Start using a VPN (with IPv6 support)

A VPN connection allows you to access region restricted content such as Netflix, helps circumvent government censorship (“The big firewall”) and increases your security and privacy online. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately the majority of VPN providers don’t do a very good job but instead leave you hanging with a slow connection, frequent disconnects and a fatal compromise: They keep track of what you’re doing online!

Must-have’s

Here’s what you should be looking for:

  • A strict no-logs policy
  • OVPN Support (don’t use PPTP)
  • Support for IPv4 and IPv6 (optional but important!)
  • They run their own DNS server
  • Great support goes a long way
  • Alternative payment methods (Bitcoin)
  • Optional but useful: Warrant Canary (example))

My provider

Fortunately, there are a number of exceptions which I have come to rely on over the past couple of years:

  1. ovpn.se
  2. proxy.sh (no IPv6)

The first provider that truly served me well was proxy.sh. During my year in Tehran, they kept me connected almost 24/7 even though it was apparent that the government was trying to restrict access.

Unfortunately though proxy.sh does not yet support IPv6 and that’s quite a big deal. If for example you’re using an Android phone with an IPv4 only VPN, all IPv6 connections simply bypass the VPN unless you’re willing to root your phone to fix this issue. While proxy.sh support told me that they are planing to add IPv6 support in the near future, I needed it now.

Since I was already paying for ovpn.se as a backup to proxy.sh, I simply made the switch and put my proxy.sh account on hold for the time being.

Speed test

I’m quite satisfied with the speed of the VPN connection. Downloads and uploads are fast and Netflix HD streaming works without hiccups. Though I’m sure you’re here to see some numbers:

Sweden: 69ms, 51.28Mbps down, 8.80mbps up - speedtest.net

Netherlands: 134ms, 88.02Mbps down, 8.33mbps up - speedtest.net

Canada: 248ms, 14.63Mbps down, 8mbps up - speedtest.net

The speeds tests have been done connected to the ovpn.se VPN from Berlin, Germany via Tunnelblick App (macOS), using speedtest.net. I don’t connect to the internet without VPN, hence I don’t know the actual connection speed though it’s safe to assume that it’s at least 100Mbps down.

Conclusion

A VPN does does not protect you 100% but it’s a huge step in terms of what you can do to increase your privacy and security online.


Update: 2018-02-03

I’ve recently replaced proxy.sh with AzireVPN as my second, and backup connection. The speed is good, the connection stable and the number of servers more than sufficient. Their privacy-efforts also seem reasonable, with an option to sign-up without Email, and even pay with Bitcoin.

  • Based in Sweden
  • IPv4 / IPv6 support (essential!)
  • OpenVPN and WireGuard
  • No logging (claim!)

While you can never completely trust your VPN provider, something does seem odd: “We do NOT log the number of your active sessions or total sessions. - AzireVPN”. I doubt that they would allow a single user, or account to connect an unlimited number of devices.

Either way, I’m satisfied.


Update: 2018-04-08

I have recently discovered That One Privacy Site which contains a very comprehensive comparison of different VPN and Email providers. Check it out!


What VPN provider are you using? Comment below:

Leave a comment

I respect your privacy: Unless you're using Facebook to sign in, no data is exchanged with 3rd party providers. Either way, it'll only take a sec.

Contact the author

Published on