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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Security
the case against Home VPNs
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Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 1618
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue 15 Aug 2017, 14:15    Post subject:  the case against Home VPNs  


Configuration :
I ran a home VPN for years. I used Untangle NG Firewall (then, just named “Untangle”) as the gateway device for my home network. Untangle includes an OpenVPN server, which can be configured fairly easily using their web GUI. (This is one of the strengths of gateway services such as Untangle–simplifying what are otherwise daunting configuration tasks.) Seems pretty nice, eh?

Performance :
Finally, your client connects at the coffee shop, and you try to exercise the VPN tunnel by watching a video of your child’s school play. Unless you have a media server at home, you can’t stream it. Your only option is to download it to your laptop’s hard drive. Fine. Clickety-click, and it’s downloading. Estimated download time … 3 hours? Surely, that can’t be right…

Actually, it probably is. Think about what kind of bandwidth you pay your ISP for. For me, it’s 15 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. That’s far sufficient for all that I do at home.

The trick with VPNs is that your download speed at the coffee shop is limited by your home ISP’s upload speed. So, that’s a best-case of 1 Mbps download, which translates to 125 kB/s.

Security :
Whatever device you connect directly to the Internet (i.e. from your ISP) had better be darn secure. It’s your first (and most effective) line of defense.
Any port persistently left open (such as for a VPN server) is begging for attention on the Internet. You can expect that it’ll be hit.
If you can access something remotely, then it’s feasible that a hacker could too.
If your gateway device is compromised, it’s as if you’ve given a hacker the WiFi password to your network. They’re in. (How much more serious if you plan on storing personal files directly on your gateway device.)
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Dec 2017, 01:08    Post subject:  

This assumes both that you trust your cloud provider and that your application is suitabe for running on the clould. Besides, you don't need to have your media server on your gateway and you don't need to give the VPN the same privlages as the rest of your home network.

Speaking of home VPNs, I was looking at tinc. It seems pretty cool.
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