- Speed: The client was able to provide more than eighty percent of the original speed on a lot of the servers, which by any standards is a top-notch performance.
- Jurisdiction: The product is based in Hong Kong which is not among the 14-Eyes countries, and the provider gets all the favorable laws in place to safeguard the user’s privacy.
- Servers: There are more that 114 server locations in the network. With Le VPN, you get access to servers in countries located across six continents and hence improved anonymity on the network.
- Multiple Protocols: The user gets to choose from OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP protocols. The client also provides an automatic protocol selection feature which selects the most suitable protocol according to the need of the user
- No IPv6: The client does not support IPv6, and there is an increased risk of IP leak on the client in the absence of IPv6 leak protection.
- No Dedicated Servers: There are no dedicated servers for streaming or P2P file sharing on the network. With so many servers available, the user may have to search a bit too long for the optimum server suitable for his/her needs.
- Customer Support: Even though they boast of a 24/7 customer support service, the quality of support is very inconsistent and can sometimes be more annoying than helpful.
Let us burst your bubble of French excitement first. This product is from a company called VTNV solutions Pvt. Ltd. based in Hong Kong.
Yes, the product is not French, and we were equally surprised as you are on this discovery.
But all the wise folks will realize that this is indeed excellent news. Unlike France, Hong Kong is not among the 9-Eyes countries or even the 14-Eyes countries as a matter of fact. It was a British territory in the colonial times, but now it is autonomous.
Let us not ponder over the reason why they made a VPN product appear French when it is not, as it seems to do more bad than good to the reputation of the product.
Now that the jurisdiction is no more a thing to worry let us talk about the product itself. Le VPN claims to be the number one VPN in Europe, and the product will have to undergo some rigorous analysis and testing for our validation.
The packaging of the product has been done neatly, and it appears to have all the necessary features and services. But we don’t go by the packaging. In this review, we will peel off every layer to find out what has the product has got in store for the users.
The client provides the services of a Smart DNS along with the security of the VPN tunnel.
They claim that the client can bypass the geo restrictions imposed by the streaming websites, without even connecting to the server located in the parent country of the streaming website.
Since the user can connect to a closely located server, he/she gets higher internet speeds and can enjoy high quality streams.
The prospect sounds functional and exciting, but in our case, it did not work even a single time.
We turned on HybridVPN and connected to a closely located server rather than the one in the parent country. The client was not successful in bypassing the geo-restriction even a single time.
Then we connected to a server in the parent country and were quickly able to circumvent the geo restrictions. Interestingly, we were able to do that same with the HybridVPN option turned off.
Bypassing the geo restriction on Netflix, with or without the HybridVPN seemed like an impossible task for the client.
After all this testing, and trying a lot of streaming websites, we can say that HybridVPN is redundant for most of the websites, and the user must feel lucky if he/she can bypass geo restrictions using it.
One of the ways by which a VPN protects the identity of the users is by redirecting their internet traffic through the servers in the network. This redirection masks the actual IP address of the user, and the third parties are unable to track the traffic back to the user.
These servers not only provide anonymity to the users but also helps them in bypassing various geo-restrictions imposed by the websites and governments.
More the number of servers in a network more will be the options for the user and less will be the traffic on each server. If the server locations are scattered across the globe, then it gives the user even more accessibility.
With 114 server locations across six continents, Le VPN gives the user a lot of options as well as increased accessibility. The user should feel confident of bypassing a lot of the geo-restrictions through the network.
Whenever there is a big server list, we prefer server sorting. The client does provide server sorting, but not in the way we wanted.
The server locations can be filtered under the country and the region tag. This kind of sorting does help the user to find servers in a way, but things can be a lot better.
The provider could have listed a few servers under the streaming and P2P file sharing column. The absence of dedicated servers means the user can choose from any of the servers to stream content or do P2P file sharing. But that does not necessarily mean that it will work each time.
With the dedicated servers, there are more chances of seamless streaming and P2P file sharing as these servers are exclusively meant for these activities. The user also does not need to go through the annoying process of trying every server until he/she finds the one suitable for the use.
