What do you think of commercial VPNs? Which one do you use and why?

hernan
hernan Member Posts: 2
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edited August 19, 2019 in Devices & Security #1

I have used many commercial VPNs out there, and I was wondering what you thought of them from a privacy standpoint. Do you see a future in commercial VPNs? Do you currently use one? Why?

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VioletChepil
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  • Luca
    Luca Member Posts: 13
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    I have always used them, particularly on a public WiFi network, if you need to use one because there is no cell signal available.

    The free ones are free for a reason and the paid for ones differ in both offer and security, (as in logging your connections), so it is always best to choose wisely.

    Any review will always throw up the same two or three as the best, with good reason.

    VioletChepil
  • Lee_Bo
    Lee_Bo Member Posts: 272
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    I use OpenVPN to connect back to my home network if I (a) need file access or (b) on a public wifi.  

    Tried a few of the pay ones out there but the encryption process severely slows down your network speed.
    VioletChepilStratt3000XenophoddavidsonmgPi_DDThibaudl
  • Romulus
    Romulus Member, Beta Tester Posts: 35
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    @Lee_Bo Like you I use OpenVPN and connect back into my home network. I think the only feature I miss out on is the potential to bypass Geo Blocking, other than when outside of the US wanting content from home.
    VioletChepil
  • benhelps
    benhelps Member, Beta Tester Posts: 32
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    Another vote for OpenVPN. I have a home server I connect to from outside the house, to minimise ports open to the internet.
    I also use it to connect to a DIY OpenVPN end point I host in various Amazon AWS regions, also found from my laptop using a shared DynDNS domain. They all use the same DynDNS domain so which ever end point I power up, I connect with the same OpenVPN profile.
    I only turn one of those servers on if/when I need it for region unblocking or remote testing, so I only pay for the server at a cent or so per hour.
    GlenBo84VioletChepil
  • Mattman
    Mattman Member, Beta Tester Posts: 26
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    I was recently in Germany and Greece on a family trip. While we were there I purchased an account with NordVPN. The reviews I read were all positive and they had many servers available in the countries I was traveling in. I have kept them on for use at public WiFi spots. While there is a slow down in my network speed, I find the peace of mind and privacy I get is more than worth it in those situations.
    Lee_Bo
  • Lee_Bo
    Lee_Bo Member Posts: 272
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    Mattman said:
    I was recently in Germany and Greece on a family trip. While we were there I purchased an account with NordVPN. The reviews I read were all positive and they had many servers available in the countries I was traveling in. I have kept them on for use at public WiFi spots. While there is a slow down in my network speed, I find the peace of mind and privacy I get is more than worth it in those situations.
    I came across a deal last night that gave my 10% the normal 3 year deal so I subscribed.  As part of my work I have to visit a lot of places that have wifi, but it's open.  While I have no issues using OpenVPN while on these networks, I'll feel a little better now using Nord.
    VioletChepilMattmanNavek
  • VioletChepil
    VioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    I've moved this one over to Devices & Security category! I think perhaps it fits better over there? What do you think @hernan

    Community Manager at Fing

    hernan
  • MIBSWE
    MIBSWE Member Posts: 29
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    I have used StrongVPN for many years. It was mainly used for accessing BBC TV, but then the BBC stopped many VPNs from accessing their iPLayer. StrongVPN have StrongDNS which has overcome that problem for me so far.  I did move ove rto ExpressVPN, but after a short while the BBC access stopped working. Spent too much time with their support to try to get it working and eventually I got my money back.

    I now use it everyday on my mobile when outside my home network and also at work when I need to access remote computers where they've blocked a port on their firewall. 
    VioletChepil
  • joltdude
    joltdude Member, Beta Tester Posts: 34
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    The problem is trusting the VPN provider as well.. And some of them are difficult to cancel/unsubscribe and do not abide by their own cancellation policies or make it difficult to impossible to cancel... Had a friend try cancelling multiple times and methods for his "free trial" and he even cancelled his card and they somehow circumvented it and tried direct withdrawals out of his checking account.. with what amounted to an ETF... Still haven't figured out how they got the account number... It got ugly. he had to completely close his checking account and open a new one with a new account number because none of the blocks the bank put on the replacement card worked...  Has turned me off to the VPN industry in general... 
    VioletChepil
  • Stratt3000
    Stratt3000 NB, CanadaMember Posts: 22
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    OpenVPN gets a lot of thumbs up and I am the same for personal use.  You get the best functionality and features in my opinion.  I have much more experience with Enterprise applications where the features simply knock personal apps out of the running.  I
    Rev. Stratton Phillips | FOSN, D. Div. (h.c.) | InfoTech @ Cloud5

