15th May 2015
This week I reviewed VPNLUX to see what their services had to offer.
- no data logging
- fast connection
- prompt customer service
- easy to use
- very complicated set up
- high prices
- lots of service limitations
Overall Score: 49/100
This score is much, much lower than the 97/100 scored by our top rated VPN – Express VPN.
VPNLUX is one of the lower scoring VPN services I reviewed, mainly due to their service limitations and complicated set up process.
There are just cheaper, easier to use VPNs out there, bottom line.
To get VPNLUX, sign up here: VPNLUX
VPNs are a simple, effective way to protect your privacy online, and completely get around content blocks.
Their user-friendly interfaces and anonymous browsing applications have piqued the interests of internet users the world over, and the wave is far from cresting.
As software becomes more accessible, and more and more options surface on the market, customers have more choices than ever before, and the shopping process can become a little maddening.
With everyone claiming to be the fastest and most secure, how’s a regular Joe to know the difference between the best quality service and a take-your-money-and-run operation?
Thankfully, you have people like me to be the guinea pig. This week I put VPNLUX’s service to the test, to see if they could live up to the hype on their website.
From customer support to connection speed, I cover it all in this review, and show you what to look for and how to shop smart for a great VPN.
Will VPNLUX Work on My Operating System?
Our process of elimination starts here, with operating system compatibility.
Before you get too excited over features, rule out any VPNs that aren’t 100% compatible with all of your operating systems.
Don’t forget – you can use this software on everything from iPads to laptops, so make sure the one you land on is going to work with all of your gadgets.
At this time, VPNLUX is only compatible with Windows, Mac, and iOS. There is no Android app, and you can’t use it on your Linux devices.
Rating: 3/5 – Not compatible with Linux or Android
What Kind of Features Does VPNLUX Have?
This is a pretty broad-sweeping category, but one that can seriously help you determine if a VPN is worth your hard earned money.
The more features they have to offer for that monthly rate, the better, so take note of which ones are the most important to you.
Feature #1: Multiple Connections
What this feature refers to are the number of devices you can connect your VPN to simultaneously under one account.
Most VPN companies offer their customers at least two simultaneous connections per account, so don’t settle for anything less than that.
Ugh. Okay, so one thing I realized when reviewing VPNLUX is that nothing about their service is simple.
Technically you’re allowed up to three connections per account, but only one per type of VPN being used.
They have multiple kinds, and you can only connect with each one once. Make sense to you? Yea, me neither.
Rating: 2/5 – You can have multiple connections…sorta
Feature #2: Money Back Guarantee
This one goes without saying, but make sure it’s not something you overlook when you’re shopping around.
Money back guarantees aren’t just for getting a refund if things go south – they make the company keep their end of the deal up, and give them even more incentive to give you great customer service.
With VPNLUX there is no set in stone refund policy, and when asked about it, the company simply said that they would refund a customer’s money only if they were having connection problems.
That means things like customer service problems won’t get you your money back. With no set in stone refund policy, this is one you’ll want to be cautious with.
Rating: 2/5 – Wishy washy refund policy
Feature #3: Number of Servers
This category matters because it can greatly affect the speed of your connection.
The more servers a company has access to, the wider distribution their customer base has, freeing up bandwidth for everybody.
The best VPNs have at least 70 server locations, but look for one that has no fewer than 30.
VPNLUX only has six servers total, with all of them located in Europe and North America.
While these countries definitely will offer you the best access, the further away you are from a server, the more likely you are to have connection issues.
This means people in other parts of the world may have little or even no success connecting to a server with VPNLUX.
Rating: 0/5 – Only six servers worldwide
Feature #4: Referral Program
Some companies actually offer their customers free or discounted service in exchange for sending business their way.
While it’s not the most common feature, it may just get you a month free of charge, so be sure to at least ask about it before signing up.
Unfortunately, VPNLUX loses out in this category as well.
They don’t offer any kind of referral program to their customers, so there’s not much incentive to spread the word if you like their services.
Rating: 0/5 – No referral program
Feature #5: Data Logging
This is the practice of storing users’ internet activity, and let me just say this in no uncertain terms: it’s not something your VPN provider should be doing.
You’re paying these guys for privacy, remember?
