AT&T GigaPower and "Snoopvertising": Is VPN a Good Solution?

chasfh

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Feb 25, 2006
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After years of paying $67/month for 25 down/1 up, I finally got off my butt and called in for better service. the deal I am getting is AT&T GigaPower, 1,000 up and down, for $70 a month.

However, it is also pretty well known that they build "snoopvertising" surveillance into the service, and even force you to pay to opt out if you don't want them to do so, $29 a month. (I'm not even sure that they wouldn't just take the $29 a month and ignore me.)

AT&T GigaPower: Gigabit spyware fiber coming to your city soon (if you’re lucky)

I obviously do not want to be snooped on, so my question here is: will a stout VPN, like PIA, be sufficient in blocking my browsing details from AT&T GigaPower? Also, will it protect my email and file transfers from being snooped on as well?
 

primestar31

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After years of paying $67/month for 25 down/1 up, I finally got off my butt and called in for better service. the deal I am getting is AT&T GigaPower, 1,000 up and down, for $70 a month.

However, it is also pretty well known that they build "snoopvertising" surveillance into the service, and even force you to pay to opt out if you don't want them to do so, $29 a month. (I'm not even sure that they wouldn't just take the $29 a month and ignore me.)

AT&T GigaPower: Gigabit spyware fiber coming to your city soon (if you’re lucky)

I obviously do not want to be snooped on, so my question here is: will a stout VPN, like PIA, be sufficient in blocking my browsing details from AT&T GigaPower? Also, will it protect my email and file transfers from being snooped on as well?
Unless the VPN is installed right ON your pc or router in your house, there's no way it can mask what you are doing from your actual ISP provider.
 

chasfh

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Feb 25, 2006
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Unless the VPN is installed right ON your pc or router in your house, there's no way it can mask what you are doing from your actual ISP provider.
The VPN is installed on my PC, although I'm not sure where else it would be (besides the router)? It starts up as soon as my PC boots up. Is that enough to block their view of what websites and files I download and upload?
 

Juan

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The VPN is installed on my PC, although I'm not sure where else it would be (besides the router)? It starts up as soon as my PC boots up. Is that enough to block their view of what websites and files I download and upload?
Streaming boxes
 

king3pj

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I believe this would work. This is the the main reason VPNs exist. They are supposed to create a secure, encrypted tunnel between you and the VPN server. This should be able to keep your ISP from seeing what you are doing. If you have the VPN setup on your computer it will only encrypt the traffic that comes from that computer. Some routers allow you to setup a VPN on the router so every device connected to it will have it's data encrypted.

The only time I have actually used a VPN is to remotely login to our office server. I have looked into them for encrypting home use but in the end decided it wasn't worth it. At the time most of them decreased download speeds and increased ping significantly. Since I play a lot of online games and don't do anything that requires that much security I decided not to bother.

Unless things have really changed I think you will have to pay for a pretty expensive VPN. I think any of the free or cheap VPNs will probably cripple your gigabit internet package.
 

chasfh

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Feb 25, 2006
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Streaming boxes
I see. I’m less concerned about my streaming boxes. I don;t care much what they see I watch. They already know that from my DirecTV as it is.

I go to websites and transfer files for my business and I’m trying to keep outsiders from seeing what they are and compromising my livelihood.
 

chasfh

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Feb 25, 2006
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I believe this would work. This is the the main reason VPNs exist. They are supposed to create a secure, encrypted tunnel between you and the VPN server. This should be able to keep your ISP from seeing what you are doing. If you have the VPN setup on your computer it will only encrypt the traffic that comes from that computer. Some routers allow you to setup a VPN on the router so every device connected to it will have it's data encrypted.

The only time I have actually used a VPN is to remotely login to our office server. I have looked into them for encrypting home use but in the end decided it wasn't worth it. At the time most of them decreased download speeds and increased ping significantly. Since I play a lot of online games and don't do anything that requires that much security I decided not to bother.

Unless things have really changed I think you will have to pay for a pretty expensive VPN. I think any of the free or cheap VPNs will probably cripple your gigabit internet package.
I believe you’re right, and I already did. I was hoping a subject matter expert would come in and give me the definitive answer.

BTW, there are some pretty good deals on VPNs. PIA is a good one and you can’t get it for $40 a year, or I think $5 a month if that’s more your speed.
 
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primestar31

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As long as the VPN software is running directly ON your laptop/pc, it will encrypt everything from and to that specific device. Your ISP will not be able to tell what you are sending and receiving. It won't protect anything else on your network though.
 

chasfh

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Feb 25, 2006
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As long as the VPN software is running directly ON your laptop/pc, it will encrypt everything from and to that specific device. Your ISP will not be able to tell what you are sending and receiving. It won't protect anything else on your network though.
Thanks for the clarification. It's pretty much what I'd thought.

However, when you say "won't protect anything else on your network", do you mean internet activity specifically? Or do you also mean they can do deeper these days and help themselves to my files on my hard drives if they like? If I transfer files from one machine to another (VPN on neither of them) through my internal network, they wouldn't be able to detect or see that, would they? I'm just trying to get a handle on their capabilities for snooping.
 

stardust3

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primestar31

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Thanks for the clarification. It's pretty much what I'd thought.

However, when you say "won't protect anything else on your network", do you mean internet activity specifically? Or do you also mean they can do deeper these days and help themselves to my files on my hard drives if they like? If I transfer files from one machine to another (VPN on neither of them) through my internal network, they wouldn't be able to detect or see that, would they? I'm just trying to get a handle on their capabilities for snooping.
Yes, the traffic on your internal network is private. Your router will act as a firewall.
 
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chasfh

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If you're not comfortable setting up a vpn on a router you can buy them setup specifically for this purpose.
Easy VPN Routers for ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, Private Internet Access and more

Many including myself have 2 networks, 1 with vpn and 1 without.

If I'm not mistaken as long as your router has a firewall enabled the traffic on your lan is private.
I've looked into it before but never did it. I have VPN on all my client devices except the streaming boxes so I think I'm OK for the most part. But I'll consider looking into it.

I assume this is what you're talking about? DD-WRT OpenVPN
 
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stardust3

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I've looked into it before but never did it. I have VPN on all my client devices except the streaming boxes so I think I'm OK for the most part. But I'll consider looking into it.

I assume this is what you're talking about? DD-WRT OpenVPN
That's it, I use PIA and followed those directions to set mine up on a router flashed with ddwrt. It's not too bad to setup.
 
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