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Risks of Using Third-Party VPNs

If you use a commercial VPN service, please know that Drexel offers a free, secure, and encrypted VPN service. All Drexel faculty, professional staff, and students have access and connect using the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. You can read more about our VPN client here.

When you use a VPN service, your activity is only encrypted until it reaches the endpoint for that service. All of your activities can be monitored and logged by that vpn provider. Many services claim to keep no logs or very limited logs. However, aside from taking the provider's word, there is no way a user of said service can verify what data is logged. VPN providers often require the installation of their VPN clients onto your system. These clients could contain malware or could be used to push malware to your system.

Recent studies here and here found that 99 VPN providers were owned by only 23 parent companies, six of which are based in China. Seven others are based out of Pakistan. Non-US governments have their own rules about privacy. Some can require companies based in their country to provide data without a warrant. The companies can also share, and resell the information.

Due to these concerns, we highly recommend using the Drexel VPN when accessing Drexel resources.