I've heard about Virtual Private Network (VPN).
But I'm wondering if it's worth getting. Especially because I'm thinking of signing up with an Internet Service Provider that says it's offering free VPN.
Is it going to prevent people, like moderators and hackers, from finding out where you are and who you are, even if you're currently signed up for a free account on their site?
Let's say there's an employee of such a website (which offers free accounts) that is poised to find out my real name. (And he would find that out by... tracing my IP connection back to the ISP company... or how the hell do they even do it?... I don't know...) Would that guy not be able to find out any details about me if I had VPN (even though ordinarily he could)?
P.S. I'm not talking about the police. I'm talking about very nosy people, like some moderators. (And no, not any of them from this site. )
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in terms of vpn = no
A vpn service is basically an extension of you local network ... an example is two office systems needing to communicate between countries and share database or any other information in a secured manner.
If a user use's any of those systems to access a site your ip address is logged ... anyone with the right knowledge and tools can literally trace you back to your office where the system used resides.
Ive traced ip's flagging firewalls back to not only the postal address but to which floor the offending system is on.
You did that? Wow, you must be very good.
Maybe you'd be kind enough to help me with more info?...
I seem to be having a little bit of an Internet problem, in the same vein: Apparently I broke the rules on some membership website, and made two accounts from the same household.
They blacklisted me or something. Not only did they close my two accounts, but also when I tried opening a new account they closed that one also. They also seem to know my full name, registered with my Internet Service Provider.
(Yeah, I know, it's very scary to me, because I never gave them my real name. I found out they had it after trying to talk to them to re-open my account after they closed them. And, in the meantime, my stupid ISP says they don't know anything and can't do anything. But I didn't break any laws, or anything, so I'm really pissed about this breach of confidentiality, or whatever transpired there.)
So, I just want to be able to create a new account on that site, because I need it for a side business.
But I don't know what I need to take care of, in order for those people not to track me down again.
I'd change Internet Service Providers, but will those moderators look out for my name, in the future, again? Would they save the name, and check it against every new IP address that tries to register on their site from the same city, or something?
What Bjs means is your ISP would probably allocate you a Static IP address VPN (good for business-to-business secure data exchange).
But that is of no use for anonymity since the VPN IP is logged, and can be traced back, to your actual account.
If you want true anonymity you would have to register with a third party VPN provider who can provide you with a Dynamic IP address (a new one, which changes every time you log in). Again, unless the third party provider guarantees anonymity and can also guarantee they do not log any connection time or connection addresses then the secrecy it provides is limited (since the hop you make could be traced from the VPN provider logs). The original address you logged in from, home, work, friend's house, would have been stored and lead any investigator straight back to where you logged in. The good news is it usually takes a Court Order to get that information so, unless you plan on doing something fraudulent or are a terrorist, you're probably safe.
HideMyAss voluntarily gave up the IP address of a hacker to the FBI either last year or the year before. The point being, there is very little true anonymity on the internet and, while it is possible to hide activities, the belief that you are protected by using a VPN is only as good as the user agreement you enter into with the third party VPN provider. Your own ISP VPN is of a different type and, as an identity shield, offers no protection whatsoever.
Last edited by transporterfan; 17th Jun 2013 at 07:53.
Frankly, I am not so sure how true these logging policies are. On paper, I think PureVPN is a better one. Overall, the above 3 VPN providers have good reviews. In term of price, they are about the same. For me, the number of servers available is not critical. What I am more concerned is the IP address, access speed and the logging of user activities.
I thew out HideMyAss from my list, and finally between StrongVPN and PureVPN, I joined PureVPN. I signed up for the annual plan and opt for a static ip address (additional $2 per month) using my Paypal account.
Thank you very much for the VPN solutions. But I have a question: Have you read my second post? The one posted on 17th Jun 2013 02:03?
Is getting a VPN definitely going to help me so that those damn jerks won't be able to find my location and real name by doing whatever hacking they usually do?
And should I switch ISPs, or try the VPN with the same ISP I currently have now, the one they tracked and from whom they were able to get the info to ban me?
Switching isp's would add a new change ... every isp has an allocation of ip address's which no other has nor can they use.
Being assigned a static ip is helpful in many situations but in this case not so, a dynamic ip address is best suited.
