VyprVPN – A VPN with a bite

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The demand for encrypted and secure Internet connections has exploded in recent years, with the public more aware of data monitoring and information tracking through a number of organizations it is only natural that the use of personal VPN services is now very widespread.

Although I’m not overly paranoid about the security of my online data, I’m aware that the majority of my online life is now monitored and stored, but seeing as my Internet usage is average it does not concern me too much. Security when using unencrypted wireless access points in public areas was the main reason I began to look into VPNs and how their use can benefit me.

A considerable chunk of my Internet usage, as with most people these days, is done through my mobile phone. I’m lucky enough to live in a relatively densely populated city here in the UK so there ‘s no shortage of free unencrypted wireless hotspots available when I’m out shopping or travelling around town. Rather than staying away from these hotspots altogether for fear of man-in-the-middle attacks were my data is packet sniffed for any sensitive information, I thought I’d strap up with a VPN that will protect me when using these access points.

The first thing I realised when looking for a VPN provider is that the market is already heavily flooded with competition. There’s a million providers out there, some appear to be great at first glance, offering cheap (and sometimes free) VPN services with multiple server locations in some cases – but the more I researched them, the more I began to worry about a number of practises carried out by these providers.

Data logging, the use of 3rd party server partners etc. is rife with a large number of VPN providers and although it may not bother you enough to put you off going with some of these companies, I went in search for the the best, most secure and most ethical VPN provider that I could get my mitts on.

Enter VyprVPN. Owned by Global Frog, GmbH and headquartered in Switzerland, VyprVPN offers the widest range of VPN protocols out of all the providers I have tried. They offer PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN (160 and 256 bit encryption) connections as well as their own Chameleon protocol which I’ll go into detail with later on.

They also provide the option of a NAT Firewall, which provides an additional layer of security when using the VPN connection. It blocks unrequested inbound traffic and is included with all of their applications, no additional downloads or configurations.

VyprVPN offer over 40 worldwide server locations spread over 700+ servers and 200,000+ global IPs. A great plus that has made me chose VyprVPN as my VPN provider is that they own all their servers and do not use any 3rd party companies.

All connections automatically connect through their zero logging VyprDNS servers, which does not track any DNS requests sent through them.

Data logging is always a concern for users when selecting a VPN provider, VyprVPN run temporary connection logs where they track what servers you connect to and for how long, presumably in order to better manage data center and IP assigning operations.
A neat little thing that came as an added bonus when signing up was a free allocation of storage with Golden Frog’s cloud storage product Dump Truck, which has web, desktop and mobile applications for uploads to the cloud.

Price-wise, VyprVPN are relatively cheap considering the amount of support and features provided. Packages start at $6.67 a month if billed anually, or $9.99 per month on a rolling basis. All packages allow for unlimited data usage, with the Pro and Premier packages providing multi device support as well as full access to all protocols and to the NAT firewall.

VyprDNS in a bit more detail:

Put simply, DNS is a protocol that translates hostnames (URLs) into a computer readable IP address so your computer can communicate with the desired host. Generally, people use their ISP’s own DNS servers, which translates hostnames to IPs stored on their DNS servers. The problem with the use of an ISP or 3rd party DNS provider is that DNS requests are often logged and your Internet activity can be tracked as a result.

VyprDNS is a zero-logging DNS service with an emphasis on increased user privacy. VyprDNS is built into VyprVPN and when you connect, you will automatically use VyprDNS.

Its use also provides a workaround for users that need a way of bypassing censorship and website blocking put in place by ISPs and goverments. Traffic sent through VyprVPN and its DNS servers are encrypted and show up as standard traffic, which prevents data throttling as well as site censorship.

Most VPN providers don’t run their own DNS, they rely on 3rd party servers that are often located in a different country than the VPN server you connect to. This causes websites you visit to return results optimized for the location of the DNS server and not your VPN server location. Golden Frog prevents these geo-location errors by including VyprDNS at the same location as the VyprVPN server you connect to.

Chameleon (256-bit encryption) VPN protocol:

The newest addition to their VPN service, Golden Frog have developed a new, proprietary VPN protocol named Chameleon. It is provided with all VyprVPN applications and provides an increased level of security by scrambling OpenVPN packet metadata to ensure it’s not recognizable via deep packet inspection (DPI), while still keeping it fast and lightweight. It uses the unmodified OpenVPN 256-bit protocol for the underlying data encryption. The result is that VyprVPN users are able to bypass restrictive networks put in place by governments, corporations and ISPs.

End-user Support:

Since joining VyprVPN, I have experienced a number of issues, mainly with the Windows application itself, crashing, refusing connection requests etc. As frustrating as it can be, I appreciate problems can happen and to be fair to Golden Frog’s first line support team that have helped me through email and Live Chat, they have provided effective solutions pretty quickly. Their support is 24/7, 365 days a week too, which is handy.

Overall, after using VyprVPN on my Windows PC and Android smartphone for the last three months or so, I’ve been seriously impressed with everything. There have been problems, but thankfully Goldenfrog were very quick to jump onto my cries for support and they promptly sorted things out for me.

With their use of Goldenfrog only technology like their Chameleon protocol, their ethical views on only logging the minimum amount of information required, VyprVPN appears to be a solid VPN solution that certainly adds a better sense of security on the web.

http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn

Author

Sion Cleaver

Network Operations Technician for a UK ISP. Working with Cisco and Motorola uBRs in a Second Line Support capacity.

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