A proxy, mate!
June 1, 2015 3:25 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend relatively inexpensive VPN providers or proxy services that aren't sketchy? Ideally, I'd like to find a decent provider with end points in both the US and the UK.

I've been using Hola to get around certain web sites' geographic restrictions, but it turns out that they're even sketchier than I'd suspected, so I'd like to find a replacement as soon as possible. I'm willing to spend a bit of money (though I'd rather not pay it to Hola, who do have a $5 per month "premium" plan that supposedly involves less sketchiness). Ideally, I'd like a provider with end points in the US and the UK, since those are the areas that I most frequently want to look like I'm in (usually when I'm in the other one of the two). I don't expect to be using it for huge amounts of time at once, so it'd be nice if it could be turned on and off easily via something like a browser extension. There are some old questions about proxy services for UK content, but I haven't found anything that addresses US content. Any suggestions for good providers (or providers to avoid)?
posted by klausness to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I have been using and really like ZenMate (and only ever used Hola because ZenMate free version didn't have Australian sources), but I have not scrutinized them deeply for skeeviness. The Chrome extension reviews seem good, most of the complaints I found online seem to be sales pitches for competing products. I will be watching this post for more information.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:31 PM on June 1, 2015

I’ve been happily using TorGuard for years. They have promotions constantly so it’d be worthwhile to email their sales team to see what is on sale.
posted by griphus at 3:32 PM on June 1, 2015

Best answer: I like Private Internet Access. $40/year, tons of end points in a many countries, reliable and unsketchy service, and great customer service.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:34 PM on June 1, 2015 [6 favorites]

Another vote for Private Internet Access. Reviews of PIA and others:

Lifehacker: Five Best VPN Service Providers

Torrentfreak: Which VPN Services Take Your Anonymity Seriously?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:48 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another vote for PIA. Fun fact: if you're really concerned about anonymity, they'll take gift cards, so you can buy a gift card in cash, then redeem that gift card via PIA, as to not have a digital trail of the transaction.
posted by suedehead at 4:02 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like TunnelBear.

It's pretty simple and works well - though I can't vouch for sure that it's not pulling anything shady, I've never had any problems.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 4:14 PM on June 1, 2015

Thirding Private Internet Access. I had no janky dealings with them at any time.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 4:30 PM on June 1, 2015

Another satisfied customer of Private Internet Access. The tech support has been excellent. I will be testing once I get out of country, but I have a feeling that it will be just as good.
posted by jadepearl at 5:34 PM on June 1, 2015

I've been using Freedome from F-Secure for a while, and I really like it. They have apps for iOS and Android, as well as for Mac/Windows, with a 14 day free trial subscription for you to see if you like it. There are definitely endpoints in both the US and the UK, and it's really easy to turn on/off (at least on Windows and iOS, which is where I have used it). F-Secure is a Finnish security company, and they have taken some very public stances in support of privacy and transparency, and being against government surveillance.
posted by gemmy at 6:33 PM on June 1, 2015

I'm pretty happy with VPN Unlimited. Also, I used Unlocator for a bit over a year and had a good experience.
posted by neushoorn at 11:11 PM on June 1, 2015

I've been using UKProxyServer.

It costs £10 per month for unlimited data. Drops to £7 for 30 Gig. Can easily be switched to different countries, including UK and US. Can also be easily switched between proxy and VPN. Decent speeds. Never had a problem.

For in-browser switching of proxies, in Chrome, I use an extension called OmegaSwitchy.
posted by veedubya at 10:57 PM on June 2, 2015

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