FrootVPN – Early Access Review

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  FrootVPN Summary

Update 22 January 2015

FrootVPN has now started charging for its service., although at a base price of $4 per month, it is one of the cheapest VPN services available.

 FrootVPN prices

Watch out for an updated review of FrootVPN, coming soon.

Last week (23 October 2014) the front page of the Pirate Bay (TPB) website started to display an advertisement for a hitherto unknown VPN service – FrootVPN, which at the time of writing is causing quite a stir online (plus attracting 100,000 new customers in the first couple of days). On the one hand FrootVPN appears to have the endorsement of the TPB team, who have proved themselves many times over as trustworthy defenders of privacy, but on the other hand many people are highly suspicious of a service that claims to be free…

While exceptions and kinks to it do exist, the maxim that ‘if you don’t pay for a product then you are the product’ generally holds true. Running a VPN service is not cheap, so it is worth considering how and why the provider is offering it for free – most ‘free’ VPN services raise revenue through advertising and/or monitoring users’ internet activity so they can sell that information to advertisers (an exception to this model is CyberGhost, which offers an excellent free service that it uses to advertise its paid-for service – this is a useful example, as it demonstrates how a service can offer free VPN while being transparent about how it raises revenue from it.)

FrootVPN on the other hand seems to be offering a free service out of no more than goodness of its owners’ hearts. The website FAQ explains that,

The whole idea behind FrootVPN is to provide a free simple VPN service that give every internet user on the planet the right to it’s privacy online. Ofcourse the maintenance and bandwidth isn’t free for these kind of services. But we had some resources over from other project and were able to launch FrootVPN. We will run this service for free as long as we can. But we will eventually need to bring money in to be able to pay our bills.

Hmm… no wonder many people are suspicious. However, fact that TPB seems to endorse the service has led to 100,000 users signing up for it they first few days. When asked about this endorsement by TorrentFreak, TPB responded that,

‘The FrootVPN promotion is not a paid ad. It’s merely a friendly plug for a startup run by some guys they know.


It should be noted that TPB is no longer run by the original team, and no-one is sure who is now behind the operation. That said, TPB continues to be a thorn in the side of the authorities, and have displayed nothing other than 100 percent trustworthiness to its users.

Of course, as a publicity stunt to draw in many new users, at least some whom are likely to become paid customers in the future (and FrootVPN says there will be a fee in the future), the whole ‘free’ thing could make sense…

The whole idea behind FrootVPN was to provide a free simple VPN service without any bandwidth limitations. Of course the maintenance isn’t free but we had some resources over from our other projects from which we were able to launch FrootVPN. We are a bunch of guys who support freedom of speech and don’t like the idea that VPN providers charge so much money for just a simple proxy, especially since the bandwidth costs nowadays is so cheap.

While a free VPN sounded like a good idea, the VPN service has become a victim of its own success. They gained 100,000 users in less than a week and admit that it’s not sustainable to keep the service free forever. The word has spread rapidly and we thank all our promoters including TPB for supporting us. We got 100,000 users within a week, which we never expected. However, this does indicate that we will be forced to charge something for the service in order to maintain it.


As the FrootVPN team note above, the service has seen a massive uptake and is inevitably struggling to cope with the huge number of new users. We think that due to such huge interest in it the service is worth reviewing as is, but at least in terms of performance this review should be regarded as ‘early access’ – and things are likely to change rapidly. To this end, FrootVPN told TorrentFreak that it has already bought several new servers to keep up with demand,

We have 20x servers running currently with 2x10Gbps total capacity. We have now additionally bought 40x more servers and 4x10Gbps bandwidth from Portlane which will be ready within a week or two. We hope that after this upgrade the quality of our service will be much better.

Pricing and Features

At present FrootVPN is a free service, although the devs have made it clear this will change. They have however also promised that final pricing will ‘be very low as compared to other providers out in the market.’

Unsurprisingly, the service itself is fairly bare-bones, although users can choose between the PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN protocols. One feather in FrootVPN’s cap is that it supports IPv6 (when using OpenVPN), something few other providers offer.

There are no bandwidth limitations, and boasting that ‘our servers are connected to multiple 10Gbit/s backbone providing ultra high speed connections around the globe,’ FrootVPN seems confident in its ability to deliver a high quality service.

In keeping with the fact that it is a free service (for now) service, there does not appear to be a limit on the number of devices you can connect at once.*

The website makes no mention of P2P torrent downloading, but given the provider’s relationship with the Pirate Bay, we assume P2P is just fine.

The website and customer support

Aside from some minor formatting issues the website looks smart and is cleanly laid out, if a little unexciting. Information is fairly sparse, but answers to basic questions and clearly explained guides with screenshots are available for most OS/protocol combinations (although there is no OpenVPN for Android for some reason).

