If you had ever heard or read something about VPNs or Virtual Private Networks, it will surely have been to praise its great advantages when it comes to surfing the Internet, especially if we do it from an open or public Wi-Fi network.
It is true that a VPN encrypts our communications and improves security, but it is also true that neither the whole mount is oregano nor is everything that glitters gold, so if you are thinking of using a VPN solution from a secure provider, be very careful, Because some of these services suffer failures and leaks that could put your privacy and security at risk.
Although there are many VPN solutions for Android, as a general rule and understanding what a VPN is, you should never use a stranger’s private network unless it is fully trusted, just as we do not use Wi-Fi networks that seem unreliable. But let’s get into the matter a bit …
VPN? What the hell is a VPN?
If we are clear about the concept of a local network, which is the network that any of us can have at home with the router and several connected devices, it will be very easy to understand what this is from a Virtual Private Network or VPN.
Broadly speaking, and without technical explanations, a VPN allows a device to connect to a local network through the Internet by sending its data traffic in encrypted form. That is, if you created a VPN in your home, you could connect from anywhere, over the Internet, as if you were doing it from your living room.
The implications are several, and all lie around the encryption of communications and connection through the local network, which these cases make the real Internet output of the device connected through a VPN, is precisely the local network of the destination. In addition, the device in question would be virtual connected to the destination network, or what is the same, you would go to the Internet from your home network just as you would if you were connected from your own home.
Does it have advantages to navigate after a VPN?
Well, it really does have advantages, some of them also key, such as that we can connect to an open Wi-Fi network from anywhere without fear that anyone can capture our communications and inspect them, they will be encrypted.
A VPN also allows our Android device to go online virtually from another site, so we can skip the regional protections of some services, such as those that restrict access to a series, news or sporting events depending on the country of the connection.
Likewise, it is also possible to connect from anywhere to our local network as if we were at home , using connected computers or printers without any restrictions, and even being able to make VoIP calls as if we started them at home.
Why shouldn’t you trust a stranger’s VPN?
For many, the reason may already be obvious after the explanations, and if we use a VPN to feel more secure and nobody can read our data traffic, you should know that this traffic will reach the VPN provider that can effectively read it and analyze it even more than it recognizes openly.
Purposes for this analysis can be endless, and no matter how secure the VPN provider is shown, it is a private network of a third party that manages that someone, so this network may have unintended security problems and leaks that They could jeopardize the privacy of users connected through it.
In fact, the gap detected in WebRTC that allowed to obtain the real IP of the users connected after the service, questioned all those so-called “secure providers”, who are still trying to recover from the coup.
According to the well-known security expert VoidSec, up to 23 percent of the best-known VPN providers on the Internet leaked IP addresses of their users through WebRTC, a problem that has been dragging on since 2015 and for which there are some plug-ins or accessories that repair it.
The problem is not trivial, and according to VoidSec, WebRTC can be used to query information that should remain private, since the protocol allows requests that return both the domestic IP address, the hidden one, and the local network addresses for the system it uses. the user.
And then … is there any way to navigate completely safe?
Well, the answer to that question is that everything is relative because you would not surf completely secure or configure your own VPN with your own security and privacy policies, as all computer systems are exposed to vulnerabilities.
At least, we do have a list of VPN services for iPhone in which users have detected data leaks, more than interesting information available on the VoidSec website itself.
In addition, and although experts advise us to effectively configure our own VPN with options such as OpenVPN, totally free, it is also indicated that it is best to disable WebRTC to protect our privacy, something that in Chrome requires installing extensions such as uBlock Origin and that in other browsers It is done in the configuration itself or by other methods that can be easily found on the Internet.
And of course, using logic will bring us to fruition, because the biggest problem of VPN commercial providers is precisely that, that they are companies, and companies do not always look for the sake of their customers but are to make money.
Some companies monitor our activity on the VPN to promote targeted ads, others are simply insecure, and in general most free VPN services are always avoidable because they are generally monetized with our information.