Question VPN usage

peteuk

Standard Member
Apologies if this is not the right place for this question but not sure where to go to find out more.
It seems that we should all have a VPN for privacy reasons and this appeals to my nature to not give out more info than I need to.
But before I sign up for a VPN I have some basic questions which will show my naivety, and possibly a misunderstanding of how a VPN works but please can you help anyway?
My image is to sign up with the same VPN for my PC, laptop and Android phone:

Questions:
1). Is it always on, or do I have to "login" for it to apply?
2). Are there any disadvantages apart from possible effect on download / upload speeds?
3). Would my ISP (Plusnet) have any objections?
4). Do cookies still apply as per site settings I agree to? If not does this mean I will not be able to access some sites?
5). Re: Cookies etc..... would a VPN usage affect use of sites like 'Topcashback'?
6). Will I still be able to logon and manage online banking on banking websites and apps

Thank you for your help.
Peter
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
VPN is a protocol used for several different things. I guess you're talking about the Anonymity services that operate over VPN.

The way they work is that they offer a server you can connect to via an encrypted connection (the VPN protocol) which means anyone between you and them can't read the traffic (e.g. your ISP) and they won't pass on details of where the traffic came from so to the end destination it looks like you're connecting from their network rather than yours.

I certainly wouldn't call it something we should be using and you're not giving out that much less data. You're also adding a third party into the connection that didn't have access to it before - the company providing the service.


1) You need to specifically set up your end to route through their servers.

2) The legal aspect of being based in countries with different laws has a flip side that you're going to have much more trouble and expense doing against against them if anything does go wrong.

3) Nope. ISPs are not allowed to favour or hinder the user's access to any particular service:

4) Yes, any data transferred such as cookies is unaffected.

5) I think they use the HTTP referrer field don't they? That should work.

6) Provided your bank doesn't block the VPN provider's network it'll work.
 

peteuk

Standard Member
Thank you Endless Waves,
So, if I understand correctly, once I have set up my end to route through the VPN, it will always do so unless there is some glitch (e.g. I have read of DNS leakage and kill switches etc.....).

I'll ask Topcashback whether they use the"Referer Field" now that I've looked it up to understand it a bit.

Interesting point about the possible downside but a lot of articles seem to believe the paid for VPNs are trustworthy, do not log traffic, and do deliver the privacy.

BTW my purpose is to hide my IP address. I have experience of a large retailer seeming to remove product availability to only show a more expensive item and also to change pricing on subsequent searches (they deny the practice).
I also believe individuals should not be tracked for commercial reasons - it makes the balance of power tilt toward ever more powerful corporations.
 

eliotcole

Active Member
Haven't seen this mentioned yet (but it is 0300!) but watch your connectivity.

Get a Kill Switch.​

Ensure that if the VPN software (I prefer not to use it) doesn't come with one built in, make sure that you invest in a way to ensure that you have a "Kill Switch" (may sometimes be all one word: Killswitch).

This will, essentially, close any application (or kill the network connection) if the VPN ever drops.

For windows I can recommend VPNetmon, even works on Vista!

It's a very useful thing to have, because if you're "browsing for presents for your wife" then you might not want that to suddenly be seen if the VPN drops.

Private browsing, peteuk, private browsing ...

 

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