I have spent the past few days testing server speeds, device compatibility, privacy, and security, plus everything else involved. As such, I am now ready to share with you my findings in this SaferVPN review. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about this provider, including pricing, technical details and more! So, sit back and get ready to be informed.
Who/What is SaferVPN?
Founded back in 2013 this company is an infant compared to the majority of its peers. However, due to its team’s background in the development of UX/UI experiences, it has grown rapidly. As I write this, the company is reporting that it has more than 1-million customers worldwide, who are both consumers and businesses.
SaferVPN and 14-eyes
Being based in Israel, and its close alignment to the USA may cause concern for many. However, it appears that even though the prying eyes, of 14-eyes, could be attention-grabbing, Israel is not involved. Well, that is, from a data protection and privacy point of view. Israel has a unique set of laws which curtail the government’s ability to monitor the online activity of its citizens!
This makes it the perfect home for a company that is geared towards furthering online freedom. Is SaferVPN safe? In terms of its location, I have to give a resounding ‘Yes!’
How Much Does a SaferVPN Subscription Cost?
First impression, they’re cheap, as in, if you don’t mind paying upfront for 12-months, the equivalent monthly price drops significantly. As for how many options that are available, the typical three are there. The first a straight up monthly subscription that will cost you $9.99 per month.
However, if you want to take advantage of those savings I mentioned, your options are as follows:
First off pay for two year upfront, that will set you back $83.86. Although that equates to just $3.49 over 24-months, one of the cheapest available. Next, there’s the choice to pay 12-months up-front, doing so will cost $59.78. Again the equivalent monthly price drops, this time to $4.99, which is relatively reasonable.
Finally, if handing over your debit/credit card details seems positively archaic, there are other payment options. Yes, you can use Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express and JCB if you wish. But, PayPal and Bitcoin are also on offer. As is Neosurf, Dollar General, and Subway, all of which come with a 30-day money back guarantee!
SaferVPN Review – Quick Pro’s and Cons
Now, if reading an entire review is not your cup of tea. Here is a quick break down of what I thought SaferVPNs pros and cons where.
- 700+ servers in 35-countries
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Connect up to five devices simultaneously
- Unblocks US Netflix
- Public Wi-Fi protection
- Does not work in China
- IP leaks have been detected
- Customer support needs improving
- Torrenting only possible via Dutch servers
Device and Software Compatibility
One of the most important questions you will have when reading this review is: “Is my computer and mobile device compatible?”
Fortunately, for the vast majority of potential users, this VPN provider has done the hard work. So, the answer is yes. But, to be more specific, that includes Windows PCs, Macs, Android smartphones, and iOS devices. Plus, some routers, and there’s even a Chrome browser plugin.
When setting up a VPN to test, I often call or use live chat to ask questions. For this SaferVPN review, my only option was to use live chat, for which I had a couple of basic questions. The first was, does this VPN have a Killswitch and is it automatically switched on?
Now, as a possibly trained employee, I expected that to be answered instantly. However, I had to wait for a minute before getting a yes to the VPN having a Killswitch. As for whether that was auto-on, I had to ask again, in the end, I waited a good four minutes before getting a no. I think the agent had to phone a friend!
Additionally, when asking about why iOS devices could not benefit from a Killswitch. I was passed to a 2nd line help system which used email ticketing, I assume the staff there are more knowledgeable. However, the problem with that is it took nearly 90-minutes to get a reasonable answer.
I would say the first line of help is fine if you want setup advice. But, if you want more detail, you should expect to wait for an answer.
Privacy and Security
On testing this VPN, I connected to servers in foreign countries and unblocked geo-locked content. So, before doing that, I needed to make sure SaferVPN could provide the required privacy and security.
As such, I can tell you that it does indeed benefit from what it calls, “Bank Level Security.” What does that comprise of? Starting with AES-256-bit encryption, the industry standard, this is used for all data channel encrypting. Additionally, it uses RSA-2048 Transport Layer Security, and SHA-256 protect the transport and control channel hash authentication.
