A Virtual Private Network (VPN) enables you to bypass censorship, geological restrictions, hide your IP, and protect your privacy while browsing the web.
If you want to keep your internet activity private, chances are you are already using a VPN or looking for the perfect VPN. While there are several VPN service providers, most people rely on VPN reviews to check what they recommend and what is the best valued service out there.
But can you trust VPN reviews that you find online? Are VPN reviews helpful at all?
Here’s Why VPN Reviews Are Helpful
Just like any other product review, a VPN review gives you information on what you can expect with the service along with the potential pros and cons to it.
Of course, whether a review is useful or not, can be subjective. But usually, you get a lot more details in a review than what you can find in the official website of a VPN.
Even if the VPN service claims to be transparent with their customers, you may have to navigate for a while on their official website to know every inch of their service offerings.
So, a review can save time to get you insights in brief and help make a decision.
Moreover, there are certain things that you can only experience after you purchase or use the VPN service. And the VPN provider will not reveal everything upfront. Particularly any negatives!
Hence, by checking a VPN review, you will know what to expect with their customer support, and any other caveats with usage.
With that being said, a VPN review can also influence your decision in way that you may not have wanted.
But how do you spot them unbiased opinions? Do VPN companies influence VPN reviews?
VPN Review Sites Owned by VPN Companies
You may have come across several VPN services already if you have been searching for them.
But did you know that a large chunk of those belong only to a few companies?
Considering that every service has a different registered name, a unique set of features, and pricing, we normally assume that they must be separate entities.
Yet some companies who own multiple VPN services build or acquire VPN review sites as well.
A VPN review site is dedicated to VPN deals and reviews.
Of course, to build positive influence on the web, feedback sites help them a lot. Especially when the same company owns them. They invest a great deal to make the reviews look promising while favoring their own VPN services compared to other options.
However, it is worth noting that not all VPN companies are involved in doing this.
For instance, here’s a company spotted by RestorePrivacy involved in such a practice: Kape Technologies.
These companies often change their names but to highlight a few, Kape Technologies owns CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate at the time of writing. Furthermore, they own review sites like VPNMentor.com and Wizcase.com to promote their products.
So you can’t always trust review sites after all. So what about digital publications and journalists?
Digital Publications Owned by VPN Services
Many digital publications may also be owned by the same company behind a VPN service.
For instance, IGN, Mashable, and PCMag are some of the biggest publications owned by J2 Global, the same company behind IPVanish, StrongVPN, and a few more VPN services.
So, they are more likely to promote those VPN services and may prove biased towards a VPN owned by their parent company.
And this makes it difficult to spot genuine VPN reviews.
So, how does a biased review affect you and how can you identify a good review to prevent that?
How Do Biased VPN Reviews Affect You?
You’re probably used to biased reviews on just about everything. Any individual could be a fan of a VPN service or they just get paid for it; hence they promote it. That’s inevitable.
But influenced reviews could make you choose the wrong VPN service for you, especially if it is without a disclaimer. And this could be worse than believing in common VPN myths.
Instead of using the VPN to keep your Internet activity private, you will have a terrible experience, and may not even get a chance to get a refund.
In other words, an influenced VPN review can cost you a lot of time, and even your privacy.
So, how do you spot VPN reviews that may have been manipulated? What should you look out for in a good VPN review?
Things to Consider Spotting a Potentially Useful VPN Review
There are a few things that would give away the fact that a VPN review is influenced or not. Here are some of the things that you should keep an eye on:
- The language used is straightforward and not constantly marketing the features/unique selling points.
- The VPN review should include performance metrics.
- The review mentions about the protocols and various platforms supported.
- Remarks about the pricing plans and comparison with other options can be a good sign.
- If a review is too glowing and doesn’t mention any negatives, be suspicious.
You could always research into who owns the VPN service you’re considering and who owns the publication reviewing it.
Research Before You Purchase a VPN
No matter what a VPN review says, one should always do a separate background research or opt for any trial offered before making the final decision. If a VPN service offers money back guarantee, you can review it for yourself and decide to continue or get a refund. Some firms will try to wriggle out of that, however, so be careful.
Nevertheless, if you rely on a VPN to constantly unblock access and hide your IP, a good VPN review and a proper background research can help prevent all the hassle that may come with a wrong choice.
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