- IP Address
- Internet provider
- NOT SECURE
- Your Internet provider can track your Internet activity.
VPN services, like IVPN, exist to protect the privacy of their customers. The focus of this mission is to stop ISP’s, governments or other potential adversaries snooping on your activities and using the information gathered for their benefit.
We believe this list should also include corporations that collect data on you through uninvited, unconsented and unknowable ways. The list starts with Facebook and Google, but does not end there; many services rely on revenue from targeting ads based on behavioral data harvested from your activities.
VPNs alone can’t make you completely invisible to all these threats; encrypting your traffic and masking your IP is just a part of the solution. There are two specific things a VPN provider could do, however, to fight this problem:Continue »
In November 2009, almost 10 years ago IVPN was launched. We knew that in order to become the most trusted provider we had to demonstrate our security expertise and execute flawlessly and consistently over many years. On day one we launched a full mesh multi-hop network using Linux policy based routing with all VPN gateways passing strict CIS benchmark compliance, an industry first. In January 2015 we introduced the IVPN firewall which is integrated deep into the OS using Microsoft’s WFP API and independent from the app itself. Even if the app crashed we could guarantee no data leaks. In September 2016 we took a strong stance against corrupt ‘pay for play’ affiliates. In the past few years we have launched dozens of new features specifically to improve our customer’s security. Today we are more excited than ever to launch what we believe is the future of VPN technology, WireGuard!
We’ve recently released new versions of our desktop and Android apps with a new ‘Pause VPN’ feature. Based on feedback from customers, we discovered that some were disconnecting temporarily from the VPN in order to connect to various services that were blocked whilst connected e.g. some payment gateways etc. When disconnected these customers were sometimes forgetting to reconnect after completing their task, leaving them in an insecure state until they remembered to manually reconnect. This could be hours or more, representing a serious privacy threat. Whilst being disconnected for even a few seconds is unacceptable for many of our hardcore privacy customers (who we don’t expect to use this feature) we felt it was important to mitigate the risk of being left insecure for those who want to disconnect and understand the risk of doing so.
Today we’re releasing a new ‘trusted Wi-Fi networks’ feature for our desktop and Android apps. Some customers have different security requirements depending on whether they trust the specific Wi-Fi network they are connected to or not. For example, customers who use our VPN exclusively for Wi-Fi security often only want to be connected to the VPN when they are on untrusted networks e.g. public hotspot. Ideally they would like the VPN client to automatically establish a connection on networks they don’t trust and disconnect on those they do. Another use case is customers who use the VPN for privacy but who have VPN routers on trusted networks they connect to – in this case they don’t want to connect whilst connected to this network or they would establish nested VPN tunnels which perform very poorly.
In late March, the US Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) took effect. And predictably, the US Supreme Court just dismissed United States v. Microsoft Corp. In that case, Microsoft was fighting a subpoena for data stored in an Irish data center. And now its objection is moot, because the CLOUD Act stipulates:
A [service provider] shall comply with the obligations of this chapter to preserve, backup, or disclose the contents of a wire or electronic communication and any record or other information pertaining to a customer or subscriber within such provider’s possession, custody, or control, regardless of whether such communication, record, or other information is located within or outside of the United States.
This is bad news, for sure. But it’s no surprise, in the current environment. With all those terrorists and criminals to worry about. And when it’s the feds vs Microsoft, Congress can just change the law. And this is obviously not just about the US. Russia demanded access to encrypted Telegram messages, Telegram refused, and now Russia has blocked Telegram, plus many other services and websites that rely on Google and Amazon hosting.
There are some age-old questions among Internet users, especially those concerned about privacy. Basically, “Is my ISP watching me?”, and “Is it sharing data about my online activity, such as search and browsing history, with third parties?” And back in the day, the analogous question was “Is the phone company listening?” Indeed, Bell Labs reportedly suppressed the telephone answering machine for 60 years, because it feared that recording technology would frighten away its customers.
Any service that provides Internet access (ISPs, WiFi hotspots, and telecom providers) can obviously see what resources users are accessing. Unless data is encrypted, providers can also see the content. And even with encryption, traffic patterns provide some information about activity. Finally, all bets are off when the NSA, or another similarly resourceful TLA, is interested.
If you’re living in China, especially in such areas of unrest as Tibet or Xinjiang, online privacy is an fantasy. But what about the US and EU, where privacy is supposedly protected?
Shut out hackers, identity thieves and the global government surveillance apparatus — every time you go online.