The Trouble with VPN and Privacy Review Sites

There's a massive problem in the privacy world. Websites, social media accounts, and other platforms are constantly popping up out of nowhere, telling you to buy The Greatest Service Ever in order to solve all your privacy woes, whatever that may be. These websites often employ marketing teams to make sure their "reviews" are what you see first when you begin your research. Some of them are even operated by VPN providers themselves, operating under anonymous business entities to hide their bias, or doing it right out in the open, hoping you'll mistake their advertising-filled press releases and blogs as insider knowledge of the VPN space.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.privacytools.io/the-trouble-with-vpn-and-privacy-reviews/
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I may or may not use Mullvad, but it’s a phenomenal VPN service.

Speedy, and they even have a Linux app with WireGuard.

Mullvad doesn’t know my email address, my name, or even my credit card number. Once a year, you can sent them a card with $100 in it and your account number, and you are good to go.

Mullvad contributes to WireGuard, and not to VPN touts.

Been looking for a replacement for PIA. I hear good things about Mullvad.

No doubt you nail it. But isn’t that similar with any online scheme? I get it… ‘It’s yours absolutely free for just 4 easy installments of too much for too little… but if we hurry…’

As this post/topic IS about, in part, “Privacy Review Sites”, one must take with a grain or 10 of salt any advice from anywhere, especially in Review sites. One only has to search for “anti-virus” and too many sites review it, but are affiliates of each one, and every one received a darn good review, balancing the lot so they are all great.
Except of course for real ‘labs’ that truly test AVs and provide unbiased results and are not supported by AV companies.

One Internet generation saw it coming and know better, while those that suckled the Internet teat are well assimilated. I say leave them to their ways - at least we know they are being looked after :slight_smile:

Eaxmple, Facebook is full of review stuff from everyone to anyone all starting with “The Truth Is”, or “The Real Truth”… I think we are evolving apart from each other. There are those that take the time to understand how things work, why they work the way they do, and how to avoid the trashnet. As for the others, the victims of a Google leash or stuck in a Microsoft playpen or both, at least we know where they are corralled instead of free-range.
This is a good thing. :peace_symbol:

Of course I’m not being facetiously cynical. Just say’n s’all

~O~

RestorePrivacy (the site where the screenshot is taken from) is imho one of the best resources when looking for advice on privacy matters. VPNs are just a small part of the site and it was very unfair to take a screenshot and present it as an example insinuating false accusations. Did the author at least had a look at the whole site?

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That’s fantastic, but in terms of threat model, you’re still trusting AWS/DO/GCE/Azure/whatever. My hope with a good VPN service is that they’ll run their own servers in a data center, so they’re slightly less subject to audit than something running on AWS.
you’re always trusting someone. If you don’t use a VPN (or Tor or I2P) you’re trusting your ISP.If you use a VPN service, you’re trusting it. If you run your own VPN on a VPS or server, you’re trusting the provider.

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I moved from PIA to Mullvad and so far it’s been a great experience. The account was very easy to set up, the app is very easy to use, and it seems to be faster than PIA. There’s definitely some quirks, and the mobile experience can be glitchy, but that even happened with PIA sometimes so it’s not too big of a deal. Overall I absolutely recommend Mullvad to anyone looking to leave PIA.