Interview with Dainius Vanagas - CEO at Atlas VPN

Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks

SafetyDetectives spoke with the CEO of Atlas VPN, Dainius Vanagas, about what makes the Atlas VPN special, the advantages of WireGuard, and some of the cybersecurity benefits of using a VPN, plus he cleared up some common misconceptions people have about VPNs.

Can you talk about your background and what motivated you to start Atlas VPN?

In 2019, we noticed a gap in the VPN market. Nearly all trusted providers offered a 7-day trial and required users to purchase a premium subscription once it expired. Even if there were companies that provided free VPN services, they were outshined by the premium offerings.

This realization sparked the idea for Atlas VPN — a VPN service that delivers exceptional security and privacy while also offering free service to users worldwide.

Prior to Atlas VPN, I had spent years working in the technology sector, heading an award-winning customer success department. Nowadays, my focus revolves around leading technical, product, and marketing teams. Together, we strive to ensure that Atlas VPN consistently offers innovative solutions for online security and privacy protection to empower individuals worldwide to safeguard their digital lives.

What are some of the features that make Atlas stand out in a crowded VPN market?

While many VPN services offering free subscriptions opt for a barebones approach to keep costs down, we have taken a different path. We understand that security and privacy are not areas where one can afford to compromise, which is why we have invested in assembling a team of experienced developers who possess a deep understanding of the intricacies involved.

Our business model helps us cover our operational costs and is the reason why we can offer a comprehensive free subscription without compromising our user privacy and security.

And we can tell that our service has genuinely resonated with users, as evidenced by our year-on-year growth of 150%, outpacing the average VPN market growth of 18%.

In terms of features, we offer many advanced privacy and security features that go beyond VPN protection, such as data breach tracking tool Data Breach Monitor and malware and third-party tracker blocking tool SafeBrowse.

In addition to our regular VPN servers, Atlas VPN users have access to our exclusive Privacy Pro servers, developed by our skilled engineers. They include the innovative SafeSwaps servers, allowing users to have many changing IP addresses without switching between different VPN servers. We also offer MultiHop+ servers, which enable users to connect to the internet through several rotating VPN locations simultaneously, providing an extra layer of online protection.

These features are not simply something we saw in the market and adopted for ourselves. We created them from scratch, making Atlas VPN unique even among premium competitors.

What is WireGuard’s advantage over OpenVPN or other VPN protocols?

WireGuard was purposefully developed to focus on what matters, aiming to provide a simpler, faster, more secure, and more modern and efficient alternative to legacy protocols, such as IPSec/IKEv2 and OpenVPN.

One of the standout benefits of WireGuard is its lightweight and efficient design. By keeping things simple, it achieves faster connection times and consumes fewer system resources compared to other protocols. Its streamlined codebase also makes it easier to audit for security vulnerabilities.

WireGuard also excels at seamlessly transitioning between different network interfaces, including mobile networks. This means you can switch between Wi-Fi and cellular networks without losing connectivity.

Last but not least, WireGuard stands out for its implementation of modern cryptographic protocols, providing strong encryption and secure connections.

What privacy and security benefits does one get when connected to a VPN

While we prioritize the security of our physical belongings, we often underestimate the importance of protecting our data online. However, the reality is that without taking steps to safeguard our personal information while using the internet, we open ourselves up to all kinds of threats.

First and foremost, VPN encrypts your internet traffic between your device and the VPN server. This encryption prevents unauthorized parties, such as hackers, Internet Service Providers, government agencies, and others, from intercepting and reading your data. It helps protect sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card details, or personal communications, which means you can use public Wi-Fi without worrying your data is being stolen by the guy with a laptop sitting at the nearby table.

In addition to encrypting your traffic, connecting to a VPN also masks your IP address. As a result, your online activities appear to originate from the location of the VPN server, not your own. This increased privacy makes it harder for websites, advertisers, and other entities to track your online behavior or personally identify you.

Why has a VPN become such an important cybersecurity tool over the past few years?

One of the primary reasons for VPN growth over the past few years was the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread shift toward remote work. As more people began working from home, there was a heightened need to ensure the security of work devices outside of the office.

Furthermore, I feel that, in general, people have become more aware of online security risks. With cyberattacks, data breaches, and other threats becoming more prevalent, people have become more conscious of the need to protect their online safety and privacy, even on their personal devices. VPNs have emerged as an effective tool for enhancing security on the internet.

Can you clear up some common misconceptions about VPNs?

Many people still believe that VPNs are only meant for tech-savvy individuals. However, the truth is that VPN technology has come a long way since its inception. Initially, VPNs were used for remote access to corporate networks. However, as technology advanced and VPN solutions became more accessible and user-friendly, their applications expanded beyond the corporate realm.

Today, numerous VPN providers offer intuitive applications that cater to a wide range of users, making it easy for anyone concerned about online privacy and security to connect to VPN servers and protect their internet traffic.

There’s also a misconception that VPNs make you completely immune to all cyber threats. However, VPNs primarily protect your internet traffic by providing encryption between your device and a secure VPN server. They don’t safeguard against security vulnerabilities on your device or within the websites and services you access.

Some VPN providers, including Atlas VPN, now offer additional security features like malware protection and data breach alerts, which can further enhance your online safety. However, using a VPN alone is not sufficient for complete online security. To establish a truly comprehensive level of protection, it’s important to combine the use of a VPN with sound cybersecurity practices. This includes using strong and unique passwords, regularly updating your devices and software, and being cautious of phishing attempts.

About the Author

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.