Sunday, February 17, 2013

Market survey of proxies and VPNs

There are several reasons why one might want to be anonymous online, such as avoiding geolocation, writing emails without getting your personal IP address recorded in the headers, getting access to country-specific videostreams, and downloading copyrighted materials. Proxies and VPNs are technologies that promise anonymity, and there are many providers of them.

But which to choose? There are many online articles promoting one company's offerings or another's, but those articles aren't necessarily objective and don't tend to do thorough comparisons.

So I spent a few hours yesterday composing a market survey of proxies and VPNs. Right now I compare 25 plans of 12 companies.

My market survey is in OpenDocument Spreadsheet format. Open it with LibreOffice or Microsoft Office 2013. (I tried exporting it as PDF and HTML, but the results were pretty bad. And I don't know enough Javascript to create a web-based table that allows sorting by columns.)

I am not a subscriber to any (yet), but my top choice is Private Internet Access. It's one of the most comprehensive yet lowest-priced offerings. Plus their support is impressive: yesterday evening I emailed them with a question and got a reply less than an hour later.

I am happy to add more companies to the comparison, or to augment the comparison with additional columns. Just leave a comment.