Switzerland-based VPN service provider ProtonVPN has announced that their apps are now open-source and audited.
The news should not come as a surprise to those who are at least somewhat familiar with the company and their values. The main goal of launching ProtonVPN back in 2017 was to provide a trustworthy VPN service based on transparency, ethics, and security. It seems the company works hard to keep its word.
According to the ProtonVPN team, blatant issues related to Android VPNs were the main incentive for ProtonVPN to offer the latest update. Studies have shown that more than 30% of Android VPNs were prone to containing malware and experiencing grave security problems. Not to mention the fact that plenty of free VPN services instead of protecting privacy were secretly selling user data to third parties.
ProtonVPN started tackling security problems right from the start. However, applying a strict no-logs policy and working under strong Swiss privacy laws was not enough. Especially, given the fact that cybersecurity suffers from new threats on a daily basis. Therefore, making all of their apps open-source was, as the company expressed, “a natural next step.”
Why open-source VPN?
A regular VPN user may read this post and think: “Good for them, but does it affect me?” Well, Andy Yen, the founder of Proton Technologies, explains how it does affect us in the official press release:
When you connect to a VPN, your Internet traffic is encrypted between your device and the VPN server, protecting it from local network surveillance. Even your DNS lookups (the names of the web domains you visit) are protected. And your IP address is masked to help protect your identity and location. However, the VPN provider effectively becomes your ISP in that it can see your browsing activity, IP address, and location. This is why choosing a trustworthy VPN service is so important.
Security researchers and the global security community review open-source VPNs continuously. Therefore, the likelihood of mistakes is not as high. That way, users get more accountability and transparency from their VPN providers than they would from proprietary VPNs.
More attention to third-party security audits
The ProtonVPN team briefly mentioned in the press release that the company invested in more in-depth security audits. In the beginning, it was Mozilla that made sure the company’s organizational structure and implementations were in accordance with necessary requirements. Now ProtonVPN signed a contract with the leading security firm SEC Consult to conduct the audits.
Dedicating more effort to third-party security audits and making the apps 100% open-source suggests that ProtonVPN is sticking to their initial promise: ensuring a safe and secure browsing experience.
Find out more about the provider in our ProtonVPN review