Going to BI4 and VPN

Tacoman

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Hi
I am thinking of installing a VPN, mainly for secure/anonymous internet browsing, on my home machine and want to make sure I know what I am getting into. I am running BI4 on that machine and it has been flawless for a few years. I am using it for remote monitoring from an android smart phone. Keeping that running is my biggest concern. Will I screw things up if I go for a VPN service? Is there anything else I need to know before I proceed. Also I plan on upgrading my computer and upgrading to BI5 in the over the winter. I keep seeing references to openVPN. I am not sure if that is stand alone encrytion software for p2p or a VPN service with servers etc. I am more than a little confused.

The explaination is probably much too complicated for a reply on a forum. Does anyone know of to a current, how-to reference, that would help me get started? There is "VPN for Dummies" book availabe, but it is 20 years old. Something similar, but current, may fit the bill. I am willing to take the time to learn.

Thanks for any help.
John
 

SouthernYankee

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i would strongly recommend AGAINST getting a VPN for secure/anonymous internet browsing . see the bottom of my post

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My general VPN post
There are two types of VPN, do not get them confused.
The type depends on where the traffic conversation (traffic) originates

1) origination: local home network, destination the internet.
This type of VPN is purpose to hides your activity from the internet, it is outbound, it normally costs a monthly fee to use. Direction is from your home PC to the internet, going to your bank, google, porn sites,,,, this not what you want. This VPN uses a VPN server that is in the middle of your communications.

2) Origination: the internet world wide web, destination: your home network.
This VPN type is used to provide a secure connection onto your local network, in bound to you local home network, from your office computer, your cell phone in your car, tablet at the coffee shop.. This is what you want, it does not have a monthly fee and is normally completely free. OpenVPN is this type of VPN.

If you home internet provider is a cellular network, then DDNS (dynamic Domain Name System) may not work, the DDNS is needed for most Inbound VPN services (OpenVpn) to get your home IP address (it is not static) so OpenVPN may not work for you.

A video on the paid VPN.
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Hacked VPNs
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Tacoman

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That cleared up a lot of my confusion. Actually I may want both types. I took a look at the links you provided. I am still not entirely clear what the problems with the home network VPN services are. If I understand it the problems are that they keep logs that can be leaked and some have unsecured servers. It seems like these are problems with some rouge VPN services not with a well managed, honest VPN service. It's pretty clear that a bad VPN service is much worse than nothing at all. Is the real problem finding a trustworthy VPN service or is there some systemic drawback to ANY and all VPNs?

Thanks for the help. I think I will set up with openVPN when I upgrade to BI5. That really cleared up a lot of things. Your response was very helpful.
 

CAL7

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If you home internet provider is a cellular network, then DDNS (dynamic Domain Name System) may not work, the DDNS is needed for most Inbound VPN services (OpenVpn) to get your home IP address (it is not static) so OpenVPN may not work for you.
This caught my attention. Maybe you can explain something that is bewildering me?

I have a PiVPN running Wireguard at home. My home network uses a Sprint cell phone hotspot that feeds my local wired network (with the Pi and everything else). The cell phone has a routable APN. Dynamic DNS through a free service is configured on my OpenWRT router.

1) Working case: Using another hotspot from Sprint, my phone or tablet connects with the Android Wireguard app.

2) Failing case: Same phone or tablet with Wireguard connects via a public network or a friend's home network (likely a cable company).

Would you know why that is? More importantly, is there a way to route through public networks to reach my internal network?
 

SouthernYankee

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Not exactly sure of your configuration, not familiar with PiVPN. The problem with a cell network for IPV4 inbound traffic is that the IP address keeps changing. It changes so fast that DDNS can not keep up. It can change multiple times during a session.

Look at Hamachi or ngrok can but I have not tested these.
 
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