VPN.ht (review) Wicked Technology Limited, a Hong Kong company, launched VPN.ht in 2014.
When it was first released, this virtual private network was bundled with the Popcorn Time BitTorrent platform, but that partnership was discontinued a while ago.
VPN.ht claims that its software allows you to be completely anonymous on the web. These claims are illustrated with the help of a series of adorable whimsical alien guides.
But it takes pretty weird pets to greet you while wearing an eye bowler to form an honest VPN.
A winning combination of security, functionality, and customer service is required.
In this VPN.ht review, you’ll determine if that tiny guy was up to the task. Or if you are happier avoiding it altogether.
|USABILITY:||Easy to install and use|
|LOG FILES:||No Logging Policy|
|LOCATIONS:||24 countries, 128 servers|
|SUPPORT:||Quick and easy|
|NETFLIX:||Unblocks Netflix USA|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||AES 256-bit encryption; OpenVPN|
I was pleasantly surprised by the percentage of things I love about this VPN.
Their no-log policy is extremely thorough. They do not track any information that can identify you, nor do they track your usage data.
They are using several of the leading secure VPN protocols and encryption standards are known to man.
Also, all the servers we tested worked with Netflix. Everyone!
Let’s dig deeper to understand all the good things this show does.
Strict No-Logging Policy
It Flies within the very nature of the existence of a VPN to keep records of your information.
If you are using a VPN, you would like security and anonymity. But still, numerous VPNs record important personal information and track your activity while you use their service.
So while your ISP won’t know exactly what you’re doing, your VPN will.
VPN.ht is quick to state that it does not keep logs.
They say it several times.
There you have it. They do not log your activity and do not store any personally identifiable information (PII).
That’s amazing news and it gives me hope for this VPN provider.
Secure VPN Protocol and Encryption
The next step in evaluating a VPN is to determine what kind of protocols and encryption they are packing.
After all, this is usually another big piece of the security puzzle. It won’t matter that a VPN service doesn’t log your information if a hacker can break your weak encryption and gain access to your data.
Fortunately, that is not a problem with VPN.ht.
For a tunneling protocol, they are using OpenVPN, which is widely considered to be the simplest VPN protocol in the world.
what makes it so good?
It’s open-source, which means it’s maintained by the entire world of online security. That is the simplest option available from the brightest minds within the security industry.
They also use 256-bit AES encryption, which has proven to be impenetrable, even with the quality of recent supercomputers.
This is the encryption used by the US military, the NSA, the FBI, and big tech giants like Microsoft and Apple.
So you are in good company!
VPN.ht has some decent internet speeds.
It’s not the fastest we’ve seen, but definitely manageable enough to fit in the Pro column.
The fact is, each of the VPNs will slow down. It’s just a question of proportion. Some take a small percentage harmless, while others slow down your browsing session to a stop in its tracks.
We tested two of the VPN.ht servers.
One was located within the EU and therefore the other within the US We measured its loss compared to our benchmark speeds and were not displeased with the results.
The EU speed test was within the acceptable range, which was a good one to determine.
EU Speed Test
- Ping: 39 ms
- Download 88.93 Mbps (8.3% Slower Than 97 Mbps Benchmark)
- Upload: 43.84 Mbps (17.2% Slower Than 53 Mbps Benchmark)
The USA speed test is where things got a little risky.
US Speed Test
- Ping: 123 ms
- Download: 28.73 Mbps (70.3% Slower Than 97 Mbps Benchmark)
- Upload: 12.33 Mbps (76.7% Slower Than 53 Mbps Benchmark)
Those US speeds are pretty egregious, but it was the EU speed that saved this from being affected in the cons section.
Worked Perfectly with Netflix
Netflix and VPN.
A match made in heaven. Like cream and jelly.
At least that’s how it usually is.
Today, it is more like oil and water.
VPN users will not be prepared to access geo-blocked content on Netflix from anywhere in the world. it had been wonderful.
Then Netflix realized this was happening and put its digital foot on it.
They enacted a replacement policy that blocks access to their service for anyone using a VPN or proxy.
Fade to black. (As in the black screen that prevents you from transmitting anything).
That’s why once you find a VPN that works with Netflix, you grab it and don’t let it go!
VPN.nt is one of those services.
Often times once we find a VPN that works with Netflix, it will be because one or two of their servers worked.
But we tested five servers on the VPN.nt network and every FIVE of them passed with flying colors.
It is one of eight VPNs that we have found with this capability. That’s why you’ll also find it on our list of the simplest VPNs that work with Netflix.
Torrenting is Allowed (No Restrictions)
There are tons of VPNs that ban torrent services.
Or relegate its use to the backwaters of your server for a couple of slow shit.
Fortunately, this is not usually one of them.
As I mentioned before, VPN.ht was originally built to work on a BitTorrent platform, so torrents are clearly one of its key features.
The ability to torrent “at-will” are some of the things that all VPNs should embrace.
The torrent services at VPN.ht are so good that they made our list of the highest torrent VPNs.
