Overview and Organization of the Secure Internet Service
The Secure Internet Service is a free online service that allows you to connect to the Internet over an SSL connection using VPN technology, and encypting all data to protect against eavesdropping and manipulation.
Dangers of the Internet
When using a public WLAN hotspot, where, for example, all users share one WEP key, it is comparatively easy for a third person to eavesdrop on the transmitted data. The data could also be read by the person operating the WLAN. Especially free access points are risky and sensitive data such as email should not be sent over these.
Untrusted Internet Connections
In the last years it became possible to connect to the Internet anywhere over a wireless LAN hotspot, be it a cafe or a hotel lobby.
Yet, when using such an Internet connection, it is important to mind about security. It is possible that a third person with malicious intent intercepts or manipulates the data sent between your PC and the server on the Internet. On such an Internet connection, you should not use protocols that are not encrypted, such as POP3, IMAP and SMTP (all three are used for email). As a concrete example, you should use utmost care when using one of the ways below to connect to the Internet:
- Free public WLAN access points
- paid wireless LAN hotspots
- Wireless Internet services at hotels and airports
But, you should also be careful when using a company LAN or an ISP to connect to the Internet. A system administrator or ISP staff with bad intentions could read your emails or even change data. You should also be careful when using one of the below ways to connect to the Internet.
- LANs where the administration staff cannot be trusted.
- LANs where users that cannot be trusted have access.
- Services offered by companies that cannot be trusted.
About the Secure Internet Service
The Secure Internet Service is a VPN Server offered by SoftEther Corporation, which provides a free secure gateway for Internet access. For more information on the principle, see Chapter 10.12.4 of the PacketiX Online Manual, Accessing the Internet Via a VPN Server's Local Bridge.
Encrypted data transfer environment
The VPN tunnel established by the Secure Internet Service automatically encrypts all data sent to servers on the Internet, such as web, mail and ftp servers up to the secure gateway server.
The Secure Internet Service gateway server receives the packages and sends them to the destination server, again encrypted by SSL.
That way, all transferred data is secured by encryoption along the full route. It effectively prevents third persons from intercepting or manipulating the data.
The gray, pipe-shaped tunnel on the above picture represents a the encrypted tunnel of a VPN session. Because the data transmitted over the tunnel is protected by SSLv3 encryption, the "eavesdropper" and "bad wireless LAN provider/communications company employee", marked in red, can't access the data within the tunnel.
The security of the Secure Internet Service gateway server
The Secure Internet Service gateway server is under surveillance by administrators 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is connected to the Internet by a trusted high speed connection. To handle heavy loads, it is operated by a VPN server cluster on 10 computers.
For details on the infrastructure of the Secure Internet Service, see the service overview.
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