Le VPN Summary
Offering servers all over the world, a good range of protocols, strong encryption and a powerful (if not all that user-friendly) client in the form of Viscosity, Le VPN’s appeal is further boosted by its HybridVPN service – a combination of SmartDNS and VPN which aims to simplify and speed up the streaming of geo-restricted content.
Pricing & Plans
Le VPN offers a single plan subscription service with the monthly price depending on how many you pay for at once, and have recently reduced their prices: Paying monthly is still relatively pricey at $9.95, but this goes down to a very reasonable $4.95/month if paying annually. There’s a 7-day ‘full satisfaction’ money-back guarantee in place of a trial, and payment can be made by credit card, PayPal or Bitcoin.
Special offer! Click through one of the links in this review and you’ll get a further 30% discount on your chosen price plan. That pushes the price of the one-month plan down to only $6.97 and the monthly cost of an annual subscription down to a mere $3.47.
Le VPN have created a neat little video introduction to their service:
Le VPN provides servers across an impressive list of 114 countries covering all 5 continents: as well as plenty of representation for European countries and the USA, there are servers in South America, Oceania, Africa and Asia. Each location offers six options for connection, one of which is Le VPN’s innovative HybridVPN. This is, essentially, a regular OpenVPN connection that uses SmartDNS to access geo-restricted streaming websites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, no matter what country your chosen VPN server is in. What’s more, users can take advantage of this wide range of countries and servers over two connections simultaneously. Peer-to-peer traffic is permitted over servers in Canada, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Security & Privacy
“Le VPN” is French for “the VPN”, and reflects the company’s French origins. Since it was founded in 2010, it’s moved its headquarters to Hong Kong and broadened its focus to the international market.
As far as protocols and encryption are concerned, Le VPN offers a great selection: as well as the HybridVPN mentioned above, every server location has options for connecting via L2TP, PPTP or OpenVPN on a choice of three ports (two TCP and one UDP). AES-256 encryption is used across the board.
The main page of the Le VPN website is pretty good, with a lot of important information – such as price, types of VPN connections, platforms served and countries available – front and centre. Although the drop-down menus at the top are a little scary in terms of how many subsections they point to, each page is clear, concise and generally helpful.
There’s also an official Le VPN blog with a mix of articles focusing on security alerts, streaming guides and VPN-related news. Although these aren’t particularly in-depth it’s nice to see the company making the effort.
Support for Le VPN comes in the form of a Knowledge Base and a support ticket system – unfortunately there’s no option to talk to an advisor in real-time. The Knowledge Base can be a bit tricky to find the first time, with a tiny link hidden in the website’s footer for non-subscribers, and subscribers having the option to navigate through the support menu in the Client Area. Once discovered, it does a decent job of answering some common questions, though these mostly relate to installation on different platforms and it would be nice to see both more breadth and depth here.
The ticket system, meanwhile, is easy to access for subscribers and very well integrated into the website. We got a workmanlike – if not overly generous – response to our ‘medium’ priority ticket within a few hours, and there are options to change the priority and add comments or supporting files, as well as to rate the helpfulness of the response you received.
Registering for Le VPN’s service requires users to give an email address and choose a password and method of payment. This is the result of a big improvement Le VPN have recently made to their sign-up process, which no longer requires users to enter any other personal information – and what’s more, existing account holders are now able to edit their profiles to remove previously given details.
The Windows VPN client
When you get used to it, though, the client is pleasingly fast and responsive, and the wealth of technical options – as well as useful stuff like connection logs and graphs – is really nice to see.
Performance (Speed, DNS and IP Test)
While not delivering blistering results, speed tests showed somewhat variable but acceptable speeds across the network, and general browsing and streaming was reliable and problem-free. For users struggling with streaming HD streaming, Le VPN claims that using the HybridVPN service with a VPN server close to home should improve performance – though if, say, you want to access UK Netflix instead of US Netflix, you’ll have to do it manually.
|No VPN, UK server.||HybridVPN, UK server.||L2TP over IPSec, UK server.|
IP and DNS tests didn’t throw up any concerns, with Le VPN making use of Google’s DNS servers.
In addition to the Viscosity client offered for Windows and Mac OSX users, Le VPN also provide support for the open-source OpenVPN Connect iOS app. Although downloading profiles to use with the app is a bit more involved, there’s a decent guide on the Le VPN website. Unfortunately Android users only get instructions to manually set up a VPN connection through their device’s built-in options.
Other/ Free Services
In addition to their VPN, Le VPN also bundles a SmartDNS service into its subscription plan. We’ve provided a review for this service on our sister website, SmartDNS.com.
- Lowered prices, especially good when using the special offer above
- Loads of countries, servers and connection types to choose from
- Powerful, unobtrusive client with lots of options
- Good response times from support
- OpenVPN supported on iOS (through OpenVPN Connect app)
- Reliable connections
- HybridVPN a convenient way to access content from different countries on the same VPN
- Option to pay via Bitcoin
We weren’t so sure about
- Client could be friendlier and easier to use
- No live support
- Logging policy
Le VPN is clearly focused on offering a global VPN network with robust support for multiple protocols, and its HybridVPN system is especially convenient for users who like to stream content from multiple different countries. Our main concerns were ease-of-use – especially for users new to VPNs – and the company’s willingness to allow or conduct investigations into the activities of their users. Despite this, for anyone willing to learn the ins and outs of Viscosity, Le VPN offers a decent service for a now-reduced price.