Picking 1st VPN service

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by securitynoob79, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. securitynoob79

    securitynoob79 Registered Member

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    My requirements are that it doesn't keep logs, it works with Utorrent, and I can generally surf the net.

    The two options I've found are:

    1) PrivateInternetAccess

    2) BTGuard

    3) TorGuard

    I was hoping for some opinions on either of these two services or a recommendation for a service that does not keep logs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I wouldn't pay too much attention to published logging policies. How do you know whether they're being truthful? How you you know what they'd do if cornered? You don't, right?

    Anyway, AirVPN is a good first VPN service. It's very fast, privacy-focused, well-implemented, not too expensive, accepts Bitcoin, and has an active forum. But it's only one-hop, and it only allows one simultaneous connection.

    BolehVPN and Mullvad are also good. They both accept Bitcoin, I think.

    iVPN and Insorg are good multi-hop VPN services. They're considerably more expensive. Although iVPN says that they only accept PayPal, they may accept Liberty Reserve if you ask. Outside Russia, Liberty Reserve is the only way to pay Insorg. I doubt that either would accept Bitcoin. However, Bitcoin to Liberty Reserve conversion via nanaimogold.com is easy, but you lose about 30% in the conversion (from sell-buy price spread).
     
  3. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    AirVPN, Mullvad & Boleh are good to go. They can be trusted, at least at this time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  4. securitynoob79

    securitynoob79 Registered Member

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    AirVPN, Mullvad & Boleh? Never heard of them. Doesn't seem that any of those 3 sites mentioned do. Why are those sites recommended over the 3 I listed?

    Does anyone have experience with the three that I mentioned?

    I've been wanting to get a VPN service forever but I want to make sure I get the right one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  5. securitynoob79

    securitynoob79 Registered Member

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    Actually, I do have another requirement...they much accept bitcoins. I just learned about these (still learning) and it seems like it is something I would like to use.
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    OK, then use WM-center for Bitcoin to LR.

    FWIW, I've "known" Shane for years, and trust him.
     
  7. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Well, I recommended them because I like them :)

    Private Internet Access is OK. They're inexpensive, accept Bitcoins and are reasonably fast. But they don't use client certificates, which is a little tacky ;)

    I'm not familiar with BTGuard and TorGuard.

    There is no "right one" ;)
     
  8. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    Mullvad,BolehVPN,AirVPN.

    Only choices that matter if you actually care to do research.
     
  9. securitynoob79

    securitynoob79 Registered Member

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    what information have you found regarding these three companies that leads you to your opinion?
     
  10. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I am smart. I also read privacy blogs and technology related websites constantly. I also have been using VPN's for over 5 years and have never had any issues of any kind. I am what you get after using VPN's and learning how they work for 5 years.

    I only listed the three that myself have tested and find trustworthy.
     
  11. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    What got PrivateInternetAccess, BTGuard and TorGuard on your short list?
     
  12. securitynoob79

    securitynoob79 Registered Member

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    I didn't know what client certificates are so I did a small amount of Googling and I understand the general idea of them. However, I don't understand the benefit of a VPN using them. Here's a link to some of the information I was reading:

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11891086/ssl-settings-ignore-client-certificates

    By right, I am referring to the VPN companies which offer the most or the best of the following:

    1) No speed throttling and no download or upload limit

    2) Claims to not keep logs

    3) Port Forwarding (So my noob self can use Utorrent)

    4) Multiple server locations

    I basically got that list from this LifeHacker article:

    http://lifehacker.com/5940565/why-you-should-start-using-a-vpn-and-how-to-choose-the-best-one-for-your-needs
     
  13. securitynoob79

    securitynoob79 Registered Member

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    OK, I understand that you have 5 years of experience in VPNs. But you said

    "Mullvad,BolehVPN,AirVPN. Only choices that matter if you actually care to do research."

    ...and I asked you what made those three different from privateinternetaccess or torguard. Any specific information, or links to information, would be appreciated as I'm still learning.
     
  14. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Study and learn and pay zero attention to anyone that claims they know the only three services that matter. There's good people here - but that's over the top.

