VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

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Gualicho32
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VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by Gualicho32 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:36 pm

Hi,

I've been looking around for resources on the how-to topics of getting started with a proper VPN configuration for people who know nothing about it. Plenty of youtube channels discuss the pros and cons of them, the history of their development, and so on. Unfortunately, I'm having a difficult time finding anything that explains in detail the actual steps to implementing and using one. I've used certain Firefox addons in the past like "Hide My Ass!," but are any of those really any good? I noticed that some of the more informative youtubers, like "Techlore" and "The Hated One," seem very insistent of avoiding any proxy servers that are free. Should I defer to them on that? If you have any links with good step-by-step instructions, please send them my way. Thanks.

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Gruppo Sportivo
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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by Gruppo Sportivo » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:01 pm

VPN provider PIA protected by PIA
For example:
PIA with OpenVPN setup
**You will find some more setup information under the heading Linux on the left side when you open the link
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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by Snafu » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:04 pm

Any VPN that you choose will have step by step installation instructions on their download page. Most, if not all, also have a live chat help desk in case you strike any problems during set up. Free VPN services tend to be inferior to paid ones, they typically are slower and have fewer server locations to choose from.
When all else fails follow the instructions

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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by phd21 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:54 pm

Hi Gualicho32,

I also have instructions and a video tutorial in the link below.

vpnbook setup error - Linux Mint Forums
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=279569&hilit=network+manager

A lot depends upon which VPN provider that you want to use. Almost all VPN providers have their servers available to download for "openVPN" which can easily be "imported" through the Network Manager in your system tray panel which the Link above goes through the process.

As was already mentioned, some VPN providers have Linux clients available to use as well like the excellent "Private Internet Access" there is an application in the "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)", and the superb "ProtonVPN" has a Linux client, and the really nice "VPN.ac" has a great Linux client too, etc...

Hope this helps ...
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Gualicho32
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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by Gualicho32 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:05 am

phd21 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:54 pm
Hi Gualicho32,

I also have instructions and a video tutorial in the link below.

vpnbook setup error - Linux Mint Forums
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=279569&hilit=network+manager

A lot depends upon which VPN provider that you want to use. Almost all VPN providers have their servers available to download for "openVPN" which can easily be "imported" through the Network Manager in your system tray panel which the Link above goes through the process.

As was already mentioned, some VPN providers have Linux clients available to use as well like the excellent "Private Internet Access" there is an application in the "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)", and the superb "ProtonVPN" has a Linux client, and the really nice "VPN.ac" has a great Linux client too, etc...

Hope this helps ...
That was a very comprehensive tutorial. Many thanks for that. :D Now regarding the DNS proxy server, is it a viable option to use one in a foreign country, or would that break the connection and make the internet unusable? Thought I'd ask about that.

Another question I have, is whether pay-for VPNs are really more secure than the free ones (and by how much in comparison)? Say if I made a transaction on Amazon or E-Bay, is my card information more likely to be compromised as a result of using a free VPN server if I happen to have one activated at the time of purchase? Are there actually documented cases where this has happened to people?

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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by phd21 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:15 am

Hi Gualicho32,
Gualicho32 wrote:That was a very comprehensive tutorial. Many thanks for that. :D Now regarding the DNS proxy server, is it a viable option to use one in a foreign country, or would that break the connection and make the internet unusable? Thought I'd ask about that.
You are welcome...

I have been using the "dns.watch" DNS provider's servers for years although I am currently in the USA and they are in Germany (I think) and I have never had problems with them. I have recently been using the Cloudflare DNS servers as well with no issues.
Gualicho32 wrote:Another question I have, is whether pay-for VPNs are really more secure than the free ones (and by how much in comparison)? Say if I made a transaction on Amazon or E-Bay, is my card information more likely to be compromised as a result of using a free VPN server if I happen to have one activated at the time of purchase? Are there actually documented cases where this has happened to people?
You can and should research (Internet search) this for yourself. It would be very difficult to break VPN encryption (openvpn) which is why whenever you have read that someone's Internet activity while using a VPN was used against them somehow, it was because of the VPN provider giving that detailed Internet activity to whomever. You do not want to use a VPN provider that keeps detailed activity (most do not), or that has provided a user's VPN activity data to anyone else. I think using a paid for VPN provider would be better than using a free vpn provider if you can afford one for many good reasons.

Even a reliable free VPN is better than not using a VPN at all. You can always switch VPN servers frequently (daily or more) to make the possibility of tracking and decrypting VPN activity even more difficult or impossible. You can also "double-up" with VPN and use a system-wide vpn provider and a browser vpn extension add-on. FYI: I change my vpn connection (connect to different vpn servers) at least twice a day even if only changing between 2 VPN servers in the same country.

FYI: Most banks will check your Internet connection to try and verify you and your location, so you may have to connect to a vpn server at least in the same country as your bank when doing online banking. There are many good posts on "online banking" in this forum.

