Alex Grant

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Ivacy Review – 2020

Ivacy VPN Review - 2020

Ivacy is a VPN service based out of Singapore, and comes choc-a-bloc full of useful features, making it a stellar purchase for most people and for most reasons.

Why Choose Ivacy VPN


For starters, this VPN has more than 200 optimized servers in over 50 different countries – France, Germany, Ireland, Australia, and the US being a few of them. No matter where I am in the world, using Ivacy is a breeze thanks to its wide protocol support features. I’ve not faced any trouble running torrents on this VPN and the company has a strict zero log policy in place.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • Over 200 servers in 80+ countries
  • Sleek, easy to use UI
  • Customer support via email, Skype, and ticketing
  • 5 multi-login feature for one account
  • 7-day money back guarantee

Cons:

  • No free plan
  • Connection speed may vary

Pricing and Plans

You can get Ivacy VPN service at a reduced price of $1.99 a month if you subscribe to the 24-month plan. Monthly and yearly plans are also available at $9.95 a month and $3.33 per month, respectively.

When it comes to refunds, Ivacy does provide a 7-day money back guarantee on all plans. But I read through the refund policy and found some important conditions. While it’s true that the company offers various payment options, including PayPal, credit and debit cards, Perfect Money, Bitcoin and Paymentwall, customers who press the key (pun intended) for the last two methods cannot apply for refunds. Users also can’t get a refund if they’ve connected over 30 times or have used up more than 7 GB of bandwidth.

Ivacy is a solid VPN – fast and efficient with numerous advanced features. While there are a couple of areas that need improvement, the overall user experience has been terrific for me. I would suggest signing up for a month and testing it out to see whether it meets all your requirements. But from what I’ve experienced myself, you won’t regret it.

Ivacy_pricing

Features

I found Ivacy offers convenient features targeted at general and hardcore VPN users.

Over 200 servers

When you want to use a VPN, it is better if the company has servers in multiple locations. This actually helps in improving access speed. You will be glad to know Ivacy offers 200 servers for its users and those are spread over 100 countries.

Nonstop server switching

Sometimes, you may find your VPN has slowed down considerably, and this can be caused by lots of users accessing the same server, leading to bandwidth congestion. At such times, switching the server is the best option. Ivacy enables you to switch servers without restrictions, and so a speed bottleneck is not a problem.

5 multi logins

At times, you may need to use VPN on more than one device, both at home and work. Ivacy offers a unique 5 multi login’s feature. You can connect 5 devices using one Ivacy account simultaneously. Not a bad deal!

No data cap

If you want an unlimited data upload and download through this VPN, Ivacy is a solid choice. The company has put no capping limit on data transfer. You can also resort to P2P transfers with its optimized servers without any issues.

Speed

The speed of the VPN is a concern for many users, but I did not have any problems whatsoever. In fact, some functions worked blindingly fast thanks to unlimited speed and 99 percent uptime. I’m sure the unlimited bandwidth and server switching capabilities helped as well. I have no complaints about the overall speed and performance. Latencies proved to be better than average with almost every server in every country delivering an average download speed of 30Mbps.

Simplicity

The first thing that struck me about Ivacy is how simple the signup process is. Installation on my devices also went off without a hitch thanks to the clear instructions and apps provided by the company.

I use Microsoft Windows OS on my system, and Ivacy’s Windows client first asked me to choose from a list of ‘purposes’, including Netflix UK, VoIP Services, Hulu, Unblock Websites, Torrenting, etc. I basically had to select what I wanted to do or search for it online. However, I didn’t mind as it helped the company choose the right location and protocol, alter the settings accordingly, and ensure I could get online quickly.

The whole process was extremely simple and I think is intended to help beginners who’re unsure about what they want to do on the Internet as of yet. For users who have a specific goal in mind, there’s the Personalized Selection panel. This section works like another VPN client, displaying a list of services and protocols, and allowing you to choose whatever you require.

I was impressed to see some advanced features here. For example, Split Tunneling lets only some apps go through the VPN. Other features of note include IPv6 leak protection, a secure DNS option, and a kill switch that prevents any Internet connectivity as soon as the connection drops.

