Macworld (USA)

VYPRVPN: A VPN COMMITTED TO ONLINE USER SECURITY, PRIVACY, AND AN OPEN INTERNET

- BY SÉAMUS BELLAMY

While VYPRVPN ( go.macworld.com/vypr) has offices in Texas, its parent company, Golden Frog ( go.macworld.com/gfrg), is incorporat­ed in Switzerlan­d. For anyone that doesn’t want their government to know what they get up to online, this is great news: Switzerlan­d owes no allegiance to the Five ( go.macworld. com/5eye), Nine ( go.macworld.com/9eye), or Fourteen ( go.macworld.com/9eye)

Eyes programs.

That said, user privacy isn’t complete. The company, like many other VPN services, retains logs on each user’s source IP address, the address of the Vypr server that they connected to, connection times, and how much data was transmitte­d during each individual

session. These records are kept for 30 days to help the company deal with billing issues and to address crimes (as required by Swiss law) performed while using the service. If any of this makes you uncomforta­ble, you’ll want to take your VPN needs elsewhere. That said, the Swiss do well to balance the issue of law enforcemen­t and the right to online privacy. Your informatio­n, provided you’re not caught committing a crime, will be safe.

You should also know that while Golden Frog’s founders are proponents of a free and open Internet, they’re very much against intellectu­al property crime. You should choose a different VPN if you plan on doing any torrenting of copyrighte­d material.

SECURITY, SOFTWARE, SERVERS, AND SPEED

While we weren’t able to come up with any exact numbers, Vyprvpn’s website states that they operate over 700 servers in over 70 different countries. VYPRVPN writes, hosts, and owns all of their servers and Dns—theoretica­lly, they’re the only ones who’ll have access to your private informatio­n.

VYPRVPN uses AES-256 encryption to lock its network away from prying eyes. If this isn’t enough data security for you, then you’ll definitely want to consider Vyprvpn’s premium level plan, which comes with access to the company’s proprietar­y Chameleon technology ( go. macworld.com/chmn). Chameleon is designed to scramble user metadata, confoundin­g Deep Packet Inspection. If you’re living in a country that blocks web traffic or frowns upon the use of VPNS, you’ll be more likely to be able to connect to the sites that matter most to you and less likely to be tracked or located by government agencies for doing so.

The premium plan also provides a NAT firewall that blocks unrequeste­d inbound traffic from making it to your computer.

This in conjunctio­n with macos’s built-in firewall functional­ity should make it difficult for anyone to mess with your computer or your personal informatio­n.

No matter which package you choose to go with, you’ll find the VYPRVPN app to be easy to install and use.

During testing, connecting to Vypervpn’s servers resulted in the following upload/download speed reductions versus connecting to the Internet without a VPN (see the table opposite).

PRICING

VYPRVPN offers a three-day free trial to their prospectiv­e customers. Gaining access to it means signing up for one of

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