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interstateflyer 04-07-2016 05:20 PM

VPN...Virtual Private Network..Worth It?
 
I'd like to be able to use my Mac laptop on the road and use RV Park/Public WiFi. I've been told that I should use a VPN, Virtual Private Network to ensure security.

Has anyone had experience with VPNs and if so could you recommend a particular one?

SeaLevel 04-07-2016 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by interstateflyer (Post 1773384)
I'd like to be able to use my Mac laptop on the road and use RV Park/Public WiFi. I've been told that I should use a VPN, Virtual Private Network to ensure security.

Has anyone had experience with VPNs and if so could you recommend a particular one?

I use a VPN every day to connect to my employers network. A VPN basically extends a private network across a public network like the Internet. What are you wanting to do with your network connection?

Unless you specifically want to connect to another network over the Internet, I don't think a VPN is what you want. You should only connect to secure networks if you plan to use your connection and do things like banking etc. A secure network could just be a SSL (HTTPS) connection to something like your banks website. I wouldn't do that over an open Wi-Fi network though.

Minno 04-07-2016 05:46 PM

Did a google search and found this web site: http://www.thetop10bestvpn.com/

Info on it might help you make a decision.

Chris

interstateflyer 04-07-2016 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeaLevel (Post 1773387)
I use a VPN every day to connect to my employers network. A VPN basically extends a private network across a public network like the Internet. What are you wanting to do with your network connection?

Unless you specifically want to connect to another network over the Internet, I don't think a VPN is what you want. You should only connect to secure networks if you plan to use your connection and do things like banking etc. A secure network could just be a SSL (HTTPS) connection to something like your banks website. I wouldn't do that over an open Wi-Fi network though.

How would you assure security over an open WiFi network, such as in an RV park? Yes, private and financial communication.

I'd normally use my Verizon WiFi Jetpack but I'll be traveling in parts of North America where Verizon is not available or strong enough for a data connection.

SeaLevel 04-07-2016 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by interstateflyer (Post 1773394)
How would you assure security over an open WiFi network, such as in an RV park?

You can't. If the connection between your laptop and the Wi-Fi router is open, that means it's not encrypted in any way, and could easily be sniffed by anyone within range. You'd basically be passing your information for all to see. RV Parks should follow the lead of most hotels, where you need a password to connect to Wi-Fi, and encryption is being used. I would save the personal and financial traffic for when you can use your Verizon Mi-Fi device, which I hope you have setup with a strong password.

richw46 04-07-2016 06:16 PM

A VPN is a secure connection over an unsecured network to a target network, like your home or office network. From there you can go back out to the Internet if you wish, but you need to have a target network at the other end of the VPN tunnel. I've read in here where some have set up a VPN to their home network to use that machine to access their bank accounts etc. My company has a VPN for me to log into and access their systems.

I use a Verizon Ellipses Jetpack for all things personal and for work if the park's wifi isn't strong enough. When you are on a public network, one that doesn't require you to log into an assigned account, you are vulnerable. Public wifi is good for hooking up your Roku or other media player to access online videos. There's nothing for someone to hack into on those devices. Except for one just recently, my experience has been that park wifi has been too weak to support even the most basic type of connection for surfing let alone streaming video.

Verizon has several pay as you go options, from 250 meg ($20) to 10 gb ($100). A VPN is a good way to go if you're going to try and use a park's wifi but I just don't think there's enough bandwidth to support your needs. A portable hot spot is your best bet, or share you smart phone's hotspot.

chris_kelly 04-07-2016 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by interstateflyer (Post 1773384)
I'd like to be able to use my Mac laptop on the road and use RV Park/Public WiFi. I've been told that I should use a VPN, Virtual Private Network to ensure security.



Has anyone had experience with VPNs and if so could you recommend a particular one?


So it depends on what you want to use your connection for - the concern is a man-in-the-middle attack when the adversary is able to capture your traffic, and then gather required sensitive information from your network traffic.

As a previous poster mention https as a means to protect some traffic you should still not do anything sensitive over us trusted network access, wired or wireless. SSL traffic is only secure if you trust the public key infrastructure of the site you're connecting to. Always check the certificate authority providence.

