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  • The Trouble with Home-Based VPNs

    I tried a few of them out and these results I find curious:

    1. ExpressVPN – fast but not many IP address options. Also 2 days after installing a hard drive failed on a notebook, but also another machine at the same time, also with ExpressVPN started blue-screening me. DUMPED! REALLY avoid this one – I figured I’d give it a second chance – bad idea – it does weird things to path settings and icon access on a Windows7 desktop.
    2. PrivateInternetAccess – exactly 2 days after installation it ceased to function. So I call support and they tell me to reinstall with a whole bunch of executables pre-punched through both my firewall and my virus scanner. My comment about “if I was a Chinese dissident trying not to lose my head I would scream and run”, was greeted with a comment about big wigs wanting to know everything about everyone and that it’s ok to allow 6 exe’s through my firewall when one of them was not even part of my current installation. Are we all stupid and are we all buy snake-oil? Or is this a pointless exercise? DUMPED!
    3. VYPRVPN – this one worked for a few months and then it started to deteriorate. Is it possible these companies get to the top of the ratings list and every geek in the world moves to them, and they can’t keep up with capacity? DUMPED!
    4. VPNAREA.com – too complicated and painfully slow.
    5. CyberGhost – weird and complicated – DUMPED!
    6. SaferVPN – trying this one now but seem to be getting a lot of junk email lately. Is it possible these companies sell web tracking and perhaps even email metadata and content? From Outlook? Or am I just being paranoid that my email junk content is lately 95% of my emails? And it’s very well targeted at me. And very up to date. Something’s spooky about this VPN but in hindsight it seems to work a little better and more consistently than the rest, even if it is a bit awkward to use.
    7. SpotFlux – 3 days trial for free but it doesn’t work at all. If that’s the free trial marketing campaign they should hire another marketer.
    8. IPVanish – sucks!!! Completely. Just like the rest of them, after 2 days the software has to be reinstalled or requires great big holes punched through your firewall. And IPVanish is infuriatingly slow. None of these things actually work and they’re supposed to encrypt (primarily), not allow access to your disk without permission. Seems a bit iffy to me.