SecureVPN is a US-based VPN supplier which stands out from the group in a number of methods. And that might be nice, besides most of them are unhealthy.
Amazingly, the primary appeared earlier than we may even entry the web site, with our browser warning it was ‘insecure’ – the positioning certificates had expired 5 days earlier. If the corporate can miss one thing as apparent as that, how can anybody belief it to maintain the remainder of its methods maintained and safe?
The corporate’s free plan sums a lot of this up, all by itself. ‘Free’ is all the time a plus, however the plan has some main restrictions, together with a most 20 minutes per session, 1000MB knowledge switch per thirty days, and solely permitting one machine to be related at a time.
The business Premium plan drops all these limits, and provides help for P2P and as much as 5 simultaneous connections.
Technical help might be an issue, as there’s barely any web site content material that can assist you get arrange or troubleshoot points. The positioning is inconsistent over help hours, too, with the entrance web page saying it is accessible 24-7, however one other web page saying it is solely 9 am – 5 pm EST. (Both means, we have seen a number of consumer stories speaking about not receiving replies to help queries.)
Browse the web site and you may discover SecureVPN would not clearly point out what number of places it has, which appeared odd to us, as it is a main promoting level for any service.
Later, we discovered a attainable purpose for this vagueness; the free plan has solely four places, in Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and United States. And even when you pay to improve, you continue to solely get two extra: Brazil and South Africa. In the event that they’re all you want, that is not an issue, however most suppliers provide you with much more selection. NordVPN gives 59 international locations, as an example, ExpressVPN has 94, HideMyAss greater than 190.
Costs are harder to seek out than we anticipated. We tapped Improve on the Home windows consumer, and an online web page opened which displayed the worth as ‘$ / month’ and ‘$ / 12 months’ – no figures. Cost is accepted through PayPal solely on the web site, and once we clicked via to the PayPal website, we did not see a worth there, both.
Select the Pricing hyperlink on the web site, although, and it exhibits a comparatively low month-to-month fee of $7.99, falling to a extra expensive $5.83. Signing up for Personal Web Entry prices a mean $2.85 for the primary annual time period (which incorporates two months free), and is $3.33 after that, for what appears like a much more succesful service.
Privateness and logging
SecureVPN’s privateness coverage is refreshingly quick at barely 500 phrases, and most of these are the routine ‘we do our greatest to guard you however cannot make 100% ensures’ warnings.
The content material of the coverage is not fairly as reassuring. There is a clear assertion that the corporate “doesn’t acquire or log any visitors or use of its VPN”, nevertheless it does acquire the exterior and inside IPs for each service connection. So far as we’re involved, that IS logging use of the VPN.
One other clause says, “we could acquire and disclose private info, together with your utilization knowledge, to governmental authorities or businesses… at their request or pursuant to… authorized course of, if there’s a good religion perception that [this] is required by legislation.” In different phrases, they will not essentially look ahead to a courtroom order handy knowledge over: if an company asks, and SecureVPN thinks they’ve a superb case, that is sufficient.
We additionally seen an oddity in in clause d) of SecureVPN’s software program license restrictions, which says you need to not ‘modify or adapt the SecureVPN Software program, merge the SecureVPN Software program into one other program or create spinoff works based mostly on the Hotspot Protect Software program.’ Hotspot Protect? A fast verify on-line revealed a Hotspot Protect privateness coverage with an identical textual content. We will solely guess how this happened, but when any of the coverage has been copy-and-pasted from one other supplier, then that does not encourage us to belief what it says.
SecureVPN offers apps for Home windows, iOS, Android and Mac. OpenVPN help suggests you could possibly set it up with different software program and gadgets, however there’s nothing on the web site about this.
Putting in the free Home windows consumer was simple, and utilizing it wasn’t troublesome, both: select the Germany, Italy, UK or US location, click on Join to guard ourselves, click on once more once we’re achieved.
There’s not a single setting on supply, no superior options to discover, nothing in any respect. SecureVPN would not appear very excited by its Home windows model; its executable hasn’t been up to date since 2015. The web site has no element on what’s taking place beneath the hood, however we discovered it related through OpenVPN.
SecureVPN’s Android app appears extra fashionable, however the free model nonetheless solely has 4 places, there aren’t any settings, you might have the identical 1GB a month knowledge restrict, and it has adverts, too. (The Home windows app is perhaps fundamental, nevertheless it’s ad-free.)
If this very fundamental service works for you, in principle you are in a position to improve to the paid plan with a click on.
We tried this with the Home windows app, and shortly bumped into hassle. SecureVPN had no drawback directing us to PayPal and taking our money, however PayPal wasn’t in a position to ship us again to SecureVPN, so ultimately we closed the tab.
A PayPal receipt arrived inside seconds, however we did not hear something from SecureVPN. There is not any reside chat on the web site, no electronic mail deal with, only a internet kind, so we used that to ship a plea for assist, offering our personal electronic mail deal with and PayPal transaction ID.
The following day, with no reply, we despatched an electronic mail explaining the issue to the help deal with on the App Retailer.
This time, a few hours later, a response arrived asking for our platform and machine kind. We replied instantly, however have been left ready one other 36 hours whereas exactly nothing occurred.
A daily buyer would in all probability hand over at this level, perhaps cancel their PayPal subscription or ship an indignant electronic mail demanding their a refund.
We’re educated professionals, although, so we weren’t going to let pathetic customer support get in our means; not when there is a job to be achieved. We put in the Android app and continued with the assessment.
SecureVPN claims it lets you ‘browse the whole lot you want’ ‘with none restrictions’, however that wasn’t our expertise. Though we had some success with BBC iPlayer (even with the free plan) and simple targets akin to US YouTube, we weren’t in a position to stream US Netflix content material, Amazon Prime Video or Disney+.
The SecureVPN app offers an choice so as to add as much as four further gadgets to your plan. Might this permit us to get our common Home windows 10 system working, we questioned, with the complete plan?
No, the directions did not work. Our guess is the Home windows app is outdated and basically damaged, however SecureVPN both hasn’t seen or would not care, and has left the obtain accessible. (Would not say a lot about its competence, but when an organization would not even discover when its personal web site digital certificates expires, we in all probability should not be shocked.)
We tried velocity testing the free Home windows model, and that proved shocking succesful at 60-65Mbps on our 75Mbps take a look at line. Whether or not it’s going to preserve that velocity over time is much less sure – free VPNs typically get overwhelmed at peak occasions – however we have been completely happy simply to seek out a side of SecureVPN which wasn’t garbage.
We accomplished the assessment with our common leak exams, and the outcomes have been no nice shock. The extra up-to-date Android app handed with out difficulties, however the drained previous Home windows app had a major DNS leak (but another excuse to not use it.)
SecureVPN’s restricted free plan is quicker and somewhat extra succesful than we anticipated, however the heavy restrictions, the utter incompetence, the damaged web site guarantees, and the overall lack of options make it unattainable to advocate. If you happen to attempt the free plan, do not use it for something even barely necessary, and by no means, ever, ever give SecureVPN your belief, or your cash.