Top Signs that your VPN Service isn't Legit!

Virtual Private Network (VPN) has surely amassed a widespread recognition over the years. A VPN’s importance can’t be denied. But before you spend your valuable money and subscribe to any VPN service, it’s recommended that you ensure that it is a legitimate one. To help you with this, we have gathered a list of some signs commonly found in poor-quality VPN services.

Free of Cost VPNs:

In order to ensure your online security, VPN companies require immense financial resources to maintain the hardware and perform other essential operations. So, it’s highly unlikely for a credible VPN network to offer its services for absolutely free. In order to avail a premium service, customers are either required to pay for it or allow the VPN companies to collect their data and sell it to advertisers and/or other undisclosed third parties.

In short, privacy risks are associated with the so-called free VPNs. Additionally, such services can also cause quiet and automatic installation of harmful software, and result in painfully slow connection speeds.

Maintaining Activity Logs:

Even if you are assured by a VPN service that your activity logs shall not be retained, it’s quite difficult in most cases to verify this claim and we just have to take the company’s word for it.

However, if a service is caught sharing user activity logs, then you should immediately discard it.

Many VPN companies including HideMyAss, PureVPN, IPVanish have been observed by privacy advocates for sharing logs with legal authorities. While it can be said that sharing data with legal parties isn’t a bad practice, not disclosing this to customers beforehand isn’t the right approach either.

Sloppy Encryption:

An ideal VPN service should at least boast an AES-256 encryption. VPNs with PPTP and L2TP encryptions have gone out of style and aren’t recommended at all.

Also, while you are assessing the encryption details, check whether “Perfect Forward Secrecy” is included or not. This feature comes in handy when any of your VPN services is compromised. Perfect Forward Secrecy, in such cases, lays waste to all keys involved in decrypting private internet traffic and thus safeguards your online security.

Painfully Slow Speeds:

While VPNs are known for hindering connection speed, there’s a limit to it as well. Nowadays, any programmer with decent skills can come up with something that they would call a “VPN” service. In many cases, such services are mainly formed to steal and resell your internet bandwidth and due to it, you witness an irritatingly slow internet speed.

The company Hola was caught back in 2015 for stealing and reselling the bandwidth of users. However, the CEO (Ofer Vilenski) claimed that the company assumed that it had already made it clear to its users that Hola was a peer-to-peer network and that people would have to share their bandwidth with fellow Hola users in exchange for the free service.

It should be noted that almost every VPN slows down the connection speed. However, if you observe that enabling a VPN service is reducing your connection speed by more than half, that’s where you should draw the line. So, make sure that before you put your trust into a service, you have already done a thorough research on it and are completely aware of its credibility.

Illustration: Freepik / Vectorpouch

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