As transporterfan mentioned "unless the third party provider guarantees anonymity"
After reading what torguard and btguard had to say, they themselves cannot trace you as they don't keep logs of any description and ip address's are shared amongst users. If abuse is found they make adjustments to the servers firewall to curb the problem.
Thank you very much.
What I'm worried about, though, is this:
Let's say a moderator finds me to have the IP address 184.108.40.206, be located in Toronto and have the real name John Doe. (I don't know how in the world he would be able to find out my real name, but... he did!)
If I use VPN, I'm probably going to have the IP address, let's say 220.127.116.11 (even though I really am still at 18.104.22.168), I'll be located in New York, let's say... and what would my real name show up as?... If that moderator would be looking for it?... Still John Doe? Something else? Not available/viewable at all? Or what would he be able to find?
That's the gist of what I'm interested in finding out, at the moment.
And, truly, this has nothing to do with whether or not I can use .torrents or not.
Just in case people were wondering.
Thanks very much, again.
The way they find out your real name is that, at some point in the process, you signed up for an account using your real name.
They have your name because YOU made it available.
Pay with cash, or with a pre-funded, anonymous debit card. Give your name as Joe Smith.
Address of service is still a matter of record, but your name is no longer attached to the account.
To get even more hidden, make a deal with a nearby neighbor to share their wireless connection. There would be no link to you personally. Or, sign up for particular websites from a library or internet cafe, again using the anonymous debit card.
i highly doubt they got your real name by somehow hacking your ISP...with normal ISP security measures, your ISP would know about it. Mentioned above, there's a chance you gave out your name and address at some point. Your IP address is just a number...not an open door to your home address.
The simple answer to your issue has already been mentioned....TOR...it's slow but it works. Most likely you could also use a web proxy. There are hundreds of those. Some sites block these but there's a chance they forgot a few. Although if your going to be exchanging any kind of financial or personal info, the last chain in TOR isn't totally secure (read for yourself about this online somewhere) but if your just going to communicate, then you'll be fine.
take a laptop or tablet and signup at an open/free hotspot.
A Vpn is fine but there are quite a few ways to get back in a forum. So before you go spend 5 to 7 bucks a month, try what's mentioned first.
No, sir, absolutely not. No way, no how. 100% sure.
If I signed up for an account using a made-up name, like Jamie Albany (- let's say that this is the exact name I gave them, together with an email address -), how on earth could I also give them the real name??? (Nobody could make such an outrageous mistake and give the real name, too, when they've already given a fake name. See what I'm saying?)
But hackers - good hackers - might be able to find it out. Couldn't they? From my ISP?
I believe they could...
And many, many moderators are like hackers, I'm sure.
Who knows how good that ******* is, when it comes to tracking people down?...
Just because you can't do it doesn't mean nobody else can. You know?
Okay, maybe he did not necessarily hack the ISP's service... Maybe there's some way he could ask the ISP, by proving I was a legitimate member on his site, for a long time.
But, one way or another, the bastard did ask me, when we were discussing about names, "how does <this name( - my real name)> relate to <this other name( - the fake name)> that the account was extended to?".
So, you see, he found it out somehow. When he found out my IP address, he must have found out the name, too.
This reply also applies to what Moontrash said.
P.S. But you know, why the hell do I have to explain to you guys exactly what happened, in such minute detail, just because you can't believe a simple thing I said? Just believe me, goddamn it! I'm not posting here fake bullshit just to waste your time! It did happen... LIKE I SAID! Geez! I ask a question, and I'm the one getting the third degree. I gotta force the answer out, instead of getting the help straight away. What's wrong with you?
Last edited by newsgroup guy; 22nd Jun 2013 at 18:12.
If the free VPN service, like vpnbook.com, will hide everything about me while at the same time allowing me to do small browsing, like uploading pictures and sending forum-like messages, then it is what I'm looking for.
I guess instead of asking more questions about the VPN over here, where it would take a long time to straighten everything out based on replies, maybe I better try it already!
Many thanks to everybody.
Also, by the way, when I'm going to whatismyipaddress.com, my IP address does change if I reboot my modem.
One time it can be 22.214.171.124, for example, and after reboot it can be 126.96.36.199, let's say.