Only you will be able to know your own requirements but take a look at the spreadsheet linked in the article to determine some needs.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/03...-best-for-you/

chris_kelly 04-07-2016 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by richw46 (Post 1773403)
A VPN is a secure connection over an unsecured network to a target network, like your home or office network. From there you can go back out to the Internet if you wish, but you need to have a target network at the other end of the VPN tunnel. I've read in here where some have set up a VPN to their home network to use that machine to access their bank accounts etc.


Not just home or business networks have this - educational institutions often provide a vpn to provide online access to paid resources. More importantly in this case, there are vpn providers that provide the service for a fee.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/03...-best-for-you/

interstateflyer 04-07-2016 06:42 PM

I guess I was under the impression that the VPN provided a secure network from your computer all the way along the line to the end of the tunnel and used their network to securely connect you to the web address that you desired, i.e.: bank.

alano 04-07-2016 06:47 PM

I use PIA at home and when travelling. www.privateinternetaccess.com. It's quite affordable and very solid. You can determine which exit point you prefer - even in other countries. This is quite convenient if you travel abroad and still would like to access Netflix/Hulu, etc.

tsunami 04-07-2016 06:56 PM

proXPN
 
I have been using proXPN for awhile now and am very happy with the performance and security. This software has a good number of VPN servers to connect to to ensure good service.

interstateflyer 04-07-2016 07:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alano (Post 1773424)
I use PIA at home and when travelling. www.privateinternetaccess.com. It's quite affordable and very solid. You can determine which exit point you prefer - even in other countries. This is quite convenient if you travel abroad and still would like to access Netflix/Hulu, etc.

Do you feel comfortable conducting financial transaction using the PIA VPN?

alano 04-07-2016 07:42 PM

I feel much more comfortable with it rather than without it. I also run it on a Synology file server and haven't lost a connection for months. Perhaps I'd feel differently if they were using a non-standard protocol, but they support the latest VPN protocols.

Jim & Susan 04-07-2016 08:09 PM

Vpn 101
 
Check out this video. Leo is long-winded sometimes, but he's full of good info. We don't use public WiFi for "important stuff", but if we needed to (as in full timing, etc) we would have a VPN. Ya just never know what's going on in the background with WiFi Hot Spots.

I use VPN for work nearly every day (required to for most things). Very few problems with it. Setting it up can sometimes be a pain, just so you know.

Jim

http://techguylabs.com/episodes/1271/what-vpn

interstateflyer 04-07-2016 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alano (Post 1773457)
I feel much more comfortable with it rather than without it. I also run it on a Synology file server and haven't lost a connection for months. Perhaps I'd feel differently if they were using a non-standard protocol, but they support the latest VPN protocols.

I admit that some parts of the conversation are a little over my head.

My scenario again if you please. In my Airstream, on public WiFi using a VPN, for example PIA.

Given that there exists nothing else under my control in the pipeline that leads to my bank, will my connection be secure?

alano 04-07-2016 08:23 PM

As I understand it, if you're only using your browser to access your bank via public Wifi using https, the connection is already secure. The VPN adds an additional layer of encryption that will make it more difficult for other folks on your shared public WiFi to hack back into your computer. If I am mistaken I'm sure others will shine in to correct me :)

Jim & Susan 04-07-2016 08:50 PM

Here's another Leo discussion on the topic: http://techguylabs.com/episodes/1268...hile-traveling

Good info. The internet is a really scary place these days. Not to deter anybody....just trying to through the information out there for thought.

Jim

ghaynes755 04-07-2016 09:14 PM

So I get the issue with public WiFi. But unless you are tethered (hardwired) to your MiFi device and simply connected via WiFi if someone really wanted to sniff your connection you are still exposed between your MiFi device and your laptop. VPN still isn't going to help unless you are hardwired to the device with your WiFi on the laptop preferably turned off.

Or did it get it wrong?

tsunami 04-07-2016 09:19 PM

Any device, either hard wired or WiFi, with a VPN software connection is secure. So if your laptop has VPN software connected and your passing data via MiFi to a public WiFi, your data packets are secure.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums

Brawny 04-07-2016 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alano (Post 1773424)
I use PIA at home and when travelling. www.privateinternetaccess.com. It's quite affordable and very solid. You can determine which exit point you prefer - even in other countries. This is quite convenient if you travel abroad and still would like to access Netflix/Hulu, etc.

+1. I use PIA as well, more for anonymity than security, but it does a good job of both. I've used it for 2 or 3 years now on a daily basis with my home server without issue.


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