ShadeYou VPN Review - 2021

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ShadeYou VPN is a UK-based provider since 2012. Its server covers 15 countries including the US, the UK, the EU, Russia, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Australia, and Singapore.

Why Choose ShadeYou VPN


Their cross-platform VPN supports OpenVPN and 2048-bit key encryption backed by a kill switch and DNS leak protection. It allows P2P, doesn’t limit your bandwidth and traffic, and promises to never keep any logs of your activity.

Best VPN for


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

Works on


Mac

Windows

Android

IOS

Linux

Routers


Pros:

  • Unblocks BBC iPlayer, HBO
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Cheap
  • Kill switch, DNS Leak Protection
  • OpenVPN
  • 7-day money-back guarantee
  • Torrenting allowed
  • Up to five simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • No native mobile app
  • Based in the UK

Pricing and Plans

ShadeYou offers a 24-hour free trial without limitations – you can test the ins and outs of the service without paying or submitting anything but your email.

Their two paid plans are straightforward. Standard starts at $3.95 per month (dirt-cheap if you ask me), but you can save even more on long-term subscriptions. Its biannual subscription costs $16.98, annual - $25.99. Standard buys you unlimited speed and traffic, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, 2048-bit key encryption, up to three simultaneous connections, 18 servers in 12 locations, and allows P2P.

Premium is priced at $7.95 in its monthly iteration, $20.98 in biannual and $27.99 in annual subscriptions. It uses 4096-bit key encryption and allows up to five simultaneous connections. Here, you get 25 servers in 15 locations.

Since they offer a 24-hour free trial, their 7-day money-back guarantee requires that you allow them to troubleshoot your issues, if any, or provide a reasonable justification of why you want to cancel your subscription.

ShadeYouVPN accepts a wide variety of payment methods from PayPal and credit cards to Bitcoin, WebMoney, Qiwi, YandexMoney, Ukash, and Payeer.


Features

ShadeYou is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, routers, Linux, and Android. There is no native mobile app so you have to use OpenVPN Connect on Android and iOS, however. The moment you log in to your customer dashboard you get access to the config file that’s highlighted and displayed at the top of your browser tab, which makes it impossible to miss.

Getting your hands on the free trial is easy. The option is front and center on the provider’s website. All you need is to register and verify your email – activation is instant.

The installation is fast while the program is intuitive and simplistic but offers enough toggles to satisfy savvy users.

The main screen offers a drop-down menu that allows you to choose a server. Notably, P2P-ready servers are explicitly marked “torrent.”

You can also choose ports, protocols, and access advanced settings behind the gear button in the bottom right corner.

Overall, the app is extremely easy to sort out even if you are new to VPNs. Their website and knowledge base are neatly compartmentalized and you will have no problem finding the right information. The ShadeYouVPN support is available via a ticketing system and a live chat that is not available 24/7, however.

The advanced settings offer a selection of toggles to enable or disable autorun and automatic connection to VPN and to run the app in the tray. But most importantly, it lets you enable the kill switch and the DNS leak protection.

You can also enable proxy, and access your logs that are stored locally. From the logs window, you can either copy or delete the contents.

ShadeYou allows P2P torrenting and tags the supporting servers.


Tests

ShadeYou performed well in my speed tests, provided my default speed was sluggish on its own today:

And here is what the synthetic speed tests showed for their US and UK servers:

Security tests revealed no leaks – ShadeYou passed DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC tests with flying colors:

ShadeYou unblocked HBO and BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat:

But not Netflix:


Privacy and Security

Currently, ShadeYou VPN is registered in Inverness, UK. But from what I can see in search results, it used to be registered in the Netherlands while originally it was a Russian provider. I see nothing suspicious in a company that changes its jurisdiction in the pursuit of a milder legal climate. Perhaps, Great Britain offers some benefits for VPN providers, but it is not the world’s best country for consumer privacy.

The Snooper’s Charter, MI6, the Five and the Fourteen Eyes – the UK is the melting pot of all those bad numbers and surveillance-related abbreviations that make it hard to recommend as a haven for VPN companies. Let’s just say you won’t be playing hide and seek with spy agencies while hiding behind a UK-based VPN.

On the bright side, the company deploys OpenVPN with a decent level of encryption backed by the kill switch and the DNS leak protection and states it doesn’t keep activity logs.

The provider keeps its ToS and Privacy Policy to a minimum. Perhaps, their legal texts contain even fewer words than I’d like to read, but they manifest no logs, no data sharing with third parties, and no cookies.

At the same time, you are not allowed to commit any unlawful activity that would violate any law in any country. That is, you can’t violate local, national, or international laws. Obviously, torrenting copyrighted content falls under this category.

Neither of the legal documents mentions how the provider acts if served with a legal warrant. Nor is there a mention of session logs. This extreme minimalism in Privacy Policy makes me feel a little uneasy. I’d like to see these two points covered.


Final Thoughts

ShadeYou VPN is downright cheap considering it offers OpenVPN, up to five simultaneous connections, an ample server coverage, support for P2P, streaming, gaming, a kill switch, a DNS leak protection, and doesn’t limit your data or bandwidth. I’ve found nothing to point a finger at except for the somewhat overly minimalist ToS and Privacy Policy that state a strict no-logs stance nonetheless. It’s minimalist and no frills but also easy-to-use and gets the job done. Try it.

Alex Grant