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PRQ.se VPN Review

Editor's Overall Rating: 
6 User Reviews
PRQ.se VPN Review
Editor's Rating
Order to Installation
Software/GUI
Ease of Use
Features
Network & Speed
Help & Support
Scope of Protection
Overall Rating


Site: www.prq.se
Site languages: En/Se

PRQ.se VPN INTRODUCTION

PRQ, located in Sweden, is a server hosting company that allows you to run OpenVPN.org software with a limited number of dedicated static IPs. This service is only for techies and fans of the Swedish legal system. If you are looking for an easy to download and use application, this is not for you. Standard OpenVPN has no features and is not convenient to use. The scope of protection is fair with the standard OpenVPN application which does not protect against the dropping of your internet connection.

PRQ bases its privacy policy on Swedish privacy laws that used to be airtight before substantial changes were made to the law in 2008-9 due to Russian cyber activities. Any blind belief in Swedish privacy as a protection is now misplaced.

Review Summary

PRQ, located in Sweden, is a server hosting company that allows you to run OpenVPN.org software with a limited number of dedicated static IPs. This service is only for techies and fans of the Swedish legal system. If you are looking for an easy to download and use application, this is not for you. Standard OpenVPN has no features and is not convenient to use.

PRQ bases its privacy policy on Swedish privacy laws that used to be airtight before substantial changes were made to the law in 2008-9 due to Russian cyber activities. Any blind belief in Swedish privacy as a protection is now misplaced.

PRQ.se VPN PROS:
• Does not filter your ports

PRQ.se VPN CONS:
• Server network only in 1 country – no off shore servers
• Limited number of IPs and therefore limited security
• Application standard OpenVPN with no features
• No automation on start up
• No automatic choice of fastest server (lowest latency)
• Dynamic IPs are not available
• Does not protect your originating IP if the internet connection fails. All your applications will be switched to your local IP and you may not know it – an OpenVPN problem that is fixed by the better VPN services.
• Does not support IPv6
• Management and server network is located in Sweden, which now has restrictive privacy laws

Full Review

From Order to Installation: ★☆☆☆☆ 

PRQ looks like a hacker’s forum but is in fact, a Swedish server and co-location company that allows you download OpenVPN.org’s open source software on a server with a fixed amount of dedicated IPs.

best-vpn-review

Those are the packages. You can chose from 1 to several static IPs with your throughput bandwidth regulated. So the simple package is 1 static IP with a max throughput of 512 Kbps. Probably most people would start with the package 3 which limits your throughput to 30mbps, a reasonable speed for most. If you run out of IPs you can purchase them separately for $4/E3 per month.

This is not a user friendly installation process. You first need to go to the PRQ forum and register, and then wait for the admin of the forum to approve you and send you an email with the login credentials to the forum. Be patient, this can be a long wait. And all you did was register for the forum. If you want a quick VPN product up and running, this is not the place to go. But since I have to write this review, I’m waiting patiently. After 48 hours and no response from the forum admin, I write to info@prq.se and try to order:

best-vpn-review

The application is just the openvpn.org systray icon with no features. Download the software after you configure your server for Linux:

best-vpn-review

After downloading the OpenVPN application one has to copy and paste the server locations and certificates from PRQ to the configure file and

This service and product is not for most users if you are looking for a user friendly product.

Software/GUI: ★★★☆☆ 

You employ OpenVPN’s standard application without modifications. The application is the unmodified OpenVPN format that requires it to be opened with admin permissions (Windows & and Vista), login credentials have to be entered for each launch of the application (no possibility to save password); server has to be chosen for each launch, as in full OpenVPN implementation:

This is an example of the OpenVPN connection:

best-vpn-review

Updates: You have to go to the OpenVPN.org page to download any updates and update your server for all your software.

Ease of Use: ★☆☆☆☆ 

As this is the standard OpenVPN application, it is not very user friendly. It cannot be automated for startup of the computer and requires some 5 clicks to start each time. One always has to re-choose the server. If one needs to restart this application a couple of times a day, it’s tiresome.

Features: ★☆☆☆☆ 

OpenVPN but has no features inherent in the open source application. If you are programmer you may want to write your own code and program a nice application. But rather than do that you may as well find a VPN service that provides you with a working VPN application that you do not have to build or modify. Otherwise you will have no automated features, such as to automatically start on startup or automatically protect your connection when there is a failure of the underlying internet connection. If the underlying connection fails and turn back on, you would not realize that your applications that you turned on with VPN now are on your originating IP.

