Encrypt.me (review) is like StackPath’s little VPN cousin, a huge enterprise network security.
It also used to be called Cloak VPN until recently, joining them in April 2016.
Today, the goal of SlackPath is to create a “scalable security platform” that includes everything from threat detection to prevention and collaboration.
So your VPN is just a small slice of a much bigger pie.
In this Encrypt.me review, we’ll take a look at whether it’s a top-of-the-line critical tool, or underfunded and neglected as a result of being the red-haired stepson of a much larger security arsenal.
|OVERALL RANK:||#56 out of 78 VPNs|
|USABILITY:||Simple and easy to use|
|LOG FILES:||Some Logging Policy|
|LOCATIONS:||15 countries, 43 servers|
|SUPPORT:||Unhelpful customer support|
|NETFLIX:||Unblocks Netflix USA|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||1536-bit and 2048-bit DH group encryption; strongSwan|
Encrypt.me provides a strong, leak-free connection that is easy to use and even works with Netflix.
Read on for a full summary.
Leak-Free Connection with Zero Malware
DNS leaks inadvertently send your true physical location, despite having a VPN setup.
Your VPN client claims to be attached to a server in New York City, but anyone from your ISP to the CIA can see where you’re really sitting.
For a very few, it is not a significant issue. with the exception of whistleblowers and critics in totalitarian regimes?
It can literally be the difference between life and life in prison (or worse).
These high stakes are why we’ve painstakingly executed each of the VPNs we’ve reviewed (78 and counting) through up to six different DNS leak tests.
Those included the following, and we’re proud to mention that Encrypt.me appeared leaking-free on each one:
- https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
- http://dnsleak.com/ (none found)
But we don’t stop there.
The other hidden danger to look for is potential viruses or malware buried deep in the installation files of a VPN.
Your download, run the program, and can unknowingly transfer all your data to someone else within the process.
67 VirusTotal.com scans were also skipped by the Encrypt.me download folders. However, there’s no need to be worried.
Two of Three Netflix Servers Worked
Netflix has been going after VPN users with replacement revenge since 2016.
Before that, it had been easy for ex-pats to share their favorite US shows while living abroad.
Not only do most VPN connections fail.
Most are also completely abandoning, throwing in the towel, and telling users not to even bother using their service for Netflix.
Unfortunately, this same lesson applies to other streaming services as well. So neither Amazon nor Hulu.
Netflix is a client of Encrypt.me, according to their website. But we have traveled this path once or twice (or seventy-four).
So we also put them to the test. We connect to a couple of different servers and review the streaming of new Netflix content on each one.
And you recognize what?
Netflix worked on two of the three Encrypt.me servers!
That is really specialized. It even puts them in the race against several of the best opposite VPNs for Netflix that we’ve reviewed.
Good Device Compatibility for Most Users
Encrypt.me uses the IPSec protocol on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices (minimum 1536-bit DH group encryption).
For your Mac and Android, they adhere to the OpenVPN industry norm (custom generated 2048-bit DH group encryption).
Windows devices run on an open-source protocol called strongSwan, which is an IPsec-based one that works with the IKEv1 and IKEv2 key exchange protocols.
The short answer? They are all solid.
Just stick with your default options, unless you have an old device or slow connection limitations.
But wait, there’s more!
Encrypt.me can work with all Amazon Kindle Fire devices (on its latest 5.0+ operating system).
For several users with basic requirements, this is a reasonable option. There’s also a kill switch to keep your links secure.
Users are also allowed unlimited simultaneous connections, which can be a huge advantage.
However, advanced users will not only like the following.
There are currently no native routers or Linux setups. And Tor is not supported either.
Instead, they are struggling to sell their Tor Browser Bundle product to Tor-interested consumers.
So tech experts might want to show up elsewhere.
Good Usability for Beginners
In keeping with its consumer-friendly approach, the Encrypt.me application is also easy to use.
Installation in Windows was easy and straightforward. Just click “Install” and you’re done.
Then the client started working pretty quickly, with no major delays or complaints.
Encrypt.me touts “ease of use” as a great advantage of its applications. and they weren’t kidding.
