Proton VPN is not a Free-Network?

Hellola (Hello y Ola)

I see in the description of protonVPN “apps promote a Non-Free network service.

To be sure, translation is good, by Non-Free network, we have to understand not open source, isn’t it?
I am curious to know more about it (they claim to be all open source)

Then, i am curious too to know, how F-Droid verify the aps? There is a team or someone who check the code? How does it works?

‘NonFreeNet’ - the application contains a feature that uses a Non-Free network service which is impossible, or not easy to replace. Replacement requires changes to the app or service. This antifeature would not apply, if there is a simple configuration option that allows pointing the app to a running instance of an alternative, publicly available, self-hostable, free software server solution.

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Yes I have already read it

But I am curious to know more.
It’s the proton net himself open source?
I saw there is not the same warning with OpenVPN.
So, if I use the OpenVPN aps with with a proton account in there network (it’s possible as they say, but they advise there own software), it’s quite the same?

And still curious on how are checked F-Droid apps.

Dunno, OpenVPN or Wireguard?

See the info above, " This antifeature would not apply, if there is a simple configuration option that allows pointing the app to a running instance of an alternative, publicly available, self-hostable, free software server solution."

Dunno, see their docs

As I understand it, the apps are free and open source but if they are a part of or make exclusive use of a service that is also a pay service (whether or not it can be used for free) then it will get the ANTI-FEATURES label. In this case the “promotes non-free network” thing. ProtonVPN, Mullvad, IVPN, et al, are companies that charge a fee for their services. Thus their apps will get the label.
OpenVPN does not because it does not offer any services. It is just an app that can be used with any and all and has no connection to the services it can work with. Free, paid, self-hosted. It’s a generic and agnostic network tool.

ProtonMail gets the label because it is aimed at a paid mail service. K-9 Mail and FairEmail dont have the label because they are designed to work with any mail service.

Apps that access YouTube, like NewPipe and SkyTube, will get the label because YouTube is also a paid service (Premium option and all that).

DeepL translator can be used freely but they also offer a paid service so (dedicated) front-ends to that will get the ANTI-FEATURES label.

OsmAnd promotes a subscription service; My Expenses advertises paid extra features. Thus they get labeled.

Like anything, pay attention to the details. Folks have a habit of being put off by the ANTI-FEATURES label without paying attention to what they are. It is information and nothing more. Make use of it as one sees fit but the Chicken Little responses that some people have are unwarranted.

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No labels there, as not in the repo… :slight_smile:

Ah, well, I have other repos. IzzyOnDroid in that case. Oops. The point still applies though since it’s labeled.

Ok, I tanks you
I better understand.

Thanks to this thread, I also learned something for myself, thanks.

It has nothing at all to do with being paid or not. “Free” here refers to free software a.k.a. libre, or free-as-in-freedom. In the case of “non-free network services” it really just means whether the app is tied to a particular service or whether it can be used with a different instance or self-hosted.

FastHub for example has the NonFreeNet anti-feature because it exclusively works with GitHub, which is proprietary and cannot be self-hosted, even though GitHub itself is gratis (does not cost money to use). However, LabCoat which is a GitLab client is not NonFreeNet, because although it does work with the hosted service, GitLab is free software and can be self-hosted, and LabCoat can be configured to use another instance instead of


Yes, that’s what I was going to answer.
Beware of the confusion of gratis and libre.

It is a question of whether the server is open source and copyleft or proprietary. It is not a question of whether it is gratis or paid.


Yes, that was the question
for the commercial services it’s easy to see.
for the fact of some parts are not open source, it’s more difficult to see for a “modest” user (like me)

Yes. Thanks for the extra clarifications. :+1::metal:

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