Category Archives: VPN

Test your VPN through Terminal – Linux Tips

computer-VPN

Do you use a VPN to connect to Internet and increase your privacy? If you are one of the many you would be sure that the VPN you are paying is really working properly.

You can always use, via browser, one of those dedicated websites that check your Ip and, in some cases, test the real effectiveness of VPN and/or use Terminal.

But, for my experience, if you prefer to test your public IP without using the Terminal, the best tutorial for this specific task has been published by http://www.tecadmin.net.

Get Public IP using Linux Terminal

Recommended!… if you are looking for an extra test that you can manage directly from Terminal.

A small collection of Firefox add-ons that you can install to improve (a little bit) your privacy

When I read news and reports about modern spyware I am a little bit discouraged about  my privacy. But I also think that something can always be done to improve privacy levels.

This time I don’t want to talk about password strength but I will try to focus your attention on some Firefox add-ons can could positively impact on your privacy.

The first is about Random Agent Spoofer that is able to obfuscate your computer configuration (better: identity) when you connect to a remote server = Internet.

This add-on is really flexible and you will spend just a couple of minutes to decide what  configuration can be useful for you. In particular you can decide how often you desire to change your agent profile and if you prefer to use just desktop agents or to appear as if you were connected through a mobile device. 

Moreover, you can choose if you want to:

  • Send spoofed ‘If-None_Match’ headers (ETags)
  • Send spoofed ‘X-Forwarded-For’ headers                         
  • Send spoofed ‘Via’ headers                                                                     
  • Accept headers match the selected browser profile
  • Spoof accepted documents
  • Spoof accepted encoding
  • Spoof accepted language (US English)

And if you have time you can also play with the many extras as:

  • Use standard font set
  • Disable local dom storage
  • Limit tab history to 2
  • Disable browsing and download history
  • Disable browser cache
  • Disable geolocation
  • Disable link prefetching 
  • Disable dns prefetching
  • Disable webgl

If you prefer a less complex agent spoofer or you are planning to use it seldom, you can use User-Agent Switcher that contains fewer features and needs to be manually configured but it’s intuitive and equally effective.

The second add-on I suggest to install is TrackMeNot that will help to defend your privacy contrasting web search engines profilation with a (huge,-if you want-) number of false queries from your browser. The (huge) number of queries about general topics will obfuscate search engines’ profile about your personal preference. Also in this case this add-on allows you to decide what kind of false queries you want to submit and how often TrackMeNot will “search” the web.

The third recommended add-on is ZenMate, a free VPN service that has obtained positive reviews by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also because ZenMate is “based in Berlin and operates under strict German data protection laws”. ZenMate is free, easy to use and let you choose between four different exit node also if using the free base version:

– Germany 

– Romania

– Hong Kong

– USA

Last but not least, keep attention on Flash Files. Do they are so essential for you? You have to keep in mind that sometimes, also if you use a VPN as Zen Zone, you can be betrayed by Flash files. In fact, videos based on Flash can potentially leak your identity also if you try to hide your IP behind a VPN or a proxy.

How to configure Firestarter to use VPN services on Linux

VPN LinuxIn my experience Firestarter is a effective firewall and, on Linux, it starts automatically every time we boot up Ubuntu. But, when I decided to use a VPN tunnel through openvpn, I had some connection problems. In fact I was able to initialize my VPN services but, after a while, all the internet connections were mysteriously shut down.

The “problem” was Firestarter which cut off the connection as forbidden considering my inbound/outbound Policy.

To solve this matter you have to open a tunnel on Firestarter to allow VPN working:

1- open the configuration file my VPN provider gives to its users (generally its a text file containing all the configuration info used, in my case, by openvpn) and I searched for the IP address of the default starting connection used to authenticate the VPN services (e.g. 177.458.563.25). Save somewhere or memorize this VPN IP address.

2- open a Terminal and type:

sudo nautilus

3- using nautilus go to File System (it’s before home folder) and open etc–>firestarter and open the file user-pre using Gedit (or your preferred text editor)

4- the user-pre file is usually empty so don’t panic and write these lines into it:

iptables -A INPUT -j ACCEPT -s xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx -p esp
iptables -A INPUT -j ACCEPT -s xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx -p udp -m multiport -sports isakmp,10000
iptables -A INPUT -j ACCEPT -i tun+
iptables -A OUTPUT -j ACCEPT -d xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx -p esp
iptables -A OUTPUT -j ACCEPT -d xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx -p udp -m multiport -dports isakmp,10000
iptables -A OUTPUT -j ACCEPT -o tun+

Now you have to substitute the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx with the VPN IP address you have found at step 1 (in my example was 177.458.563.25).

5- Save the user-pre file and close Gedit and Nautilus

6- open a new Terminal and restart Firestarter typing:

sudo /etc/init.d/firestarter restart

That’all! Now your VPN works on your Linux computer and Firestarter has accepted a new Routed IP Tunnel into its allowed policies configuration.  AddThis

How to install OpenDNS on Ubuntu (or XP, Vista and Leopard) for your peace of mind!

I strongly believe that all you know OpenDNS yet. But for the few who still do not know this powerful free online tool we have posted a brief review in our Freeware Page. OpenDNS is very easy to configure and could be very useful to bypass all the restrictions that some ISP apply in certain countries. In Ubuntu 8.04, for example you have just to substitute your ISP default DNS with OpenDNS servers (208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220) in System – Administration – Network or to read the instruction contained on the proper OpenDNS page if you prefer to use the Terminal. For Windows and Apple users, we recommend to follow the official guide for XP, Vista and OSX. Moreover, if you decide to open a free account with OpenDNS, you will able to deeply examine or better manage all your network web traffic in just few clicks. Recommended! AddThis mp3 link