Katrina Power

Katrina Power

September 15, 2016

Pricing & Plans

VPNArea has three different payment plans on offer, with monthly prices being knocked down the longer the subscription. A one-month plan clocks in $9.90 per month and then reduces to $8.33 per month for a six-month plan. Purchasing annually gives users the biggest bargain of all at $4.92 per month – 49% off that of the monthly plan.

VPNArea pricing

Unfortunately, VPNArea does not have a free trial that users can use to test the provider’s services before they commit to their preferred plan. However, it does have a seven-day money back guarantee, so if you decide that VPNArea is not for you before the week is up, VPNArea will happily refund your money.

On the subject of cash, VPNArea accepts a number of different payment methods. In addition to the standard credit cards Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, UnionPay, JCB, and Maestro, users can also pay through e-wallets PayPal, Payza, and Webmoney. Bitcoin is also on offer, which is great for users looking for greater anonymity.

Features

VPNArea is owned by Offshore Security LTD, a company that is registered in Bulgaria (and therefore falls under Bulgarian jurisdiction) but whose servers and emails are hosted in Switzerland.

Other features of VPNArea include:

VPNArea features

As you can see above, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to VPNArea. The Bulgarian provider boasts hundreds of high-speed servers in over 54 countries. These range from the common (Australia, Canada, UK, US) to the more obscure (Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Russia, South Africa). This coverage of more rarely serviced parts of the world makes for a truly global network that is sure to appease the majority of individuals in the market for a good VPN. Wonder if the country that you want an IP address for is offered by VPNArea? Take a look at the graphic below.

VPNArea servers

In addition, you can find more information about each country’s coverage (such as server count) by taking a peek at VPNArea’s server network list. It can be found via the clearly marked button on the front page of its website.

You can take advantage of VPNArea’s worldwide coverage through not only one but all of your devices, too, thanks to its generous five simultaneous connections. They don’t have to belong to just you, either – VPNArea notes that members of your household can have their mobiles, desktops, tablets, and routers covered by your subscription, so long as it stays under the limit.

Dedicated IP with Private VPN Server

VPNArea customers can pay as low as $15 a year to add on a dedicated IP with a private server to their existing subscription. It gives you the freedom to choose from a multitude of countries, including popular picks such as the UK, the US, the Netherlands, and Australia, with the price depending on the country.

VPNArea dedicated IP

VPNArea’s dedicated IP price has risen quite a bit since our last review, but it’s competitive within the market and remains one of the lowest cost. Moreover, it’s the only one (to their and our knowledge) that includes a free private VPN server.

A dedicated IP address with a private server will be appealing to the techies out there, and anyone who wants to run mail or gaming servers. It’s also less likely than a shared VPN IP address to get noticed and blocked by services like US Netflix! However, it’s important to remember that a private IP address is easy to tie back to YOU, so not the best option if privacy is your top priority.

One more important thing to note in this section of our VPNArea review: The dedicated IP with private VPN server is an optional add-on only for 6-month and yearly subscriptions. It is not available for monthly subscriptions.

Visit VPNArea »

Security & Privacy

As was mentioned in the previous section, VPNArea is not subject to mandatory data retention laws found elsewhere in Europe due to its Swiss location and registration in Bulgaria. In its FAQ section, VPNArea claims that since they’re not an internet provider, they do not fall under the data retention laws in the country where the company is registered. Therefore, they say that they are able to keep no logs of their customers’ activities.

However, as a commenter on this article pointed out, VPNArea’s being hosted in Switzerland means that the company’s data could be subject to Swiss data retention laws. This could compromise the security of VPNArea and its promise of keeping no logs. That said, it is not clear yet how (if at all) these Swiss laws apply to VPNs, which are often a gray area. Hard facts about how Swiss data retention laws affect VPN providers have proved to be difficult to find, so I cannot say anything conclusive on this subject with any certainty, but I will update this section as more information comes to light. However, in the absence of concrete answers it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

(Another word of warning: When it comes to providers that claim to be logless, you should always take their word with a grain of salt. That said, there has yet to be an instance when VPNArea exposed or handed over user information, so we’re inclined to believe it does as it says. Still, a little skepticism never hurt anyone – especially where online privacy and security is concerned.)

