VPN News Roundup: Q1 2021

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Chief Editor
Last updated: June 25, 2021
VPN news 2021

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Here at VPNpro, we’re starting a new series of monthly articles that will summarize the key events in the VPN industry that happened last month (in this case, we covered a bit of February as well). In a few minutes, you’ll be able to catch up with everything that each provider was up to.

Did we miss something in February and March? Maybe you have some news of your own? Let us know in the comments section below!

NordVPN news

Our top overall provider NordVPN made an interview with a digital rights expert who shed some light on those small-print Terms of Services that all of us usually skip, the loopholes, and the legal traps to avoid.

NordVPN has also made some significant updates for its Linux app. In addition to fixing various bugs and making security improvements, they’ve also added new commands for whitelisting and kill switch management.

Additionally, NordVPN for Windows update improved the server map, among other things. The Android app also got a major update that added Dark Web Monitor. There’s also a bug bounty program for all Nord Security products.

Finally, late in February, NordVPN has announced its partnership with Rangers FC, which is based in the United Kingdom.

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Terms and service: what happens if you don’t read them?

At the very end of March, NordVPN published an interview with a digital rights expert Diego Naranjo. He explained how Terms of Services often include various pitfalls and legal traps that result in you giving away personal information. And while GDPR saved some of us from reading that small print legal mumbo-jumbo, it applies to the EU only.

The problem is that even if you take time to read it all, you still won’t know for sure what you’re signing up for. Unsurprisingly, Facebook was mentioned among those companies that often abuse user’s privacy.

Mr. Naranjo also believes that privacy should be hardware or software-based so that no legal documents could change it after one click. Read the whole interview.

NordVPN app updates: Windows, Android, Linux

In March, the company has made some key updates for its Windows, Android, and Linux apps (more on them – in our NordVPN review). The chances are that April will be the Apple month. In the meantime, let’s check the biggest changes for the former three.

NordVPN for Windows got a server map update. Now you will see all location markers or marker clusters, depending on the zoom level. Next, the app has been optimized to use less RAM, and double-clicking the map no longer connects you to a random location.

Android users got the first update since the summer of 2020. It brought Dark Web Monitor – a new feature that looks for data leaks. If it finds something with your email address, you’ll instantly get a notification to change the password.

Finally, the Linux app now has quite a few bugs fixed and new commands for controlling the firewall and the whitelister. What’s more, stopping the daemon will also stop the kill switch so you can remain online.

Nord Security bug bounty program

On March 30, NordVPN’s bug bounty program has expanded to include other products, such as NordPass password manager and NordLocker for secure storage. All interested can learn more on the HackerOne platform.

At the same time, the HackerOne account name has been changed to Nord Security HackerOne to represent the whole range of their products. As always, don’t forget to read the Terms of Services before applying. More on the program.

NordVPN partners with Glasgow Rangers

Expect the level of online security increase in Scotland as the famous Glasgow Rangers, known officially as Rangers FC, have teamed up with the best VPN. The deal was signed in late February until the end of next season in 2022.

NordVPN partners with Rangers FC

The main message of this partnership is that cybersecurity is a necessity that hopefully will reach the Rangers fans. At the moment, it’s not clear whether there will be any special deals or discounts for the club supporters.

ExpressVPN news

January has been pretty busy for the folks in ExpressVPN. They’ve published extensive research about location trackers in over 450 apps, including Facebook Messenger and WeChat. They’ve also announced their sixth Future of Privacy Scholarship for students – the winner gets $5,000.

Additionally, ExpressVPN has shed some more light on their new Lightway tunneling protocol on their blog and by running an AMA on Twitter. Plus, ExpressVPN Vice President Harold Li talked about the US Section 230 legislation on WGN radio.

Finally, ExpressVPN’s Digital Security Lab asks the public to contribute to their research efforts by sending information and tips on digital security.

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Research on phone location tracking

Their subsidiary Digital Security Lab has published comprehensive research on location trackers in more than 450 mobile apps that have been downloaded over 1.7 billion times. Among them, we find such popular messaging services as WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram.

