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.
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|
|JURISDICTION||Based In (Country)|
|Fourteen Eyes?||Not Disclosed|
|Enemy of the Internet||Not Disclosed|
|Logs DNS Requests|
|Logs IP Address|
|ACTIVISM||Anonymous Payment Method|
|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|
|Supports TCP Port 443|
|Supports SSL Tunnel|
|Supports SSH Tunnel|
|Other Proprietary Protocols|
|PORT BLOCKING||Auth SMTP|
|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|
|Refund Period (Days)||0|
|ETHICS||Contradictory Logging Policies|
|Falsely Claims 100% Effective|
|Incentivizes Social Media Spam|
|Requires Ethical Copy||No|
|Requires Full Disclosure||No|
|AFFILIATES||Practice Ethical Copy|
|Give Full Disclosure|
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