EtherealVPN Review

Disclaimer: The below review is my opinion, which I will try to provide as many examples for and as much evidence as possible to support.  Readers can learn more about how I conduct my reviews, my methodology, etc – here.  More information on review badges here.

This review’s roll was #36 (at the time of the roll, EtherealVPN)

 

Written Feb 18, 2017

Signing up for the service: On the front page of EtherealVPN’s website, there is a ticker widget that reads “EtherealVPN is (blank) fast and private!”  In place of the “blank” is a scrolling descriptor, which jumps between “extremely”, “especially”, and “incredibly”.  Just a little ways further down is a statement claiming complete anonymity with “no logs”!  In this case. such a claim is similar to buying junk food with promises that it will make you much healthier written on the box – it couldn’t be less true.  How can people make such claims with a straight face and no irony?

Signing up with EtherealVPN was interesting.  I don’t think I’d ever before seen a website as focused on securing itself, while simultaneously disregarding the user.  The service goes to all the trouble to include reCAPTCHAs and 3rd party DDoS protection, BUT neglects an SSL Cert, and earns itself a T (not trusted) rating on Qualys’ SSL Server Test.  When I originally attempted to sign up for service, I received an error saying that I was not allowed to sign up for service again and that it was against the rules.  Since I was connecting from a VPN with a shared IP, I figured at some point in time, a user on the same VPN service I use personally had signed up – and that EtherealVPN logs the IP on the site in order to restrict signing up for another account.

Why they do this is anyone’s guess, it’s very un-user friendly and very un-privacy-friendly. It was obvious that this service had been set up by someone with no intention to run the service as a business as payment was forwarded to what seemed to be a random gmail address.

The VPN Comparison Chart shows that EtherealVPN didn’t support OpenVPN – but this was marked as such merely because I could never find direct mention of it in the site’s official documentation that it was supported at the time I did my initial research for the service.  I thought I would give it a shot just in case, but this was verified by the site’s lack of OpenVPN config files once I signed up and opened the downloads section of the site.

 

Configuring the service: As EtherealVPN does not support OpenVPN, a connection was never configured. (As I refuse to connect using non-Linux/Android, non-manual configs as per my review methodology)

 

Speed & Stability tests: As EtherealVPN does not support OpenVPN, a connection was not configured. (As I refuse to connect using non-Linux/Android, non-manual configs as per my review methodology)

 

Getting support: I sent support an email asking about their lack of OpenVPN support as well as a few other questions and also to request a refund.  After a few days of waiting I never received a response from support.

 

Getting a refund: As support never responded, I was unable to get a refund.

 

Concerns in Terms & Conditions / Privacy Policy: Unless I’m very much mistaken, I could not find terms of service or a privacy policy for EtherealVPN anywhere on their website – or even from a third party search.  This is unfortunate from a company standpoint.  I know the “obtuse” stamp typically signifies a set of terms that are labyrinth-like and overly-complicated, however as it is the stamp of shame made for failing in this area (and being obtuse just so happened to be the most common way a company fails in it), I will “reward” them with it, regardless.  A total lack of transparency is just as bad.

 

Final thoughts: EtherealVPN is an oddball.  I actually wonder if they’re serious about running a real VPN company.  They make little to no effort to run a relevant protocol where privacy is concerned.  Their website is totally insecure.  They have no terms of service or privacy policy (at least not one that can be found by digging around on the website in a reasonable amount of time).  Oh, but don’t worry – if you want to be a shill for them, I WAS able to find the referral section displayed prominently in the user drop down menu…  It’s clear what EtherealVPN’s priorities were when they made the site.


I think, at this point, it goes without saying that for all the reasons mention above, EtherealVPN qualifies as a “Pile of Junk”.  Avoid it at all costs if security and privacy are of any concern whatsoever.

And you know what?  Even if it isn’t.

 

FROM THE VPN COMPARISON CHART
CATEGORY VPN SERVICE EtherealVPN
JURISDICTION Based In (Country)
Fourteen Eyes? Not Disclosed
Enemy of the Internet Not Disclosed
LOGGING Logs Traffic
Logs DNS Requests
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
ACTIVISM Anonymous Payment Method Email
Accepts Bitcoin Yes
PGP Key Available No
Gives back to Privacy Causes No
Meets PrivacyTools IO Criteria No
LEAK PROTECTION 1st Party DNS Servers No
IPv6 Supported / Blocked No
  Offers OpenVPN No
OBFUSCATION Supports Multihop
Supports TCP Port 443
Supports Obfsproxy
Supports SOCKS
Supports SSL Tunnel
Supports SSH Tunnel
Other Proprietary Protocols
PORT BLOCKING Auth SMTP
P2P
SPEEDS US Server Average %
Int’l Server Average %
SERVERS Dedicated or Virtual
SECURITY Default Data Encryption
Strongest Data Encryption
Weakest Handshake Encryption
Strongest Handshake Encryption
AVAILABILITY # of Connections 1
# of Countries 7
# of Servers 8
Linux Support (Manual)
WEBSITE # of Persistent Cookies 1
# of External Trackers 1
# of Proprietary APIs 11
Server SSL Rating T
SSL Cert issued to No SSL Cert
PRICING $ / Month (Annual Pricing) $1.67
$ / Connection / Month $1.67
Free Trial No
Refund Period (Days) 0
ETHICS Contradictory Logging Policies
Falsely Claims 100% Effective
Incentivizes Social Media Spam
POLICIES Forbids Spam No
Requires Ethical Copy No
Requires Full Disclosure No
AFFILIATES Practice Ethical Copy
Give Full Disclosure

 

If you like the project and find my work useful, please consider donating – your generous contributions help pay for the hosting, tools, and time I need to do my research and keep the data fresh.