Can you trust your VPN? It’s a question you need to be asking, as the industry comes under greater scrutiny.
VPN scams are going to be a bigger topic in the coming years, as the industry becomes exposed.
Facebook recently ended it’s free Onavo VPN over data re-selling and user data harvesting allegations, only adding to increasing concerns the VPN industry is untrustworthy. You may have already seen some reviews from a site called VPNScam.com, exposing some of these issues. The site is fairly new and it appears to be the work of a lone individual concerned about the VPN industry. We want to first fully endorse the excellent work of this site, and say that we agree with its conclusions.
Our review will offer further, additional information about the industry and what to look for.
Let’s go over, briefly, how a VPN works and what it offers the end-user:
- VPNs are a popular, cheap way to hide your personal IP address and location.
- They re-route your Internet traffic through different ISPs (Internet Service Providers) around the world.
- They can be useful in blocking advertisers, hackers and government snoops.
Now, let’s look at a brief overview as to why the VPN industry is under serious scrutiny:
- New information is coming out that very popular VPNs are not to be trusted.
- Some of these companies are selling user logs and user data.
- Some of these companies are outright lying about not keeping user logs.
- Some of these companies are “shell” companies created by intelligence agencies.
- Some of these companies are failing to protect your IP address.
- Some of these companies have compromised security.
- Some of these companies are buying reviews on popular review sites.
The very purpose of a VPN is to PROTECT your privacy, but the industry is utterly failing in its stated purpose. Many users are being misled, and many users are not even aware that there is a controversy present!
You may be wondering what VPNs you should avoid that may be VPN scams
Let’s look at a list of providers and we will offer our appraisal:
Some of the more popular choices include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, CyberGhost, TunnelBear, Hola, StrongVPN, HideMyAss, GooseVPN, Private Internet Access, SurfShark, IPVanish, PureVPN, and the list goes on. Many of these “top” products have been suspected of buying or purchasing reviews on top-ranked “review” sites like TheBestVPN.com. This review site is a source for tremendous Google traffic searching for reviews
We understand that for the end-user, it is very temping to believe these reviews and join any of the above polished companies! Their advertising campaigns and websites are top-notch, their claims seemingly truthful, their software seemingly secure. But we would warn our visitors: it’s not just the VPN industry that is corrupt, it is practically every industry run by American and European companies due to systemic corruption (our site will be exposing more of these scams in the future).
What about NordVPN, which seems to be ranked #1 across the Internet?
Another top review site is CNET, which most Google search users will find right away at the top of the rankings. Unfortunately, CNET is not to be trusted, due to their close relationship with the U.S. Government and what are believed to be hundreds of “sanitized” reviews that are pre-approved by intelligence agencies before release. You will notice immediately in their review that NordVPN is listed at the top, as the number one choice.
That makes us suspect, as NordVPN has been exposed here by VPNScam.com as being a potential honeypot as well as having a relationship with data-mining company Tesonet. A popular review site, VPNMentor, run by a former Google employee, has confirmed the Tesonet relationship (despite this, they unbelievably still rank NordVPN as #1!). This should concern everyone, as NordVPN is being heavily promoted with a massive advertising budget. The argument in defense of NordVPN is that they are “located” in Panama, a country known for its respect for privacy; unfortunately, Panama has also shared a close relationship with the CIA for decades, and more recently, China’s intelligence agency, the MSS. It would not surprise us if the move to Panama was simply done as a “cover” for potential questions.
We don’t fully endorse any top-ranked VPN
We can safely say we do not endorse any VPN product that appears on a “top ranked” Google review site, or any that appear on the first page of Google, due to the risk they have purchased these reviews! Any product that appears within the top five of any list should be suspect in the mind of the user as VPN scams become more prolific.
The industry is so corrupt, we are at a point we cannot endorse a single Virtual Private Network product on planet Earth. At best, we can offer two we have used and have felt some mild assurance are not completely corrupt and compromised. They are Golden Frog’s VyprVPN and Mullvad.
Of the two, Mullvad appears to be the best, the most private, one of the cheapest (It’s $5 Euros per month) and the service speed is excellent. The “app” you download for your computer is also sleek and easy to use, and offers some nice features. You can make a purchase 100% anonymously with Bitcoin or other funds, and your user account is nothing but a number. They do not even require an email address. This ensures the closest relationship they could ever have with you is the location of your IP address, without any name or identifying information.
On the other hand, Golden Frog claims to have been fully “audited” and claims they do not keep user logs. They are located in Switzerland. Out all VPNs, Golden Frog appears to have made the most effort to have themselves audited by reputable auditing companies to verifying their claims.
Now, you may be saying to yourself, “You just warned us not to trust any review, yet ForexTradeSystemReviews.com just told me to try out Mullvad. That seems odd.”
Let’s be clear: we have no financial relationship with Mullvad whatsoever. We do use Mullvad, but we cannot guarantee it is safe. It is simply the best one we have found, and at the very least, it offers true anonymity in the sign-up process. They also appear to have very few “paid” style reviews, if any at all, compared to other VPNs whose positive reviews are ubiquitous.
That does not mean they do not keep logs of your IP, or expose other information. They very well may; there is no true way to know for sure. The fact they are based in Sweden only offers mild assurance, as Sweden is also home to a massive intelligence data operations center. However, the Swedish government does offer their own strong privacy laws they must, or should, abide by.
How much do I really need to worry about my VPN privacy?
If you are doing nothing wrong, then there is little to worry about. Your main cause for concern would be advertisers who want to know your personal location and information and could glean that from your real IP address. There is also the concern of hackers, who may wish to track you. A VPN can help with both of those activities. Beyond that, many users do not want the government spying on them, and a VPN should offer a firewall protection against that. However, if the VPNs are working for the intelligence agencies — or even run by them — this entirely defeats the purpose.
You may also wish to express your opinions online without retribution, as free speech is increasingly under threat. A VPN could be used to mask some of your activities and opinions that — while legal — are increasingly coming under threat from hostile governments and groups who wish to suppress free speech.
I’ve heard about Tor, is that a good alternative?
We do not recommend Tor for a few reasons. While it is completely anonymous and virtually impossible for government agencies to penetrate, entering or leaving still leaves a “footprint” that is difficult to avoid without advanced IP masking techniques. It is also well-known that Tor users are “flagged” for using the service, and are placed on a government “watch list”. The mere act of using Tor and the Tor Browser could put a target on your back, so to speak. We also do not see much use for the so-called “Dark Net” as it is a hive and den for illegal activities, which should be avoided at all costs.
As always, our site does not use affiliate links nor have any financial relationship with any product. The same cannot be said for virtually any of the bogus “review” sites that appear at the top of the Google search results. Buyer beware! Most of these “review” sites are in financial relationships with the products they review, making them completely untrustworthy.
We. Don’t. Do. That.
We don’t sell anything, use affiliate links, use ads or have any financial relationship with anything on our website. We recommend at least bookmarking our site for future use, as we expand our operation exposing more scams and corruption.
We also recommend this video below, which exposes why free VPNs can’t be trusted:
For further, more in-depth coverage of the VPN scams issue, we recommend the excellent articles at VPNScam.com. This is an on-going issue with little interest or oversight, so we will be updating this review as the years proceed. The problem is that so much of the Internet is completely corrupt, is difficult to reach the consumer and warn them.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, shoot me an email or find me on Twitter.
Don’t forget to check out my latest article on why most crypto and Bitcoin users lose money.
Let’s Beat The System Together,