In This Episode: The Practical Guide To VPNs: What is it? Should you? Shouldn’t you? What else you can do.
This week the TEH Podcast is hosted by Leo Notenboom, the “Chief Question Answerer” at Ask Leo!, and Gary Rosenzweig, the host and producer of MacMost, and mobile game developer at Clever Media.
(You’ll find longer Bios on the Hosts page.)
- Short description of a VPN
- Corporate or private? Usually it’s a service you buy.
- What a VPN does
- Encrypts your data from computer to VPN service
- Compare to using SSL
- Encrypts data all the way from computer to server
- Encrypts WHAT but not WHERE
- Downsides of VPN
- Costs money
- Problems when the connection isn’t good (big issue when traveling)
- Sometimes websites don’t like it.
- Things confusing the issue.
- Does not provide security from malware, etc.
- Incognito mode: what it does.
- Should you get it?
- Is it worth it for the average user at home?
- How about when traveling?
- Are you at risk without it? Scenerios for security.
- Other ways to be safe.
- We use: TunnelBear, ProtonVPN, Private Internet Access (PIA)
- What a VPN does
Ain’t it Cool
- Gary: Game: Divinity: Original Sin 2
- Leo: Super geeky: built a load balanced server on AWS (Amazon Web Services)
BSP: Blatant Self-Promotion
(Note: generated by automation, so there will be errors. This is an experiment! Let us know if you find it useful.)
It’s the TEH podcast episode number one hundred and twenty five, I’m Leo Notenboom of askleo.com, and I’m Gary Rosenzweig of macmost.Com.
How are things in Denver? Snowy today? Really.
They’re threatening us with snow, which of course, has the entire Seattle area just panicked. But our weather our whether people just love being able to say the word snow.
In reality It’ll be if it happens at all, which is more likely not to happen than anything, it’ll just be a simple a simple dusting.
Well, we’re not getting too much here, but it is, I guess, as nice to actually see, you know, the sidewalks looking white. It is January. Why not?
Sure. So, yeah.
So what we got on tap for today? Yes.
We’re a very special episode on a very special episode of TEH.
It’s the old acronym episode TEH about VPN.
Yeah, VPN is a question I get at least once a week. Somebody asking me about VPN asked me to recommend a VPN or should they get a VPN or what is a VPN.
And I’m sure you get the same thing. Absolutely.
And I thought it’d be useful to just spend some time really getting into it.
Both of us. I would say are security experts, lowercase s, lowercase e as opposed to Security Experts, capital S capital E, you know, somebody that actually that’s their profession security. So we know a lot about it and we put our two heads together. I think we’d be really good at, you know, kind of translating what the captial S capital E capital security expert would would know to tell people decide like is VPN, something they need. What does it do?
That kind of thing, you know?
So I thought, yeah. So just starting with a general short description, there are several types of VPN, but what most people talk about, you mean when we talk about it’s like the private kind of service where you pay some money, something per month or maybe annually to get a VPN service, usually install something on your computer and now you have a VPN. You can also have a corporate VPN. So something you don’t pay for and your company installs on your corporate laptop or whatever.
And you could also even have a private VPN. If you’re techie, you could actually create your own VPN either on a server or your own computer or using a piece of hardware you could buy.
But most of the time when people like you are asked about a VPN, they’re talking about getting a service that no one says that is the case is right now with so many people working from home.
Yes, that corporate VPN may not be as infrequent as we might think. In other words, there are a lot of people working from home. They might be on a VPN and not even realize it. Exactly.
Which is I guess I guess that’s if you know that’s your situation, then you don’t need this podcast.
Actually, you do, because there are definitely some side effects of what I sure. What it means to be running all of your Internet through your company’s Internet connection instead of your own.
That’s true. It will help to understand what you’re going through. But as far as the decision process of whether you’re not whether or not you need it, which when you should get, that’s taken care of, you’ve got it already and you’re going to use the one to give you.
Right. So so what?
So what a VPN is what stands for virtual private network. And what it is, is you install a a piece of software usually on your phone or your laptop or your tablet, and it’s belongs to a service and then you turn it on and that seems to just work. Right.
And what it’s actually doing is it’s taking your communication with the Internet, whether it’s in a Web browser, whether it’s your email client, whether it’s an app that calls out to the Internet for information or whatever, it’s taking all of that network traffic and it’s encrypting it before it leaves your computer or device.
And then it’s communicating directly with this VPN service, which is somewhere on the Internet. So this company that you’re paying money to. So it’s an encrypted communication between you and this VPN server, everything you do, every email you get, every Web page you go to, every thing you do on an app is encrypted between you and that server, meaning that the wi fi router that you’re on, whether it’s the one at home or the one at a coffee shop or the one at school or work or whatever, that has no idea what’s going on.
It’s just getting encrypted data and sending along the Internet service provider. Like, for instance, if you have a DSL connection at home or cable modem or whoever it is. They have no idea because they’re just getting the data and it’s encrypted and they’ve no idea what it’s about. So you’re protecting your data against the router you’re using and the service you’re using to connect to the Internet.
And once it gets to this VPN service, like let’s say it’s called Garry’s VPN, then Garry’s VPN decrypts it.
And it communicates with whatever it is you’re doing, whether you’re going to a Web site or asking the email server for, you know, to check if there’s no email or whatever it’s doing.
So it’s protecting you from your own router that you’re using and your own service that you’re using, which may not be your own, especially if you’re outside at a coffee shop. It’s the coffee shops, Wi-Fi router and the coffee shops Internet service.
And that’s what it’s doing. And it provides that layer to protect you in case that Wi-Fi router or that Internet service has been compromised in some way. Maybe it’s just evil to begin with.
So one of the one of the terms that I like to use that I think helps clarify a little bit about it is is called a tunnel, right.
What you’re talking about, you’re basically creating a tunnel between yourself and the VPN services server. And instead of routing your traffic directly to your ISP and then out to whatever you’re using, it all gets encrypted and tunneled over to this VPN service where it then hits the rest of the Internet.
Exactly. And and it is a way to protect yourself from your data being stolen, let’s say. And the typical situation given out is you go to a coffee shop. That Wi-Fi router there has been compromised. Maybe even the people at the coffee shop don’t even know it has been right. It’s not their fault. They just it’s been compromised in some way and somebody stealing data. All right.
So they’re looking at things that are coming across that connection there. Anybody that comes in, connects to it, is checking their email, is looking at websites. That data is then being kind of stolen and then being mined for things that might be useful. If it sounds kind of like spycraft, it almost is.
I mean, it’s not it’s not like it’s happening all over the place all the time. It happens.
It can happen. It happens to be particularly easy. Mm hmm. Yes.
