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Why I’ll be Taking VPN Sponsorships Again… and Why I Stopped

Shahrad

Thanks to DeleteMe for sposnoring this video! Get 20% off DeleteMe US consumer plans when you go to http://joindeleteme.com/LinusTechTips and use promo code LTT at checkout.

 

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It’s been years since we advertised VPNs, and there were some good reasons to stop. Is it time to give them a second chance?

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I don't get the choice of provider here. You complain about conglomerates owning VPN companies and review sites... and then pick PIA, who are owned by KAPE, a conglomerate that owns at least 4 big VPN companies and several outlets that cross-promote them. Not to mention they do the 99% off but then we hope you miss your renewal date thing, because VPNs mostly finance themselves with people who forget to use them.

 

Pretty much every infosec person I know recommends Mullvad (if they recommend a VPN at all), but I guess they don't really rely on handing out sponsorship money and getting people into endless contracts.

 

(Also, is the irony of the new class of service with wild claims and unmeasurable impact supposed to help your privacy that scales infinitely because it's mostly "sending 200 automated emails and a dashboard" being the sponsor of this video lost on anyone else?)

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22 minutes ago, acuteaura said:

I don't get the choice of provider here. You complain about conglomerates owning VPN companies and review sites... and then pick PIA, who are owned by KAPE, a conglomerate that owns at least 4 big VPN companies and several outlets that cross-promote them. Not to mention they do the 99% off but then we hope you miss your renewal date thing, because VPNs mostly finance themselves with people who forget to use them.

 

Pretty much every infosec person I know recommends Mullvad (if they recommend a VPN at all), but I guess they don't really rely on handing out sponsorship money and getting people into endless contracts.

 

(Also, is the irony of the new class of service with wild claims and unmeasurable impact supposed to help your privacy that scales infinitely because it's mostly "sending 200 automated emails and a dashboard" being the sponsor of this video lost on anyone else?)

Well Mullvad doesn't offer port forwarding anymore, so... So it seems unfortunately there's no really so called go-to perfect one. You need to track what is happening with each and make your decision based on info. 

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Has anyone used IP Vansih..

I been using them for a bit.

But thinking of switching to IPA..

 

 

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9 minutes ago, acuteaura said:

I don't get the choice of provider here. You complain about conglomerates owning VPN companies and review sites... and then pick PIA,

they pick PIA because they have a VERY long history with PIA, and PIA has a very solid track record.

essentially, this choice was made 6 years ago, and despite ditching them as a sponsor 2 years ago over "general VPN drama" there was never any reason to ditch them,, so that's the reasonable place to go.

 

16 minutes ago, acuteaura said:

Pretty much every infosec person I know recommends Mullvad

if only people had free will to make their own choices based on the brands they have experience with.

besides that, mullvad feels a tad.. 'politically charged' on their website? not that there's anything wrong with their viewpoint, but i can see why LMG may prefer something more "dry and corporate".

19 minutes ago, acuteaura said:

I guess they don't really rely on handing out sponsorship money and getting people into endless contracts.

they do partner with malwarebytes, make of that what you wish.

 

1 minute ago, RAMiles said:

But thinking of switching to IPA..

just dont drink and drive.

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I've been using Nord for a few years now. It's been great service wise but their desktop app is horrible to use. Laggy always crashes on startup, random ass popups for other services sometimes get in the way of trying to click things. Other than that, they're responses to TorrentFreaks questions are pretty good. I've been contemplating moving away from them because of the desktop app, but I'm not sure it's worth it considering how well they've worked for me thus far. VPNs are a tough subject all around.

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12 minutes ago, manikyath said:

if only people had free will to make their own choices based on the brands they have experience with.

 

It depends what your goal is. Mullvad is run by people who care about knowing as little about you as possible: They run servers from RAM, they delete payment data as early as possible (to the point of not offering recurring payments) and disassociate it from account numbers immediately. They also have a flat pre-paid pricing model where if you don't use it, you end up not paying for it.

12 minutes ago, manikyath said:

besides that, mullvad feels a tad.. 'politically charged' on their website? not that there's anything wrong with their viewpoint, but i can see why LMG may prefer something more "dry and corporate".

Well, they certainly aren't in it to make as much money as possible. There's a reason they get to co-brand as Mozilla VPN.

12 minutes ago, manikyath said:

essentially, this choice was made 6 years ago, and despite ditching them as a sponsor 2 years ago over "general VPN drama" there was never any reason to ditch them,, so that's the reasonable place to go.

