We used to think that spying was something that only involved politicians and specific individuals who had something to hide. However, in recent years we have learned that anyone can be a target of the surveillance programs carried out by government organizations. In addition, large corporations also use their programs to access our data, not to mention that cyber criminals also try to steal our information. Now more than ever, internet users know that privacy is at risk, which is why VPNs have become so popular.
Finding a VPN service that focuses on privacy protection is the priority of many people and Cryptostorm aims to be that solution. The provider is originally from Iceland and it offers open source technology. Cryptostorm stands out thanks to the fact that instead of setting up a subscription, users can get tokens so they won’t need to provide their personal information. We’ll have a closer look at this token-based service and the features that it supports .
Privacy and Security
Cryptostorm only supports OpenVPN protocol, which is recognized as the most secure and stable option available. The encryption technology used involves 256-bit encryption, RSA-2048 asymmetric key and SHA-512 hash authentication. This level of security will keep your data protected from snoopers, cyber fraudsters and other risks. Cryptostorm aims to be the ideal solution for activists who live under repressive regimes. It even offers free accounts to dissidents in countries where internet is heavily censored, in order to allow them to share their opinions and communicate with others safely and without exposing their identity.
In line with its commitment to online freedom, Cryptostorm has a no logs policy and its networks is designed to be open and decentralized. Although they have roots in Iceland, they also have presence in Canada and other locations. Since they don’t have headquarters, they can have a flexible operations model. The team behind Cryptostorm also states that their main commitment is to privacy and they would rather abandon the project than betraying their customer’s trust. They have warrant canaries in place to alter users of any possible intervention.
At the moment, Cryptostorm only has a dedicated client for Windows, but the VPN can can be configured on any device that supports OpenVPN. In order to use Cryptostorm on Mac, Android or DD-WRT, you will need to complete a manual setup. Although there are some guides available on the website, they can be confusing for less experienced users. Overall, Cryptostorm works well, but it is not the most convenient option for beginners since some technical knowledge may be required. The developers are working on new features for the existing clients, as well as clients for additional platforms. However, at the moment there is no kill switch available.
The speed of the service is fine and P2P is allowed, but it should be noted that the service is more focused on security than on allowing users to unblock streaming services or online games. They have servers in Iceland, Germany and Canada so if you are looking for a way to access services that are only available in the UK or the US, Cryptostorm wouldn’t be the right solution. In terms of security, it does get the job done and no DNS leaks were detected.
The token system means that users can buy token from third-party vendors to use the VPN service. Tokens can be purchased using credit card via Stripe. Bitcoin is also accepted. Tokens are delivered in-browser and by email and you can get a week of Cryptostorm for $1.86 USD worth of tokens for one connection. The monthly access also supports a single connection and it costs $6. For three months you pay $16 (2 connections) and for six months, the cost is $28 and you can use up to 3 connections. One year costs $52 and for two years you pay $94. In both cases, you can use up to 4 connections. There are also recurring subscriptions available when you pay using PayPal, starting from $1 per week.
You can find a forum, guides and other resources on the website. If you need further assistance, you can contact the support team via email or through social media channels including Twitter and Keybase. As previously noted, Cryptostorm can be too complicated for new users and while they reply to emails and DMs in Twitter relatively fast, the level of support can be disappointing when you need immediate help.
Cryptostorm has a lot of potential to become a solid solution for users who want a high level of privacy. The service is still in development so it is likely that new features and stronger customer support are implemented in the near future. Currently, the service is a good option for users with some technical knowledge who want to enhance the security and privacy of their online browsing and communications.