VPNLUX never logs any of their users’ internet activity so you truly do get anonymous and private browsing with them.
Rating: 5/5 – No data logging, EVER
Feature #6: Bandwidth
If you’re a Netflix junkie or download music all the time, I’ve got news for you – you’re a bandwidth hog.
VPNs that put a monthly cap on how much bandwidth you can use put an end to pigging out on your usual internet activity.
So never settle for anything less than unlimited bandwidth with any VPN service plan (yes, even the cheap ones).
While there is no hard and fast limit to the bandwidth VPNLUX customers can use, again, it gets complicated. Their company limits bandwidth to “within reason” – whatever that means.
So essentially, they reserve the right to limit your bandwidth if they see you’re using what they think is an unreasonable amount.
Rating: 2/5 – Unlimited bandwidth, sort of but not really
How Secure Is It?
Where VPNs are concerned, security is kind of the name of the game.
Sure, you want to Skype with your friends and sneak and watch the game at work, but if the connection’s not at least secure enough to protect your privacy, it’s not worth the time it takes to set up.
When you’re checking out a VPN’s security, look for features that really allow you to customize your connection.
Having the ability to decrease your encryption strength when you want to optimize your connection for speed, or do the opposite for more security is a great perk.
In addition, check to make sure they’re giving the very strongest encryption available, which is 256 bit.
One nice thing about VPNLUX is that they give you a few different options for your security strength.
You can choose from 3 different protocols, ranging in strength from 128 bit PPTP to the 256 bit OpenVPN channel.
Rating: 5/5 – Variety of security protocols
What’s the Set-Up Process Like?
Since there are still a lot of people out there who aren’t familiar with VPNs in general, it’s really important that they have a simple set up.
Most VPNs have software that does the work for you, making it so all you have to do it download and install to use their connection.
VPNLUX is not one of them.
Their set up process is absurdly complicated. They don’t have an all-inclusive software package, but use OpenVPN coupled with a configuration package of server addresses.
Even with a set up guide, it’s frustrating to say the least, and takes you from web page to web page and through multiple downloads to finish the process. I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.
The fact that their support isn’t live or 24/7 only makes the process even more frustrating. So a word of caution: this one might take you a minute to get up and running.
Rating: 0/5 – Overly complicated set up
Is it Easy to Use?
Again, not everyone is well-versed in VPNs and just how the heck they work. Once you get it set up, it needs to be simple and straightforward to use.
When I finally got this VPN set up, it was very easy to use.
On a Windows system like mine, your OpenVPN GUI client stays in your notifications menu, and to connect you just right click it and select a server.
There really isn’t a software dashboard, which I wasn’t crazy about – you’d think for all the hoops you jump through setting it up it would be a bit more to look at.
However, the interface is undeniably easy to use.
Rating: 5/5 – Primitive, but easy to use
One thing I found odd about this VPN was that you never once had to log in to use their software.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome and time-saving, but I worry about the security of the software itself with such a lax system in place.
Changing servers is a snap with VPNLUX. You just go into the VPN controls, and select a new location. The connection will automatically switch over.
What If I Need Help?
If there’s one thing that’s a turn off for any product or service, it’s bad customer service.
Before you start punching in your credit card number with any company, make sure that they’re going to be held accountable to you, and offer you prompt and effective customer service.
There are too many fish in the sea to be settling for less than the best.
This is definitely one of the most important facets of great customer service. If they’re not available 24/7, what happens if you run into problems on a Friday night?
Make absolutely certain that you’re not going to be stuck high and dry for a whole weekend because of their limited availability.
According to VPNLUX, their customer service is not 24/7. However, they do strive to respond to all inquiries within 12 hours, which in my experience, they are successful at.
Rating: 2/5 – Not 24/7, but fast service nonetheless
This part refers to the ways in which you can get in touch with their customer service. While most VPN providers offer at least e-mail support, ideally you want some form of live communication too.
Look for the ones that offer both e-mail and live chat or phone support.
VPNLUX only offers their customers e-mail assistance, so they lose that “right away” aspect of customer service.
You just have to count on them being on the ball enough to address technical issues right away, which can be a bit of a nail biter when you can’t connect.
