These days, it seems like everybody’s concerned about internet security. From firewalls to virus scanners, and SSL-encrypted login pages to more secure ways to create and store session data in cookies, there’s a breadth of information, software, and services available to the consumer to help with securing their computers and internet connections from attackers. Certain types of attackers, that is. What about when the attacker in question, though, is the user’s own ISP or the government they live under?
With ever-increasing state and corporate surveillance and censorship of the internet connection you’re already paying for, a VPN on top of it has become pretty much essential. Just see this article about what’s going on in the US starting this July, or the plans the UK government has for their residents. And this is just what’s public in the news media. For every story we hear, there are dozens of National Security Letters, warrantless wiretaps, and other abuses. How can you defend yourself?
There are large, public networks like Tor and I2P which offer various solutions to various problems. Tor encrypts your content and hides your origin very effectively when used correctly. It creates a tunnel using several nodes, none of which know the actual origin of the connection. The problems with Tor are two-fold, however. For one thing, you can’t always trust the exit node which delivers you to the internet, meaning you need to rely on other forms of endpoint authentication and encryption protocols (like SSL) to make sure you’re not made the victim of a man in the middle attack. The other big problem with Tor is speed. Anyone who has used it knows that the biggest price of good anonymity on the internet is that your internet experience is going to be slow, and some things – like large file downloads or peer-2-peer connectivity – are just not going to work. At all. I2P on the other hand isn’t really designed to access the regular internet. While it provides a gateway to its own “eepsites”, connectivity in a more secure manner to websites like google, facebook, or porn sites just isn’t going to be possible using I2P.
Another option, and one which better meets the needs of most users, is a VPN. VPNs do not provide anonymity as strongly as Tor or I2P, but they provide fast and reliable internet connectivity to the websites and other internet services you use on a daily basis. The Red Triangle Technology Collective is now offering low-cost VPN services for users around the globe. For many US internet users, a US-based VPN from RTTC may even increase internet performance, while simoultaneously evading censorship, connection hijacking, and data mining that US consumer ISPs are more and more frequently routinely inflicting upon their own customers. If you use Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, or any other major consumer cable or DSL internet provider in the US, you need a VPN. For those also concerned about state surveillance with regard to users in the US, the collective’s Russia-based offerings provide a service hosted in Moscow, beyond the jurisdiction of the FBI and the NSA.
For greater “signal to noise ratio” a Tor service can be run on the VPN system, making surveillance even more difficult. For the ultimate in security, one can opt to have a Tor exit node running on the same IP as their VPN, which means that the user has plausible deniability for any and all traffic coming through their VPN. The unfortunate downside of running with a Tor exit node is that many sites may automatically block you. No other VPN provider is currently offering this functionality or this level of overall security. Backed by RTTC – an organization with radical values – you can be sure that your internet connectivity is safe with a Red Triangle Technology Collective VPN service.
In today’s environment of increasing surveillance and censorship, can you really afford not to? Sign up today!