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5 Reasons Buying a Lifetime VPN Could Be a Huge Mistake

There are some VPN Providers that have begun offering a lifetime subscription to their members. This is either in addition to the usual month/year/2-year options, or the only available option. On paper, the lifetime membership looks like a “can’t miss deal”. As a consumer you pay a slightly higher, one-time membership fee, and then you never have to worry about it – for life.

One of the reasons to avoid the “deal” is the uncertainty in the meaning of “lifetime”. Is it the life of the company, the subscriber or a set amount of years that is hidden in the Terms of Service?

The majority of the top VPN providers, such as NordVPN, have dropped the lifetime membership but there are still some VPN providers that offer it.

There has to be a reason that the lifetime membership deal didn’t survive the test of time, and should you see one being offered it is something to be avoided and not purchased.

Let’s Summarize Why You Should Avoid Lifetime VPN Membership Plans

Not to sound overly dramatic but getting a lifetime subscription to a VPN may haunt you for a lot longer than you’ll be enjoying that “sweet deal”. Just off the top of my head, here are some of the reasons these deals should be avoided at all costs.

This all sounds pretty bad, and you may be thinking to yourself, I bet in my case it won’t be so bad. So, let’s break down the 4 points.

1. You Won’t Receive Your Money’s Worth

At first glance the VPN lifetime deal seems to good to be true.

The price is generally a bit more expensive than a yearly plan from a legitimate VPN but stretched out over the course of one’s life it will save money in the long run.

If this seems too good to be true then it probably is.

There is a reason that the top VPN providers don’t offer a lifetime subscription, and that reason is simple economics. It doesn’t make sense. From the businesses point of view, running a VPN with servers in multiple locations around the world is an expensive proposition. There are upkeep fees, maintenance costs, upgrading security protocols and hundreds of other details that need to be taken care of.

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ExpressVPN, one of the most reputable providers around today, have expressly written in their terms of service that there has never been a “lifetime subscription, and there never will be”.

ExpressVPN terms of service page

So why would a VPN company offer a lifetime subscription option if it makes little to no business sense?

When I see that included in the sale, I assume they are going after the sucker. The person who will use something once and then forget about it. Because how can I trust a company that doesn’t need any money for upkeep. Which brings us to point number 2.

2. Prepare for Unreliable Service

Customer retention is one of the major focuses for most service-based businesses. Call up your internet provider and tell them you aren’t happy or you’re thinking of leaving and generally they’ll offer you a better deal. Knock a few dollars off the price, and in return you won’t go shopping the competition.

Another retention tool is great customer service. You have a problem, you call them up, they fix your problem and you’re happy. No need to see what else available in the market.

This is one of the biggest problems with a lifetime plan, there is no need for retention. The opposite is actually true, if you leave them for another VPN, you won’t get your money back and they have one less person bogging down the servers.

A company that takes on lifetime members won’t have the resources to upgrade or increase the number of servers, this means that at some point the servers will become bogged down with users and slow down. There won’t be any incoming money to improve the service, and you can’t expect a high level of customer service to help you out.

3. Whose Lifetime are We Talking About?

OK, let’s say you just can’t pass up the deal. You buy the lifetime VPN package and then you start to wonder what does “lifetime” really mean. If you’re expecting to continue safely and securely browsing the internet right up until the day you die, you may be in for a disappointment.

Let me tell you the story of DissembleVPN. This VPN provider jumped onto the VPN scene and was offering a Lifetime package for just $13. People were flocking to it, I mean for a one-time payment of 13 bucks, who wouldn’t want that deal.

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t that long before DissembleVPN shut down their doors and kept all the non-refundable subscription fees. It’s possible they reopened the following day with a new company name and new plan for scamming people out of their hard-earned money.
If the company can just shut down tomorrow with reimbursing their customers what is the real value of a “lifetime” VPN.

Additionally, do you really want to be tied to a company for life? PureVPN offered their users a lifetime membership and then went ahead and turned user data over to the FBI. Would you want to be chained to them, with no way to get your money back?

4. Technology is Constantly Changing

Unless you’re working on some breakthrough technology, odds are you don’t know what to expect in the coming years from a technological perspective. We could see the development of a new technology that will make your lifetime VPN subscription obsolete. Whether it’s better tracking software from government agencies or an encryption key developed by some hackers. Your VPN provider isn’t going to invest the money to upgrade all their systems and security protocols, it’d be easier to just close up shop.

One of the most popular reasons for getting a VPN is to avoid geo blocked or censored websites and media content. If Netflix can tweak their geo blocking software or China finds a better to way block VPNs do you really believe that a VPN that you haven’t paid for in a while will invest the money and improve their systems? As we mentioned earlier, they have incentive to keep you happy, they’ve already deposited all the money they will see from you.

