So, I got an Email last week from a fellow in Estonia asking me to add his site to my list of links. I don’t really want to link to everybody with an article, but these people did such a good job evaluating different VPN systems that it is worthy to write about it.
Their site lists the five most common reasons to use a VPN:
- Add Security over Public Wi-Fi
- Access Geographically Restricted Content
- Break Out of Restricted Networks
- Surf the Web Anonymously
- Keep Your Data Private
- From a security perspective, Reason #1 is what drives most people to use VPN services.
- Reason #3 proves useful if you happen to be on-site somewhere that has a very restrictive network.
- Search engine queries and responses are cataloged and associated with the IP address of the VPN tunnel. There is no direct association with the end user, preserving anonymity (Reason #4).
- Privacy and security are not the same, but Reason #5 can be accomplished with a little attention to your PC/Device. You know, clean-up your browser history and remove any leftover artifacts from your VPN Internet session.
Who knew that VPNs are illegal in: China, Turkey, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Belarus, Oman, Russia and can potentially get you in trouble in Iran, North-Korea, and Turkmenistan? Well, their site has a complete country-by-country guide here!
They do a good job listing VPN logging policies. That can be found here.
- One of the things I noticed in the logging statements detailed by most VPN providers is how carefully worded they were.
- Most of the VPN providers do not log session details; that is to say what you’ve done or where you went during your VPN sessions. That is a good thing.
- Most VPN providers do keep logs showing when you logged on, and for how long. In the hands of an intelligence or law enforcement agency, this can be extremely dangerous.
- This article details how PureVPN logs were used in the capture of a cyberstalker. I’m no fan of cyberstalking, but if you substitute the word “dissident” with cyberstalker, you can see the problem. Make sure you read your VPN provider’s logging policies and choose accordingly.