Find out who is behind the invisibility cloak. Ask our VPN wizard anything

Alexandru_BD
Alexandru_BD admin
edited July 2022 in Security Research Team

As our lives grow more digital each day, one of the biggest challenges we are faced with is protecting personal information. By definition, a VPN does just that by securing data transfers and keeping your identity private. VPN is one of the most effective ways to stay anonymous while connected to the Internet, thanks to its ability to encrypt your traffic and redirect it through secure, private servers. But how does it work?

Our next guest in the Expert Community is... anonymized (for now). He uses VPN all the time because, well, his team developed both the VPN included by default in your Bitdefender product and the Premium version as well. Although his identity is currently encrypted, he was kind enough to share some insights about himself:

I've been working with Bitdefender for the past 15 years, pioneering different projects across multiple business verticals. I’m passionate about what I do, I love watching my daughter grow and in my spare time I won’t say no to a good game of snooker while secretely hoping Christian Bale will star in another Batman movie.

Got any VPN questions? Do you want to know how a secure VPN can protect your online privacy, keep your digital footprint under control - and why it's important to make sure you choose the right one? Let us know in the comments below and our VPN specialist will reveal himself in an exclusive video where he will answer all your questions.

Let the questions flow and stay tuned!

Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

Comments

  • Giryoku
    Giryoku ✭✭✭

    Is it (even) essential to use a VPN on secure networks, like your home network?

  • Giryoku
    Giryoku ✭✭✭

    How important is it to be connected to a VPN? And do you need to be connected all the time? Or only on open networks?

  • Gjoksi
    Gjoksi DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2022 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭

    What are the benefits of a VPN connection? Thanks for your answer.

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod
    edited May 2022

    In general, what is the need of using the VPN when I know the websites that I am visiting on daily basis are safe & secure. Also, I know I have bitdefender actively running in background to protect me from malware and malicious/ phishing websites.

    Additionally, I am using uBlock Origin, AdGuard AdBlocker, Ghostery, Privacy Badger & Disconnect extension with all the filters activated on my web browser, without slowing down the browsing speed. I am also using extension HTTPS Everywhere & have disabled WebRTC in my browser.

    So, do I still need a VPN.

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod

    @Alexandru_BD, @Mike_BD

    When is this scheduled to happen !

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Hi,

    We are collecting all the questions from here, social media and the ones received on private channels as well and our VPN specialist will soon reveal himself and answer to our community members in a video. We'll share it here and on YouTube when it's ready.

    I know he's running on a very tight schedule these days, so I didn't want to apply more pressure and fix a date, to leave room for the unexpected, as his work is as dynamic as an IP :)

    We'll sync in the upcoming days and make this happen. Stay tuned.

    Cheers!

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod
    edited June 2022

    @Alexandru_BD, @Mike_BD - 1 month and counting, since this post was created, and we are still waiting.

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Gjoksi
    Gjoksi DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2022 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mrmirakhur @Alexandru_BD @Mike_BD

    it's 2 (two) months by now and we are still waiting... :)

  • Hi guys,

    I know, I know, we'll have the answers pretty soon. It has been a very busy period for our VPN teams and the deadlines got stretched a bit. I apologize for the delay..

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Clapton
    Clapton ✭✭✭
    edited July 2022

    hi all,,,i have questions or observations about VPN's to add to the discussion that may be valid (or not, perhaps i misunderstand the whole thing about VPN).

    these days, it seems like more and more products claim to use some sort of vpn type system ...

    in the past data mining was big business for marketing/advertisement industry. I suspect they used alot of info they gathered from our ip address and web surf habits and sold it or used those stats to focus product marketing at us, or even for possibly more nefarious uses.

    alot of those same big company's that in the past used to mine or sell our web surf info are now claiming to provide us with VPN protection, to me this is hard to believe, its kinda opposite of what they did in the past to make money, and possibly a lot of money was made selling and using our private surf info.

    web surf software such as internet explorer, firefox mozzilla, etc i think have add-ons of some sort that claim to have privacy and vpn protection of some sort. And even search engine add-ons like "DuckDuckGo" and "StartPage" etc etc etc... also claim to protect your surfing identity.


    So my Questions are -

    1 - Can we trust all these so called VPN type claims that are built into all these other big corporate companies products,companies that are not security companies to begin with. Are they really true VPN protection as they claim or is big brother still watching us despite his claims of not doing so?

    2 - Is there such a thing as too much VPN protection ? if your already surfing with products that claims VPN protection (say firefox and DuckDuckGo as an example) would also Using Bitdefenders VPN conflict with those and or others ? or is it a case of the more VPN you have the better ?

    3 - though Bitdefender VPN protects us from others seeing our IP address, does Bitdefender itself store/keep records of our surfing.

    4 - and lastly the most basic question in case its forgotten to be asked, what is a VPN actually protecting ?..

