Review

VPN.S Secure Review


Disclosure: compensated affiliate: click here for more information

SummaryVPN.S immediately impress with a smart looking website, a wide range of technologies and price plans available, and a healthy number of servers in many counties. Closer inspection seems to confirm this good impression as VPN.S offers excellent OpenVPN encryption and a very usable free service, which in testing proved even better than advertised. Unfortunately for many VPN users, VPN.S is strict about enforcing a no copyright infringement policy, and on careful scrutiny appears to have a privacy policy that is at odds with its claims to keep no logs or records of users activities.

Pricing and Features

VPN.S offers a range of plans, all with different features.

Free VPN (free)

Although quite restricted, the offer of a free VPN service is still great.  The main limitations of the package are:

  • It is slow*
  • 600Mb data limit
  • Ad supported*
  • Access to just one US based server
  • Windows only
  • Activities logged

Obviously no fancy extras are included but hey, it’s free!

*These are limitation claimed by VPN.S. However as will see, in our tests we did not encounter them.

Smarter DNS ($4.95 p/m)

Designed primarily to allow streaming of web TV services that are geo-locked to their country of origin, this service lets you to access the internet through VPN.S’s own web DNS servers. Because the connection is direct rather than through a VPN server, there is no extra lag involved, making this service ideal for streaming Hulu and NetFlix content when outside the USA, or iPlayer and 4oD content when outside the UK (for example).

 smarter DNS

A nice feature that helps to set this apart from other similar services is the availability of dedicated applications for Windows and Mac, in addition to apps for iOS and Android. This means that you don’t have to delve into the innards of your internet settings and change the DNS setting manually, which is especially important as not all websites play game with private DNS servers, and it is therefore useful to be able to easily turn the settings on and off.

prices

All the other packages include unlimited bandwidth, an HHTP proxy, and access to all servers (29 servers in 20 countries). Unusually, VPN.S let you opt for a dedicated fixed IP rather than the more usual dynamically assigned one when you first join one of their paid plans. Other than the free VPN service, there is no free trial or money back guarentee (unless you cannot connect with the help of the VPN.S support team) but there is a $2 for 2 days trial available.

HTTP Proxy ($3.95 p/m)

This plan give you access to an HTTP Proxy. Nearly all web browsers and P2P clients can be configured to connect to one of these, and the outside world will only see the IP address of the proxy server. A nice touch is that VPN.S supplies an optional extension for the Chrome browser which removes the need for manual configuration. As a technology however, using an HTTP proxy is not very secure.

PPTP/L2TP ($7.95 p/m)

This VPN service lets you connect to the VPN.S servers using the less secure PPTP or L2TP protocols. These 128-bit encrypted protocols remain in common use in business, and many mobile devices (such as iPads and iPhones) can only connect using them.

SSH Socks5 ($9.95 p/m)

This is an improved proxy service that uses a much more secure SSL socket layer tunnel to the proxy server to help ensure privacy. However, given that this service costs the same as the OpenVPN, service but offers less security and does not protect your entire internet connection in the way that a true VPN service does, we are at a bit of a loss as to why anyone would choose it.

OpenVPN ($9.95 p/m)

As the name would suggest, this package allows you to connect to the VPN servers using the OpenVPN protocol.

OpenVPN & PPTP ($13.95)

This plan obviously allows use of both PPT and OpenVPN protocols. It could prove useful if, for example you, you wanted to connect both your PC and iPhone to the internet via VPN.

The Website & Customer Support

The website is attractive and easy to navigate, with a nice promotional animation on the Home page. However, although there is a lot of blurb and a fairly lengthy FAQ, hard facts are a little short on the ground. Greater explanation of the encryption technologies used, or the benefits of Socks5 would have been greatly appreciated for example.

Support comes in the form on an email ticket system and live chat. When a live chat operative is available, we found the response was quick, knowledgeable and friendly, although in our time with VPN.S an operative was often not around.

support

There is also a Support Forum, but this mainly consists of setup guides and a little general troubleshooting advice.

Privacy and security

VPN.S states on its website that “connection logs are erased every 24 hours and no VPN traffic logs are stored”. However, close inspection of the Terms of Service does not seem to bear this out, as the TOC says that VPN.S will not “not monitor, edit, or disclose any personal information… unless vpnsecure.me has reason to believe that such action is necessary to: (1) conform to legal requirements or comply with legal process; (2) protect and defend the rights or property of vpnsecure.me; (3) enforce the Agreement; or (4) to protect the interests of its other Members. This does not sound like complete privacy with no logs kept to us!

Users worried about the technology side of online security should only really be considering the OpenVPN plan, and here VPN.S scores very well, providing super-secure 2048-bit encryption, which is the highest level of OpenVPN encryption available, and is on par with SSTP encryption. What is also very nice is that the free VPN service used the same 2048 encryption.

The Process

The Free service

We started by giving the free service a spin, as VPN.S is nice enough to offer one.

Signing up

Signing up to VPN.S is a breeze, with only a username, password and email address being asked of you.

signup 1

One signed up you are asked what plan you want to join.

signup 2

We went for the free service at first.

signup.free.2

It was then simply a matter of downloading the Windows OpenVPN client from the Downloads area.

The Windows Client

The Windows client has a simple but functional interface.

client.free.3

The main page has links to popular geo-locked web TV sites, an embedded speedtest.net pop-up and the settings.

client.settings

 

Although VPN.S says that with the free service you will see advertisements on every web page, we didn’t see any. We checked this in different browsers and nope, no adverts!

plan details

Back in the Members Area you can keep tabs on your usage details. The free service has a 600Mb limit per month.

