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Which is the safest VPN on the market? Who do I use for a VPN?

17/05/2013

The reasons that I chose IVPN

www.ivpn.net

1.OpenVPN

IVPN don’t promote PPTP – they will arm wrestle you onto OpenVPN, with their own installer.  OpenVPN was designed to beat Russia and Chinese State surveillance, and is peer reviewed to ensure it’s safe.

ivpn openvpn

2. Multiple PREMIUM Routes

They use multiple routes.  So for the first 10 minutes I can connect to the UK, then for the next 10 minutes, connect via the Netherlands.  Then I can get really serious and connect via 2 hops from the UK to the Netherlands and then back to the UK.  If a court issued a court order, then they’d need to get court orders in both countries within 10 minutes – just about impossible to achieve.

IVPN menu

Filesharing may be allowed dependent on the route.  It’s not allowed on USA routes to protect you.  No US lawyer can accuse you of filesharing, as the protocol is rejected.  However filesharing is acceptable in many European Countries, so you’re allowed to follow the law of the “Exit Node”.

3. Logs deleted every 10 minutes (not daily as with other VPN providers)

They don’t have server logs.  They use non persistent or temporary logs – which are wiped every 10 minutes. Viola!  Evidence gone.  This, for me, was the game changer.

4. AES 256 Encryption

They use AES 256 encryption.  Most VPN’s offer AES 128 bit.

5. Shared IP’s

They use Shared IP’s.  Dedicated IP’s are very dangerous for tracking.

ivpn shared ip

6. FAST VPN Speed

ivpn speed

7. No Data Retention

They promise to relocate if any country demands data retention or that IVPN must start to keep server logs.

8. EFF Supporter

They are EFF supporters.  They are privacy focused, rather than a VPN provider.

9. Setup Guides

Set up guides on how to install IVPN across a range of products.  Your one account can be used on a wide range of devices and operating systems.

ivpn setup guides

10.  I don’t tell you what to do, but I will tell you what I do.

IVPN

www.ivpn.net

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21 Comments
  1. LIked the article but you have not mentioned about different vpn protocols such as L2TP or SSTP. Hence SSTP is the most secure protocol I believe it’s a must to have if you are windows user. For all other os you may sure use L2TP or OpenVPN. Both Encryption level are the same.

    I find followings are the safest vpn on the market supporting SSTP protocol:

    - BoxPN : http://www.boxpn.com
    - Strongvpn : http://www.strongvpn.com
    - Purevpn : http://www.purevpn.com

    But there is another case important for privacy which is no log keeping. Almost all vpn services are keeping our activities in log. So do you believe is this really privacy? I also made some research and following are the best vpn services which does NOT LOG any of clients activities:

    - BoxPN : http://www.boxpn.com
    - Airvpn : http://www.airvpn.com

    * Pricing for above vpn services are also great comparing to others.

    I hope this information also helps :)

    • Hi Justin,

      I agree with your point regarding logs. Server log deletion is critical.
      Some VPN’s may say that they’re not keeping server logs – but they call them something else like “traffic logs” or “connection logs”.
      I would trust most VPN’s have a way to diagnose connection errors – and this is what we have to look for – as the authorities will if a court order is served on the VPN.

      That’s why I selected IVPN – as they keep 10 minute connection logs, on the gateways, not the servers, and these logs are in transient memory.. ie RAM not hard drive or server. This transient memory is auto wiped every 10 minutes…
      So even if the authorities took a server… there’s nothing there.

      I am happy that everyone starts to use VPN’s, but decent VPN’s – not the PPTP nonsense used on Windows 7.
      OpenVPN runs on Android, Linux and Windows… so once you’ve learn the menu’s you’re sorted on a cross platform system.

      Right, now we tackle the issue of IPSEC/L2.
      Ipsec was a “committee” agreed protocol – which like anything decided by a committee is working to the lowest common denominator.
      I cannot agree with recommending IPSEC – as this is a lowest common denominator standard – which ends up pleasing no-one.

      So I’d stick with OpenVPN:
      The reasons are better explained here:

    • https://uwnthesis.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/pptp-vs-l2tp-vs-openvpn-for-vpns/
    • But thanks for your comment.

      To anyone reading my advice is to buy into those those who delete your logs fastest – which was the basis of my own decision to use IVPN.

      Look for:
      1. OpenVPN
      2. Fast server log deletion (traffic or connection log deletions).

      Do not use:
      1. A VPN based in your own country (for legal reasons).
      2. A VPN that hands over your data without a court order (gives you a chance to defend yourself).
      3. A VPN that monitors your surfing and collects that data to sell to advertisers (eg logmein VPN – go read the terms if you don’t believe me…). A VPN that resells your data is a NO GO area.

