Review Criteria
Author: niels. Published: 2020-08-17 10:00:00. Updated: 2020-08-17 17:13:45.

Before I start reviewing VPN's I want to create a comprehensive list of tests, features and other criteria. Future changes to the list are unavoidable but I would like to avoid having to update past reviews too many times as we go along.

Your input is highly appreciated. Please leave a comment with the criteria that are important to you. Discussions on which criteria weigh heavier than others are also welcome.

I'll update this document as your comments come in. Consider it a living document.


Does it have it's own apps? or rely on 3rd-party apps? Which platforms does its own app run on?

  • Android
  • iOS / iPadOS
  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows

Protocol Support

Which VPN protocols are supported?

  • Wireguard
  • OpenVPN
  • IKEv2
  • SSTP
  • IPSec
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • PPTP
  • SmartDNS
  • SSH tunnel
  • ICMP tunnel
  • DNS tunnel
  • others?


  • Netflix/Hulu/Disney/etc. unblocking
  • Bittorrent support
  • Multi-device support (how many?)
  • Server count
  • Server country count


What do they log?

  • No logs whatsoever
  • Error / minimal logging (for troubleshooting)
  • Usage logging (for bandwidth accounting, billing, etc.)
  • Traffic logging (DNS, HTTP requests, etc.)


Beyond limited/no logging, what is done to safeguard your privacy?

  • DNS leak protection
  • Anonymous payments
  • Multi-hop support
  • 3rd-party trackers on website
  • Customer information shared with affiliates


  • Are supported protocols set to use modern ciphers/certificates/keys where possible?
  • Kill-switch
  • Website SSL rating and owner
  • API SSL rating and owner
  • PGP key available


Are there additional measures for people in dangerious locations? Measures to reduce attacks or attention to the VPN and its users?

  • Obfuscation (how? for which protocols?)
  • Port 25 blocking
  • Torrent blocking

Technical capabilities

  • IPv6 support


How trustworthy is this company?

  • Who are the owners? Are they easy to find?
  • WHOIS transparency? or hidden records?
  • Where are they incorporated? (I often see this listed as "jurisdiction", but I don't think it's that simple. Authorities can go after owners, infrastructure, other assets, regardless of where a company is incorporated.)


  • Monthly pricing
  • Annual pricing
  • Free trial
  • Discounts


  • Response time
  • Friendliness
  • Usefulness of response


  • Sponsors privacy related projects


  • Refund policy
  • Abuse policy


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1 year ago

Usability of their website.