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Discussion Starter #21
I plan to set up my router to act as the VPN host. I will test it from my neighbors wifi to see how well it works. I guess failing that I can go with a VPN service provider like you.

My understanding is that the encryption takes a lot of horsepower. So your oldish router is most likely having to throttle back the bandwidth so it can keep up. But 25% is not good.
 

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Well Mr. Jake, I need to THANK YOU.

I never thought that maybe the router couldn't handle the VPN but after re-testing, that is exactly the problem. If I take the router out of the equation I can get over 2/3 of my max connection speed from a single machine. That is more than acceptable.

Might be time for a new router. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Glad someone listens to me. :)

I think my WRT54GL is of a similar vintage.

Yip exact same specs.

Linksys WRT54GL, Broadcom BCM5352 @ 200 MHz, 16MB RAM, 4MB Flash
Buffalo WHR-HP-G54, Broadcom BCM5352 @ 200 MHz, 15MB RAM, 4MB Flash

My new one is,

ASUS RT-N66U, Broadcom BCM4706 @600 MHz, 256MB RAM, 32 MB Flash
 

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Please keep us informed about the performance of that router if you run VPN directly from it.

I've got the client installed directly on our Macs and we don't even notice it's running.
 

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With patience, you can find a Cisco ASA-5505 on ebay for under $300.
It is a (relatively) old firewall but will do anything a home network would need and then some.
You can upgrade RAM and Compact Flash for practically peanuts (standard computer parts).
You can install a free (for one year) SSL certificate from StartCOM.
By updating the ASA image on the router you can turn on PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) and make NSA snooping on your communication a real PITA...:)

Two of the ASA's 8 ethernet ports have PoE that can be really useful when running IP phones...
 

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Some of the latest routers with enough flash (e.g. the v.4 revision of Netgear 3700) can be flashed with
DD-WRT firmware running the RADIUS server (!). Wi-Fi authentication is taken on a completely different level...
You won't get support for this feature in the free version of the firmware, but the setup is fairly straightforward...
 

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Jake, I've been doing some research and it would seem that even the ASUS RT-N66U will top out at about 11 - 12 Mbps when using VPN. Don't know if that will be a problem for you or not.

I'd like something that can take advantage of my full connection speed and I have yet to stumble upon a consumer grade router that is up to the job.

Until then, I'm more than happy to do a device by device connection since my VPN provider allows up to 5 simultaneous devices from a single account.
 

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Isn't "VPN provider" a sort of contradiction in terms?

VPN is used to eliminate snooping, i.e remove any middleman.
While the provider _is_ the middleman...

Considering how long it took the NSA to identify the Silk Road guy, does this (proposed)
law mean Canada ISPs will record and keep for 6 months every encrypted communication?
 

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VPN is designed to provide protection for traffic between two computers. It's not designed to provide protection at, or beyond, the other end. If the content goes out onto a public network, then it's still open to snooping. However, Canadian snoops will need to trace the traffic back to the original source. That is more difficult if the VPN does not keep logs or their server is based in a country that does not require logging. Many countries have cooperation treaties for things like uncovering illegal activities on the internet. It has become a world wide web in more ways than just communication.
 

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Isn't "VPN provider" a sort of contradiction in terms?

VPN is used to eliminate snooping, i.e remove any middleman.
While the provider _is_ the middleman...

Considering how long it took the NSA to identify the Silk Road guy, does this (proposed)
law mean Canada ISPs will record and keep for 6 months every encrypted communication?
VPN provider is not a contradiction in terms. A VPN is a tunnel. It originates at your router or computer and terminates somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Notsure, I will start my slow and tedious LAN switch-over eventually. But I am more interested in having the VPN available while I am "off-site". And for that I don't need fast speeds. I am still piecing together the knowledge into my limited brain. I may change my mind as my understanding evolves.

I have never been a conspiracy guy but with the seemingly easy pickings governments/criminals are availing themselves of I think it is time to re-assess my security. Especially, now that so much important information passes via the internet.
 

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A VPN is a tunnel. It originates at your router or computer and terminates somewhere else.
OK.
And how exactly does this (obvious) definition negate what you quote?

I'm not saying there no VPN providers. There obviously, are.
I'm saying VPN is all about hiding communication (for whatever reason).
Why would you hire somebody to help you hide?
 

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Most commercial VPN services simply mask your location and prevents location tracking by IP. Many also provide a secure tunnel to that location. It's still possible for companies like Google to obtain your location by other means. It also does not provide privacy, as some of them claim. It's still possible for companies to track your activities or obtain personal information. It still allows hackers to compromise your computer. Those methods must be dealt with separately.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
track your activities or obtain personal information. It still allows hackers to compromise your computer
Ex could you enlighten us. Sort of the Coles Notes version. We are all familiar how this can happen with malware but let's restrict this discussion to VPN activities and assume your machine is clean.
 

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Let's say you make a purchase on Amazon. That means Amazon has your exact location and address. They can track your activities using cookies and other identifiers. Google uses Chrome to capture that same information. Now they have all they need to track you, VPN or not.

Google uses Gmail (and the contents of your emails), Chrome and Google+ to obtain your location and personal information. It's even more pervasive than that since Google has partnerships with a huge number of commercially operated web sites. Three of their services are on Digital Home. They are Google Ad Services, Google Analytics and Google.com. They scan and track your posts.

If any personal or location information has ever been entered into Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or any other social networking site, they have all they need to track you. They use some of the same information that is used by Google. VPN services don't hide that.

Visit any site that provides location hints, such as a bank or store, and it provides the browser vendor (Google, Apple, Microsoft) with the ability to capture location hints and personal data. A VPN does not prevent this. Google, for one, appears to ignore IP information if other location data is available.
 
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