So it’s something you want to you do want to protect against.
I do want to mention that there are a couple of scenarios that are also, while they’re not as common, they’re also not as obvious as open Wi-Fi. We talk about open Wi-Fi a lot. Yeah. And VPN, of course, is one of the things that I’m sure you and I both end up recommending to people who travel a lot, who use a lot of open Wi-Fi hotspots. But it’s not limited to that. As a matter of fact, I was just this morning updating an article on the Internet connections in your hotel.
So let’s say you’re traveling, but let’s say instead of using Wi-Fi, you’ve actually you’re using a wired connection provided by your hotel. The same thing applies, right? They are your ISP. They are your Internet service provider.
While you’re staying at the hotel, they can see everything you do unless you then encrypt the entire connection to something past the hotel, to your VPN service that then hides everything again from your hotel, from somebody who is snooping on an open Wi-Fi. Or the other scenario that happens actually in coffee shops as well is great. You’ve got to whatever you’ve solved the Wi-Fi problem that somebody actually literally hacks into the router or to the access point. They have physical access to this thing.
The question that somebody was asking me about the hotel was that somebody on the hotel staff was actually snooping on the Internet, traffic at the hotel and actually scraping it for keywords.
That’s kind of icky, but that’s the kind of stuff that VPN protects you from.
Right. And so far from our description and our, you know, scenarios we presented, it sounds like a no brainer. Like everybody should have VPN all the time and you just you can’t live without it.
However, here’s the thing. There’s another way to protect yourself. It’s called SSL was a secure socket layer.
So. Yeah, and what SSL does is it encrypts data from your computer or device all the way to the service that you’re trying to contact. It could be the Web server. It could be your bank. It could be an app server that’s doing something like an email server, that kind of thing. So a complete thing not just to this service that you’ve bought, Garry’s VPN or whatever, but all the way to the other end.
That’s what SSL does. Now, SSL isn’t something you have to get. It’s something that. Established by the service itself, the website, for instance, and you are now using it most of the time, all you need to do is look at the URL of the website.
You’re going to if you’re browsing the web, if it says http s the s stands for, I believe, SSL, it’s like an abbreviation of an abbreviation, either that or secure and I think secure, secure.
So if you see HTP s, then you are encrypted from your computer all the way through the Internet to the service that you are getting information from the if you see IP without the S then you’re not.
Now, 10 years ago it would have been very common most of the time to see HTP and then occasionally a few places like if you were buying something from a website, it might switch to ETPs through the efforts of lots of big tech companies like Google and Apple and Microsoft and also the credit card companies and everybody.
Basically, the entire Internet has switched you. If you were just an Internet user, you didn’t feel anything. If you were somebody like us that actually runs websites, it actually did feel some pain as this is a little bit of pain there.
Yeah, but nowadays it would be so rare to go to a website that isn’t https, and especially if it’s something you log into or do a transaction, it’s almost unheard of in twenty, twenty one that it’s not HDB one.
The reason I mentioned Google right away, I actually want to say I want to blame them and or thank them because I believe that they’re the primary motivator behind this. And it was a very simple thing. All they said at one point a few years ago was that an HTTPS connection was one of the supposedly 200 factors that ranks, you know, that affects how high you rank in the Google search results. And of course, everybody heard that and immediately started piling on to this for just about everything.
Your site, my site, when you visit our sites, you at least four ask Leo. If you try to go to Askleo.com, you will be redirected to HGP s Askleo.com. That conversation will be encrypted. Whether or not it needs to be, it just is.
Because, you know, I want that little two hundred amount of of Google search engine ranking and so does everybody else.
Yep. It’s the same thing for me. I mean there is at my main site at Amazon.com, there is no way for anybody else to actually log in except me. And yet I had to switch data tabs because I did. It was kind of the carrot, not the stick kind of thing. Right. Google gave us a carrot to go and follow to the https world instead of a stick saying you’re going to be banned from Google or something.
So to be clear, there were other efforts as well. I think it was the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Yeah, they sponsored or created something called Let’s Encrypt. Normally encryption for https used to be very expensive. In addition to being complex to set up, you have to actually purchase an HTTPS certificate from a certificate issuing authority, and that could cost you sometimes a couple hundred bucks a year. As it turns out, that was a barrier for some. And what let’s encrypt does is it lets you basically set up encrypted websites for free.
So as it turns out, while I believe I’m still paying for a certificate for Askleo.com, all of the other sites that I happen to have running, I’ve just got that free thing turned on and it’s handled magically by my server and everything’s encrypted without my having to really do much of anything else.
Right. And what it did was it brought the market price for encrypting your website down so far that it enabled the Internet service providers for for the Web service providers, the people that we go to to set up our websites, it enabled them to basically roll that into the packages instead of saying this is a twenty five dollar a year add on or something.
They eventually most of them, I think now just say, well, one of the things you get there are still hosts that last I checked, will give you a https if you will pay them for it, which annoys me no end because I know that they’re using the same technology that you and I are using that actually has a built in for free.
Yeah, well anyway the so with B. S it seems now that we reversed what we originally said, we said, oh hey, VPN is a way to keep yourself secure. Keeps is another way to keep your job secure. That’s not your thing that’s on the services side and you don’t have to do anything to use it.
You’re already using it. So now it seems that we’ve gone the other way and are saying, hey, it’s a no brainer, you don’t need a VPN. But there is one thing that a VPN does that the you just using https does not. When you are encrypting with a VPN, all of your data from your computer or device is going all the way to the VPN service and the wi fi and the ISP in between have no idea what it is.
However, when you’re using it, yes, it’s going from you all the way to the actual thing, Google, Facebook, Amazon, whatever it is. So it’s addressed your wi fi router and your ISP know where things are going. No. Who’s talking to who you are now shopping at Amazon. They know that. They don’t know that if you’re doing a VPN, they do know that if you’re doing now, is that something to be concerned about?
Well, not nearly as much as having all your data available, right? I mean, you know, you’re protecting your your eye, your ID, your credit cards, your you know, all that stuff, the messages you’re sending back and forth, that’s all protected in setpiece. It’s just where it’s going is not. And if you’re somebody that just checks your email, shops at Amazon, you know, does checks a few just normal places, you may not care.
But if you’re on the other hand, some people do. There are still a couple of scenarios that, again, are rare but factor into this as well. The most obvious way that your ISP knows what sites you’re visiting is that you had to look up your computer, had to do a lookup of the IP address for the domain that you want to go to so it can then contact that domain and say, hey, do you want to do this?
HTTPS that lookup translating askleo.com into an IP address or Google dot com into an IP address is generally a service provided by your ISP. That’s one of the ways they figure out who it is you’re talking to. They’ll never know what it is you say when it’s on https, but they’ll at least know who you’re saying it to.
