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Using a VM for identity separation (or Tor?)

VM Tor Identity separation

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#1 yoloswag66

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 06:31 AM

Hi! I've been a long-time AirVPN user and I love the service and the fact that it's run by people who truly believe in their mission and not as a commercial venture. I've been wondering if it might be a good thing to do to use a VM with another OS/browser, through another AirVpn server for websites that have access to my personal data.

 

I've set the VM up, but it's not as fast as my host system, perhaps because I'm using an intergrated GPU? I'm not sure if inserting a dedicated GPU could improve performance (I have a good one lying around), but it still would be more hassle anyway to browse the Internet this way. Do you guys think it's worth it?

 

Otherwise, are there any good and convenient methods to obfuscate your identity and avoid fingerprinting? Could using Torbrowser, for example, be a better solution?

(I'm already using https://airvpn.org/topic/15769-how-to-harden-firefox-extreme-edition/?hl=fingerprinting this Firefox setup and I'm getting quite a low fingerprinting rating, btw)

Thanks!



#2 Staff

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 09:52 AM

Hello!

 

Using the Tor Browser sounds like an excellent solution for your purposes, because you just need to separate identity with certain web sites.

 

On VM performance, you might test a very light Operating System with some guest integration by the virtualization software, before considering the purchase of new hardware.

 

About light systems, check out DragonFly BSD (a FreeBSD fork) or something like "Damn Small Linux".

https://www.dragonflybsd.org

http://www.damnsmalllinux.org

 

Avoid Windows at all costs.

 

Kind regards



#3 yoloswag66

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 04:51 AM

Thanks for the reply.

Damn Small Linux is really old. The Firefox version available is very outdated. I guess that can have serious security implications? I've tried Trisquel Mini anwyay and it does run much faster than Ubuntu.

 

I've also been wondering if additional hassle of this sort is worth it for any user who wishes to stay private on the Internet. Since otherwise, with 50-150 users per Air server, I suppose a lot of people would still have a fingerprint that would be fairly distinguishable and then if they access services such as Facebook etc at the same time they browse other websites, that would be an easy way to identify the user and their browsing history.

 

I understand you're suggesting using the Torbrowser for websites that have access to my personal data and just Air elsewhere. So again, I'm wondering, do you (or anyone else) thinks using Tor for websites such as Facebook is an overkill for an average user concerned about their privacy that doesn't live in a country governed by an oppressive regime (and the like)?



#4 corrado

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 06:59 AM

I've set the VM up, but it's not as fast as my host system, perhaps because I'm using an intergrated GPU? I'm not sure if inserting a dedicated GPU could improve performance (I have a good one lying around), but it still would be more hassle anyway to browse the Internet this way.

 

Just for browsing, you don't need a dedicated GPU for the VM. Most GNU/Linux distributions should work smoothly in a VM depending of course on how much CPU/RAM you allocate. Which Hypervisor/Virtualization software are you using? On Virtualbox for example, you should install their utiltity/driver software - this can improve graphics performance dramatically.



#5 Staff

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 07:25 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Damn Small Linux is really old. The Firefox version available is very outdated. I guess that can have serious security implications? I've tried Trisquel Mini anwyay and it does run much faster than Ubuntu.

 

 

Yes, DSL is too old, it was a bad example. Anyway you already found an alternative that's good.

 

 

I've also been wondering if additional hassle of this sort is worth it for any user who wishes to stay private on the Internet. Since otherwise, with 50-150 users per Air server, I suppose a lot of people would still have a fingerprint that would be fairly distinguishable and then if they access services such as Facebook etc at the same time they browse other websites, that would be an easy way to identify the user and their browsing history.

 

The fingerprint is mainly (or even exclusively) determined by the browser, in your examples. So using TBB is an excellent solution, as well as a fine tuning of the browser. About fingerprints  of the kind you mention, a thread developed in our forum and was carried on by the community: Various solutions, but the Tor Browser still remains probably the most secure (and easiest).

https://airvpn.org/topic/20156-avoid-browser-fingerprint/

 

 

I understand you're suggesting using the Torbrowser for websites that have access to my personal data and just Air elsewhere. So again, I'm wondering, do you (or anyone else) thinks using Tor for websites such as Facebook is an overkill for an average user concerned about their privacy that doesn't live in a country governed by an oppressive regime (and the like)?

 

If a human right is potentially at stake, no general "overkill" / limitation rule can be claimed, the matter remains up to each person considerations.

 

Kind regards



#6 go558a83nk

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 07:30 PM

I've been enjoying Mint 18.3 xfce in vmware player.  Much more responsive and memory efficient than cinnamon. 



#7 yoloswag66

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 10:33 AM

Thanks, guys, for your excellent answers.

 

I've set the VM up, but it's not as fast as my host system, perhaps because I'm using an intergrated GPU? I'm not sure if inserting a dedicated GPU could improve performance (I have a good one lying around), but it still would be more hassle anyway to browse the Internet this way.

 

Just for browsing, you don't need a dedicated GPU for the VM. Most GNU/Linux distributions should work smoothly in a VM depending of course on how much CPU/RAM you allocate. Which Hypervisor/Virtualization software are you using? On Virtualbox for example, you should install their utiltity/driver software - this can improve graphics performance dramatically.

 

Yeah, I'm using Virtualbox. I think the slow performance had to do with 3d acceleration being switched on for Ubuntu. It was just as slow with a dedicated GPU. Ticking that off improved performance though it still isn't 100% smooth, Trisquel Mini still runs faster. I've had Guest Additions installed from the start.







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