What makes a bad VPN?
It takes a few criteria to see what makes a bad VPN, but sometimes it’s a little more subtle.
Bad VPN seems to be the predominant standard in the market. We always prefer vendors with aggressive marketing or enticing affiliations (although I do affiliate too), rather than looking objectively at what a vendor is offering. There won’t be a wall of shame that you can put such and such a bad VPN on, because that would be pointless.
An incomprehensible zero data policy
Generally, you never read the Privacy Services Agreement, but it’s the first one you look at a VPN. And it needs to be summed up in one paragraph, simple enough for a child to understand and strong enough for it to be trusted. If you can’t figure out in 5 seconds what a VPN keep on you, then find yourself another.
It is almost impossible to have a given zero policy, because zero equals zero. If the guy keeps your email address or payment details, even for signing up, that’s not a zero data policy. It’s not necessarily a bad VPN, but it’s not a zero-rated policy.
The wrong VPN is in the wrong place
If you have a VPN in the United States it is a risk, if it is in England it is a risk, if it is in France it is a risk. Most “democratic” and western countries practice mass surveillance with cross-sharing of the data. Examples include Hidemyass. It’s not a bad provider, but when you live in a country that kills freedom, you have no choice.
This does not mean that any VPN, headquartered in a tax haven will be the best VPN on the market, but laws are important. When governments really want to get their hands on someone, they will spare no expense. And the VPN will have to be in a country beyond the reach of “democratic” laws so that it does not fear any pressure.
Virtual servers for a “global web”
A VPN virtual server is simply a server that the bad VPN will rent from a web host. For example, a supplier is based in France, he rents 50 VPS servers in the United States through a web host. And with these servers it gets American IP addresses. But this is cheating, because it is not physically present on the server. There are several reasons for a VPN to go through virtual servers:
- He wants to pretend he has a lot of servers than in reality
- He wants to propose a country where he does not have the means to invest
- He is afraid of the country’s laws
Virtual servers aren’t necessarily a bad thing. But the obligation is that the VPN must make it clear that such servers in such countries are virtual. And the ratio should be 70/30 at most. That is, if you have a VPN that actually has 10 servers, but it says it has 150 servers, then that means it’s big shit. Because he has no control over what happens on the servers he loan abroad. You have providers like VyprVPN who have their own infrastructure which is always preferable.
Availability of VPN software
The user does not have to choose which system you impose on them. It is up to you to adapt to the user’s system. And so, software compatibility for your operating system should never be a selection criteria. If you are thinking to yourself, “Will this VPN software work on my system,” then this is a bad VPN. In this area, ExpressVPN is arguably the best, because the systems it supports are insane.
These are some of my criteria for getting rid of bad VPNs. There are VPNs that are great across the board. I’ve said this before, but Mullvad’s approach is unique, because even the subscription is as anonymous as it gets. Another example is OVPN, the VPN used by Pirate Bay operators, which has shown in a remarkable way that it can handle an attack on a copyright holder to force them to reveal the identity of a provider.