How secure are VPNs?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by cantthinkofone, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #1
    How secure are VPNs if my internet is from my local cable company? Will they just see a encrypted package being sent? or can they see, oh he or she is sending dirty pictures, or he or she is transferring business plans for the next fortune 500 company.
     
  2. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #2
    All VPNs I am aware of are encrypted with a strong encryption scheme. This means any network it goes across between the client and the VPN server will see nothing but encrypted packets.

    VPNs are considered secure enough to transfer highly sensitive large company data from ones home or public WiFi hotspot to the company intranet.
     
  3. cantthinkofone thread starter macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #3
    Do you know of any free or easy to use ones? I have a computer here at home i want to use as a server.
     
  4. cmuench macrumors member

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    May 15, 2007
    #4
    What is this "server" running? os x or xp, vista?
     
  5. shokunin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #5
    Try http://openvpn.net. You can google for openvpn or pptp or other IPsec protocols and applications based on what level of comfort you have in setting up keys and CA certificates and so forth.

    I've used it on my FreeBSD based firewall/router (pfSense) to VPN remotely to my home network. I used to use this when using wifi spots and needed to do something sensitive (online banking).

    You could even use DD-WRT if you have a linksys WRT router to get openVPN functionality.. However, I've never used that particular feature on when I did use my old linksys.
     
  6. cantthinkofone thread starter macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
  7. dampfdruck macrumors member

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    Oct 20, 2008
    #7
  8. cantthinkofone thread starter macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #8
    OpenVPN is for windows tho....correct? I can't find a mac version.
     
  9. superwoman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey,CA
    #9
    You mean your home computer that you intend to use as a vpn server is a Mac?
    If so, just google "openvpn mac os x" and you'll receive plenty of help.

    By the way, ISPs are usually very restrictive when it comes to incoming traffic. It's not necessarily a problem, but it's something to bear in mind when your setup doesn't work. The cause may be your ISP is blocking the required ports. There are workarounds. Just read up and don't get frustrated.
     
  10. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #10
    As an alternative to a PPTP VPN, there is using PPP over a SSH connection, but that takes some manual configuration to do.

    SSH is a very secure protocol and has weathered the years well, but it is nowhere near as transparent and easy to set up as PPTP.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    NO. OpenVPN is Open Source and will run on any platform. They do have a Windows binary because Windows computers don't come with compilers but Macs do come with x-code so you can build from the source.
     
  12. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #12
    Download the source code and compile it yourself. You will need Xcode installed do so though.
     
  13. bericd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    #13
    Tunnelblick

    Or use Tunnelblick (http://code.google.com/p/tunnelblick/). It works well as a client side, and I also use it on a server.
     

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