SaferVPN Review

Pros:


  • 700+ Servers: At the time of reviewing the product, they claimed to have more than 700 servers in more than 34 locations. These many servers can be useful in masking the identity of the user online.
  • Smart Wi-Fi Protection: This feature protects the user from unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Once the user downloads the SaferVPN app, the app automatically turns on the VPN protection when the user connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi.
  • Multiple Protocols: SaferVPN provides the user with the option to choose from a set of four protocols. However, each protocol has its own limitation but, it is always a nice feeling to have options at disposal.

Cons:

  • Jurisdiction: The company is based in Israel. Israel has been known to work closely with NSA and other intelligence agencies around the world. It is tough to neglect the possibility that there can be some monitoring of the data flow through their servers.
  • Slow Client: It is not among the fastest VPN services. Our tests showed a considerable reduction in speeds over all the protocols.
  • No Special Features: There is nothing to catch the eye of the user in this product. Features such as Split-tunneling are missing.
  • Customer Support: They boast of a 24/7 live chat support on the official website. But, the quality of chat support we received varied from terrible to terrific.
  • No Transparency: The provider seems reluctant to disclose its policies. The privacy statement is full of external links, which makes it difficult for the user to understand the privacy and logging policies of the company.

Website: Visit Official Site

Overview

Quick Overview
WebsiteVisit Website
ProtocolsOpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec, SSTP, PPTP
PlatformsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Linux, Routers, Smart TV, Consoles
JurisdictionIsrael
LoggingNo
Encryption256-Bit
ConnectionsUp to 5 Devices
Locations37+ Locations
Servers700+
Netflix/P2PNo Netflix, P2P Allowed
Payment OptionsPayPal, Bitcoin, Credit Card
Support OptionsLive Chat, Email Support
Pricing From$ 2.50/mo Billed For 36 Months
Guarantee30 Day
Free TrialNo

Client – Main Screen of UI

The product hails from Israel. It is not among the 14-Eyes countries, but that is not a thing to celebrate either. Israel has been known to work closely with NSA and other intelligence agencies of the world. It is not an active part of the 14-Eyes countries, but it can’t also be considered a VPN-friendly nation.

The mere fact that the company seems to be
trying to hide the information that they are from Israel says a lot itself. They never mentioned that they are based in Israel even in the ‘About Us’
section on the website.

SaferVPN appears to be a promising product
on its official website. They showcase the facts that they have more than 700
servers, multiple protocols, Smart Wi-Fi protection and a lot more.

In this review,
we will see if SaferVPN stays true to its
promises. We will examine all its features closely and tell how ‘safe’ it is to
use ‘SaferVPN’.

Smart Wi-Fi Protection

Protection for Wi-Fi hotspots through Smart Wifi Protection

It is one of the features of SaferVPN that
grabbed our attention. It protects the user’s device from unsecured wireless networks.

Once the user downloads the SaferVPN app on
his/her phone, it automatically turns on the VPN protection when the user
connects to an unsecured wireless network
such as free Wi-Fi at restaurants and airports.

With this feature, the user can feel
assured that his/her information is safe while accessing public Wi-Fi. There is
no need to manually connect the VPN with this
feature, it automatically turns on when the device connects to a
wireless network.

This feature can be enabled for PC as well
to make the Wi-Fi connections safe.

Kill-Switch

This can’t qualify as an exclusive feature as this has become a norm on
the VPN services these days. But it makes the VPN experience safer. Hence we consider it worth mentioning.

The kill switch stops all the internet
traffic if the VPN connection drops. This way the user is never connected to the internet without the protection of the
VPN. This feature can be easily enabled
through the ‘Settings’ menu.

Servers

Nearly 700 Servers from 34+ Locations!

They have more than 700 servers across more than 34 locations. The number of locations tells that the servers are not scattered across the globe, but it is still an impressive number. We have always been an advocate of more options, and that is what SaferVPN gives when it comes to the number of servers.