Compatibility

One of the reasons why Ivacy has gained so much popularity among online users is its compatibility with virtually any platform or device. I’ve found that other than the common platforms (Windows, Android, Linux) and devices (Mac, iPhone, routers, smart TVs), Ivacy also supports some uncommon platforms (Kodi, Roku) and devices (PS4, Xbox, Blackberry).

This level of compatibility is unusual in a VPN but I’ve found it useful to log in from work, home, and on-the-go. Plus, the 5 multi-login feature means users like me can connect with five different devices for complete freedom and convenience.

The first thing that struck me about Ivacy is how simple the signup process is. Installation on my devices also went off without a hitch thanks to the clear instructions and apps provided by the company.

I use Microsoft Windows OS on my system, and Ivacy’s Windows client first asked me to choose from a list of ‘purposes’, including Netflix UK, VoIP Services, Hulu, Unblock Websites, Torrenting, etc. I basically had to select what I wanted to do or search for it online. However, I didn’t mind as it helped the company choose the right location and protocol, alter the settings accordingly, and ensure I could get online quickly.

The whole process was extremely simple and I think is intended to help beginners who’re unsure about what they want to do on the Internet as of yet. For users who have a specific goal in mind, there’s the Personalized Selection panel. This section works like another VPN client, displaying a list of services and protocols, and allowing you to choose whatever you require.

I was impressed to see some advanced features here. For example, Split Tunneling lets only some apps go through the VPN. Other features of note include IPv6 leak protection, a secure DNS option, and a kill switch that prevents any Internet connectivity as soon as the connection drops.


Tests

I tested Ivacy for speed, and the results were pretty good. I first tested without logging in:

Then I used a US server, with automatic protocols in effect:

After this, I tried testing the UK server:

Testing on mobile

Ivacy is compatible with a lot of OSes and devices, and I checked out the compatibility. I checked out the Windows client first, and the experience was pretty good. The UI is neat and displays all the options and data you might need. I was able to select the server and set the encryption status without any hassle.

Then I checked out the Ivacy Android app. Even here the experience was glitch free. The app has a neat UI and configuring the setting is simple. You just download the app from Google Play and install it. After that, enter your login data and select the server. Then you click on the Connect button, and it starts working as it should.​


Privacy

One major reason behind using VPN is privacy and Ivacy scores well in this regard. You will be glad Ivacy does not keep track of or store your profile data. Like most VPNs, it masks your device or computer’s real IP ID. Owing to 256-bit encryption, data theft risk is nearly nonexistent.


Security

Ivacy focuses on keeping its members safe and secure, which I think is a poignant aspect. The company uses advanced 256-bit encryption to protect users from snoopers, hackers, viruses, government surveillance, and other spyware. I conducted privacy tests and found that Ivacy effectively blocks WebRTC and DNC leaks, preserving the user’s anonymity. The VPN also guards users against ISP tracking.

Unlike other VPNs I had used in the past, Ivacy’s policy pages had well-organized text with the key points highlighted. The legal jargon was also kept to a bare minimum, and so I had no trouble understanding the company policy.

Basically, what it says is that the company does not monitor or log your online activities. Your session data is not recorded, which means a particular user can never be connected to a specific activity. I found this works like a charm when trying to preserve my online anonymity.

From my experience, Ivacy has no records or details of you other than your email address, and even that isn’t sold, shared, or rented to others. So, you need not worry about your digital identity making its way to the Internet. However, keep in mind that the company removes any account that has been inactive for 12 months.

My only gripe with this service is a minor one – the company does not host its own analytics service like some others; instead, they rely on Google Analytics. However, this is no cause for concern as the core service remains unaffected.


Website Blocking

You might be wary about finding newer ways to access territory restricted content. Not all VPNs can be useful in these cases. But with Ivacy, you can access the content of streaming services such as BBC Player and Netflix. I found out using mobile apps yield better results than OS specific versions of Ivacy in this regard.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I found Ivacy to be a feature-rich VPN with an impressive performance. It comes with support for multiple platforms, and mobile app versions are there too. Setting up the service is simple, and you get oodles of servers to pick from. Not bad!