Back in December, Google and Apple asked app providers to remove the tracking software by X-Mode Social Inc., a data broker company. Of all the mobile apps analyzed by Digital Security Lab, a stunning 44% had X-Mode, and only 10% were removed from the Google Play Store, despite the one-month deadline. It comes with not much surprise that the US military is a client of X-Mode.

myTuner App on the Google Play Store
myTuner, a popular app (more than 1mln downloads) using X-Mode, is still available on Google Play

The same X-Mode is used to track religious groups as well. The research has found that ten apps with location trackers have been downloaded more than 67 million times. Dating and social apps are not an exception either, with 52 million downloads.

The US government remains an active buyer of commercially available databases that contain location and other personal data. That’s because they don’t need a warrant for such an action. As many of these apps remain available online, the issue of wider-scale surveillance remains a big privacy concern. Learn more.

ExpressVPN Future of Privacy Scholarship

For the sixth time, ExpressVPN is running an essay competition for students from around the world. This year’s topic tackles COVID-19 and various tracking and control measures, asking the participants to offer a way of balancing the needs of public health and individual privacy. The winner of the essay will get $5,000.

A post on Facebook by ExpressVPN about the scholarship
ExpressVPN has been holding the contest since 2016

The applicants must be undergraduate, graduate, or high school students located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. The deadline is August 31, but don’t leave it for the last day! Learn more.

In-house Lightway protocol

ExpressVPN has joined a very exclusive club of providers that use proprietary tunneling protocols. Lightway is literally light, consisting of 1,000 code lines only. For comparison, the next-gen WireGuard protocol that’s started rolling out last year has 4,000, and OpenVPN has 400,000.

Lightway uses the external wolfSSL cryptography library that complies with the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). It also supports two ciphers – AES-256-GCM and ChaCha20 (more on Lightway and other protocols – in our ExpressVPN review).

Its creators cite the protocol’s short connection time and improved stability, such as when changing mobile networks or your location. Lightway should also be easy to configure manually, just like OpenVPN, thanks to its open-source library. Learn more.

There were some interesting questions during ExpressVPN’s AMA on Twitter as well, especially since an answered question meant getting 6 months’ worth of free VPN.

There’s no ETA for an iOS release, which is a pity because most VPNs that have WireGuard support it on all major platforms. On the bright side, ExpressVPN is planning to make it open-source “in the near future.” On the even brighter side, you can still enter the AMA with your well-thought-out inquiry.

ExpressVPN’s Vice President on Section 230

Harold Li, Vice President of ExpressVPN, discussed Section 230 on WGN radio. In a nutshell, it allows platform owners to hold limited liability when it comes to what visitors post or comment.

Among other things, he mentioned that platforms should also make an effort to tackle such problems as hate speech online. Harold Li also shares his doubts about whether new companies should have necessary legal or human resources to moderate user behavior as compared to big corporations.

Probably the most interesting point was referencing the First Amendment and the platform’s right not to publish everything that everyone sends them. Just like a magazine is not obliged to print my article, Twitter is not obliged to post my comment.

Information for the Digital Security Lab

ExpressVPN’s Digital Security Lab has conducted some great research into digital security topics, such as the earlier mentioned phone tracking scandal. Now, it’s asking for your assistance in future research.

With the help of OnionShare, you are encouraged to aid their efforts by sending whatever tips or information you can. OnionShare will ensure a secure and private transfer of data. Alternatively, you can simply send a direct email to [email protected] Read the full announcement here.

Surfshark VPN news

Surfshark is known for posting extensive research pieces, so you can expect at least a few from Q1 2021. First off, they’ve found out that users in Europe most actively search for ad-blocking solutions. Additionally, they have shared an in-depth look at different Netflix libraries around the globe to see which countries get the best selection.

Moreover, this provider reminded us about the extent of CCTV networks and estimate that by the end of 2021, there will be more than one billion surveillance cameras worldwide. Finally, the VPN introduced a new Android widget in March, with the iOS version coming up soon.

