With excellent support, plenty of servers and good connection speeds, not to mention strong encryption and a good Windows client, VPN.Asia is a well-rounded VPN service with plenty on offer to justify its average price point.
Pricing & Plans
VPN.Asia has three subscription plans offering the same service for different subscription periods. A year-long VPN.Asia subscription works out at around $6 a month, whereas subscribing on a month-by-month basis puts the monthly cost at $9. This is around average for a VPN provider.
As well as a three-day free trial, the first month of a month-by-month subscription is only $1, and you can cancel this at any time. There is also a seven-day full satisfaction money-back guarantee, but do note that this is only offered to customers who did not make use of the free trial; the assumption is that if you’ve tried the service for three days already you should know what you’re getting into. As the free trial is limited to ten servers in three countries, it’s up to users to decide whether to try the no-strings-attached free trial, or go with the one-dollar first month and money-back guarantee.
Payment can be made using a credit card via 2CheckOut, by PayPal, or through Paymentwall which supports bank transfers or a variety of prepaid cards. BitCoin is supported, and a fair degree of anonymity is also possible through Paymentwall’s prepaid cards.
VPN.Asia is part of Virtual Performance Group Inc., and is registered in Belize. At the time of writing, they offer more than 24,000 dynamic IPs across 142 servers in 17 countries. Most of these are located in Europe and North America, though there are several in Asia and one in South America as well. The client can be installed on any number of devices at once, but only two simultaneous connections are permitted per user.
VPN.Asia offer connections using OpenVPN (with TCP and UDP options), L2TP and PPTP. On OpenVPN, users can expect AES-256 data encryption with SHA256 hash authentication and 2048-bit RSA for handshaking; this is a good level of security and better than the OpenVPN default. L2TP connections are also secured with 256-bit encryption, while PPTP is just 128-bit – but in general we’d recommend against using PPTP anyway.
No logs whatsoever are kept by VPN.Asia, and being based in Belize puts it outside the jurisdiction of agencies like the NSA or GCHQ.
According to support, use of BitTorrent is allowed on all of VPN.Asia’s servers, but we were unable to find any reference to this on the website – it’d be nice if this was made explicit.
We found support for VPN.Asia to be excellent. There’s a ticket system which is easy to use, doesn’t require you to be logged in, and from which we received consistently fast and helpful responses; only a technical question about a tricky client glitch left us waiting any longer than about an hour. Live chat is even better, with operatives on-site 24/7 and response times well under a minute. We found support agents consistently friendly, polite and helpful at all times, and they weren’t shy about jumping onto TeamViewer for remote desktop support if there was an issue that needed a more hands-on approach – it’s great to see remote desktop support available at no extra charge.
There’s also a knowledge base on the website, though we found it to be a little sparse on topics and the setup guides were wordy and lacked illustration. Generally, though, with such a high quality of live support, most users shouldn’t find themselves needing to wade into the knowledge base – though we would like to see more technical information on the VPN made easily available.
Signing up for the free trial is relatively easy, with the site asking for your ‘name’ – yes, they put it in quotes like that, so presumably they aren’t too bothered whether it’s a real name or not – and an email address to associate with your account. Going one step further to a paid account may require further information depending on how you choose to pay, but this is handled through third-party providers and not submitted to VPN.Asia itself.
The VPN.Asia Windows VPN client
VPN.Asia’s client is functional and looks pretty good. Upon installation, users are walked through their choices to important options such as whether the client (and VPN) should start with Windows, and it’s nice to see there’s even an option to choose what server to automatically connect to in such a case. Once the client is up and running, a list of currently available servers is displayed along with ping, and available protocols are placed conveniently next to the big ‘Connect’ button.
DNS leak protection is solid, though we were surprised at the lack of kill switch. It’s also a little odd there’s no option to automatically choose the best server and connect, given the functionality already exists if the client is configured to connect on startup. While the comprehensive list of servers is good – and it can be sorted by city, country, or ping – we did feel that usability could be further enhanced by making country selection a little bit easier and less time-consuming than scrolling through a long list of 142 servers. These are, however, minor niggles in an otherwise very solid user experience, and we particularly liked that there was an option to view connection logs if desired.
Performance (Speed, DNS and IP Test)
We found VPN.Asia’s performance to be excellent across the board, with every server we tested giving similar results: high speeds and not much variance. We did have occasional issues with the VPN losing Internet connection while conducting speed tests, but this was fixed by reconnecting to the server – no traffic escaped the VPN during these dropouts. Streaming HD video content over the VPN was consistently smooth and effortless.
Graphs show highest, lowest and average results for connection speed tests with axes adjusted for clarity. Check out our news post for more information on our new speed tests.
DNS protection was rock-solid with our Windows 8.1 test machine experiencing no leaks, and there were no issues with IP checks (other than a New York server geolocating to a slightly different part of the USA). VPN.Asia use their own DNS servers.
VPN.Asia offer bespoke clients for Windows and Mac OSX, have just released an Android app which we’ll look at below, and are planning to launch an iOS app in the next few weeks. Manual setup guides for L2TP or PPTP are provided for most major platforms including Ubuntu Linux and Chromebook. OpenVPN configuration files are also available to download for use with any supporting client or app, such as OpenVPN Connect, though we didn’t notice these until support sent us a link to them.
VPN.Asia’s Android app is, if anything, slicker than the Windows desktop client. It looks good and is easy to use, with a front page where users log in and choose which OpenVPN port and protocol to connect with, then a server list colour-coded by performance. A really nice feature is the ability to save servers to favourites by touching the star next to the server information, which promotes it to the top of the server list for easy future access. Connecting is as simple as tapping the desired server, and connection information is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
As with the Windows app, we found speeds to be excellent, connection times to be short, and reliability to be good. What’s more, it uses the same strong OpenVPN cipher as the Windows client, ensuring your mobile’s Internet security is as good as your desktop’s.
VPN.Asia Review Conclusion
Strong encryption across platforms
High anonymity plus anonymous payment options
Good number of servers and IPs
Good range of protocol options
We weren’t so sure about
Could host more technical info on website
Sparse knowledge base
VPN.Asia is a really strong contender in the VPN space, with high speeds and great user support as particular feathers in its cap. We were impressed by the Android app and look forward to seeing what they can offer on iOS. It’d be nice to see a little bit more of that sleekness and usability rub off on the Windows client, and, given the name and the fact that Skype unblocking is listed as a major feature, we might want to see a few more servers in Asia itself. Ultimately, though, any criticisms we could level at VPN.Asia are just nitpicks: it’s an excellent service for a fair price, and one that’s well worth checking out.