Mullvad, IVPN, and Mozilla Top Consumer Reports’ VPN Privacy | #firefox | #chrome | #microsoftedge

A number of VPNs we analyzed paint themselves as privacy and security panaceas, with marketing materials that make overly broad or unrealistic statements about their benefits. Mullvad, IVPN, and Mozilla stand out for accurately presenting their services, refraining from over-promising, and educating users about the limitations of VPNs.

Mullvad does an excellent job here, describing a VPN as “a good first step” toward protecting privacy, and pointing out that it’s “not the ultimate solution.” The site also provides information on what other steps people should take to increase their personal online security.

IVPN’s web copy is notably frank with users about what VPNs can and can’t do—and even throws some shade on more hyperbolic VPN services. For instance, the company says “we don’t promise anonymity or ‘military-grade encryption’”—two claims that are easy to find if you sift through some VPN websites. (There’s no one version of encryption used by the military, and by itself, a VPN doesn’t do much to keep your identity hidden.)

Here’s some more IVPN language we like for its clarity: “What you do online can be tracked by organizations you may not know or trust and become part of a permanent record. A VPN can’t solve this on its own, but can prevent your ISP from being able to share or sell your data.” IVPN even has an ethical guidelines page on its website, with information on its marketing practices and commitments.

Mozilla VPN also does a great job of educating users about both the benefits and limitations of its service. It says, for instance, that a VPN can’t “prevent you from things like clicking on suspicious links, downloading malware, or being victimized by email fraud. You still need to practice good habits to stay safe online.” Mozilla also posts its own easy-to-read Data Privacy Principles.

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