The America-based Unblock-Us VPN technically does most of what a VPN service should do, but functions differently enough that it probably isn’t a true VPN at all. Here’s how they describe their platform:
“Every computer or other Internet-enabled device has an address. It’s made up of numbers, like a street address. Our solution is brilliantly simple. We give you an address where the content you want is available. It’s like moving your computer or other device without actually moving it.”
In other words, they don’t connect you to another server in another country, they just assign you a different IP address. Is it effective? Sure. Is it as robust as connecting to multiple servers (which also reassigns your IP) for varying privacy and security needs? Not quite, and especially not for their single price point that is higher than much better alternative services. And being based out of the U.S. makes them part of the Five Eyes consortium that spies on citizens and shares data with other countries. Not ideal.
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.
Unblock-US VPN has servers only in the US
We took advantage of their 10-day free trial and found that setup was a breeze; partly because their product is less sophisticated (and therefore less complicated) than most traditional VPNs. We followed their handy guides that are available for each platform they support, and we enjoyed the screenshots and video tutorials provided for setup and configuration. The interface is about as basic as they come. They have a very comprehensive list of supported devices and operating systems, which rivals even the highest-rated VPNs.
Customer service is conducted through email rather than via live chat, but we still found responses came back within an above-average 1-2 hours. Features are not as rich as traditional VPNs (i.e., no real customization options), and the ability to connect to entertainment platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu is 50/50 at best.
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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