VPNArea security features

VPNArea Review: Encryption

On the technical front, VPNArea supports the OpenVPN and PPTP protocols.

If you care about your online privacy and security, we’d strongly advise against choosing PPTP, as it’s known for being insecure and easily decrypted by third parties. Instead, we would suggest choosing the vastly more secure OpenVPN, which VPNArea encrypts with the tough-as-nails 256-bit AES algorithm.

OpenVPN Encryption
Cipher
AES-256
Control Auth
HMAC SHA-512
Handshake
RSA-2048
Forward Secrecy
yes
Logs & Legal
Connection
minimal
Traffic
None
Country
Bulgaria*

*Hosted in Switzerland.

Built-In Security Systems

Our VPNArea review revealed some nifty security systems built into its software that any security lover is sure to appreciate.

First is its Anti-WebRTC system, which fixes the WebRTC Leak on Windows, a browser feature that can reveal your real location even if you’re connected to a VPN. VPNArea’s Ant-WebRTC system patches this leak, thereby keeping websites from discovering your real location.

Second is VPNArea’s Anti-DNS Leak system. While a VPN encrypts your web browsing and prevents your internet service provider from seeing your traffic, it doesn’t stop it from seeing the names of the websites that you visit. This is because to turn a hostname (or URL) into an IP, the computer uses the DNS servers of your Internet provider. You can stop your provider from snooping on what you get up to online by enabling VPNArea’s Anti-DNS Leak system, which allows you to change your DNS servers and check what country they are located in.

Killswitch

Like any VPN provider that cares even a smidge about privacy, VPNArea’s client software has a killswitch. If you enable the function and connect to a server, and the VPN stops working at any point, the killswitch will disconnect your Internet to prevent you from being exposed.

Still confused about what a killswitch is, or how it works? Read its definition and those of other VPN jargon in our glossary.

Auto IP Changer

This neat little feature can be used to add that little bit extra layer of security to your Internet browsing session. If you turn it on, you can set your preferred interval in minutes. For example, you can set it to change every fifteen minutes. After which, your IP address will be changed to a random server every fifteen minutes. Pretty cool!

The Website

Our VPNArea review did find the website to be a bit of a smorgasbord. Overall it is tastefully designed and requires little navigation, with the bulk of the information customers are looking for found on the lengthy landing page. Its layout is clean and is accompanied by some modern graphics that make it pleasing to the eye.

VPNArea review

That said, the rest of the website is a bit of a hit and miss, with information inconsistent and a tad all over the place. Its FAQ, in particular, is – while helpful and informative of the company and VPNs in general – woefully out of date and has some answers that conflict with what’s said elsewhere on the site.

However, with a bit of searching, you’re bound to eventually find what you’re looking for. It doesn’t have a designated search tool, but starting points can be found at the top of the page under categories like “Members,” “Buy Now,” “Forums,” “FAQ,” and “Contacts.”

Support

VPNArea has a nice array of support options. Answers to the most common questions that users may have can be found on its FAQ page, but as I mentioned above, it’s quite out of date so I’d suggest contacting VPNArea directly if you have a pressing problem. You can do so via email (support@vpnarea.com), via Skype (vpnarea-support), or via live chat, which can be accessed via the yellow button at the bottom right of the provider’s webpage.

VPNArea customer support

To test out its support services, we decided to try having a query regarding its dedicated IP address feature answered via live chat. Unfortunately, we were met with the following message:

VPNArea live chat

While we’re disappointed that VPNArea has a live chat that’s not serviced 24/7, we did submit our query via email and – true to their word – we received a response within a day. The representative was courteous and knowledgeable and gave a direct answer to our question, not to mention some additional information regarding both the dedicated IP address and their service’s security features.

In addition to its designated customer support platforms, users can also try to communicate with VPNArea via its social media pages. It has profiles on both Twitter (@vpnareacom) and Facebook (VPN Area – Offshore Security EOOD) and has a history of answering customer queries on both.

