A few followup thoughts regarding Monday’s post about setting up a personal VPN.
Self-Sufficient, DIY Internet
All the Facebook Cambridge Analytica nonsense has really emphasized how dependent we have become on third party services and social networks.
As I thought about it, the idea of being self-sufficient online has really started to appeal to me. I mean this blog has always been independent, fully controlled by me. As a web developer with fully-stack devops ninja experience, I have all the skill and experience I need to set up any sort of web service I want.
So when I thought about the reasons for using a VPN regularly and the likelihood that I’d have to pay for a decent service, I wanted to see if i could do it myself. On severs I own.
I think there are more opportunities to DIY online, to rely less on dubious third parties.
Peace of Mind
As I alluded to in my first post, the real world security threats associated with public wifi are only a minor concern. I’m not generally too concerned, most of the time.
That said this little icon next to my WiFi connection gives me such a massive sense of security and piece of mind. The fact that it auto-connects without me having to take an action is just the icing on the cake.
Streissand is an anti-censorship tool designed to bypass draconian government censorship like China’s Greatfirewall. You don’t live in China, do you really need do worry about censorship? Probably — and if you hang around the right subreddits — increasingly so.
Canada’s telcos are presently lobbying for a censorship regime. Perhaps the first draft targets content most of us would agree is “bad,” but who knows what the next version will look like.
Even if you’re less paranoid, there’s a good chance your workplace or school is filtering some content. Maybe it’s not content you bump in to very often. But if even if they are not filtering traffic, they’re almost certainly collecting your web traffic. That’s something I’ve never been too comfortable with.
A VPN allows you to take back your online freedom whenever you’re using a work, school or any other network that distrusts you.
Bypassing Geographic Restrictions
In case you missed, VPNs allow you to bypass geographic content restrictions. When you use a VPN, you traffic originates from the IP address of the VPN server. And since cloud providers host servers in many physical locations, you can easily bypass any geo restrictions based on IP address.
If you missed Monday’s post you can read it here: