~$ ./jackson.sh

Public VPNs: A billion dollar market with absurdly false messaging

Published Thursday, December 2, 2021

Since when are VPNs an identity protection product?

The VPN is a good technology because it solves problems for people. I first discovered VPN services when trying to solve the problem of being unable to access Reddit and YouTube at school. Large companies use VPNs to solve the problem of on-premise servers being inaccessible outside the company's intranet.

While they were originally for corporate customers, VPNs have flourished as a privacy and censorship-mitigation tool sold to individual consumers. However, the way VPNs are marketed borders on the absurd. Today, I recieved some promotional notifications on my phone from NordVPN:

NordVPN promotional notification advertising protection from a snooping neighbor

One of these is completely legitimate. CyberSec is a network level domain blacklist which prevents connections to various tracking servers and "malicious" domains. It's not as useful as something like uBlock Origin, but it's not a scam.

I can't tell what the first notification is trying to communicate though. Tapping it took me to the main page of the app with no futher info. Are they implying that a VPN can protect my public records from a snooping neighbor?

Anyways, I'm signing off. This topic has been discussed to death by others. I just thought this notification from NordVPN was particularly bizarre.