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A common suggestion I see for people who want to protect their privacy is to use a VPN. Now, I don't own a data center in Switzerland, so if I were to use a VPN it would probably be from one of the first ones that I can find on Google (ExpressVPN, NordVPN, ProtonVPN, etc). But now, rather than my local ISP gaining some information about my internet usage, both my ISP and VPN gain information about my internet usage.

How is that helpful?

  • The question you need to ask is, "privacy from whom?" There's a big difference between privacy and complete anonymity on the Internet. – schroeder May 3 at 8:13
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Commercial VPN don't add a party to worry about but replace a party. If you worry that your ISP or the public hotspot you use might sniff or even modify the traffic, then you can use a VPN - in which case you have to worry that the VPN provider is doing such stuff instead.

It is thus mainly a question of who you trust more. If you already know that your ISP is sniffing data or even injecting ads into the traffic then it might be easy to trust the VPN provider more. But if both claim that they will protect your privacy and you have no real arguments to believe one more than the other then it is hard to tell what you should more be worried about.

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