One of the problems with standard VPN and proxy programs is that although they add a layer of security in most cases, they also raise a red flag for anyone who looks at their data. To understand this concept just think of a standard log in your local ISP for an ordinary internet user. The log will contain a list of all the websites that user visited, files downloaded, servers contacted. Much of this data is readable, but some will be encrypted such as communication completed through an SSL connection such as banking sites. However the locations and addresses of the web servers will all be visible.
What’s Different about the Logs of VPN Users?
There’s fundamentally two distinct differences between the logs of a standard user and those of a user who accesses the internet using a VPN service.
- Data is encrypted. All the logs of a VPN user are encrypted, so there is no visible data which is readable by anyone looking a the logs. This is of course one of the primary reasons people use VPNs to ensure that their communications are private and not accessible by any intermediate such as an ISP or other intermediate with access to this data.
- Destinations are hidden. The log for a traditional user will contain all the server addresses and names that they visit. However for the VPN user there will be only a single address visible – that of the VPN server that is being accessed.
There’s nothing wrong with this situation however the second point means that in some ways the VPN users data will stand out from the rest. The repeated requests for a single unique address will mark out that connection as related to a VPN or proxy. In some ways this is exactly the opposite effect that the VPN user desires, they still have more privacy than a non-protected user but their data is highlighted because it all travels through a single location. There is a further issue that if anyone wanted full unencrypted logs, these would be accessible from one single location – the VPN server (although it should be highlighted that most of these servers don’t store the logs anyway).
So what are the options for a VPN user how can they stop their data from standing out and protect against the fact that it is all potentially available from a single source. Well what a few of the more secure VPN providers have done is incorporate the best proxy switching software into their connections, like Identity Cloaker which offers the ability to switch the servers used automatically. Identity Cloaker has a proxy switcher feature which automatically changes the server used for the VPN connection. It can be triggered automatically, to switch between different servers, countries or physical locations after a specified duration.
This means that you could configure your connection to switch from a VPN server in the UK after ten minutes to switch to a US server, then a French one and so on. Your data would never be accessible on a single location and the logs although still completely encrypted would now look much more like any other user with different connections being made to different servers over time.