It wasn’t that long ago that we were writing about a VPN provider called 4TFY, which promised lifetime VPN access for a one-off fee. Perhaps too good to be true, perhaps something that required some fine print as to what “lifetime” meant, the point is probably moot – 4TFY VPN appears to be no longer.
We received a tip overnight indicating that 4TFY’s website had disappeared, and lo and behold, it has. Not only is the company’s website gone, but we’re told the VPN services purchased by customers no longer work, too.
This is of course disappointing news; when one buys a “lifetime” product, one could reasonably expect that the service might be available for a reasonable amount of time. However, in this commercial reality, we need to bear in mind that a company can only provide services as long as it remains able to pay for the provision of those services.
In the case of 4TFY, selling lots of one-off VPN services may have been a risky idea, because someone’s got to pay ongoing server and traffic costs, and if the money runs out, well those services aren’t going to be provided to 4TFY for free.
We can only speculate, as we don’t know what’s gone on. While the domain name 4tfy.me remains registered, the records for the web server have disappeared, meaning their website cannot be reached. The domain’s email records still exist, suggesting we may be able to get in touch, so we will await comment.
In the meantime, let us know if you’ve subscribed to 4TFY’s VPN services, and let us know if you’ve been in touch with them or heard anything back about what’s going on with the services you’ve paid for.
Update: We’ve not heard back from the last known email addresses we had for 4TFY. We had communication from two people in the past – a “Reed” and “Luke” – though neither email addresses appear to be monitored. We understand “Luke” is Luke Millanta, who was behind the original 4TFY kickstarter campaign.
In a supposed comment given to website VPN Compare, Luke denied any involvement in the business post November 2017 … but that doesn’t explain the draft article he wrote for us as sponsored content which – in the Microsoft Word .docx file – clearly identifies a “Luke Millanta” as the author of the document.
One can only suspect that, given 4TFY’s disappearance, it either (a) went broke due to an unsustainable business model, or (b) was a dodgy scheme from the get go. Just as likely, it could’ve been both.
There’s a warning for all of us in this – those “lifetime” deals are often too good to be true, and should be avoided in favour of reputable providers that have a demonstrated customer commitment.