Customer support comes in the form of a short Troubleshooting FAQ and an email form. We emailed off a couple of queries (*such as number of simultaneous devices allowed, and whether IPs are shared) but received no answer by the next day. Given the huge number of new members the service must be struggling to cope with this is hardly surprising, so if/when they get back to us we will update this article accordingly).

Security & privacy

Bearing in mind any lingering doubts about how it can afford to offer a free service, and the fact that little in the way of hard information is available on the website, FrootVPN seems to be very privacy minded,

We don’t store any kind of data logs on our servers. The VPN user is assigned a new dynamic IP every time he connects to FrootVPN. There is even no time stamp or logs of which IP-address you got assigned.

… Which sounds great, as long as these dynamic IPs are shared (we are waiting for FrootVPN to get back to us about this).

Like TPB, FrootVPN is based in Sweden, which largely thanks to TPB has a reputation for freedom when it comes to the internet. However as we discuss in this article, although this ‘freedom’ does largely apply in terms of an uncensored internet and a (fairly) relaxed attitude to copyright piracy, government surveillance is a big problem (in 2009 Privacy International ranked Sweden’s privacy protection ‘second worst in EU’), and those worried about ‘big brother’ should probably use a service based elsewhere.

On the technical front everything looks pretty good, although as with elsewhere there is a lack of specificity (again, we are waiting for FrootVPN to answer our queries). The website informs us that OpenVPN uses ‘2048 bit key certificate, 256 bit key encryption,’ L2TP ‘168 bit key encryption’, and PPTP ‘128 bit key encryption’.

The process

Signing up

The only personally identifiable information FrootVPN asks is for a username and password. As the service is free, there is no need to provide any payment details.

FrootVPN signup

We signed up using a disposable email address, without encountering any problems.

The Windows client

As is common with new providers, FrootVPN relies on devices’ built in VPN clients (PPTP and L2TP), or on the generic open source OpenVPN clients.

We have covered using the Windows OpenVPN client many time before (see here for example), so we won’t go into detail here, but basically you just have to install the client, download the FrootVPN .ovpn file, and copy it into the OpenVPN ‘config’ folder.

FrootVPN OpenVPN

There is no choice of server locations (only Sweden)

The basic VPN client is bit bare-bones, lacking bells and whistles such as a VPN kill switch, DNS leak protection, or port forwarding, but it gets the job done, and in our opinion its use is quite acceptable for a new service.

Other platforms

Any platform that supports PPTP, L2TP or OpenVPN can be used, and FrootVPN provides guides for most options using Windows, OSX, Linix/Debian, iOS and Android (although Android users are left on their own to figure out setting up OpenVPN – we have a guide available here).


We tested performance using’s Amsterdam, NL, server (the closest to our location), on our 20 MB/s UK broadband connection:

FrootVPN without

Without VPN

FrootVPN with

With VPN

As you can see, these results are not at all bad – especially for a free service that has been inundated with new users!

DNS test

A quick IP and DNS leak test from shows that everything is in order.


We liked

  • It’s free! (everyone’s favorite price)
  • Appears to have the blessing of the Pirate Bay team
  • Better performance than many paid services
  • Claims to be completely no logs
  • Unlimited simultaneous devices (we think)
  • Good encryption (although we would prefer more details on this)
  • Based in Sweden – good for censorship evasion and P2P
  • Supports IPv6
  • Customer service appears swamped at the moment

We weren’t so sure about

  • Uses built-in/generic clients so no bells and whistles (but we can hardly complain about this from a service that is both new and free)

We hated

  • It’s free! (what’s the catch?)
  • Based in Sweden – bad for government surveillance

Given that FrootVPN is free and has very reasonable performance, we are quite impressed with the service. For users who just want to download from the Pirate Bay, or who want a free anti-censorship tool, FrootVPN could be just the thing (downloaders will want to use some form of third party VPN kill switch for maximum protection).

On the other hand, given the question marks over funding, combined with Sweden’s poor record on government surveillance, privacy activists, whistleblowers, tin-hatters, and anyone else worried about being spied on should probably stay clear…

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. Find me on Google+

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29 responses to “FrootVPN – Early Access Review

    I signed up for FrootVPN recently as their company name stuck in my head since the 2014 advertising they did on The Pirate Bay. I signed up for the three month plan and so far haven’t been disappointed.

    Their friendly customer service is outsourced to the Philippines and are willing to credit users for problems as they gave me a week credit for a recent outage, but aren’t going to be able to help much for technical questions. FrootVPN is geared more towards users who have an I.T. background or who are able to follow the directions off their website in order to get connected to the VPN. There is no proprietary client offered for Windows or Mac, as L2TP, OpenVPN and PPTP are the only options. I personally don’t like the idea of proprietary software anyway, because of the possibility of there being a built-in backdoor included. With FOSS, the code can be scrutinized by the community and it’s much more difficult for the aforementioned to occur. So, the idea of having a proprietary VPN client for the sole purpose of attaining privacy seems futile to me, at best.

