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[–] Prophet_60091_ 3 points 47 points (+50|-3) ago 

Private Internet Access. It's a paid service, but the install and interface is really good and they have support. The biggest attraction for me is that they do not keep logs by design. This way if a government entity tries to force them to turn over user activity they can say "fuck off, there is literally nothing we can give you."

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[–] WilsonJones-LV17A 0 points 28 points (+28|-0) ago 

I use them. They've been pretty good so far.

Not keeping logs helps. However, to my knowledge, they've resisted publishing a warrant canary. To me, that's troubling. Why, you ask? Here's my Devil's Advocate argument. Please feel free to critique it.

Say the government wants to conduct on-going surveillance on your activities through PIA's VPN service. They go to PIA, grab their stuff, and issue a warrant to them saying that they can't tell their customer a base a thing. Sure, there are no logs for PAST activities. So they grab the private encryption keys and START logging things. Bang. Gotcha.

A warrant canary would help mitigate this scenario. It's relatively easy to implement. Yet they resist doing so. Why? The only official response is that warrant canaries "haven't been tested in court yet" back in 2013. They also haven't published a transparency report (to my knowledge).

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[–] bozarkin 0 points 22 points (+22|-0) ago 

PIA pops up as primary choice on most forums any time someone asks about VPN. I have used them, and they are fast and reliable indeed. If you are at an airport or hotel and you want to VPN in order not to send all your stuff un-encrypted over the local WiFi, where it could easily be read or if you want to pretend to be in a different country to watch locally restricted content, this thus may be a good option.

When it comes to security, though: We know nothing about them.

You trust this company that nobody knows anything about. You have to believe everything they say. How safe does that seem?

If you trust forum posts, keep in mind that people have and still do post that Tor will anonymize you on the web, and then time and again people who do criminal stuff on there are arrested by the FBI.

If I were law enforcement, I would set up honey traps as well and then have shills post to naive users that they should trust these resources. Just saying.

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[–] gbj1301 0 points 13 points (+13|-0) ago 

Also they are an American company and it is known that some VPN's buy favorable reviews. You should take everything regarding VPN's with a grain of salt. Personally for me, the fact that they are an American company is enough to drive me away.

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[–] anticlutch 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

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[–] Pinyaka 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I'm going to play devil's advocate and say that warrant canaries aren't really that great anyway. They are used to signify that the service provider has been served with a warrant and a gag order. This will usually mean that one user or one group of users has been targeted by law enforcement. The expired warrant canary is almost universally interpreted by the average advocate as a signal that it's time to jump ship. This standard of only using service providers that have never been served a silent warrant (but still operate in jurisdictions that allow silent warrants) is excessively paranoid and hurtful to services that actually work to protect your privacy in those jurisdictions. If knowing when your service provider has to turn over information to law enforcement is important to you, buy your service from a trusted provider in a country that doesn't allow gag orders. If people keep bailing on companies that honestly use warrant canaries then we will end up bankrupting those businesses while aggregating on companies that are willing to lie about whether they've been served.

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[–] Snownewh 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Second this. I like how simple it is to use. The fact that you can download their app and use it right on your phone is great. A lot of people talk against american vpns, but ironically america has stronger laws governing electronic privacy than the eu.

[–] [deleted] 1 points 4 points (+5|-1) ago  (edited ago)

[Deleted]

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[–] jeblis 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I certainly wouldn't trust and service to not be compromised by the government. It certainly will make it more difficult for the average law enforcement agency, but probably a VPN is best used for avoiding civil issues.

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[–] UJ00tsn1ps_x_ 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

They are really good, however I have encountered several problems: Their servers are banned from posting on 4chan due to misuse, and I cannot log in to certain sites since the ip's are known to be vpn's and are not allowed.

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[–] Pinyaka 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Yeah, hulu is the one site that I consistently have to turn off the VPN for.

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[–] RoBatten 0 points 18 points (+18|-0) ago 

I like Mullvad, used it for a few years now. Tried Boleh, that's good too. I'd watch out for US based vpn's, like Private Internet Access. They may respond to US demands easier than others based outside of US.

