VPNSecure Review

Pros

  • Lots of Servers: VPNSecure has servers in more than 47 countries. The server network is huge, but they have not sorted the servers or provided any dedicated servers to the users which makes it very tough to navigate through the server list.
  • No Logging: The service provider boasts of a no-logging policy. They claim that they don’t log the IP address of the user or the timestamps.
  • Strong Encryption: The service allows the user to choose the kind of encryption he/she wants on the client. The options include AES-256-bit encryption which is military grade encryption, and virtually impossible to penetrate.
  • IP Leak Protection: The client has the option to block IPv6 requests. It prevents a mismatch in the IP and therefore a leak as well.
  • Internet Kill Switch: There is an internet kill switch on the client. A kill switch automatically stops the internet traffic if the VPN connection drops. This saves the user’s data from reaching the internet without the VPN cover.
  • Customer Support: VPNSecure avails live chat support. The live chat works efficiently and solves the issues quickly.

Cons

  • 5-Eyes Jurisdiction: VPNSecure falls in the Australian jurisdiction. Australia is one of the 5-Eyes countries, and this obstructs the attempt to maintain the privacy of the user on the service.
  • Single Protocol: There is only one protocol available for users on the service, that is, OpenVPN. Even though it is a fast and secure protocol, more options always empower the user.
  • Poor Speed: We got very slow speeds on the VPNSecure. All the features and the vast server network don’t mean much if there is no high-speed internet on the service.

Overview

VPN Client Before and After Login

VPNSecure is one of the very few Australia-based VPN services. It operates out of Brisbane.

Australia is one of the 14-Eyes countries, and that is the first thing which goes against this VPN service.

5-Eyes is a group of countries which have got strong surveillance systems in place, and these countries share the intelligence data amongst them.

Australia has got mandatory data retention laws which mandate logging of user’s online activities and its storage for 2 years. However, it mandates the telecommunications services to maintain such logs.

VPNSecure has made some very tall claims on the website. But there is nothing new in service providers making bold claims about their product.

This review is all about testing those claims. We will do all the research and testing so that it is easy for you to decide if this product suits your needs.

They claim to have a no logs policy which will be interesting to go through. They also brag of an enormous server network. We will see if they have efficiently used this server network or not.

Speed and security will also undergo some strict monitoring for sure. The ‘Smarter DNS’ on VPNSecure seems like an interesting element as well.

By the end of this review, you will know if it is a safe bet to invest in VPNSecure.

Servers

VPN services are made up of the framework made up by the servers. Servers act as the masked locations of the user and help keep the user anonymous on the internet.

A large number of server locations on the network allow the user to bypass a lot more geo restrictions and thus give him/her more freedom on the internet.

A vast server network makes sure that most of the users have a server located in their vicinity, which facilitates better service.

The chances of internet traffic bottleneck on a server reduce a lot if there are plenty of servers in the network.

It is essential for a VPN service to have a vast and dense server network if it wants to become one of the most preferred options of users.

With more than 75 server locations across more than 47 countries, VPNSecure has got an impressive server network. It gives them a solid foundation to build up an excellent VPN service.

They have got ample servers in most parts of the world, and the majority of the users across the globe will find a VPNSecure server in their vicinity.

Similar to the majority of the VPN services, VPNSecure has also got a lot of servers on the European continent. However, they have taken due care of users in the Middle East and the African continent, which is not the case with most of the VPN services.

They have got a big server list, but they missed the trick when it comes to presenting the servers in an organized manner. They paid no attention to server sorting.

They have not arranged the servers according to regions or continents. This makes users go through the long list of servers if they don’t know what is it that they are looking for.

The service provider did not bother to provide any dedicated servers for activities such as streaming, gaming or P2P file sharing.

Dedicated servers for such activities make it easy for the user to navigate through the server options and find the server location most suited to his/her needs.

Dedicated servers are advantageous as they will prove to be optimum for the needs of the user, and this gives a big boost to customer satisfaction.

However, the thing that we missed the most on the server list is the automatic server selection option.

There might be many users who may be oblivious to the fact there is an optimum server location for them while there will be many others, who know all about the optimum server location but find it annoying to look for it in the long server list.

The automatic server selection option serves both these categories of users and all the other categories as well. It is apparent that an automatic server selection becomes a necessity on such a long list of servers.

The service provider needs to make it easy for the user to find the optimal server location.

Privacy Policy

It has not been long when the Australian government implied the mandatory data retention laws. The law mandated the telecommunication services and ISPs to store the metadata of users for a period of two years.

It is at this time when all the VPN services noticed a significant increase in the number of Australian users on their service. Majority of the citizens of the country who realized that their privacy is at risk turned towards VPN services.

This growth in the number of VPN users in a country should be enough to signify the importance of privacy in this day and age.

VPNSecure is based in Australia. Australia is one of the 5-Eyes countries.

The 5-Eyes countries have robust surveillance systems in place to monitor the online activities of the people on the internet. These countries also share all the intelligence data with each other which makes the surveillance system even more penetrative.

Additionally, we just highlighted what kind of a job is the Australian government doing when it comes to preserving the privacy of its citizens.