There is a scenario that a VPN also protects you from, and that is if the DNS servers on your ISP or maybe even your router, your compromised.
In other words, rather than sending you to the real Google dot com, the DNS has been tampered with so that it’s sending you to something else, some scam or dotcom.
Then you know that Look-Up, which happens outside of https, although there is now a secure version of it, could potentially be compromised.
A fully functional VPN will not do that.
Your your DNS requests will also go through the VPN and that actually is one of the other very important differences.
When you talk about https, you’re only talking about Web pages, the pages you visit in your Web browser. Many people are doing much more than just that. We hope that the apps we have installed that are communicating out on the Internet are using an HTTPS or SSL certificate or SSL connection. But we don’t know. We have no way to easily at any rate, we have no way to confirm that. For example, say Dropbox is connecting to its servers using a secure connection.
Now, obviously, Dropbox is going to, but as a general rule, we just don’t know and we have no way to confirm it. VPA will actually take all of your Internet traffic, be it Web traffic, app traffic, whatever traffic, and run it through the VPN service encrypted. So not only does your ISP not know to whom it is your connecting, they also don’t know what services you might be using. They’re not. They don’t they can’t see that you’re using Dropbox where they might.
In the other case, they can’t see that you’re using one drive where in the other case they might. So that’s something else that I think factors into a lot of people’s decisions about whether or not they should be using a VPN. Hmm, interesting. So so the idea is that you could, for instance, go to Facebook, let’s say you’re at a coffee shop, you open your browser, just make things simple. Let’s say it’s just a regular Web browser.
You’ve got a Facebook dotcom and it shows up and it looks just like Facebook dotcom and it asks you for your ID and your password.
And, you know, it’s identical, identical to the Facebook page. But what’s happened actually is the compromised Wi-Fi router in that coffee shop has said, oh, by the way, Facebook dotcom is at this IP address and that’s not Facebook dotcom. What’s at that fake IP address is a server that’s saying, oh, yeah, put this Web page up there and then you fill in the log, the login ID and password, and it doesn’t matter what happens past that point.
Yep, because they now have your password. If you just handed it over, they could just give you an error message or, you know, they could do something clever like actually then say, oh, and here’s the real Facebook site, which are probably logged into already. So then it looks normal. Or maybe you just think, oh, I didn’t enter my password incorrectly because it’s asking me again. And then now they’ve captured your password.
So how common is that? Because that definitely does seem like something you would want to, you know, protect against using a VPN.
It’s certainly not terribly common, but we do hear about it.
It does show up from time to time.
One of the things that is unfortunate is that a lot of routers that are in place and this is true even for corporations, have not gotten the same level of security attention that, say, our PCs or Macs have.
You know, we talk often about update the software, take the OS update, make sure everything’s up to date, yada, yada, yada. But we’re not doing that for routers. And a lot of routers that are out there are a lot of access points that are out there, quite old. They have default passwords that everybody knows. It’s very easy to get into them should a hacker want to. So that actually turns out to be one of the theoretically at least easier ways for a hacker to gain entry into a system that is otherwise very well protected.
Yeah, I mean, I see the two threats. If you compare the two threats, one is a compromised, say, a compromised Wi-Fi router, somebody compromises it and then gets a bunch of data that could be mined. It’s just it’s the local thing. It’s happening right there at that coffee shop or whatever, or somebody compromised a whole bunch of these. And they’re just getting all this data. They could mine the other one. They’re compromising it, sending you to the wrong website and then just looks like it.
And now they also have to set up that website like there’s another layer to it. You’ve got to, you know, put a lot more effort into actually creating that trap than the first one.
They’ve been doing that for a while already. I mean, a lot of phishing attempts are exactly that, right? They have you click on a link that if you actually take a look at the destination of the link, it doesn’t go where you think it goes. It just goes to something that looks a lot like Facebook or PayPal or Google or whatever.
The difference here is that you could actually look as much as you want at the URL at the top of your browser. It will say Facebook dot com, and it’s not like it’s going to say Facebook dot, you know, X, Y, Z, one, two, three, dot com. And you’re like, aha, you know, now it’s going to say Facebook dot com and you just won’t know that directly from the site.
Exactly. Exactly. That’s that’s scary. Yep. It is scary. Like I said, it’s hopefully hopefully we’re all updating our routers regularly and and we’re being somewhat safe about what we do. But that is one that’s very difficult for the average consumer to detect right now.
There are some downsides to a VPN that I want to point out first is just a minor thing. It does cost money, right? It’s not minor for some.
I definitely every time I talk about VPN on the on my site, I definitely get pushback that says, you know something else, I have to subscribe to the idea.
And indeed, if you are going to use a VPN, you want to pay for it. The free VPN are have other issues. Basically the issues we’re about to talk to magnified and they’ve also been known to data mine. So they’ll actually make their money by protecting you. Kind of, but at the same time taking some of the information that you’re providing them and reselling that right.
The other issue is speed. Now sometimes that may be negligible, right? You don’t even notice, but it is a longer path. You know, if you’re going to a website or getting your email, it’s a little bit of a longer path. There’s more to be done to get the information to the server and then back to you. So depending upon the situation, you may or may not. It may or may not slow things down. Maybe even more of a concern when you’re talking about streaming.
I always like think about all the people that use vans all the time and then they’re watching Netflix. Right. That’s a lot of data being encrypted and decrypted, you know, on the fly. And you’re trying also to watch, like for Netflix or whatever. But, you know, speed could be an issue for some people.
There’s also it’s worth noting that when you’re using a VPN, when you go to an HDTV site, your data is being doubly encrypted. Yeah, it’s going to be encrypted by the GPS connection and then the result gets encrypted by the VPN before it goes out over the wire.
So now this is a this other downside has been the biggest downside for me over the years using VPN. It’s that it is very problematic. OK, I get it at home where I have a fantastic connection.
Right. I can turn the VPN on to test it and it’s great. I know I don’t even notice the slow down and speed it goes on and it works solid as a rock. I could even forget it’s on and leave it on for days before I turn it off and it’s great. That all seems to fall down.
Whenever I leave my front door, I usually get to a hotel, right. Or hotel or an Airbnb or something. You remember when we used to travel? Yeah, I remember that.
You know, I get there and this is like, ah, this is exactly why I have a VPN for this situation. I don’t know this router, I don’t know this service, whatever.
