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Reviews Based on Merit and Not Hearsay – Myth or Reality?

The article aims to highlight certain best practices in the tech industry, more specifically in the VPN industry. If you have wondered whether or not a certain review about a brand or a product is authentic, this article will seek to clear the air by detailing some names which have established their credibility by primarily keeping the end user/reader in mind.

What are the best practices, you ask?

Best practices are everywhere. There are best practices for when playing sports, best practices when passing laws, best practices when driving and so it’s no different when it’s about best practices concerning online publishing and reviewing websites.

The list entails names such as Mashable, TechCrunch, BestVPN.com, Technadu, PCWorld, PCMag and thebestVPN.com among others. We will now detail their grounds on which they seek to rate a particular VPN brand.

a) BestVPN.com

BestVPN.com was founded in the year 2013 and is a specialized UK based website for comparing prices for products. Since revelations made by by Edward Snowden in the same year which made people realize that they are constantly subjected to online surveillance, the need for internet privacy and security rose to new heights and with that VPNs.

A dedicated VPN reviews website which helps its users and readers to quickly compare prices and learn more about the benefits of a VPN service. Doughlas Crawford is a notable researcher and reviewer on BestVPN.com and has been in the online publishing business for over 15 years. His reviews are free of prejudice and comply with every moral and ethical practices you can think of.

Following criteria is kept in mind when VPNs are reviewed on BestVPN.com:

  1. An overall summary with ‘Likes’ and ‘Dislikes’ are clearly mentioned so you know if something is disliked, it is because of a reason.
  2. The website then gives you a pricing overview alongside comparison with other names in the industry.
  3. Discussion on speed and performance ensues.
  4. Leak tests compatibility (if any) is addressed.
  5. Streaming support such as for Netflix etc.
  6. The ease in use, registeration process, and platform compatability (Windows, Android) is subsequently put to test.
  7. How well does browsers extensions work?
  8. Customer support and compliance with ‘No Logs Policy’
  9. Protocols and security features

Thus, a conclusion reached. Their website also state their reviews follow a five step procedure which includes subscribing to the VPN service, testing it for speeds during three different times of day, leaks such as WebRTC are checked, streaming unblocking, usability and overall software is tested.

b) VPN Mentor

Again, a dedicated VPN review website detailing all aspects about a service honestly, in a committed and helpful manner so that the reader can benefit from it. VPN Mentor is known for publishing reviews that are actually experienced and not those paid for.

Their level of commitment is further highlighted when we read about their criteria for testing (a little ahead), but best of all, their reviews are written in a way that can be absorbed by a user no matter what VPN expertise he or she may carry. Simple and yet effective without industry jargons or fancy words so as to not confuse the reader.

Let us see their criteria for testing any VPN.

  1. Is the service legally operational where it’s situated? A very important question that VPN Mentor dares to ask because what good is a VPN if the service it promises is illegal in the region where its operating from?
  2. The number of servers and locations under its belt.
  3. The level of customer support and the team behind providing the service.

A short list when compared with others on the list, but it’s a sweet one! Catherine Ablett writes for VPN Mentor and is professional security consultant that makes her all the more relevant ones it comes to reviewing cyber security’s number one defense mechanisms – a VPN.

Point being, Catherine is a writer and contributor with a background and, we, as well as readers, cannot doubt the words which she has to say about a VPN service provider. And why would anyone doubt it? Its not that Catherine has ever written a review for commercial purposes or mislead her followers?

c) Technadu

Technology aims to surprise us and multiplies with every passing day. To keep up with the latest, Technadu has been bringing its users the new and fresh additions in the world of tech. The team of writers at Technadu presents its readers with authentic product reviews, well-researched opinions in addition to how-tos and comparisons.

Kees Friesland is one honorable writer who comes to mind when Technadu is mentioned. Much like Kees, people at Technadu are known for providing reviews after actually having tested a VPN service which reflects their legit findings.

Here’s their criteria for evaluating a VPN.

  1. A table with Quick Facts is provided alongside Media Streaming Support
  2. Pros and Cons for a VPN are then separately tabulated with review score and their final word.
  3. A brief background of the service and rapportire is discussed without any prior judgment
  4. Whether or not certain platforms/devices are supported?
  5. How does VPN installation fares? Is it difficult or is it easy to set up?
  6. The a set of notable features are highlighted in a tabular form
  7. List of servers, usability, torrenting and streaming support are discussed
  8. Privacy and encryption protocols are then analyzed
  9. Finally customer support
  10. Lastly, pricing overview is provided

Only after all of the above is taken care of, a review is green lit for publishing. And that’s a lot of serious working going in.

d) Cloudwards

Cloudwards.net also has a set of editors and writers, all of them who belive that honesty is the best policy. Jacob Roach, an editor at Cloudwards, whose love for technology is unparalleled. He fancies writing for the cybersecurity niche but has never gone astray for few extra dollars.

Cloudwards takes into account following factors when reviews are published.

  1. First off, strengths and weaknesses are listed
  2. The features are presented
  3. Torrenting support
  4. Killswitch facility
  5. Netflix and Amazon streaming support
  6. Pricing
  7. User friendliness
  8. Platforms support
  9. Devices support
  10. Number of servers and locations
  11. Optimal speeds
  12. ‘No Logs’ policy
  13. Customer support

Only then a verdict is published. Talk about strict adherence to research and testing VPNs.

e)PCWorld

PCWorld requires no introduction. It’s serving its users since 2013 and no matter, what tech expertise you carry, PCWorld always has something for everyone! The review criteria are based on a variety of factors before it’s recommended to its readers.

