Why NordVPN is a better choice for private browsing

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/22/why-nordvpn-is-a-better-choice.html

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*Prices not just made up on the fly.


I know Boing Boing needs to keep the lights on, but sometimes the news/opinion streams and the capitalism streams get crossed. If you’re going to plug a VPN, it might be worth doing some comparisons to other VPNs. Or flag the piece as sponsored content or something like that. Though I suppose most readers know the score.

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If the tag is “Gadgets” and the writer is “Boing Boing’s Shop”, odds are good it’s an advert.

FWIW, I’ve bought a couple of things they’ve advertised and haven’t been overly disappointed. Mostly I’m just shaking my head and mousing on.


Yeah, that’s what I usually do. But VPNs seems like something requiring more scrutiny/transparency.

That said, I just noticed that the header IS different for this; it says something like “from boing boing’s store.” So, it’s really on me. Caveat lector, eh?


I don’t normally care at all about Boingboing’s obvious advertisement articles, but I will say that NordVPN is a great choice if you’re in the market for a VPN. The 3-year deal is a very good deal (and as I understand it is going away very soon), and the service itself is easy to use and Just Works.

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Nord VPN, unfortunately, is not the privacy-respecting choice. Nord includes a number of mobile trackers in its Android app, and very likely iOS as well:


Generally, these tools are simply used to monitor aggregated app usage to improve UI/UX. All data should be anonymous and impossible to connect to any user in particular. Contact their support, they should give you more answers, I think :slight_smile:

That is an awful lot of trust to give a service provider who is proxying all of your Internet traffic.

“Anonymized” UUID’s are still uniquely tied to a user, otherwise the data would not be worth much. Tune is an especially detailed tracker focused on in-app advertising: https://reports.exodus-privacy.eu.org/trackers/38/

As you can see from the description, it specifically mentions advertisers sharing data with each other via Tune. Worse for a VPN, “TUNE itself may provide or disclose, or enable others to provide, End User Data for the purposes of detecting and preventing malicious activity of invalid traffic, or believe that we are legally required to do so.”

Tune’s policies were recently edited on July 25, seemingly to comply with GDPR, but there is still very troubling language in there for an SDK that is part of a VPN app: https://help.tune.com/marketing-console/the-importance-of-securing-data-in-the-tmc/

Some might justifiably skeptical of any comparisons made in an advertisement.

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Is Nord as fast as ExpressVPN?

I’ve used Nord for about a year and it works well with my NAS and the desktop clients seem fine. It needs to be reset almost daily on my Android phone because my connection slows to a crawl but that’s my only hit against the service as far as I have seen.

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