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Choosing AirVPN - Investigatory Powers Act, Free software, GNU/Linux.

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Why did I decide to use a VPN. Essentially to sidestep the
UK's "Investigatory Powers Act", which, incidentally, it is not
illegal to do.

What is this? Here's an article from the Independent newspaper
about the act


and the number of government departments and agencies that have
routine and warrantless access to UK citizens browsing
data. Whatever that may mean at the moment.

These are some of the agencies.

* Metropolitan Police Service
* City of London Police
* Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
* Police Service of Scotland
* Police Service of Northern Ireland
* British Transport Police
* Ministry of Defence Police
* Royal Navy Police
* Royal Military Police
* Royal Air Force Police
* Security Service
* Secret Intelligence Service
* Ministry of Defence
* Department of Health
* Home Office
* Ministry of Justice
* National Crime Agency
* HM Revenue & Customs
* Department for Transport
* Department for Work and Pensions
* NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
* Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
* Competition and Markets Authority
* Criminal Cases Review Commission
* Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
* Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
* Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
* Financial Conduct Authority
* Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
* Food Standards Agency
* Food Standards Scotland
* Gambling Commission
* Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
* Health and Safety Executive
* Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
* Information Commissioner
* NHS Business Services Authority
* Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
* Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
* Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
* Office of Communications
* Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
* Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
* Scottish Ambulance Service Board
* Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
* Serious Fraud Office
* Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

I'm not personally interested in accessing geographically
restricted websites or services, Netflix, BBC, bittorrent etc.

I'm also aware that complete anonymity is not quaranteed, but a
bit of extra anonymity from advertisers and other trackers is

What I do not want is to be snooped on by government agencies. The
whole setup is outrageous. What next? A list of people I speak
to? Which newspapers or books I read? The only difference is that
they have the technical means to start to do this.

Of course, in the end we need a political solution. The
technological solution is temporary, individual and short term if
they continue down this route.

So, why AirVPN?

I liked what I saw of the openess, the discussion forums and
the straightforward nature of the information on the
website. Including the honesty about the nature of VPNs.

I am by no means wealthy (quite the opposite!), but I like a
service that is open about the way it operates, does not oversell
and sets realistic prices.

I very much like the commitment to free software with the Eddie
client. The drive to make a universal client that can be used
with any provider that uses OpenVPN shows the different mindset
at AirVPN.

I run Debian GNU/Linux and the philosophy of free software is very
important to me. Also, because I run Debian I was very happy to
see a VPN service that does not discriminate against GNU/Linux users

The fact that Eddie can be run as a CLI programme is
excellent. AirVPN seem to properly understand the needs of many
GNU/Linux users with command line capabilities and a proper repo
for Debian users.

As for the performance of AirVPN. It's fine for me. I don't have
any examples to hold it up against, but I get a connexion that
satisfies me.

There are the occasional "drop-outs", which I would think are par
for the course for a service operated over the internet. I don't
know what happens. Air, my router, my ISP (Zen internet btw) but
these are reasonably rare and very quickly rectified.

Of course, things might change, but if AirVPN stays fundamentally
the way it is, and my browsing data is not exposed to snooping by
UK Government agencies I'll be sticking around :-)

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Also, because I run Debian I was very happy to

see a VPN service that does not discriminate against GNU/Linux users


Which VPN service is doing so and in which way? I'd like to know. Fellow Debian user here.


LZ1's New User Guide to AirVPN « Plenty of stuff for advanced users, too!

Unofficial Eddie for Android F-Droid repository: repo.opensourcery.eu

Want to contact me directly? All relevant methods are on my About me page.

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Also, because I run Debian I was very happy to

see a VPN service that does not discriminate against GNU/Linux users


Which VPN service is doing so and in which way? I'd like to know. Fellow Debian user here.


Well, the examples are legion. That is, companies that develop software and/or give support for Windows and OSX users only. 


Many give GNU/Linux users option to use OpenVPN, but that does not include the capabilities of the software provided for proprietary operating systems, such as "kill switches", server switching, network locks, statistics etc etc. ... and of course you still pay the same rates.


Personally, I'd not wish to use their non-free software anyway (I've not found any that are not proprietary), so the free software Eddie client is a double win (triple even, since I like to use it in a tty).

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