We previously had the pleasure of testing an Asus RT-N66U running Sabai OS and we’re thoroughly pleased with it, so we had high hopes for the Sabai Technology VPN Accelerator. While it did increase the VPN speed through our router dramatically there were a few downsides, but for larger networks where VPN use is prominent it’s a highly recommended piece of hardware.
As mentioned above the VPN Accelerator wasn’t as impressive as the Sabai OS but Sabai Technology did inform us that many of the negative facts that we raised are currently being improved on in order to further improve the experience for new and old users alike.
In order to get Sabai Technology’s VPN Accelerator you can get it as a stand alone piece of hardware or you can get it as part of their speed bundle, these cost $299.99 and $549.99 respectively. The difference between the two is that with the VPN Accelerator Speed Bundle you also receive a Asus RT-N66U running Sabai OS. We’ve previously reviewed the Sabai OS RT-N66U as well as compared it to other router firmware, and it performed excellently in both scenarios. If you do not already own a Sabai OS router then we’de recommend getting the speed bundle as the Accelerator is optimised to work the best with this.
Shipping is included in the price for North American customers and for other customers around the world there will be a small shipping charge to pay.
VPN Accelerator & Proxy Server
VPN Accelerator Speed Bundle
For this price you also get a 90 day satisfaction guarantee, a year of Sabai Freedom Support, and a year of hardware guarantee ( which as you’ll find out below is superb). To pay for your product you can use the regular payment options of credit/debit card or PayPal.
Since this is a physical product there is of course no free trial but as mentioned Sabai Technology provides a fantastic 90 day satisfaction guarantee.
Unfortunately Sabai Technology doesn’t have any videos showcasing their products. However, their YouTube Channel is full of helpful set up guides to get you started and many of these feature their VPN Accelerator – so if you purchase one then make sure to check it out.
While, as we show later on, on the whole a VPN accelerator is a great tool we feel that with regards to features it’s slightly basic on it’s own so we’d recommend getting the speed bundle to obtain the full Sabai Technology experience.
As we mentioned in the review for the Sabai OS router they have some fantastic features which we’ve never seen before but the most important of these two are:
– Gateways, which allows you to select which connection a specific devices uses i.e. VPN, Accelerator or your normal connection
– Their ease of setup system means you can have the VPN running on your router or accelerator in just 3 clicks
The VPN Accelerator itself is designed for one task and one task only and that is to maximise the VPN speed through your router. This means that the 6 USB ports, card reader slot, and the HDMI port provides no functionality and you can’t use it for NAS, printer sharing or any alike tasks.
Since you only receive a product with this package the security will fully depend on the VPN provider you choose – we recommend looking at our best VPNs list to help you with this. We always recommend using the OpenVPN protocol when connecting to your VPN provider so it’s great to see that this is supported and for those less worried about security or would like more speed, PPTP and L2TP is also available.
It’s great to see that the Sabai OS for both their routers and VPN accelerator is fully open source and available on GitHub. While we’re not sure if it has been audited it’s a great step in the right direction.
The Sabai Technology website is easy to navigate and all the important features are clearly highlighted. Moving between different pages and finding the right sections is usually very easy to do.
The Sabai Technology social networks are kept up to date with important information and VPN related news. Unlike most companies in this scene they also have a LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ presence, though these are less active than the ones previously mentioned.
They also have a blog but surprisingly all items on it seem to be published on the 15th of January 2015 so we’re thinking there is a small issue with their website somewhere.
Sabai Technology provides four kinds of support systems for their VPN Accelerator and other devices they sell under the name of ‘Sabai Freedom Support’, these are: ticket/email, phone, remote desktop and a knowledgebase.
Firstly on a positive note, the direct contact support systems (ticket, email, phone, remote desktop) are all really well managed and not only are the staff very helpful but also very knowledgeable, and so far they’ve been able to help us with every problem or enquiry no matter how big or complicated it was. It must be noted that in order to be able to provide this great level of support, the support team is only available during the following hours:
As mentioned they also provide a 90 day satisfaction guarantee and a one year hardware guarantee so should you have any problems with your devices they will be able to help you out.
