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Wirecutter Review of VPNs

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Hi everyone!

I stumbled across this VPN review on The Wirecutter site here.
They recommended Tunnelbear (which I have never heard of), Mullvad & IVPN, both of which have been around a while and have a pretty good level of market penetration.
They only mentioned AirVPN tangentiality, by noting that AirVPN had had no public audits done of the service - so they weren't compared against the frontrunners.

I was just wondering if there were any plans by the good folk at AirVPN to allow some public/third party audits of AirVPN?  It would be good publicity & I imagine might uncover some weaknesses that may have been overlooked in the past.

Thanks to the staff for all of your hard work!

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22 hours ago, amazeballs said:
I was just wondering if there were any plans by the good folk at AirVPN to allow some public/third party audits of AirVPN? It would be good publicity & I imagine might uncover some weaknesses that may have been overlooked in the past.

For the sake of a good review and a marketing stunt, no, probably not.

What I noticed:
  • While most of their points they explain are quite right, considering That One Privacy Site as a source and requiring public audits and server/location amount as necessary is questionable. All of Reddit knows by now that That Guy has little knowledge of the stuff he writes about and reviewed all VPN providers solely based on what they wrote on their website at that time. You really can't top that method. I could set up a VPN service promising everything under the sun on its website and for him it'd be the best VPN he'd ever witnessed.
    Also, The Verge.
  • Location amount doesn't really count because faking a server location is a thing and it was proven that NordVPN for example does this. It's even possible to find out who does it for yourself, and it was even mentioned on these forums somewhere. Although, to be fair, they rule NordVPN out because of even more points.
  • They still take warrant canaries into consideration, even though not a must. They're considered a failure, lulling people into a false sense of security and are generally thought of more like a running marketing gag.
  • Some questionable things are their speed tests which really depend on your location and setup, server choice, used config, etc, as they correctly write. It's possible you get a much better result on many occasions, so it shouldn't be a necessity.
  • Minor thing: The possibility to do VPN over Tor wasn't even considered, something only Eddie offers so far. Only Tor over VPN got screen time, but it gets screen time everywhere and isn't even strictly a VPN topic, no idea why it gets two full paragraphs in that article.
And... hold on, what the hell is that?
Other VPNs we considered testing but ruled out because they had no public audits include AirVPN, Astrill, blackVPN, BTGuard, Buffered, CactusVPN, Cryptostorm, CyberGhost, Faceless.me, F-Secure Freedome, FrootVPN, Goose, Hide.me, InvinciBull, IPredator, IPVanish, OVPN, Perfect Privacy, PrivateVPN, PureVPN, StrongVPN, TorGuard, TorrentPrivacy, Trust.Zone, VPN.ac, VPNTunnel, Windscribe, Witopia, ZenMate, and ZorroVPN.
After going through the above criteria, we narrowed our initial list down to just five services that met our requirements. We signed up for each one of those and dug deeper into their policies, technology, and performance on an Acer laptop, a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, and a Samsung phone.

They can't possibly be serious. So the public audit is their one k.o. argument? And they only tested five, FIVE, providers extensively? :DDDDD

» I am not an AirVPN team member. All opinions are my own and are not official. Refer to Staff postings for the official word.

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» I cannot give you the solution to all your issues. But I can guide you to it. The rest is up to you.

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