I have no reason to believe your review site is a shill for another company, but I have no reason not to believe that either. It was recently revealed that Kape Technologies, a former malware distributor and now owner of PrivateInternetAccess and ExpressVPN, are doing this.
The first step would be clearly identifying ownership and benefactors.
Here is a good Reddit post about the fake reviews from Kape Technologies: https://www.reddit.com/r/VPNTorrents/comments/r160ll/spottin...
I tried to start a site similar to this one in the past. I gave up in the end because honesty and $$$ just wouldn't mix. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't square this circle. Economically I think it doesn't even work on a theoretical basis. The mullvad of most industries just wouldn't have affiliate programs whereas the scummy companies would have the best affiliate programs.
It has a fairly high rating overall.
The biggest pain points when researching a good VPN are:
- Sponsored content / Ads
- Fake reviews
- It takes time
- Inconsistent metrics and info across sites
To make finding a good VPN even easier, we've aggregated over 500 online reviews, 3k Reddit posts, 4k HackerNews posts, and 400 Youtube videos.
## How it works
Using GPT-3 and BERT, we've built a service that collects VPN reviews from all over the web, filters and aggregates them, and presents the summarized results in a short and understandable form.
## What's next?
We're constantly improving SeekVPN and will soon add new features like:
- Building a community for VPN enthusiasts that helps each other
- Running statistical analysis to spot discrepancies and contradictions among reviews and filter out fake reviews
- Increase catalog and add more filters
- Improve summaries (pros and cons style)
We eventually plan to do our analysis for other categories of SaaS products. It should become the Rotten-Tomatoes for software products.
Let us know what you think! What should we add or improve?
Just go wirecutter style and actually research the products a minimal amount to give an opinion
This "RT-style" looks exactly how I would expect a "machine written sourced from affiliate blogs" review to look like.
Edit: the site highly ranks the ones I see pushed on YouTube, so I’m guessing this is just “how often is this vendor referenced” and not “how quality is the vendor”.
The way I see this going is that a bunch of people are writing VPN reviews because these companies pay high commissions. This site is going to aggregate these untrustworthy reviews, and also try to earn a commission in the future. As the end user, I don't see the value here, because I don't trust anyone in the process.
What we plan to do:
- Running statistical analysis to spot discrepancies and contradictions
- Weight reviews based on the trustworthiness of their sources. E.g. Reddit, HN or Wirecutter are known to be very trustworthy sources.
Not that big: If you cut away all 5 and 1 star reviews you'll have stripped roughly 99% of astroturfing (for and against a company).
Don't even get me started with Wine Spectator and wines in general... https://freakonomics.com/podcast/season-11-episode-6/
Like other have pointed out trust is difficult to obtain these days for review sites but I hope you persist and have a successful product.
The only actual differentiation is in attributes that are impossible to measure from the outside: Do they log accesses? Make logs available to governments? Sell it to data brokers for advertising purposes?
That's pretty much the only difference between good and bad providers, and there's no way to tell, so in-depth reviews are an impossible task.
Maybe remember your audience here and drop marketing bullshit like that. If you're using specific techniques, great, tell us. But don't use hand wavy marketing buzzwords.
If you’re going to be as annoying and manipulative as every other scammy website out there, why should we trust you? My reaction was to close the page. Considering you’re posting this to HN, I doubt I’m in the minority.
Isn't this an immediate disqualification of the site's methodology?
So in that sense, the site has already succeeded.
All they need to do now is prettify this HN thread and replace the current garbage with it. ;)
Under no circumstances would I ever consider a VPN that's been breached even once as a #1 choice.
I'm not interested in a review aggregator. Individual reviews are the problem in the first place. What I want is someone to have a set of criteria and then rate the services individually based on that criteria.
Also, your family of review sites are for VPNs, backpacks and knives. This sounds like a writing prompt.
These VPS, while still distinguishable from normal residential connnections, are more likely to pass filters etc, it won't also trip up IP-change-detection mechanisms as you'll get an stable IP address.
Some gems from the top 10:
4. Black Panther
7. Avengers: Endgame
9. Knives Out
Its surely just coincidence that the half of the best films ever made in human history were produced in the last 5 years.
If it sorted by tomato-meter value instead, the esteemed classics would rise to the top, and the entries you took issue with wouldn't even crack the top 50.
Whatever "adjustment" they are doing seems to strongly favor recency.
(They give you a token, you send them cash or use a credit card to add money to the token, you input the token in the app.)
"Mullvad VPN is here to stay, and we are not interested in ever selling it."
About the reviews:
We collect the reviews per topic by doing a web search. Unfortunately, many VPN reviews are bought and paid for, so we need to improve the collection, filtering, and ranking of the reviews. We did this for other products, but VPNs seem to be a very tricky category.
I currently use SurfShark which works well for me.
404 days after hack, NordVPN finally discovers server is compromised
594 days after hack, a twitter user boasts of experiments with NordVPN private key material that had "been floating around mostly unnoticed"
595 days after hack: NordVPN finally acknowledges they were breached. Apology hammers on two themes, "it's not our fault we had no way to restrict access to that server" and "you should still trust us because we confirmed this guy didn't do many of the awful things we allowed him the capability to do"
That's a whole year of running a compromised server, and 27 whole weeks of cover-up between discovering the breach and getting called out on twitter.
Edit: Also, your "about" page is surprisingly non-informative.