So I turn the VPN on and it sometimes it’s very slow. Connecting and disconnecting seems to just be a big issue. I think a lot of times poorly deployed Wi-Fi is the problem. It’s the kind of thing where the Wi-Fi keeps dropping and then reconnecting all the time, which if you’re not on a VPN, you may just you know, you may be you load up a Web page and be reading that Web page and then the wi fi connection drops and then comes back while you’re reading and then you click on a link and you won’t even notice.
Right. But a VPN is going to lose its connection to the private server that you’re connected to, and it’s going to have to re-establish that connection again.
So instead of being down for maybe a second or ten seconds, you’re now down for a minute while it’s trying to reconnect over the Wi-Fi, it’s just seems to happen to me more often than not.
And it also is like the worst time to happen, because if you traveling, if you don’t, you know, my goal is, hey, I’m not supposed to be working. I’m on vacation with my family, but I will take fifteen minutes while somebody else is in the shower or whatever to check my email and stay in touch with what’s going on.
Well, in 15 minutes, if I get three emails because, you know, the wi fi keeps dropping out and I’m trying to use a VPN and all that, it’s frustrating and not very productive. I’m thinking at home I could have definitely done everything I need to do in 50 minutes. But here I’m moving slow as molasses because of spotty Wi-Fi and VPN.
And then a lot of times I end up just dropping the VPN and saying this, look, I’m using tubes, I’m only getting my own email, go to my own server. I know I’m relatively safe here and so I just drop it. I don’t don’t even use it. That’s a problem. And I hear from a lot of other people that that happens. Does that happen to you? It does.
It does. And I find myself in the same situation when I used to sit in the corner at Starbucks, I would, you know, do random things. And, yeah, it’s it’s it’s very frustrating when you you try to be a good citizen. You try and do the right thing. You try and turn on your security, you turn on your VPN and all of a sudden what you’re trying to do just isn’t going to work.
And I have in fact, fallen back to what I, I don’t necessarily say I advise people not to do what I advise people not to do without thinking about it. And that is I’ve done my online banking without a VPN from Starbucks. And it’s not something that concerns me a lot because it’s a Starbucks. I’ve been to a lot. I know what they’re what their network is kind of sort of the risk is really low. And ultimately all they’re going to find out is that, you know, I went to this bank, you know, the chances of them actually having a hacked router, for example, are pretty low.
Well, and a hacked router is much more likely to be doing like Facebook or eBay. Yes. Or something. Some huge website. It wouldn’t pay for them to go and target a single bank or like, you know, Askleo.com Akobo.
They’re not going to go and try to recreate those as fake websites, the ones they’ll probably try and leverage or things like Gmail or Outlook dotcom, because once you get somebody email account, then you can start running around doing password resets and all the other accounts that they happen to have access to.
My point. Good point.
So, yeah, that is something that that definitely happens to me from time to time. And I agree. It is very frustrating. I’m sure we’ll talk before the end of this discussion about exactly. Which VPN services you and I happen to use? Yes, but this is definitely one of the scenarios that I think factors into a lot of VPN evaluations. How stable are they? Because it’s not always the Wi-Fi and how fast are they when they insert themselves into the middle of your otherwise direct conversation?
Another downside is sometimes you go to a website or service and it won’t work at all. And this is because sometimes people use iPads for something else. What they sometimes use them for is to pretend to be somewhere they’re not. When you usually one of these services, when you use it, it gives you a choice of locations. And for instance, the one I’m using allows me to choose. Denver, Colorado is my location. Hey, that’s where I am.
Hey, it makes complete sense.
Why would I why would I want to go further away than communicating with a server that’s here in Denver and then having my VPN that way? Well, one reason I might want to do that is perhaps I want to watch a TV show on a service. And the TV show isn’t available in the States, but it is available in Canada. I could go and tell the VPN service that I want to use a router in Toronto.
Now, when I go to websites, it appears like I am a computer in Toronto, at least just by looking at IP addresses and stuff. So I could sometime, you know, some people use that to trick services to show that they’re somewhere else. Now, sometimes this can be useful.
For instance, you can go and if you know that a Web server or service is in California and having trouble getting through to it, for some reason you could say, hey, I’m going to tell my VPN to take me straight to California. In other words, tunnel to California. Right. I’m using the VPN server there and then maybe, hey, I have a better connection. Look, it’s faster, so maybe I would do that occasionally.
There was an issue with an Apple update last year where Apple updates in the United States went down for a few hours and they were up all around the world and people reported that if they tunneled through the VPN to Australia or Germany or England, they were actually able to get the update just fine.
That’s because they were basically, you know, if you think of that tunnel metaphor, it is like your connection is tunneling down through the earth, appearing there. And then, of course, if it’s in Australia, it’s going to be like, oh, you want to access something on Apple servers? Well, we have a local copy here in Australia and then you might get a better connection. But most of the time people are doing this to get TV programs that they shouldn’t be allowed to get in their local area.
It’s interesting because even the phrase be allowed to get as is probably controversial enough, because the time I’ve done this most recently, it goes back, I think a year or so is I used my VPN to make it look like I was in the Netherlands.
Not surprising since my relatives are there and that’s that sort of thing. And what we were trying to do, I’m trying to remember what the live event was or some kind of a live swimming event that my cousin was suggesting I watch. And it was not available if you were coming out of the United States, just wasn’t something that they were prepared to to do. And so I said, let’s give this a try, see if it works. And I tunnelled to the Netherlands.
And sure enough, it was actually impressive in that the video actually streamed fairly solidly for some time. It was kind of fun to watch. Yeah. Now, is there a legal issue there? Probably. I’m not really sure. I’m not really sure what the rules are for things like what in in the Netherlands would be public TV being broadcast outside of their country. The place where people use it the most would, though. There are two scenarios.
One is the Netflix and other streaming services scenarios. They have their content geo fenced. In other words, there’s content that is available only in the United States. So if you’re somewhere else and you get a VPN that makes it look like you’re in the United States, you may be able to watch something you’re not supposed to be able to watch for whatever those reasons might be. The other scenario, and this is another one that I tried and failed with some time ago, is that occasionally, especially for programs that are imports here in the United States, they sometimes are run earlier in the foreign country than they are here in the United States.
Sometimes it’s a matter of hours, sometimes it’s a few days, and in some cases it’s a few months earlier.
The example that I was trying to do this with was, of course, Doctor Who, doctor who airs, I think, a couple of days earlier in the UK. NBC than it does here in the United States on BBC America, and I said, OK, fine, I’ll give that a trial tunnel to the U.K. and see what happens. And what I’m sure you’re about to mention happened to me. They said, no, you’re coming in on a VPN.
That’s not nice. Don’t do that.
I like the way they know. That is really interesting because what a lot of people don’t realize is there are there were really two layers to VPN services. There’s the brand name that you see, like I suggested, something that doesn’t exist.
garrysvpn.com that domains available, by the way.