You can delve in reviews for simply about PCs or gaming and accessories, in addition to graphics cards, latest chips from Intel and Nvidia and on all the essentials for a PC such as software, security solutions, and apps.

Speaking of security solutions, any VPN will be scrutinized on the following grounds before a review is published.

  1. How can it be set up, meaning, the ease in setting up a or is it going to be tricky, and the likes thereof?
  2. Secondly, the features and services any VPN packs and does that make it worthy of review.
  3. Performance wise – how efficient are speeds and the reliability of its servers.
  4. Lastly, how safe is it to use a particular VPN service and does it in any way keep records of its users?

Taking into account, the above aspects, PCWorld (in the case of a VPN) will proceed with its review. Mr. Ian Paul, at PCWorld, is a revered writer and before working as a Freelance Contributor at PCWorld was a contributor at About.com and Yahoo!.

The standards Ian uphold while writing reviews comply with industry’s best practices and doesn’t violate them which is why anything by him is a gospel of truth.

f) TechRadar

What comes to your mind when you hear the name TechRadar? A love for tech, we reckon. It is perhaps the number one online reviewer website in the whole of UK and has garnered the respect and authority due to its love for technology. The reviews are soulful and without bias.

They keep their reader in view. Everything else is secondary. The writers who run the show on TechRadar such as Mike Williams and the likes work by its 20-year old policy of absolute independence which eliminates editorial bias.

So what if they were to review a VPN? Which pointers would they include and discuss? Consider these.

  1. TechRadar provides a widget upfront which lets you know their verdict in the matter. You will find a ‘For’ and ‘Against’ listing down reasons as to why a product reigns supreme and why not!
  2. After a brief overview of the brand, TechRadar starts by stating the packages and pricing that are available at users’ disposal. Are there different payment methods available? Is the pricing affordable? Etc.
  3. Next, privacy and most crucial. Are the logs being of its users being maintained?
  4. How does a VPN fare in the performance department?
  5. Does it facilitate streaming and torrenting?
  6. How difficult is it to set up?
  7. How does a VPN on Windows, on mobile etc.?
  8. Does it support browser extensions?
  9. How is the customer support?

Do you think, researching all these aspects come easy? No! But to ensure as much transparency as possible, the writers dig in. If not for digging, Mike Williams wouldn’t be the name it is, today.

g) PCMag

PCMag comes from the house of Ziff Davis which is leading digital media company around the globe and with PCMag has notable brands under its belt including Mashable, Speedtest, IGN, and AskMen, etc.

PCMag aims to provide you with reviews on computer software, electronics, computer peripherals, games, and accessories as well as web hosting services.

A review from PCMag means the world to brand worldwide. But not for nothing. Their arsenal of writers is known for their transparent product reviews and for packing actionable tips in their how-to guides which helps makes PCMag rake in millions of traffic.

Following grounds are evaluated when it comes to a VPN review.

  1. The affordability factor and the number of platforms it is available on
  2. Privacy policy – does a VPN keep browsing logs of its users?
  3. The number of servers and locations a VPN provider can cater
  4. Availability of Android app
  5. It will then detail about speed test and how under various testing environments, Ivacy VPN, for instance, scored well or not. Attached screenshots of the tests performed on PCMag bears testament to that fact.
  6. Support for streaming platforms such as unblocking of geo-restricted content over Netflix and so on.

You will then learn of their final word. That’s the beauty of Max Eddy and the lot who writes at PCMag. As they say, it can take ages to build credibility but can only take a moment to lose it all. PCMag knows better.

h) thebestvpn.com

A dedicated VPN reviews website detailing in-depth analysis of VPNs and if a particular brand is the best for you. The website has been in business since 2015 and the guys at thebestvpn.com are passionate about writing reviews based on merit.

Their criteria comprise the following when it comes to reviewing.

  1. A brief introduction of the brand
  2. Information about its features
  3. Details about different VPN protocols (IPsec, L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv)
  4. Discussion on industry best practices such as 256-bit encryption
  5. Add-ons or advanced features
  6. Torrenting support
  7. Speed test
  8. No logs policy
  9. Customer support
  10. Deceptive ads (if any)
  11. Streaming and unblocking support for geo-restricted content
  12. Pricing (hidden) or otherwise

That’s research unlike any! And for what!? A review? Yes, because Brad Smith and many like him base their research on the trust factor. The trust of its audience!

In future, if it were to be revealed that a review published was intended to bring harm to a brand and defied merit, how do you think that will fare for thebestvpn.com?

“Fatality,” to the say the least.

Conclusion

Some honorable mentions include Mashable which gauge VPNs based on their array of features and privacy as well as speeds. Other is Techcrunch and both of them are in equal compliance of moral and ethical standards related to online media publishing industry. Every time their set of writers and editors tend have sided with the truth and have paved way for any honest word.

There are always two sides to a coin, a commercial side and a not-so commercial side. All the names mentioned above have always factored in the end user in mind so that he or she can benefit and come back, wanting for more. Sometimes it’s not about the dollars rather it’s a question of how much value can you add or bring to the table.

At Ivacy, we sincerely thank these reviewers for always reviewing Ivacy clearly based on merit, and free of any prejudice. Ivacy has gained visibility and garnered respect due to their unadultered efforts and as the saying goes, what a time to be alive!

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