All these factors together don’t make Australia an ideal location for a VPN service.

Coming to the measures taken by the service provider to safe keep the privacy of the users, they made some remarkable claims.

‘Zero logging’ is one of the highlights on the website of VPNSecure. We scanned the site and got into its deeper sections.

We searched for the privacy policy on the website for long but found nothing. The service provider has not listed a privacy policy separately on the website.

Then we got into the ‘Terms of Service’ page of the website. It did not resemble a document prepared for legal purposes in any way.

In this section, they have mentioned that they log none of the user’s data. This data includes the IP address, timestamps, bandwidth usage, DNS requests, etc.

However, there is one interesting anomaly that we came across after going through this statement. They allow a free trial for only up to 2GB. We are curious about how they monitor the data usage of the user if they don’t keep a log of any of the user’s activities.

If they do the logging of data for the trial runs, then they need to mention it on the website or in the privacy statement.

This funny equation made things a little foggy in the privacy department of this review.

They do collect the username, password and email address of the user. They have also mentioned that the user can provide a temporary email address to use the service. We do commend the effort of the service provider to allow the subscribers to use a temporary email address.

There are many factors opposing each other in the privacy section of this service.

Things that go the service provider’s way are that there is an explicit mention of no logging of user’s data on this service and it allows the use of throwaway or temporary emails.

The things which seem to be working against the service are that the jurisdiction falls in a 5-Eyes country, and the fact that they can monitor data usage of trial runs questions the whole no-logging policy on the service.

Connection Time Analysis

Trial No.Time to establish a connection (seconds)
Avg. Time In Seconds9.983
110.99
210.24
310.5
410.75
511.56
610
710.14
88
97.79
109.86

Connection time gives an idea about the swiftness of the client, and therefore, an important parameter when it comes to judging performance of the client.

VPNSecure took close to 10 seconds on an average to establish a connection with the network. The client is not very fast when it comes to the connection time, but it is not on the slower side as well.

We believe that most of the users will be okay with allowing ten seconds to the client before they get the VPN protection.

However, VPNSecure has a lot of room for improvement. Ideally, they should try to reduce the current connection time to half.

We have come across VPN clients which take around 3 seconds to establish a secure connection. The bar has been set high by such VPN products, and other services should try to reach this mark.

Speed Test

Speed Test Analysis for Different Server Options

VPN services need to maintain a delicate balance between speed and security. It is more like walking on a tight rope and using speed and security as counter-weights on either side.

Those who get this delicate balance right, are the ones who don’t fall off and then go on to become the most preferred services of users.

We used the trial version of VPNSecure, and it offers only the US server as a connection option to the user.

Trial versions are for the customers to asses the performance of the service, but we don’t think that the trial version offered by VPNSecure will be of much help to the users who want gauge the product.

Instead of limiting the server options, the client should have capped the data usage. Removing the servers from the client’s trial version does not seem like a smart move at all.

We did the speed test for all three available encryption options, and all three of them were tested for the same server location.

The results we got are not very exciting at all.

We recorded 23.9%, 5.74%, and 2.23% of the original speed for DES-CBC, AES 128-bit, and AES 256-bit respectively.

The decrement in speed is in the same order that we expected, that is, fastest for DES-CBC and slowest for AES 256-bit encryption.

However, the percentages lost from the original speed make the whole image quite bleak.

Even if we consider the fact that it is a free server, and that the other servers on the network may give better speeds, we don’t think that the change will be drastic enough to put this product into the category of fast VPN services.

Users find it very difficult to bargain with the speed on the network, and therefore, VPNSecure needs to come with better speeds on the network.

Security

The rise in the frequency and lethality of cyber attacks has generated a need for strong security measures across all the online services. VPN services also fall under these online services.

VPN services already employ strong security measures anyway but beefing up the security is not a bad thing ever, only if it is not affecting the speed on the service significantly.

Most of the VPN service first encrypt the user’s data and then route it through secure protocols to keep the data safe.

VPN secure allows the user to choose from three available encryptions on the service- DES-SBS, AES 128-bit, and AES 256-bit.

AES 256-bit is military-grade encryption and is the best encryption available on any VPN service. The user can rest assured that his/her data is virtually impenetrable when under this encryption.

However, the complex encryption and decryption process used requires some significant processing power of the device and may result in slower and clunky services.

For this reason, we would recommend the users to go with AES 128-bit encryption, which is not as strong as AES 256-bit, but strong enough to keep the user’s data safe.

It takes away less computing abilities of the device, and you get the best blend of speed and security.

VPNSecure has done a great job in the encryption department by providing so many options to the user, but they have got only one protocol for on the client.

They use the OpenVPN protocol to route the user’s internet traffic. OpenVPN is the most preferred protocol of users as well as of service providers.

OpenVPN provides that critical balance between safety and speed. However, there maybe be some situations when the user would prefer a bit more speed for a bit less of security.

This is when other protocols can come in handy. The service provider should provide a few more protocol options to the users.

Cybercriminals are coming up with new ways to compromise the user’s data every day. Therefore, VPN services also need to provide enhances security features on the service.

