Sunday, May 06, 2018

Looking for a new VPN for my various devices

For some time I have been making use of the Opera VPN software for my Android tablet and phone.  I liked it as it 'just worked' and didn't have a major impact on either device for performance.  However, it has been discontinued and I am now looking for a new VPN for my devices.

I don't use VPN very often, just when I am out and I need to quickly check my mail or do a quick web search.  The various malls I do go to have 'free' WIFI, but, I don't want them to harvest my information and I DON'T want anyone see my passwords for mail, web sites I log on to.  I prefer what I do and where I go is my business and no one else.

What am I looking for in a VPN:

  • Minimal impact on my Android devices.  I don't want something that is a battery hog or uses so much CPU that the machine isn't responsive.
  • Preferably open source.
  • Minimal cost.  Free would be nice as long as the ads are not obtrusive.
  • They don't record much information, preferably nothing about my connection.
  • Reasonable privacy policy.  Too many companies ask you to sign away absolutely everything in the quest to protect themselves no matter how badly they screw things up for you.  They also seem to want all of your information and be able to sell it to anyone.
  • It would be nice that there are Linux and Windows versions.  My netbook and notebook are Linux (I do have openvpn there) and while I don't travel with them often it would be nice to have a good VPN for them that is the same as my Android devices.  My one Windows box never travels with me, but, just in case it would also be nice to have the same VPN running on it.  I prefer just one package so that I know that I get consistent protection and not have to learn multiple packages.
I am not going to rush into getting a new VPN, but, I will take the time to search for my replacement as this isn't a high priority item.  So far a few sites that I will be reading and starting my search with are:

The above sites are only my starting point that I will be using.  Once I pick a few packages I will be downloading them and seeing how they run and the impact on my devices.

Update 2018/06/09:

I installed windscribe as it appears to be free, has a fair limit per month.  I don't need the fastest or most data as I only need it a few times a month.  It works well enough on the tablet and I couldn't tell it was running.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Ontario elections web site & twitter

Earlier today I saw an ad for the Ontario Elections web site in Twitter.  Being paranoid I didn't click on the link and navigated to the site and started the process to verify that I am registered.  With all of the various groups who can make something like legit there was absolutely no way I would click on that link.

I found the site easily enough at and I was happy to see the HTTPS, but, not all of the site was secure and I didn't get that nice little green lock icon.  When it navigated to the 'E-Registration' it did show the proper lock.  ALL the other pages after the main page showed the proper lock icon so there was something on the initial page that caused the issue.

Main Election Ontario page.

Start of the registration
Disclaimer page

When you click the 'Next' button it takes you to the check voter list page.

Check voter list

Once I filled in the information it presented me a page with my information.  I had an option to go back, confirm or update.

It is nice, fast and in 2 minutes I had confirmed my information and Jane's and we are good to vote in the June 7, 2018 Ontario provincial election.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Downloading my Twitter archive

With all of what is happening on Facebook and the privacy I was thinking about Twitter and getting a backup of what I can from that service.  I have downloaded my Google archives and Facebook and started to dig to see how to get Twitter.  It is fairly easy to find! 

I am doing this from my browser and not the app on my tablet or phone so it may be different there.  At the top right hand side this is your 'profile & setting' button to the left of the blue tweet button.  Towards the bottom there is a 'settings and privacy' option.  Once you select that you can scroll down until you see the button labelled 'Request your archive'.  Once you click on that it will pop up a screen that the request was received and you will receive an email with the link.  It will be interesting to see what is in that archive and also to have a backup of all of what I did there.

Main Twitter page where you start

Select Settings and Privacy

Popup when you request your archive