There are actually good cheap long term alternative to fake “unlimited” deals

There are definitely some good alternatives to the lifetime VPN offers that won’t break the bank and do a good job of protecting your anonymity and security. One option are free VPNs. Now I know what you’re thinking, I just went through a whole list of reasons to avoid using a VPN that isn’t charging a monthly subscription, and now I’m recommending free VPNs.

You’re right, it isn’t an ideal solution, but it is an option that won’t cost you anything. These companies are able to sustain their business by showing ads and trying to to up sell you into buying their premium packages.

If you are the kind of person who wants to get into a long-term contract with your VPN provider, we recommend going with a reputable company like NordVPN .

They are one of the best VPN’s that we’ve tested, are constantly adding servers to their network, works well in China, can get around the Netflix geo block, and did really well in our speed test.

Why are eyewitnesses unreliable?

In the movies, the eyewitness scene usually plays out one of two ways: The victim of a crime is brought into a police station to sit behind a one-way mirror and identify his or her assailant in a line-up. Or, the eyewitness dramatically points to the alleged criminal sitting smugly beside his court-appointed defense attorney during the trial. There may be some cross examination about how dark it was and how good the witness’s vision is, but in the movies the eyewitness always picks out the right person.

Eyewitness testimony can play a big part in criminal court cases. Whether or not a person is convicted of a crime can come down to the reliability of an eyewitness and how confidently he or she conveys testimony to a jury. The problem is these eyewitness accounts aren’t always accurate. The Innocence Project is a nonprofit team of attorneys and law students that re-examines questionable murder convictions with the hope of using DNA evidence to overturn the sentences of defendents who’ve been wrongfully imprisoned. In the first 130 cases the Innocence Project overturned, eyewitness testimony played a part in 78 percent of those wrongful convictions [source: Stambor].

Other tests have proven that eyewitnesses aren’t as reliable as they claim to be, especially when those witnesses are older than age 60. In one study at the University of Virginia, participants between the ages of 60 and 80 performed far worse than college-aged students, which is not that surprising given aging eyesight. But the study revealed another startling find: The older eyewitnesses were also more adamant and confident in their wrong answers. So jurors not only hear unreliable testimony from an older witness, but they’re likely more convinced of that testimony because of the eyewitness’s confidence.

An eyewitness may not be reliable for several reasons — and they don’t all have to do with poor vision, although that’s one of the leading reasons. In fact, tests performed on people with good eyesight have shown that at just 10 feet away, a witness may not be able to see a person’s eyelashes. At 200 feet, the eyes themselves are a blur. At 500 feet, it’s likely that no facial features can be distinguished. This seems logical, but murder cases have been decided in part based on the testimony of eyewitnesses who were more than 450 feet away from the perpetrator.

Aside from eyesight, researchers have found that stress can also affect an eyewitness account, as well as the ability to pick someone out of a police lineup. While officers aren’t necessarily attempting to induce identification, sometimes the way the process is handled can have an impact. Photographic lineups can be handled in several ways. With one method, the alleged criminal is not included among the mug shots the eyewitness considers. This is called a simultaneous lineup. The problem with this method is that the eyewitness compares pictures to one another. So instead of looking at one picture at a time and making an absolute judgment, the witness uses relative judgment by comparing the faces.

Also, when the alleged perpetrator is not in the picture set, the eyewitness will often pick the person who looks most like the perpetrator he or she remembers, instead of stating that nobody in the lineup fits the bill. Some standards put in place over the years mandate police officers to state that the perpetrator may or may not be in the lineup. Police have also been encouraged to use sequential judgment lineups, where the eyewitness sees one picture at a time and makes a statement on each one. Studies have also shown that double-blind lineups, in which the officer doesn’t know the suspect’s identity, produce fewer false identifications.

The people used alongside the suspects in police lineups are called “fillers.” Research has shown that using fillers who don’t resemble the suspect can make the suspect stand out. It’s also shown that people are prone to correctly identify members of their own race. Or to say it a different way: There are more false identifications when the suspect has a different skin color than the eyewitness.

Whether or not there was a weapon present at the time of the crime can affect the outcome as well. When a gun or knife is present, an eyewitness frequently concentrates on the weapon and not the details of the assailant’s face.

Leading questions by police officers and attorneys also have an impact on the testimony of an eyewitness. This is why a judge can refuse a question and demand that it be rephrased in court. As more research is completed in the field of eyewitness identifications, no doubt more standards will be put in place to guide police officers during initial questioning.

Venezuela in Crisis: 5 Reasons Why This Oil-Rich Nation Is on the Brink of Collapse

Breaking News Emails

FROM SEPT. 1: Millions protest in streets of Venezuela

During the boom years of the 2000s, Venezuela reaped a windfall from its oil production. There was enough wealth — heavily controlled by the government — to pay for social programs and education, and cut poverty rates by more than half.

Even the United States — whose relationship with the Latin-American nation was icy at best under the late socialist leader Hugo Chávez — could be counted on as Venezuela’s biggest customer.