    • Is it protecting just our computers IP address from just the sites we visit.
    • Is it protecting our IP address from all the internet including firefox and internet explorer software too? ...
    • does it protect our geo physical location in the world or just our internet IP address..
    • At what point in the chain does Bitdefenders VPN begin to protect us? before or after we turn on say for example internet explorer or firefox..


    my apologies if some of my questions are newbie and totally wrong assumptions of the capabilities of VPN style products and what our IP addresses were used for in the past by big corporations, but i would like to better understand how this all works and weed through any paranoia based misconceptions, and coming from a security company like yours i feel i will get a more realistic/truthful unbiased explanation than we would from say corporations that in the past themselfs collected this info for profit etc.


    hopefully some of my thoughts are somewhat useful in helping your expert to clarify what is VPN its limitations and its strengths..

    Thank you :)

  • Hello everyone and many, many thanks for your patience!

    It's been a very busy period at Bitdefender HQ and the services of our VPN wizard were in high demand.

    Beloved members of the Community, it's my pleasure to reveal the man behind the invisibility cloak: Mr. Florin Andrei, the Bitdefender VPN Product Manager who will answer your questions in the video below:

    @Clapton stay tuned as your questions will also be answered soon! 😉

    Enjoy!

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Clapton
    Clapton ✭✭✭

    thank you Florin

  • Gjoksi
    Gjoksi DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2022 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for all your answers, Mr. Andrei. :)

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod
    edited July 2022

    Thanks for the required information 😎

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • flandrei
    flandrei Bitdefender VPN Product Manager BD Staff

    Hi Clapton,

    A bit overdue but here are my answers to your questions:

    1 - Can we trust all these so called VPN type claims that are built into all these other big corporate companies products,companies that are not security companies to begin with. Are they really true VPN protection as they claim or is big brother still watching us despite his claims of not doing so?

    Flandrei – It’s impossible to offer an answer that applies generally. The truth is that we need to due our homework for each provider. There’s obvious things we can research, such as company reputation, past or present shady activities, experience in the field, price (you know what they say for free products, if you’re not the customer you’re the product), transparency. My colleagues have compiled a very thorough list of criteria to consider when evaluating a VPN provider and I strongly encourage you to check it out on our blog - What makes a VPN trustworthy . While the list is quite exhaustive, it still can’t guarantee that you’ll choose a trustworthy provider but will probably get you to 99%, so you’ll still have to take a leap of faith for the remaining 1%.

    2 - Is there such a thing as too much VPN protection ? if your already surfing with products that claims VPN protection (say firefox and DuckDuckGo as an example) would also Using Bitdefenders VPN conflict with those and or others ? or is it a case of the more VPN you have the better ?

    Flandrei – DuckDuckGo is not actually a VPN so I  don’t expect to see any conflict, however Firefox has recently added their own VPN into their portfolio (based on Mullvad). Normally I’d recommend using only one VPN at the same time. On mobile devices the operating system does not allow the usage of multiple VPNs simultaneously. On Windows in theory it may work, but you’ll probably see a performance degradation so you’re actually better off sticking with just one VPN. Moreover, there isn’t much added benefit of using 2 VPNs at the same time as the encryption provided by a reliable and trustworthy VPN is powerful enough to resist any brute force attacks. Note, however that all browser extensions that claim privacy will only cover your browser traffic and not your entire device traffic.

    3 - though Bitdefender VPN protects us from others seeing our IP address, does Bitdefender itself store/keep records of our surfing.

    Flandrei – No, absolutely not. We only collect product telemetry data required to improve our service or address potential issues, as well as data that is required to establish the connection to the VPN node.

    4 - and lastly the most basic question in case its forgotten to be asked, what is a VPN actually protecting ?..

    • Is it protecting just our computers IP address from just the sites we visit.
    • Is it protecting our IP address from all the internet including firefox and internet explorer software too? ...
    • does it protect our geo physical location in the world or just our internet IP address..
    • At what point in the chain does Bitdefenders VPN begin to protect us? before or after we turn on say for example internet explorer or firefox..

    Flandrei - One of the main purposes of (probably) all security and privacy apps is to protect your data. While this is definitely an over-simplification, here’s my view:

    Your data is

    -       Located on your devices – this is where an endpoint security solution (what most still refer to as antivirus) is king. It safeguards your data from threats trying to enter your device and even threats already present on the device.

    -       Stored with third-parties that you’ve allowed explicitly – An array of services are useful but they probably don’t cover all the gaps: from Password managers and MFA tools that ensure your logins are safe, to digital footprint services that help you identify third-parties that hold your data and, with the support of legislation such as GDPR, can offer you a certain sense of control.

    -       Stored with third-parties that have obtained your data from other providers, with or without your consent –Difficult to identify especially when you don’t have a customer account with them. Few services occupy this space and with limited efficiency. Prevention is key here, with anti-trackers at the forefront.

    -       In transit between your devices and third-parties –As long as you’re connected to the Internet your device is transmitting data, regardless of what (or even if you’re using any) apps. This is where the VPN is most useful. The encryption it provides ensures that nobody can intercept your traffic and steal potentially sensitive data you’re transmitting.

    -       In transit between third-parties – Happening behind the scene, almost impossible for us, as end-users, to influence the security of these transfers. 

    Hope these help!

    Thank you,

    Flandrei

This discussion has been closed.