Secure- How to surf anonymously

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Goal: Trying to be anonymous on Internet, the right question is: can we be anonymous on Internet?

What can I use to anonymously surf on Internet?

NOTE: This is not a hacking courses or something like that. The goal is to see how we can be anonymously surf on Internet.


The answer is no! The mean reason is how Internet was make in the 60-70's. Still some services can be used to help to be anonymous:

  • vpn
  • proxy
  • vps
  • tor / i2p

This solution's can help you to protect yourself from your ISP / government, and (if correctly configured and used) can make the life hard to spy's & hackers. BUT if miss-used you will be more exposed and any technologies should only be used after have reading ton's of official documentation.


WARNING: You need to understand that to securely surf on Internet, you need to unlearn your actually way of surfing. The speed will be decreased and you need to forget services like Facebook, Apple, Netflix or Google.

What is a vpn?

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VPN means Virtual Private Network, and as his name tell us, it is private. The mean reasons is that the communication in a VPN can be encrypted or that the mechanism is secure. A lot of VPN types exist, as: IPSEC, OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and they all depends on your needs:


  • IPSEC: is a site to site connection, widely used by companies because they can securely send over the Internet communication that should stay private (ex.: Company A can share DNS requests with Company B).
  • OpenVPN: is widely used as remote to site connection, widely used by companies and private people because they can securely send over the Internet communication from a client to a server (if the server act as gateway, it can give you access to a complete Network).
  • L2TP: is less used. It was created to replace PPTP connections. The configuration looks like an IPSEC and the usage is more like a OpenVPN (remote to site connection).
  • PPTP: should not more used, because insecure. It act as OpemVPN.


WARNING: You really should not use PPTP anymore. It is insecure, not encrypted and easily brute-forced (see documentation for more information).

NOTE: I will not dig to much the VPN technologies, if you need more information, best is first to ask yourself: What I want to do? What do I need? Then when you know, see official documentation of what you look to reach.

What is a proxy?

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A Proxy is the capacities to let surf a lot of people as one person / one server (ex.: 25 people surfing to Google with the same proxy, Google will see this traffic as one person surfing on Google). It give the abilities to hide your location, ex.: you surf from Belgium with a proxy located in USA, all website seen from this proxy will log in the information (like IP) as you are from the USA.


WARNING: hide you location does not mean be anonymous. The proxy provider will still know your location / who you are and if you use a proxy server (without a VPN), your ISP and government can still see everything you does on Internet.

NOTE: a proxy does not encrypt anything. And can asking for authentication / payment to his services. A free proxy server list can be used form here: https://www.proxynova.com/proxy-server-list/

What is a vps?

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VPS is a little bit tricky, because we can think his name tell us (like VPN) that it's private but unlike VPN this is true and untrue. I think a better name for VPS should be VLS (Virtual Leasing Server), it is more what it is.

True:

  • VPS is private because it is a physical server shared with people, but the part of your server is private. You can see VPS as a big physical server that is not used by one person but used by 100 persons.

Untrue:

  • VPS is not encrypted (so anything on the HDD can easily be seen by other people).
  • VPS is managed by the company holding the server and they can do what they want with it (ex.: automatic reboot, by court law show everything of it (logs, what's on the HDD, and more.), stop your access on it, and so on).


WARNING: encrypt an VPS installation is like impossible / if well possible, really difficult (and they still will have the ability to sniff your encryption password).

What is Tor & I2p?

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Tor: in short for The Onion Router and was initially a worldwide network of servers developed with the U.S. Navy that enabled people to browse the internet anonymously. Now, it's a non-profit organization whose main purpose is the research and development of online privacy tools.

The Tor network disguises your identity by moving your traffic across different Tor servers, and encrypting that traffic so it isn't traced back to you. Anyone who tries would see traffic coming from random nodes on the Tor network, rather than your computer.

In other words it encrypt all your data from your computer until the exit node. It is easily to see for a IPS / government that your are using tor.


NOTE: using tor would best from a public computer / laptop that has access to Internet with tails (https://tails.boum.org/) and not from your home network.

WARNING: I cannot recommends to use OS's like Kali Linux or Parrot Security OS to be anonymous on Internet.

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I2p: is an anonymous overlay network - a network within a network. It is intended to protect communication from dragnet surveillance and monitoring by third parties such as ISPs. I2P is used by many people who care about their privacy: activists, oppressed people, journalists and whistle-blowers, as well as the average person.

Documentation

Brief History of Internet:

differences VPN technology:

Openvpn / libreswan Mailing list:

How to hack PPTP:

Proxy:

VPS:

Tor:

OS: