Choosing a VPN solution requires a leap of faith. Once you choose the application that best suits your needs in terms of performance, licensing and usability, you need to hand over something far more valuable than your money - trust. That's why the lawsuit against the creators of Hotspot Shield VPN is a big deal.
Hotspot Shield VPN has both free and paid versions. It has been alleged by US-based privacy group Center for Democracy & Technology that Hotspot Shield VPN's developer, AnchorFree, has been selling customer data to advertisers. This is in breach of what they told customers.
As a reviewer, there are some products I find quite easy to form an opinion on and make recommendations about. But I struggle with VPN software because, ultimately, what you are buying is more than software. You are buying trust.
When I looked at iOS VPN software a while ago, some readers gave Wangle a hard time as their policies clearly stated they held browsing metadata for two years, as they believed they are obligated under the metadata retention laws that came into force last year.
While that wasn't a positive, in my view, at least they were up front.
I've settled on using Nord VPN - mainly as it has a good reputation and its policies state no user data is retained.
But I'm trusting them to do that.
If the lawsuit against AnchorFree stands up, then they ought to be penalised for breaching customer trust. But do you know of your VPN provider is doing the same but just hasn't been caught?