FreePN: Free, open-source, distributed VPN

One of the biggest problems with traditional VPN services is that one can never know for sure whether their claims are true. This is particularly important with regard to log retention which could be used by law enforcement.

FreePN aims to mitigate the problem of trust by building a free, open-source, distributed VPN. On the surface there's a lot of advantages to be realized besides being free, such as not having to create an account. From their webpage:

FreePN is the first completely free, completely open network dedicated to protecting your online privacy. Joining the network is easy: just download and install the app. No accounts, no registration, no setup. Once you start the app, you're already protected. It's that simple. FreePN's code is also completely open-source. You don't have to trust what we say about privacy - you can see for yourself.

There are also some concerning downsides to FreePN at this time. From their GitHub repo for their daemon:

FreePN is not a full VPN solution (eg, openvpn or vpnc) and does not require setup of any pre-shared keys or certs. Traffic over FreePN network links is always encrypted, however, since each network link is independent, the traffic must be decrypted as it passes out of each peer host. When running in "peer" mode, each peer is assumed to be an untrusted host; when running in "adhoc" mode, the hosts can be assumed to be trusted hosts (as they belong to the user).
Prototype design limitations

  • we only route www (http and https) and dns (optional) traffic
  • traffic routing supports IPv4 only (IPv6 is dropped unless configured not to)
  • DNS privacy depends entirely on your DNS config
  • the most common local-only DNS config is not routable out-of-the-box
  • it takes you to make the changes to stop DNS privacy leaks

The project appears to be less than a year old, so you might want to let it bake a while longer before using it. It should be interesting to watch its progress though.

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