VPN Chart Formulas

 

The Simple VPN Comparison is an attempt to boil down the massive amount of raw data in the Detailed Comparison to be more accessible to people who don’t care about each and every data point.

Since I’m forced to use weighted values for this kind of a comparison, I want to be completely transparent and open with how they’re being calculated, which is why this page exists.

As usual, Green, Yellow, and Red flags are used and mean the following:  Green = “Generally good”, Yellow = “Something of concern”, and Red = “Something major of concern”.

 

Jurisdiction:

Red Flag: Five Eyes Country, Enemy of the Internet, or Not Disclosed

Yellow Flag: Nine Eyes Country, Fourteen Eyes Country, Owned, or Cooperative.

Green Flag: Not a Fourteen Eyes Country AND Not an Enemy of the Internet.

 

Logging

Points are given for each other category logged. If traffic is logged – counts as 3 pts automatically. From categories other than traffic logging 1 pt each, half points for not disclosed categories, or for “See Note”. None given for a clear “not being logged”

Red Flag: 3 or more “points” in the category

Yellow Flag: fewer than 3 “points” in the category

Green Flag: 1 or fewer “points” in the category

 

Activism

If no anonymous payment method is offered (including email), or if there are 3 or more “points”. Points are given for not accepting bitcoin, and not having a PGP key.

Red Flag: 3 or more “points” in the category

Yellow Flag: fewer than 3 “points” in the category

Green Flag: 1 or fewer “points” in the category

 

Service Config

If OpenVPN isn’t offered or if 3 or more “points” given. Points given for red categories in service configuration section. Half points given for “Some”

Red Flag: 2.5 or more “points” in the category

Yellow Flag: fewer than 2.5 “points” in the category

Green Flag: 1 or fewer “points” in the category

 

Security

2 points given for “best available” fields if red, half points for yellows. 1 point given for “worst available” fields if red, half points if yellow. Half a point for not specified.  Default isn’t counted towards this score.

Red Flag: If 2 or more points given in the category

Yellow Flag: fewer than 2 “points” in the category

Green Flag: 1 or fewer “points” in the category

 

Availability

2 points given for < 3 connections, 1 point given for undisclosed # of countries or less than 10. 2 points given for < 3 servers, 1point given for undisclosed # of servers or less than 10.

Red Flag: 3 or more points in the category

Yellow Flag: fewer than 3 points in the category

Green Flag: 1 or fewer “points” in the category

 

Website

0 pts for 0 persistent cookies, 1 if < 5, 2 is <10, 3 otherwise. 0 pts for 0 external trackers, 1 for < 3, 2 for < 10, 3 otherwise. 0 pts for 0 proprietary APIs, 1 for < 5, 2 for < 10, 3 otherwise. 0 pts for A+ or A server grade, 1 for B, 5 otherwise. 0 pts for self-signed cert, 2 for CloudFlare/Incapsula, 3 for no cert

Red Flag: more than 6 points in the category

Yellow Flag: 6 or fewer points in the category

Green Flag: 3 or fewer points in the category

 

Pricing

Max price cells created at the bottom of the price columns. No points if in the bottom 3rd (least expensive) for price and price/connection, 1 pt for middle 3rd, and 2 pts for top 3rd (most expensive). No points if trial offered (or service free of charge), 1 if not. 0 pts for 30 days or more for refund (or service free of charge), 1 pt for 14 or more, 2 pts for 7 or more, 3 pts otherwise.

Red Flag: more than 6 points in the category

Yellow Flag: 6 or fewer points in the category

Green Flag: 3 or fewer points in the category

 

Ethics

1 pt for each good faith column violated. 1 pt for each no in affiliate policies, .5 for “some”, 0 for a yes. 1 pt for each affiliate violation.  Ethics are being tracked here ONLY for the fields indicated.  Services may have shady dealings outside of these fields.

Red Flag: 3 or more “points” in the category

Yellow Flag: fewer than 3 “points” in the category

Green Flag: 0 “points” in the category

 

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