SmartVPN lives up to its name — it plays to its strengths, but not without downplaying some crucial areas.
The biggest talking points here are pricing and the diversity in available plans. If you’re close to Germany or the Netherlands, and aren’t too demanding, the Basic package is an absolute steal. SmartVPN Premium also offers great value, and a Dedicated plan can get you a static IP address at a very reasonable cost.
Available features include multiple supported VPN protocols (including OpenVPN and IKEv2), 256-bit encryption, and baked-in DNS leak protection. Not bad for a VPN at this price range.
The bad news starts and ends with SmartVPN’s stance on logging. In a nutshell, it’s ambiguous and poorly presented, but one thing is clear — sensitive data is kept, and it may end up in the hands of third parties. Needless to say, those who place privacy above all else aren’t going to be thrilled.
In short, SmartVPN could easily become a favorite of casual users. It’s fast, easy to use, and allows P2P — but dependability may be an issue if you prioritize security and anonymity. Fortunately, the 7-day refund window gives you the freedom to try this VPN out and make up your mind risk-free.
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.
SmartVPN Premium has 21 servers in 18 countries. Basic plans offer only 2 locations (Germany and Netherlands), while SmartVPN Dedicated excludes only the United States from its list.
SmartVPN is a mixed bag when it comes to the user’s experience with the service.
On one hand, you get a solid foundation in the FAQ section and manual setup tutorials. You can also benefit from the Windows and OSX apps for an even easier time with the VPN.
The live support, while a bit erratic, is there for you — however, more complex inquiries seem to be a struggle to answer.
There are other inconsistencies that quickly add up. Oddly enough, we couldn’t find a Linux setup tutorial, even though SmartVPN runs on it. Moreover, the dedicated apps feel like an afterthought — “counter-intuitive” is a fitting description.
Despite these drawbacks, SmartVPN has its heart in the right place — for that alone, it deserves some praise.
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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