While server speed may vary, that is one issue nearly all VPNs suffer from. I personally liked its robust customer support and zero data logging policy. Its multiple pricing plans will appeal to different types of customers and the money back guarantee option is basically icing on the cake.

VPN Unlimited Review – 2020

VPN Unlimited Review - 2020

VPN Unlimited is a U.S. based VPN service offered by KeepSolid Inc. They maintain over 300 servers around the world, although most of them are found in Europe and the United States.

Why Choose VPN Unlimited


VPN Unlimited was considered a mediocre choice in VPNs. But the complaints must have made an impression, because VPN Unlimited seems to have made some major improvements. Regardless the platform or device; VPN Unlimited has an app for that: Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, MacOS, Linux, Run your VPN through a browser extension, and Apple TV.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • Very low priced service plans
  • 300+ servers in more than 50 countries
  • 5 connections simultaneously
  • Torrenting supported on certain servers

Cons:

  • I honestly can’t think of any; VPN Unlimited was a pleasure to install, configure, and use.

Pricing and Plans

This is where VPN Unlimited shines; if you need VPN protection, but don’t have a lot of bread you can get started for $9.99 per month with the Economy Plan and get (inexpensive) privacy protection peace of mind.

The VPN Unlimited Professional Plan requires one payment of $59.99 for a whole year of protection (just $5 per month). Of course, if you decide that VPN Unlimited offers the best service for your privacy needs; they offer users the Infinity Plan – currently going at $199.99 for lifetime VPN access. As of this writing, their best deal is a 3-year plan for only $2.78/month with a one time payment of $99.99. Every plan VPN Unlimited offers comes with a 7-day money back guarantee, giving new subscribers enough time to decide if their service is worth it.


Features

Sign up was a simple process, no better or worse than you’d expect. I installed the app on a Windows 7 machine and my Android phone – in both cases the app installed easily with no hang-ups or buggy behavior.

The following info pertains to both Android and Windows apps.

Protection options allow you to choose from:

  • None: only VPN Encryption
  • Low: Encryption plus Anti-Malware
  • High: Encryption, Anti-Malware, Stop Tracking and Adblock

You can also create your own black and white domain lists manually.

Users can choose from 3 VPN connection protocols:

  • OpenVPN: high performance and data protection
  • KeepSolid Wise TCP: “ultimate” security and medium performance
  • KeepSolid Wise UDP: “ultimate” security and medium performance

The KeepSolid Wise technology disguises VPN traffic as HTTPS; it’s intended for countries without access to the free internet and VPN access is blocked

Users can choose their server or allow the VPN service to make the optimal choice for them.

Both the PC and Android apps will show:

  • Your service state
  • Your PC or Android device as IP addresses on a map
  • The connection status
  • The time left on your plan

The Windows and Android UIs are straightforward and easily navigated.


Tests

VPN Unlimited didn’t slow down my broadband connection at all. Streaming video on Netflix and YouTube is smooth, and browsing was uninterrupted by disconnects while pages loaded quickly. Accessing BBC iPlayer from the U.S. was problem-free using the U.K. Coventry server.

VPN Unlimited handily passed the DNS leak test. My anonymity was complete while using VPN Unlimited on my desktop. VPN Unlimited service is extremely tight. I’m not worried about IPv6 leaks.

Testing on mobile

You’ll see the same screen as in the Windows app – your location and the location of your virtual IP. The Android app is responsive and I find the UI quick and easy to navigate. The Android app allows users to set their favorite server locations. You can set up black/white lists and security level easily in Android. Finally, No IPv6 or WebRTC leaks were detected while running on Android.


Privacy

The VPN Unlimited privacy policy clearly states that KeepSolid Inc. will neither collect nor log user activities while they’re using the VPN service, except for session dates and the total amount of web traffic during each session

This info will only be displayed in each user’s statistics panel (account page in the desktop app). For a detailed look at their privacy policies, I highly recommend you visit their privacy page.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I loved using VPN Unlimited – the logical UI, speed, server choices, security and especially price; all combined for a high-quality user experience.

