VPNs

Photo by Petter Lagson on Unsplash

Recently, I wrote a lot about privacy, and for that reason, all of the recommendation engines think I need a VPN.

No, I don’t need a VPN, at least not because you are luring me to buy one.

VPN providers tell me that I need to protect my privacy, that I need to browse the Internet anonymously, and that they will protect my identity online. All of that is false.

Let me say it straight: a VPN is just like a proxy.

You say you provide me with all the above features for ten bucks a month. You also state clearly that you are not keeping logs of my connections.

I don’t buy that. You will always know from where I am connecting to your service, and I don’t think you are not logging that information. If law enforcement authorities ever question you, I am sure that you will quickly give them that information. You want to avoid any legal threat to your company, and my ten bucks a month will never be able to pay a good lawyer to represent you.

You are not protecting my privacy. There are much more advanced technologies to keep track of my behavior on the Internet apart from exposing my actual IP address. Browser fingerprinting, cookies, and many more.

A VPN is not protecting your privacy at all. It is intended for a different use, even if it is now marketed for another use case. Here is the magic of marketing.

There is just some actual use case for a VPN:

  • Use it for the intended purpose. Create a private and secure connection between two endpoints.
  • Protect your connection when you are in a rogue environment (e.g., WiFi at an airport or a bar)
  • Protect your data when you live in a hostile country.

That’s it.

So, why is everybody trying to sell me a VPN? The answer to this question is simple: it’s easy money.

So, no, you don’t need a VPN.

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