 

PIA changed owner in 2019. I find it a bit dissonant to talk about bad practices in the VPN industry and then vouch for PIA 2 minutes later without drawing the parallel - their parent does all of the mentioned bad stuff. But in the end YouTube sponsorships tend to always support business models with deep margins and near infinite audiences. It's almost never mentioned that a VPN will likely lead to some fun side effects on pages that do look up your IP/ASN and figure out you're not on a residential network - even through streaming providers tend to be at the forefront of doing such blocking until the VPN provider gets fresh IPs to burn.

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2 minutes ago, acuteaura said:

PIA changed owner in 2019. I find it a bit dissonant to talk about bad practices in the VPN industry and then vouch for PIA, despite them doing all of the mentioned bad stuff.

and despite this change in ownership, they have a solid track record of your secrets being safe in their hands.

4 minutes ago, acuteaura said:

But in the end YouTube sponsorships tend to always support business models with deep margins and near infinite audiences

(on the full year package) PIA is cheaper than mullvad? perhaps some people prefer not having to remember to deposit 5 bucks into a void for a service they're happy with. it's odd how different people can have different preferences isnt it?

6 minutes ago, acuteaura said:

It's almost never mentioned that a VPN will likely lead to some fun side effects on pages that do look up your IP/ASN and figure out you're not on a residential network - even through streaming providers tend to be at the forefront of doing such blocking until the VPN provider gets fresh IPs to burn.

yet.. they mention this very thing in this video?

 

---

 

on that note.. we're talking about a VPN sponsor which means mullvad isnt an option, because they dont sponsor. LMG isnt a charity, they have some 100 families to feed. if you fundamentally disagree with that premise for youtube, you're free to hold that opinion, but it is irrelevant to the topic.

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I find this interesting. Clicking the affiliate link in the description of LTT's video brings me here after clicking to claim the offer.

 

image.thumb.png.39ae7a427689f559714778051f1429d5.png

 

 

If I copy/paste the URL above into a private window I get this.

 

image.thumb.png.fc114742d01cd8bea59197b9cdd67600.png

 

Predatory fomo aside, I'd prefer the 3 year deal, but I guess that's just up to personal preference.

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I remember basically the day LMG signed with PIA as a sponsor PIA hired the most shady and CEO ever who had a known track record of mistrust.  VPN ads are useless just get Mullvad almost everything else should be avoided if you care about good reputation. If a VPN  is advertising on YouTube 9 times out of 10 its bad company. 

 

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I used PIA for years, never had an issue until they were bought up and I heard rumors. I didn't really beleive the rumors and I dint switch away or drop them, just let my service expire as I really didn't feel I needed the service and pretty much forgot about it while waiting to hear if the rumors had merit. Now I would say that it's seems the rumors were false and though I saved a few bucks not renewing the service, I might consider renewing anyhow.

Not totally sure yet but with how certain <cough> fcc/fbi/other <cough>  has been acting I might consider it more.

 

28 minutes ago, LeapFrogMasterRace said:

I remember basically the day LMG signed with PIA as a sponsor PIA hired the most shady and CEO ever who had a known track record of mistrust.  VPN ads are useless just get Mullvad almost everything else should be avoided if you care about good reputation. If a VPN  is advertising on YouTube 9 times out of 10 its bad company. 

 

This was one of those issues, but seems the acquisition has not affected the service or company as a whole, they just own it. I didnt see or notice any changes before my subscription ended. maybe I'll see when I switch it back on.

 

31 minutes ago, rabidkitty said:

I find this interesting. Clicking the affiliate link in the description of LTT's video brings me here after clicking to claim the offer.

 

image.thumb.png.39ae7a427689f559714778051f1429d5.png

 

 

If I copy/paste the URL above into a private window I get this.

 

image.thumb.png.fc114742d01cd8bea59197b9cdd67600.png

 

Predatory fomo aside, I'd prefer the 3 year deal, but I guess that's just up to personal preference.

PIA has always been cheaply priced. Glad to see their prices haven't been jacked.

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30 minutes ago, LeapFrogMasterRace said:

I remember basically the day LMG signed with PIA as a sponsor PIA hired the most shady and CEO ever who had a known track record of mistrust.  VPN ads are useless just get Mullvad almost everything else should be avoided if you care about good reputation. If a VPN  is advertising on YouTube 9 times out of 10 its bad company. 

 

if only PIA would have a blog where they explain why they hired someone who was involved in a scandal...

