Is Your VPN Faking Server Locations?

According to an article first posted by SlickVPN and referenced by Lifehacker, some VPN providers are faking server locations.  They are specifically advertising servers in locations that differ from the physical location of the servers.  According to Reddit the IP address in question belongs to PureVPN.  This presents the question of whether or not you can trust your VPN service.  In this case you would be connecting to a server in the United States when you think you are connecting to a server in New Zealand.  If you’re sole goal is to unblock geo restrictions the performance may be impacted but it would still work.  However, if you are relying on PureVPN for a secure connection in New Zealand, the “virtual server location” could pose a big problem.

PureVPN New Zealand

PureVPN was the example used in the article, but how many VPN providers are faking server locations?  Before writing this post we thought about reaching out to some VPNs and confirming that they don’t use this practice to inflate server locations.  That didn’t seem like enough.  To be sure we will start testing the server locations to find out whether or not any other companies are taking this approach.  The process of running traceroutes and pings on a wide range of VPN services will take some time.  If you run into any other VPNs that aren’t being honest about their server locations please let us know the provider and server locations in question.

What actions are we taking?  For starters we will be testing a number of popular services including PureVPN.  The question becomes whether the New Zealand server is an isolated incident or if “vurtial server locations” are common in the industry.  In the case of the PureVPN server mentioned in the article, they could be replacing a server in New Zealand.  That would be the best case scenario.  They could also have a number of server locations that are virtual “fake” in terms of the physical location of the servers.  We’re testing to find out which scenario is true and will update VPNSP accordingly.  Please test your own VPN and share the results.  This will help everyone figure out which VPNs are faking server locations.  Feel free to reach out to us @VPNSP with any questions or to share your own testing results.