    VioletChepil
  • Cameron
    Cameron Member, Beta Tester Posts: 2
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    I use and recommend ProtonVPN: https://protonvpn.com/
    NavekVioletChepil
  • Xenophod
    Xenophod Member Posts: 10
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    I have an OpenVPN server running on a linux box at home for protecting my info when away from home. A coworker subscribes to these "deal Sites" and he sends me links. to some good deals.  I bought a $50 "lifetime" membership to TigerVPN a few years ago, it's based out of Slovakia which, probably isn't the most "private". It's not Russia, but it's close... And I more recently got another lifetime membership to VPN Secure based in Australia, before they basically made encryption of communications illegal. The company said they were going to move their headquarters or base of operation out of Australia to get around those new laws. They first said they would go to Hong Kong, which I raised a fuss over, since Mainland China basically "owns" Hong Kong now and Communist China poses very real spying/snooping risks, more so than the perceived risks from Slovakia. Their response was: "It would be like saying Sweden is in the EU because they are connected by Land. VPNS are illegal in China, it wouldn't be possible for us to run the business based in China.  HK is literally just for controlling financial, the rest of the service will be controlled outside both Australia and Hong Kong."  I recently asked "How's it going in Hong Kong?" and they said "We were supposed to fly to Hong Kong last week to finalise everything, but due to what's happening currently in Hong Kong we have moved the flight to end of August at this stage. We are currently evaluating other options then Hong Kong also."  


    Just like "The Cloud" VPNs are "just other people's computers" so be careful using them. Research the company, find out where they based and any potential issues laws in those countries might cause. There are a ton of sneaky companies that will just steal your money and there are some really good companies. It all depends on what you want to access. TigerVPN is what I use most, usually to get around my ISP blocking file sharing sites or torrent sites.


    VioletChepilThibaudl
  • Navek
    Navek Member Posts: 11
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    I have been using nord VPN for a few years now, it is a paid service. The price is very reasonable and I definetly prefer a paid service their servers are pretty decent and have multiple local server choises I'm always concected in a world where privacy and ananimity is scarce I try to maintain a much as possible. Nord VPN is nice and helps in that way by not logging anything and also provide a military grade encryption so not only is my ip hidden but my data and traffic is also protected, it nice and like open VPN it is easily integrated into the router side of your network for entire local network protection or individual devices via desktop app android or iOS apps, witch it nice becuse when you use networks like Google Whole home mesh WiFi where you are limited as to personalization and customized settings/Option. Such as hosting your VPN service among other things. One plus to using a paid service is the up Keep to their servers means little to no drops it connection, with the added internet kill switch it will cut your internet link if server connection is lost and can be set for general connection drop or program/app specific so only if you when using said designated app and loose server connection only then will it cut your link to the public internet. So I definitely recommend Nord VPN as a paid VPN Service. Oh and if you look around a bit you can always find promos for discounted subscriptions or package deals once got 3 years for as little at $15.

    VioletChepilXenophodMattman
  • Pi_DD
    Pi_DD Member Posts: 5
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    OpenVpn running on my home network Linux box so that I have access to devices on home network, but also use well rated TunnelBear from time to time on public networks. 
    VioletChepilHronos
  • AlTyndall
    AlTyndall Member Posts: 10
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    I’m interested by those of you who have got a personal OpenVPN server running at home. I’ve had a devil of a time getting an OpenVPN server up and running under CentOS, Ubuntu, Mint and Debian. The tutorials online never seem quite to get to the end without some failure or skipping over information I need.

    I’ve resorted to getting a Unifi EdgeMax router which has the built-in ability to run an L2TP VPN server, which I can connect to most of the time and from there run as if I were at home.

    I’m still open to working through a Linux build of an OpenVPN server if anyone has a hint as to where to look for definitive configuration guidance.

    (I much prefer a home-hosted VPN for 2 reasons - 1. It’s free and 2. I can connect to my home network from outside without having to manually initiate tunnels etc.)

    joltdude
  • Chiefplumber
    Chiefplumber Member, Beta Tester Posts: 11
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    I run a VPN server on my Mac at home, have been for years.  It is built into the O/S and the simplest VPN setup I have found.  I "punched" a directed gateway in my firewall for the IPsec ports.  This was done to avoid supporting DDNS for some security cameras and I found it extremely useful for accessing files on my home systems while traveling.  It also helps for keeping browsing sessions secure when on public networks.  I am starting to experiment with setting up a VPN server on my firewall so I can close down the forwarded ports but the Mac solution was so easy to create I really have not spent much time on the replacement.
  • joltdude
    joltdude Member, Beta Tester Posts: 34
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    I’m actually interested in WireGuard vs OpenVPN and rolling it myself onto my home network. OpenVPN is not the most intuitive to setup and as someone previously stated the documentation is lacking in parts

    VioletChepil
  • Amr
    Amr Member Posts: 12
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    I use hotspot shield 🛡 to gain access to blocked contents in my country!