The Process

Signing Up

Signing up for VPNArea is a simple endeavor. All you have to do is click “Buy Now” on the front page and you’ll be presented with their registration sheet, which you can use to ‘sign up in seconds’ just as advertised.

register for VPNArea

As you can see above, to order to get a subscription at VPNArea you will be required to provide the following information: First name, last name, email address, and country. You will also be asked to generate a username and password, write how you discovered VPNArea and check the human authentication box.

You will also be presented with a wide array of payment options, which we discussed at length in the ‘Pricing & Plans’ section of this VPNArea review.

After you are registered, you can immediately enter the members only area. You will also receive a welcome email which contains account information, installation and configuration links, and the direct email addresses of the sales team, support team, and general manager.

Installing VPNArea on Windows 10

Installing VPNArea on my Windows 10 desktop was as easy as clicking on the “Setup VPN” tab in the members only area and locating the button for Win 10/8/7/Vista/XP. Afterwards, I was sent to a page which contained step-by-step instructions for installation. They were easy to follow and accompanied by helpful screenshots.

The setup itself was exceedingly simple. Once the setup wizard started it was just a matter of going through the motions.

VPNArea setup wizard

It only took a few minutes before the installation was complete and the VPNArea icon appeared on my desktop. Afterwards, to open, you have to right click and click ‘Run as administrator’. The client will then pop up.

The VPNArea Windows VPN client

Once the VPNArea Windows client was open, I simply had to enter my username and password, choose my desired server, and click connect. I was then connected and protected within minutes.

VPNArea Windows 10

When it comes to the VPNArea client, what you see is what you get. Everything is clearly labeled and neatly organized on the left-hand side, allowing you to configure the VPN to your preferences. It’s all incredibly easy to do as well, making it very user-friendly.

The “Servers and Speed” tab allows you to view all the available servers VPNArea offers around the globe. That said, you can only connect via the homepage. You can also do other neat things on this page such as conduct a speed test on all or selected servers, and show server load information to see how many users are online on each server.

VPNArea servers list

As the name implies, under the “Killswitch” tab you can enable or disable the VPN’s killswitch as you please. We tested it for our VPNArea review and it worked perfectly, disconnecting our internet so as not to leave us unexpectedly exposed. The “Anti-DNS Leak “tab works much the same way. We tested that as well as VPNArea’s anti-WebRTC system more in-depth in the ‘Performance’ section of this review.

VPNArea killswitch

The Auto-IP Changer is as simple to set up as the other features, with it just being a matter of turning it on and setting your desired number of minutes. These can be changed at any time.

VPNArea ip changer

Finally, in the Settings tab you can set VPNArea to do things such as run as soon as Windows starts, auto-connect to the last server you used, check for daily updates, and enable IPv6 leak protection.

Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC and IPv6 Tests)

vpnarea-download-test
vpnarea-upload-test
Graphs show highest, lowest and average speeds for each server and location. See our full speed test explanation for more detail.

My VPNArea download speed results quite impressive, with the Frankfurt and London locations giving the exact same speeds as when I wasn’t connected to a VPN! These locations hovered around 30 to 50 Mbps download speed – great for streaming Netflix or other content that might be blocked in your country.

I was, however, slightly disappointed by the US test results, with upload speeds somehow being higher than the download speeds. Whether this is a regular issue with VPNArea remains to be seen, but it is worth keeping an eye on if you are looking for a fast, US VPN.

I didn’t detect any DNS leaks during the speed tests for this VPNArea review, which is always a pleasure to see. You can use ipleak.net to check for both DNS and WebRTC leaks for yourself, while test-ipv6.com will detect any vulnerability to IPv6 leaks. doileak.net, meanwhile, is a mix of all the aforementioned tests. We at BestVPN.com strongly recommend that you run these tests every so often to make sure that the strength and security of your VPN is in working order.

Other Platforms

In addition to Windows, VPNArea supports all the quintessential operating systems – namely Mac, iOS (iPad and iPhone), Android, Chromebook, and Linux – as well as routers such as DD-WRT, Merlin Firmware, and Tomato. In-depth instructions for configuring each supported platform can be found in VPNArea’s members-only area, and will have you set up in a snap.

While the client is near-identical across platforms, iPhone and iPad have a nifty extra feature: the OpenVPN Connect App.