TorGuard Review – 2020

TorGuard Review - 2020

For a solid encryption and P2P file sharing TorGuard offers a very good product with extremely fast speeds in the U.S. It also offers plenty of features for security buffs.

Why Choose TorGuard


Based in the United States, TorGuard is a popular VPN service that, to the surprise of some, is not actually related to the well-known Tor browser. It offers servers in 51 countries, though experienced users may wish it had more features and beginners might prefer better customer service. With that said, TorGuard is fast, which is a huge plus for most users.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • More than 50 servers across the globe
  • Ad blocking on a network level
  • Allows BitTorrent and P2P
  • Strong encryption and protocol options

Cons:

  • Phone support is automated
  • Nebulous privacy policy
  • Need separate SmartDNS provider

Pricing and Plans

TorGuard offers a variety of plans at middle-of-the-road prices. On the plus side, TorGuard offers a seven-day trial period, letting users try out the service for free. The basic anonymous proxy plan is $5.95 per month and includes access to SOCKS5 (Socket Secure), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), SSH (Secure Shell), and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). There's also access to more than 2,000 IPs in more than 50 countries, along with unlimited bandwidth.

Likely the most popular option is the anonymous VPN plan, which runs at $9.99 per month. TorGuard claims that this OpenConnect SSL-based VPN is the fastest VPN protocol on the Internet. Subscribers get access to a stealth proxy and five simultaneous connections. Around-the-clock support (24/7; 365 days) is also offered, but good luck getting an actual human on the phone. You're much better off communicating through email.

The streaming bundle is available for $21.98 a month and includes anonymous VPN and proxy access, offering maximum privacy.

TorGuard_pricing

While all these plans are a bit more pricey than the average competitor, TorGuard does offer discounts if you choose to bill your account quarterly, semi-annually, annually, or biennially. Additionally, you can pay with pretty much anything, including PayPal, a credit card, gift card, and Bitcoin.


Features

TorGuard includes five simultaneous connections to start with, and you can add on additional connections for $1 per month each. This makes it convenient for connecting multiple devices, especially for a family. Like we mentioned before, you can pony up for the anonymous email plan or the basic anonymous proxy plan. The VPN service offers more security than the latter, but the anonymous proxy is handy if you're looking to unblock P2P file sharing and geo-restricted content.

More than 50 servers are available, letting you choose one closer to your actual location in order to boost speeds. A stealth connection lets you bypass firewalls, and a kill switch is available for OS X and Windows, which stops you from leaking data to their Internet service provider. For a bit of added protection, you can also turn on a malware blocker and ad blocker.


Tests

TorGuard showed no signs of DNS server leakage and reported pretty good speeds for its connection. However, you can try different servers around the country (and world) to try and boost connection speeds.

Testing on mobile

TorGuard offers a simple, yet fast mobile client for users on the go. While not rich with features, its connection is fast for iOS, iPad, and Android. However, some users have expressed connection problems with the mobile client for iOS.


Privacy

For many users, privacy stands above all else when they're looking for a VPN option, and for good reason. Unfortunately, TorGuard is registered to Nevis in the Caribbean and falls under U.S. Jurisdiction. This means that, potentially, the federal government could issue warrants for the collection of information—a possibility that is not perhaps not so far-fetched due to the current administration's policies. This is a risk with any VPN rooted in the U.S. and its territories. With that said, TorGuard states that it keeps no connection or usage logs.

TorGuard's privacy policy is long, confusing, and meticulously assembled to absolve TorGuard from any situation that you could probably conceive. Clearly, this is done with TorGuard's best interests in mind, and probably because it is based in a U.S. territory. Make sure to read over the privacy policy closely before making a purchase.


Security

The default encryption that TorGuard used for a time was Blowfish-128, which is not known to be top-of-the-line. Fortunately, you can now use a much better AES-256 encryption, which provides much more security for those looking to bypass firewalls. Also, TorGuard offers various levels of encryption so that you can choose your own level of security, in case there are any connection problems.


Website Blocking

The available stealth connection is a great tool for bypassing firewalls and unblocking websites. However, what's most useful about TorGuard is the fact that it has more than 50 servers located around the globe. This is very handy for anyone looking to access geo-restricted content.