Speedtest.net results

VPN.S describe the free service as being ‘slow’, so we weren’t expecting very much when we tested it using our 10 megabyte UK broadband connection.

spt.paid.without
No VPN (local UK server)

spt.free.us.with
With free VPN (US server)

spt.free.us.without
No VPN (same US server)

The results were in fact rather good, with the distance to the New York server slowing the connection down far more than the fact that it was connection through a VPN server.

As long as you bear in mind that the free VPN service is monitored, and you cannot therefore use it to get up to anything naughty, we found it to be very good, providing a fast and secure connection. The absence of any advertising was so we cannot say if this normally the case.

OpenVPN Plan

As the OpenVPN plan is the one most people are most likely to interested in, we joined and gave it a whirl.

payment

Payment options are a little limited, but cover all the major methods.

We could now connect to any of VPN.S’s extensive list of servers.

clinet.paidOne thing that is missing is a list of server loads / speeds to help you decide one to connect to. We did experiment with connecting to The Pirate Bay (a website that is blocked in the UK) through servers in The Netherlands and US and were unable to, which suggests that VPN.S actively blocks access to filesharing sites.

Speedtest.net Results

We tested again using our 10 meg UK connection:

spt.free.without
Without VPN

spt.paid.UK
With VPN to UK server

spt.paid.nd
With VPN to Netherlands server (note the excellent upload speed)

The results were very good.

Conclusion

We liked

  • Free VPN service that performed very well, and without advertising in out tests
  • 2048-bit OpenVPN encryption
  • Lots of servers in lots of countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Good choice of servers
  • Dedicated fixed IP’s available
  • It’s not free but we can’t really complain about the $2 for 2 days trial

We weren’t so sure about

  • Given then number of technologies on offer, more effort to explain their differences would have been appreciated
  • Live chat support but not always available
  • Access to the full range of services is quite pricey

We hated

  • Despite statements to the contrary, the small print in the TOC seems to indicate that logs and details of users’ activities are recorded and kept
  • Access to The Pirate Bay blocked.

Were it not for their privacy policy, which is at best unclear and at worse contradictory and misleading, together with their rigid anti-copyright infringement stance, we would be quite impressed with VPN.S’s service. It is fast, has excellent encryption, and the free service is surprisingly good. Unfortunately, censoring the internet in the way they seem to have The Pirate Bay, is precisely what most people use a VPN service to avoid, so we cannot give VPN.S our recommendation.


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+

Related Coverage

More

4 responses to “VPN.S Secure Review

  1. It has been roughly 6.5 years since this review was written. VPNSecure now boldly declares, on their landing page: “our policy: NO LOGGING VPN not now, not ever.”

    And the ToS page says:

    We do not log any personal information when connecting to our service
    ‘Any data’ means but not limited to the following:

    * IP Address NOT logged
    * Connection timestamp NOT logged
    * Disconnect timestamp NOT logged
    * Bandwidth used NOT logged
    * DNS Requests NOT logged

    However, the ToS page still says:

    “VPNSecure Pty Ltd will not monitor you or your use of the Service, including its contents unless VPNSecure Pty Ltd has reason to believe that such action is necessary to: (1) conform to legal requirements or comply with legal process.”

    (There is no number “2,” so I am unsure why they spell out a number “1,” but it makes me think that their ToS tends to be edited hastily. This does not inspire confidence.)

    So, their legalese is still in conflict with their claims. As best I can interpret this, they don’t monitor or log at all unless they feel they have to. And then, all bets are off.

    Quite honestly, even if they removed the “we won’t monitor you unless we have to” blurb, I still would not trust them. I want a VPN service that has always been actually committed to privacy. I want one that doesn’t waffle and try walking a line like VPNSecure does. They want to claim they don’t log, but still allow themselves to log when they want to.

    BestVPN.com is a great site, and I truly appreciate your honesty and the effort you have put into making this information available.

    1. Hi Trevor,

      It’s 3.5 years, but the point that this review is old stands. In fairness to VPNSecure, any VPN company will comply with a legal demand to start logging. If you think that anyone will be willing to face jail-time to protect their custmers, then you should think again. In this review I listed all the points that used to be the ToS (see Privacy and security). I agree that the removal of points 2-4 seems to have been rather clumsily done, but IMO is not cause to believe the company cannot be trusted. And thanks 🙂 !

      1. Yes, I had a typo. I actually saw it after posting, when it was too late.

        I don’t think anyone would be willing to face prison time to protect customers, but I do think some will make an effort to operate where they’re not legally forced to log.

        I do think they shouldn’t be trusted. The difference is, I’m not biased because I operate a VPN review site.

        1. Hi Trevor,

          – I agree, but VPN.S says it does not log unless it legally has to. Using a VPN for privacy is always a matter of trust, and if you think the legalese used by VPN.S undermines this trust for you, then fair enough. In my opinion, I can see nothing that causes me any particular reason to doubt its “no logs” at all except under circumstances it has no choice claim. If you have read any of my other reviews, you will see that this is not a subject I give VPN providers an easy time over.

          – BestVPN.com does make money through affiliate marketing (we make no effort to hide this fact), but as just about every VPN provider operates an affiliate scheme, this does not influence our reviews. We have no special relationship with VPN Secure, something that may be obvious from the fact that we have reviewed the service for 3.5 years!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to add a star rating to your comment? Click here
Price
Features
Reliability
Speed
Customer Service