VPNs: the all in one shield of your online activities? Maybe not.
VPNs have exploded over the past couple of years due to privacy concerns with ISPs snooping into your traffic. Some believe that your home internet connection can be a weak link in browsing the web, not 100% secure. Is, is this true? Well of course it is. The ISP’s have to protect their network and make sure abuse isn’t happening.
What qualifies as abuse? Here are some things that would get you in trouble from your ISP.
- Torrents – Illegal downloading of movies
- Software Torrents
- Malware/virus (unknown to the user) packed inside Torrents
- Music Torrents
Now a new and scary part of ISPs from specific countries is censorship. Here is a list of things you can’t do depending on some countries laws.
- Political Stance / Opinion
- Social media posts
- Freedom of speech
- Access some websites based on current events
To get around the above issues, you will need to use a VPN as the tunnel cannot backtrack back to you. Now depending on the provider of VPN service, they will need to have a no logs policy meaning all traffic logs are not stored. Now even if they advertise this, I can 100% guarantee you that they are keeping logs and it’s a huge marketing ploy to sell you the service. If you are doing something illegal and the authorities need to find out they eventually will. Tor networks which are very secure have a lot filled with undercover authorities building cases against people. Any digital forensics team can easily find out who, what when where and why. A VPN is not going to protect you. Depending on how bad the crime is and if authorities are going to pursue you is a whole other story. If you throw enough money and resources into an investigation, anything is possible.
VPN IP types
Lots of internet users are not using VPNs for such illegal activities. Some are just trying to access banned sites from the school network, work or country. Here are some uses where VPNs can help if the IP range of the VPN is not blacklisted already. Because VPNs have exploded in the past year the IPv4 subnets are likely blacklisted so you will need to jump around the providers’ server location to get a new IPv4 address to work for your use.
- Netflix, Amazon prime video, Hulu, etc
- Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Goole Play, and other streaming music services
- Access sites that are geo-locked based on IP location ( Access Supreme UK, Nike UK, Adidas UK when you live in the USA )
VPNs use Datacenter IPs
VPNs are just a Linux server running some software like OpenVPN which is open source and using the datacenter IPs to proxy your information. Why are they using datacenters? Simple, the speeds in which you can transfer data allow you to stream Youtube, Netflix, and other bandwidth-heavy sites on a large scale so all users can enjoy low ping and close to the uplink of their local ISPs internet connection. The downside of data centers is subnet bans. Anyone can watch the IPs accessing their service and check who owns the IP. After they do so, they can then ban the range from using the service. Sites like Paypal, Banking sites, all ban these ranges due to a large amount of fraud on these IPs. There are even companies that sell lists of known proxy and VPN IPs for companies to blacklist keeping the fraud and abuse to a minimum.
Whats a residential IP?
Residential IPs have been very popular lately due to the properties of the IP ranges. These IPS are reserved for residential internet connections. When you connect to the internet, you are given an IP address. This IP address type is residential meaning it’s from an end user, not a company, datacenter, or automated bot. What does this mean for anyone doing business on the internet? That these IPs represent customers that are real and can convert into sales. These ranges are protected from being banned due to every company needing real users on their site, browsing, shopping, clicking ads, etc. If a company like Netflix banned these ranges well, there goes a lot of money from customers from home that cannot access the service.
Can residential IPs get banned?
Just because you are on a residential IP does not mean that you are above the law when it comes to getting banned. Every time you access a site, there is a firewall that is monitoring your use and what you are doing if you happen to violate any of the rules you will get banned. Whats some of the rules?
Heres a list from Wordfence, a popular WordPress firewall solution that protects users sites from malicious bots and users trying to hack a website.
- If anyone’s requests exceed 30 per minute, then block it
- If a crawler’s page views exceed 30 per minute, then throttle it
- If a crawler’s pages not found (404s) exceed 30 per minute then block it
- If a human’s page views exceed 30 per minute, then throttle it
- If a human’s pages not found (404s) exceed 30 per minute then block it
- How long is an IP address blocked when it breaks a rule 5 minutes
The more advanced a company is, the more advanced the firewall needs to be to protect user data and company assets. The rules above can be used for almost any site to defend it against simple attacks. Residential IPs are and blocked for any of the abuse listed above. Switching to a new IP wouldn’t do any good as the IP will flag a rule and get banned.
Residential IP uses
Residential IPs are behind residential networks. A home router is only as good as it gets for speed & technology. That means this is a significant downside for anyone streaming videos, Netflix, youtube, downloading large files which leads to poor performance. Residential IPs are amazing for other uses which include.
- Posting Classified Ads
- Posting Reviews
- Sneaker Releases
- Retail Price Comparison
- Brand Protection
- Ad Verification
An example which we specialize in is sneaker releases. Most sites selling limited and hard to get items ( Supreme, Nike, Adidas, Off-White) sell out in seconds and the profit on reselling each item can yield 2-5x the cost. For example, a box logo that supreme releases costs around $300-$600 depending on the materials used and clothing type. If you were to purchase one supreme box logo shirt, you would be able to sell it on stock x or goat for $1000 to $3000. Factors like size, color and time you sell will influence the price. Sneakers and Supreme items are almost like trading a stock. The key is to get in when the price is low “retail” and flip it right after. We have got our customers thousands of supreme items including box logs, very rare Nike sneakers, and adidas yeezys using residential proxies.