The popular online dating app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people is not available all over the world. And so, many folks in the LGBTQ+ community are turning to VPNs in order to meet new people in their cities.
The “problem” with Grindr is that it’s not even accessible from places where access to other content and services is freely available. Some conservative countries don’t like the idea that members of the LGBTQ+ community should have a place of their own and so they’ve decided to put it to stop.
That blockade could easily be bypassed with a good VPN and that’s what this page is all about. But, a VPN has much more to offer, including allowing you to access all kinds of services that would otherwise be outside of your reach. Also, because of the way it encrypts data coming to and from your devices, a VPN makes sure you are protected while connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.
That being said, here are the best VPNs for Grindr that will deliver on other fronts, as well:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Good for both torrenting and streaming
- Works in China
- Solid network with servers in 60+ countries
- Easy to use apps on multiple platforms
- Live chat isn't always available
- Fairly pricey
Whether you need a VPN for watching Netflix shows or downloading files via BitTorrent, Astrill can help you out — all while keeping your identity under the radar. And this is especially true if you live or work in China when the company's stealth protocols will kick in to let you access all the popular sites that are by default blocked by the country's censors.
Astrill's apps are easy to use and available on all popular platforms. Nevertheless, they still manage to provide a host of advanced features tech-savvy folks are used to get. Highly recommended, again, especially if you're looking to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- Fast download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.
- Great for torrenting
- Advanced privacy features (i.e. Tor over VPN)
- Relatively small number of servers
- There are no browser extensions
- Live chat support is not always available
Specifically, you can rely on PrivateVPN for both torrenting and streaming, without paying a premium. It is, in fact, one of the most affordable options in its league and we love it for that.
Customer support may not be on par with bigger players but it's not like you should experience many problems anyway. You will get the same level of security and privacy as with other services, and a single license will let you run PrivateVPN on up to 6 devices. Pretty cool.
- Works in China
- Many servers in Asia
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Advanced services like VyprVPN Cloud
- No browser extensions
- Torrenting could be better
It manages to bypass restrictions in high-censorship countries and elsewhere by relying on its proprietary Chameleon protocol, which can easily slide under the radar.
VyprVPN is also great for accessing video streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on — delivering the true buffer-free experience every single time. It will also work with BitTorrent, and consequently - Kodi.
VyprVPN has a strict zero-logs policy. Period.
Grindr was one of the first geosocial apps for gay men when it launched in March 2009 and has since become the largest and most popular gay mobile app in the world. It is available on iOS and Android devices in both free and premium versions — the latter called Grindr XTRA and Grindr Unlimited.
The multiple-award-winning app allows members to create a personal profile and use their GPS position to place them on a cascade, where they can browse other profiles sorted by distance and be viewed by nearby and faraway members depending on one’s filter settings. Selecting a profile photo in the grid view will display that member’s full profile and photos, as well as the option to chat, send a “tap,” send pictures, video call, and share one’s precise location.
Key dates for Grindr
- Grindr was launched as an iOS mobile app on March 25, 2009, by tech entrepreneur Joel Simkhai in Los Angeles, California.
- By August 2009, there were 200,000 total users in Grindr’s network.
- For its first anniversary on March 25, 2010, Grindr released the app for BlackBerry devices. By that time, the service had hit 500,000 users.
- On March 7, 2011, Grindr launched the app for Android devices.
- On June 18, 2012, Grindr announced that it had officially hit 4 million registered users in 192 countries across the globe.
- On September 30, 2013, Grindr introduced Grindr Tribes, allowing users to identify themselves with a niche group and filter their searches to better find their type.
- As of Grindr’s fifth anniversary on March 25, 2014, the app was averaging more than 5 million active monthly users worldwide.
- In January 2016, Grindr announced that it had sold a 60% stake in the company for $93 million to a Chinese video game development firm, Kunlun Tech Co Ltd (formerly Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd).
- In January 2018, Kunlun purchased the remainder of the company for $152 million.
- In March 2018, Grindr introduced a new feature that, if opted into, sends the user a reminder every three to six months to get an HIV test.
- In March 2019, Kunlun started seeking for a buyer of Grindr after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had informed Kunlun that having the app owned by a Chinese company posed a national security risk. This also led Kunlun to halt its plans for an IPO for Grindr.
- In July 2019, Grindr released Grindr Unlimited, a new premium version of the app that allows subscribers to unsend messages, go Incognito, see unlimited profiles in the cascade, see who has viewed them, see typing status, and use all the premium features of Grindr XTRA.
- In November 2019, Grindr launched Grindr Web, a free desktop version of the app built for users who prefer to chat from their computer or laptop.
- In March 2020, Kunlun announced that it would sell its 98.59% stake in Grindr to the U.S.-based San Vicente Acquisition LLC for $608.5 million.
- In late 2020, Grindr was reported to have about 13 million monthly users.
Grindr privacy issues
In August 2014, it was reported that Grindr’s relative distance measurements could facilitate triangulation, thereby pinpointing individual users’ near-exact location. A proof of concept was published, and more than 2 million detections were performed within a few days. Authorities in Egypt allegedly used the app to track and arrest gay men. Grindr responded by temporarily disabling distance display globally.
In May 2016, a group of computer scientists from Kyoto University demonstrated how location pinpointing is still possible in the app even when a user is hiding their distance from public display. By exploiting a novel attack model called colluding-trilateration, locating any targeted user becomes a very easy and cheap task without employing any special hacking technique. The attack model works with any location-based service app that shows profiles of nearby users in order of proximity, not just Grindr.
In April 2018, a Norwegian non-profit research organization reported that Grindr’s data bundles sold to third-party companies could potentially contain users’ sensitive personal information such as HIV status and HIV testing dates. The discovery generated widespread scrutiny of Grindr’s privacy practices. In response, Grindr released a statement saying that it has “never sold, nor will ever sell, personally identifiable user information — especially information regarding HIV status or last test date — to third parties or advertisers.” They also added: “Grindr does work with highly-regarded [software] vendors to test and optimize our platform. These vendors are under strict contractual terms that provide for the highest level of confidentiality, data security, and user privacy.”
On January 14, 2020, a report was published by the Norwegian Consumer Council which alleged that Grindr had violated the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) rules. The council asserted that Grindr has sent user data to at least 135 advertisers. The main concerns of the allegations were for sharing personal information, including users’ locations and information about their device. These details could potentially indicate the sexual orientation of a user without their consent. After review from the Norwegian Data protection Authority, it was ruled that Grindr was in violation of the GDPR and fined €10 million.
You need a VPN for Grindr
All being said, if you’re a Grindr user – you’re better off using it with a VPN turned on. It will make it that much harder for Grindr to follow your whereabouts and when you meet someone you want to continue the conversation with that person, well, there is always the chat feature.
Aside from letting you access Grindr, a good VPN has a lot more to offer. For instance, it will:
- Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
- Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
- Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
- Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
- Download files with BitTorrent anonymously
The top contenders that check all these boxes — while also letting you access social media sites — include the following: