SaferVPN Review 2020January 2020 SaferVPN Review & Deals
SaferVPN offers users an ample server selection and a proprietary automatic location selection tool that chooses the best VPN protocol based on the user’s system state.
But are these features enough to help the program stand out in the crowded VPN marketplace?
In this SaferVPN review, we put the solution through its paces to see how it stood up to other tools on the market.
SaferVPN Rating By SecureThoughts.com
SaferVPN’s main selling point is its excellent server network that strikes the perfect balance between size and performance. Being a Netflix VPN is a plus and we also thought that the applications were well designed.
Fast server network
Well design apps
Support documentation needs work
Some users prefer more settings
Torrenting only through Dutch servers
Not a budget provider
Customer support is available through both email and live chat. The latter is available 24/7, which sets SaferVPN ahead of many competitors that provide support only during US business hours. Users that prefer to try to resolve issues themselves can also avail of the Guides section on the company’s website.
While each major platform is covered, this area could use some work in the form of more screenshots and detail. In addition, although SaferVPN’s support staff are highly responsive, some users have given them mixed reviews for their ability to troubleshoot problems.
It doesn’t boast a gargantuan server list that promises to deliver connectivity everywhere from Antarctica to the North Pole. Instead, the company operates a relatively modest list of over 700 servers that have clearly been carefully provisioned, curated, and tuned up to deliver maximum reliability and – most importantly – speed.
We pulled down a connection of a 31.62 Mbps from the company’s server in Denmark and were able to almost replicate the results from others in central and Western Europe. The pre-VPN connection speed from our test box was a little over 40 Mbps.
Network consistency was also evident during the testing process: after trying out our eighth server, we still hadn’t come across a sub-par outlier. This speed decrease, of only about 20%, was about the most minimal performance drop that we have seen to date.
Firstly, the VPN protocol is optimized to ensure the most appropriate match for the internet configuration, which in most cases will also be the most secure one. This gives users added confidence about the integrity of the data traveling through SaferVPN’s servers. But how about how the company handles users’ personal identifiable information?
The company addresses its logging policy in a short page on its knowledge base. SaferVPN bills itself as a ‘no logs’ provider and says that it “takes privacy very seriously,” only maintaining “the minimum amount of information necessary for billing and troubleshooting purposes.”
While no-log providers are always a wise choice for those seeking to maximize online privacy, we can’t help but suspect that as a close ally of the United States, Israel is a riskier location for a headquarters than countries such as Panama that exist in more of a regulatory (and political) vacuum.
For desktop and laptop users, the app is available for Windows, Mac, as a router (the program is preinstalled on routers for sale through third-party websites), and as a Chrome extension.
The Chrome extension is especially useful because (for those concerned with only using the VPN for browser traffic, at least) it means that the system is usable on Linux desktops without the need to make difficult and time-consuming changes to network configuration files.
After downloading the Windows installer, we had the program installed on our test machine in under three minutes and in about as many clicks. That’s about as good as we’ve seen in the platforms that we have tested so far. The fact that the downloads aren’t gated behind a membership area as they are with some providers also encourages users to get up and running quickly.
Usability-wise, we think that users are likely to immediately appreciate the fact that – unlike many options currently on the market – SaferVPN has chosen to keep its UI rather compact.
The program is contained within a narrow dockable window that features five screens (on the Windows application). Options, such as selecting a VPN protocol, are kept as straightforward as possible and users aren’t readily confronted with configuration options (such as connecting via TCP or UDP) that are unlikely to be of interest to the vast majority of users. This approach diverges quite dramatically from that taken by other provides. (Personally, we prefer a VPN that stays out of the way as much as possible so we give this feature a thumbs up.
1: Protocol Choices
SaferVPN offers a protocol selection screen in which users can chose between automatic protocol selection or chose between IKEv2, Open VPN, L2TP Over IPSEC, and PPTP.
This is perfect hoping to use the VPN with a variety of different hardware (up to five simultaneous connections are supported). While older networking cards may only be able to support PPTP, those with up-to-date systems will be able to take advantage of newer encryption technologies such as IKEv2 that can provide faster connection speeds.
2: Automatic Location Selection Algorithm
While SaferVPN bundles a good variety of VPN protocols in its software, it won’t be of much benefit to users who don’t know their L2TP from their IKEv2. To make the process of selecting the ultimate VPN protocol to deliver maximum performance that little bit easier, the program features an automatic selection tool which hones in on the optimal protocol to support the configuration that the computer is connecting from.
3: Chrome Extension
The Chrome extension is a boon for almost all users. So long as everything you want to encrypt is being accessed from within the popular browser, why bother with the hassle of a separate program at all? Linux users will be especially appreciative.
4: Torrenting is Supported
Peer to Peer (P2P) networks are efficient ways of exchanging large files with other internet users. Unfortunately, because some users take advantage of the technology to illegally exchanged copyrighted material, such traffic is also liable to catch the attention of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – making it especially important for users to use a VPN to shield their privacy.
Fortunately, SaferVPN supports torrenting – but only from their servers based in the Netherlands.
5: Wi-Fi Protection
Have you ever connected to a Wi-Fi network only to remember, a minute later, that it wasn’t secured and that your data may be in the process of being compromised?
You’re in good company, because neither have we.
The Wi-Fi protection feature automatically activates the VPN whenever a connection is made to an unsecured network and will help protect users from trusting networks that they shouldn’t. Users also have the option to disable the feature entirely to manually add trusted networks to a white-list.
Rating: 9/10 Powerful and customizable without being overwhelming
Can SaferVPN Unblock Netflix?
What good is a VPN if it doesn’t let you watch Netflix?
OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but there’s no doubt that it’s an important feature for many users. It’s also no secret, however, that Netflix are taking aggressive measures to block traffic known to be emanating from VPN servers.
The good news is that SaferVPN has not fallen victim to these measures (at least at the time of writing). In short, it works. The better news is that the app also makes the process of connecting to a Netflix-suitable server extremely easy. Users simply select the ‘US Streaming’ server from the server list and will be streaming their favorite show in no time.
Users are also able to access the Danish, Romanian, and Hungarian versions of the popular multimedia streaming services, although the catalog will, of course, differ from the better-known American website.