    .
     
  15. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    I would add ivpn.net to the list you should consider, they are based in malta.


    & to your question: Why AirVPN, BolehVPN, Mullvad. It's because they have clear mission goals outlined on their webpages, that state their privacy policies and data retention policies. They are also based "offshore" which is seen to be better for privacy minded folks, as I guess it's harder for the superpowers like the USA, UK, CHINA, FRANCE, RUSSIA to raid the servers of the VPN or shut it down.


    Name the ones you use. It could help the OP make an informed decision.
     
  16. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    No thanks. I wasn't offering suggestions, just making a comment on anybody claiming there are only "three choices that matter." That's simply absurd. That's what my post was about.

    I've been around here long enough to see people claim X, Y and Z are the best because 1, 2 and 3. Many times they're shilling because they own the place. Other times, they're trusting X, Y and Z because of what X, Y and Z wrote on their website - even though X, Y and Z are possibly (even probably) lying about what they've written on the website. My point is we have no idea who any of these people are (The VPN services) and then we also have no idea who those are who claim they "know" the "only 3 choices that matter. I mean, please.
     
  17. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    I get what your saying and I agree. There are more than just 3, and no one should put their trust in any of these shady VPN organizations.

    I see this whole VPN topic going two ways.

    1st they will come at you other ways rather than try to break the VPN & it's owners, if your doing illegal things that is, expect to get caught. This could include surveillance of your home, honeypots, phone taps, state sponsored malware & more methods I won't go into.

    2nd if they do go after the VPN & I expect the owners to cave and put logs on or backdoor the service. What if someone puts a gun to their head and says "LOGS OR ELSE" or threatens them with jail time. I'll tell you what, the logs will come on and they will sell you out. So don't kid yourself, we have already seen this with HideMyAss selling out Lulzsec hackers and turning over logs..

    So you better hope your VPN provider is the international man of mystery and knows how to avoid attention.
     
  18. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    If I were a VPN provider, I would remain totally anonymous. I'd hire people to do all the IRL stuff, and I would pay them anonymously.

    The VPN "storefront" would be a Tor hidden service, with a private and semi-disposable Tor-to-Web gateway. Tormail works that way. The command-and-control (C2) infrastructure would also run in Tor hidden services, as with the latest botnets.

    The actual VPN servers would be totally dumb and semi-disposable. They'd be diskless (nowhere to log) and would be configured by the C2 infrastructure in the same way that botnets manage their slaves. No user account information would ever leave the C2 infrastructure. Also, the VPN servers would be behind reverse proxies, for security and load balancing.

    Are there any VPN services that work that way? I have no clue. I may have missed a few things, but I'm pretty sure that what I've outlined would work.
     
  19. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I can't care to explain due to the fact that you can find out for yourself. I am only giving you a short-cut to the most logical answer to your question. Lockbox is cynical and understandable because there are lots of people who claim their answer is the best answer just because its their answer. I offered you 3 services, not a single one and have no bias.

    BolehVPN/Mullvad/AirVPN.

    You can do the dance all day and claim me bias, but when you look at the privacy policies, the price and the bandwidth its quite obvious that these three are the services that give you the best security for your money.

    I would not offer you up anything less and if your smart you would find these three to be the best anyway, why not just let me take away the dfficult research for you.

    I just believe in getting to the point and not #ing around. :rolleyes:
     
  20. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Right, we've been kicking this question around for years :)

    But I agree, it's been general consensus among regulars here that AirVPN, BolehVPN and Mullvad are all good single-hop VPNs. In my experience, AirVPN has by far been the fastest, and I don't recall anyone reporting otherwise.

    However, I do agree with LockBox that it's absurd to claim that there are only "three choices that matter." Some want multi-hop VPNs, for example.
     
  21. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    Maybe so, I don't like any of the Multi-Hop VPN service's privacy policies. I don't recommend them for this reason. I think like you say in the same light that those three are the most logical ones for all the reasons already stated. I use BolehVPN myself personally and am very happy with it.
     
  22. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    It's no surprise you never heard of them and information on them are hard to come by... do you think "the man" is in the business of advertising effective ways to evade their prying eyes?

