VPN Connection for Hipsters with Pandoras

vpn

If you want to be the cool kid nowadays, you need VPN access. Don’t know what VPN is? Man, you are so NOT cool. Alright, imagine taking your connection through a tunnel, and you end up with a connection point in another part of the world. And better, all the stuff that goes through is encrypted. Do you eyes shine yet?

The thing is, connecting to a VPN service from the Pandora is super easy. Really. No Sweat. You don’t need a tutorial but I will STILL describe it step by step.

First, you need to get a VPN account with the company of your choice. I don’t have a stock of them, but why not try privateinternetaccess.com for example? (I have no stock with that company not vested interest in it. There are others). It will cost you a few bucks per month, but these days relative anonymity has a price on the Interwebs created by Al Gore (a man with multiple inventions, credited with The Evil Global Warming Caused By Carbon Emissions(C) as well).

al-gore-2
Al Gore. Don’t fuck with him. He’s (Global Warming) Hot.

Next, once you have your credentials I assume you want to use them. You click on your connection icon on the bottom right in the xfce panel and there you go . “VPN connections”. That is where the magic is about to happen.

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You click on “Configure VPN…”

And there you go. You arrive in the VPN tab of the Network Connections Window.

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From here you have to create a new VPN connection (Click on Add), and this bring another window to enter your settings… but first you have to choose the VPN connection type, and it’s not really a choice per se, since there’s only OpenVPN installed by default. Make sure your VPN provider supports it!!

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For privateinternetaccess.com, you get three things from them:

  • A list of gateways that will enable you to tunnel your connection through different countries.
  • A User name / password combination
  • A CA certificate

To use them, you first need to select the authentification type “Password”, then enter your desired gateway address, your username, password, and then at the bottom you have to attach the key I just mentioned – which you should received in a zip file in the first place.

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Once you are done don’t forget to move the windows and click on “Apply”! You are now ready to use your VPN!

To connect to it, you just need to right click on your connection icon, go to “VPN Connections” again, and this time select the connection you created.

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If everything works fine, you should soon see a little lock next to your active connection icon. See?

icon

How do you make sure this is REALLY working?

Well… You go to IPchicken, for example, and check whether your IP has changed. Before… see, my IP is in Japan, as expected, and there is no little lock icon on my wifi connection…

before

And After…

after

…my IP shows that I am now in the US (and see the lock icon showing that I am using the VPN?).

Having a VPN access gives you additional security online since you don’t basically connect to the websites with your actual IP, but with the IP of the gateway you connect to. But don’t think this is bulletproof. There are tons of way to identify you online and your IP is just one of them. If you want to be relatively “safe” from eavesdropping you need a combination of numerous techniques, and even that can’t make you invisible either in the end, especially when you consider the massive governmental spying going on out there.

Anyway, a VPN can be used for MANY things, and in this day and age I think you should have have one. But that’s just me, do what you think is right!

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15 Comments on "VPN Connection for Hipsters with Pandoras"

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Franko
Member

A very informative article! According to iP CHiCKEN, the next time that you’re in the U.S. you should stop by my place and leave me one of those cool Japanese Pandora boxes. 😀

Sebastián Castro
Member

If it’s not free, it’s not for me, *lol* sad but true. Besides, this smels like Cold War II, somethung to keep US-ians afraid.

Dredd
Member

I have a number of linux virtual servers, which I am willing to share with reasonably trustable people (and have been doing so for several years), see http://nipl.net/ It doesn’t cost me anything extra to share them, so I don’t charge for it.

Dredd
Member
Thanks for the article ekianjo. As far as I know the main utility of VPN and similar is to get past your office firewall. If you’re going to be disclosing NSA secrets you would want to use something a whole lot more secure and anonymous than a plain VPN, such as (perhaps) TOR with privoxy. Do your homework! If you’re just downloading movies, music, games, and smut (like a billion other people), there’s little need for encryption. Download at home without fear! (YYMV, I guess it does depend on your country and ISP). I just use ssh with local port… Read more »
sehs33
Guest
Thanks for the tip 🙂 Couple of questions I never understood about VPNs although I use them for work 😐 Question1: if one is using a VPN and the big brother identified their ~new IP address can’t they associate that IP address with the VPN provider and then match it with connections from that user’s country to that VPN provider Resulting in the user being identified or in a group of people using that provider (that the user is one of) being identified? Question 2: can you nest this? 🙂 in other words, can you subscribe to 3 different VPN… Read more »
Dredd
Member
1. Yes, big brother can and does bug the internet at many places in many different countries, and could find people by patterns of traffic even if some of it is encrypted. There are ways to avoid identification, such as fake traffic to conceal patterns of real traffic, and delaying / shuffling traffic, and like you said nesting links, but regular VPN software does not do any of that. 2. Yes, it’s possible to nest secure links and VPNs. Commercial providers are not likely to support nested VPNs. A good option for nested links is TOR (the onion router), it… Read more »
sehs33
Guest

Am nothing like those guys and I have nothing to hide from big brother now, but am in an area of the world that is currently not stable so I was wondering in case big brother changed the rules or big brother himself changed and start disliking my activities 😉

(Paranoia aside: I like to learn new things and I was mostly curious 🙂 )

Steven Craft
Guest

IPredator VPN works well for me, can still maximise the throughput available on my 8MBit connection, haven’t tried it on Pandora though.

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