VPNArea review

VPNArea review: To protect your web traffic and privacy, you need a virtual private network to secure your internet connection. VPNArea has all the excellent VPN service features, with unique features such as multi-hop connections and IP address rotation. It also includes dedicated servers for connecting to streaming video services that block VPNs’ use, and it even scores some impressive speed test scores. On the other hand, it is hampered by a subtle user experience that extends from the company’s website to the VPN client, and only a low number of servers are available.

VPNArea review: Privacy and logging

The VPNArea website emphasizes that no logs are kept, and the company’s privacy policy provides much more detail than usual.

“We do not monitor, record, or store logs for a single client’s VPN activities. We do not monitor, record, or store log-in data, timestamps, inbound and outbound IP addresses, bandwidth statistics, or any other identifying VPN users’ information using our VPN servers. We do not log or track DNS requests sent to our DNS servers.

VPNArea review

The company says the right things, but there is no independent evidence to support this because it has not had a public privacy or security audit.

VPNArea’s policy regarding the release of personal information is encouraging. Many other providers say they will hand it over if they think it is a legal requirement, which can only mean that they will be persuaded by the person requesting it. VPNArea says it will do nothing until it receives a court order and will “fight any legal request to comply with the law. Although the company also says it hasn’t received any recommendations yet, it doesn’t seem to be at significant risk.

While scouring the fine print, we also noticed that VPNArea allows the sharing of accounts with friends, family, or colleagues, which is explicitly prohibited by most providers. The company also says that it does not recommend more than two users to connect simultaneously. While it is unlikely that both will accept that you download torrents 24/7, this is still much more flexibility than you would typically see elsewhere.

VPNArea review: Streaming support

VPNArea is committed to unblocking popular services on its website and with its customers, which is good to see – but does the company deliver? We were worried that VPNArea’s special BBC iPlayer was no longer on the location list. But that’s okay because iPlayer now works with the regular UK servers, so you don’t have to choose anything else.

VPNArea has three specialized servers for Netflix: one in the US, one you bring in Netflix but are physically in the EU (and therefore faster, in theory, if you are in Europe), and one for UK Netflix. We couldn’t connect to the second one for some unknown reason, but the others worked fine in our tests.

And the good news continued to come when VPNArea successfully unblocked everything from US YouTube to Amazon Prime Video and even Disney+, getting the service up and running right away with things like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

VPNArea review: Performance

Performing performance tests on VPNArea gave us generally positive results. UK to UK connections was inconsistent but always acceptable at 45-65Mbps on our 75Mbps test line. UK to the US speeds only dropped slightly to 35-40Mbps. Even when we deliberately chose the server with the highest latency and maximum load (Sydney, Australia), VPNArea still managed 4-5Mbps. But we also noticed that the connection time could be extended (up to 15-20 seconds), and some servers wouldn’t connect at all, a real annoyance if you want to go online. That’s not some temporary problem either – we had the same problem in our last review.

We completed our VPNArea review with several privacy tests, and these were more successful. VPNArea protected our identity correctly at all times, blocking DNS and WebRTC leaks without any additional effort on our part.

Pricing and plans

Prices are fair at about $9.90 a month, drop to a reasonable $4.92 with a one-year contract, and only $2.99 if you sign up for three years. The company has a ‘dedicated IP’ option, which it says offers your private VPN server for an additional $20 (£15.38) per year. There are a handful of providers with even lower prices – Surfshark charges just $1.99 a month on its two-year plan – but VPNArea looks better than most.

VPNArea no longer offers a trial period, but very few providers do so nowadays. There is one small compensation: the company has increased its money-back guarantee to 14 days with the one-month plan, 30 days if you sign up for one or three years.

VPNArea review: Customer support

VPNArea offers live chat. That means 24/7 chat support. Someone should be available to help you at any time. At least, that’s the theory. Their FAQ page reads: “Response time is normally never more than 4 hours, and usually you can reach us directly on Live Chat. All you have to do is enter a username or nickname and your email address and click “Start Chat” to get started.

Final words

There is much to love about VPNArea. They offer all the crucial protocols along with the best encryption methods money can buy. Good start! That whole ‘server-to-customer’ relationship isn’t a lot of hot air either. Too many customers become a problem if you’re all competing for the same amount of resources. Server problems mean slower performance. They’re lower than average pricing is tempting.

And their VPN client interface is stable. Plus, the VPNArea app is available on almost every type of device out there. Its features also include a punch: there’s a built-in speed test, kill switch, anti-DNS leak, and an auto-IP changer.

8 Total Score
Our Verdict

Our connection problems are a concern, but VPNArea's excellent unblocking performance and interesting features make it worth taking a look at.

PROS
  • Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, Amazon, Disney+
  • Good value
  • P2P-friendly
  • Wide platform support
CONS
  • Some connection problems
  • Underpowered mobile apps
  • No choice of protocol
  • No trial
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