigger issues in your life to deal with!? Tor's basically just the world's largest russian roulette honeypot.

At best, this is like using Tor to log onto Amazon to order a sex toy using your credit card shipped to your house. "Jeff Bezos will never figure out it was me who ordered it and won't possibly be able to show me any other horse dildos to buy after this! [insert fiendish cackling here]"

If it came down to it, trusting a random Tor node or a foreign country not tapping the ISP I'm on... thank you, I'll take the direct connection with SSL and the direct dance with Five Eyes over the chance of getting my bank account either locked down or compromised. Better to pay for a "trusted" VPN that your bank also approves of if you're that worried about MITM attacks and DNS scraping while abroad.

About the only legitimate proxy use these days since nearly everyone's gone SSL is either to circumvent draconian censorship from authoritarian regimes/organizations in matters of human rights, or to reclaim some level of privacy and anonymity from an ISP that's sniffing your DNS records to inject advertisements (or worse)... and encrypted DNS is taking care of the other, provided you can find a DNS provider you can trust over your ISP. If the VPN is for business reasons, your business should be providing you with the VPN themselves, not entrusting a third party to provide it for them.

Tom Scott's not wrong about the primary use cases for average people and VPNs anymore. It's not really a need unless you're going to China, Russia, the Middle East, or Liberty University...
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 09:27:43 AM by Daley »

ApacheStache

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2019, 05:46:29 PM »
If you really want to go under the radar when accessing your banking info, you have the option to Open a New Private Window with TOR.

Why would anyone want to potentially compromise their bank accounts by using some random insecure Tor exit node where they can be MITM'd? You're talking about using credentials with an organization that already knows your name and location - what on earth could be gained by anonymizing your internet connection and location FROM YOUR BANK, unless you're being directly targeted by bad actors, and if that's the case, why are you even posting here, don't you have bigger issues in your life to deal with!? Tor's basically just the world's largest russian roulette honeypot.

At best, this is like using Tor to log onto Amazon to order a sex toy using your credit card shipped to your house. "Jeff Bezos will never figure out it was me who ordered it and won't possibly be able to show me any other horse dildos to buy after this! [insert fiendish cackling here]"

If it came down to it, trusting a random Tor node or a foreign country not tapping the ISP I'm on... thank you, I'll take the direct connection with SSL and the direct dance with Five Eyes over the chance of getting my bank account either locked down or compromised. Better to pay for a "trusted" VPN that your bank also approves of if you're that worried about MITM attacks and DNS scraping while abroad.

About the only legitimate proxy use these days since nearly everyone's gone SSL is either to circumvent draconian censorship from authoritarian regimes/organizations in matters of human rights, or to reclaim some level of privacy and anonymity from an ISP that's sniffing your DNS records to inject advertisements (or worse)... and encrypted DNS is taking care of the other, provided you can find a DNS provider you can trust over your ISP. If the VPN is for business reasons, your business should be providing you with the VPN themselves, not entrusting a third party to provide it for them.

Tom Scott's not wrong about the primary use cases for average people and VPNs anymore. It's not really a need unless you're going to China, Russia, the Middle East, or Liberty University...

I don't recall mentioning using TOR to hide your whereabouts from the same entity you're attempting to log into, nor was I aware that TOR is the "world's largest russian roulette honeypot". Honestly, I have no idea what the OP's privacy needs are overseas and frankly it's none of my business. TOR is certainly a fallible privacy/security/anonymity option that requires the end user to trust it and understand it's shortcomings, much like any browser extension, browser setting, VPN, private window, or what have you.

Daley

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Re: VPN Recommendation for Overseas Use
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2019, 09:31:43 AM »
I don't recall mentioning using TOR to hide your whereabouts from the same entity you're attempting to log into, nor was I aware that TOR is the "world's largest russian roulette honeypot".

Listen, I'm sorry to have used such a crass example, but the thing is, Tor's purpose isn't a VPN. It's an anonymous network traffic obfuscator. The most effective design and purpose of it isn't to secure your connection, it's to hide who and where you are from the servers you connect to. There's no shortage of documentation out there that repeatedly tells people to never sign into websites that you normally access with Tor as well, and vice versa. Why? Because Tor isn't a VPN in the understood classic sense and usage intents.

Tor is also really hard to keep secure with connections made through Windows, doubly so with a configuration designed to at best only operate as a web browser proxy, triply so with a Tor connection that is being made without any attempt to connect to a VPN or Tor bridge first making your network traffic way more interesting than normal to anyone packet sniffing, which is what you explicitly and so casually suggested doing in regard to people CONNECTING TO THEIR BANK ACCOUNT in a thread about VPNs by suggesting they use an anonymous network traffic obfuscator to better "secure" their connection.

VPN aside, I'd also recommend you check out the Brave Browser. https://brave.com. Visually and functionally it's Google Chrome/Chromium but with more security, ad blockers, tracking blockers and auto HTTPS upgrades. If you really want to go under the radar when accessing your banking info, you have the option to Open a New Private Window with TOR.

Emphasis added. Those are your words exactly.

The thing, though, that bothers me the most about your advice? It's this:

TOR is certainly a fallible privacy/security/anonymity option that requires the end user to trust it and understand it's shortcomings, much like any browser extension, browser setting, VPN, private window, or what have you.

I genuinely hope for your sake and the sake of others that you've simply done this from a place of deep naivete, because either you yourself haven't actually taken the advice of learning about the tools you're using and recommending, or....
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 09:35:37 AM by Daley »