Final Thoughts

For a solid encryption and P2P file sharing TorGuard offers a very good product with extremely fast speeds in the U.S. It also offers plenty of features for security buffs. However, having a U.S.-based operation can make the strictest privacy enthusiasts think twice about signing up.

VPNArea Review – 2020

VPNArea Review - 2020

VPNArea is founded in Bulgaria and has the right building blocks to provide the security that is necessary and has tools to support the needs of any user.

Why Choose VPNArea


VPNArea does not log your information; anything you do or search or any data that is sent across their networks is immediately deleted and gone so there is no trace that the data has ever been there. For me, this was paramount. If any of the data I was transferring to and from our server got out and if any of our clients were exploited because of it, the entire company would be put in jeopardy.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux


Pros:

  • The cell phone app worked seamlessly
  • Customer service seemed genuinely interested in helping
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • Privacy is protected; they’re not part of the 14 eyes and don’t log data
  • Fully autonomous iOS app for iPhone/iPad on App Store
  • Desktop app for Mac and Windows (no always-on-top, no leaks, new design)

Cons:

  • Download instructions confusing; must be followed closely for program to work

Pricing and Plans

VPNArea offers 3 tiers of service: monthly, 6-month subscriptions, or yearly subscriptions. When you select a higher tier, you pay less; the monthly plan is $9.90/month but if you choose the 12 months plan you'll pay less ($4.92/month) and where you get the best deal is at 36 months for $2.99/month. The only downside, though, is you have to pay the full year/s in advance.

Don’t worry, though. VPNArea offers a 7 day money-back guarantee if you decide that you are not happy with the service.

The other nice part is that they honor their policy of anonymity by offering both traditional payment methods alongside anonymous methods such as Bitcoin.

Another great feature the AreaVPN offers is a free dedicated IP and server at no charge. You have a handful of countries to choose from for your server and, though they’re only available for a few months, it is free. Most people wouldn’t need that option but it is definitely nice to know that if you did need a dedicated IP address and server it would be available to you.


Features

Interface

In an attempt to provide this tool to everyone, VPNArea has created a whole host of different program iterations. Not only do they have the major, current operating systems but they also have older versions and less common platforms such as Linux and Ubuntu. 

When you’re first downloading for your computer, you’re presented with 17 platform choices, which is wonderful. Be sure to check your operating system so that you’re installing the correct iteration. Then hit the "Setup File" button. This downloaded the .dmg file to my downloads and I double clicked to open it... From there, things got very confusing. The file opened a window asking you to drag the VPNArea Chameleon to the applications folder.​..

When I did that only a shell of an application opened. It asked you to log in on the right and had the menu on the left but none of the sections had any content in them. I went back to the install page and noticed that there were detailed instructions on how to properly install the application. They weren’t far different from what I had done but they did say to transfer the downloaded .dmg file to the applications folder before opening it. So, when trying to give it another go, I couldn’t replace the Chameleon application with the newly installed version because it said the application was open.

I tried to delete the application manually and it gave me the same error, but there was no icon on the toolbar of my laptop. In the “Force Quit” no corresponding application appeared either. From there, I gave up and went to my desktop computer to install it there. I was able to follow the instructions and properly install the program and I even got it up and running! The interface is attractive and simple, with a menu on the left that allows you to toggle between the current VPN connection, a list of servers and their current speeds, an optional Kill Switch, Anti DNS Leak, Auto IP Changer, and Settings.

Servers

The “Home” screen is where you can see your connection and change to a different server. The text box below it logs all actions taken so you can review that if you wish.

There are no shortage of servers available, either. Each of the countries shown is represented as having server connections in each.

The servers are listed alphabetically by country initially but offer a header bar that lets you organize the list, however, suits you best. Additionally, on the bottom of the page, you can run a speed test for a few or all of the networks. Once the speed test is complete, you could organize the list by fastest ping speed or highest upload rate, depending on what you need at that moment.

