In a world where internet users and researchers are on an unending quest for privacy, security, and anonymity, VPN service providers have become highly sort after royals.
With the massive data breaches that have made global headlines and revelations about government agencies conducting mass surveillance of citizens, people are genuinely worried about the security and privacy of their internet activities.
This quest for privacy has created a boom for virtual private network providers. Not only do regular internet users want anonymity, lawyers working on sensitive cases, journalists working on classified information and political dissidents in countries with less liberal laws all want privacy. The magic wand that appears to solve these concerns is a virtual private network (VPN).
The growing rate of VPN service demand has led to cut-throat competition among VPN service providers. Because the competition among VPN service providers has become stiff, every VPN provider wants to get ahead of the others. In a bid to get ahead and corner more customers to their side, most VPN service providers promise anything and everything.
They promise customers that their networks offer them anonymity, security, and complete privacy and that they do not log customers’ data or personal information. However, many of these promises are either half-truths, untruths, or outright falsehoods. Below, we consider the lies VPNs tell their customers and what they do not know about them.
The promise of anonymity and the opportunity to browse the internet anonymously without detection or losing any personal data is one of the catchphrases of VPN service providers. But the fact is, while VPNs do hide customers’ IP address, and encrypts users’ data, that information is not anonymous to the VPN service provider itself.
The VPN provider knows where any particular traffic is coming from and where it is going. These details are at the fingertips of VPNs, so it is not true that VPN users are completely anonymous. VPNs are only telling half-truths when they make customers believe they are completely anonymous. Anonymity ends with their internet service providers, their details are bare to the VPNs.
Customers need to be aware of this fact so that they do not become carefree with their sensitive personal information while using VPNs believing their data is completely anonymous, it is not.
Closely related to the promise of complete anonymity is the no logging, claims of most VPNs. Virtually every VPN in the market claims it does not keep customers’ logs, but when we examine what customer VPN logs are and what VPNs do, this claim becomes a blatant lie.
For a VPN to actually claim that it does not log customers’ data, it should mean that in fact, it does not collect any information transmitted through it.
Hence, an actual “no logging” VPN should not collect users’ information such as search queries, online behavior, and downloads. Under no-logging VPN claims, users are supposed to be blank pages on VPN providers databases with no information to identify them or have any information about their browsing habits. But the reality is that many VPNs keep substantial information about their users. Unknown to the users. Some of such information they collect and keep include:
- Connection Logs: The information contained in connection logs include users’ IP addresses, connected VPN services, session duration, the volume of transferred data, and date.
- Usage Logs: This collects information such as websites visited by users, used software applications, and downloads. Aggregate collection and recording of users’ data may not pose serious risks to users, but the collection of sensitive personally identifiable information may be dangerous to the safety of users. Some VPNs keep users’ logs such as traffic logs, IP addresses, and files downloaded. in this case, the VPN begins collecting the very information that users’ ISPs collected, the very reason why users left the ISPs. Any VPN provider who claimed no logs but went ahead to collect these sensitive data is not only being dishonest and lying to its users. It is also putting them at very dangerous risks because the government and law enforcement agencies can cease the servers of VPNs and access its database. Keeping such information about users is against the very principles of VPN.
- Lying About Location: Another lie VPN service providers tell their users is the location of their servers. Many VPNs have been caught lying about the location of their servers, the country, and the city in which it is hosted. Some VPNs have even claimed to have VPN servers in almost every country including reclusive countries such as North Korea where they have just a handful of servers. Some VPNs claim or make their customers believe they are routing their traffic through Luxemburg or Dubai when its traffic is actually going through another country. Such Deception could put a user’s identity at risk if the traffic is hacked into.
Most VPNs are deceptive and they collect your data no matter what they claim. To browse anonymously and privately on the internet, it is necessary that you use a privacy app like Hoody.
Hoody is the ultimate privacy app. With its revolutionary technologies: Phantom Browsing™ & Bulletproof Privacy Network (BPN), hoody ensures complete privacy.
Hoody’s Phantom Browsing™ ensures that a unique fingerprint is created for every browser’s tab and website. Its advanced caching features accelerate the browsing experience drastically. Hoody’s Bulletproof Privacy Network (BPN) encrypts your traffic and anonymizes your IP through multiple random relays.
In conclusion, the claims of many VPNs are mixtures of half-truths and lies. VPN users should take control of their privacy and security, and not rely on what VPN service providers say.