It’s no secret that VPNs can be dangerous and shady, but have you got wrapped up in the wrong one recently?
With an incredibly competitive marketplace and new services arising every week, it is easy for some VPNs to get away with questionable activities. But how do you know if your VPN truly is shady or if it is a legitimate service?
The following list will help keep you out of trouble and guide you towards safe and legitimate VPNs.
Unrealistic VPN Claims
VPNs are prime examples of services which typically oversell and under deliver. The services make themselves sound like the cure all to your cyber security needs, while actually failing to deliver half of the features that they promise. Here are some of the bogus claims that VPNs advertise to try to draw more customers.
• Fastest Network – Claiming that their network is the ‘fastest’ is nothing new to VPNs. So many VPNs claim this that the term has become somewhat of a joke, almost like the idea of “the world’s greatest coffee”. After a standardized speed test, many of the VPNs which claim to have the fastest network often fail to even deliver decent speeds.
• Zero/No Logging – Another giant scam most VPNs try to pull off on customers is the idea of zero/no logging. VPNs often advertise that they don’t keep logs in an attempt to win customers over looking for privacy; however there is no standard definition of logs, which leads to many problems when the services actually do retain information about the activities that users have been up to.
• Netflix Compatibility – Due to Netflix’s rather harsh crackdown on VPNs, it has become significantly more difficult for the cyber security services to stream from the media service and though a VPN may have actually worked with Netflix at one point, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the service is currently compatible as Netflix may have banned all of the IP addresses belonging to services.
• IP Leak Protection – Many VPNs assert that they protect users’ IP addresses from ever being exposed, but that claim is yet another in a string of pure lies that VPNs tell. It is incredibly frequent that VPNs don’t actually protect against all of the threats that they advertise, such as IPv4, IPv6, and DNS leaks. Furthermore, the kill switch feature in many VPNs often fails to work like it has been advertised to.
Free VPN Services
Free VPNs may sound like a great idea because of the price point, however they are often more detrimental than they are beneficial.
Free VPNs often collect users’ data and sell it off to third party advertisers for a profit. Thus, users are left totally clueless that their information has been sold and that they have become a victim of data theft. Furthermore, free VPNs are also notorious for firing countless amounts of advertisements at users in an attempt to sell products from a partner company. This referral type business encourages the VPNs to spam users with advertisements in every possible situation.
A lifetime subscription to a VPN service is quite possibly one of the scariest contracts that you could get yourself into.
Due to the competitive nature of the industry and the tendency for VPNs to be located in remote nations, the idea of purchasing a lifelong subscription to such a service is very much a poor decision.
VPNs strategically locate themselves outside nations that have strict data retention laws, as a means to protect users’ personal privacy. This however forms a double edged sword, as many of those nations also don’t have laws to hold VPNs accountable for the contracts that they sell to consumers. Thus, if a VPN suddenly decides to call it quits or change the membership policy, there is almost nothing that the customers can do to be refunded or reimbursed.
With so many new services continuing to flood the market, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some are a total scam. These services arise out of the blue and pose as totally legitimate and spectacular services, but are often nothing more than just a scheme aimed at taking money from unsuspecting customers. Worst of all, the subscriptions which are sold don’t even have a service behind them; they are just a total scam aimed at making a quick dollar.
VPN Subscriptions through Third Party Websites
If you plan on purchasing a VPN, purchase it directly from the service provider, not a third party website.
Third party websites can become very troublesome, as they often promote VPN services at discounted rates in a way to attract consumers looking for a better price. However, the reality is that third party sites are a dangerous place to enter payment information, as they very well could be logging users’ confidential information.
If stealing your data isn’t enough to deter you, then maybe the fact that third parties take no responsibility for your complaints should be. Third parties have no control over VPN services, so instead of solving your problems, they simply refer you to the VPN service itself. Problem is, the VPN service will simply refer your complaints back to the third party service since you purchased the subscription from there, creating an everlasting cycle of problems.
The amount of fake reviews pertaining to software is absolutely mind blowing as the industry is extremely dependent on receiving good reviews for sales.
With so much dependency on good reviews, it should come as no surprise that VPNs often have hundreds if not thousands of fake appraisals. The VPN services often create fake reviews of their own, or simply pay someone else to do it for them. The assessments can vary from basic software reviews, to trial reviews and even testimonials proclaiming how great the software really is. Thus, the overall rating of a service may look great on the Google Play or Apple store to attract mass amount of consumers dependent on each marketplace.
Furthermore, some review websites are actually owned and operated by VPNs as a means to poorly review other services, while simultaneously promoting their own. If a review of a service sounds too good to be true, there’s a chance the site is owned and operated by that very VPN.
Wrapping It All Up
Ultimately, the best way to find a quality VPN is just to do your research. Scour the web to see if there seem to be any holes in a VPN’s story and if the service truly does offer what it claims. A great VPN won’t be free so don’t get too enthralled by all of the bogus VPNs offering a ‘quality’ service for nothing in return.