    If you want to use FrootVPN’s DNS servers, they are listed on their website. The only ones available at this time are based in Sweden, and it would be nice if some U.S.-based servers became available in the future. I also feel more comfortable using FrootVPN than a US-based provider as Sweden has strict privacy laws as compared to the United States. There are some obvious rough areas when it comes to Julian Assange, but there are always trade-offs in life and that case still isn’t closed yet. FrootVPN has a “No Logs” policy advertised on their website, and it remains to be seen whether or not this is actually true, but I suspect it is as the owners of FrootVPN first teamed up with TPB for a free offering, where the TPB has been known to be formerly ran by people who believe in privacy and freedom of speech. FrootVPN has giving interviews, such as to TorrentFreak, where they speak about their privacy beliefs and that shed some light on their company.

    So far, for the price, I have to say that I didn’t expect FrootVPN to be as good as it is. As long as the prices don’t go up — or they actually go down or a coupon code is offered, I will very well renew after the 3 months is up. It’s so nice these days to dive into something with little hope because of all the scams out there, and come out the other end completely surprised when you get a positive outcome. One thing is for sure, FrootVPN definitely is the real deal and is not a scam.

    1. Hi Sam,

      Thanks for that in-depth analysis. Very helpful. I must admit that I have not looked at the service since writing this review (other than to note that it started charging).

    As of the last two months I have had excellent service from Froot.
    It’s nice and cheap and works as it should. Torrents come down the same as they have unsecured and it’s fast enough for me to watch Netflix out of the US in HD.
    I’ll be continuting my subscription until such a time as it stops working.

    I have been trying to use Froot VPN since August. The service has been very intermittent, and most of the time I cannot connect. My wifi shows that I am connected to one of their servers, but most days, I cannot get my browser to connect to the internet when I am connected to their servers. And when I can connect to the internet, the connection usually dies within a few minutes. I have tried everything that their support people have asked me to do, and nothing seems to work. I am fed up, and I want my money back, which they don’t seem to want to do.

    1. Hi Shawn,

      Ever since FrootVPN started to charge I have nothing good about the service. I hate to day it, but it might be time to cut your loses and invest in a good VPN service.

    Hey Lightman, Haven’t you heard on their Twitter page? They had refund issues recently but they have been working on it. Guess you just have to contact their support now. It seems that it was fixed. Gladly I haven’t experienced serious issues yet(Gladly) so I’ll be one of their loyal users still. Also connecting on their newest Canadian server is quite good especially that it is available in OpenVPN. More servers please!

    “30-day money-back guarantee” is FAKE. They do NOT make a refund if you are not satisfied!
    I’ve used their service for two days, experienced ~4-5 hours (out of 48) of downtime. So, uptime was just 90-92%. I asked them for refund (they had agreed) and sent them billing data they asked. Since that, they never answered to my emails nor sent me my money back. More than 10 days passed.
    Do NOT trust them.

    I agree with the comment before mine. I am also a satisfied user and the fact that I am using FrootVPN for months now without serious complaints makes me believe that its legit. Service for me is great, easy to set up and cheaper 🙂 Well, we can have different experiences so I’m just also sharing mine.

    Its great for me since it was free and now that it is paid, I don’t know why others are complaining but for a very cheap price, I’m quite satisfied.

    The worst VPN service. Won’t connect and customer service is worse than a joke. They take days to reply with the most standard responses possible. The worst customer service ever. They claim to have a 30 day money back guarantee, but when you ask for it, they conveniently don’t respond, or do and say it’s ‘in process’. Refunding takes 30 seconds, they are a scam. DO NOT USE.

    Please dont use the service, that are other companies way more serious.

    I am trying to get a refund for 2 months. They made me contact different people and now they say they are processing the request, its been a month, now they ask for my email on every contact and stop answerign me.


    i have used froot openvpn both free and paid for over a year and I have zero complaints. I am running Linux…don’t know if that is a factor?

    best i can tell, frootvpn was a SCAM. used them often while free. subscribed once all free accounts were terminated. however i was never able to connect again. informed them of the issue via email and chat repeatedly. they never resolved it, and they never refunded my money. however i did receive a raft of fraudulent charges on the debit card i used for their service after demanding a refund from a chat support rep.

    I always had a good experience with these guys up until they went to a paid service. Spent money and got nothing. I had to file a dispute after they failed to activate my account after a payment. If you want to use this you will waste money and time. DO NOT TRUST

    Service was great when free. Reliability was awful, though, especially during weekends, early evenings, and nights when geeks and teenagers came out to play. Never got any email notifying the free ride came to an end. System changed my password to something more than twice as long as the genuine one, and I thought that was the problem.

    Tried to buy a paid account, but can’t get on the VPN and all traffic has been down for several days. Don’t know what happened. Anyone else actually using this VPN right now, since July 1? Please advise. Otherwise, I’m going elsewhere!

    FROOTVPN is a huge scam. I paid in bitcoin to preserve my anonymity and their server timed out before the payment arrived. Since then they’ve came up with bogus answers as to why my service is not activated.

    FROOTVPN is a SCAM. These sleaze bags stole $10 and gave no service.

    Boycott FROOTVPN.

    Hi Rob and Not Happy,

    Thanks for the info. We need to update this review now that FrootVPN is no longer free.

    Froot VPN was not a bad service when it was completely free, and even when it was still free, I subscribed to it a month at a time as it was a service worth paying for. As a paid member, connections were faster and more reliable.

    Unfortunately, having paid a months subscription several months down the road and finding that my account had not been updated, I found out just how bad their customer service is…

    I messaged them explaining that I had paid but was still showing as a free member. I received an email back 6 hours later asking for my username. I replied with the info they asked for, and included things like the paypal transaction id. The following morning I received an email informing me that they are looking into the problem and that they would be in touch shortly. I never received a reply, even after asking 2 weeks later what was happening.
    I let that one drop as I was still able to connect freely.

    Last week I had an email saying that the free service was coming to an end, so I went on and paid for 3 months. Now I find myself unable to connect and my account status is showing as expired. Several messages to support have so far been ignored, so now I’m left with no options other than refund through paypal, and looking elsewhere for a vpn service.

    I would not recommend Froot due to sloppy customer service.

    Well I’ve been using their Free service for several months now. Aside from a few login timeouts now and then the service was fine. Speeds were generally decent and I never complained. However since they have done away with the free account I signed up for a 3 month @ $10 account to give their paid service a try.

    First, I was charged twice! I’ve contacted frootvpn in this regards and after 2 days I have not heard back, nor have they issued a refund for the 2nd charge.
    Second, the service is painfully slow! More or less its unusable at this point. I understand they likely have hundreds if not thousands of new signups however that’s not an excuse as a paid customer.

    I’ll be contacting them once more and give a few days before I contact my payment facility and open a dispute for the full refund.

    Beware of their either growing pains or poor customer service or both. Unfortunate as their free service was good and had recommended them to a few other people.

    Hi Kertys,

    As with most VPN providers, FrootVPN secures accounts using a username and password, rather than by generating unique certificates (or a pre-shared keys) for each user. This is standard practice, and does not have any major security implications, although a few providers do provide additional security by using certificate based authentication (I believe Buffered, VikingVPN and AirVPN do this).

    While anyone can get the .ovpn file containing the public key, you would still need access to the server in order to fool the connection. This isn’t possible due to the DHE (Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman) exchange, which means you can’t imitate the server. This means you can’t create a mirror server to try and trick the client to connect to you instead of the real one.

      1. Hi Kertys,

        No problem! As for editing your old post, I think this discussion might be useful for other readers trying to get their heads around the whole connection/authentication issue.

        You may also be interested in reading this article (, which basically explains that username/password authentication is potentially weak because people choose crap username/passwords, while username/password + certificate based authentication is stronger because it provides 2 factor authentication (2FA) i.e. additional security.

    in windows 8/8.1 You need to find the open vpn client exe, go into it’s properties and under compatability check run as administrator, only then will open vpn connect normally.

    1. Like, I said, I have not been able to get FrootVPN working with OpenVPN in any environment. “Run as Administrator” is one of the first things I’ve tried. I’ve been through their support articles as well and nothing helps.

    I think your concerns are valid – there’s not much info about how they are maintaning this operation, and no matter how good their servers are they will not have super performance under the weight of 10,000 new users in a matter of weeks.

    Anyway, my thoughts:

    I eventually settled on using FrootVPN via PPTP on Windows. FrootVPN recommends OpenVPN, but I have not been able to get it running in any environment.

    Extended test at is showing only a single server and Swedish IP, as intended. shows a different IP which is the IPv4 address of my PPTP FrootVPN adapter, but also located in Sweden.

    L2TP appears to work fine on Android 4.4.4. I have not tested on iOS or Mac devices, but it’s nice to know the option exists.

    Performance is very inconsistent. I have had high pings and less than 1 Mbps at times, other times I notice no difference my native internet connection and can torrent at full speed. I am guessing this depends on peak usage times.

    For a free VPN, FrootVPN works. But you’ll probably want to switch to a reputable paid service if you are serious about protecting your traffic.

    1. These guys were publishing their private keys. Read the comments on TF. DO NOT trust any VPN service that does not understand how their own crypto works.

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