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Europeans really really hate ads

Surfshark checked how often people from various regions search for ad-blocking software. It turns out that Europeans sit right at the top, with over 12,000 searches per 100,000 users. In comparison, Asia is in 2nd place, with a modest 3,500+ searches.

See more regions and numbers in Surfshark’s Twitter post below.

Is your Netflix worth paying for?

It’s well known that Netflix libraries different between the countries. But just how much? Surfshark made a worldwide analysis of Netflix libraries and found out that the US library is still the best with more than 5,800 titles. In contrast, Georgia drew the shortest straw with just 2,200+ titles.

Surfshark's Netflix research

Surprisingly, South Korea offers the biggest list of Oscar-winning movies, and the second place is occupied not by the US but Switzerland. When it comes to Emmy-winning shows, the best libraries are in Pacific Asia.

So what can you do if your country is not among the best places for Netflix? You can solve this problem easily by getting a VPN that will unblock multiple libraries around the world! Surfshark happens to be among the best providers for streaming in 2021.

The extent of CCTV network

Late in March, Surfshark has reminded us how fast surveillance cameras became an everyday thing. Their extensive research gives a whole new perspective on how pervasive CCTV’s are.

For example, China and the US have 4.1 and 4.6 citizens per camera. Moreover, nine out of ten cities with the highest CCTV camera density are either in China or India. But if we count how many of them are per square kilometer, we’ll find London at the #4 spot.

You can also compare the CCTV density between 150+ cities and check their crime index to draw your own conclusions. In the end, the question of security vs. privacy remains unanswered.

New Android widget

Using Surfshark on your Android smartphone has just got easier. In March, the company introduced two widgets, small and medium. After the poll on Twitter, the users decided that they want the former, but the vote percentages (45% vs. 55%) have shown that this was a close one.

Surfshark for Android - small widget

While the newly approved widget is not yet available on iOS, Surfshark has promised the Apple users that it will be coming up soon. Will that happen in April? I guess we’ll have to find out by playing the waiting game.

In the meantime, you can check out what this service already offers for both mobile and desktop users by reading our Surfshark VPN review.

CyberGhost VPN news

This year, CyberGhost hasn’t announced any major news yet. Most of their key posts were about recapping 2020. We’ve picked the two most important ones that we’ll discuss in more detail below.

To start with, CyberGhost published “The Year in Review” on their PrivacyHub, which acts as a blog with different categories. There were plenty of impactful events, such as the new 8th version of the app, videos about installing their apps, and staying in Hong Kong amidst the protest against China’s attempt to increase control over the region.

Next came the Transparency Report for Q4 2020. According to it, CyberGhost stayed true to its no-logs policy and rejected over 33,000 complaints and requests. Compared to the previous quarter, that’s a 40% increase.

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CyberGhost: the Year in Review

2020 was a busy year for CyberGhost. It all started with updating apps, releasing the Transparency Report for 2019, and keeping an eye on the Hong Kong protests. In February, they also released a series of videos explaining how to install their apps.

CyberGhost also joined the fight against COVID-19, donating 10% from their sales. In May, they’ve also donated to WireGuard to support future technology. CyberGhost also continued to operate in Hong Kong despite the ongoing protests, providing the locals with a no-logs VPN service.

Soon the protests erupted in Belarus, where A. Lukashenko has been once more elected as a President. This time, CyberGhost gave free accounts to citizens that have been affected. Also, in August, the company has launched its own Private Browser for all major apps save Android.

In the last months of 2020, CyberGhost improved the security of dedicated IPs by implementing the token system. Most importantly, a brand new 8th iteration of apps was released in October – you can learn more about them in our CyberGhost review. Finally, the company ended 2020 with a bang by introducing a full Security Suite that includes a VPN, Antivirus, Privacy Guard, and Security updated.

Transparency Report for Q4 2020

CyberGhost continues its long-time tradition to post transparency reports each quarter. So what are the main caveats? Read on to find out!