Try to screw this up:
When you connect for the first time, the application detects your WiFi connection and classifies it as untrusted.
Do not be alarmed.
Once you connect, the app is about to activate automatically every time you connect to an untrusted network. This feature is great for people who travel tons and can use three or four different new connections in a single day.
For those connections you trust (like your home WiFi network), it will add them to an inventory of trusted networks. this suggests that the application will not connect automatically when connected to a reliable network.
Changing the server is often done with two mouse clicks.
You can also change the default server you connect to and be wary of Ethernet and cellular networks if you want your connections to those networks to be automatically encrypted.
Technically, the Windows application remains in beta.
That’s the software code for “we think it’s pretty decent, but there might still be some problems.”
However, everything for us was super stable. No big drops or lags, which we normally see with other beta products.
Just one downside. It took a bit of time to connect to a server in the Netherlands for a few reasons. We tried others, like New York and Germany, that seemed to work faster.
Therefore, there could be a couple of problems within the Windows system for a moment.
Torrenting Allowed, But with Caveats
Encrypt.Me only has one thing in mind:
Block your connection on unsecured networks. And they are reportedly optimizing the entire experience around that.
Why is that relevant to torrents?
Since, though they allow BitTorrent traffic in theory, they severely restrict access to certain websites or usage cases. They would not, for example, allow access to any platform that promotes piracy.
And they state:
“Encrypt the results. If you want to download copyrighted content, me is not the best choice.”
So this one is on the fence. Yes, they allow it. But not because of the explanations that many might be trying to find.
Encrypt.Me delivered the products in several major categories.
But nobody is perfect.
They also dropped the ball for a few others.
Here’s a quick look.
Keeps “Personal Session Information” Logs for 16 Days
Let’s start and say it:
Encrypt.Me logs some data. Here are a couple of more important things:
- The number of bytes sent and received
- The length of your time connected
- The IP address from which you connect and therefore the (virtual) IP that we assign
- The source port of the outbound referral at the start and end times
- We keep this information for a maximum of sixteen (16) days, after which
- we delete it permanently.
The latter is particularly interesting. They ask is like your “personal session information”.
But this is not the VPN to download music illegally (or other nefarious activities).
They have your “personal session information” for up to a couple of weeks. and that they will not hesitate to use (or disclose) it.
This brings us to Con # 2.
Inside Five Eyes – USA Jurisdiction
Encrypt.me is owned and operated by StackPath LLC, which is based in Dallas, TX.
That means in addition to an amazing barbecue, Encrypt.me also houses the five-eye security loyalty.
But unlike the previous one, the latter is bad news.
This is why.
Your VPN jurisdiction has a great deal to do with your privacy.
Select one during a neutral location and you will be fine. But choose a side within the expanded Eyes to deal and you risk exposing yourself to half the world’s countries.
If the VPN’s government believes something is malicious, they will and will seek data from the customer. As a result, they’re stuck between a rock and a hard spot.
They will almost always deliver their user details at the top of the day. They don’t have many other options.
When that happens, it might be fine if they don’t record any of your data. However, during this case, Encrypt.me presents a few weeks in your hands.
This means when the US government calls, they will provide it right away. and every other member of the Eyes alliance now has access to equivalent information in their database.
Let’s relate this to the main point above now.
“By using a manual method to reverse an abuse investigation.”
You can probably figure out the rest.
Use Encrypt.me to encrypt the data while using public WiFi. However, do not use it for love or money, as this might put you in a bad position.
Average Connection Speeds
Encrypt.me published a combined speed test of 112.74 Mbps on two servers, placing them in 27th place.
That is great from any point of view. But it is definitely average.
This is how we get to the number.
First, we connect to a server within the EU and collect the download and upload numbers.
This is how it went:
EU Server Test:
- Ping: 35ms
- Download: 58.97 Mbps (39% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
- Upload: 38.06 Mbps (28% slower than 53 Mbps benchmark)
We then connect to another server in another part of the world to urge a good read.
Generally speaking, you will always see better performance on closer servers.
That means connecting to the biggest city in your backyard will give you an honest read. While one across the pond will not.
We’ve connected to an Encrypt.me registry in the United States to remove any possible prejudice.