OK, well, probably won’t be after this, but I’m not I’m not. Everybody’s welcome to it. Any other Gary who wants it? Believe me, I don’t want to start VPN service, but there’s that brand name there.
It doesn’t it doesn’t mean that Gary’s VPN owns any servers anywhere. Right.
There’s another layer of virtual private servers that these brands can then pay for access to.
So, you know, and I’m sure there are various different ones for various different services.
I don’t know that world. And I’m sure some of these VPN may have their own right. They might be some of them might be complete white labels, putting, you know, getting VPN servers and not actually having some of their own.
Some may have their own and actually be the services that also kind of lease them out to other people. But it means that basically under Gary’s VPN and Leo VPN and all this, these other VPN companies that you hear of and pay money to, underneath that, there are server companies, ABCDE, any that offer VPN services that companies can come and purchase these all existed servers and they have IP addresses and there’s probably hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of those, but a finite number of those.
And basically they get thrown into a blacklist and updated probably on a regular basis. And then a big company like a Netflix or, you know, a big sports network or something like that that has a problem with this can basically access the blacklist. And if you’re coming in on a VPN, say, nope, we don’t accept VPN connections.
And it becomes so easy that some companies that mean you may not expect may actually just throw that into their security, say, you know what, it just to be safe, let’s make it so you can’t use a VPN with our service.
So occasionally you run across that. And that’s how it’s that’s how it’s that’s how they know you’re on a VPN. I also should note that even if you go and say, oh, yeah, I live in Canada, but I’m going to sign up for Netflix and do it through a VPN to the United States to make it look like I’m in the United States.
It may still not work because there are a lot of other things that actually go in.
They they don’t look at that and say, oh, the IP address checks out, thumbs up.
They’ll look at their apple, send a geolocation information, information, there’ll be language settings, all sorts of things that they will add to the puzzle to figure out where you really located.
So you may find out that, boy, I thought I had them foiled with my VPN plan and they still know that I’m in Canada.
One of the the other scenarios is some services will work across VPN, VPN, but they will be how should I put this a little bit more paranoid?
A good example is a domain dot dotcom. And the reason I mentioned them is because one of the things I often do when I’m running my VPN is I take a look. OK, great. What IP address that I get and where is it really? Which is also how I find out that, you know, Leo VPN is actually leasing their servers from this company over in New York or whatever. But I then take that IP address and I run it over to domain tools and see what the reverse DNS is on it.
See who owns that IP address. The main tools, if you’re coming in on a VPN, will throw an annoying number of captures at you before it answers your question. Interesting. So they’re actually protecting themselves from abuse because, of course, I don’t want to say bad guys, but there are call them either malicious or less than good players out there that are using VPN often to hide themselves and abuse some of the other systems.
So in this case, rather than just denying the request, because it’s actually a very valid thing to want to do when you’re using a VPN, they just set up a couple of additional hoops you have to jump through to make sure that either you’re annoyed and you really, really want the information. And B, of course, that you’re not a bot.
Yeah. Hmm. Interesting. OK, now I do want to get to I kind of want to wrap this up with the whole like, should you be getting VPN.
But before we get to that, there are some other types of security things that people confuse a lot all the time that have nothing to do with VPN except that they’re kind of security privacy related.
You brought up, for instance, Incognito, a private browsing incognito and in private mode in the various browsers.
That has nothing to do with your with the connection off the computer, incognito and in private, only make some decisions, make some changes to what happens on your machine. And all that really boils down to is it doesn’t save any history.
That’s it. Or cookies. Yeah, well, the cookies mean cookies. If you consider all the traces that are left on your machine via cookies and history and caches and all that kind of stuff, that’s all that in private does. It doesn’t protect anything.
It doesn’t change anything about how your information interacts with the rest of the Internet.
Right. And the other thing is, is that using a VPN does not protect you from malware in any way. You could still go to a site that has a piece of malware on it, click on it to download it, go through all of the roadblocks that your operating system is going to throw up, saying, are you sure you want to install this?
Maybe tell me your password first just so you have a moment to think about it.
All that stuff still works. If you’re on a VPN VPN, does that protect you from malware? Right.
And anyway. Right, so. So you should be wary about that. It’s not some sort of blanket shield against things. It is something very specific.
It’s also not protection of additional protection for your privacy, really. By that, I mean, sure. You know, the coffee shop is not going to know where you’re going or what you’re doing, but the places you interact with her, will they know who you are? Right. They’re going to know, like especially the sites that you log into. Right. I mean, it’s one of those things I’ve a topic for. Another day would be Tor, but a lot of people look to VPN or this kind of technology for anonymity, and then they go into log into a site which completely throws away all of their anonymity that identifies them.
So that’s something else to be aware of. It’s not protecting you from the information that you or your computer are explicitly providing to the sites you interact with. It’s only protecting the path between the two.
Yep. Facebook, you’re logged into Facebook. Facebook still knows that it’s you and what you’re looking at. It’s the being behind a VPN is of no concern to Facebook at all.
Right, so there’s that. And especially the way that they use their quote unquote, pixel on other sites to to track which sites you visited, perhaps which ads you see it or not. That still works. There’s nothing preventing that from working, whether when you’re using a VPN, VPN is not concerned with those kinds of things.
So get into kind of a conclusion.
I want to start off with with kind of tiers here.
When you’re at home using your own Wi-Fi router, your own ISP that you pay money to, should you be using a VPN as well? Nope, right. I completely agree that your equipment, you should not be vulnerable to any of those attacks. Obviously, you need to have all your software up to date on your machine and all that. But, you know, if it’s not having a VPN isn’t going to help you anyway, you’ve got bigger problems.
There is one caveat that I’ll throw out to that. Nope, because I just don’t believe in absolute answers. If if you if you are doing something explicitly, how do I want to put this?
Well, obviously, if you’re a criminal, you’re going to be hiding what you’re doing. But if you’re doing something that you feel is exceptionally sensitive, like if you’re if if you’re working on the nuclear launch codes from home, use a VPN. That’s right, if if there’s something that requires that additional level of security, not by the nature of where you are or what your equipment looks like by the date, but the nature of the job that you’re doing in the information you’re exchanging, that might be a case for occasionally being able to use a VPN at home.
Yeah, a lot of times when people ask me about pretty extreme security measures, I usually say, look, if you’re if you’re a board member for a Fortune 500 company or work in a research and development department or for a national intelligence agency, then you may need that. But you wouldn’t be asking me.
You would be being told by the organization you work for that these are the procedures that you need to, you know, to follow.
