Sould I be using a US/UK based service?

I'm based in the UK, because of the 'Snoopers charter' I have spent quite a lot of time researching privacy over the last few weeks.  I have used a VPN over the last few years not because I was considered about privacy but more for security, ie while connecting to hotspots when out and about, etc.

Everything I have read recently though all pretty much says the same thing, if you don't want everything you do monitored then avoid UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canadian based services especially and if possible avoid the rest of the so called Nine and Fourteen eyes countries. 

Use of NSLs and gag orders in the US mean that PIA could be forced to hand over all data and carry on as if nothing is wrong while being unable to warn users in any way, likewise I think the UK will be the same.  While I'm not particularly worried that my government can see I spend two much time watching Youtube and buying crap from Ebay, I am concerned that local government officials, tax offices, social security and all manner of personnel will have access to a year of my browsing history and how secure this will be.

What are others thoughts on this?
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Comments

  • PIA say they don't log, so when forced to turn over their servers there wouldn't be much to see. As for being compromised, secretly logging, we can only speculate.

    With local government, unless you're interesting* they should only see that you connect to some data centres, OpenVPN traffic.
  • edited December 2016 Posts: 105
    It's easier to use a server in your Country/city as banks/Google/Microsoft get a hernia when you are signing into one of your accounts from say India.
    With PIA all data is encrypted from server and back, unless you select otherwise.
    I would also suggest you set your DNS to Google 
    https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/docs/using
    Means your ISP won't log you even connecting to PIA 
    Another is using CisCo 
    https://www.opendns.com/setupguide/
    both are free
    My ISP's DNS server is glitchy 
    Do a 
    http://www.speedtest.net
    before and after to compare speed, mine are faster with Google not tried "OpenDns"

    As always use a Virus/Malware scanner (Windows Defender is good, you paid for it with windows)

    To do a check NOW Norton have a free scanner
    Norton Power Eraser it is a free tool and doesn't require installation. It just needs to be downloaded and run.
    https://security.symantec.com/nbrt/npe.aspx
    If malware detected Change log-on to a more secure password! 
    Post edited by Harry2 on
  • Thanks guys,

    Regarding no logs, doesn't matter if they are served a warrant and told to log all data.

    I'm just concerned about privacy rather than hiding what I'm doing online, I use Google DNS on a per machine level and on my dd-wrt router.  I'm using the london/southampton access points at the minute but because I have everything routed via VPN it causes loads of problems.

    Every 20 minutes of so Google is complaining about unusual traffic and i have to verify I'm human, Netflix of course refuses to work, sometimes the speed is atrocious.

    I'm thinking I'm going to have to setup my own personal VPN service, easy enough to do using Digitalocean
  • edited December 2016 Posts: 105

    Select your home country from PIA's choices to stop/reduce being asked security questions
    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/how-it-works/

    PIA's APP encrypts all traffic from your PC (or smartphone) to their servers and back to your PC (unless you disable option) 
    This means even on public or personal WiFi you cannot be spied on your data is secure.

    Make sure your PC uses a virus/Malware scanner


    Post edited by Harry2 on
  • I would strongly advise against using Google DNS - why on earth would you trust them when everything they do is logged by the US authorities?
    Jeez, you might as well use Gmail too - helps you sleep at night!!!
  • edited December 2016 Posts: 105
    PiaVipper said:
    I would strongly advise against using Google DNS - why on earth would you trust them when everything they do is logged by the US authorities?
    Jeez, you might as well use Gmail too - helps you sleep at night!!!
    PIA encrypt and decrypt everything Googles DNS servers see, which only point to a PIA server (who don't log), are useless to anyone including Google. But yes Google everything is spyware, OpenDns are another free option.
    https://www.opendns.com/setupguide/
    What matters is speed check before and after results
    http://www.speedtest.net
    Using 256 encryption requires extra computer processing, so may slow speed a little.

    If one is happy with their ISP's DNS server no need to change same applies.

    As always use a virus/maleware scan if ever positive change your log-on's password
    Post edited by Harry2 on
  • PiaVipper said:
    I would strongly advise against using Google DNS - why on earth would you trust them when everything they do is logged by the US authorities?
    Jeez, you might as well use Gmail too - helps you sleep at night!!!
    Yeah they can look at all my boring crap, I use Google DNS as I use a lot of Google Infrastructure so using their DNS won't make any difference
  • Posts: 276
    >>>>>>Yeah they can look at all my boring crap, I use Google DNS as I use a lot of Google Infrastructure so using >>>>>>their DNS won't make any difference

    Most people's stuff is "boring" but if you using a VPN you're probably already concerned about who is spying on you. So why go to the trouble and then offer your URL hstory on a plate? Google (and Microsoft) are the last people to trust.
  • edited January 20 Posts: 105
    PiaVipper said:
    >>>>>>Yeah they can look at all my boring crap, I use Google DNS as I use a lot of Google Infrastructure so using >>>>>>their DNS won't make any difference

    Most people's stuff is "boring" but if you using a VPN you're probably already concerned about who is spying on you. So why go to the trouble and then offer your URL hstory on a plate? Google (and Microsoft) are the last people to trust.
    Using Google Server hides the fact that you are using a VPN IP from your provider.
    All google does is connect you to PIA and THEIR (Pia's) DNS servers which decrypt your data out then encrypt your data back Google can't see more than encrypted data (mines set at 256) 
    Post edited by Harry2 on
  • I trust Google and to a lesser extent Microsoft more than I do my ISP or Government.  I use Google services often for free and feel it's acceptable that they gather data etc as long as it's relevant and not personally identifiable. 
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