So, that guy is not just going to whatismyipaddress.com, to find out where I am. It's not as simple as that. Anybody can do that. He knows stuff.
Last edited by newsgroup guy; 22nd Jun 2013 at 19:07.
Anyone with enough experience using traceroute tools modifying icmp packets and frequency can gain the true user ip address even where multi-hop vpn setup combined with tor is in place.
Two items stand out:
1: Change Isp's
2: Change "computer name" ... this is probably how they got your name
Most people when they buy a new system create their first account using their real name ... gotcha
And NEVER communicate using an email client on the system in use as the header contains identifiable system information.
This person will need to use other methods to trace you down.
They could run a script on their site which checks connections from both tor and vpn's which when found drops the connections dead ... a true mad method which forces the end connection by the user to be fully transparent.
Hmm, that's very interesting. And not too promising.
Anyway, though, I'm the one who installed Windows on all my systems, and I never use my real name. I name my computer something like "swordemon" or something like that.
I do use emails on the same system but they're either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. This guy knew my full name in order: first name -> middle name -> last name. He wouldn't know which given name goes first just by monitoring the emails I use... I think.
What the ****??
So, wait... if he was so inclined, he would be able to find me out even with VPN set up? Even the paid version?
Then what kind of good protection is that VPN, then?
So, I should change ISPs?
Can I tell an ISP to not name me my real name in their database? Or for sure is that not where that moderator found out my full real name from?
And is there a point to using VPNs, for me?
I mean, this guy swore he won't let me back in. And I told him, before giving up for now, to go **** himself.
I guess I could still use VPN, keep making accounts from The States (instead of Canada) via VPN, use them till I'm found out and banned, rinse and repeat. What do you think?
P.S. What is the tor you speak of? What does it do?
But, if I'm not mistaken, cookies deal with information that's saved on/from your computer.
I've got nothing saved on that computer saying my full real name.
Bjs, may I ask you what you think about the possibility of cookies finding all of this out?
And I hope everybody does believe me when I say I'm close to 100% convinced that he did not find out my name from any kind of information/file/folder on my computer.
I don't have any crap like facebook, either, I always use aliases, and if I do use my real name I only use it for my official emails and it's never the full, three-names name (but only partial alternatives).
Now, assuming that Amazon purchases and the like are super-secure, the only security issue I can think of, on my system, is PayPal, whose protection I know for sure kind of sucks.
Could there have been cookies from PayPal that he found? Is that a more viable alternative than him finding out from the ISP or through my IP address somehow?
TOR is an encrypted relay network that uses Firefox to browse the net with. Read how it works and know that hackers and regular lawful internet users use it also to be secure. You can easily sign into any forum with it because every time you start TOR a different IP is used. Be aware though...it's slow.
Web proxies work fine. Just choose one thats HTTPS or SSL and not in the US. Here's a site that has loads of "manual" updated proxies every day. It's been around for years. You have to learn to configure your browser to use these proxies. I use Firefox and it's dead simple to do. I also have a link somewhere to a whole mess of web proxies but ATM I can't find it.
Go to this site and see what info can be obtained by just visiting it. Pretty interesting.
I'm quite sure your ISP would be in touch if your account was somehow compromised. My guess is that they would wanna know what's going on for that kind of security breach to happen. There's also a chance this person went the Facebook route and did something.
I use a VPN and you have to remember, VPN's use the same ip range and logging in from that range produces similar addresses every time and a smart mod will notice that. So even though your secure through the VPN and the ip address will be different every login, the ip address will be obvious what it is. You could change ISP's but I suspect you would dedicate most of your time worrying about if something like this will happen again. The simple fix is...simple....don't join the site. It can't be that important. Nothing ever is.
Privacy issues on the Internet are becoming scarier and scarier.
Are you perhaps saying that if I make an Amazon purchase the moderator of a site like, for example, I don't know, a dating website, could find out my real name even if I gave that site all fake details when I joined?
if some one tech savvy with approach to technical resources like a networking nerd who awakes everyday with a geeky idea will definitely find you what ever hiding tool you use, but one thing is for sure that a vpn tool (that u may find here bestvpnservcie.com ) will keep you secure for long if u keep changing servers IPs.. TSM
Thanks, guys. It has been very informative.