Conclusion

I liked

  • No logs policy
  • Dedicated IP address with private server add-on
  • Great customer service with plenty of contact options
  • Good security features

I wasn’t so sure about

  • Confusing website that contains some outdated information
  • Live chat not serviced 24/7
  • Uncertainty over security of Swiss location
  • Requires Admin access to run

I hated

  • Nothing

Let’s recap this VPNArea review, shall we? VPNArea is a privacy-focused provider based in Bulgaria and hosted in Switzerland. It possesses some impressive security measures – including a strict no logs policy, 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak detection and a killswitch – in addition to other great features such as a quick and helpful customer service and a dedicated IP address with a private server add-on. While its website is a little out of date in some areas, it’s client software is cutting edge, and that’s where it counts the most. We were left impressed after giving it a go for this VPNArea review, and we think you will be too. There’s no harm in signing up today to see if VPNArea is the VPN provider for you – it’s risk-free, thanks to their 7-day money back guarantee!

Visit VPNArea »

Katrina Power

Written by

Published on: September 15, 2016.

May 4th, 2018

Canadian freelance writer and social media marketer currently living in France. Avid lover of solo travel, new technology, fashion, international affairs, and French music.

81 responses to “VPNArea Review – 2018 Update

  1. I’ve been with VPNArea for a few months now after a disappointing year with with PureVPN – DNS leaks every session, regular disconnects, email/live chat responses that were 95% copy and paste jobs (and therefore rarely answered the question on hand), aggressive email marketing, slow speeds, software loaded with excess cr@p that you never use (without getting core basics right), etc (s (5/10 at best). So VPNArea has been a much better experience (7/10). Issue however are as follows:

    (1) Most importantly, when servers go offline they are usually offline for a l.o.n.g. time. Recent cases in point – Adelaide/Perth, Denmark, Argentina, Colombia, Romania, Mexico have been down for days. I don’t think I have EVER seen a customer on Argentina P2P server – can NEVER connect to it, nor Costa Rica (yes, VPNArea shows number of users on each server). In fact, I avoid all South American servers as they are either always offline or never connect (or regularly disconnect).

    (2) Emails to staff rarely get answered in relation to (1) above. Checking for last 3 days, I see still no users on Argentina and still cannot connect…same issue last 3 months and not fixed nor explained in forums.

    (3) Forum is a disgrace…rarely any action and weird order of posts.

    I’ll not be renewing at year end – will try another one (changed every year for last 5 years!).

    Bottom line..no perfect VPN out here.

    The problem is is they load their software with every feature possible but instead should focus on making the few simple basics work 100% – good speed, no logs, no disconnects, no leaks, small # of servers that have bandwidth

    1. Dear Jitterbug,

      Thank you for your 7/10 score of VPNArea. I would like to address some of the issues you’ve raised and to tell you about some exciting changes:
      1) Currently we’ve decided to permanently replaced Perth with Brisbane and we’ve deployed a Dedicated server there which is here to stay, online and working.
      While both Argentina and CostaRica were offline for a period of time, that was only to rebuild and replace them with more reliable and faster servers. If you give it another try I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the speed increase and the stability and reliability of the servers.

      We have servers in 69 countries, it is nearly inevitable not to have some which are offline at some point. I can confirm that work on all of our infra structure in South/Central America is complete and Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Mexico ) use the most reputable server providers and are all online and working. To remedy a frequent disconnection I advise you try changing the “Protocol:” of the connection to TCP, if speed performance isn’t decreased by that action you should be able to enjoy a steady connection.

      2) If you could post a ticket number where your inquiries about the servers were ignored I’ll make sure to scrutinise our support team’s ways. Customer satisfaction is paramount and there will be strict action taken upon confirmation of your ticket.

      3) It is on our agenda to replace the forum with a different platform where order of posts is easier to navigate and communication is more interactive. We do reply to all requests and posts on the forum.

      About our software, in the next 30 days there will be a significant re-design of our Windows and Mac apps that will restructure the current features and add new ones. The new design will be more user friendly while the settings panels will allow the advanced users deeper level of control. New VPN protocol, obfuscation and ad-blocking are some of the notable new features that will be introduced.

      If your membership has expired by then, please do mention this comment in your review and we’ll give you a free account for a month to try out the new changes.

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