Kill switch

The “Kill Switch” functions is an optional security measure that allows you to authorize the program to shut down any sensitive programs when it disconnects from the network and subsequently the server protecting your IP Address. If you’re handling sensitive material, this can be a very helpful tool, as it serves as a guard dog against information slipping out in the case that the VPN got disconnected and you didn’t notice​

DNS leak protection

The Anti-DNS Leak function allows you to run DNS Leak tests on servers before you connect to them, which provides another layer of security. Another additional layer of security can be found by using the Auto IP Changer function, which allows you to select which servers you want to utilize and how often you want your ISP to change. Once you get it going, it automatically changes your IP address for you every once in awhile.

I have to stop here and make note of a few oddities that I encountered. When I opened the application for the very first time I did not see an icon appear on my toolbar of my laptop. The application floated on top of every other application running and there was no way to minimize it, only move it, so I moved it to the lower right corner of my screen while I wasn’t using it and pulled it back into the middle when I needed to check or change something. The major problem came in when I was done for the day and closed the screen out. When I tried to open it back up nothing happened; nothing at all. Again, no icon, but this time no window, either. I struggled for a while and then decided the best route was to uninstall and reinstall the program but there was no uninstall function. When I tried to “trash” the application I was returned with an error saying the application was still open and could not be thrown away. Upon looking in the “Force Quit” tool, no application was found. I was basically stuck in the mud and unable to do anything. The same thing happened on my desktop, too.


Tests

Speed is an essential quality most VPN users are looking for, so I decided to test the service on my desktop computer. The results I got are as follows:

The VPN showing to be the “fastest” has very similar speeds to my network connection, which is great. No muddied waters, not sluggish speeds but still all the protection I wanted. The USA Netflix server, however, was significantly slower on the ping speed and download speed, which could be due to the server being heavily used at the time, though there was no way of knowing the capacity usage. You will also notice that there are no tests for any far away locations. This is because every time I tried to connect in the UK or South America or Japan I was unable to successfully run a speed test without the test crashing and the WiFi connection disconnecting. Also, any connection I was able to get that was far away would essentially stall out and not connect. I was unable to do even a simple google search when connected to an international server.​

DNS Test

Because of my connection issues with international servers, I was interested to see if the problem was from a leaking connection with some of the DNS servers. Unfortunately, the DNS Leak Test came back with less than stellar results. This is just one example but multiple servers reported similar results.

I switched to a US-based server and tried again and it showed no leak. Just to double check, I ran a TorGuard leak test and came up with no leaks.

Just for peace of mind, I ran an IPV6 Leak Test which showed that it was not leaking.

Testing on mobile

Because I use an iPhone, I downloaded and tried the app, just to see how it worked. It wasn’t the most intuitive app I’ve ever seen but you have to take into account that it was probably developed by a bunch of technologically savvy people, a group which I am not a part of. The idea is to help make coffee-shop browsing safer and emails while on-the-road secure.

The VPNArea app downloaded very quickly and I was able to log into it using the same login and password as the desktop application. However, I was a bit confused at first when I chose a server and it popped up a request to open an app called OpenVPN. I went back to the App Store and downloaded the OpenVPN app and, again, had to sign into it using my credentials from VPNArea. Once I opened the link to the server from the VPNArea app in the OpenVPN app I was able to get the VPN to connect and protect my phone. Note, though, that it asks you to sign in every time you change servers, which is a bit tedious. Essentially, the VPNArea app is where you go to find a server that suits your needs and then you open that server in the OpenVPN app and connect to it.

Of course, I had to test to see if the app was secure so I ran an IPLeak.net test, which showed that there was no DNS leak found. What this means is that the DNS server is solidly protecting your information.

Once connected, I ran a series of SpeedTest.net tests. I ran each test both on the 3G network and on the WiFi network. The speeds were all over the place and didn’t really seem to have a whole lot of consistency. The download speeds on 3G were significantly slower at a nearby server (about 25mbps less) when on the 3G network but when on WiFi the speed increased on the VPN connection by almost 13mbps! The fastest connection I could find was in Detroit, Michigan. Though the ping speed slowed, the upload and download speeds were only slightly diminished from the non-VPN connection. Not surprisingly, when I connected to a server in London, UK, halfway across the world, the speeds slowed significantly.