  • Mary Sweetpiece permalink

    I use BoxVPN, it’s out of Turkey (not the hugest pro-privacy country, but one who really doesn’t care about “that internet thing”). Not to say that IVPN is bad, but Box is very good… there’s multiple options to connect including Sweden (great until the US puts the squeeze on them) and the US for streaming favorite shows if you’re overseas. Anyway, just an FYI.

    • Hi Mary,

      I don’t really mind who you use as a VPN, as long as they will protect you, and put you first.
      Sweden is the hub to monitor Russia – as 80% of Russian internet traffic comes via Sweden.

      • Mary Sweetpiece permalink

        Thansk thesis, but I didn’t really understand if what you’re saying about Sweden is GOOD or BAD. Are you saying the gringoes monitor the Russian traffic via Sweden? Also, I appreciate your upfront honesty about the various vpns. Truth is, I had never even heard of IVPN until I read your info. It sounds like it’s worth a try. By the way, what is your opinion on Tor – especially in light of the recent news regarding Uncle Sam tapping into it?

      • Hi Mary,

        I was surprised to hear that Sweden was the central monitoring hub for Russia. Russia has to transit it’s data via Sweden, so 80% of it is probably tapped by FISA and the Patriot Act.

        TOR is unencrypted. It has a massive fan base – but the lack of encryption is main reason that I shy away from it. If they do plant malware into TOR, then they’re on a home run – as it’s not encrypted.

        The only advice I have is:
        1. Don’t use a VPN in your own country – as court orders could be placed on the VPN.
        2. Don’t use a VPN that retains server logs. Server logs are the killer question. If the servers log what you read, then a court order can be obtained…..
        The server log could be called Traffic logs, connection logs, so it’s not always being clear what is stored.
        3. Make sure the logs are deleted at least once a day. The more often logs are deleted, then there’s no evidence – as it’s been wiped.

        Lastly, has the VPN co-operated with authorities in the past? If they have, then we can assume they will hand over your data to Councils, benefit officers, taxman etc, in addition to anyone else who asks.
        Also I’ve noticed the terms of logmein… they store your browsing logs to sell on. I was flabbergasted to read their terms.

        OpenVPN is much safer than PPTP and any other system. The others are “comprises” made by committe… which means that safety is at the lowest common denominator.

        Do you think I should do a Masters degree in VPN’s?? I have a feeling that I should :) It’s getting a bit of a passion. :)

      • Mary Sweetpiece permalink

        Dear Thesis, Yes, you should! You have paid particular attention to small but important details that most people either miss or don’t have the time or patience to read (like me). I have been using a VPN for two years now. Started with Witopia, but since it was NOT ONLY in the U.S., BUT near Washington, D.C. as well, AND it started doing suspicious things… I dropped it. So far, I believe in BoxVPN, definitely not in my country (which is another bit of good advice from you) and you can piggyback connections, to at least make it a little safer. Heard Tor was compromised recently (like within the last two weeks), that comes from Tor users on their message boards FWIW.
        Much thanks for your insight! I hope all others heed it.

      • Hi Mary,

        Checked out BoxVPN – they look great. Torrentfreak run an annual check on the most private VPN’s and BoxVPN don’t keep server logs :)
        http://torrentfreak.com/vpn-services-that-take-your-anonymity-seriously-2013-edition-130302/

        I’ve heard of Witopia…. they’ve had a bad review for something, as I instantly knew the name.
        There are too many VPN’s willing to hand over your data (Like hidemyass.com)… and the trouble is, with good advertising, they get the business and let their users take all the risk.
        But the great news is that your VPN has the green light :)

        Take care.

  • JohnR permalink

    I like EzyVPN. I get 30mb/s download on my torrents, thats nice :) Cheap and works on mac/iphone and android. If you need a good offshore VPN to protect you on internet I would recommend EzyVPN

    • Hi John,

      I don’t mind which VPN you use, as long as they are true to privacy. Make sure that they’re not in the same country as you, and don’t hand over data to the authorities.

      The killer question is do they keep server logs, traffic logs or connection logs? And if so, how quickly do they delete them – look for within 24 hours or less.

      Don’t use a VPN that sells your data to advertisers (logmein) or hands over to the authorities (hidemyass) or keeps data retention for 6 months (swissvpn).

      Be VERY careful. Use the Torrentfreak guides to which VPN’s take your anonymity seriously. :)

  • Vlad permalink

    Privacy is hot topic these days. I`m also using a VPN (http://www.highspeedvpn.net/) more and more often, even at home because I don`t want my ISP to have logs of the sites I visited .. it will also unblock sites for like torrent sites that sometimes get blocked. Pretty soon we`ll have the Great Firewall of Europe in here :(((.

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