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[–] AgentOrange 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Seconding Mullvad. Cheap, works, no data cap, no bandwidth limit, OpenVPN access. The IPv6 support is nice, too.

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[–] Pinyaka 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I use PIA but am thinking about switching over to Mullvad when my year ends. Are you in the US? If so, what server do you use and what kind of lag do you experience?

[–] [deleted] 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] Diggit 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

It's only like, $3 or $4/month isn't it? For the measures they take, it's worth it. Especially if you use Dark Net.

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[–] gbj1301 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

Here is also a thread by @Flux that goes over in detail how to increase your privacy online.

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[–] Flux 1 points 4 points (+5|-1) ago 

ayy, while im here I recommend one of the following: cryptostorm, mullvad, or blackVPN

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[–] gbj1301 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Thank's for your writeup/post. Invaluable when people are recommending hidemyass :)

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[–] User_5X22_Dawn 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Wondering if we could get your opinion on the benefits or drawbacks of always using OpenVPN as opposed to a client provided by the VPN service. Also, if using OpenVPN is that much more valuable, how are you setting this up? Some kind of bash script on login?

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[–] Voluptuous_Panda 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Sorry, I don't understand VPN's very well, can someone please explain it? Essentially it's a way to mask where you are by bouncing your connection from somewhere else correct? Is there a concern when you login to one of your services then? Say you login to your email or Voat or some other website, is the privacy concern up to that individual website?

[–] [deleted] 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago  (edited ago)

[Deleted]

[–] [deleted] 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] Voluptuous_Panda 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

Thank you. I recall someone stating that using the Tor browser was useless if you login to your accounts (which confused). In addition I remember reading something about emails that interface with Gmail aren't safe either as Google has access to them and has the ability to go through them (which I don't understand either since the emails should be encrypted should they not?).

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[–] GeorgePBurdell 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

But your traffic has to exit the vpn at their servers. All they have to do is monitor the vpn traffic. It shifts your traffic but you still aren't totally secure AFAIK.

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[–] BlurryScreen 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I'd use privacytools.io to get a good option of the field of more trusted VPNs at least when it comes to privacy (in the end of the day we have to take the word of the VPN provider but at least there are more trust in VPNs that are located in more privacy secured countries). My choice would be IVPN (Tried NordVPN and proxy.sh).

  • NordVPN was cheaper and didn't have any feel of privacy concerns however for me at least availability was a bit lacking (server list always have more than my liking of down servers), there were at least always 1 regional server open at advertised regions but it was sometimes busy and slow.

  • Proxy.sh, there were some concerns with this service and it ultimately came down to some concerns of an open ended privacy policy which ultimately made me move away from them after the month of testing. Their service was pretty fast had no issues of downtime or slow down.

  • IVPN - currently using these guys and they are pretty fast always has their servers open (no downtime) and their client has a nifty firewall that blocks all traffic if off VPN if needed. In the end its a good balance for me and I enjoy it. the 2 hop servers are nice as well for the extra private person and surprisingly the latency is pretty much on par with single hop.

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[–] definitelynotabot 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I did a lot of research before choosing and I'm not sure why more people don't talk about IVPN. You can pay for it with cash, they're based outside the USA and have servers all over the world, not to mention they have the multi-hop options as well, they have a warrant canary and I find they're very detailed with their privacy policy. I've been happy with them, and I plan on renewing when my subscription is out.

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[–] PM_ME_YOUR_ARCHES 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

If you want a free vpn, I've used softether before. I think one of my Windows updates messed it up though, so I switched to a Chrome extension called Zenmate, it's not bad.

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[–] Techman 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

I wouldn't trust free VPN services at all. You're trusting that entity with your data, and it's probably riskier then just trusting your own ISP. Some free VPNs inject ads into unsecured traffic, among other things. I always recommend a paid VPN service, and at that: PrivateInternetAccess.