No longer. Venezuela is a country in crisis.

Tanking oil prices and failed economic policies led to bare shelves at supermarkets, a shortage of medical supplies, unbridled hyperinflation and an infant mortality rate so high it surpasses even that of war-torn Syria.

As anti-government protesters called for a general strike Friday against leftist President Nicolás Maduro — with more demonstrations promised — a power struggle is playing out among political factions that could ultimately plunge Venezuela into social chaos and economic collapse, and requiring more forceful international intervention, observers say.

Here are five major reasons why hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans continue to pour into the streets in anger:

1. They’re worried Maduro is replacing democracy with a de facto dictatorship.

Maduro was elected to office after the death of Chávez in 2020. His term was met with increasing resistance as consumer prices soared, and in 2020, street protests against his administration turned deadly.

Since then, critics have charged Maduro with inching closer toward dictatorial rule by suppressing people’s rights and arresting political enemies.

“Maduro has shown how scared he is that the people will express themselves,” opposition leader Henrique Capriles told The Associated Press as the nation was roiled by protests Wednesday.

2. A recall effort to oust Maduro was suspended by election officials.

The Morning Rundown

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Some lawmakers in Venezuela’s National Assembly have pushed for a recall vote to get Maduro out of office. His term expires in April 2020.

But the country’s electoral commission suspended the referendum drive last week after Maduro denounced it as a coup attempt.

In response, protesters and political adversaries have called for Maduro to be placed on trial for supposedly snubbing the country’s constitution, which allows for recall elections. Protesters plan a major demonstration next Thursday at the presidential palace in Caracas if “constitutional order” is not restored.

3. The country, in a third year of a brutal recession, has grappled with food and supply shortages.

One of the more startling fallouts from the economic recession has been images of Venezuelans storming store shelves and mobs ripping open food delivery trucks in search of supplies.

Three years ago, as the class divide grew deeper, the crisis grabbed international headlines when people said they had to go to neighboring countries just to procure toilet paper.

More recently, “perhaps gearing up for a potential recall referendum,” the government has reinvested in importing necessities, said Alejandro Velasco, the author of “Barrio Rising: Urban Popular Politics and the Making of Modern Venezuela.”

“I can go to a store now and find most products I want, even if it’s not the variety I want,” Velasco told NBC News on Friday from Caracas.

Widespread Food Crisis in Venezuela Has Thousands Looking for Way Out

Velasco has been living in the capital while on sabbatical from New York University, where he teaches modern Latin American history. He said the government has all but given up on regulating prices — with “enormous inflation” affecting even the middle and upper classes that have the access to cash.

“For poorer sectors of Venezuela, which comprise the majority of the population, they’re of course getting hammered,” Velasco said.

The lack of resources also extends to infrastructure, from dilapidated roads to burned-out lampposts to degraded conditions at hospitals.

“And all of it masked and made worse by consistent claims on the part of the government especially, but also of the opposition, that things are either much better than they are — says the government — or that the opposition is much more united and determined than it is — says [opposition] leaders — when in fact neither is true, and demonstrably so,” Velasco added.

4. Oil prices have tanked, and $11 billion went missing from the state-run oil fund.

Venezuela has been an oil producer since 1914, and eventually amassed the world’s largest oil reserves. But as Chavez was able to capitalize on soaring oil prices into the late 2000s, the nation’s fortunes went bust when prices began to plummet and its economic policies unraveled.

This month, a new scandal emerged when a congressional commission said Petróleos de Venezuela, the country’s state oil company, could not account for $11 billion in funds during 2004 to 2020.

The company has long been accused of corruption, including a $1 billion kickback scheme with ties to American businessmen, Reuters reported.

The congressional probe is now stalled after Venezuela’s top court ordered an injunction Thursday to block further investigation.

5. Poor quality of life — from crime to poverty — has spiraled out of control.

Street gangs and organized crime run rampant in Venezuela, making it one of the deadliest in the world last year, according to the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council.

The think tank Observatory of Venezuelan Violence said homicides were at 90 per 100,000 people — on par with other Latin-American countries plagued by killings. The U.S.’s homicide rate is about 5 per 100,000.

To improve quality of life and boost people’s households, Maduro said Thursday he would sign a 40 percent rise of the national minimum wage.

Whether that can assuage the growing tide of frustration aimed at the government is unlikely, observers say.

Velasco said among community activists there remains a feeling of “a la deriva” — or being adrift — “at sea, alone, frightened, upset and with little expectation that anything will change anytime soon.”

When he went to an opposition protest recently to observe, he noted something else: a sense of confusion and disorder as they strategized and “debated among themselves.”

“It’s the way of Venezuelan politics, ad hoc, never planning beyond short term,” he said, “and always as a result, suffering the consequences.”

Erik Ortiz is a staff writer for NBC News focusing on racial injustice and social inequality.

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