Rating: 2/5 – Only e-mail support
Customer Support Test
To really get a feel for how good VPNLUX’s customer service is, I put them to the test.
I made sure to contact them both during peak hours (when they would be most likely to see a higher volume of inquiries) and off hours (when it was more likely service would take longer).
I critiqued their customer service both on response time and quality of service.
E-mail Support Test #1-Sunday/2:47 p.m.
I was really pleasantly surprised by how fast I got a response to my first question with VPNLUX. In less than 20 minutes I had a reply in my inbox, with some pretty helpful tips on using their software.
Not only was their service fast, but the rep got right to the point and answered my questions clearly and concisely.
Result: 17 minutes
Rating: 5/5 – Fast and effective service
E-mail Support Test #2-Thursday/11:26 p.m.
The response to my next inquiry wasn’t quite as fast – almost five hours – but it was still within the norm for e-mail response time, and better than some of the other companies I’ve worked with.
Once again their service was polite and professional, and right on cue with what I needed.
Result: 4 hours 54 minutes
Rating: 4/5 – Slower, but still pretty fast
Though I wish they had more ways to contact their customer service, I was still really impressed with how fast VPNLUX’s customer service was.
Their responses answered my questions really well, and were clearly from a real person, and not a copied and pasted section of their FAQ (yea, that happens).
Overall Support Rating: 9/10 – Fast and effective
How Fast is VPNLUX?
This is without doubt one of the most frustrating things to have go wrong with a VPN.
You go through all the trouble of shopping around, signing up, and setting up the connection, only to find out it’s not fast enough to keep up with you.
There’s really no way to know for sure just how fast a VPN is going to be until you put it to the test, which is what I did here with VPNLUX.
I was totally surprised. Usually your connection with a VPN is at least a little bit slower, but with VPNLUX mine was substantially faster.
I don’t know what to make of this – maybe their servers weren’t too busy at the time, or maybe VPNLUX is just that good.
Either way, it looks like you can count on these guys for streaming and downloading.
Rating: 5/5 – Even faster with VPN!
How Much Does VPNLUX Cost?
In the end, it all comes down to dollars and cents.
After checking out all of a VPN’s features, customer service, and connection quality, you need to make sure that you’re not paying an unfair amount for a monthly fee.
The high side of average is about $15 per month, so anything more than that isn’t worth your time.
Unfortunately, VPNLUX falls into this category. Their cheapest service package is $19 per month, and it rapidly increases from there.
This is definitely one of the higher pricing models I’ve seen for a VPN, and with such a complicated set up process, I don’t think it’s really worth the price tag they put on it.
Rating: 2/5 – Priced high compared to competition
The X Factor
This final category refers more to your overall impression of a VPN provider.
Some companies present themselves really well, with a professional language, a slick and easy to navigate website, and an open dialogue with their customers about the specifications of their products.
Others can be a bit shady, with primitive software designs, and product descriptions that are so poorly worded you just know they were copied and pasted from Google Translate.
Overall I just didn’t get a super good feeling from VPNLUX. Their language was like I described before – choppy and clearly poorly translated.
In addition, there was very little specific information on their products on their website.
This coupled with a lot of wishy washy policies and terms of service would make me nervous to give them my payment credentials.
Rating: 5/20 – Sketchy and shrewd
I know that seems like an awful lot to cover when you’re shopping around for a VPN, but seriously, you might as well shop smart. Let’s do a quick recap and see how VPNLUX did in our review.
- no data logging
- secure connection
- lots of security options
- easy to use software
- fast customer service
- very fast connection
- not compatible with Linux or Android
- only one connection per VPN type
- no refunds for poor customer service
- no referral program
- only 6 servers
- bandwidth subject to unwritten limitations
- incredibly difficult to set up
- customer service isn’t 24/7
- no live support
- prices on the high side
Overall Score: 49/100
As you can see, VPNLUX didn’t do so hot in this review. In the end, their lack of concrete service policies and poor server count just didn’t cut it.
If nothing else, hopefully you learned what to look for and what to avoid as you search for the VPN that’s right for you.
To get VPNLUX, sign up here: VPNLUX
To see the highest rated VPN that scored a 97/100, click here: Express VPN.