The option to disable IPv6 is present on the client. It allows the user to prevent an IP mismatch to happen, and thus prevents any IP leak while the user is on the network.

The service also maintains private DNS servers. There is no involvement of a third party when handling DNS requests, and this strengthens the security on the service.

There is a kill-switch on the client as well. A kill switch automatically stops the internet traffic if the VPN connection drops. This makes sure that none of the user’s data reaches the internet without the safety of the VPN.

VPNSecure has got all the bases covered when it comes to security on the service. However, the inclusion of more protocol options will sweeten the deal even more.

User Interface and Experience

Connection Settings

The user interface of the client has a lot more influence on the appeal of the product then what people may think it has got. An intuitive and neat user interface makes the user ignore a few anomalies on the service if there are any.

Before discussing the user interface on the client, we would like to tell you about a minor glitch that we came across while using the client.

When connected and disconnected several times from the network, the client stopped working. It refused to cooperate even after we closed the application and started it several times.

Finally, it started working again when we restarted the system. The same issue bugged us several times during the testing of the product.

It is not a major concern, but it certainly hampers the productivity of the user. We hope that the service provider comes up with a fix to this problem soon.

The user interface on the client has got a simple design. The home screen serves the user with a long list of servers. The user needs to scroll through the server options to find the optimal one for him/her and then connect to it.

We already discussed that there are no dedicated servers on the network, and the absence of server sorting also affects the user experience.

They have not provided an auto-connect option, and this makes the whole process of connecting to the optimal server long and annoying. They have not even given the option to mark the server locations as favorites.

There is a ‘Recent’ server list which will be helpful for those users who keep connecting to the same server again and again. Rest of the users need to go the long way.

The options icon shows a list of few items. It includes the ‘Settings’ and ‘Support’ options.

General Settings Options

The ‘Settings’ window is divided into three sections with a few options in each of these sections. The user can change encryption, enable leak-proofing, enable the kill switch, and make a few more customization adjustments on this window.

The ‘Support’ window will allow the user to submit a query ticket. However, we find live chat a much faster and more comfortable option on the service to resolve issues.

The service provider can make a lot of changes in the user interface to give the user a better experience on the client. The server list seems like the one which needs immediate attention and making it more functional will benefit both the service provider and the user.

Platforms and Devices

They do not support a lot of platforms for the service, but since the service can be used on a router, the user can protect most of his/her devices which connect to the internet.

The user can access the VPN using five devices simultaneously from one user account if all the devices connect to different server locations.

The user can directly use the service on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux and routers. They provide a browser extension for Chrome browser as well.

It is easy to download the clients for the platforms from the website, and the user can start using the service in no time. The service supports the routers which have DD-WRT or Tomato firmware.

The service provider should include a few more platforms on the service such as gaming consoles and Smart TVs. However, customers can make use of routers to have VPN cover on their other devices until they get direct support for the devices.

Customer Support

Customer support is the user’s go-to option whenever he/she comes across any trouble while using the service.

Generally, the user is already frustrated or annoyed before reaching out to customer support, and if the support proves to be inefficient, it adds to the annoyance. Sometimes the agitation is enough to make the user consider switching the service provider.

On the other hand, if the customer support satisfactorily resolves the issue, it makes the user more loyal to the service. Customer loyalty pays high dividends in the long run.

VPNSecure does not promise 24/7 live chat support. However, we found the chat support active most of the times when we visited the website.

We reached out to the live chat support to get a few answers about the service. The chat support representative responded quickly every time and was competent enough to clarify most of our doubts about the service.

The conduct was also very professional, and there is nothing much that one can ask from live chat support. But, what about the times when the chat support is not available.

The support page on the website addresses a few issues that the user may come across while using the service. However, there was a lot more that could have been discussed on that web page.

The service provider needs to make the support page a lot more inclusive and provide information about the product.

Users can also take the help of query tickets, but the fact that it involves a lot of waiting, does not makes it very appealing.

If the user finds the live chat support active, then he/she can expect excellent customer support. However, the avenues other than live chat support don’t offer much to the user.

Conclusion

It was a roller coaster ride to review this service. The service excelled in a lot of the sections and disappointed us in a few sections.

The Australian jurisdiction is the first thing that goes against the service, as a 5-Eyes jurisdiction can never be a good thing for a VPN service and its customers.

The lack of attention to details in the privacy section was again something which made us cringe. And to top it all over was the speed we got on the service. Even though we used the trial version, the final speed was pathetic.

But, there are a lot of moments when VPNSecure shined bright as well. The big server network allows the user to bypass a lot of the geo restrictions.

Multiple encryptions which include the strongest one available, bundled with the most popular protocol makes the service extraordinarily versatile and secure.

They made sure that the VPN cover is impenetrable by providing additional security features such as kill switch and IP leak proofing. The customer support seemed promising as well.

The primary issue on the service is the output speed. It is satisfactory for browsing purposes but redundant for a lot of other online activities such as gaming and streaming.

We hope that the service provider addresses the slow speed on the network so that we can suggest the users to go with VPNSecure.

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