How To Protect Yourself From Search Tracking & Leakage? Private Search Engines Options

Internet user tracking is a sensitive issue nowadays. More and more sites and apps store info related to their users, built profiles and try to monetize them. We are overwhelmed by targeted ads, suggested posts and other profile related messages. The online activity that probably reveals the most info about you is searching. Learn about the search engine tracking, search leakage and private search engines.

How can a search engine track you?

When you perform a search using a search engine you share important info (like your IP address and the User Agent – information that may identify you directly) with the search engine you are using.

The collected info is usually used for ad targeting and other types of user profiling, but it may also be used to track your online activities.

Search engine profiles can include information about your:

  • Age, sex, location, address.
  • Salary, last purchases, bank name.
  • Facebook profile, Twitter account, email account, social media tags.
  • Political tendencies, beliefs, medical conditions.

What is search leakage?

Moreover, the search terms are sent over to the site you clicked on. Thus, when you do a search you are sharing the search info not only with your search engine, but also with all the sites that you are visiting. That is called search leakage.

Search leakage and search engine tracking can be prevented by using a private search engine like DuckDuckGo or by hiding your IP address using Tor, a VPN service or even Tor over VPN.

What are private search engines?

Private search engines are those search sites that:

  • Protect you from search leakage.
  • Don’t store your personal information (like the IP address).
  • Do not store your search history.
  • Don’t track you in any other way.

By using such a search engine your online identity is protected and you may search anything you want without the fear to be tracked. [click to continue…]

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OpenVPN RSA Handshake – Why Is It Important?

OpenVPN RSA HandshakeOpenVPN uses RSA handshake to secure the communication when a VPN connection is created. Learn why it is important to know the type of the OpenVPN RSA handshake key used by your VPN provider.

What is the RSA handshake?

RSA is a public-key encryption system (aka cryptosystem) used for securing the data transmission. In such a system the encryption key is public and the decryption key is kept secret (private).

A user of RSA creates and publishes the public key. Anyone can use the public key to encrypt a message, but the message can be de-crypted only by those that have access to the private key.

When a OpenVPN VPN connection is created, the negotiation between the server and the client is done using SSL implemented with the RSA handshake keys. This handshake occurs at the very beginning of an OpenVPN session. [click to continue…]

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SoftEther VPN – The Best VPN Providers with SoftEther

SoftEther VPN (from “Software Ethernet”) is a relatively new VPN protocol and it is considered the optimum OpenVPN alternative. This post explains what SoftEther is and how you can benefit from its advantages.

What is SoftEther VPN?

SoftEther VPN was developed as part of a thesis research at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. It consists of two parts: a new VPN protocol and a VPN server capable of establishing VPN connections using multiple VPN protocols, including L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN.

The SoftEther VPN protocol is an alternative to OpenVPN and other VPN protocols. It is free, open source and runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD and Solaris. Take a look below to see its main benefits.

The SoftEther VPN server is able to communicate with various devices using not only the SoftEther protocol but also L2TP/IPSec or OpenVPN. Moreover, the Microsoft’s SSTP is accepted, even if the VPN server is installed on Linux. By the way, the SoftEther VPN server can be installed  on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris and Mac OS X. You may read more details regarding the SoftEther server architecture on the SoftEther official web page.

SoftEther VPN protocol & server

SoftEther VPN protocol benefits

Here are some of the most important benefits the SoftEther protocol brings to its users:

  • It is free and open source. Thus, any potential security flaws can be easily detected and fixed by the community.
  • It is fast!
  • Due to its SSL-VPN Tunneling on HTTPS, it is able to “penetrate” highly-restricted firewalls.
  • It uses high-level encryption: AES 256-bit and RSA 4096-bit.

[click to continue…]

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7 Good ibVPN Alternatives

This post presents 7 ibVPN alternatives for accessing the Internet in privacy and anonymity. If you know other good VPN providers please share them in the comments.

ibVPN AlternativesibVPN is one of the top VPN providers available on the market. It offers a lot of nice features for an accessible price. Here is what I appreciate the most to ibVPN:

  • The Windows app that is not the most beautiful, but well organized and includes useful features like KillSwitch, ibDNS and DNS and WebRTC leak protection.
  • The DoubleVPN that provides double encryption.
  • The TorOverVPN that can be used to access .onion sites.
  • The SOCKS5 for easy P2P/torrent downloads.
  • The Chrome, Firefox and Opera extensions.
  • The price 🙂

Why would you look for ibVPN alternatives?

You may have your reasons to leave ibVPN or look for alternatives. For example, you may not be happy with the connection speed while using the ibVPN servers or you need certain locations that are not offered by ibVPN.

How to look for alternatives?

Firstly, you should analyze your experience with ibVPN and make your mind on what you really need. Do you need faster connection speed? Is the price an issue? If so, you may try other VPN providers.

Secondly, take a look to the list below or simply search Google. You will find plenty of ibVPN alternatives. Do not jump to the first one that looks good! Take your time and look for user reviews and reviews written by bloggers. These will help you make an informed choice.

7 ibVPN alternatives – Top VPN providers

If you are looking for ibVPN alternatives, take a look to the ones I have selected below. They all offer an extended number of servers, good support and good connection speed. [click to continue…]

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What is WebRTC and How to Protect Yourself from WebRTC Leak?

WebRTC LeakThis post briefly explains what WebRTC is and why you should be aware about the WebRTC leak. Also it presents how to fix the problem.

What is WebRTC?

WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) provides RTC (Real-Time Communications) capabilities to browsers and mobile applications. Basically, WebRTC uses Javascript to enable peer-to-peer audio, video, and data sharing web applications, running in browsers without any external plugins.

At this time, WebRTC is supported by the following browsers:

  • Desktop PC –  Google Chrome 23+, Mozilla Firefox 22+. Opera 18+, Microsoft Edge 12+.
  • Android – Google Chrome 28+, Mozilla Firefox 24+. Opera Mobile 12+.
  • Chrome OS.
  • Firefox OS.

What is WebRTC leak?

In January 2015, TorrentFreak reported that users were facing a massive security flaw as websites can easily see their real and local IP-addresses through WebRTC.

More than that WebRTC can be tricked into revealing your actual IP address, even if you are connected to VPN! This is called WebRTC leak.

If you are interested in more technical details, here is how WebRTC may reveal your IP address. WebRTC relies on Javascript and a website can insert some Javascript code to send a UDP packet to a STUN Server (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT). That server simply sends back a packet containing the IP address from which the request originated. This is simple to implement as Firefox provides a default STUN server that can also be used with Google Chrome. [click to continue…]

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