VPN^x: the future of VPN could well be collaborative

Your VPN provider should be like your ISP (internet service provider) or your electric company: you shouldn't know they're there. If you're aware of their presence, something is wrong: You have the wrong VPN provider. 

What good is VPN service if it isn't always-on and always fast for all of your devices, all the time? 

And for the rare times you may need customer support (maybe you need a custom VPN setup, not something off-the-shelf?), you want to talk with trained professionals, not someone at a call center or a minimum-wage worker who simply escalates your to "Level 2 Support".

The last couple of years have seen an enormous surge in the number of VPN providers. So, the VPN business is ripe for consolidation as there are far too many niche players (ed: around 400 the last time we counted).

Key points

The ones who survive will be those who:

- put customers before profits.

- keep bandwidth speed and server reliability very high; not overselling servers to save a few bucks.

- stay compatible with geo-restricted content like Netflix, Hulu, BBC, ITV, etc

- permit unlimited devices and bandwidth per account. This is the new normal. No restrictions!

- maximize customer privacy while providing a variety of connectivity options with different VPN and proxy protocols

- publish detailed privacy policies and terms of service that are customer- first

- provide customer service from trained professionals (no Indian call centres!) for the rare times you may need it

- bypass censorship like that in China, Iran, etc with technologies such as end-to-end SSL proxies and OpenVPN

- support the free and open internet by open-sourcing all customer software, and by giving financially to organizations who advocate for these values.

One of the most disruptive features that can introduce for privacy-focused customers is the chaining of VPN connections across multiple VPN servers -at different VPN companies. 

This is similar to TOR's onion routing, but at a commercial level so it can provide sustained and reliable fast bandwidth, unlike tor today. Introducing this tech will require new VPN protocols and cooperation among VPN providers.

Eric Jung is the President and CEO of FoxyProxy. He is a full-stack developer. Huge open-source contributor with code in Firefox, Red Hat's JBoss, Apache projects, and many others. He is an excellent communicator and understands business and has co-founded software companies.