Hong Kong-based VPNCity is a small VPN and not using a entire lot of name recognition – okay, let’s be lifelike, you have most likely by no means heard of it – however take a more in-depth look, and the service is rather more fascinating than you may count on.
The community is an honest dimension, as an illustration, with 3,167 servers in 42 areas unfold throughout 33 international locations. Not simply Europe and North America, both; there are servers in Australia, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Peru, Seychelles, and extra.
VPNCity has customized apps for Home windows, Mac, Android and iOS, together with Chrome and Firefox extensions, and setup guides to get the service working with video games consoles, Raspberry Pi and others.
In case you’re frequently bumping into the ‘simultaneous connections’ restrict of your present VPN, excellent news, VPNCity helps connecting as much as 12 without delay, relying in your plan.
The corporate is generally very clear in regards to the options it presents. You do not have to dig round within the small print to see if VPNCity helps P2P, as an illustration; sure, it does, there is a hyperlink to inform you extra from the principle web site touchdown web page. And you do not have to guess whether or not it helps unblocking this of that service, too, as a result of the apps present specialist streaming areas for Netflix, iPlayer, Disney+ and extra.
Costs are particularly reasonable, at $9.99 billed month-to-month to cowl as much as 6 units; $5.99 over 6 months to cowl as much as 8; $3.99 protects as much as 10 units on the annual plan, and should you pay two years up-front, the worth drops to $2.99 a month and you’ll cowl as much as 12 units.
That is not fairly the bottom round – Personal Web Entry fees $2.85 a month for the primary time period of its annual plan, as an illustration, $3.33 on renewal – however it’s higher than most, and appears like good worth for what you are getting.
VPNCity helps loads of fee strategies, too – card, PayPal, AliPay, Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies – and there is a 30-day money-back assure should you want it.
Privateness and logging
Most VPNs make massive up-front claims about how a lot they shield your privateness, and VPNCity isn’t any totally different. ‘We don’t preserve any of your on-line exercise’ says the web site, proudly: ‘No browser information, bank card data, no IP handle. None, nada, niente.’
Expertise has taught us that many of those claims are rubbish, usually contradicted by the VPN’s personal Privateness Coverage, however VPNCity is totally different. Its small print is definitely price studying, and contains some very particular particulars in regards to the service and the way it handles logging:
“your actions…will not be monitored, recorded, logged, saved or handed to any third get together. We don’t retailer connection time stamps, session data, used bandwidth, site visitors logs, IP addresses or different information… Additional… VPNCity relies in Hong Kong, which doesn’t require information storage.”
A VPN can write no matter it likes in its privateness coverage, in fact. VPNCity has no important monitor file, and as it isn’t put itself by means of any type of public safety audit, there is no unbiased proof to point out it is doing what it claims.
Regardless of all that, we now have to applaud VPNCity for a minimum of taking the effort and time to deal with a few of our logging and privateness issues, and we hope it will prolong this in future with an unbiased audit.
VPNCity presents apps for Home windows, Mac, iOS and Android, together with Chrome and Firefox extensions. The cellular apps had first rate app retailer scores (4.2 for iOS, 4.5 for Android) and each had been up to date inside the previous Three months, indicating the corporate is making an attempt to keep up and enhance them.
The Home windows app has come a great distance since our final assessment. The primary location checklist can now be sorted by location or ping time, there is a Favorites system to group your most commonly-used servers, and a Streaming tab offers you specialist servers to unblock Netflix (US, UK, Australia), Disney+ (US, UK, Australia), BBC iPlayer, HBO Now, Newpaper24, YouTube Premium and a prolonged checklist of Australian companies (ABC iView, 7 Plus, 9 Now, 10 Play, SBS On Demand, Stan, Kayo Sport, Foxtel and extra.)
A small however succesful vary of settings contains non-obligatory advert blocking, a selection of protocol (OpenVPN TCP/ UDP or SoftEther), ‘Simple Firewall Traversal’ to penetrate extra restrictive firewalls, numerous auto-start choices, and extra.
The app does not have an ‘computerized’ choice the place it selects the quickest server for you, which implies you are left to determine this your self. We discovered it positioned our nearest UK server on the prime of the areas checklist, although, so getting linked solely took one further click on.
Connection instances have been quick for OpenVPN, sometimes 4-5 seconds. Some VPNs take 10-30 seconds, and though which may not sound for much longer, conserving ready time to a minimal could make an actual distinction to your expertise.
The app used its personal desktop notifications to inform us when it linked, however not when the connection closed (extra on that in a second.)
We observed one obvious bug. Though we might select OpenVPN in Settings, if we later reopened and closed Settings, the app then linked utilizing SoftEther, though it nonetheless displayed OpenVPN as the chosen protocol. (Sure, we all know, it confused us, too.)
Though that is not a catastrophe by itself, it is nonetheless a priority, as a result of we do not know if the bug might need different results (the app tries to use its OpenVPN port and different settings to a SoftEther connection, as an illustration.)
Once we checked the app’s OpenVPN configuration, although, all of it appeared very acceptable, with connections utilizing AES-256-CBC and a 4096-bit key.
The app does a poor job of dealing with dropped VPN connections. Once we forcibly closed ours, it up to date its interface, however did not show a notification or try and reconnect. If the app window have been minimized, you won’t notice your site visitors was now unprotected.
Enabling the kill change improved the scenario significantly. Every time the VPN dropped, it instantly stepped in to dam any web entry, conserving us secure.
The app nonetheless did not warn us with a notification, although. It displayed a message and a ‘reconnect web’ button its personal window, however once more, if that is minimized, customers will not notice why their web has died till they change again to it.
We took a have a look at the Android app, too, and located an nearly similar interface, with the identical well-designed server lists, Streaming servers, Favorites system and extra.
The app does not fairly have as many options – no server ping instances, no SoftEther protocol assist – which makes it look a little bit underpowered, however total, it is nonetheless efficient and straightforward to make use of.
VPNCity does not simply declare to unblock prime web sites, it really commits to it, with specialist areas for getting you into many prime platforms.
We discovered these labored completely, too, enabling us to stream US Netflix, Disney+ and BBC iPlayer with out problem.
There isn’t any specialist server for Amazon Prime Video, however we discovered the US Netflix location labored simply fantastic. There are additionally generic ‘Different streaming companies’ areas to unblock different platforms within the US, UK and Australia, and the primary bought us entry to Amazon, too.
Our pace checks bought off to a wonderful begin, with VPNCity’s nearest London server giving us a mean 66-68bps, nearly all we might count on from our 75Mbps check line.
UK to US speeds have been related, with downloads averaging 40-50Mbps.
We re-ran the pace checks from a European information middle to verify our outcomes, and perhaps get a really feel for simply how briskly VPNCity can go.
Surprisingly, regardless of a connection able to 350Mbps and extra, VPNCity solely averaged 55-60Mbps, fractionally lower than UK speeds. That is nonetheless removed from sluggish, although, and VPNCity managed first rate efficiency from each location we tried.
VPNCity is a likeable service with nice unblocking efficiency, easy-to-use and stable if unspectacular speeds, all for below $Three a month on its two-year plan. It has some points – Home windows shopper bugs, a scarcity of options for the cellular apps – however that is no shock for a younger service, and we count on these will probably be addressed within the subsequent few months.