Regarding its apps, you’ll find that those for Mac and Windows include comprehensive DNS leak protection. Plus there is a useful killswitch for when you find yourself kicked off a VPN server. This helpful feature will protect your identity when it is needed the most!
You should know, that although there is a Killswitch you need to switch it on. If you don’t and your server fails, your identity and location could be revealed to prying eyes. Plus, for iOS users, unfortunately, the Killswitch is not available, it is a feature that is planned for the future.
Finally, what about logs, does SaferVPN collect any browser and connection logs? The simple answer is yes. However, to be clear, it does not record browsing activity, nor does it collect IP-addresses. Unfortunately, though, it does keep some connection logs. These consist of the date and time a session began and ended, the amount of data used, and the country and server connected to.
SaferVPN say’s, it keeps these minimal usage statistics to maintain its quality of service.
With more than 700-VPN servers in 35-countries, it’s clear that Safer VPN operates in the middle-ground of availability. Compared to the likes of ExpressVPN with 1,000’s of servers, it doesn’t compare; however, size isn’t everything!
If your abroad on holiday it still allows you to connect to a home-based server so you can watch the Olympics coverage. Or, if a Netflix subscriber, connect and keep up with the latest episodes of your favorite shows. In fact, no matter where you are on the planet, there’s an option. Right now, it has servers in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australasia, Asia, and the Middle East.
Now, I tested the product and wrote this SaferVPN review using a Windows 10 PC. And that meant setup and choosing a server location was easy! From within the client, just select a location and then click connect to get started. From there you have access to IP address and protocol options.
From what I had read before testing for this SaferVPN review, I did not have high hopes regarding server speeds. However, it’s worth noting, that if you choose a server on the other side of the planet, speeds will be slower. As such, I chose a server in Amsterdam. Why? Because I have also been working on a, best VPN for uTorrent piece. And as it is the only SaferVPN torrenting compatible option, it seemed worth a try!
Before connecting to the VPN via the Windows client, I tested my internet download speed. At that time, it was 27.9 Mbps download and 9.75Mbps upload, a little below my max of 39.9Mbps. After connecting the client, and testing my speeds again, I saw a minor fall, down to 27.0Mbps download, and 8.42Mbps upload.
Now to be thorough, I also connected to a US server with the client enabled. Even though I did not have the control I had hoped, it resulted in a New York connection. The result being, a drop from 27.9Mbps to 22.4Mbps download, and 7.00Mbps upload.
Finally, and to give a clear picture, I picked Japan. As I mentioned previously, others have noted poor results from far-flung servers, and that’s what I experienced too. Upon connecting to a random Japanese server, I lost not far off 50% of my download speed at 15.8Mbps. As for the upload result, it too dropped dramatically, to 2.76Mbps.
As such, my advice is, stick to a server closer to your current location, doing so would be great for streaming or online gaming.
Having read through the documentation provided by SaferVPN, I was not hopeful of being able to use streaming services. However, after using it for about a week, I can say that BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and even Netflix work! In fact, it seemed to work with pretty much any service I tried. Having said that, Netflix is known to be working to prevent VPN access so this may not last.
Tips to Help You Connect
Should you see the dreaded, “This content is not available in your area message,” here are a few tips:
- Log out of all your Google accounts on the connecting device
- Disable all location services</em related to your device
- Clear your browser’s cache, temp files, and cookies
- Get a new SaferVPN IP-address by discontenting and reconecting
- In the VPN client settings switch encryption protocols
- Alter your devices time zone to appear as if in the target country
SaferVPN Review: Final thoughts
Its cheap, easy to set up, and has a decent number of servers across the globe. While its nearby servers performed well, I found those further afield did not. As such, if you travel abroad and want to play Call of Duty with friends you may have problems. Additionally, if you want to stream without buffering, there could be some issues with that too. Having said that, no VPN is perfect, and all see some speed losses when picking a distant server.
Personally, with its security level, and privacy promises, plus multiple device support and connection, I think it’s worth a try! After all, you have nothing to lose thanks to the 30-day money back guarantee.