The need for dedicated streaming servers is felt even more because the client has got SmartDNS under the HybridVPN protocol.
As discussed earlier, Le VPN is not French but from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is one of the business hubs in the Asian continent, and one of the reasons it is has been able to attract so many businesses and individuals, are the fair rules and regulations.
The jurisdiction in Hong Kong allows the company to have a policy with minimum personal data collection clauses.
The client does not monitor the user activity inside the VPN tunnel, just like almost all the VPN providers. However, they do collect some data which many of the 100% no-logs VPN services don’t collect.
The collected data includes times stamps, that is, the session duration and the time of connection or disconnection to the network. They also store the IP address of the user and the server to which he/she is connected as well. Data volume transmitted during the connection is also recorded.
Le VPN cannot be called a 100% no-logs VPN service in any way. The do collect some personal data even when they have the option not to do so.
Le VPN needs to make some changes in the data collection policy and at least give users the option to decide if they want this data to be collected or not. Many VPN services have been doing this, and it will also make the service look more transparent to the users.
Apart from this data, records of the monetary transactions and customer data are maintained which require name, location, email address, information related to payment method, etc. The user can have a look at the data logging policy on the official website, and see if there is logging of some information with which the user is not comfortable.
Connection Time Analysis
|Trial No.||Time to establish a connection (seconds)|
|Average Time in Seconds||9.884|
Some folks out there, who are living hippy lives and have no care of the world, don’t care at all about the connection time. But we know that you are not that kind.
Everything that matters to you matters to us. And we know that you care about the connection time analysis. Even if you don’t know that you care, we know you care about it. So, here are the stats.
An average connection time of 9.88 seconds can be improved upon a lot, especially if the client has such a minimalistic design.
At times, the client tries other protocols if the server takes long to establish a connection. This switching of protocol happens when the automatic protocol selection option is turned on. We found this feature very useful in case of slow internet speeds.
Speed is one of the governing factors when a person decides to go for a particular VPN service. The VPN providers who fail to realize the importance of speed, never find success in the VPN world.
The classification of the servers in Le VPN was only by the country and the region. There was no sorting of servers for specific purposes such as streaming and P2P file sharing. The auto-connect or the smart connect feature was also missing.
For the speed test, we connected to the physically closest server from our location and then some of the popular locations.
All through the speed testing, Le VPN exceeded our expectations, and it was for the first time that the product impressed us.
The fastest cum closest server showed around 88% speed retention. We rate the VPN service fast if it can give out at least 80% of the original speed. So, there was no doubt in our minds that this is among the fastest VPN services available.
Some of the other server locations we connected to were the US, the UK, and France. We continuously got speeds above 75% of the original speed. To be more specific, the speeds for the US, UK, and France were 75%, 78% and 82% of the initial speed.
Le VPN made up for the absence of server sorting and dedicated servers with such high speeds. But we would still love to see some dedicated servers in the list and a functional and useful server sorting.
The addition of smart-connect server will also serve the users as well as the VPN provider in the long run.
After such high speeds, all we wanted to see was some strong security measures, and this VPN service would have made up for an excellent Christmas gift.
Things started positively with the use of AES 256-bit encryption in the tunnel.
Then there were some added good vibes of the multiple protocols available on the network which include OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP.
Even though OpenVPN protocol is secure and fast enough, availability of more options is never a bad thing. OpenVPN was available with TCP 80, TCP 443 and UDP 53 ports.
For the adrenaline junkies who enjoy fast speeds at the expense of some safety, there is PPTP available. And then there is L2TP in the bag as well in case of emergencies and server issues.
But things took a turn for the worse after we encountered the HybridVPN protocol. This protocol was supposed to work as a Smart DNS service, but you can have a look at its obituary in the top section where we discussed it in detail.
We were hoping that this was just a minor setback and went in to look for more security features in the service. We searched everywhere and found none.
There was something similar to an Internet kill-switch in the form of ‘Block Internet connection while reconnecting’, and we expect it to stop the internet traffic in case the VPN connection drops.
