VPN for Dummies

Win 8.1 laptop
I am looking into setting up a VPN for use in my travels.

I've seen a number of tutorials for setting up a VPN in 8.1 but I have a few questions up front..

Who are reliable VPN providers? [my google was relatively unhelpful]
What do they generally charge?
What are the limitations to a VPN connection?
Can I enable/disable my VPN without causing problems?
LVL 10
Al JeeAsked:
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Tj aCommented:
I recently searched for a VPN and did a bit of research and this was probably the most useful article for me,

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403388,00.asp

and this article if you prefer free VPNs,

https://www.bestvpn.com/blog/11801/5-best-free-vpn/?nabe=6412130213429248:0&utm_referrer=https://www.google.com/

Some VPNs log you out after a specific number of hours, others are much slower than normal, others just don't have a lot of IP addresses to choose from. Hopefully these articles answer your questions.

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Al JeeAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I will look into the pcmag link.

I'm always leery of those websites with names like "best[anything].com.
I'm suspicious of their impartiality, but I'll have a glance.
Tj aCommented:
Yes me too, hence the pcmag review. They seem a bit more credible.
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Al JeeAuthor Commented:
:-)
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
If you only want to use VPN when you're away from home, then why pay someone else for it?

Most $100+ routers have a VPN server included. You just need to check "Enable" and setup a user and password.

After that, you can use your home's internet connection from anywhere, and the transfer between your laptop and your home router will be encrypted.

PS: routers usually have some form of ppptp server, which was broken. But it's still "good enough" for the average user.

HTH,
Dan
Al JeeAuthor Commented:
Interesting.
I'll have to see if my Verizon router will let me pull that off.
I'd rather use OpenVPN but this might be fun to play with.
Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
If you have an old unused machine (or can borrow one of Dave Baldwin's) you can turn that into a VPN server.

OpenVPN is not directly supported by Windows, but you can use L2TP/IPSEC if you want to use Windows' built-in VPN client and better encryption.

I've setup a VPN server with StrongSwan for IPSEC and xl2tpd for L2TP.
Fairly straightforward and fun to debug when things go south :)
Al JeeAuthor Commented:
A bit of points for Dan's helpful comments and the accept to Takunda Jora for the link that gave me what I needed.
Thanx!
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