Can AdGuard VPN be trusted?

Hi all! I live in Russia. Over the past two years, we have blocked almost all major VPN services, including AdGuard. Against this backdrop, I have a few questions:

  1. How does a blocked VPN service continue to function normally? I mean, in Russia you can connect to any of their servers. Why, then, did other blocked VPN services turn out to be completely inoperative?

  2. How can a blocked VPN service accept MIR (Russian National Payment System) cards for payment?

Hi all! I live in Russia.

I’m sorry about that.

How can a blocked VPN service accept MIR (Russian National Payment System) cards for payment?

I don’t know if Proton VPN is blocked or not, but this should help with the payment question if not.

I think you misunderstood me. It seems to me that AdGuard is somehow cooperating with the Russian authorities.

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That seems to be a real stretch conclusion, just because they accept a form of paiement.
Either way, i believe the “Adguard VPN” is a different entity from the Adguard adblocking team, and as such, isn’t recommended by PrivacyGuides per their requirements.

I’ve never used their VPN. I’ve used their ad blocking service for years, and it has always worked great. I’ve been concerned about this since the war started. Any other ad blocker recommendations to consider?

NextDNS and PiHole if you are willing to self-host

like Iran and China, Russia blocks common VPN protocols (Wireguard, Openvpn, etc) so normal VPNs doesnt work but Adguard uses its own obfuscation protocol to bypass that if you dont trust them you can use Protonvpn or better option is Geph but their free tier is pretty slow if you dont trust them either you can make your own vpn GitHub - XTLS/Xray-core: Xray, Penetrates Everything. Also the best v2ray-core, with XTLS support. Fully compatible configuration. best Xray protocol right now VLESS Reality and obviously dont buy vps from Russian providers

Today IVPN stopped working in Russia. But Adguard works. Tell me, please, those who understand VPN.
Can a VPN provider bypass VPN protocol blocking or is it unrealistic?

Read the message above Adguard uses its own obfuscation protocol to bypass restriction also you can make your own vpn with a panel like hiddify GitHub - hiddify/hiddify-config: multi-user anti-filtering panel, with an effortless installation and supporting more than 20 protocols to circumvent filtering plus the telegram proxy. you dont need a domain to setup VLESS Reality

Just a note guys, please keep things in line with the code of conduct. I do not want to see posts here which are racist.

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It depends on how they’re blocking VPNs. If they’re doing so purely on the IP address, then that will be a “whack-a-mole” game, new servers will come online, and they will be blocked. From what I’ve heard Russia at this point is doing it that way.

If they are doing deep packet inspection (something that occurs in China and Iran), then it won’t matter, as protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard have distinct characteristics that can be “blocked” without needing to know about every server.

There are a couple of possibilities, the first might be to hire a server outside of Russia, and create your “own” VPN server. The threat model is the government is spying on you. A unique server may evade filtering, but will not be anonymous to remote hosts (because you’re the only one using it). Unfortunately at the moment that is difficult due to sanctions around the world being placed on Russia. In some places VPN servers are “exempt” from sanctions, and therefore can process transactions with cryptocurrencies.

Dealing with a VPN company directly may be easier because both the UK and US have exemptions for that type of business.

As for accepting Mir, a lot of payment processors won’t be able to do that. I was under the impression that only worked domestically anyway. In the past another workaround was UnionPay (though expensive I am told), maybe not anymore. ProtonVPN have an article.

Another solution might be to try obtain some cryptocurrency from an exchange not located in a country currently blocking Russian bank accounts. It would then be possible to transfer that to a Monero wallet, and pay with that.

The solution you probably want to try:

There is no reason to believe that is the case. There are people at Adguard who work/live in Ukraine though. They are quite clear about that though: Official response from AdGuard to SetApp allegations.

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No. Pls dont use Adguard stuffs

Can you please more concrete?
Your answer in this form says nothing

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While I personally would trust adguard

I wouldn’t recommend their VPN due to the fact that they don’t have the standard way to use the VPN (wireguard/openvpn), which means we are required to use the proprietary VPN app that also doesn’t support linux

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A part of the infrastructure of Adguard is hosted by Serveroid. What can you tell me about this company?

There are significant security concerns with AdGuard that have not been fully addressed. Although the company has moved its headquarters from Russia to Cyprus, a closer look at AdGuard’s LinkedIn profile and their official response to Setapp allegations post-war reveals that the Cyprus office is essentially a shell. The core operations, offices, and developers remain in Russia. The presence of a few Ukrainian developers on their team does not alter this reality.

When using AdGuard for Safari, opting for the advanced blocking extension grants the extension permission to view and modify your browser’s data. Additionally, if you choose to use AdGuard DNS for filtering DNS requests, you are potentially sending all your DNS requests to AdGuard servers.

It raises questions about how a company with its main operations in Russia can offer a VPN capable of bypassing the firewall without facing legal repercussions. Furthermore, how are they accepting Mir payments for their services while supposedly breaking the law by offering the VPN? Are we to believe that the authoritarian regime in Moscow would pass up the opportunity to gather user information, and also allow a company in Russia to bypass the VPN block? Not to mention, the VPN even has a free tier.

Simply stating that AdGuard is open source without considering the potential threats is insufficient. There is no way to verify that the code on the App Store is the same as the source code on their GitHub repository.

more context on why user’s info could be such a valuable asset for Russian authorities:

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Adguard did respond to this in the past: Official response from AdGuard to SetApp allegations.

“ 1. AdGuard apps do not connect to any servers in Russia.
2. AdGuard DNS has no servers in Russia.
3. AdGuard VPN also has no servers in Russia. The one that’s said to be in Moscow actually uses some IP address magic to present itself so, but is actually located in the Netherlands.”

Frankly, I’ve found accusations against Adguard being “Russia spyware” nothing but FUD. There is no hard evidence they are somehow colluding with the Russian government in any way.

You didn’t address any of my main concerns. This company is effectively running operations in Russia, accepts Russian official payment system and offers a VPN with no legal repercussions or not a knock on the door from the police.
As an Iranian with the same VPN block on the internet, I know for a fact any VPN provider that’s using the local payment system without any legal threats, is in fact a government cover and is spying on its users. Maybe this might seem far-fetched for someone living in a democratic country, but the rules are different when you are operating in Russia, China, and Iran

P.S. in their official response to set app allegations, they referred to the war as “the conflict”. This is exactly how Putin’s regime talk about the war

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But they aren’t “effectively running operations in Russia” they have been headquartered in Cyprus for a decade.

Again, all your points are just circumstantial evidence and frankly some of it comes of as paranoia.

If you don’t feel comfortable using Adguard products then don’t use them.

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setting up a (shell) corporation in Cyprus (of all places) is quite easy and can be done easily within the matter of days. Would you start using kasperSky if they relocated their headquarters to Cyprus?
Why does it matter that they have a shell in Cyprus? Most of their employees and developers are located in Russia according to their linkedin profile. This means that they are “effectively” running operations in Russia.
And this is a community to discuss the privacy and security aspects of different services through rigorous research and scrutiny. You need to stop accusing people with opposing opinions as spreading FUD and having paranoia.
If you don’t like what you’re reading here, skip and stop complaining

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