U.S. Server Test:
- Ping: 121ms
- Download: 54.27 Mbps (44% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
- Upload: 14.81 Mbps (72% slower than 53 Mbps benchmark)
As you will see, it is not that good.
Put the 2 download speeds together and compare your averages with those of others.
Limited Number of Available Country Servers
Encrypt.me has 46 server locations in 24 countries.
The total number of servers is not bad, but the country number is low.
This is why.
Do you remember the last part about your physical location?
This is where it comes in.
If a VPN does not provide any servers on the edge of you, there is no other option than to look in other neighboring countries.
In a perfect world, you would avoid that. There is an honest chance that your browsing speed will slow down just because of that.
The other downside is that you simply risk trying to connect to other overcrowded servers. you are most likely not alone. There are probably other people around you in the same situation.
Overcrowded server resources are spread too thin. And now you have another potential speed problem.
VPN server numbers are not always what they seem. Some companies blatantly lie around you.
But generally speaking, more is better.
Unhelpful Customer Support
Encrypt.me has a knowledge base where you will find your own DIY answers. a bit like any other VPN.
But also a bit like anyone else, we overlook it as quickly as humanly possible.
Instead, we wanted to speak to a real company employee.
We didn’t see any live chat options. We also didn’t see a political ticket submission process.
This is where the panic started.
Fortunately, there is a “Contact Us” link in the upper right corner of the more menu. But it only gives you a random email address.
Then why not. We tested it.
It turns out that this email is funneled to ZenDesk. an honest sign.
And just a couple of hours later, Rob followed. Slow, but not on top of the planet.
Except for a couple of things:
- Instead of answering my question, it just threw me an FAQ link. BIG complaint.
- And once you follow that link, there are 21 different questions and answers. Yes, I counted them.
And that? Are customers supposed to click on each of them and search for the solution now?
Thanks for nothing. Literally.
Encrypt.me VPN Cost, Plans & Payment Methods
Encrypt.me keeps things nice and simple with just two plans for people to think about.
Both plans offer exact equivalent access and features. the only difference is that you pay for a month ($ 9.99) or a year ($ 99.99).
Unsurprisingly, you get a nice little discount on the yearly plan (saving around ~ $ 20 per year).
However, there are also a couple of other plans for special circumstances.
First, they provide a Mini Plan for less than $ 2.99 / month. The problem is, you only get 5GB of knowledge on a monthly basis. It will not last long. But it’s an ideal way to dip a finger into the waters of VPN for the first time.
They also offer $ 3.99 one-time weekly passes. These are available if you are on vacation and need to protect yourself from insecure connections.
Otherwise, there are also family and team plans. These range from $ 12.99 / month or $ 149.99 / year for five relationships, or $ 15.98 / month for 2 team members.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners, and JCB credit and debit cards are accepted. You’ll also be able to pay for in-app purchases.
But that’s it, unfortunately. they do not accept prepaid cards or cash equivalents. They also won’t accept PayPal or Bitcoin (and have no future plans to try).
If you’d like to choose a test drive before you buy, Encrypt.me offers a 14-day free trial. No card required.
Any VPN words are a riot to read.
They use all kinds of legality to confuse you or hopefully find a way out to back out once you invite a refund.
Is Encrypt.me on the opposite side?
“If there is some reason you are dissatisfied with Encrypt.me, please contact us and let us know.”
Wow! That’s all?
You can get a full refund within 30 days of payment on their website.
If you bought the service through an app store, like iTunes for example, you will have to submit to them (iTunes) for refund, because they handle all payment transactions.
Do We Recommend Encrypt.me VPN?
No, we don’t.
Any of Encrypt.me’s features might be beneficial to newcomers. Their one-of-a-kind pricing plans, as well as weekly ones, are almost certain to make them a safe bet.
But for other serious users, don’t bother.
This is why.
Most legitimate VPNs will not leak, provide easy-to-use apps on most devices, and will work on Netflix as well. this is often what is at stake.
Otherwise, Encrypt.me speeds were only average. They definitely record data and are located within Five Eyes. Customer service was non-existent. And they are not even located in twenty-four countries.
All this and their prices are also high.
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