Which VPN is right for you? We took a look at 14 options worth considering

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/21/which-vpn-is-right-for-you-we.html

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howabout I just use all of them, that would be better right?

I use the VPN I get free with my Kaspersky Internet security package. It works great even when I am in our house in Bulgaria several months each year. Bulgaria is fire-walled by many servers due to its reputation as a pirate cove. They have never let me down in many years of use.

Apparently all of them, plus Kaspersky.


I use VPN Unlimited, got an unlimited service for 35$ from you guys years ago and it’s still going

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I use Windscribe, which I like a lot… but of course I just see the front end. I tried KeepSolid, but, if I remember correctly, I found that it is based in Russia. They had an address in some anonymous house in Queens or Nassau County, Long Island, but that didn’t seem quite right. I like that Windscribe is based in Canada, FiveEyes notwithstanding.

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I use ProtonVPN, from the makers of ProtonMail.

I’ve trialed several VPNs and decided upon NordVPN.

The three main criteria for me are:

  1. Not part of the 14 prying eyes countries.
  2. Multiple and numerous worldwide server locations.
  3. Not too much of a reduction in speed.

This site does a good job comparing and detailing many VPN offerings.


Who exactly is this “We?” Name names.

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I was curious, so checked the VPNs on offer with that site:

  • NordVPN is considered shady (see below)
  • SlickVPN is considered shady and broken
  • VeePN, BulletVPN, FastestVPN are not listed
  • Hola!VPN logs traffic
  • HolaVPN, KeepSolid, TigerVPN and WifiMask log timestamps, bandwidth and IP, and don’t offer leak protection for DNS servers
  • all but NordVPN mostly fail on activism (e.g. anonymous payment etc.)

If I were shopping for a VPN, I’d look at Ivacy, NordVPN, Surfshark, VPN.asia and maybe VPN Secure first.

Shady means it has more than 4 ethics “violations” on the comparison chart. That might still be a fine VPN for many people.

You could tunnel a VPN through another VPN. All you need to do is set up VPN on your router, and then another VPN on your router.

GL-Inet has a couple of travel routers that support OpenVPN, e.g. the Greta, Slate, Brume, Shadow or Mango.

Having VPN on your router also bypasses limitations on concurrent devices in that VPN, and in your hotel network.

How do you like it? I’ve been halfheartedly looking at vpns for a year or 2 now…

ExpressVpn - one of the major VPN services, and highly rated - is what I’ve settled on, after trying several others that were rated highly, too. I wonder why it wasn’t mentioned here, since it’s rated higher than some they do mention, but I’ve been warned not to speculate about such things in Boing Boing comments, or I’ll have my account deleted.

ExpressVpn gives me much better speed and lots of options. It works great on my Android phone and on my Linux computer. The command line Linux interface is easy to use - there’s a gui on other OSes.

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Are any of the VPN services working on Constant Bit Rate or Random Bit Rate pading to defeat automated traffic analysis?

I realize that it is probably a lesser attack. Most VPN users probablly focus on Access, then masking endpoints.

However, years ago I noticed that I could recognize web sites within an encrypted tunnel by closely measuring how the data-rate changed over time. I found that it was a well known problem, but nobody seemed to be working on a solution. I made a video describing Traffic Analysis attacks for my security students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc81fG04F-o

The data-rate signal is the blue line across the bottom of the Traffic Analysis video. Even tho the resolution with the tool used in that video is only 20 times a second, you can see that the data-rate signal of each site is quite distinctive. Anybody who can accurately measure the data-rate of your encrypted connection, can probably identify what sites you are browsing.

I would like to know of there is a VPN option that is trying to defeat mass surveillance via data-rate analysis.

I’ve been pretty happy with it.

I’m using Mullvad a Swedish service that you can even pay monthly,
privacy focused, and with a good infrastructure. It even has the option to use WireGuard.

Windstream’s apparently underpaid techs are, say locals, compiling info on VPNs and selling the connections on the darkweb. All Hotspot Shield which are included with Kaspersky and all Opera have been up for sale for some time.

My informant says that if you get a VPN, try to use connections from countries with the most immigrants in your area, to make it appear to be a family connection, and to use them during hours when families would be online. I had trouble with PIA running my Apple device only through Dubai, a dead giveaway in a small town ISP office.

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