SaferVPN’s UI Showing Different Servers and Search Option

A large number of servers suggest that there won’t be heavy traffic per
server and the user can experience a
faster internet speed.

On analyzing the server locations, we found
that the majority of server locations are
in Europe. There is a good cover of the server network across the
North-American continents also. But, other than these regions, SaferVPN has not
got much to offer.

They have neither discussed the capacity of
the servers at any point nor mentioned how many dedicated servers they have got
for streaming and sharing.

We scrolled through the server list on the
client and found only two streaming and three P2P dedicated servers. This was a big disappointment.

The two servers dedicated to streaming were located in US and UK. So, no promises can be made if the user wishes to stream content
from other countries or bypass the geo-restriction.

Only three P2P dedicated servers suggest
that there can be heavy traffic on these servers, which means inefficient
performance from the client and poor file sharing experience for the user.

Even after having such an impressive number
of servers, SaferVPN fails to convert it into more functionality for the user.

They need to add more dedicated servers so that the user can have a
well-rounded VPN experience.

Privacy Policy

Let us discuss the logging policy first.

They say that they don’t keep a log of user’s browsing activity, IP addresses,
DNS queries, VPN server IP addresses and other such data concerning user’s activity on the VPN network.

They keep a log
of session duration, amount of data transmitted during the session, user’s
country location and the traffic end-point country location.

Other than this the email address, name,
country, and transaction details of the person are logged if he/she subscribes
to the service.

The way they have provided the information
on their ‘Privacy & Legal’ page is quite confusing. There are external
links to a lot of clauses in the privacy statement.

We would suggest a person to carefully go
through their privacy policy if he/she is considering using the services of
SaferVPN.

The information about the third parties involved is also minimal. They need to bring more clarity to these statements. It is not a good way at all to try to gain the user’s trust by making him/her go through a lot of links and not being on point.

Connection Time Analysis

Trial NoOpenVPNIKEv2L2TP over IPSECPPTP
Avg Time8.5823.786.0286.976
Time to establish a connection (seconds)
17.425.162.33.7
27.655.035.49.7
38.172.84.768.55
48.692.7113.129.43
510.9864.563.5

They provide the user with four protocols, and
we analyzed the connection time for all of them.

OpenVPN took the most time to connect, but it is also the safest among the four
protocols. However, an average time of 10.98 seconds to connect to the internet
is slow, even if we account for the fact that OpenVPN is a safer protocol.

Rest of the three servers showed better performance, but they are not considered very safe options. We will
discuss all these protocols and compare them in the later section.

The connection time is satisfactory for all
the protocols available other than OpenVPN, but it is also not a huge concern
at the current time.

Speed Test

Before and After Speed Test

There was no information about the capacity
of the servers and now that we have conducted the speed tests, our concerns seem
relevant.

We conducted a speed test for all the available protocols on the automatic server
location. The decrease in speeds is somdisheartening. Even the so-called ‘faster but less safe’ protocols performed poorly in the test.

OpenVPN was the best performer, and that
was with only 35% of the original download speed. IKEv2 was the worst performer
with retention of only around 20% of the initial
download speed.

All the protocols experienced almost the
same increase in the ping rate which is nine
times the original rate. The upload speeds told a merrier tale, but that is of not much significance after
these poor download speeds.

Security

Various Protocol Options of SaferVPN

There are four different protocols for the
user to choose on the Windows devices. All of these protocols have upsides and
downsides according to the provider. Let us discuss these protocols and the
kind of encryption provided on them by the client.

IKEv2 is amongst the newest protocols. It comes with 256-bit encryption and is considered both fast
and safe. However, it is not available across all the platforms, especially the old ones.

OpenVPN is the recommended protocol by SaferVPN. It also comes with 256-bit encryption, but it supports most of the
operating systems. This gives it an edge
over IKEv2.

Third in the list is L2TP/IPSec.
The user gets 128-bit encryption on this protocol. It is considered a bit slow
but can be employed when the previous two protocols
are not available.