Hope this helps ...
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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by Gualicho32 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:43 am

Okay, hopefully my last question. Regarding the update process of the OpenVPN Client - experience with other applications would lead me to believe that I would need to uninstall the version I currently have on my system before updating to the latest release. Is there actually any need to do this, or is it all pretty much cut and dry? You'll have to forgive me, as I don't have any friends who do IT related stuff IRL. :oops:

I saw your thread about it here: viewtopic.php?f=157&t=242583&hilit=openvpn

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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by phd21 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:49 am

Hi Gualicho32,

You are welcome...
Gualicho32 wrote:Okay, hopefully my last question. Regarding the update process of the OpenVPN Client - experience with other applications would lead me to believe that I would need to uninstall the version I currently have on my system before updating to the latest release. Is there actually any need to do this, or is it all pretty much cut and dry? You'll have to forgive me, as I don't have any friends who do IT related stuff IRL. :oops:
I saw your thread about it here: viewtopic.php?f=157&t=242583&hilit=openvpn
If you are using Linux Mint 19.x then you already have the current version of openvpn, if you are using Linux Mint 18.x or 17.x, then you can update the openvpn software without having to remove the previous version using the instructions from the link.

FYI: It is rare that you would have to remove (purge) a previous version of some software before installing a newer version, but sometimes that is the case because the newer versions are much different.

Hope this helps ...
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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by Gualicho32 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:43 pm

Success! :) Though I did get some additional messages that I found a little disconcerting....

“No forwarded IP detected. If you are using a proxy, it’s a transparent proxy.

IPv6 test not reachable error

Fallback: Fail error

No leak, RTCPeerConnection not available

Tor Exit Node: Unknown

AirVPN Exit Node: No”

Having no Web RTC leak is good, but what do some of these other messages mean if I may ask? Do I need to have these two exit nodes it mentions? And Fallback??? Thanks.

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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by redlined » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:16 pm

Gualicho32 wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:43 pm
Success! :) Though I did get some additional messages that I found a little disconcerting....
“No forwarded IP detected. If you are using a proxy, it’s a transparent proxy.
IPv6 test not reachable error
Fallback: Fail error
No leak, RTCPeerConnection not available
Tor Exit Node: Unknown
AirVPN Exit Node: No”
Having no Web RTC leak is good, but what do some of these other messages mean if I may ask? Do I need to have these two exit nodes it mentions? And Fallback??? Thanks.
hi Gualicho32!

That test https://ipleak.net/ is run by AirVPN (a VPN provider like PIA, Proton and others mentioned this thread). The important results from the test, in your case, would be that the IP and the DNS IPs detected are NOT from your ISP (internet provider).

Look closely at the DNS IPs listed, they should either be DNS provided by your VPN provider or use an open DNS (also mentioned above, such as Cloudflare, excellent speed 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1, as well google DNS at 8.8.4.4 and 8.8.8.8). If you configure your connection to use Cloudflare DNS you can expect to see a large number of DNS server results in that test. The important thing none of the listed IPs come from your ISP.

the IPv6 not reachable error is one I look for (I don't like nor trust IPv6), and it appears that you have IPv6 disabled on your computer or otherwise blocked (or not supported by your ISP yet). fallback fail error simply says that IPv4 is what your browser requested and the site tests to see if IPv6 can be used if v4 fails, the fallback fail says that browser will not fallback to v6 if v4 fails. This is good, if you don't want IPv6 used at all. This is not good if you want or need IPv6 for reasons that include browsing.

If you run TOR and are an exit then that would show yes, if you do not run TOR then yes would be a great concern (otherwise nothing to worry about)

if you subscribe to AirVPN service then the AirVPN exit node will say yes (as long as you are connected to their VPN when testing).
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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by phd21 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:15 pm

HI Gualicho32,

I just read your post and the recent good reply to it.

That's great that you have a working VPN connection now. What VPN provider are you using, "AirVPN"? Did you use the Network Manager (NM), or the console terminal, or a VPN provider's Linux application, to connect to the VPN server?

Can you take a screenshot of "ipleak.net" while connected to a VPN and share that here?
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Re: VPN walkthrough for Noobs?

Post by Gualicho32 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:09 pm

phd21 wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:15 pm
HI Gualicho32,

I just read your post and the recent good reply to it.

That's great that you have a working VPN connection now. What VPN provider are you using, "AirVPN"? Did you use the Network Manager (NM), or the console terminal, or a VPN provider's Linux application, to connect to the VPN server?

Can you take a screenshot of "ipleak.net" while connected to a VPN and share that here?
Network Manager.

"Can you take a screenshot of "ipleak.net" while connected to a VPN and share that here?"

I could, but I would rather not. I'm still just now getting used to this, and I don't wish to reveal my favorite proxy to anyone (if I can help it). I think it's better OPsec this way. What I can tell you though, is that my native IP and DNS addresses (and country flag) were nowhere to be seen on the IPLeak display, and that is a very good sign. And of course, a multitude of different DNS servers were also listed. On a slightly less positive note, I noticed that many of the VPN server choices on the menu didn't want to connect. I happened to luck out and found one that would establish connection easily. I'm sure it's not the only one available that works, but I'm very picky.

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