Review

VPNArea Review – 2017 Update


VPNArea is a Bulgaria-based provider hosted in Switzerland that’s tough on security while managing to stay user-friendly. In addition to its great privacy measures, it boasts some great features, good customer service, and a 7-day money back guarantee. Find out more by clicking the button below or scroll down to read our in-depth VPNArea review!
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Review of: VPNArea
VPN by :
VPNArea

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On September 15, 2016
Last modified:December 20, 2016

Summary:

Thinking about signing up for VPNArea? Read this expert VPNArea review to find out all about the provider's features, security, speed, and more!

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.

Conclusion

  • ProsPROS
  • No logs policy
  • Great security features
  • Optional dedicated IP add-on
  • ConsCONS
  • No 24/7 customer service

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, L2TP, 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 between the vastly more secure OpenVPN and L2TP.

Personally, OpenVPN would be our pick, as VPNArea encrypts the open source protocol using the tough-as-nails 256-bit AES algorithm. L2TP is also secure (and certainly more secure than PPTP!), as well as known for being faster than OpenVPN, so it may be the better option for those who care more about their speed than privacy.

To learn more about the different kinds of protocols, as well as the pros and cons of each, you can read our in-depth comparative guide.

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.

VPNArea Review 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

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 Canadian writer currently living in Hungary. Avid lover of travel, technology, politics, fashion, and French music.

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24 responses to “VPNArea Review – 2017 Update

    Always found VPNArea to be 100% reliable and easy to use (even for a numbskull like me!

  1. high quality VPN! Nétflix Uk and USA works, fast torrent servers even in US and Canada; support is not useless like PureVPN, they actually know stuff and great software for win and android. Keep up the good work Vpnarea, my first year is soon over i’ll be renewing!!!

  2. I posted a very relevant comment here regarding the so-called “security” of VPNs based in Switzerland. This article is false and misleading. Switzerland is not at all safe, and Bulgaria has nothing to do with the data of the company, it is only the “legal” location for litigation, taxes, etc.
    Why are you censoring comments that include important information that affects peoples’ privacy and security?
    FWIW, I took screenshots of my comments and can post them elsewhere (reddit) if you guys don’t want to publish relevant information that affects your readers, oh well.
    BTW, all of this is clearly written in the Terms of Agreement, but it doesn’t look like the author looked into that very carefully.

    1. Hi Chuck,

      We have not censored your comment. I have forwarded it to Katrina, and asked her to do some more research in order to formulate an appropriate response. As you observe, Switzerland has passed severe new surveillance laws. To the best of my knowledge, however, it is not yet clear how (or whether) these apply to VPNs.

      Hopefully Katrina will be able to uncover this information, but as VPNs are often something of a grey area, hard facts about how data retention laws apply to them can be difficult to find (precisely because their position has not been clarified by law). If in doubt, though, it is most certainly best to assume the worst.

    2. Hi Chuck,

      To repeat what Douglas said, we did not censor your comment, we were just doing additional research to see if we could find any more information on how Swiss data retention laws affect VPNs (if at all, given that they are a gray area, as Douglas already pointed out). I failed to find any concrete answers, but will update the article as more information comes to light. In the meantime, I have updated the article to flag the potential security issues you raised that come with VPNArea being hosted in Switzerland.

      1. FWIW, VPNArea’s FAQ states that,

        “Our hosting is based in Switzerland. Our company is registered in Bulgaria. Since we’re not an internet provider we do not fall under the data-retention laws in the country where the company is registered. Therefor we do not keep logs of your activity.”

        Katrina has added this info to the article.

        1. Thanks for looking into the matter Douglas and Katrina. I guess it is indeed a gray area, although Switzerland does not appear to be a safe country for privacy (at all). Does anybody speak Swiss Deutsch and want to start reading through the original laws/regulations? (rhetorical question, of course 🙂

    3. Hi @Chuck,

      Please note that we have 0-logging policy which means that NONE of your data or activity on our VPN servers will be logged and stored the servers we have in Switzerland.

      Only the web site, emails and authentication database are hosted in Switzerland, but note that WE DO NOT require Personal Details for signing up. Name and Location are clearly marked as optional to provide during signup, so even though you’re not a fan of Swiss privacy there isn’t much that we have on those servers in Switzerland so I don’t think there is a reason to worry about our users privacy.

      No logs. No personal details required for sign-up. Emails and web site data hosted in Switzerland. Bitcoin accepted. Legal jurisdiction Bulgaria. Pristine record of keeping users privacy since beginning of business in 2013… This amounts to a pretty good privacy setup to me and not “misleading” at all.

      1. Sounds good Dimitry. After doing some more research, I’m planning on giving you guys a try after ExpressVPN subscription runs out (ExpressVPN sucks).

