Public VPNs and Trust

Some time ago, I had a post on the many uses I have for a public VPN service today beyond just security aspects. But there is also an unwelcome downside to it that has hit me a few times now: Trust: When some websites detect the IP address of the VPN egress point they do strange things. Rebtel for example, that I use for international calls, immediately locks my account when I try to log in over the VPN as I recently discovered. Only an eMail to their support team unlocked the account again with a notice not to use them over the VPN. Great… Also, I suspect (but do not have complete proof) the credit card payment system of Thalys and SNCF (train operators) to refuse credit card payment requests with strange error messages if they come from an IP address of the VPN service. So it seems some companies have made bad experiences with traffic coming from such services. Fortunately, this behavior is not very common so far.

One thought on “Public VPNs and Trust”

  1. I use my home connection for VPN end point. That way this problem is nonexistent. Of course, it is more complexity and slower speeds due to the slow ADSL upstream speed. I wish I had a symmetric connection at home or at least a connection with reasonable (2+ Mbit/s) upstream, preferably 5+.

    Another annoyance is that some web sites bind the session to the user IP address, which obviously changes when enabling/disabling VPN tunnel. This is also a problem with load-balancing on multiple connections (for example 3G and ADSL) since for each site only one IP can be used.

Comments are closed.