How to choose a VPN provider

Choosing a VPN provider can be complicated. VPN services are themselves complex networks, doing sophisticated routing, standing up to frequent attacks on multiple fronts, and operating on thin margins. They are very different, and which one is right for you depends on your situation. I’ll try to break it down a little to help make choosing easier.

A proper VPN service provides security and privacy to users by establishing an encrypted comunications channel between your device(s) and a node on the VPN’s network. Once established, this encrypted channel prevents onlookers from discerning much of anything about your traffic, other than the fact that you’re using the VPN service.

Never use a free VPN service

Don’t even consider using a free VPN service. Running a VPN service is an expensive undertaking. The hardware costs are high, technical expertise is needed in-house in multiple knowledge domains, regulatory compliance issues can be expensive, and defending against attacks usually means paying 3rd parties to help. If the service is free – where does the money to pay for this come from?
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malicious mining or opportunistic websites?

A growing trend on the web is using Monero mining to monetize websites. What started with fringe sites like Pirate Bay, is now going mainstream. This has raised alarm in some circles, but I think it’s a positive development.

To be clear, I’m not talking up the malware that persists on your machine and mines. What I’m bullish on is including Javascript in the website to mine while the visitor is on the site.
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