Responsive Customer Service
I was proud of the reaction time and repair provided by the VPN.ht support staff.
When you click on the support tab on your website, you are first taken to a knowledge domain page that features a series of frequently asked questions.
If you can’t find what you’re trying to find there, click a link on the left side to open a support ticket.
It is very easy to get lost.
But once you click on it, you just select the department you’d like to speak to and fill out their handy little form.
I asked about a problem with their tunneling protocols and got a response within 12 hours.
It was a quick and easy answer. I would have liked a more detailed explanation, maybe some context, or a link to some additional information. But it made everything better, this was a nice supportive experience.
Seamless Browsing Experience
Our practical test went well.
The setup and online connection process seemed to take forever, but in reality, it had only been about two minutes each.
I downloaded your client program from most of the sites and I need to work.
Once the program was downloaded, I used to see its colorful dashboard, with our extraterrestrial friends from the website.
I selected a server within the UK and went online.
I clicked Connect after entering my username and password. It took me a few minutes, but I was soon online and completely anonymous.
The browsing experience was very straightforward. I used to get good speeds and Netflix worked perfectly.
I even sneaked into Rick and Morty for a few seconds before streaming more video content on YouTube.
An overall good experience.
Things started out so good.
But then we discovered a variety of problems.
We found IP leaks and an epidemic, which is the ultimate VPN killer kiss. That, including the fact that there is no built-in kill switch, really upsets our security mindset.
Device support was limited. It is not compatible with either PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
Also, their server park is smaller than normal, which is disappointing. Here is the in-depth analysis.
Hong Kong Jurisdiction (Outside of 14 Eyes Alliance)
On the surface, the very fact that VPN.ht’s local jurisdiction is outside of the extended 14 Eyes Alliance may be a great thing.
The member countries of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes Alliance join their espionage efforts and share information among themselves.
So if one nation gathers information about you, all of them will have access to it.
Fortunately, Hong Kong has nothing to do with this arrangement.
The problem here is that Hong Kong is still part of China. And China only allows “government-sponsored” VPNs.
What does that mean exactly?
It’s muddy. And that is the problem.
Basically, it means that every VPN provider needs government approval before it is allowed to try to do business.
And generally, authoritarian regimes (like Russia) will often demand back door access. Which again defeats the objective of employing a VPN.
IP Leaks Detected
IP leaks are a VPN plague, discovering your IP without you even noticing.
These leaks occur because the WebRTC APIs are interfering with a VPN signal or because the DNS servers are causing the VPN tunnel to bypass completely. The presence of any of those leaks is troublesome at best and disastrous at worst.
We ran four tests on VPN.ht and it failed two of them. That is an unpleasant ratio.
- IPleak.net: Failed
- browserleaks.com/webrtc: Passed
- perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest: Failed
- Chrome Extension Leak: Passed
We also ran the VPN.ht installation file by scanning for 64 different viruses. We found an instance of adware, which is certainly not an honest thing to do.
Therefore, not only will your true physical location be exposed to the planet, but the adware can also collect data on every site you visit.
No Kill Switch
A kill switch is included in the best VPNs on the market.
It is becoming an important Plan B to protect yourself from the aforementioned links.
If your session is interrupted by a leak or any malicious hack, the kill switch quickly starts it up, terminates the session, and closes the VPN tunnel.
VPN.ht, on the other hand, does not have such a useful feature. Argh.
Limited Device Support
Computers and phones are great.
Most of the VPNs we review are compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
But what we really like to see is compatibility with sensitive devices.
The good news is that VPN.ht supports all major platforms and some routers. The bad news is that they don’t work directly with Fire TV or PlayStation devices.
Limited Server Park, 3 Connections
VPN.ht has 128 servers located in 24 countries.
This may seem like tons.
But once you consider that most of the highest VPNs we reviewed have more than ten times that amount, you begin to determine where VPN.ht falls short.
The other bummer is that VPN.ht only offers access for 3 devices at a time. They are not the five (or more) that we normally see from other players.
VPN.ht Costs, Plans, & Payment Methods
This is a reasonable VPN.
They have a special promotion for your first billing cycle.
It’s only $ 1 for your first month, then $ 4.99. buying for a year is $ 3.33 per month, which may be a fair price for what you are getting.
There is only a premium plan, with no other tiered options. Whether you sign up for a month or a year, you get the full power of merchandise along with your purchase.
They accept all major credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, a variety of gift cards, Mobiamo, and 10 different types of cryptocurrencies for anonymous payments.
All plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so they stand behind your product.
Always good to see!
Do I Recommend VPN.ht?
No, I do not do it.
At first, we loved many of its features.
Their no-log policy was amazing.
Any VPN that lets you torrent at will and works across the board with Netflix is like the icing on a security ice cream.
But those leaks …
Not having kill switch protection and an adware virus attached to your setup file are serious things in my opinion.
If they could toughen up those leaks, add a kill switch, and clean up their installation files, you might consider it. But not now. Not when there are many better VPN options available.
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