It becomes hard to find a VPN provider that can be trusted when there are so many to choose from. New services constantly appear that claim to be the best, but for many, the privacy and zero-log policies become just a marketing trick. Let’s take a look at how you can distinguish the trustworthy VPN providers from the shady ones.
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How do I know if my VPN is trustworthy
Since trust is quite a subjective concept there is no straightforward answer. When it comes to protecting your privacy and personal data with a VPN you should always take it with a grain of salt.
Even though you might think that a service is trustworthy, you never know what can happen in the future or how they run their business. Nevertheless, when choosing a trusted VPN provider, here’s how you can know if you can trust them.
Research VPN logging policy
Look up where VPN provider is based
Take into account that all companies have to comply with the law of the country in which they run their operation. The most trusted VPN providers choose to run their business in countries with non-regulated or very protective data privacy and retention laws. The few countries that are great for VPNs to run their business are:
The British Virgin Islands
Hong Kong (note that Hong Kong is NOT China)
What could add some risk to your privacy is the fact that a company is based in the intelligence-sharing alliances also known as the 5/9/14-eyes alliances.
Intelligence agencies, especially in the US, have the right to secretly tell a VPN provider to start logging the users’ data and monitor their activities. When a VPN is based outside data-sharing alliances it is more difficult to enforce data collection.
Pick a well-known brand
Reputability, brand awareness, and the top position in the market play a big role here. Many great VPNs are at the top of their game not because of cheap marketing tricks, but truly because their service is good and many people trust them.
For a well-known provider, it is crucial to stay true to what they say about no-log policy and their services since in such a competitive industry one fuck up could damage the brand’s reputation and trustworthiness. The company that has built its legacy over time does not want to break the trust of its users’ because their whole business is at stake.
On the other hand, there are new VPNs with fresh technology coming into the game stating they are as good as the old players. But a newcomer does not really have much to back up their claims about no-log policies and robust technology unless they are very transparent.
It does not mean that newcomers can’t be trusted, but they need some time to prove that they truly protect the privacy of their users.
Check for IP leaks
Sometimes, when a provider did not put proper effort into their tech – IP leaks might happen. This can immediately tell that you can not trust this VPN at all. IP leaks reveal who you are online and where you connect therefore all the privacy is lost.
Services that have been known for quite a while have implemented extra features such as internet kill switches to prevent this from happening as well as protected their server infrastructure from hackers.
Also, some new VPNs might not be that technically advanced and must be checked for possible IP leaks as well as vulnerable server infrastructure. Not every newish provider has its technology in place since to set things up correctly requires a lot of time and this can not be done easily and fast.
Select the one that has done the independent audit
A new trend that has become popular in the industry that actually raises transparency is doing public security audits. Some of the most reliable VPN services have hired well-known security audit companies to do a security scan on their applications, server infrastructure, and no-log policies.
Having a security audit and releasing it to the public definitely counts as a step towards trustworthiness which makes those VPN providers more transparent. Only a few did those security audits which made them stand out of the crowd.
Can Free VPNs be trusted
Many free VPNs are not trustworthy and they base their business model around advertising and selling their users’ data. Generally, your personal data can not be trusted with free VPNs. A freemium plan of a well-known service might be ok, but it usually comes with restricted usage capabilities.
Which VPN is the most trusted
Here are the most trusted VPNs:
ExpressVPNis by far one of the most trusted providers in the industry. It is a well-known service that has zero-log policies and operates in the British Virgin Islands – a great country to run such a business.
This service has absolutely no IP leaks, great server infrastructure, many geographical locations, and best-in-class encryption protocols. Once ExpressVPNs server was seized by authorities that found absolutely no-logs there, that proves that this service truly stays true to their claims about privacy.
Also, an independent audit firm PwC (one of the Big Four) has done a public audit and the results were posted on ExpressVPN’s website. This service checks all the boxes for a trusted VPN provider and makes the best choice so far.
160+ locations and 3000+ servers
Strict No-Log policy
Unlimited streaming (Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)
Strong military-grade AES 256-bit key encryption
Kill Switch, Split tunneling and RAM-disk servers
30-day money-back guarantee
Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and Linux support
Fast speeds and reliable connections
NordVPNis based in Panama and has a strict no-log policy proven by the independent audit. and great overall very affordable service. The service has been a long time in the game and is one of the most reputable and well-rounded VPN services out there.
It has more than 5200 servers in 59 countries and works with streaming services such as Netflix.
NordVPN has recently released its new and secure WireGuard-based technology NordLynx that reaches high speeds when downloading, torrenting, or HD streaming.
Overall it’s one of the most well-rounded, affordable, and trusted VPN providers on the market.
5200+ global servers in 59+ countries
CyberSec malware and ad-blocking protection
Next-generation encryption with double VPN servers
Obfuscation technology that masks VPN traffic
Strict no-logs policy
Works with Netflix and good for streaming
Lightning fast with P2P support
30-day money-back guarantee
VyprVPNis one of the first services that has done a security audit and released it to the public. This Switzerland based VPN keeps no logs and has great security.
Streaming services such as Netflix also work and over 700 servers in multiple locations around the world are available for that.
The Chameleon technology allows masking the VPN traffic and circumvents restrictions from countries like China, UAE, or Turkey.
VyprVPN is a privacy-focused VPN that cares about their users. It uses the industry-standard AES-256 encryption and has IP leak and DNS leak protection.
Audited No-Log VPN
Chameleon technology hides VPN traffic and protects from DPI
High-End Encryption/ NAT Firewall
OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP protocol support
Available on all platforms Win, Mac, iOS, Android
24/7 customer support
30-day money-back guarantee
So in order to find a trusted VPN, you need to look for a few things – no-log policy, country of operation, how well a service is known in the industry and what technology and features they use in order to protect your privacy. Besides that, the most trusted VPNs try to be as transparent as possible and would not compromise their users’ personal data at any cost. Being said that, you should still take everything with a grain of salt unless you truly know how the business is run.
CyberWaters is a mixed crew of cyber security enthusiasts with a keen interested in data privacy, security and technology behind it. We provide cyber security related content and give advise on best practices and tools how to stay safe and secure online.