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If I have a router that has a vulnerability that allows an attacker to gain full control it, does using a VPN on the network with the said router prevent an attacker from being able to snoop on the connection?

In other words, does using a VPN secure the connection from a device to a router? And would a VPS make a difference in this scenario?

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  • $\begingroup$ Think about VPN as "a secure connection over an insecure network (i.e. Internet)". It assumes that every device (including your router) is compromised, and still guarantees a secure connection. You can roughly think about it this way: you encode your message on your PC, and the server decodes this message. Even if other devices intercept the message, they won't be able to decode it. $\endgroup$
    – user114966
    Aug 22, 2020 at 0:03
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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it's about computer usage, not about computer science. It would be on-topic (but probably a duplicate) on Super User or Information Security. $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2020 at 12:20

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If you're talking about a VPN that extends to your PC/device, and similarly on the other side of the communications, and the insecure router somewhere in the path in between, then yes, an attacker should not be able to eavesdrop/snoop on the connection. The traffic would be encrypted and the attacker would not be able to understand it. This is one of the points of using the VPN in the first place. It creates a "virtual" private network over infrastructure (including routers) that may be insecure. If it doesn't even offer you this protection, then what is the point of using the VPN in the first place?

If you're talking about a site-to-site VPN, where traffic to/from your PC/device needs to get to/from the entry point of the VPN through, say, your office infrastructure, and if your office infrastructure is not otherwise secured, and this insecure router is part of that office infrastructure, then yes, an attacker may be able to eavesdrop/snoop, but even then it is not bypassing the privacy guarantee of the VPN, because the eavesdropping/snooping would be happening outside of the path that is protected by the VPN.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. How can I know what the entry point of my VPN is? $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2020 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ If you have some "vpn software" running on your PC, it is probably extending tio your PC/device. Ste-to-site VPNs are more commonly found in some enterprise environments where you may not be installing anything special on your PC/device, and the IT admins have set up the network so that traffic meant for machines in other locations/offices (of your company) will go through the site-to-site VPN $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2020 at 18:33

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