VPN as a registered letter that the recipient has to sign for and a VPN proxy as a forwarding note from the post office.
But beyond the metaphors, the technical differences between various VPNs do matter. A deep dive into 283 VPN-apps for Android found that a significant number actually degraded the users’ security: A whopping 84% leaked user traffic, 38% added malware or adware to the user’s device, and 18% did not encrypt the web traffic. That said, the worst statistic from the study was that less than 1 percent of users had any security or privacy concerns about these apps. Ouch! Other studies have exposed VPNs for selling user data.
What companies like Avira can do is work with other VPN developers and independent testers on a common set of verifiable standards such as AES-256 encryption, testing for DNS leaks, or the collection and resale of user data. Here are just six of the major points that should be addressed:
Only one of these (3. Usability) is subjective, one is a matter of trust (6. Data policies and logs), and the rest are objective. Setting some basic standards and certifications between VPN providers should be more than marketing. It should be a confidence builder for consumers, letting them know that the VPN they selected actually does what it should do – protect their privacy and open doors. Everything beyond that is just a technical detail.