BBC and Netflix

When I'm traveling, I need to watch movies and tv shows on my phone or iPad, so I was curious to see if I could connect to content on the BBC iPlayer , which is normally restricted from those outside the United Kingdom. I was happy to find that, although the VPN was flagged on Safari, both Firefox and Chrome browsers were able to connect and view the content. As an added bonus, I was able to view Netflix and Hulu in various countries across the world which allowed me quite a significant diversity in content available to me.

Something worth noting is that when you transfer from WiFi to 3G and back again, the VPN has to disconnect but the app is designed to immediately reconnect you to the server again. I doubt that much data could be transferred in that few-second gap of time but it would be better if the app mimicked the kill-switch option that is given in the desktop program, killing internet connection to apps while they’re unprotected to the VPN.


Customer service

If I’m being honest, it was very inconvenient that, when I was having trouble with the application, there was no one to help me on live-chat. This was on a Friday morning at around 10am EST and I did not receive an email in response until Monday evening, three and a half days later. Both the weekend and the distance to the home office might come into play on this issue but, as most any everyday user might, I was ready to move on to a different VPN service. Their response was very open and willing to help but they asked for error codes and I couldn’t even access them because my screen had closed and would not reopen.


Privacy

Privacy is incredibly important in the world of VPN users and that is why VPNArea is acclaimed to be one of the best. They have a no-logs policy and none of the information on who their users are or what they are doing is even stored. Because they aren’t part of the 14 eyes coalition, they don’t have to. The government cannot force them to provide information, even with a subpoena. Another important feature is being able to maintain anonymity while paying so there is no trace. They even let you pay anonymously using Bitcoin.

From what I could tell, there was no legal controversy surrounding VPNArea nor did anyone else have much negative to say about it, barring some comments on slow speeds.


Security

One of the most important security features a VPN service can offer is an SSL Certificate which allows the user the confidence of a secure tunnel between VPN servers. VPNArea offers that security with the boost of a 256-bit encryption. When it comes to hacking, a 256-bit encryption exponentially increases the difficulty for decoding information, making it virtually impossible to get at the data being transferred.

Of course, the additional security tools within the application only enhance this security. The DNS Leak testing definitely goes above and beyond anything I’ve seen on other services and the ability to automatically change your IP address at a specified interval of time blew my mind. I may not do anything that needs that level of protection but if you were handling sensitive information that would really make you feel safer.


Website Blocking

As I mentioned earlier, I love to watch a little BBC when I’m traveling and I enjoy perusing media from other cultures around the world so getting access to blocked websites is a significant perk for me. I’m sure many people utilize VPN’s as a way to connect to data or websites that might otherwise be made unavailable to them for a variety of reasons. Because of connection issues on the desktop application, I was unable to see if this was possible. However, on the mobile app, I was able to connect pretty quickly and only one of my browsers was flagged. It was really nice to be able to connect quickly and succinctly without a bunch of trouble. For reference purposes, VPNArea offers many networks that are geared toward users looking to utilize services such as Netflix. Specifically, they have a USA server with a Netflix EU-hub and another that is just for Netflix, a UK Netflix server and another UK server for BBC content.


Final Thoughts

Ultimately, I was not very happy with the services offered by VPN area. The desktop application caused me a lot of trouble and I spent more than a full day trying to navigate a way to fix it. I ended up utilizing 3 computers and each time I still experienced the same issues. Yes, the application works when installed correctly but it hovers over the top of every other program and gets in the way and if you close it the program cannot be reopened. The mobile app was the redeeming factor because it worked seamlessly. I felt confident that my information was secure and didn’t notice any trouble with speed. True, I do not do anything that requires a speedy connection such as gaming or P2P file sharing but VPNArea has networks specifically geared toward them. After my experience, I will be canceling my subscription to this service and pursuing a refund as it does not work on my laptop and that is my primary need when I travel.

VyprVPN Review – 2020

VyprVPN Review - 2020

Well-established, user-friendly and solidly secure, VyprVPN seemed to be evolving before my eyes.

Why Choose VyprVPN


VyprVPN provides solid security, a promise of extra security from prying eyes and an ease of use that I greatly appreciated.

