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User Of AirVPN

Include ISP and whether the server is owned or rented in servers' status page

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I think that we can all agree that AirVPN's status page for each server is very detailed and comprehensive and the status page is something that AirVPN does well, however it could be made even better if each server's status page listed the ISP that is used (for example M247, etc) and also whether the server is owned or rented. I have seen others suggest this and I am making a post out of the suggestion for better visibility so that hopefully this can be implemented.

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Does it make a difference if the server is rented or owned? Assuming that all servers are bare metal and not virtual instances, i think it doesn't matter if they are rented or owned in terms of security and / or performance.


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2 hours ago, trott3r said:

COuld a rented server pass on data without much complaint with a  request from a government agency?

I would like the info as well please

Yes, something in the past happened with a VPN provider that I can't remember the name of, but they were renting servers in Netherlands through LeaseWeb and there were some complaints or something, and the Dutch government bypassed the VPN company and was granted access to the server directly from LeaseWeb, which would not have been possible had they owned that particular server.

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Hello!

That may happen, unfortunately, even with owned servers housed in any datacenter.

Our servers do not keep any account data but they might be monitored in real time with external "black" boxes which can not be detected by the server itself (in practice they sniff traffic just outside the server without interfering with the server itself). However, if someone tries to tamper a server in any other way, the server will not start, because each restart will cause a lock out by our system. That VPN server must be validated manually by AirVPN management to be accepted again in the infrastructure, so if anything weird happens it will remain locked out.

To defeat an adversary that monitors incoming and outgoing packets of a VPN server, and tries to correlate them, please see here:
https://airvpn.org/forums/topic/54-using-airvpn-over-tor/?do=findComment&comment=1745

Kind regards
 

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2 hours ago, trott3r said:

COuld a rented server pass on data without much complaint with a  request from a government agency?


If there is one thing I've learned around here, then it's how strong fear is. The unknown pushes people to abstruse conclusions which in the end forms a feeding ground for several kinds of fears. We've seen those in the antique when people imagined demons in the night and in the medieval when people believed witchcraft was actually a thing. The strongest fear of them all survived to this day: Religion, the fear of gods and the "punishments" they may carry out.

I'm glad for everyone out there who developed a keen sense of rationality and therefore bases his or her decisions on reasonable, logically explainable, testable facts instead of feeding ideologies and all the emotions coming with them. Fear is a potent base for everything we're doing here – if not for your fear of someone tracking what you do online, you wouldn't have even looked into VPNs. All a logics person needed to do is to overcome emotion and start feeding the fears to get a materialistic gain from it, like "Subscribe and Surf Anonymously, because you are not". Some would call this Marketing.

The quote up there is the perfect sign that, even though we as a society, as mankind, have seen much progress in and for ourselves, at the same time we're still the primitive animals we were in the beginning, driven by the unknown. Most of us fear it, some discover it. The latter is in an advantageous position. Know why? They are getting to know enough to not fear it. The suggestion is simple: Learn enough so that it does not scare you. And you will get rid of the reason you asked this.

Do you know how you can avoid fears? With questions. Ask them: Which government agency would send out such a request? About what? And why? What kind of data are we talking about exactly, what does it contain? And if it happens, are you dead sure the request was due to your personal activity? Are they looking for you and you only? Do you fear for your personal life? Your family getting abducted?

Or is it only because you fear something you don't quite understand, or rather, see through yet?
 
16 minutes ago, User Of AirVPN said:

Yes, something in the past happened with a VPN provider that I can't remember the name of, but they were renting servers in Netherlands through LeaseWeb and there were some complaints or something, and the Dutch government bypassed the VPN company and was granted access to the server directly from LeaseWeb, which would not have been possible had they owned that particular server.


See, this is what drives fears. A subtle form of uncertainty: "Don't know names, don't know times, but a government was involved, it happened". Care to provide some testable story, maybe a source?
 
3 hours ago, User Of AirVPN said:

I think that we can all agree that AirVPN's status page for each server is very detailed and comprehensive and the status page is something that AirVPN does well, however it could be made even better if each server's status page listed the ISP that is used (for example M247, etc) and also whether the server is owned or rented. I have seen others suggest this and I am making a post out of the suggestion for better visibility so that hopefully this can be implemented.


While I think the provider idea is not completely shite, the benefits you get from it are very little in number. Besides, you can easily look it up yourself.
And it doesn't really help knowing if it's owned or rented – you didn't even provide a definition, so we're left with a black-or-white scenario. Owned servers can get seized just as easily, and there are also rented servers of which even the provider doesn't know on which piece of hardware it's running on, figuratively.

Four simple things:
There's a guide to AirVPN. Before you ask questions, take 30 minutes of your time to go through it.

Amazon IPs are not dangerous here. It's the fallback DNS.
Running TOR exits is discouraged. They're subject to restrictions on the internet and harm all AirVPN users.

Furthermore, I propose that your paranoia is to be destroyed. If you overdo privacy, you'll be unique among the mass again.

 

XMPP: gigan3rd@xmpp.airvpn.org or join our lounge@conference.xmpp.airvpn.org

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On 2/11/2020 at 4:04 PM, Staff said:

Our servers do not keep any account data but they might be monitored in real time with external "black" boxes which can not be detected by the server itself (in practice they sniff traffic just outside the server without interfering with the server itself)


What, if any, danger would such a 'black box attack' pose?

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For my threat model, I just assume any and all traffic could be (or is being) accessed by another entity in some way; whether that's decrypting TLS, having access to AirVPN's servers 24/7 where an external entity is "logging" (but not AirVPN themselves).

If you assume that, then you can decide how to best approach a resolution, for example:

Using Tor,
Using multiple providers,
Using strong local encryption for the OS, and any storage,
Using VM's, which are re-built after a period you determine (the ultra paranoid may wipe after every single use, and persistent storage encrypted with a password only known in their minds, perhaps with multiple layers of encryption).

There are those who will exclusively only browse within the Tor network, and will not even consider ever enabling JS (or will do so in a controlled way, a VM helps with this).

Your security is only as strong as the weakest layer, and that's for you, the user, to determine. Even the chips you're likely using are "insecure" these days, so all the layers on top have weaknesses.

Privacy/security is a fight, but make no mistake, AirVPN is a single, user-spaced focused approach to adding a singular layer of security, if any other point in the stack is compromised then Air won't be able to help much in theory (if somebody has malware in your system, for example).

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