Ideally, every VPN service provider would subject itself to independent audits to verify that it logs and operates as it claims. Right now, audits aren’t common practice in the VPN industry, though there’s a push to change that. Joseph Jerome, policy counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, told us about that group’s efforts to bring transparency to the VPN industry: “We would like to see security audits released publicly so security researchers can review them and attest to their veracity, as well as learn from the issues being identified.” The few companies we found that currently performed these types of audits had other dismissal-worthy failings, despite their valiant efforts toward transparency. And while such reports may increase your confidence when you’re shopping, there’s no guarantee that an audit makes a VPN service trustworthy: In other industries, conflicts of interest have led auditors and rating agencies (PDF) to miss or ignore major problems.
Cons: Tedious to get online. Comparatively few servers. Unclear where virtual servers are located. Unfamiliar legal situation. Some features didn't work in testing.
After an MA (and most of a PhD) in psycholinguistics, he fully committed to digital and print journalism. With over 10 years of professional writing experience, he’s written about everything related to online privacy and technology.
Some users will also want to research a VPN provider’s peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing policies. There are VPNs that block torrents. Others turn a blind eye to them, but will sell you out in a heartbeat should you be up to no good. P2P is not our main focus here, but we will note in each review whether a particular provider allows file sharing or not.
No Yes Many people use VPNs for media streaming, such as gaining access to the vast, region specific catalogue of movies and TV show from the likes of Netflix. Unsurprisingly, streaming services aren’t hugely keen on you doing this, and are taking increasingly sophisticated steps to try to quell this activity.
UPDATE: It took a *week and a half* for PureVPN to finally give me my money back. Every day I kept telling them I didn't want to try to fix whatever was wrong and why it wasn't working on my system, but every day they would e-mail me and tell me they're looking into getting me a refund but I should let them try to fix the problem first. *Every* day for a week and a half this went on. The same thing from them over and over and over!
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