To start with, CyberGhost received much more DMCA complaints, police requests, and malicious activity flags compared to the previous quarter. The overall number of 33,000+ may not seem that big, but that’s a 40% increase!

The best news is that CyberGhost rejected all of them, once again honoring its no-logs policy. Now that’s much easier to do when running RAM-only servers across the world and staying away from the Five Eyes alliance.

Private Internet Access news

Private Internet Access (PIA) regularly posts cybersecurity-related news on its blog and social media. However, you can also find plenty of interviews under the Privacy Talks name with the industry’s insiders that are really worth checking out. Of course, if you’re interested in the VPN itself, don’t miss our Private Internet Access review, which is updated as soon as we get new info about the service.

And for those who want to learn more about cybersecurity as a whole, we recommend the following four interviews that aired back in 2020. The first one is with Heath “TheCyberMentor ” Adams, who talks about ethical hacking, bug bounties, penetration testing, and more. Next comes Robin Wilton from Information Society, who was discussing quantum computing and its impact on security and privacy.

Additionally, you should check Ruth Smeeth (Index on Censorship). She presents her company and talks about censorship all over the world. Finally, PIA gives you 20 minutes with Alex Kehaya from Orchid VPN, a blockchain-based provider.

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Interview with Heath “TheCyberMentor” Adams

Originally aired in August 2020, this Privacy Talks interview remains interesting to anyone who wants to learn more about ethical hacking. Even though the video is only ten minutes long, TheCyberMentor manages to cover a pretty wide range of topics. These include penetration testing, bug bounties, and best password practices.

According to Heath Adams, a passphrase can be a better option than a password, as long as you throw in some unique words or misspell the popular ones. He also shed some light on the legality of ethical hacking or penetration testing, which are one and the same. It turns out that ethical hackers sign contracts with the companies, so as long as everyone plays along the line, there’s nothing to worry about.

Privacy Talks: Robin Wilton

This time, PIA’s guest is Robin Wilton from Internet Society. He discussed the relationship of quantum computing with encryption and why it is dangerous. In general, that’s because, for our computers, the deciphering process is very hard, while quantum computers can do it pretty fast.

According to Mr. Wilton, we’ll need to find new mathematical problems that quantum computers should solve while trying to break the encryption. The governments and the companies must also replace outdated ciphers before it’s too late, even though this is a daunting task of global scale.

Interview with Ruth Smeeth, CEO of Index on Censorship

In this 10-minute video, Ruth Smeeth talks about things that they do in Index on Censorship and discusses freedom of expression in general. This topic had become increasingly important during the pandemic when certain governments used it as an excuse to tamper with human rights.

Of course, the situation in Hong Kong was also discussed. One of the biggest problems is that quite a few journalists were writing about mainland China relatively safely. But now, the government can censor them once again right in Hong Kong.

Moving back East a bit, Ruth Smeeth reminded about the Kashmir region in India. Even though it’s a democratic country, three journalists have been arrested for covering the government. In the end, she mentioned that anyone in a repressive regime should contact the Index of Censorship, and they will help your words get heard across the world.

Privacy Talks: Alex Kehaya from Orchid VPN

The last interview is with Alex Kehaya, who talks about a new Orchid VPN that’s open-source and based on blockchain technology. In a nutshell, it’s a decentralized overlay network where users buy traffic with cryptocurrencies and use random nodes to connect, which might even belong to PIA or some other VPN.

Users should also note that blockchain technology makes Orchid VPN not based on subscription but on the “pay as you go” model where you’re charged only for the used bandwidth. However, it will take time before such a model brings Netflix US and similar services.

NortonLifeLock news

The year started pretty well for the security giant NortonLifeLock. They’ve introduced a new service that helps against home title fraud and has also been named the best workplace for LGBTQ+ people. Lastly, they’ve got some new info on tax relief scams in the US and the UK – be sure to check this one out!

NortonLifeLock’s “Norton 360” received the award for “Best Mac security for consumer users” from AV-Test. In addition, NortonLifeLock was named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2021.

Lastly, the head of gaming at NortonLifeLock has been using his free time to stream on Twitch and raise money for kids with serious illnesses.