Best VPN for


  • Netflix, Hulu, and streaming online
  • Torrenting and downloading
  • Security and privacy

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • Protected by Swiss privacy laws
  • Top tier plans provide extra layers of security
  • Best plan offers 5 simultaneous connections
  • All plans have unlimited data

Cons:

  • Significantly slower PING could be an issue for gamers
  • Difficult to pay for service anonymously

Pricing and Plans

VyprVPN offers a 3-day free trial and a menu of three paid plans – basic, pro, and premier – each with a choice of monthly or annual billing. Each plan gives you simultaneous connections and unlimited data. Pro and premier provide protection from deep packet inspection (DPI) except on iOS devices.

VyprVPN does not accept BitCoin but does accept third payments via Alipay.


Features

Set up

Installing VyprVPN on an unfamiliar computer using a much newer OS than I’m used to caused some initial Stump the Old Guy befuddlement, but was quickly resolved without pestering the young people or resorting to lengthy online chats with customer support.

Manually changing server

Here again, I made this way harder than I needed to. Reading right past “Fastest Server” and “Show All Server Locations” on the drop down menu under the VyprVPN icon on the toolbar, I chose “Show VpyrVPN,” then puzzled a minute away until I figured out I needed to click on the location icon on the right side of the blue “Connect Fastest Server” button to pull up a list of more than 700 servers. Pretty sure any problems were a “Me” thing.

Changing settings

Are easy. Use the drop down menu to “Show “VpyrVPN” and use the little switchy thingys on the control panel if all you need is connect to your motel’s shady Wi-Fi, block malicious sites or turn the kill switch on and off, on and off, on and off. You’ll need to use the drop down menu for fancier stuff like switching security protocols or a whole bunch of advanced choices I don’t understand.

Speed

While tests showed significant drops in PING and download speeds, I didn’t notice any problems at all when streaming movies/TV on BBC’s iPlayer or Netflix.

Customer support

Confirmation Email for my account took longer than I expected, but I got an immediate response when I contacted customer support.


Tests

PING of 75 is bad news for gamers. Download speed dropped by 65%. Uploads largely unchanged, dropping 6%.

Testing on mobile

VyprVPN worked just as well on a mobile device as on my desktop, streaming BBC vids without a hiccup and connecting to various servers with no trouble whatever.


Privacy

Golden Frog incorporated in Switzerland to take advantage of that country’s favorable privacy laws, which protect your personal data and prohibit using your IP address to track your Internet usage.

That said, although VyprVPN does not log your DNS requests it DOES log time stamps, bandwidth, IP addresses, and DOES NOT permit you to use BitCoin.

VyprVPN cooperates with all Fourteen Eyes countries. And, although it has servers in four countries (Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam) that are considered Enemies of the Internet by Reporters Without Frontiers, none have jurisdiction over VyprVPN.

Have to provide CC and some personal info not only for a subscription but also for a free test.


Security

Adds an extra layer of security to state of the art AES-256 cipher with RSA-2048 handshake encryption. However, VyprVPN only offers OpenVPN and its proprietary Chameleon meta data scrambling technology if you pay extra for its Pro and Premier plans. The basic plan uses less secure PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols. Of particular interest, if you’re using your mobile device is the extra protection the company’s NAT firewall puts between you and malicious traffic. VpyrVPN owns its own servers and gets a top SSL rating.


Website Blocking

Despite dire warnings all ‘round the InterWebs, I had absolutely zero issues viewing TV shows and movies on my employer’s desktop (other than spending time watching TV shows and movies when I probably should’ve been doing other things). Ditto for BBC on iPlayer (This new series “Taboo” looks very cool). Lots of yada-yada-yada on the website, but, apparently, SmartDNS kicks in without you having to do anything, which was nice for a NeanderTech like me.


Final Thoughts

VyprVPN provides solid security, a promise of extra security from prying eyes and an ease of use that I greatly appreciated. Perhaps VyprVPN’s best feature is an intangible – I learned more about VPNs in an hour or so on its website than I did during a day spent Googling info about IPs, DNSs, AESs and a whole bunch more alphabet soup acronyms. I expect that regular use of VyprVPN’s could turn me into something of a VPN super sleuth.