Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    28
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Local VPN to hide true IP Address

    A CPA friend posed this problem for me. She needs to ensure that she uses a valid verifiable IP Address to e-file tax returns for both the federal and state returns. Not a problem there. She is concerned though, that her ISP may now sell information about her habits including browsing history, data usage, and location information without her knowledge or consent. She visits professional financial advisor sites, CPA organizations and professional tax software sites regularly and is concerned that she will become a "target" if her data gets in the hands of hackers.

    I was thinking of setting up a dumb PC (just the bare bones) that would be connected to a different ISP and to route all her traffic through that via a VPN like Hamachi. Thus, while her physical address may remain a target (she has a shingle outside, so that is already the case), her IP Address will not. Yes, she has a dynamic IP address, but in reality it has not changed in years and she is on her machine nearly 20 hours a day during tax season (and she says the software seems to be frequently checking for updates). If I can set this up the way I want, the IP Address of the dumb PC will appear to be the one that accesses tax and financial sites but will have no tax software or client data on it if indeed it is targeted.

    This is proving to be more complex than I imagined. I have read through descriptions which tell how to route HTTP traffic through the Hamachi VPN using Privoxy, but it appears that we need more than that to include the traffic that arises from her apps like her tax and accounting software. Some threads in the internet seem to think that adding a SOCK5 server (I have no clue what I just typed) will help, but I am getting lost.

    Is there a relatively straightforward solution to this or can some guru explain the complex alternative to me in a more "cookbook" fashion so that I can assemble the components and test this? I think what I am saying is that I want to set up a private VPN on a relatively dumb machine that will work like NordVPN or PIA such that when her machine is connected to it, the world thinks the traffic originates there rather than her her actual PC. She does not want to use a product like NordVPN or PIA because she is concerned that the IRS will think she has changed her location and they would think that she has violated some registration location restriction.

    Any guidance would be appreciated.
    Last edited by FocusWiz; 2017-09-11 at 18:44.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    9,165
    Thanks
    65
    Thanked 1,131 Times in 1,054 Posts
    Change ISP to one that does not sell your data - it's the only way to get them to listen.

    As for her IP being a target, that's what a quality router is for, blocking remote access. That and running a good AV and staying away from dodgy web sites.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    28
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Change ISP to one that does not sell your data - it's the only way to get them to listen.

    As for her IP being a target, that's what a quality router is for, blocking remote access. That and running a good AV and staying away from dodgy web sites.

    cheers, Paul
    Good advice, Paul.

    She has a fairly good router and uses reasonable AntiVirus software, but at this point it is impossible to know if our ISPs are selling our data. Certainly advertisers want it and I have no idea whether they would scrutinize a buyer to determine that they have a valid need (or that they have honest employees who will not be re-selling the data).

    Having read through tons of posts in various venues, I think I am going to suggest that she put a router with this capability on the second ISP and then connect to that VPN from her primary machine. Not sure if this will even add any security. We tested this on her existing router and it seems to work. She says she has some other routers lying around still in their boxes.

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,985
    Thanks
    520
    Thanked 472 Times in 441 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Change ISP to one that does not sell your data
    How can you tell if they are selling your data or not?

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger wavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    2,580
    Thanks
    282
    Thanked 172 Times in 159 Posts
    read the fine print



    I guess there is no such thing as a fractional font size here,it was not supposed to be readable
    Last edited by wavy; 2017-09-13 at 10:15.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,985
    Thanks
    520
    Thanked 472 Times in 441 Posts
    Oh, you mean the 59-page single spaced unintelligible legalese that you have to agree to when first starting the service?

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,985
    Thanks
    520
    Thanked 472 Times in 441 Posts
    Here is some interesting information about information collected by some of the cellular providers in the United States, and what data they may collect if one of them is your ISP.

    Your friend could easily get a Verizon / AT&T / etc. hotspot and use that for her tax prep business, and then use the local ISP for non-tax prep activity. If she moves around, visiting clients and doing tax work for them at their place of business, a mobile hotspot from one of the cellular providers might be a good thing for her for the mobility it would provide.

  8. #8
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    9,165
    Thanks
    65
    Thanked 1,131 Times in 1,054 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    How can you tell if they are selling your data or not?
    Ask.
    Some ISPs say up front they won't sell your data.
    Bottom line, make your feelings known, then you can make an informed decision.

    cheers, Paul

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Paul T For This Useful Post:

    mrjimphelps (2017-09-13)

  10. #9
    Gold Lounger wavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    2,580
    Thanks
    282
    Thanked 172 Times in 159 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Oh, you mean the 59-page single spaced unintelligible legalese that you have to agree to when first starting the service?
    You forgot italicized !

    FWIW , which may be nil my ISP, Cablevision said it does not sell info. If/when they change that I expect to be 'notified' at the end of a 59-page italicized single spaced unintelligible change of policy notice.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  11. #10
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    28
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I agree with you, wavy. If I did ask the ISP, the response would be good for that instant. I am sure we would be notified, but it may be at the bottom of a bill that is delivered electronically or as part of a login agreement that we have to accept to use one of their hotspots. While Paul's information is 100% valid, I would not want to be cobbling together a solution at the last moment when they notify people of their change in terms.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •