Why are VPN servers so bad?

I arrived late to installing a VPN. I subscribed to Box and was sufficiently satisfied to want to renew a few months ago. For some reason my payment did not go through, so I wrote for customer help. There was no response, so I wrote twice more. I didn’t hear a dickybird so decided that, with customer service that bad, I was no longer interested.
I then signed up to Private Internet Access, and it simply would not work on my computer, so I had to try another. I have asked them to fulfill their money-back guarantee, but they haven’t manage to do that.
I then signed for a month in order to try Airvpn, and was reasonably satisfied, except that I could not succeed in getting automatic start-up. I wrote for help and finally got a reply to try using Hummingbird. I followed instructions, but it would not download, so I wrote once again for help, noting that I would like to sort that out before renewing. Renewal date is here, and the silence is deafening. There has been no problem in all these matters in getting requests to renew. Aren’t these companies at all interested in their (potential) clients?

Seems like you had really bad luck.

I already issued a refund in a similar situation and they immediately refunded the software subscription, however that was not a VPN software.

I personally use NordVPN since a couple of years and am satisfied with it. Sure, servers might’ve been a bit slow during Corona, but everything was, so can’t blame them. That said, they support now Wireguard instead of OpenVPN now, too (they call that feature NordLynx). So it seems like they are doing a good job as I didn’t have any problems I can remember in all these years.

I have a Raspberry Pi logged into NordVPN 24/7 and use it on Android, as well as Windows 10. All clients work perfectly fine. (On the Raspberry Pi, I use the dietpi-nordvpn client.)

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I’ve had terrible luck with several of the ‘lifetime’ subscription VPNs. Most wouldn’t stay connected for long periods of time or slow performance. I ended up with TorGuard and couldn’t be happier. Solid performance. Works with just about any OS.

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I’m using surfshark, it has and is working really well on my LM19.3 desktop, on my MX-Linux 19.1 laptop on my Firestick and my Insignia Roku TV. Servers galore, no logs and corporate office outside of the 5 eyes. If you still aren’t happy give surfshark a try.

Thanks for the informative and useful replies. It shows again that this is one of the most helpful and friendly forums available. I must have spent days on research into various VPNs and used the results to try the sites I mentioned. I usually began by asking the question ‘what are the best VPNs for Linux users?’

Since starting this thread, I have looked at another question: ‘do I need a VPN?’ I have been led to believe over the years that one is quite essential and never bothered to query that assumption. I know that there are a number of reasons to use one, but privacy is my main concern. I have discovered a number of useful articles that have shown me that none make me as secure as I had believed. I am at the point of being convinced that I don’t really need one. My feeling of security has been shaken, and I am getting to the point where I probably won’t subscribe to any.

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It very much depends on each use case. If you want to consume content forbidden in your country, like movies/series that are forbidden or cut in your country, because it has something “insulting” in it, then a VPN is a very good choice. If you have serious privacy concerns, a VPN would be by far not enough.

Anyone remember this game?
Technically this game is still banned in Germany, because of Swastikas in the game. The game is so old and meanwhile it has become very friendly compared to other shooters nowaydays, yet the index entry was never removed for this game.

That’s an example situation where you could fire up your VPN and get the game from outside that country.

Good afternoon and thanks once again. I’m not all that bothered about getting films not otherwise available or being able to by-pass a country’s restrictions. I simply want to feel secure when sending messages or using the web that no one is harvesting information. I appreciate your comment, Akito, that a VPN is not enough. Whilst writing this, I received an email from Box (one of the services that never replied to my requests) from which I quote below:

[Every webpage can see your IP address. We all have this digital fingerprint and depends on it all see different content and prices. Also, the IP address can expose our browsing history to the website owners, advertising networks, Internet Service Providers and so.

BoxPN can easily fix this! Just connect to one of our servers worldwide and surf the Internet with an anonymous IP address depends on the country you’ll choose. This how you can unlock geo-restricted content, save money and, of course, protect your privacy! ]

I wonder if you have any additional comments with respect to their claim.

I have quickly scanned to see if the community have discussed the best ways to ensure the kind of privacy I am seeking. Perhaps I should open another topic.

That’s advertisement bullshit.

Read here why your IP is just a tiny little piece in a huge puzzle of anonymity establishment.

Elaborate your needs and wishes, then we can go on from there.

Feel free!

I principally use VPN.AC, they are rock solid. I also have NordVPN, works well and Surfshark which is also good. I will be sticking with VPN.AC as I don’t need to go chasing servers to access US content Netflix from Australia.

All three work quite well on my Ubuntu 20.04 LTS machine, my one Windows 10 (weather station and solar system monitoring) and my other media/TV PC running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

However, my preference for use and hassle free operations is VPN.AC.

I use VPNUnlimited. I’ve had them for about 4 years now. They get back to you immediately if you have a question or an issue. They also have very fast servers. I think I paid $39.00 US for lifetime subscription.

I remain grateful for the help and advice. It appears, with respect to VPNs, that I am spoiled for choice and am looking into all the suggestions. VPN,.AC might be a bit beyond my skills, as it doesn’t seem to have full-bodied support for Linux. Or am I wrong?

Akito asks my needs and wishes. I use only the basic email and browsing facilities of Linux Mint 19.3. I don’t indulge in any behaviour which might be worrying if disclosed. I simply don’t want to be controlled or manipulated, and I think what I do on the web is not the business of anyone else. In addition, I dislike the intrusion of advertising and pop-ups and wouldn’t as a matter of principle ever buy anything brought to my attention in that way. I have no use for social media and try to disclose location as little as possible. I shall probably be accused of being rather priggish, but I am a strong supporter of privacy.

That is the reason I finally decided to use a VPN, although further research, as I have mentioned, makes me wonder if it is necessary, given my usage and other steps taken. I use duck duck go search engine on the latest Firefox browser and have quite a number of add-ons, such as privacy badger and ad blockers. I might even have too many such devices, and asked for help in a previous post about the minimum number I should have, without affecting the efficacy of my computer.

I apologise for the longish post, but I hope it explains something of what I am looking for. And, once again, many thanks.

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Take a look at this:

It has lots of recommendations for common software replacements.

I personally would recommend for your specific case using these software:


Chats Option 1 (preferred):

with (usually already built-in)

Chats Option 2:

with built-in encryption, but not as straight-forward to use.

VPN.AC has a great application which works well in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, easy to install as is a .DEB file and input credentials then up up and away. I also use OpenVPN within the VPN section of the Network Manager, it is easy enough to install also for trouble free operation. VPN.AC has some good guides on how to do all this, as do the others, NordVPN and Surfshark VPN, however, these two services do not have an easy to install and use Application like VPN.AC, they use a Terminal style installation and use which is not all that great for those new to Linux.

You can also connect over the generic GUI to NordVPN services.

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I am (pleasantly) overwhelmed with information and advice. It is all appreciated. I am writing this reply just to make it clear that I an continuing to investigate options and haven’t dropped out.

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I’ve been tasked with deploying a clustered OpenVPN solution for a customer… so thought I’d better take a look at it myself…

Installed a non-GUI version of openvpn-as onto my RPi - couldn’t have been any easier… generated a *.ovpn file - opened it with the google play app (OpenVPN client) on my phone, and I’m in - to my home network (over 4G)… the RPi doing the OpenVPN is also my SSH jumphost from the interwebs, and its also my Pi-Hole ad blocker… running Raspbian arm64…

Not sure how relevant any of this is…

Customer’s needs are somewhat more complicated, requires MFA and Active Directory/LDAP integration, and limiting connection to specific VLANs…

Me? I’m gonna keep using all the google services that I’m used to 'cause they’re just too damn convenient… having said that - when I’m using my RPi4B with 8 GB RAM, I only use firefox (but even there - I use my gmail account for sync!), because Chromium runs like a three legged dog in its sleep on there…

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