Proxy.Sh is Changing the way VPN Companies Operate
Proxy.sh is a Seychelle-based VPN service that provides a feature-rich, top tier privacy service to clients worldwide. In this interview we had the honor of talking to an anonymous member of staff, who revealed the company's unique business model and gave some really interesting insights on online security and data retention. Share
Proxy.sh has a very unique and modern business structure. Please provide some background on the company. What’s inspired you to start a VPN service and operate the way you do?
We are indeed very unique in the VPN market. Although we are not a non-profit organization and we are still part of a private company, our unit can be characterised as non-for-profit as it works in a sustainably inclusive manner, with its revenues fully distributed among wages, costs and investments. There is no post-tax profit or dividend made from our activity.
This approach is highlighted with the fact that we do not have any marketing or advertising channels, and we do not collaborate with paid-reviews or other sort of tactics to acquire new users. We only relay on our past users’ word-of-mouth and the general publicity the outside world might provide when referring to us in an independent manner. To us, that’s the only way to attract the right kind of users, who (rightfully) expect more from a security company.
We opted for such a way to operate Proxy.sh because at the time of our launch, we did it as a side project and we never had the ambition to quit our respective careers for building a VPN company. We were caught by our own success, and we grew to a team of about 25 people, with half of them working full-time on Proxy.sh. We wanted to retain this original aspect to both give our team the flexibility in their own career and also provide a culture within our business whose key metrics is the opportunity to protect yourself online, rather than the amount of money made.
So the key idea behind why we launched Proxy.sh and operate it the way we do is that we are a bunch of people with various skills and knowledge, and we realised that together we could help others better protect themselves online. With time, this motivation got supplemented with the desire to go deeper into networking encryption, the need to teach people about more privacy stuff, and the unexpected need to provoke disruption among the VPN industry about how behind-the-scenes operations shall take place.
What measures are being taken at your company to prevent outsiders as well as employees from looking at your users’ data?
We are the most sophisticated VPN company on market when it comes to handling user data & activity.
First of all, we do not use any third-party CRM, billing or support system. Everything is hosted in-house. And all those modules do not log any IP address or whatsoever.
Secondly, we are the only VPN provider to offer the tryptich of transparency report, network alerts and warrant canary.
We publish to our transparency report all abuse we receive, and how we tackle them. The network alerts also let know our users in real time whenever an engineer needs to handle maintenance with a server. Finally, the warrant canary is here to still alert our users about any activity occurring behind the scenes, but for which we may be legally prevented to refer to.
What is your policy with regards to data retention, and how does it coincide with your ethical policy?
We have no data retention here at Proxy.sh. We are not operating from the United States or the European Union to such extent. We operate from the Republic of Seychelles, where there is no data retention law.
When your account expires, the package is automatically deleted after few days. And you can also fully delete the subsequent panel account the VPN membership is tied to. It goes perfectly in line with our ethics: we should not know anything about our users.
In your opinion, what new trends can we expect to see in the online security sector over the next 5 years?
About 99% of the VPN market is made up of purely mercantile activities with very little real privacy. Even we at Proxy.sh believe our product is imperfect, and we strive every day, every quarter, to provide better options, better encryption, better solutions to always bring our users closer to real digital privacy.
We believe that the future of privacy lies in open source encryption delivered by a truly smart artificial intelligence. Without any commercial or even human bias, such a solution could only be dreamed of. The sad reality is that we are still two or three decades away from using such an option, given it even comes to fruition.
Until then, the path to privacy will still be organized around businesses such as VPN providers. But they will progressively make their technology more open sourced, and with more varied encryption methods. To such extent, that the only remaining limit to privacy will be the way the companies themselves deal with user data and payments. And you will undeniably end up with commercial VPNs with cheap prices and many payment options, but very low real privacy, and providers like us with more expensive pricing and a narrowed set of payment gateways available.