Server Network: Location, Availability & Speed: ★★☆☆☆ 

This service provides you with IPs located only in Sweden. Sweden is a nice country but one country does not make a server network. PRQs servers are fast.

Keep in mind that VPN providers that are based only in one jurisdiction with limited number of IPs cannot protect your data as it is transmitted across their servers. By definition a court order in cooperative regions can force PRQ to log, cache and submit any information to local and international authorities not withstanding PRQ’s current Privacy Policy/Swedish Law to the contrary (please read our take on Swedish Law below). PRQ has no servers in off shore locations.

Presale Support to Product Help & Support: ★★★½☆ 

PRQ has a support ticket system. After 24 hours I got useful responses with the information I was looking for.

Scope of Protection:

Protocols: ★★½☆☆ 

Utilizing standard VPN protocols, your OpenVPN should change your IP, removes packet headers and provides you with a single assigned IP from any of its servers. PRQ does not provide you with the choice between Dynamic IP Servers and Static IP servers which is very useful for use with PayPal accounts and Credit Card vendors.

Protocols: OpenVPN standard

PRQ does not support IPv6 or port forwarding. P2P and SMTP mail is permitted as long as PRQ does not get any SPAM complaints.

Encryption: Pending Test

Encryption Strength Specified: 256 bit

The effectiveness of any VPN provider is dependent on how effective is the encryption. Our independent encryption Test of PRQ is in process and will be posted here when completed.

Server Security: Pending Test

To be independently tested pending permission from PRQ of its servers.

Privacy: ★★½☆☆ 

PRQ provides its privacy policy through its forum. Go there to download it: http://forum.prq.se/ucp.php?mode=privacy
It does not appear that PRQ has any other privacy policy or one that specifically relates to its VPN service other than a one line statement that “We do not filter any traffic or ports”.
PRQ collects information in two ways: cookies to store topics and cookies to collect information that you submit. You can limit the info you provide PRQ in the registration process. PRQ relies on Swedish law with respect to privacy and what the courts in Sweden will enforce.

Swedish law pertaining to privacy

Sweden has the toughest anti-piracy laws in the world. So if you plan on using their servers for any form of intellectual property infringement, forget about it. When the law was enacted at the end of 2009, Swedish web traffic plummeted to about 50% of its previous level, suggesting that up to half of all Swedish web traffic in the past was involved in illegal downloading.
Initially Sweden had the toughest privacy laws in Europe: ‘Traffic data that belongs to natural persons or subscribers and is stored by the party providing the service must be eliminated or prevented from being identifiable when that data is no longer necessary to the transfer the electronic message.’ But due Russian cyber attacks much of that changed in 2008-2009. The Swedish National Defense has the right to intercept all Internet and other e-traffic crossing Swedish borders from anywhere. Covered by the law is all Internet traffic and telephony traffic, which includes all e-mail, phone, and fax messages. The Swedes call this the ‘Big Brother’ law which makes privacy reliance on the 2003 Swedish law questionable. Sweden shares it’s intelligence with all of its allies in the EU and the USA. So reliance on Swedish Privacy laws may be misplaced.
At the end of the day with a service that provides you a limited number of static IP addresses, you are in their hands. If they don’t log and cache AND Swedish privacy laws are not used against this service, then you should be just fine. But do you really want to put your privacy in the hands of any VPN service, no matter how benign they appear because of what they state on their forum? I don’t. I would rather not have to rely on a limited number of IPs or privacy policies of service providers and not have to read up on the laws of major European governments. Tomorrow the law could change. Are you going to stay on top of the changes?
It’s much better to use a VPN Service that gives you many exit servers throughout the world with hundreds if not thousands of dynamic and static IPs who’s country of jurisdiction is not a major European country or the USA. Then I can switch servers and IPs at will and not worry about Big Brother. That’s absolute privacy.

PRQ.se VPN Review Summary

PRQ, located in Sweden, is a server hosting company that allows you to run OpenVPN.org software with a limited number of dedicated static IPs. This service is only for techies and fans of the Swedish legal system. If you are looking for an easy to download and use application, this is not for you. Standard OpenVPN has no features and is not convenient to use.

PRQ bases its privacy policy on Swedish privacy laws that used to be airtight before substantial changes were made to the law in 2008-9 due to Russian cyber activities. Any blind belief in Swedish privacy as a protection is now misplaced.