So actually goes back to the beginning of our conversation, because in reality, for those organizations, they would probably have given you a report. Right, exactly.
Or in some some cases, if it’s really sensitive stuff, they’re giving you your equipment to write and telling you, hey, you may have your own personal phone. You do not discuss business on your personal phone. Use this phone, use this laptop and that’s it. And then and usually you get training and all of that. So if you’re you’ll fall into that category, a VPN while at home, this is just simply not needed. Now, how about when you’re not at home?
How about how about when you are let’s first say you’re using your phone, your mobile phone with your mobile carrier.
And again, the answer is generally no. Yeah, it’s a lot of people don’t realize I think mobile data always been encrypted in some form.
I’m not quite sure of the details because that’s not kind of my area. But I’ve always been told that it’s not like Wi-Fi where the data is floating through the air, an unencrypted form. So you’ve kind of have some of that protection. But also, you know, you have to at some point trust that the big network that you’re on is secure. And if it’s not secure, VPN may not actually, you know, help you a bigger problem.
So my understanding is that, as you know, there’s multiple data protocols on on mobile, things like LTE, 4G, 5G, 3G, all those different CDMA.
Yep. And they all have different approaches to encryption and they all have presumably gotten progressively better. But my understanding and again is the reason why I can’t just give a blanket.
No. Is that it is possible to snoop on some cellular calls.
It’s much, much harder than it is for open Wi-Fi. The only equipment you need to snoop on open Wi-Fi is another laptop capable of receiving Wi-Fi with the mobile network. You need additional equipment. You need whatever it takes to receive and then interpret and then in some cases break the older forms of encryption that your phone may or may not be falling back to.
So it is theoretically possible, but it is extremely unlikely. And I will fall back to my original thing. And actually your characterization that, you know, if you’re working for a national intelligence agency, you probably need to be taking some extra step.
Exactly. Or if you’re Mark Zuckerberg or the secretary of defense or something like that. Yeah.
Now, those were those were the easy ones. Now we get to the more difficult ones. You’re out of the house, you’re using wi fi. That is not yours. It’s a coffee shop. It’s a conference center. It’s a school, that kind of thing. And, you know, first I would break it up into four, the typical average computer user, like I would say, I know I’ve had you go first, so I’m going to go out on a limb and I’ll be first now and say that I don’t think you necessarily in twenty twenty one need to worry that much about having a VPN today because of the the SSL connection.
It’s something you can do.
But if doing it is going to be difficult for you, like other words, you don’t either money wise or technical, know how wise or you know you’re having trouble using it or whatever. It’s going to be difficult for you. It’s not a showstopper to not use it.
I tend to agree, and I know that there are a couple of security experts whose hair is on fire. Sure. Oh, of course.
Because their job is to be I’m going to tell you to be one hundred percent secure. Right. So they don’t want to hear ninety eight percent secure.
And I’ve always been about practicality and pragmatism, and I agree that the risk of doing what you’re describing is actually not that bad.
Except and that’s, again, I mentioned earlier, right, that that I’ve done my banking from Starbucks over open Wi-Fi, it’s been fine, right. And it’s not something I just did once or twice. I mean, it’s one of those things that I’ve done from time to time.
It’s one of those scenarios where if you’re at all unsure, sure. Use a VPN, you will be safer. There is no question. But as you say, if you’re running into problems, then you should start thinking about where am I?
What is who’s who’s behind the Internet that I’m using?
Is it somebody that kind of sort of has their act together?
For example, at my Starbucks, it’s Google providing the Wi-Fi. OK, Google kind of has their stuff together for this. I’m OK. On the other hand, if I go down to a different coffee shop, you know, there’s a ten year old Lanxess router sitting on top of a bookshelf somewhere.
OK, maybe that would be a case of, you know, let’s let’s be a little extra secure and turn the VPN back on or not use it or not use it.
Right. That is one of the other options.
And that’s actually a good argument for those that don’t want the added hassle of a VPN is that if you’re carrying around a cell phone, you’ve probably got the ability to turn it into your own personal Wi-Fi hotspot or just use the cell phone as the device, as the device.
But you can check Facebook, check Facebook on your phone using your mobile connection. Don’t use the Wi-Fi that you think is a bit sketchy. Done deal. No VPN involved. Right, right.
But if you do need to use your laptop, for example, because I know there’s lots of people that have been, you know, working at the coffee shops, you know, for whatever reason when we used to be able to do that, then, you know, the the the thinking about at least think about whether or not it might make sense to use your mobile device as your own personal hotspot.
Set that up with appropriate Wi-Fi encryption, two or three. And that way it’s not an open hotspot. It’s only for you only, you know, the password. And then the data is going over your private Wi-Fi connection and then over the mobile they over the mobile connection that, as we’ve said, is inherently more secure right now.
Back to the the kind of the one catch that we had before was that if the writers compromised and it sends you to a fake website, so let’s say let’s take Facebook as an example, everybody can understand that. And it would be one of those big sites that would be worth doing this, too. If you go to log on on your computer to Facebook and you get directed to a fake site, which you have no way of knowing, it asks you for your ID and your password.
You type in your ID, you type in your password. Now, here’s the point where you could be compromised. However, if you’re using a VPN, then you’re safe. But the other way to be safe is if you’re using Facebook’s Two-Factor authentication because then they’ll get your password. But your password is useless to them because they can’t log on because they don’t have that second factor.
They don’t have that code you’re going to get on your phone or however you get it the and that they can’t fake anything past that past that point. They don’t really know who you are, what’s on your Facebook account. So they can’t show you anything past that to get you to do anything. So the alternative to using a VPN to protect yourself from going on a common website like Facebook or Gmail or something like that would be simply to use Two-Factor authentication and then that attack fails without you having to use a VPN to prevent it.
I’ve often characterized as Two-Factor, authentication is exactly what you’ve just described. Hackers can’t get in even if they know your password. Yeah, that’s not good enough.
Some of the pushback that I get on to factor has caused me to actually write an article. It’s specifically titled Any Two Factor is Better Than No. Two-Factor, as it turns out, there were a couple of high visibility stories about SMS Two-Factor potentially being hacked. Right. It’s difficult.
It’s not impossible. It’s usually done through social engineering where somebody basically tells the phone company they’re you and then has the phone company transfer your number to their device. It’s called us SIM Swapping. And I think there’s another another term for it that doesn’t come to mind right now. But the bottom line is that yes, sure. Let’s say SMS two factor authentication is theoretically hackable. It’s still better than no Two-Factor at all, because if you’re not using Two-Factor, they only need your password.
