Torrentfreak's annual article on VPN's



Torrentfreak recently released their 2015 report on VPN services. Their survey asks the following questions to a number of VPN providers:

  1. Do you keep ANY logs which would allow you to match an IP-address and a time stamp to a user of your service? If so, exactly what information do you hold and for how long?
  2. Under what jurisdiction(s) does your company operate?
  3. What tools are used to monitor and mitigate abuse of your service?
  4. Do you use any external email providers (e.g. Google Apps) or support tools ( e.g Live support, Zendesk) that hold information provided by users?
  5. In the event you receive a DMCA takedown notice or European equivalent, how are these handled?
  6. What steps are taken when a valid court order requires your company to identify an active user of your service? Has this ever happened?
  7. Does your company have a warrant canary or a similar solution to alert customers to gag orders?
  8. Is BitTorrent and other file-sharing traffic allowed on all servers? If not, why?
  9. Which payment systems do you use and how are these linked to individual user accounts?
  10. What is the most secure VPN connection and encryption algorithm you would recommend to your users? Do you provide tools such as “kill switches” if a connection drops and DNS leak protection?
  11. Do you use your own DNS servers? (if not, which servers do you use?)
  12. Do you have physical control over your VPN servers and network or are they outsourced and hosted by a third party (if so, which ones)? Where are your servers located?

The answers provided should give their readers a good sense of which VPN services are more likely to keep their customers’ identities anonymous.