  3. Hi Katrina, did you bother reading their Terms of Agreement before writing this review? They are based in Switzerland (physically) and are under Swiss data retention laws. This is not a good thing at all, as other writers on this website have already pointed out. Only “legally” are they a Bulgarian company, but that doesn’t matter for privacy, because all data is under Swiss law, (aka data retention laws). Please look into this. Advocating that Switzerland is somehow good for privacy is false and misleading to everyone reading this.
    YOUR QUOTE: “This makes for a killer combination, as Bulgaria does not apply the EU Data Retention Directive (DRD), and Switzerland is famed for its data protection laws.”

  4. I’ve tried many VPN services before. This is by far the best experience I have had so far. Their software works very well (I’ve used it on Windows and Android). Their servers are fast and located and many countries.
    The author of this article mentions ChromeOS support but I have yet to find any information on how to setup my Chromebook. To me this is the only CON!

    VPN Area – Poor Client support, “7 Day Money back” is a waste of time. They do not reply to your emails or requests. No option to cancel in members area.
    Now for service: Very poor members area, they use native openvpn app for ios. they do not support socks5 proxy, they do not support openelec vpn.

    1. You requested a refund on 2nd of December and by 5th of December your refund was completed. Therefor your statement is not true regarding our money back guarantee.

      All that is required to cancel with us is to send your username to refund@vpnarea.com and it’s explained in the Refund Policy to which you have access before you sign-up. We can confirm you’ve received your refund successfully.

      We have our own iOS App which works in conjunction with native OpenVPN Connect, that is how ALL VPN companies do it, in order to provide users with access to the best VPN protocol OpenVPN. Thanks to our special iOS VPNArea app It is very easy to configure out service in iOS it takes less than 3 minutes if you follow our guide.

      Due to limitations by Apple until few months ago it was not possible to create independent OpenVPN app that uses OpenVPN protocol. This recently changed but only on theory, it still remains to be seen if an actual OpenVPN app can be developed by any VPN company.

      We’re not a Proxy service, we’re a VPN service, that is why we don’t offer Socks5 proxy, there is also little to no demand for it by users, after all a socks5 proxy can be hazardous for user’s privacy.
      We don’t have openelec support but it’s on our agenda to provide it in the future, thank you for the feedback.

    I’ve been with VPNArea for about a year and a half now. Their service is really worth the pricing. They’ve upgraded servers and expanded since I’ve been with them. I am a South African user and can highly recommend them to any other SA user. FPB is going to hit hard soon due to ANC’s internet bill, getting the right provider now will save you from trouble and headaches down the road. The only negatives I have is that their skype support use to be active a lot. A year later, and they are barely on. Not sure what changed internally.

    As for speed, I have 100/50 (94/49 in reality) connection (telkom backbone). When using the Cape Town server, it seems to be speed capped at 37/37. Where as using the Joburg 1Gb/s, I get 87/49 (The change is minimal) I’m hoping that Cape Town gets upgraded to 1Gb/s. They are bringing out another 1Gb/s Joburg server. There are quite a number of SA users already.

  5. John according to our records you were successfully refunded within 2 days of your request.
    We hope that your doubts were put to rest since you’ve received your refund.

    We want to also clarify to the people reading that the reason for you to request a refund according to you was that a member of your family bought the account without your permission and not because you did not like the service.

    1. Hi Dimitri

      I have been waiting for my refund for two weeks. Why do I have to resort to this posting messages like this to get my my money back. And why are your staff no longer responding on my email request for a refund. I was first told 48 hours and then another 48 hours and then it was on the way, its been two weeks

      1. Daniel, as per our email correspondence we have proof that we’ve refunded you over PayPal and we’ve showed you the screenshot from our PayPal account that your refund has been completed. You confirmed that your PayPal indicates that we’ve refunded you successfully.

        You also confirmed that your bank showed your refund from Paypal as “pending” in your bank account. Then suddenly you accused us that we “cancelled” your bank’s refund procedure, something which we’re physically unable to do. This is an issue you must take up with your bank and the payment method you’ve chosen (PayPal) and we’ve expressed our readiness to cooperate should PayPal need any information from us, but it is highly unlikely they will since we’ve refunded you and it shows clearly on PayPal that we did.

  6. This web side is a scam. I tried to cancel my order 5 min after I bought it. Service is not what you order. I sent 5 emails to the company to cancel my order. There is NO way to contact anyone except for email. They will not email you back. Beware of this company. SCAM.

    1. Hi John,

      I can only say that my experience differs. I have found VPNArea to have one of the friendliest and most helpful support teams I have dealt with.

    2. According to our records you’ve been refunded within 2 days of requesting the refund.

      Also your statement that the “service is not what you order” seem false since you emailed us to say: “My daughter picked up this account without my permission.” which indicates that you did not mean to order this service at all.

      We understand that you may have had less than pristine experience with other companies when requesting refunds and this may have prompted this abrupt and exaggerate comment about our services.

      We assume that you’ve received the refund successfully and your doubts are put to rest now since we have not heard from you regarding our follow up on the refund.

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