 

i'll save you the full read: yes he fucked up, like many people have before him, but at LTM (at the time the parent company) they believed him to be very skilled in what they needed him for: the technical side of things.

 

and if you're still worried.. as far as i'm able to find he doesnt work there anymore... so issue resolved?

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1 hour ago, acuteaura said:

There's a reason [Mullvad] get to co-brand as Mozilla VPN.

Ah, Mozilla... the company/browser with possibly the best PR propaganda campaign.

 

Eric Murphy made a great video about it here, but tldr is that Firefox uses Google Analytics, bought a bunch of companies for features nobody asked for like Pocket which, also uses Google Analytics and anybody using it really should think twice if their goal is to degoogle.

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I've used PIA in the past, several years ago before they were acquired (back when LMG was still advertising TunnelBear). It did what it said on the tin and I didn't have any issues with it, but I really have to stress that you have to cancel the subscription as those auto renewals with significantly higher prices is where they get you. As soon as I signed up I went through and cancelled the subscription and they gave me the option of either giving a refund and cancelling immediately or cancelling and let the remainder subscription period expire (basically just cancelling auto renew - but it actually showed in my account that the service was cancelled with X days remaining). Hopefully that is still an option they provide.

 

 

29 minutes ago, rabidkitty said:

Predatory fomo aside, I'd prefer the 3 year deal, but I guess that's just up to personal preference.

One of the common issues raised with PIA back when they were a sponsor last time is that the "special offer" that you'd get by using the affiliate code/affiliate link was no different or worse than the normal "special offer". Seems that still hasn't changed. If anybody is interested in signing up I would recommend checking with and without the affiliate link to see which deal is actually better.

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15 minutes ago, Spotty said:

but I really have to stress that you have to cancel the subscription as those auto renewals with significantly higher prices is where they get you

i presume that's the 12 bucks/mo < = > 2 bucks/mo for 3 years thing? after 3 years they just start billing you 12 bucks?

 

yeah no, that shouldnt be a thing at all...

 

on the topic of things that shouldnt be a thing.. PIA antivirus..

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/Dislike

 

Corporate VPNs will always have their uses. But the primary uses of personal VPNs have always been piracy and child porn and anyone advertising them is complicit in that.

 

The fact Linus himself has commented on this in the past (hence cancelling his own VPN project) means he's fully aware his new sponsors are complicit in it 😡

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VPN's as a whole all feel so predatory. Wanted to check out PIA for the first time in several years and was immediately hit with a LIMITED TIME ORDER NOW! offer that immediately turned me off. Why would I trust anything to a company running cringey campaigns like that?

VPN's do have a place (basically piracy) but everything just feels so ultra predatory. 13$ a month unless you lock in for 40x the time for an order of magnitude cheaper? what? insane?

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6 minutes ago, Text said:

VPN's as a whole all feel so predatory. Wanted to check out PIA for the first time in several years and was immediately hit with a LIMITED TIME ORDER NOW! offer that immediately turned me off. Why would I trust anything to a company running cringey campaigns like that?

VPN's do have a place (basically piracy) but everything just feels so ultra predatory. 13$ a month unless you lock in for 40x the time for an order of magnitude cheaper? what? insane?

that modern sales now.

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Whats a decent free vpn for occasional privateering .

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Why is there sponsor in the middle of video. I thought it was short circuit that only do that.

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For context:

Linus' interview with PIA in 2020 

Linus' and Luke's discussion on the following WAN Show (3:02-18:10, 27:34-32:35)

 

And...what about RiseUp VPN? I first found it on F-Droid a few years ago and saw that it was the only VPN app that didn't (and still doesn't) have that anti-feature (non-free network service) warning. RiseUp VPN could be accessed for free until a few months ago, but people keep saying free VPNs are up to no good so I don't know what to think about it.

 

3 hours ago, victoriasecrets said:

Why is there sponsor in the middle of video. I thought it was short circuit that only do that.

They actually sponsored the entire video, otherwise there wouldn't be a banner saying "sponsored by DeleteMe" right at the beginning. The Floatplane version of such fully sponsored video would be the same as the one on Youtube.

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so you decided to partner with kape technologies. Who bought most review sites to promot their vpn, has ties to one of the worst intelligence agencies on the planet and has been caught injecting malware into its users devices. 

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On 5/28/2024 at 1:19 PM, Do everything later said:

And...what about RiseUp VPN?

RiseUp is an anarchist infrastructure project. mostly email provider. One that arguably centralizes too many activists in one place. I don't think they appreciate pirating on the VPN much, they already have limited bandwidth and live off donations.

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