A Handful of Companies Own Multiple VPN Services

Don’t spend too long trying to decide which VPN service to go with. So many of them are owned by another larger service as part of a handful of companies that there’s a good chance you could be deciding between two or three VPN services, and they could very well be owned by the same company.

We don’t need to debate the worthiness of VPNs at this point. We all know that they’re worthy of our time and money. They keep us safe when we’re browsing online and allow us to watch geographically-restrict content.

But while it seems like a booming industry, so many of these VPN services are owned under the umbrella.

For instance, AnchorFree owns seven other VPN services: Hotspot Shield, Betternet, TouchVPN, VPN in Touch, Hexatch, VPN 360, and JustVPN. While sometimes you can pick up one of these services and know right away it’s associated with Anchor Free, you won’t always know, as sometimes they bury that information.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with a larger company acquiring smaller companies, especially in the tech world. Look at Apple, Google, and AT&T. They buy out smaller companies just because they want their technology or their employees.

But this is larger companies buying out their smaller competitors, yet not merging them into the larger company. These smaller companies still exist.

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The senior E-threat analyst at Bitdefender, Liviu Arsene, believes this is a good thing for VPNs, as the more providers there are, “each with their own anonymization and security technologies, the less chances for an authority to tamper with that privacy by going after a single and large VPN provider.

“The VPN industry is all about having as many servers around the world as possible, in order to ensure both availability and coverage for their customers,” said Arsene.

“Acquiring smaller VPN companies and allowing them to operate independently makes sense because their infrastructures need to be agile, flexible, dynamic, and constantly integrating new privacy-drive technologies in order to allow for more privacy for their clients.”

Hide.me weighed in on this topic as well, suggesting that this process allows the larger VPN conglomerates to better serve all segments of the market.

“It is more profitable to obtain users through the acquisition of smaller VPN providers than to obtain those users by suing standard marketing channels,” they explained. “Once they have that access, they are using a smaller brand for test runs of different business models without direct harm to the mainstream brand.”

So maybe it is like the other tech companies in some way. They’re bettering their brand and what they can offer, and perhaps these larger VPN conglomerates are doing just that, making their brand stronger while offering even more to their customers.

How do you feel about these VPN conglomerates? Do you think it’s beneficial to the consumer or no? Let us know how you feel about VPNs buying up the smaller VPNs in the comments section below.

One comment

  1. It’s good to see that some of the larger VPN services were not subsidiaries of a larger firm. The problem for me is that while a particular subsidiary might toss out a privacy policy (with complicated legalese) the larger conglomerate might have a completely different policy.

    Avast is a good example. According to the linked article they own: HideMyAss, Avast Secureline VPN, AVG Secure VPN, and Zen VPN. At the same time we know that Avast has a privacy policy that both collects and shares user data. When it comes to VPNs, the privacy policy is nearly as important as the service itself. Whether the policy is respected or adhered to is a different matter: there seems to be little to no accountability in tech.

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