Why VPNs are a WASTE of Your Money (usually…)

Why VPNs are a WASTE of Your Money (usually…)
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Commercial VPNs probably hurt your privacy and security more than they help. Behind the layers of marketing sits a darker side of the industry. Ask yourself questions like:

- Why trust a VPN company and their ISP over my own?
- Who’s actually running these companies?
- Why so many VPN ads on YouTube?
- What’s up with all the review sites?

VPNs are designed to transport devices from a network of low trust to high trust. Or bridge traffic between high and high trust. A site-to-site or corporate VPN both fall in this category.

With commercial VPNs, you’re more likely to be transporting your Internet to a network of lower or uncertain trust. Rather than just your ISP seeing your traffic, you grant this privilege to the VPN provider and their ISP too.

Most of the providers out there are owned by just a few parent companies. Many of them have hidden ownership and conflicting motivations. Many “no-logging” VPN companies have turned out to be doing the opposite.

You shouldn’t use a VPN if:
- You want to encrypt your traffic.

Most of your traffic is already encrypted because most common sites support HTTPS. Encrypting your DNS queries is becoming standard too in web browsers.

- You want to hide your identity.

There’s all kinds of other metadata in your network packets available to track you. Advanced actors can correlate them to track and discover your location.

There are some cases where using a VPN does make sense though.

- You want to mask your IP address.
- Circumventing IP blocks to watch Netflix
- Getting around national firewalls
- Bypassing download limits
- Performing offensive security assessments
- Conducting OSINT and research

If you do need a VPN, the best option is to do-it-yourself. Tunnel back to a home server. Set up a cloud server. Open-source software like Wireguard, Shadowsocks, and SSH makes this easy.

Not to mention the hundreds of guides out there to follow.


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📖 Additional Reading: https://overengineer.dev/blog/2019/04/08/very-precarious-narrative.html https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/03/post-fcc-privacy-rules-should-you-vpn/ https://twitter.com/SwiftOnSecurity/status/854131577353367554 https://drewdevault.com/2019/04/19/Your-VPN-is-a-serious-choice.html

You might be asking at this point,
00:00 Should You Stop Using VPNs?
01:00 The Mysterious History of Snake Oil
02:09 The Problem With VPNs
03:46 How People Think VPNs Work
04:59 What They Don't Tell You About VPNs
07:42 BadVPNs
08:10 How the CIA used CryptoAG to Spy on the World
10:13 How Spy Agencies Would Use VPNs
11:35 When Should I Use a VPN?
13:41 Signs of a Trustworthy VPN Provider

#VPN #Privacy #Security