LifeLock Home Title Protect

Some may call it niche (at least the standalone version), but for me, this new feature is another great addition to the LifeLock suite. Home Title Protect will inform users about changes at the county recorder’s office to help avoid somebody taking out a loan against their homes or even selling their property.

In case you run into some home-title-related trouble, Norton’s dedicated specialist will help you solve the case. Learn more.

Best workplace for LGBTQ+ people

NortonLifeLock has scored 100 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and can now proudly call itself the top workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.

The scoring was based on non-discrimination policies, equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families, supporting an inclusive culture, and corporate social responsibility. Learn more.

COVID-related tax refund scams

In times when cooperation and support are needed more than ever, certain people find opportunities to profit either by stealing money or personal information by targeting COVID-19 tax-relief policies.

Such attacks involve phishing emails from “government institutions” offering tax rebates. They often include links to PDFs that, in turn, contain links to a phishing site. After going there, the victims are asked to enter their personal details, such as their name, DOB, phone number, and so on, which later are used for evil deeds.

NortonLifeLock also has some great tips on how to recognize and report phishing scams. Learn more.

Q3 results: 300,000 new users

NortonLifeLock published their results from the third quarter that ended January 1, 2021. They’ve added over 300,000 new users, and the number is expected to increase in Q4 due to the acquisition of Avira. More data available on Businesswire.

An award from AV-Test for Norton 360

The AVTest Award to Norton

NortonLifeLock has received some recognition from AV-Test for its efforts to curb the rise of malware on Apple devices. “Norton 360” was awarded the AV-TEST Best macOS Security 2020 Award for consumers. Let’s all put our hands together for NortonLifeLock! After that, you can see the remaining winners on AV-test.

NortonLifeLock among the most innovative companies in 2021

Fast Company has added NortonLifeLock to their list of the world’s most innovative companies in 2021.

Amidst the pandemic, NortonLifeLock released “Norton 360 for Gamers” – a product aimed specifically at the growing gaming community. Its purpose is to protect gamers from various cyber threats without creating any distractions. The most worthwhile feature is Dark Web Monitoring, notifying users if their gamertags or emails get mentioned on the dark web. You can find the full press release on NortonLifeLock.com.

Streaming for a good cause

NortonLifeLock seems to be very passionate about gaming. So much so that Robert Shaker (aka LordBlight), the head of gaming at NortonLifeLock, spends his free time streaming on Twitch.

LordBlight's profile on Twitch.tv
Robert Shaker, aka LordBlight on Twitch.tv

By day, he’s working on cybersecurity products to ensure gamers’ digital safety around the world. He’s a father and streamer in his free time, raising money for kids battling cancer and other deadly illnesses. All of his proceeds go to various charities to help kids in need. You can read more about his story on the NortonLifeLock blog.

Avast news

Avast has been hard at work for the past few months, and its labor has produced great results.

First off, Avast gained recognition from AV-Comparatives for the great performance of their anti-malware tool. Secondly, they’ve released a couple of episodes of their Hacker Archives podcast with well-known security experts Katie Moussouris and Troy Hunt. Finally, Avast has joined the Coalition Against Stalkerware.

Avast gets recognition from AV-Comparatives

Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus has been recognized as a first-class solution by AV-Comparatives, an independent entity for evaluating cybersecurity services. Three tests on real-world protection, malware protection, and performance have been made, comparing the results with competitors.

Graph of the real world protection test results with Avast highlighted
Real-world protection test results

The real world-protection test simulates malware attacks that a business user would run into while browsing the internet. The test went smoothly, with Avast scoring a 99.9% protection rate.

The next challenge was the malware protection test. This scenario includes malware that was already on the device or originated from a local network, not the internet. Thankfully, Avast nailed this test with 100% accuracy.

The final test was about seeing how much the anti-virus software impacted overall device performance. In terms of what the user would notice, Avast was considered “very fast” across many criteria.

Check out the details on how Avast fared against other cybersecurity services.