PPTP comes with 128-bit encryption. It is
considered fast because of the relatively simple encryption. It has also got
the largest number of supported devices
which makes it relevant in the protocol hierarchy.

They claim to have both DNS as well as IPv6
leak protection. However, they use Google Public DNS servers and don’t have DNS
servers of their own. Involvement of third parties can always make things a
little complicated.

They have not advertised the fact that they
have DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection on their website. We came to
know of the existence of these features in the product through the customer
support service.

We find this strange that they are not
using these facts to market their product, and this makes us doubt the
reliability of their DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection altogether.

User Interface
and Experience

A Quick Look at Client UI

The user interface here is a minimalistic one with not much to play around. However,
the simple design and one-click
connectivity can appeal to a lot of the
users out there.

The home screen
shows the automatic server location and a connection button along with the
server list button. It is effortless to connect
to the VPN with just a single click.

Once the user connects to a server, the app
window shows the IP address of the current server along with the session
duration.

They could have been a bit more creative
with the way server list is presented though. On top is the automatic server
option followed by a small list of recommended servers for the user and then an
alphabetical arrangement of all the sever locations.

They do have a few dedicated servers for
streaming and P2P file sharing, but the user needs to scroll through the entire
list of the servers to find these dedicated servers.

They could have made separate trays for
these servers or for streaming and P2P file sharing itself.

In the settings menu, the user gets to choose
protocol, toggle options for features such as internet kill switch and auto
Wi-Fi security. The user can also customize the client according to his/her
need by using options such as ‘Start on
OS start-up’.

However, the user does not get to choose
between TDP and UCP ports. They could have added a few more customization
options in the app to make it a bit more user-friendly.

Platforms and Devices

Available for All Popular Platforms

The VPN app is available across Windows,
MacOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, and Firefox.
It can be manually set up for routers
also.

There is no app for Linux devices at the
moment, but a VPN connection can be set up
on Linux devices manually.

For routers, the user can get the manual
configuration guide for a whole lot of routers on their website. The link is provided here.

They have also provided setup guides for a
whole lot of other devices. Even though there are apps available for only a few
devices, they seem to have provided setup
guides for a lot of the products.

They seem to have covered all the products
in their manual setup guides, and it is
highly likely that users can find their respective devices in these guides.

Customer Support

This section can be a bit tricky to explain
as well as understand. It was a roller coaster ride for us dealing with the
customer service executives of SaferVPN.

SaferVPN highlighted the fact that it has a
24/7 customer service. But it is one thing to have a 24/7 customer service and
another to have a customer service that effectively solves the problems of the
customers.

We came across the live chat twice and had
immensely difference experience on both the occasions.

In our first interaction, all we got were
vague answers and irrelevant links. After all the pulling of hairs, we were quite convinced that this is the
general case with SaferVPN when it comes to customer service.

We decided to give them another chance the
next day, and to our surprise, things were almost perfect this day. We got
concise answers to our questions. The responses were swift too.

Another important aspect of ‘customer support’
is the support page on the website. It should be informative and simple enough
to understand.

All the relevant topics should be discussed on this page. And this is where we
felt that SaferVPN missed a trick.

They could have made the support page a lot
more relevant to the user. The information about all the topics discussed there
was satisfactory, but there was a lot
more information about a lot more items
that could have been addressed.

Conclusion

This product promised a lot at the
beginning, kept true to a lot of those promises, and seemed incompetent in a
lot of areas.

The Israeli jurisdiction, slow speeds, and dicey customer service are somethings we
can’t ignore.

However, multiple protocols, connectivity
across a lot of platforms and features such as DNS leak protection should also
be appreciated.

They can improve their user interface a lot
and make their support page, and privacy
statements a lot more understandable to the user.

But the thing that requires VPN provider’s
immediate attention is speed. Users these days can deal with a lot of minor
issues but not slow internet speeds.

If only, the client was able to yield high
speeds we would have rated this product
quite high, but sadly that is not the case.

Kim Martin Administrator
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