If you are using two factor, then they need your password and they need your second factor, which means and they would need to be able to spoof the SMS or do something with the Esmat. So when it comes to Two-Factor, I need it clearly. I needed to passionately throw that in there because. Do factor is better than No. Two factor, no matter what two factor you’re using, and also I can’t really I can’t see the situation where anybody would say, Oh, I need a VPN.
Oh, Two-Factor, no, thanks. Yeah, I mean, that’s like that’s like saying I need to install a security system on my house. Oh, a deadbolt. My front door. Right. You know, it’s like put the deadbolt your front door first, OK?
Then install the security system and then. Yeah, OK. I see you having both of that. But it seems ridiculous to have the security system, not the deadbolt. It’s like, why would you do that? So. So there’s that.
So I think that kind of covers because we’ve talked a lot about obviously if you’re in a sensitive industry or you’re a target for some reason, then you’re probably not taking advice from us here. And you probably already have people telling you exactly how to set your security up. That’s when you definitely it’s a yes. All right. But that is not the typical situation.
I’m sure I’ve never gotten a question from somebody in that actual situation.
They know they probably couldn’t tell you who they were. Yeah. So they so they knew enough not to tell me who they were, but they didn’t know enough to know that they should ask their I.T. department for them.
It’s the government. What do you expect? There were a couple of other issues, though, that I wanted to raise real. I’m I have often made the statement that your ISP can see everything you do, and that’s kind of part of what we’re doing here. Sometimes your ISP is is a coffee shop. Sometimes it’s your ISP at home. Sometimes it’s a hotel. They can see what you’re doing unless you use a VPN. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t an ISP.
In a sense, your VPN provider is now providing you the access to the Internet. So in theory they can see everything you’re doing. So again, you’re not removing the need to trust somebody. You’re changing who it is you trust. Yep. The other thing and this goes back to the corporate VPN along those same lines, if you are using a corporate VPN at home, then it’s likely that all of your Internet activity is going through that VPN, whether it’s work related or not.
The implication then is that the VPN provider who is in this case, your Internet service provider, can see everything you do. It may not be the wisest thing to do all of your illicit surfing using the same connection that’s being provided by your business, your company. So just be aware that when you are using somebody else’s VPN like that provided by your company or your institution or whatever, that gives them a level of access into what you’re up to that you may not necessarily think of right away or just had to be illicit.
It could simply be your job hunting.
Yes, well, depending on the company, they could consider that illicit. But yes. Yeah, yes, indeed.
So, OK, so that given all that, we’ve basically said you probably don’t need VPN, but you being you and me being me, would you actually pay somebody for VPN? I occasionally use it. I mean twenty twenty of course. Not much at all because I was in the house most of the time but.
But who do you give your money to for the times. You do want to use a VPN.
So I actually right now I have two services, although I’m in the process of letting one go. I’ve been using Tunnel Bear for a couple of years now and they’ve got lots of points of presence, lots of places, different countries, that kind of stuff. They have a free tier. But again, I strongly advise against all free tiers simply because you’re going to be restricted, you’re going to be hamstrung somehow. So tunnel bears worked really, really well for me.
Late last year, I signed up for proton mail and in fact, I bought one of their bigger packages because I really like what they’re doing. And I wanted to support what they were up to there. The encrypted email provider out of Switzerland, they also have proton VPN and that is was part of the package basically when I signed up for the paid proton mail account. So I’ve switched to using that when I when I need a VPN. And it too has lots of good points of presence, lots of good exit nodes.
It’s it’s been solid for me the few times that I’ve used it.
I gone between VPN over the years without really worry too much about, like, you know, this, which is the absolute best. A lot of times since I’m on Macs, I try to look for who’s got the best Mac client, but he can’t really tell.
So in the past I’ve used all sorts of different ones.
I used Naude VPN in the past I’ve used encrypt encrypt me I think is what it’s called, but it was called something else before that maybe.
One or two other services currently, you know, it’s weird sometimes where the deals are right, you’ll hear about a deal, right? Like, oh, three years or three years for this amount of money. And you’d be like, hey, by VPN expires, know my service expires in a few months. Let me grab that, especially if a friend is already using it, recommends it. And I’m like, oh, OK, so there’s a recommendation there.
So I’ve been using one called private Internet access, which was recommended by a friend.
And I looked into it and I was like, hey, they have a really good Mac client know works really well.
It’s really nice how it’s in the menu bar, that kind of thing. It’s very Mac like.
So I went with them and it was one of those deals where it was like three years for some amount of money.
So that was easy. And I also liked the fact that the acronyms that they use, Pépé, actually stands for something else, which I haven’t gotten to travel too much in the last year.
But I figure the next time I’m traveling and I’m having trouble using VPN in a hotel because the sketchy wi fi, I can at least chuckle over the fact that I’m using Appia VPN. Yes.
So but so far it’s, you know, the times I’ve tested it and the few times I’ve used it, when I’ve been at a coffee shop type of situation, it’s worked fine.
So I do want to throw out a couple of really important caveats here. As Gary mentioned at the beginning of all this, we are security experts, lowercase. In other words, we’re not really security experts by any formal definition of the term. We’re general computer experts. Yes. Yes, we’re J.A.G. for general.
So what that means, though, is that everything we’re looking at is for the common case, born out of pragmatic, for the pragmatic usage, for the average user.
That being said, there are some resources out on the Internet. I remember a couple of years ago when I was evaluating some of the VPN available at the time, there are some great tables that take a look at the various VPN services and there are way more of them than you would think that and basically codified which of the quote unquote important features they had. In other words, did they support this version of SSL? Did they do they keep logs, which is something we haven’t talked about at all?
Do they have points of presence elsewhere or do they are they in a country that could be subject to court orders or subpoenas, all that kind of stuff? If you are seriously considering a VPN and your usage is something other than what I would call casual, like ours tends to be, you definitely will want to do a little bit more research than the overview we’ve given you here.
But hopefully we’ve at least given you a few things to to hang your hat on, to ask some intelligent questions about.
Right. And to think about and and.
Yeah, and certainly if you do have an IT department involved and you’re computing, you know, a company school and maybe not so much a school.
Well, school, if you’re a teacher, probably not so much a student, then you should take their advice for any machine that you’re using for official purposes.
And, you know, because if the company has a policy that, hey, if you use our computers for, you know, for any work involved, that you have to be on a VPN when you’re on the Internet, then you have to then you follow their policy.
Right. You know, so you don’t want to get in get in trouble there with the person that pays the bills. Very calm. So cool. So I think that that kind of that’s a nice overview. I think that’ll be helpful. It’s a good overview. Good.
That was my intention here. So let’s let’s move on to just some Anick cool stuff.
Yep. Yep. Well, let’s start with yours and then we’ll get geeky again. Nothing big.