Avast Hacker Archives Podcast

Over the course of February and March, Avast has continued to produce their new Avast Hacker Archives (or AHA for short) podcast. With Avast CISO Jaya Baloo as the host, this series is all about getting into the minds of white hat hackers and other cybersecurity experts to talk about their careers and other important digital security issues.

The second guest featured on the podcast was none other than Katie Moussouris, a hacker and CEO at Luta Security. She started her hacking journey at 8 years old on a Commodore64. Since then, Katie has established herself as a bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure expert.

One of the main topics of this episode is the all-too-familiar SolarWinds incident. Katie describes the issues of defending networks when so many vendors are involved. Then, she talked more about Luta Security and how it came to be. Naturally, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, she touched on gender and racial inequality in the cybersecurity industry.

The third episode featured Chris Roberts, a seasoned hacker, and member of the Hillbilly Hit Squad. Chris has no boundaries when it comes to tinkering with various technologies. Victims of his hacker mentality include the White House, NASA, the Pentagon, and Fort Knox. In this episode, Chris talks about the importance of communication and the human aspect in the cybersecurity industry.

Screenshot of HaveIBeenPwned
Haveibeenpwned.com, the website that torpedoed Troy Hunt to fame

Last but certainly not least, the 4th podcast featured Troy Hunt, the creator of Have I Been Pwned. Unsurprisingly, one of the main topics of this episode is data breaches. Troy talks about how his own data was leaked and how it inspired him to create his well-known data security website. After that, discussions followed on more recent data breaches.

Avast determined to halt stalkerware

Avast has joined the Coalition Against Stalkerware. Aimed to combat domestic abuse and secret monitoring of relatives, this alliance unites over 30 companies that already include NortonLifeLock, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, and F-Secure, among others. With more companies in the coalition, it is easier to address this type of technological abuse and to create a policy against it. According to Avast, the stalkerware threat has increased by over 50% since the start of COVID-19.

In case you haven’t heard of it, stalkerware is a type of malware used to spy on spouses, children, relatives, or other close ones. Stay-at-home orders have given perpetrators more opportunities to install these privacy-demolishing tools.

PureVPN news

Due to the ongoing pandemic, PureVPN has decided to spread your positive messages on Times Square with a lovely social media campaign.

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Spreading the message of pure love ❤

The people at PureVPN are still promoting their #ShoutoutAtTimesSquare project, which caught some extra attention after fashion influencer Olga Ferrara participated.

To help them out, make a heart, write a love-induced message, use the tag, @PureVPN, and share it on Twitter or Instagram. Your message will be shared on a Times Square billboard. Learn more.

To find out more about this provider, read our in-depth PureVPN review.

Mullvad news

Mullvad has been making the world a better place through their awesome product. For starters, award-winning journalist Aye Min Than has been hard at work to distribute Mullvad VPN to aid the protesters in Myanmar.

Besides that, a stack of updates is in store for Mullvad, including split tunneling on Windows and an upgrade to OpenVPN servers. Plus, European users gained access to more payment options. And finally, iOS users have also received some quality of life improvements.

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Helping the people of Myanmar

As the political crisis in Myanmar goes on, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Aye Min Than has asked to send money to a PayPal account so that Mullvad VPNs can be bought for those actively engaging in the protests.

However, the tweet has been deleted because the Gmail address was deemed not secure enough. One of the commenters offered to use ProtonMail. Will this be a moment for the leader in secure emails to steal some publicity from Mullvad?

Split tunneling on Windows

In other news, Mullvad announced they’re working on split tunneling for Windows. Considering that this VPN has it on Linux and Android only, this will be a welcome addition.

The sad part is that there’s no timetable. I should also note that Mullvad’s macOS users can use Tunnelblick for split tunneling. To learn more about other features – read our Mullvad review.

Upgraded OpenVPN servers

Mullvad continues improving their already exceptional security by upgrading OpenVPN servers to version 2.5. They’ve also switched out the Blowfish cipher for ChaCha20, which is used by WireGuard relays. What does this mean for users? Read more.

