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Old 18-07-2014, 20:32   #61
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Re: Offshore Without a Land Address

You can port a number to google voice. Also look at

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Old 21-07-2014, 08:50   #62
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Re: Offshore Without a Land Address

Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
"Virtual Private Network"

This provides two functions: it encrypts your link between your computer and the VPN server, and it makes your apparent location that of the VPN server's connection to the greater Internet.
What he said.

I like the added security (at least makes it more difficult to hack the local Wifi segment..which likely is not very secure) for important transactions. For example, I easily gained Admin access to a local hub recently (for legitimate reasons) because the default admin ID and password had not been changed...I could have easily logged all data passing thru the hub to a file to hack thru passing thru using a VPN would be encrypted and more challenging to hack.

And it makes it easy to work around web sites that block access, or change their behavior, to foreign IPs. Very few bother to dig a little deeper and discover you are running thru a VPN.

Lots of options out there. I currently use OpenVPN.

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Old 21-07-2014, 09:06   #63
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Re: Offshore without a Land Address

Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
US passports allow you to fill in the address in PENCIL!
That's so when you're overseas you can pencil in your temp overseas address in case you lose the passport. Then you can erase it when you move.
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Old 21-07-2014, 15:54   #64
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Re: Offshore Without a Land Address

The VPN info is very interesting. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a caveman when it comes to this stuff but I need to get up to speed so as to function out there. Lot's of shoals and reefs, metaphorically speaking.

Again, many thanks to those who responded - it is much appreciated. And not just for me, it seems.

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Old 22-07-2014, 03:17   #65
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Re: Offshore Without a Land Address

Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
The VPN info is very interesting. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a caveman when it comes to this stuff but I need to get up to speed so as to function out there. Lot's of shoals and reefs, metaphorically speaking.
Jeff Siegel has written some very understandable descriptions of VPNs. The prices, offers, and even service providers are a bit dated but the information is solid. You might want to read his WiFi newsletters also.

ActiveCaptain VPN article
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Old 22-07-2014, 12:50   #66

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Re: Offshore Without a Land Address

A VPN basically ensures that all of your traffic is routed through a private secured local network. Except, instead of that network being in your office or home, the central server is someplace "out there". All traffic to and from "there" is encrypted, so the many hands and eyes that are passing your traffic around can't read it. (In theory, and ignoring certain agencies.)

The pros and cons of using a VPN are first, cost. They are a service, they are for people who REALLY WANT that service, so they charge for it. Or, bug you with ads, often the kind of ads that give advertising a bad name.

If you are willing to pay the cost (and you can run your own VPN software on a typical home computer, if you have some location ashore you can set that up in) then the setup is fairly simple these days.

But some web sites, some services, some sailing forums, will not allow traffic that comes from these VPNs, as they want to know who they are dealing with. So it isn't perfect.

And if you are using a commercial VPN, you have to ask "Who are those guys?" because yes, they could be spying on your traffic too. So look for one with a good reputation and track record, not some new guys in eastern Europe or the Orient. Or Detroit.(G)

As a practical matter, if your email server and your important web sites (bank, broker) are all using SSL and HTTPS secured formats, you're probably OK, as long as the rest of your traffic is "not worth the effort" for anyone else to impersonate.
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Old 22-07-2014, 14:12   #67
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Re: Offshore Without a Land Address

A little off-topic, and maybe too nerdy/geeky, but if you have problems with a VPN, look into a simple cloud-hosted computer. For various reasons the commercial VPNs don't always work for me. So I have a very simple cloud-based server provided by, maintained by, and operated by Rackspace for me. Costs $50/month (more than most VPN solutions, but not terrible). If you're one of those blogging sailors you can even use it to host your blog.

I can either remote desktop or VPN (or both usually) into the hosted machine, then I am operating a "computer" that is in the US, has a US IP...

Amazon, Microsoft, Rackspace, and many, many others now provide hosted solutions, and having a "computer" that appears to be in the US can make life much easier. Microsoft Azure has a very low budget ("extra small") server that costs less than $20/month, and if you don't keep it running all the time costs even less.

I recognize that that is probably more than 95% of the people here want to deal with, but if you're in that boat of needing a US (or any other country) logical presence as well as a physical address it can be done.
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Old 22-07-2014, 15:21   #68
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Re: Offshore Without a Land Address

A not or two on the foreign asset reporting requirements-I aw the WSJ article and for the most part found it to be bunk. You are indeed required to report foreign bank account holdings in excess of $10K. You are also required to report foreign asset holdings in certain circumstances. And while the IRS does have the ability to fine you a substantial amount for failing to file, I know of no case where they have done so unless the failure to report was willful and continuing. If you forget, you can file the form late, and the penalties are not too burdensome if done within a reasonable amount of time. As a ta attorney, I would never advise a client to attempt to give up citizenship over foreign bank accounts. In fact, renouncing citizenship is not an easy, nor a cheap, process. I have had clients who conserved it and found it too expensive to do, and I have had some who decided to pay the toll and do it. There are several other provisions of the tax code that can make renouncing citizenship a very expensive proposition.

On reporting foreign assets, we did have an interesting issue with a client. He is a US citizen and owns a "megayacht". It is registered in the Caymans, as many if not most are, and is held by a Cayman corporation and he and his wife are the only shareholders. We found out this year that he needs to report it each year as a foreign asset holding. Given its value, it generates several letters back and forth with the IRS. as it is in charter. Interestingly, if he had put it in a US corp or LLC, there would be no reporting required.

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