How to surf safely with a VPN-for-hire
Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:00 AM
ItsHidden VPN no longer offers a free service which used to work just fine; perhaps their paid service is adequate, but I have not tried it.
A long time ago AnchorFree (the providers of HotSpot Shield) offered free VPN accounts for mobile users; this option looks to be gone although my legacy account seems to work just fine on my iPhone and iPad. It's very handy for limited surfing in some coffeeshop. I keep both this service and the Raptor VPN one configured on my mobile devices just in case a service is flaky.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:40 AM
Not sure how that will help me in a public place on my iPad? It may work connecting to home server but not the web.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:54 AM
Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:21 AM
I did not want to install Mac OS X Server. So I run iVPN ( http://macserve.org.uk/support/ivpn ) on an old Mac mini at home running Snow Leopard. No ongoing costs except a few dollars for iVPN.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 08:09 AM
Really subpar service.
I've had a subscription on and off with them for years. I occasionally need to contact tech support about some configuration issue, but it's usually the hotspot I'm at that's blocking service. If you're critiquing a company, it's often useful to provide concrete examples of what went wrong to help other people evaluate whether your experience is particular (some problem they couldn't solve others don't have) or general (service doesn't work, customer service terrible, billing issues).
Posted 15 May 2012 - 08:15 AM
As a technical person, I have no problem setting up and using a VPN service. I think the "average" iOS user is much less likely to understand failure modes, and want to put up with them.
Most email clients today use SSL POP3 or IMAP by default don't they? GMail's web view uses HTTPS. Most (all) credit card transactions are HTTPS/SSL encrypted.
Twitter (unless you have a private account) is all about spewing into the public stream. Accessing Twitter.com or Facebook.com seems to default to HTTPS.
Tell me again what the typical user has to fear about not using a VPN tunnel? Is is just random browsing? Worrying that others can see what web sites you visit? For people to determine if using a VPN tunnel is worth the hassle, they need to better understand the risks. It is like any choice for insurance.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 08:53 AM
One annoying thing about the iPad: It turns off the VPN when you turn it off. thus you have to remember to restart each time you start it up.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:22 PM
It's the "most, but not all" problem. Most ISPs use SSL for email connections via POP3, IMAP, and SMTP. But not all. I'd be less concerned about ecommerce and banking, because the credit-card firms, governments, and other parties require encrypted connections. But there are still sites with stupid practices.
A VPN prevents having to think about what's being broadcast in the clear and what's not. You can go through service by service and Web site by Web site and evaluate whether you're leaking your data, or just use a VPN and be sure you're not. A VPN also prevents information from leaking about what you're doing, not just the contents, as it protects all manner of public information about connections made that are leaked with SSL, even when the contents and passwords are not.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:24 PM
You get my meaning. It's up to the individual to interpret whether his or her home country is engaged in spying on them, but a VPN can prevent government intrusion even for ostensibly civil matters, like copyright violation.