Even more payment options

Mullvad is well-known for having a multitude of payment options, including cash. With the latest update, even more payment options have been added for customers in the EU. These options do not include any cryptocurrencies, but the team is considering options in that department as well.

Mullvad payment options
All the payment options that Mullvad accepts

The long-awaited payment options are:

  • giropay – an online banking-based option from Germany
  • EPS – a payment option for Austrians, which allows completing online transactions with their banking credentials
  • iDEAL – the most widely used payment option in the Netherlands
  • Bancontact – a favored option among customers in Belgium
  • Przelewy24 – a payment method aggregator from Poland, allowing users to perform online transactions in a variety of ways

The privacy should stay unaffected as these payments go through Stripe and are stored for only 40 days.

Improvements for iOS

iOS users can rejoice with a new update coming their way! The update lets users report problems directly from the app by sending a message with their anonymized app logs attached. Additionally, they’ve been working with the WireGuardKit open-source software library to make it easier to start using WireGuard on iOS. Read more.

TorGuard news

TorGuard is getting ready for the spring season with a brand new UI design for iOS, which will later be available on other platforms as well. Plus, the VPN fans had their voices heard, and virtual servers in Russia are available once again.

However, that came with a price – Netflix Japan doesn’t work anymore with TorGuard. Finally, business plans have been changed from Custom to Large.

Save the most with TorGuard’s annual plan!

TorGuard is back in Russia

TorGuard once again becomes one of the few VPNs to offer servers in Russia. The reasoning behind this move is “popular demand,” which begs me to ask whether other providers don’t get the same request?

However, it’s not all bad – all of these Russian servers are virtual (a.k.a, “not actually there”). Want to know more about TorGuard’s servers and other features – check out our TorGuard review!

TorGuard users are left without anime

TorGuard users will also have to stay without Netflix Japan for a while because, allegedly, their Japanese IP range has been blocked. It might take a few weeks to get it back again.

A boost for business plans

Some important news for B2B clients. TorGuard revamped its business plans, ditching the “Custom” option and offering the “Large” option instead.

A fresh coat of paint for iOS

TorGuard New UI
The new TorGuard UI on iOS

Finally, the brand new UI design has hit the shelves for TorGuard’s iOS users. The redesign will be available on other platforms in the coming weeks, featuring updates to the interface and navigation, improving speeds, as well as adding a support section under settings, and the ability to switch between servers without disconnecting. Read more.

ProtonVPN news

ProtonVPN has been an essential tool for Myanmar protesters until Apple blocked updates for the VPN. Learn how this service can be of use in your country – read our ProtonVPN review.

Try ProtonVPN Plus, the best deal available right now, for 7-days for free

ProtonVPN gets blocked by Apple

In an ongoing feud with no winners, ProtonVPN is at odds with Apple. This time, the Swiss-based privacy company is being stone-walled from supporting the people of Myanmar.

Since a military coup deposed the government, citizens had to utilize encrypted software to share information safely without being detained or even killed. They’ve been using social media and other forms of digital communication to let the world know about their plight. Until recently, ProtonVPN was relied upon as well.

However, Apple decided to step in. Once the UN recommended the usage of Proton apps, Apple figured it’s about time to block incoming updates for ProtonVPN. Their reason is that the description is inappropriate because it presents the app as capable of getting around geo-restrictions.

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4 comments
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  1. hemp life

    glad there are some discussions in place about this complicated monstrous thing called terms and services.You’re bloody right about reading the whole thing and still not being able to understand much!! Any tips on how to spot red flags?


    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne

      Howdy. Sadly, I don’t have any particular tips because it can be difficult to spot these red flags if you’re not a legal expert. Of course, there is one general rule of thumb – if the ToS is excruciatingly long, it’s probably trying to hide something.


  2. ka$h

    nordvpn news are particularly interesting this time, i’m intrigued to see how the dark web monitor feature performs


  3. Matheo R

    Thank you for some good old vpn news, all in one place! A comprehensive and informative article. It’s also nice to see some scholarships in place for our young bright minds.

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