VPN Recommendations


We currently use and recommend ProtonVPN for secure VPN access within a pfSense firewall. We also use and recommend PIA for many scenarios, especially dedicated VPN IP addresses, as explained later in this page. Please consider everything here before you make a decision.

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ProtonVPN


We currently recommend ProtonVPN for secure VPN access for most clients, including within pfSense firewalls. ProtonVPN offers the following features which many popular VPNs do not offer:

THIRD-PARTY AUDITS: Any VPN company can say they are secure. We place a lot of trust in the companies who promise to keep us private. ProtonMail and ProtonVPN have conducted numerous third-party audits of their software and claims. These are published online for full transparency. This means more to me than any promise made by the service provider.

LOCATION: ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland. They are not exposed to many government invasions available to 5-eyes, 9-eyes, and 14-eyes countries. U.S. court orders are ignored and only Swiss court orders are accepted.

EXTRA SECURITY: ProtonVPN offers secure-core and Tor nodes for extra protection.

REPUTATION: ProtonVPN is the same team which provides ProtonMail. They are very respected in the privacy and security community with no ties to marketing companies or private umbrella companies (which is very rare). They appear much more transparent than most VPNs.

FIREWALL: ProtonVPN works properly within a pfSense home firewall, but some configuration is necessary.

BOTTOM LINE: No VPN is 100% bulletproof. I believe ProtonVPN is the most reputable VPN for privacy purists.

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PIA


We currently recommend PIA for many clients, including within pfSense firewalls. PIA offers the following features which many popular VPNs do not offer:

FBI AUDITS: Any VPN company can say they are secure. We place a lot of trust in the companies who promise to keep us private. PIA has been issued court orders from the FBI in which they were unable to provide any customer details. While this hurts criminal investigations, it gives me comfort knowing that customer traffic and IP logs are not being collected. This means more to me than any promise made by the service provider.

LOCATION: PIA is based in the U.S. and owned by a U.K. company. They could be exposed to some government invasions available to 5-eyes, 9-eyes, and 14-eyes countries. Both U.S. and U.K. court orders are accepted, but ordering in an alias name and the absence of IP logs should protect us. Consider your threat model before comitting to PIA.

DEDICATED IP ADDRESSES: PIA offers optional dedicated IP addresses for an additional fee. These are beneficial when a website or service has blocked access due to a blacklisted IP address. Accounts with a dedicated IP address can also be used as the basic account for VPN firewalls. The dedicated IP addresses are the main reason I maintain a subscription to PIA.

SIZE: PIA was acquired by Kape Technologies, which also owns ExpressVPN. This makes them one of the largest VPN providers in the world. Some may want to stay away from them due to their size while others may see it as an opportunity to hide within all of that traffic.

FIREWALL: PIA works properly within a pfSense home firewall and location-based servers are easier to configure than ProtonVPN.

COST: PIA is one of the most affordable VPN options at less than $40 annually. Adding a dedicated IP address for specific limited usage when needed presents an advanced solution near the cost of a standard ProtonVPN package. PIA can also be used within a firewall to take full advantage of the purchase. A VPN should never be chosen based on price alone, but I respect that you may have a limited budget.

BOTTOM LINE: No VPN is 100% bulletproof. I believe PIA is a great choice for speed, stability, ease of use, and price. If purchased anonymously, I see no harm with using their service. However, I believe ProtonVPN is a better choice for privacy purists (at a slightly higher cost with more difficult configuration).

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What Do I Do?


At my home, I rely on ProtonVPN to protect all traffic through my pfSense firewall. Whenever I need to bypass VPN-restricted websites, I launch the PIA app on my laptop and connect to a dedicated IP address VPN. When finished with that need, I disconnect PIA and return to my ProtonVPN firewall. If ProtonVPN should ever have connection issues, I keep a PIA firewall configuration file ready. I maintain active accounts through both providers, each paid with Bitcoin in an alias name.

Affiliate Programs


Most VPN companies offer some type of affiliate program. It is irresponsible to not disclose that I get a few bucks if you purchase service through one of my links. Neither ProtonVPN nor PIA share any purchase details or information about you or your order to me.

Privacy Guide


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