With regards to the whole support system and blog they have commented the following: “We are in the process of having our blog, customer knowledge base/SabaiTechU and our online instructions moved to a new, easier to use and more practical location. Unfortunately, because this is not complete, there is missing information, incorrect dates & even missing images/tables. Getting the new locations corrected, up and running and easy to use is our top priority. “
Ordering your VPN Accelerator or Speed Bundle is very easy. If you wish you can estimate the shipping price before you commit, which is very useful. It cost us just over $30 to ship from their HQ in Canada to central Europe. Shipping took just a few days and arrived very well packaged as a FedEx signed shipment.
Within the box were simple and clear instructions on how to configure the physical aspects of the router as well as how to access it through your web browser. The annoying fact that we also found when we received their router was that it came with a US plug so we needed to purchase an adapter, though you can do this pre-hand on their website.
The Sabai OS VPN Accelerator Client
Unlike the Sabai Router OS, the VPN Accelerator OS is very simple and straight forward to use.
Setting up the VPN connections is extremely easy and as mentioned it only takes 3 click to get up and running. Apart from the VPN, Proxy (which we mention later) and the minor logging, diagnostics and settings there are not many other things you can do with the VPN Accelerator.
Performance (Speed, DNS and IP Test)
This is the most important part when considering the purchase of the VPN Accelerator so we’ve made sure we put extensive effort into testing it under different environments and on the whole we found it to deliver extremely well on it’s promise of speeding up your VPN connection.
From our in-depth router firmware analysis we knew that the Sabai OS performs best at VPN throughput and we also knew that a 30Mbps ISP download speed wouldn’t produce any significant results, for this reason we didn’t test the router with any other firmware and we upgraded to a 100Mbps (up)/10Mbps (down) ISP connection.
The table below shows the average results we obtained for different scenarios (Ethernet connection, Ping to Google.com) . With regards to Up/Down speed the higher the values the better and with ping the lower the better. We must note that these values can vary depending on a large range of factors: VPN provider, ISP, location, VPN location, time of day, WiFi or Ethernet, etc.
As we can see from the results the addition of the VPN Accelerator did mean that the VPN speeds did increase on the devices connected to the router and were just slightly lower than if we were running the VPN on our computer. The downside of this was that the ping increased substantially and in some cases it caused lag in some multi-player online games but the streaming quality and buffering was substantially better than when we ran VPN on our router. Changing VPN providers did improve the ping results somewhat but impacted the speed so you will have to do some testing to find the best VPN for you if you choose to buy the VPN Accelerator.
The reason for the large difference in ping is caused by the fact that instead of your connection going as Computer -> Router -> Internet, it goes Computer -> Router -> Accelerator -> Router -> Internet.
Another advantage of running a VPN on your router or on the accelerator is the fact that you won’t be exposed to the major WebRTC leak.
DD-WRT, Tomato, Stock Routers
It is also possible to set up the VPN Accelerator with non Sabai OS routers as well, such as DD-WRT, Tomato and most stock routers. The setup method for this isn’t as straight forward and you will be required to get in contact with the support team so that they can help you get going – we’d recommending signing up to their very helpful remote desktop support sessions in order to do this.
As mentioned apart from the VPN service there is also a basic proxy service that you can run on the accelerator. Disappointingly there was no information on their website about this and we had to talk to support in order to figure out how it worked.
Huge improvement in VPN speed through router
Brilliant personal support
Open source software
We weren’t so sure about
Knowledgebase needs updating
If you only have a few devices connected to your router then it’s probably enough if you’re running VPN on the router or choosing a VPN provider that allows plenty of simultaneous connections. However, if you have a large household or wish to have everyone in you company connected to a VPN network then the VPN Accelerator by Sabai Technology is definitely worth a try.