ButterflyVPN has an interesting customer service review history, with some users complaining that it’s a scammy product with multiple websites (a few of which no longer load, or load in an Asian language). The FAQ section is limited and overly-technical. However, much of this criticism likely relates to an earlier iteration, back when they had a simple Gmail account rather than a professional custom domain. Others have fair to middling reports of reliability. A built-in ad blocker is a nice bonus feature that not all VPNs offer, and it does let you simultaneously use up to 10 devices, provided you’re all on the same Wi-Fi account, which makes it best for home or small office use. Best for protecting privacy on-the-go, but on its default “Intelligent” mode, it is not that reliable for torrenting or unblocking the geo-restrictions of Netflix, Hulu or YouTube. It can access these services when in “full mode,” but this mode is not always available. Also, full mode dramatically reduces the server regions you can choose from.
Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.
Butterfly VPN has 30 servers in 5 countries and 300 IP addresses/locations.
We found this company's plug and play approach unique, although not terribly convenient since you have to have their physical USB product to use their VPN service. The setup itself is easy, once you have the USB in hand. It operates like an air card—just plug it in, use an existing Wi-Fi signal, and you’re off to the races. Although “races” may be a generous term because the user experience can be rather slow. It offers relatively good value for the cost. You pay $89 upfront for the USB, and that includes 3 years of service. Customer support does have helpful video guides and average response time is one business day. It's difficult to determine where they operate from, but they do have a China Mode in their software, and the website translates into Chinese for bilingual users.
We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.
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