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[–] PM_ME_YOUR_ARCHES 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I don't use a VPN for privacy, I use it to get around certain blocks my ISP has. I really only connect to the VPN when I come across something that has been blocked, which is why softether was so frustrating when it stopped working. Every hour or so I would try to connect and it took me 10-20 minutes.

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[–] AnTi90d 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I use SoftEther all the time with the VPNGate plugin.

The countries available change throughout the day, so any given country might not be currently listed at the time you check, but it's been exceptionally reliable and easy to use.

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[–] PM_ME_YOUR_ARCHES 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Have you ever had issues with not being able to connect? It got to the point where I would have to click on 5-10 different countries before I could connect to one. At first I thought I was having a problem with my internet speed, but I checked it and it hadn't dropped. I'm pretty sure it happened just after I had a Windows update but I have no idea if that was the cause of the issue. It was very annoying because I really liked softether, it was always fast and easy to use. I tried reinstalling it a couple of times, and that seemed to fix the problem, but only for a couple of hours.

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[–] MrPeach 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

thanks for the post, I'm interested too.

I've recently stumbled upon https://hide.me but have no idea what their supposed privacy disclaimer means in real terms.

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[–] anticlutch 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

They're good.

It's what I use.

They have a part in the trusted VPN list by torrentfreak.

Here;

Do you keep ANY logs which would allow you to match an IP-address and a time stamp to a user of your service? If so, exactly what information do you hold and for how long?

We have developed our system with an eye of our customer’s privacy, so we created a distributed VPN cluster with independent public nodes that do not store any customer data or logs at all. Link: https://hide.me/en/legal#privacy


Under what jurisdictions does your company operate and under what exact circumstances will you share the information you hold with a 3rd party?

We’re a Malaysian incorporated company which is not subject to any mandatory data retention laws. We strictly do not log any personal data to avoid legal liability, and to ensure your online privacy. Furthermore we do not store any logfile on our VPN servers, it’s not our job to monitor or filter your data.


What tools are used to monitor and mitigate abuse of your service?

We only offer our services based on our ToS, and we have a zero tolerance on any kind of abuse. Nevertheless it is not our job to monitor or control our user’s activities, that’s also a main reason why we don’t throttle or block any kind of traffic.


In the event you receive a DMCA takedown notice or European equivalent, how are these handled?

Since we don’t store any logs and/or host copyright infringing material on our services, we’ll reply to these notices accordingly.


What steps are taken when a valid court order asks your company to identify an active user of your service?

The company is incorporated in Malaysia. If a court order is received from a recognized legal authority with jurisdiction over hide.me then the company shall comply with that order. However, the company cannot be compelled to hand over information which it does not have. When a customer signs up we request as little information as possible; a valid email address. If it ever becomes required by law for us to keep a persistent log of our customers connections or any personal data relating to their network activity, we will immediately notify our customers and do everything in our power to move jurisdictions or close the service to protect those who entrust their privacy to us.


Is BitTorrent and other file-sharing traffic allowed on all servers? If not, why?

BitTorrent is allowed on all locations without restrictions. However, we encourage our users to avoid the US/UK locations for their filesharing activities.


Which payment systems do you use and how are these linked to individual user accounts?

We support over 80 international payment methods, including Paypal, Credit Cards, Bank transfer, PaySafeCard and UKash. All payments are handled by external payment providers and are linked to a temporary payment ID. This temporary payment ID can not be connected to the users VPN account/activity. After the payment is completed, the temporary payment ID will be permanently removed from the database.


What is the most secure VPN connection and encryption algorithm you would recommend to your users?

Our most secure VPN connection is IPsec over IKEv2 (AES-256 / SHA-512) and OpenVPN with AES-256 using a 4096-bit SHA-512 HMAC authentication. We strongly recommend IKEv2 since it’s performaning really fast and is more reliable than OpenVPN. We are one of the few providers that support a wide range of protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec (IKEv1 & IKEv2), L2TP/IPSec and PPTP.

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[–] MrPeach 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Thanks!

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