I you know, I used to play Dungeons and Dragons when I was a kid way back in the old days of Dungeons and Dragons. And I miss it sometimes. I really do. You know, sometimes I think about joining an adult Dungeons and Dragons group in the last year has not been a great time to start something like that. But maybe one day I will.
In the meantime, there’s always computer based Dungeon Dragon stuff, and I tend to want to play single player stuff. I don’t want have to wait for other people. So I look for role playing games of that style, Dungeons and Dragons style ones. And I’ve been playing a good one that’s been around for a few years, but it’s turning out to be a great experience. It’s the long title is Divinity Colon Original Sin too. I don’t know if there was an original said one or whatever, but the game is really how the thought of it.
It’s a you feel very much like you’re in a pencil and paper game, but with great graphics and story and all of that. But you could you could do things, you know, you could go around and say, I don’t want to fight here. I want to sneak around and find another solution. Right. This steal this thing or cast a spell and do something. You know, it’s not you’re just on on rails going through an adventure. It’s a pretty, pretty cool role playing games, so and it’s I think it’s like on so many different platforms, I’m playing out on Mac, but it’s obviously not a PC and I think a bunch of different gaming consoles.
Awesome to get really geeky.
It’s funny, a couple of days ago, I just had one of those those wild thoughts that, you know, I should learn more about AWS, Amazon Web Services. And and honestly, that’s a really another topic for another day. We could spend another hour talking about AWS and how a bookstore is powering like a quarter of the Internet, but I just decided to to fire up a load balanced server, it’s something that someday I hope to need.
Have enough traffic. And in fact, if I ever need to move my server again, I’ll probably move it to a server. But, yeah, you just plug and play. You say, OK, fire up to two Linux servers, put this load balancer in front of them, connect them up to a database and oh, by the way, install WordPress and like was less than an hour. I had all of that working with a WordPress site.
I was actually I had a lot of fun with that one. AWS is notoriously, what’s the word, arcane. It’s extremely difficult to get your brain around at times, which is why I was taking it as a bit of a challenge. But but I had fun with it for folks that are for the for the geeks in our audience who are really interested in in getting hands on with technology, firing up servers, doing doing their own cloud stuff, dip your toes into that one.
Start with light sail. That’s where I ended up starting. That’s what made this particular process pretty easy. But they have a number of services available at RWC. Like I said, we should we should talk about it sometime and and let people know why it’s there. Cool. So what new have you come out with and ask Leo that is interesting.
So the article that I’d like to point people out is something that I wish more people understood. It’s why password managers are safer than the alternatives. It’s Askleo.com Phi Phi Phi Phi Phi. The the issue is that people are concerned that if I put all my passwords in a password manager, doesn’t that mean I’m putting all my eggs in one basket? And if that ever gets compromised, what do I do?
Yada, yada? And the short answer is yes, you’re absolutely right.
It is one basket is just a really, really, really good basket. And the chances of something actually happening to it are significantly less than all of the various alternatives that I have heard people suggest as ways to deal with managing their passwords. Using a password manager enables so much better security that I just I can’t recommend it highly enough even to those folks that are naysayers.
Now that I will say that there are definitely choices within the password vault password manager area. Do you want one stored online? You want one stored offline? Do you like this company or that company, that kind of stuff? That’s great. Those are wonderful decisions. Made sure you’re using what we would call a reputable known brand and you should be fine. But look at look at using a password manager, figuring out what I want to say.
I agree with the password managers. Maybe we want don’t want to consider doing it a whole episode on that topic.
There’s at some point as well, maybe people can tell us whether they like this kind of format about us addressing a topic like this. We’ll have to ask our listener to get back to us. Yeah. Yeah, get back.
I want to point out a video I did in the last week that’s out of character for me.
Instead of showing people how to do something, get something done, I decided to create a little pitching session. I came up with a list. I keep a list of things I would love to see in Apple software, you know, the new features for different devices and stuff. But I narrowed it down to just stuff on the Mac that Apple could add this feature to this app and this feature to that app. And I this and the list got long enough that I decided to actually make an episode where I talk about each thing and say I love it.
If Apple do this and do that and then ask people for comments about things that they would like to see or things that they would want to point out, the date that I mentioned that they’d also like to see a little bit something different, not as useful because I’m talking about things that you can’t do rather than things that you can.
But it’s but, you know, it’s a nice break from my normal make my normal episode. And of course, there are tons of comments because that’s kind of it’s kind of a participatory sure thing.
Make sure that when you share that on social, you you tag apple.
I mean, it is you know, people are saying, well, are you sending these to Apple said, well, I don’t have any way to send them dapple except the same way you do, but has made me think about like how do I actually or am I actually well known enough that somebody an apple has taken note of my video.
Right. Or does that really matter? Yeah, it’s weird.
I have that with Microsoft all the time, especially since I used to work there and people believe I have more contacts than I do now. And yet, as it turns out, there are people that know me in the company that surprise me. Right.
So there are probably people at Apple that know you, that know of you, that probably even read your watch you regularly. Whether or not they’re the right people is the case is what matters, right?
So so, you know, hey, if I am a big enough to have an influence and somebody there is paying attention and if I’m not big enough to have an influence, then probably submitting this to Apple feedback, is it going to make a difference? I don’t know. I don’t know.
There’s no harm in submitting it.
We’ll put a no R, but I do like your idea of tagging, of perhaps doing another tweet maybe and saying check out this video and then tagging Apple in s to see whether or not that that helps in any way.
It wouldn’t surprise me. I mean, Apple does social media pretty well. It wouldn’t surprise me if somebody got back to you. It might be a case. You know, the classic case of thank you for your opinion, which, you know, is the the very polite way of saying, you know, we threw it in the garbage can, but but nonetheless, it’s something.
Right. So I think that pretty much wraps us up for this week.
Indeed. The show notes are at tehpodcast.com\teh125. If you’ve got a comment or question or a suggestion for something, we should be spending an entire episode tech talking about hit us up on Facebook or Twitter at thetehpodcast or leave a comment on the show notes page.
As always, thank you for listening.
And we will see you here again next. Take care, bye.
1 Comment on “TEH 125: The Practical Guide To VPNs”
Loved this episode. It answered a lot of my VPN questions.
I also love the idea of a focused podcast on password managers. I am somewhat tech savvy–using a Mac since the 1980s–but I feel intimidated by password managers. I’ve been using keychain but know my passwords are not the most secure. I will read Leo’s post on the topic on Ask Leo but still hope to hear a discussion.
And in that focused discussion I would love to hear more about two-factor authentication and how to keep track of what uses it so I can update all of them when/if I change my phone number.
Thanks guys. Love your podcast!