VPNs that will not run in User login

  1.    1 Week Ago #1

    VPNs that will not run in User login


    I stopped using one of the most highly rated and popular VPNs when the program changed and refused to run for any User. It would only run when an Admin was logged in. The program/service is Private Internet Access (PIA).

    I have always read that it is a good security practice to run my machines as a Standard User except when Admin logon is necessary. (This would be a logon with membership in Admins group.P This seems pretty rare. I can install most programs and do updates simply by entering an Admin account credential in a popup User Access Control dialog box. None of this concerns the hidden Administrator account.

    Even PIA has a "good security practices" guide that recommends running mostly in User mode. The author of the guide obviously didn't talk to the PIA programmers or marketing people.

    I have never seen a review site for VPNs that mentions this issue. Maybe it's because most of them profit by links to the VPN publishers. The "reviews" are usually no more that a tabulation of the claims made by the VPN companies. For example, a VPN may be rated more highly if it has more servers. Or maybe it's only PIA that has this problem, and it isn't obvious unless you go deep in its documentation.

    Am I out of date on this point, perhaps? Does everyone simply run their machines, and machines they set up for others, always with Admin logins? That is: Don't worry, be happy.
    Last edited by Randysea; 1 Week Ago at 00:23. Reason: clarify user categories
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,877
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       1 Week Ago #2

    The terms may be confusing, there's a User with administrative rights [nearly full rights], a Standard User [more restrictive in what they can do] and the hidden by default Administrator. It never recommended to routinely run that hidden Administrator. The hidden Administrator has full rights that can do the most.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    1 Week Ago #3

    Sorry if I was not clear. I am talking about running as a Standard User most of the time for security. That is what I do myself. I doubt I actually need to login as a member of Admins (that is, a User with admin rights) more than once in a few months. The rest is handled through the UAC popup.

    I haven't ever enabled the hidden Adminstrator account on my main, 3-year old machine. I did it for a brief period on my previous main machine, but disabled it when I no longer needed it.

    I have just edited the OP to reflect this clarification.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 7,037
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1809 17763.134
       5 Days Ago #4

    Can you run it as Administrator from a Standard user account?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    5 Days Ago #5

    Nope.

    When you "run as administrator," the main program exe file will run as admin. But (I think) that PIA has one or more background processes or services that must also be running as admin. The reason I think this is a bit complicated. PIA support certainly wouldn't give me any details.

    What I discovered was that when PIA was set to start up automatically, or even if I manually started it, it wouldn't run but it would prevent me from starting up any other VPN service. By using TaskManager, I found a couple of processes I thought were related to PIA. I forced them to shut, and then I could run another VPN service.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 

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