Uppersafe presents itself as a service that will enable access to typically geo-blocked sites and a private connection to content streaming hubs such as Netflix and Hulu.
Uppersafe is a France-based company and welcome addition to the growing roster of VPNs around the world. Uppersafe comes out the gate with a fresh and informative website, various browser plug-ins, and compatibility with a wide range of platforms and operating systems. The company is still adding more features and more servers - they are currently located in 10 different countries - and is a promising new VPN with tiered subscription plans, very thorough guides and tutorials, and a 30-day free trial.
Pricing and Plans
Uppersafe offers 3 different plans, each based on the bandwidth of the connection. For this review, we used the Basic plan, which proved to be quite slow - this was disappointing, as a yearly subscription costs less than $2/month. Even so, all 3 of the plans are quite affordable: One nice feature, in addition to a 30-day trial for any of the above plans, is the ability to upgrade or downgrade month to month. From the My Account portal, users can elect to add a month of premium to their current Express subscription, and so on, making it very flexible and intuitive.
Uppersafe proved to be very easy to use and very easy to install. Within minutes, I had created my account, connected to the closest available server, and installed the Google Chrome plugin. I didn’t have to go too far into any of the guides or tutorials, but I could see that they were very thorough and helpful.
Since the big draw that they emphasized in their website copy was a lack of geo-restrictions and ability to stream content, I went to see what I could do on Netflix. Connecting to these types of sites can often be a moving goalpost, as content providers change their infrastructure and security - but sure enough, I was able to get on a start streaming.
Uppersafe has some other great features as well. In addition to three common encryption protocols (including 2048-bit OpenVPN), there are also a built-in firewall and an anonymous proxy service in addition to VPN protection. Upper safe also has compatibility with a wide range of devices, and allows users to connect unlimited devices simultaneously - although there may be a drop in performance, as total bandwidth usage is connected to the entire account.
To gauge the overall performance of Uppersafe, I ran speed tests on the Basic (1Mpbs bandwidth) and Premium (100Mbps) plans on www.speedtest.net. Here's the result with no VPN enabled:
I knew that the Basic plan would be substantially slower, but was shocked at just how poor it was:
Fortunately, the faster Premium plan performed much better:
This still represented a substantial drop in latency and performance, but was serviceable. It is important to note, as well, that Uppersafe does not have servers in as many regions, so performance can vary widely - it is worth getting a free trial and testing for yourself. For security purposes, I tested my IP at www.dnsleaktest.com. Upper safe performed as expected, and no DNS leak was detected. I also went to IPv6leak.com and did not find anything abnormal.
As far as security, not only did Uppersafe perform well on our tests, they also provide the option between 3 different encryption protocols - 128-bit PPTP, 256-bit L2TP, and 2048-bit OpenVPN. OpenVPN is the recommended setting, and is currently as safe as encryption gets with few exceptions. Same as with anonymity, EU regulations could involve government agencies and compromise security, but that is a far stretch for users engaging in typical online activities.
Uppersafe, while visually appealing and hassle-free, comes across as a fairly pedestrian VPN. While it does not have any glaring problems, neither does it provide any unique security features or a particularly great connection. The main appeal to Uppersafe is its affordable and well-rounded features, and its ability to connect unlimited devices - as long as no one plans on using too much bandwidth. Since it does have a free trial, it could be worth checking out as an affordable and easy way to get some VPN protection for casual online activity.
- Very user-friendly with great setup and guides
- Worked with Netflix on our first try, a company focus on streaming content
- Basic plan may be too slow to recommend, choice between affordable plans is good
- Premier plan was relatively slow (from West coast United States)
- Uncertain with regards to privacy, especially since company is new without established reputation
- Not many servers and only in 10 countries - your connection may not be great