VPN vs DNS resolver to beat geographical IP blocks

Discussion in 'Bloody Computers' started by Guns, Sep 8, 2013.

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  1. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    From a post I did on ARRSE - PM me for more details.

    This post is to help people understand the pros and cons of using either a VPN or DNS service to get around geographical blocking on such things as bbc.co.uk when abroad. It is aimed at those with a limited IT background and intended to be as easy as possible to get working.

    VPN - Virtual Private Network. This is were you buy a service that in effect has a virtual pipe from your computer/device over the internet to a server somewhere else. To the outside world it looks like you have accessed the web from that server.

    Example - I have a VPN with StrongVPN that allows me to access the internet in Canada but to the bbc website I am in Manchester and thus allowed to use iPlayer.

    VPN's are easy to set up and are a useful tool in online security. That is a post for another day. In this exam question they allow your point of presence on the internet to be in the country you want it to be. You can use it to fool the bbc or to get US Netflicks with its much better collection

    Pros -
    Good online security measure
    Beats geographical blocking as you are "in the country"

    Cons -
    A lot of dodgy companies out there
    You can only use the account for one access point at a time ie your iPod uses the VPN but you can't use it with the wife's iPhone at the same time.

    DNS resolver means.....

    Here you get a means of fooling the geographical website to think you are in the country. This is what most early systems went and it varies from great to scam. DNS just lets your BBC - Homepage be translated in to a IP address so the internet can route you to the website of your wishes.

    What is does is allows you to change the DNS server that your computer uses to look up a web address. This means that when your electrons arrive at the bbc.co.uk website it thinks you are in the UK because the DNS server tells them you are. IT witchcraft.

    Pros -
    Cheaper than VPN (but not by much)
    Easy to use for multiple devices

    Need to change your DNS look up server (no bad thing) which can scare some people.
    Some real cowboys out there.
    Does nothing to cover your tracks on the internet.

    Whats best for you?

    Well I use both - the VPN for security (later post) and the DNS for getting around Netflicks and the BBC.

    I would say that if you want to have a few devices at home which can beat the geo lock then DNS. If you travel and want both security (ie not on your own internet network at home but in a cafe or hotel) and geo lock beating go for VPN

    I use StrongVPN and StrongDNS. Good service and the VPN is $88 and the DNS is $50 a year (well $40 as I get a discount for having a VPN account). StrongVPN.com - Providing high speed, unlimited bandwidth, multiple country VPN accounts for over 100,000 users. Since 1995 and StrongDNS.com

    The DNS is easy to use, the only thing is that if you change IP address (it uses the IP address to verify a user) like switching off/on your router then you need to log in to the members page to re-set. Once done you need to change your DNS look up but their setup guide is brilliant and easy to use.

    Feel free to comment or recommend other services. All I ask is that they are aimed at the average user and is not illegal (ish).

    PM me for more deals.

    Next post will be why everyone who uses a public WiFi point should have a VPN.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    VPN and why you should consider it.

    Virtual Private Networks are not new but a great way to get around geographical locks on websites and give extra security when online.

    At a basic level they allow your thing to connect to a network via another bearer. So for example DII remote allows a DII laptop to use the internet to access DII. You could have a VPN set up to allow your laptop/iPad/iPhone to access your home network over the internet - loads of uses.

    For this post we are going to talk about using a VPN to help protect you online, surf porn without fear of blocking in Bahrain and watch US Netfixs in the UK.

    A VPN allows you to connect your device over the internet to a server somewhere else.

    Imagine you are sat in Starbucks and using their free Wifi. Without a VPN you are trusting their network to protect your traffic (say a password to login to GMail) from someone either working in the store and compromising the network or someone sat near by using a app to snoop on your traffic.

    With a VPN you bypass this as you tunnel through their network to a server somewhere else. VPNs protect your traffic from snooping and in some Middle East countries it is the only way to bypass network monitoring systems if you travel.

    It has the added benefit of allowing you to have your internet out in a country of your choosing. So I use it to convince people I am in Manchester (or another UK server based on best speeds). It does mean that anyone trying to track you would need to either hack your VPN company to trace or get lots of legal orders (for various countries) to find you. An added Brucy Bonus.

    A quick run through VPNs. Will help you stay safe online, worry free porn hunting and getting decent US Netflixs in the UK.

    Obviously I recommend StrongVPN but there is others.

    How Do I Know If My VPN Is Trustworthy?

    Why You Should Start Using a VPN (and How to Choose the Best One for Your Needs)
    • Like Like x 1
  3. I'm a bit confused by this statement, Guns. I'm probably mis-reading it or, more likely, suffering after effects of too many Japanese beers last night and confusing myself but I can access my VPN using more than one machine at a time. Using the same account, I can login on my Macbook and iMac and iPad all at the same time and often have two machines logged in. The iMac at home always logs straight in to the VPN when it's turned on and 99% of the time I'll have my Macbook connected to the VPN when I'm away from home.

    I find the Chinese are still able to block me from being able to access my VPN, so there's no Facebook whenever I'm there but, apart from that, I find it useful to allow me to access the BBC and the Netflix account that my daughter has in the UK.

    I use VyprVPN which is very easy to set up and use and is 'free' if you are a Giganews diamond subscriber.
  4. Pontius, I too read it like you and also seem to disagree, I can access my VPN from at least 3 machines at a time (phone, Laptop and I-pad). Maybe it depends on the VPN supplier you use. I use HideIPVPN and it is also a tad cheaper than that used by Guns (US$54.99/year). Allows me to read uncensored news when the natives get a little unruly in Thailand.
  5. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    Sorry my bad. Some firms allow multiple access some dont, buyer beware.

    I should have explained in my circumstances I have a wife wanting to access a UK site and me a US site. So the VPN can't out you to two different countries.

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