On a personal note, I’m a firm believer in VPN for security’s sake rather than privacy. They attract surveillance since so many people use them to hide criminal activity. We have the option of turning off all cookies and not using Google or facebook. We have no such option with the ISPs as they are our only link to the internet and all traffic MUST transit their network before going to the internet proper.
I would like to point out a few things that people should keep in mind. First Brian is right about affiliate marketers and to some extent that is to be expected. What is harder to detect are the sites that do not offer affiliate links but still do reviews on VPN services. We even have a few of these phony reviews from a marketing service I hired to try to help us get more exposure on google. Once I found out what was going on I fired them but in my experience this is more common than affiliate websites.
The South Korean government does not restrict VPN usage for its citizens. However, it does partake in internet censorship, as it blocks many websites related to North Korea or pornography. Finally the website Brian linked is a good starting point. If they say none or they will not talk about it then its time to be skeptical.
While I agree that Google’s reach isn’t quite best vpn for streaming as far as an ISP’s, it’s pretty freaking close. There are sites built on Google’s platform that you don’t know are built on Google, many sites use Google APIs, and any email sent to or from a Gmail address sucks up your personally identifiable data. I have no doubt that there are tracking cookies that are very difficult to identify as Google that we don’t even know about. Finally, it is a principle behind the constitution that individual rights are prioritized and that rights not needed by the Federal Government are handled at the lowest level practical. There is no security or governing need for my private information and hence it is my property.
Singapore is considered to have a relatively restrictive approach to internet censorship, but VPN tools are not blocked for its citizens. torenting sites like The Pirate Bay have been blocked in Singapore, and several instances of online racist comments have resulted in criminal cases.
Although VPNs are not blocked in Switzerland, the country has added more and more internet restrictions in recent years. The federal supreme court issues rulings on a case-by-case basis. In particular, the country has been cracking down on gambling websites.