Tuesday, February 14, 2017

VPN: do any of these damn things work?

A couple of years ago I tried PureVPN. I wrote a bunch of posts. You can click on the VPN label to the right to read them.

This week I tried two more such services, this time with a much more modest objective: protect my devices when away from home from garden variety pain in the ass intruders. I'm not concerned about the NSA. In fact I hope that the NSA is running some of these sites to track bad guys.

I wanted to be able to protect a Chromebook and an Android tablet.

ExpressVPN (based in Bermuda):
- supposedly the only service with a Chromebook app
- seven day free trial
- free trial did not extend to the Chromebook app
Dropped free trial.

NordVPN (based in Panama; billed to Latvia):
- no free trial; had to pay to play; promised refund in 5-7 days; will dispute with bank ASAP anyway
- detailed instructions to deal with a Chromebook
- Chromebook instructions did not work; chat and email advice descended further and further into tech hell where no customer should be asked to go
- even the Android app failed to connect.

My bank challenged both. I should have taken the hint.

Finally, how the heck would you know what, if any, protection they are providing? Do they really have servers all over the planet or are they a couple of guys in their underwear with a server hooked up to a generator? Are some a giant scam that uses customer info to rob them even more blind than the money charged for "service"?

1 comment:

SteveFL said...

Since the bank gave you some push-back, perhaps they have a suggestion for what to use? A few years ago, banks started pushing some security software for anti-virus (I think). Maybe they have moved into the modern age? (But don't hold your breath.)