PRQ.se VPN PROS:
• Does not filter your ports

PRQ.se VPN CONS:
• Server network only in 1 country – no off shore servers
• Limited number of IPs and therefore limited security
• Application standard OpenVPN with no features
• No automation on start up
• No automatic choice of fastest server (lowest latency)
• Dynamic IPs are not available
• Does not protect your originating IP if the internet connection fails. All your applications will be switched to your local IP and you may not know it – an OpenVPN problem that is fixed by the better VPN services.
• Does not support IPv6
• Management and server network is located in Sweden, which now has restrictive privacy laws

Editor’s Rating
Order to Installation
Software/GUI
Ease of Use
Features
Network & Speed
Help & Support
Scope of Protection
Overall Rating

Features Overview

PRQ Se VPN Service Description
Price (VAT is not included): 10 USD – 80 USD per month
54 USD – 432 USD per 6 months
96 USD – 768 USD per 12 months
4 USD/month per additional IP address
Bandwidth Limitations: 512 Kbps – 100 Mbps
Server Locations: SE
Data Logging: No
VPN Protocols: OpenVPN
Encryption Strength: 256-bit AES
Public IP: Static dedicated
Other security: Your own reverse DNS, encryption is provided for free, requires submission of your public PGP key when ordering
Payment Methods: Wiretransfer, PayPal, Bankgiro, Postgiro
Test Account: First invoice is sent when the service is setup and working
Moneyback Guarantee: -
Other features: IPv6 support
PRQ Se VPN TOS & Privacy Policy
p2p Allowed: Yes
Mass-mail Allowed: Yes
Personal Data Collected: Not collected, not stored
PRQ Se VPN Company Information
Location: SE
In business since 2000
Other Security Products: Dedicated servers, Co-location, Web/mail/shell hosting, Domains

Information incomplete or incorrect? Please let me know!

6 User Reviews »

  • Andre says:

    With PRQ for the last 3 years, we are now looking for another VPN provider that would offer the same privacy protection. Our organization is public but people using our secured services (Web and E-Mail) need 100% privacy, so PRQ was indeed the best choice. And we felt secured with them.

    But they show a very low organization standard : communication, problem solving, feedback, contacts. Weeks to get an answer from them, 10 words answers to complex questions, some time down for hours every week-end (without any explanation), no phone number to reach accounting.

    They most often do not answer e-mails and they close tickets even if we are still looking for solution or waiting for answers. We sent them an order for a new VPN 3 weeks ago : no answer yet !

    Why ? Because it’s been 4 month (no proper answer to our emails) that the incoming data (from the people through the VPN to the servers) are around 50-100kbps which is more than 100times slower (we are paying for 10Mo/s) than expected.

    We are tired of loosing time and energy with PRQ : we are going to move from there.

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): more than 1 year

  • Johnh says:

    Maybe the worst in the world.

    We actually run multiple websites and one of them was on prq.se, for political reasons, as they claim to offer anonymous hosting.

    What they didn’t tell us is that their services are so anonymous that nobody can see it. Down all the time, and when you report error 503 (they like that one), they don’t respond or tell you that everything is OK. Their email service is the worst, down but you cannot see it’s down so you loose our clients.

    The very word “unreliable” is the one to describe prq.se. Expensive, unreliable and unfriendly.

    We have closed any relationsship with them.

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support Not Rated
    Used this VPN for (how long): more than 1 year

  • Earl says:

    One word to provide their Customer Service and their VPN Service: PATHETIC!

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): less than 6 months

  • Anonno says:

    These guys don’t know what they’re doing, they’re trying, but they’re not there yet, so stay away until they figure it out, if they can…

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): less than 1 month

  • Customer says:

    PRQ.SE is just shit.
    Expensive and down everytime, not reliable at all.

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): less than 1 week

  • Birre says:

    I have been using the tunnel package 3 from prq since July 2010,
    and so far their service has never failed.

    The article claim it can’t be auto started, I don’t understand that claim at all.

    I have opensuse on my server, and all I did was to add the config file
    and the key file into the /etc/openvpn directory and make sure openvpn start at boot.
    # ls -l /etc/openvpn/*.{conf,key}
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 206 Jul 19 2010 /etc/openvpn/openvpn.conf
    -r——– 1 root root 637 Jul 19 2010 /etc/openvpn/prq.key

    And it just works.

    If I need any of the other 3 IP’s I just add a device for them like
    ifconfig tap0:1 xx.xx.xx.xx netmask 255.255.255.128
    That must be done by a script, but it’s no issue.

    I don’t know about Help and support, I got the config and have never asked for any help.

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): less than 1 year

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