VPN Connection

Please let me know, if I´m not supposed to post topics unrelated to programing. If so, what forum on the internet would suit me for that?

I tried to set up a VPN Connection on my Mac by following each step of wikihow, but it’s not working for me. So, my questions are:

  • What password and what information do the mean by step 6?
    Step 6 says: Click the radio button for “Password” and enter the password that the owner of the VPN gave you. Click the radio button for “Shared Secret” and enter the information provided to you. Click “OK.”

  • Where do i get the VPN Address from? In my ignorance, I thought I could choose any ip Address that I want. Please, clear me up on that one

Thank You for helping

i think its important to understand what a VPN is, you can relay your internet traffic over it. Given from your computer till VPN server is encrypted, this allows to bypass blockage (for example piratebay)

You (as a client) relay your web traffic over a VPN server, you will need to find a free/paid server somewhere.

no, that is not how it works. Someone set up a VPN server, you need to register there. They give you the ip adress.

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I read that I could turn an old mac, which I happen to have sitting around thre, into a VPN server. And also a Raspberry Pi.
Have you any comments on that, and which would you choose from these two options?


But then the VPN server is as the same network as the client, what value does the VPN have then?

I have my own personal VPN server in my home network, but i use it in the train or other public networks to prevent MitM attacks.

this depends on the model raspberry, and what the maximum network speed is (i have an older model which has limited internet speed), so i would use an older computer (like a mac) i have lying around. What is best for you, is difficult to say.

you will need to find what the internet speed for the raspberry is, the nice thing of the raspberry is the low power consumption (2-3watt, which is roughly 6 euros for running 24 hours a week, 365 days a year)

Personally, Linux allows for much easier tweaking and configuration, so unless you already have a raspberry, you could also install Linux on the mac you have.

this is helping me (=

So, you have a self-made VPN server at home to avoid MitM attacks, but this wouldnt allow you to bypass blockage, would it? Does the VPN server have to be located geographically in a different place for that?

Well, basic understanding of basic network architecture would come in handy here.

to avoid MitM attacks in a public network, given the additional layer of encryption the VPN adds

The internet is just a bunch of computers (or rather, servers) communicating with each other. You could connect directly to the internet, however the servers needed to achieve this would take a lot of electricity and the required hardware is expensive

This is where you ISP (internet service provider) comes in. They give you a router (you do know what a router is, right?) which connect to there internet hub (the expensive hardware)

Your router is identified by an IP-address (known as external IP-address) which is a unique string of numbers.

so the route of a network request + response to facebook would look something like this:

computer -> router -> ISP server -> Facebook server -> ISP server -> router -> computer

A request has to go through ISP, so if the ISP decide to block something, there is no way to that server.

Unless you add VPN which has unrestricted access, because then you get:

computer ~> router ~> ISP ~> VPN -> Facebook -> VPN ~> ISP ~> router ~> computer 

the ~> indicates VPN encryption, so the ISP can’t see what website your request, bypassing blockage. To the ISP, it will look like you make a request to the VPN server, which isn’t blocked

but if the VPN is in the same network, the request from router to ISP won’t be encrypted, and the ISP can block it

certain things within this example are simplified.

I have zero understanding of basic network architecture, but this gives me a slight idea of how a VPN connection works.
I´ll invest some time to do further research

Thanks for your time!

Surely there must be picture of what i explained above, that might help

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