Is It Time to Stop Paying For a VPN?

I’m done with paying for a virtual private network,” writes the New York Times’ lead consumer technology writer. [Alternate URLs here and here.]

The reality is that web security has improved so much in the last few years that VPN services, which charge monthly subscription fees that cost as much as Netflix, offer superfluous protection for most people concerned about privacy, some security researchers said.

Many of the most popular VPN services are now also less trustworthy than in the past because they have been bought by larger companies with shady track records. That’s a deal-breaker when it comes to using a VPN service, which intercepts our internet traffic. If you can’t trust a product that claims to protect your privacy, what good is it? “Trusting these people is really critical,” Matthew Green, a computer scientist who studies encryption, said about VPN providers. “There’s no good way to know what they’re doing with your data, which they have huge amounts of control over…”

As a mainstream privacy tool, it’s no longer an ideal solution. This sent me down a rabbit hole of seeking alternatives to paying for a VPN. I ended up using some web tools to create my own private network [on the cloud] for free, which wasn’t easy… Not only is it free to use, but I no longer have to worry about trust because the operator of the technology is me.
“But I also learned that many casual users may not even need a VPN anymore,” the article concludes. (Unless you’re living in an authoritarian country and trying to reach information beyond its firewall.) One cybersecurity firm tells the Times that journalists with sensitive contacts or business executives carrying trade secrets might also still benefit from a VPN. But (according to the firm) the rest of us can just try two-factor authentication and keeping all of our software up-to-date. (And if you’d rather not use a public wifi network — use your phone as a mobile hot spot.)

The article also notes that 95% of the top 1,000 websites are now already encrypted with HTTPS, according to W3Techs.

It also points out that one VPN company accused of developing malware nonetheless spent close to a billion dollars to buy at least four other VPN services — and then also bought several VPN review sites, which then give top ratings to VPN services it owns…

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IVPN, Mullvad, ProtonVPN, Windscribe are still good to go.

And tbh VPN doesn’t protect you as people think it makes them anonymous. You have to trust one provider with your surfing data. The providers, as mentioned above, are still good and most recommended by privacy experts, and in the privacy community, they are the most liked ones.

In my opinion, one should use VPN to bypass the censored content or banned content which most country not allowed their citizens to do that.

But if someone thinks VPN brings them complete anonymity, even your self-hosted VPN, it doesn’t…

VPN bypasses geolocation to access banned content. There are hundreds of ways by which you can get tracked, even if you are using VPN.

If you want to be anonymous at some point, use a tor browser on OS like qubes or Tails.

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not proton anymore., check last news about them

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@quick-learner, those were not some browsing logs… they don’t keep browsing records… it was registration IP and something, and suppose if you have service hosted in your country, you will have to comply with your local government and rules… it is identical for all even mullvad and ivpn… these two don’t have any logs even if govt ask them to hand over records they will have nothing to hand over…

Local jurisdiction you have to follow where your service is based on…

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What about nord VPN?

@Mu7amad it is not good if you ask me. They store all browsing logs, and they had some breaches as well in the past. It is a closed source VPN, so we don’t know what exactly it does and what kind of backdoor it has…

Let me suggest u all one privacy YT channel you can follow his recommendations:- Techlore and his VPN recommendation video

you should check his website and other videos, you will get awareness more about gaining privacy with the best alternatives out there.

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I totaly agree

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What about Surfshark VPN?

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I have never used one. But I am living in a country with no fear of torrents lol :slight_smile:

Which country?

A quick glance of the article tells me it’s about security and of course we are discussing about anonymity two entirely different things.
But ya, vpn dont work for anonymity and modern website are more secure so vpn is not needed.

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@Ninjaghini, yes, security and anonymity are two different things. I agree with you websites are secured using HTTPS protocol.

But security comes with user awareness. Suppose someone posts malware bound with standard software in one hack forum. If the user is not aware to scan files first, he may get infected. This goes with cracked software. The majority of people just run anything on their system downloaded from any site.

Getting HTTPS is free so that anyone can get it. But from user’s end-user needs to be aware to achieve security. And even sites using HTTPS may be having some vulnerability in the website.

So no one is secured. Only user awareness about such things will help him to get some level of security.

Always use secondary emails on sites for logins, different passwords in every site, 2FA enable it if the option is there. And a shared sense of what to download and run and what to not.

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@Bhushan_Deore not sure about surf shark VPN. It can’t be trusted if it’s closed source and not appropriately audited by third-party auditors.

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@Proka in India itself, no ISP gives a shit about torrenting. I saw the majority of Indians downloading torrents in TB’s of data without VPN for many years :joy:

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Thanks for sharing those recommendations, they’re really mind-blowing!

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Thanks for the reply !!

Not free. vps need cc

in Romania I’ve never heard anyone get in trouble for torrenting. Are there cases in other countries?

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