If you’re in a hurry, here’s the bottom line — You can get more servers globally, better VPN features, and 24/7 customer support with Surfshark for the same price or less. So why bother reading on?!
This VPN vendor’s website looks professional and trustworthy, although their overall tone is a 1984-like Orwellian, “The world is out to GET YOU!!!” Their cute cartoon detective logo (complete with trenchcoat and magnifying glass) is a less-than-subtle nod at the world of espionage. Visitors are also greeted by a video on the landing page that is an over-the-top sales pitch about the perils of surfing online. It is apt and fair to warn users that VPNs are needed for certain transactions and surfing, but the tone comes across as something that a conspiracy theorist thought up. I personally prefer educational marketing that enlightens about features rather than simply scaring users into buying a service.
They do somewhat make up for the video with an FAQ section that reveals their strengths more directly. Add to that, an articles section in their blog that offers some helpful education on everything from hiding DNS to changing the user agent in your browser.
Their website itself can be translated into half a dozen languages, which is a nice bonus. They also offer a built-in ‘Whois’ web domain search, which is useful if you stumble across a dubious-looking website and want to research the website owner’s pedigree.
Does this company keep logs on you? No, but if you break the law or their user agreement, then yes, they might start logging your activity.
The price for this VPN is on the high side, especially since there is apparently no mobile app (because Android and iOS are grayed out on the download page).
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.
If downloading torrented material is your bag, you may be disappointed that torrenting is only allowed on three of their 16 servers in the Netherlands, Russia, and Ukraine. It’s only possible to connect three devices under one license, but on the upside, they support most platforms. Our experience is that browsing and download speeds are reasonably fast, and they state that they never throttle or intentionally slow down speeds to save on bandwidth.
Setup is easy enough. You’re emailed a passcode that you enter into the main screen, and then you’re good to go and play around with the settings. You can choose to have it remember your code and to start the VPN (or not) when your computer or device starts up, which is a nice automation feature. The settings menu also has a “hide VPN” option which supposedly makes it difficult for others to detect you are using a VPN and is apparently one of the reasons it works so well in the notoriously anti-VPN China. This VPN has a sleek, uncluttered and intuitive interface. A large ‘connect’ button is presented once you’ve selected your preferred country. And if you’re feeling extra cautious, you can even select a “double VPN” option.
As a final thought, this is the first time we’ve seen a VPN that offers guaranteed access to specific content or websites including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Blinkbox. We satisfactorily tested each of them, so it seems their word is their bond, at least until Netflix and Hulu figure out how to ban an entire IP range. Live chat support is very helpful and very prompt.
Before you make a final decision, we highly recommend you check out some alternative VPNs which may offer better features and prices.
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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