Protecting online activity is becoming more essential every day. This is particularly true for journalists in hostile countries, but it’s even true for your typical user just trying to live their life. Public Wifi is notoriously dangerous and with the repeal of net neutrality ISPs are now free to collect and sell data about your browsing activity. It’s also a very sensitive topic for anyone operating blockchain nodes. Recently an Ethereum core developer called out how the light clients that many people use to connect to the network depend on a discovery protocol which can reveal IP addresses to anyone who’s looking. As worrisome as this is there is (some) hope.
How is this solved today?
Today, most people are familiar with VPNs and how they can help protect your anonymity online. These services, which can be paid or free, route user traffic through an encrypted connection to the VPN provider’s servers so that the users actual IP address is never revealed. But while they are often touted as a solution to user privacy, they aren’t without their own issues. A recent study by TheBestVPN showed that of the top 115 VPNs, 26 of them collect personally identifiable information like your IP address, location, bandwidth data, and connection timestamps. In other cases, VPNs (especially the free ones) sell user data and in some of the more appalling cases, VPNs have been shown to sell their customers bandwidth to 3rd parties like hacking groups which turn unsuspecting users into botnets.
The Marconi Protocol enables anyone to quickly and easily spin up their own secure gateway which essentially acts like a VPN. Since the user is managing everything there’s no need to place any trust in a 3rd party VPN provider who may be logging data or worse behind the users’ back. Like a VPN, all user traffic is routed over a secure connection (in this case a Marconi Pipe protected with 256-bit mutating encryption) to a separate exit node which protects the user’s original IP address. As an added bonus, this exit node can be hosted inside of a datacenter which may actually result in a performance increase since all user traffic can now traverse the high speed connections employed by most datacenters.
Steps for creating a Marconi Gateway
To learn how to create a Marconi Gateway, please visit our Github page for a step-by-step guide.