    Any VPN "reviews" you see floating around out there via Googling were more than likely unobjective, the opinions probably even paid for dearly. And the ones that rank the highest are in fact the worst of the worst... and vice versa, you'll see Mullvad (one of the best) come away with like 1 star.

    The people in here giving you their opinions have arrived at them through blood, sweat and tears, and years of personal experience and end user know-how. A bunch of us contributed to a thread many pages long over a period of years, testing them out and weeding out the pretenders to find the (very) few left standing. I'm too lazy to dig it up and don't know how far buried it is now, but you're welcome to look. We're trying to save you the trouble. If you read through it, first off it'd take you a calendar year. And in the end you'd see the general consensus arrived at exactly the choices being offered here. And choices I echo:

    Mullvad, AirVPN, and BolehVPN... in that order, IMO.

    iVPN just a notch below them because of less convenient/anonymous payment method. And I didn't like how the additional year of service was opt-out instead of opt-in. But otherwise the service was great. Very fast. Multi-hop. Great customer service. And I trust them.

    These are the only 4 I'd even consider. I've never tried Insorg... but if mirimir recommends them I don't doubt them.

    I personally use Mullvad... and pay for it with cash money in an envelope with no return address. Nothing in that envelope but the cash, and a customer ID number you get from their site... that I suggest getting while using public Wifi somewhere, not from your home. This is what gave them the edge over the others in my eyes.

    I did run chained VPN's with Mullvad & iVPN for awhile (3 hops + proxy), but found it overkill and too much sacrificed speed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  23. CasperFace

    CasperFace Registered Member

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    Here's my comparison of the 3 providers you mentioned. Only one of them (Private Internet Access) meets the criteria that you specified:

    BTGuard
    Multiple server locations: Yes
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: No
    Accepts Bitcoin: No
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 9.95 USD

    Private Internet Access
    Multiple server locations: Yes
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: Yes (all servers except UK and US)
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 6.95 USD

    TorGuard
    Multiple server locations: Yes
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: Yes
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: Connection logs (kept for 1 day)
    Price/month: 9.95 USD
    *Also, sign-form requires extensive personal info and may require phone verification (not very privacy-friendly at all!)


    Here are several other good VPN providers from which you may want to choose. 3 of them have already been mentioned in this thread, but I'm listing them again for comparative purposes:

    AirVPN
    Multiple server locations: Yes
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: Yes (up to 20 ports)
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 7.00 EUR

    BolehVPN
    Multiple server locations: Yes
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes (all servers except US)
    Port forwarding: Yes (Switzerland and Luxembourg servers only)
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 10.50 USD

    Cryptocloud
    Multiple server locations: Yes
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: Yes (1 port)
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 19.95 USD

    Mullvad
    Multiple server locations: Yes (Netherlands and Sweden only)
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: Yes
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 5.00 EUR

    nVPN
    Multiple server locations: Yes ($10 extra for unlimited server switches)
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: Yes
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 6.00 USD

    oVPN.to
    Multiple server locations: Yes
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: Yes (all servers except UK Germany)
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 10.00 EUR

    VersaVPN
    Multiple server locations: Yes
    Unlimited bandwidth: Yes
    Allows P2P/Torrents: Yes
    Port forwarding: Yes (up to 3 ports)
    Accepts Bitcoin: Yes
    Logging policy: No logs
    Price/month: 5.00 USD

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  24. tuprofe

    tuprofe Registered Member

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    I can chime in on Versavpn a bit, having just given it a test run. I liked the service, and the server selection, however they do not use certificate authentication, only username/password, which is what ultimately led me to cancel the account and receive a refund. This was when connecting with openvpn. In a support email, they said that using certificates was "not possible" with their service due to a "monitoring matter". Not sure what that means, but certificate security was definitely something I needed, so.
    Otherwise I liked their software and service.
     
  25. sepihi

    sepihi Registered Member

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    Mullvad worked well for me with uTorrent. Now that I am on private trackers, though, I cannot use a VPN or Tor, so I ditched the service.
     
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