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Malwarebytes launches VPN service that won't track users

By Sara Barker
Fri 24 Apr 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Major cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes is finally jumping into the Virtual Private Network (VPN) space.  What has been long known as a malware detection provider, the company is spreading its wings to cover an already crowded VPN provider market.

Launched today for Windows, Malwarebytes Privacy is designed to ‘empower’ users with ‘faster’ speeds than traditional VPNs – and better encryption.

VPNs protect user privacy by masking IP addresses and user locations. They do this by filtering internet traffic and requests through a (hopefully) encrypted tunnel to a VPN server, which acts as an intermediary stop between a user’s computer and the intended web destination.

Or in Malwarebytes’ words, “By using a VPN, you can change your Internet-facing IP to a location of your choice, masking your true server address and hiding your online activity from those who try to profit from it.”

Malwarebytes says that 256-bit AES encryption will secure users’ personal information like bank details, passwords, credit card details – especially when they’re using public WiFi.

Additionally, users can choose from virtual servers from more than 30 countries to protect their genuine location. There are also features that display whether the VPN is on or off; which server location is selected; and the user’s real IP address and the VPN’s IP address.

The bundle is offered at NZ$79.99 per year for Malwarebytes Privacy, or $129.99 per year for Malwarebytes Privacy plus other device security features.

Malwarebytes says that while the solution is only available for Windows, it will be coming soon to Mac, Android, Chrome, and iOS.

“Today you can’t go online without corporations, advertisers, and hackers trying to eavesdrop on you, and it’s feeling increasingly invasive for consumers,” says Malwarebytes chief product officer Akshay Bhargava.

“As more and more people are utilising home networks today, it’s increasingly imperative that we extend security to each and every person – no matter where they are or what network they are using – so that they can protect themselves and exert control over who gets their data, and for what purpose.”

Some VPN providers have been criticised in the past for allegedly tracking and selling user data to third parties. 

In a blog, Malwarebytes Labs states that it doesn’t collect user logs or telemetry data. “Your data remains private—even from us,” the company says.

VPN providers are also at risk of cyber attacks, just like every other company.

VPN provider NordVPN was hacked last year, in which attackers could have potentially created their own servers to masquerade as NordVPN and steal data. 

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