Q: Do you work for any of the companies on your sheet?
A: Nope! I am not a part of any VPN / Email company or their advertisers or affiliates.
Q: Why on Earth did you start this project? Are you insane? It must have taken hours!
A: It did! Over 1,000 hours at this point. I began to help me choose a VPN company and thought others would like it as well, so here you go! Since people liked it, I spend my free time keeping the charts up to date, adding content and making it all better.
Q: Why bother updating and expanding it? Haven’t you learned enough about the companies on the charts at this point?
A: Between aggressive affiliate promotion, lazy policies, and many biased “reviews”, I’ve come to realize that web service industry is a bit of a mess where privacy and transparency are concerned, and that I could do some good untangling the knots with my data. I’m trying to keep these companies accountable and present the data in a clear and unbiased way for potential customers – which I don’t feel I had the luxury of when I started researching for myself.
Q: Why is your data even needed in the first place? Aren’t there a hundred other review/comparison websites out there?
A: Every VPN review/comparison website I’ve come across was extremely short on data and/or nothing more than a disguised advertisement bought and paid for by the companies they promote. Many of these companies support unethical means to funnel in web traffic and referrals to their services, and most times customers aren’t savvy enough to even know they’re being fooled. I want to change that. More about the unfortunate state of the VPN industry, false reviews, and phony advertising here.
Q: Can you give me a recommendation?
A: Sorry, but to be unbiased, I created my project for others to make this determination for themselves. Everyone’s needs and threat models are different as well, so if I made a suggestion that conflicted with your needs, it could very well have the opposite effect as intended.
However, I wrote a guide to help you Choose the Best VPN (for you) that may give you further guidance. Additionally, you may just look at the “Simple Comparison”. If you’re not sure how to use any of the tools available, I will be happy to help give you examples.
If you really can’t be bothered doing a bit of research, there is also a recommendation megathread on reddit to help you. Note that you will get out of this endeavor what you put in. If the most you’re willing to do is ask a stranger on the Internet, you’ll probably get a poor recommendation or an advertisement disguised as one, in return.
Q: Why do you focus so heavily on Web-based Services?
A: While I like helping people learn about all kinds of privacy software and services, most of the heavy lifting has been done by some very dedicated teams (privacytools.io, prism-break.org, and reddit.com/r/privacy to name a few), however I feel that the privacy based Web Service industry in particular lacks enough sources of reliable info and has a lot of room for improvement. I feel that my time is best spent in that area for now. If you feel like asking me questions unrelated to Web Services, feel free! It’s a nice change of pace for me.
Q: Why don’t you score services that have more greens so they are sorted to the top of the chart or somehow rank the services?
A: One field is not equal to another and everyone’s needs are different. If people are serious about their privacy enough to use a VPN, I believe they should spend (at least) a few minutes researching to know what to look for and avoid the temptation to search for a “best VPN” or “top 10” style list that has been done to death by shills in this industry.
Q: My/A company’s information is incorrect, please update it!
A: Anyone can contact me using the info in the “Contact” section. I’m happy to work with any individual or company who is courteous and professional. Do not forget to include a link to the official source that I can use to verify the change.
Q: How can your data even be wrong in the first place?
A: My data simply reflects what is officially and publicly avaiable for a given service on their own official website. This is to A) Encourage companies to be transparent and detailed for their potential customers, and B) To prevent a destructive third party from abusing the data by claiming to be the company in question. If a company buries a piece of information or neglects to even include it in the first place, it will be left off, or in some cases, given a default value (for example, if a company makes no mention of OpenVPN, I assume they don’t use it).
Q: Shouldn’t the burden be on you to make sure the data is 100% right before posting it?
A: Even if I were to reach out to each of these companies and get confirmation about everything on the chart, I have no way of actually verifying most of the data beyond what they tell me, which is why I’d rather be able to point to an official documented source so anyone can see and independently verify the data. Even if I wanted to reach out to hundreds of companies, there just isn’t enough time in the day. As I state above, I’m more than happy to correct something wrong, if given an official source!
Q: Why don’t you have some obvious fields like “Works with Netflix/Hulu”, “Works in China”, etc?
A: Besides the impracticality of testing each of them, services/governments could use the data I publish to crack down on those that still work. Your best bet if you’re interested in these things is to narrow the field using the comparisons and then test out your top 3-5 taking advantage of free trials and refund policies.
Q: How do the “Simple Comparisons” work?
A: The Simple Comparisons are using weighted values from the raw data in the chart. The purpose of this comparison is to give you a less “scary” view of the data. You can view and comment on the current algorithms for these fields here.
Q: Can I contribute by donating?
A: You bet, thank you for your generosity!
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Q: Can I copy, link to and use this information for myself and/or others?
A: Absolutely! I have licensed my VPN Comparison Chart under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.