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VPNs, Proxies, Tunnels and Mythical Benefits

Learn the truth about privacy software, which ones are better for you, and why they aren't as great as you necessarily thought.

Steve Smith, host of your TQA Weekly, talks about VPNs, proxies, tunneling, OpenVPN, Tor, and mythical benefits.

Episode #3-04 released on October 7, 2012

OpenVPN, (aka OpenVPN Technologies) was founded by Francis Dinha, and James Yonan in 2002, and is a privately held company based out of Pleasanton, Califonia. OpenVPN is an application, or if you prefer tool, designed to help you secure your data from man in the middle attacks, protect your privacy from criminals, malware, and malicious attacks, and allows you to access content anywhere you live. A VPN is a virtual private network, normally used to secure, and render anonymous your connection to any web-sites you visit. In order, to obtain a copy of the OpenVPN software you must visit http://openvpn.net/.

And, at the request of an anonymous user, I've done some testing, and the software provided to create servers and clients is not the solution for the common user, however the Private Tunnel software, from OpenVPN, is a solution any user can understand. It is essentially out of the box. Download, install, register, open application, type in e-mail, password, and select server, then logon. That is it. If your looking for a private way of navigating without the fuss, just use the Private Tunnel, which gives you 100MB free, good for web-sites. You can buy more bandwidth, as well. Works on Windows, Mac, Android, etc... If you wish to register to Private Tunnel, go to https://www.privatetunnel.com/index.php?referral=X4HSV04PFI.

What do I think of the whole process of using OpenVPN client and server software?

Download the Tor Browser Bundle, or Private Tunnel from OpenVPN, if you don't feel comfortable with computers, or want to avoid spending money, and a lot of time setting up the connections. Following the instructions from the web-site doesn't give you a better chance at getting it to work, especially if you are trying to install it in Windows under Vista or 7 because the application seems to ignore 5+ years of Vista and 7 truth, you cannot write to the program files folder a batch file, with notepad, it is not permitted. The instructions also fail to tell you that you must run the command prompt as Administrator in order for the commands to work. Those two missing details make the client and server software unusable for anyone with a recent Windows operating system like Vista and 7. Running the OpenVPN software in Ubuntu 12.04, also, limits your usage, and a server is always required, which kinda defeats the purpose. It becomes extremely complicated for no reason. Using a proxy tool such as the Tor Browser Bundle, or Private Tunnel from OpenVPN is the easiest, fastest, and ultimately, most secure and anonymous solution. The front and back end work is already done for you.

The fact is, when using proxies and VPNs that are not locally accessible, you always run the risk of a man in the middle attack. Think of the amount of servers you need to bounce off just to get to a web-site. No tunnel, no matter how secure, can protect from a poisoned web-site, that being said, turn off scripting whenever possible. Cookies can give you away. If a web-site has seen you before, and your IP is different, you will be able to login, however you have been identified. VPNs and Proxies should never be used when making online transactions with Banks and Stores, as you may compromise your ability to validate yourself as being the actual buyer, for example, if your proxy is exiting from Stockholm, Switzerland, you live in Montreal, Canada, and your trying to buy something in the United States, and send it as a gift to a family member. That type of transaction will be flagged, and your credit card in question may be block, or canceled.

Next week, I'm going to convince you to turn off WPS and if you can't, you'll probably be buying a brand new router, come back next week, and be prepared to understand why your router may have already been compromised, and who is responsible for this mess.

Remember to like this episode if you were interested in today's topic, share if you think someone else could benefit from the topic, and subscribe if you want to learn more. For the show notes of this episode and others, for more information on other ways to subscribe to our show, to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, and how to participate by submitting your questions, comments, suggestions, and stories, head over to TQAWeekly.com.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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