    VioletChepil
  • Thibaudl
    Thibaudl Member, Beta Tester Posts: 6
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    I like expressvpn which works good and offer a decent speed 5 to 7 Mbps. The list of server is quite big and their chat customer service is really good and fast.

    VioletChepil
  • CryptoMinky
    CryptoMinky Member Posts: 11
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    I have used several commercial VPNs, but have settled on WindScribe for the following reasons, easy setup, fair price and many/optimal sites that are always available. My primary usage id during travel, i.e., airports and hotels. It would probably be smart to use it at B&Bs, homes of friends & relatives as well as other public places like shops, hospitals and clinics.

    VioletChepil
  • CryptoMinky
    CryptoMinky Member Posts: 11
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  • Aric
    Aric Member, Beta Tester Posts: 15
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    It’s a shame that the Mac server app removed VPN configuration tools as it made it much easier for people to set up.

    I typically use my NAS if I’m looking for an in-house VPN, but you typically won’t get as good performance from a VPN at home vs. one set up in a data center because home uplink speeds aren’t as good typically and many people have traffic caps.

    I’ve used VPNUnlimited as a commercial service and it has worked pretty well.

    VioletChepil
  • slowljoe
    slowljoe Member Posts: 2
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    I use Airvpn and Proton vpn as a backup.  I would recommend AIRVPN for technical savvy. My OS is linux mint sylvia and I use Airvpn daily.
    VioletChepil
  • Ang
    Ang Member, Beta Tester Posts: 6
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    Well, I’ve settled on ProtonVPN https://protonvpn.com/secure-vpn after a long test period (18 months) of its email service. I feel their company standards for all things private makes it a top choice. Additionally, Proton security is extensive (it includes Secure Core and a no-logs policy, amongst other things) with enough future-proofing standards to meet my needs. The browser I use often is FireFox with Ghostery’s add-on. Also, with a paid ProtonVPN service, ProtonMail Visionary is included which makes this a tidy package. There are pros and cons to each choice but this is a decent setup and with the VPN configured on my router, I am confident this is a good choice and should be future-proofed some time. Here’s a comparison article thats summarized some of the most popular VPNs for a quick comparison https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/296955/the-best-vpn-services Cheers Fingsters :)
    VioletChepilTheCustomCave
  • joltdude
    joltdude Member, Beta Tester Posts: 34
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    The problem with many VPNs is that you get what you pay for... Theres been some ethical concerns with Hotspot Shield in the past BTW...
    Its kinda cliche, but true.... You don't get something for nothing.... theres usually a "catch" with free VPNs..... 
    Its one of the reasons why i find it hard to trust SOMEONE ELSES COMPUTER on the other side of the pond.....

    -J


    AngVioletChepil
  • Luca
    Luca Member Posts: 13
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    I went with Tunnelbear because it was easy, then Hotshield but that then seemed to have conpromises. That led me to Proton and Nord.


    Basically you get what you pay for, so pay for it.

  • Pi_DD
    Pi_DD Member Posts: 5
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    AlTyndall said:

    I’m interested by those of you who have got a personal OpenVPN server running at home. I’ve had a devil of a time getting an OpenVPN server up and running under CentOS, Ubuntu, Mint and Debian. The tutorials online never seem quite to get to the end without some failure or skipping over information I need.

    I’ve resorted to getting a Unifi EdgeMax router which has the built-in ability to run an L2TP VPN server, which I can connect to most of the time and from there run as if I were at home.

    I’m still open to working through a Linux build of an OpenVPN server if anyone has a hint as to where to look for definitive configuration guidance.

    (I much prefer a home-hosted VPN for 2 reasons - 1. It’s free and 2. I can connect to my home network from outside without having to manually initiate tunnels etc.)

    Depends what you are running it on. I use a Raspberry Pi (‘cos I don’t need anything more powerful) and installed using PiVPN which was easy.
    http://www.pivpn.io/

  • TheCustomCave
    TheCustomCave Member, Beta Tester Posts: 48
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    I've been using privateinternetaccess for a few years now. Does all the stuff I want it to do and it is fairly inexpensive too.
  • Pooh
    Pooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    edited August 29, 2019 #30

    What compromises did you find with HotspotShield? Was this the free or paid for version?

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
  • Luca
    Luca Member Posts: 13
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    The paid for version but I read some reviews about it and privacy, can do decided to change on the basis of those.