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 Post subject: iPad VPN recommendations
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:10 am 
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My wife will be traveling to France and Amsterdam for several weeks this summer. May at times have to use public WIFI, so VPN a must. She needs something that will readily access servers there, and be easily configurable with easy setup. iPad Pro 10.5" / 12.3.1. One month plan desirable, if one month means 30 days from registration.

Have looked around, but would appreciate anything from personal experience -- and/or things to look for.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:35 pm 
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Personally I use NordVPN, although that's mostly due to the price and the lack of really nasty reviews (at least when I paid).

For 3 years of prepaid service you can get it down to around $2/month. They have clients for all major OSes, mobile, desktop, even OpenVPN for embedded (router) and open source OSes.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:30 pm 
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Thanks, will have to look into that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:50 pm 
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BTW, without some kind of encryption offload, you don't want to route all your traffic through NordVPN on a router. My dual core 1Ghz ARM router can only push around 10-15Mb/s using VPN.

Even an iPad 3 has a faster CPU than most routers, and desktops are crazy fast by comparison.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:51 pm 
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VPN not going to be used anywhere except for her iPad, and only for duration of the trip. Pretty much already knew the Asus couldn't handle it, but that's moot anyway.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:04 pm 
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Maybe a free one since it's going to be used such a short time?

https://www.techradar.com/vpn/best-free-vpn


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:15 am 
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BDAqua wrote:
Maybe a free one since it's going to be used such a short time?

https://www.techradar.com/vpn/best-free-vpn

Problem with the free ones might be that most have data limit of 500MB. No way to anticipate amount needed, but she might need more than that. Wouldn't want her to be unexpectedly stuck and throttled.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 am 
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Ah, good point.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:38 am 
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Last time were in France together, in 2013, with the old iPad2, I installed a VPN, Cloak, renamed now encrypt.me, with a 5GB limit, which was ample. Didn't cost much at all, but don't want to use them again.

Will have to look further into nordvpn, to see if there's something just for one or two months. Probably far more expensive per month than a multi-year subscription, but longer subscription not needed.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:42 am 
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1-month plan
$11.95
per month
Save 0%

https://join.nordvpn.com/order/?menu=pricing


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:00 pm 
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Yeah they definitely give you a discount the longer you subscribe for.

Of course the other way of looking at it is I placed a bet that they would be around for 3 years.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:25 pm 
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Hi MB,

Wife currently in France using NordVPN, great recommendation. Question, she's usng roaming on the phone, which has a pitiful allowance of 125 MB data for $20 roaming (100 minutes for calls.) Does just keeping it enabled by itself without connecting to anything through it use data? Would think it would, since it needs to stay connected to servers. And guessing it's probably not even needed for calls/texts.

Since the first $20 roaming she put on her account got gobbled up in no time at all, I've advised her to use the phone only as a dumbphone. Nothing Internet. She has the iPad for that.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Yes, being connected will still use data because it's got to periodically send data to maintain the tunnel. It shouldn't be a ton of data but it will be a constant trickle of data - it can certainly add up. In addition the data being sent will likely have some padding and overhead, so every MB of data will require more than a MB to send/receive. On a limited data plan this could certainly add up.

Hope her trip goes smoothly aside from this hiccup.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:49 pm 
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Apart from Paris hitting near 110 yesterday (actually, she's been out of Paris the last few days, in Clermont-Ferrand, in central France, with various family, where it only got to 103), things are going smoothly. The French generally aren't equipped for this kind of thing. Not much AC, and fans aren't even all that common. We were there together in 2003 the last time this happened. Train broke down from Clermont to Paris, AC wasn't working, when it hit 103. We were baking in the sun. Fortunately, they gave out free hot bottles of water. Today, it appears the temps are pretty much back to normal.

Thanks, I'll tell her to keep the VPN turned off on the phone.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:10 pm 
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Yeah I heard they shut down the high speed rail between France & Belgium (or was that Netherlands?) due to the heat. Forgot all about that, though I don't know why, I've been hearing about it all week. Apparently HVAC guys in Germany can basically name their price right now, after decades of deriding AC as something only soft Americans need (coupled with a weird belief that AC causes colds).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:12 am 
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Yeah, the recent weather there really played havoc with the trains, and then yesterday, as things were trying to return to normal, the Paris-Clermont train was delayed 17 hours because of severe weather, fallen trees on the tracks, and stage 19 of the Tour de France was interrupted because of a hailstorm. They never stop the Tour, no matter what, even during a freak summer snowstorm in the Alps some years ago they continued. Her train back to Paris today is running on schedule, thankfully.

Follow-up question: she called me from the train this morning, using the train's WiFi with her phone -- train WiFi no Internet. Since I told her to keep the VPN disabled on the phone, what were the risks of her connecting to the train Wi-Fi without the VPN. Guessing that it's pretty unlikely someone on the train is equipped for sniffing data, but you never know. Offhand, since there was no active Internet connection, just phone to carrier, I'm wondering just what kind of data there would be for someone to sniff, if any? Besides, wouldn't the phone connection (GSM) to the nearest tower be encrypted by default?

Finally, should she keep the VPN on the phone enabled, if she is on a WiFi network (with Internet available) to make or receive calls/texts? Keep it enabled for phone calls/texts, non-WiFi, direct to carrier?

EDIT: we just spoke over her cellphone. She said she didn't use the train WiFi, connected directly to nearest tower. Same for this call, to French "Orange" network. Supposing VPN not needed for calls direct to carrier?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:14 am 
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Yeah, phone calls are typically straight to the carrier's network unless you have WiFi calling enabled. And in that case if you have VPN out of the country it can create some headaches.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:06 pm 
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Thanks, biggest headache has been to disable anything, like app updates, addons, etc., that might consume data in the background. She seems to think she's gotten that under control. Asked at the Moto G5 forum (Lenovo) about effectively converting the phone into dumbphone. Writing from iPad, so don't have the name of app or link, but someone suggested an android app that won't allow any Internet connection for anything, even background apps/processes unless you give permission. Might try to give the link later, but one small problem with downloading/installing such an app is that it will by itself consume data.

Would have been good to have that installed before all this started, but maybe a little late now. Anyway, she seems to think she's pretty much disabled anything that might try to auto/update, or use data in the background.

Oh, found it. "NoRoot Firewall" Reading the reviews, seems like it might intoduce more problems. Also hasn't been updated since 2014.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... l&hl=en_GB


Last edited by WZZZ on Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:18 pm 
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Shame they can't simply include the size in their info.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:45 pm 
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Yeah, that would have been nice. But maybe she missed it in the fine print.


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