The client does not support IPv6, so we suspect IPv6 leaks on the client. After no IPv6 leak protection, and the failure of HybridVPN, we are not sure if the DNS is secure on the client or not. They use third party DNS servers and don’t have one of their own.
So, after recording some stunning-speeds, we also got some sub-standard-security by our measures.
We think if Le VPN manages to work out these security issues, it will be easier for us to recommend this service to others.
User Interface and Experience
The first impression that we got of the product after downloading it was not a very optimistic one and all the credit for it goes to the user interface. It is the first thing that the user encounters of the product after installing it.
The best user interfaces are not only the most functional and the informative ones, but they are also designed to make a good impression on the user.
However, we are now experienced enough to not make up our minds just by the looks of the product. So, let us discuss the user interface in detail.
The home screen is as basic as it can get. It displays the current IP address and the chosen protocol.
The user gets a connection button and the server location option. The client has got a lot of server locations, and they classify the servers under the country, region and favorites tag. We have already discussed how a better server sorting could have made the product better in the ‘Servers’ section.
In the options menu, the option to choose the server is again under the ‘Location picker’ tab.
Then comes the ‘Options’ tab, which opens up a dialog box on clicking. It is further divided into three sections- General, Protocols, and Logs.
In the General tab, the user can choose the client customization options, such as if he/she wants the client to launch on start-up, have automatic protocol selection, enable/disable the internet kill-switch, etc.
There is also some information about the user account which shows the expiration date as well.
Next is the Protocols tab which displays all the available protocols with ports and the HybridVPN DNS as well.
At last is the Logs tab, and it shows the usage logs. The only problem with it is that we don’t think that majority of the users will be able to understand it correctly, and hence it seems redundant to us.
Other than this, rest of the items redirect the user to the official website for the particular chosen task.
The user interface is fundamental, and they need to add a lot of flare to it which will require the addition of more features as well as options in the client. One can also say that the user interface will become more useful and functional only if they include more features in the client.
Platforms and Devices
Unlike the majority of the VPN providers, Le VPN does not provide five simultaneous connections for one account. Instead, the user can have only two simultaneous connections from one account.
The client is available on all the major platforms which are Windows, MacOS, Android, Linux, Chromebook, and routers.
They don’t provide extensions for the web browsers. The methods to use the VPN service on Smart TVs and gaming consoles can be found on the website.
The client supports DD-WRT routers, and there is a list of preferred routers for the service on the website. The platform support is satisfactory, but they can improve it with the provision of direct applications.
Only two simultaneous connections from one account might not suffice the needs of many users, and they need to increase the allowed number of concurrent connections.
The installations guides can be made simpler and easier to access.
The customer support is analogous to the final nail on the coffin for many of the VPN services.
The provider promises a 24/7 customer service on the official website. We did use the live chat, and we are not at all satisfied by it.
One thing that the provider needs to acknowledge is the fact that the presence of a chat icon on the website all the time won’t qualify them as a service with 24/7 chat support.
The chat icon was redundant most of the times, and the experience was similar to submitting a query ticket. There were times when we got instant replies as well, but the service is not reliable, and it can leave you in tricky situations at times.
The kind of responses we got was also mixed. Sometimes our questions were correctly answered in details, and then there were times when we were provided with irrelevant links.
Besides the chat support, the support page on the website needs some serious work. They need to provide more information about the service on the support page itself. Otherwise, there is a frequent need for the user to contact the not so consistent chat support service.
The FAQ section was filled with installation guides, but some of the genuine key issues were nowhere visible.
The customer support service can be improved from all sides to satisfy the customer needs.
Speed and security, the two major pillars for a VPN service, are poles apart for Le VPN.
The speed reflects that it is a great VPN product. But the security measures along with the lousy customer support and limited platform support, pull the product down in the depths of despair.
To add to the disappointment, we got HybridVPN which failed to serve the only purpose it is meant for. The provider was unable to give a 100% no-logs policy which would have encouraged a lot of the users to get the product.
Le VPN needs a lot of work to become ‘the VPN’ for the users. We hope they raise up their security standards to match up the speeds they are providing at the moment.