Research about VPN industry: “All of them claim to be the best”

As there are many Tor users here trying to find out the “best” combination of “VPN+Tor”, I recommend reading this new report:

As more users adopt VPNs for a variety of reasons, it is important to develop empirical knowledge of their needs and mental models of what a VPN offers. Moreover, studying VPN users alone is not enough because, in using a VPN, a user essentially transfers trust, say from their network provider, onto the VPN provider. To that end, we are the first to study the VPN ecosystem from both the users’ and the providers’ perspectives. In this paper, we conduct a quantitative survey of 1,252 VPN users in the U.S. and qualitative interviews of nine providers to answer several research questions regarding the motivations, needs, threat model, and mental model of users and the key challenges and insights from VPN providers. We create novel insights by augmenting our multi-perspective results, and highlight cases where the user and provider perspectives are misaligned. Alarmingly, we find that users rely on and trust VPN review sites, but VPN providers shed light on how they are mostly motivated by money. Worryingly, we find that users have flawed mental models about the protection VPNs provide, and about the data collected by VPNs. We present actionable recommendations for technologists and security and privacy advocates by identifying potential areas to focus efforts and improve the VPN ecosystem.

arXiv link: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2208.03505.pdf
Website: VPNalyzer

Twitter thread:

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Great, they also interviewed Calyx and Riseup. I like the statement:
“Technically it’s not that hard to run a VPN…two people
in a basement with a half decent power…can run a VPN.”

Business came up with the word VPN Provider. :sweat_smile:
Nice to read about VPN services

Actually, a VPN is a secure tunnel between 2 devices that I trust or own.
My router <-> My Moms or company router
Our Freifunk in Germany:
(Meshed) Access Points in refugee homes or at the bakery <-> gateway-server <-> Exit VPN

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Some interesting case proven points are in this thread too Does connecting to your own Guard increase or decrease overall security?

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