Virtual private networks, or VPNs, have grown in popularity over the last few years. They enable users to browse the internet with true anonymity, access geo-restricted content and ensure government and ISPs don’t monitor your online activity. Many providers have emerged to fill this space in the internet services market. One of the newer entries is SaferVPN, a company founded in 2013. They offer a fairly comprehensive suite of VPN services and features, and dub themselves as “the fastest and simplest VPN worldwide.” Do they live up to these claims? Read on for more insights!
What is SaferVPN?
SaferVPN (sometimes written as Safer VPN) is a relative newcomer amongst consumer VPN services, having only been founded in 2013. Despite this, they have a VPN server presence in some 34 countries, with 700+ servers in operation at launch. More are being added on an ongoing basis as needed. SaferVPN manages their network in-house, with custom net code to ensure the fastest speeds possible. Already, hundreds of thousands of customers have signed up for one of their paid VPN service plans. They offer core features common to most modern VPNs, as well as a few extras that set them apart from the competition. At present, the SaferVPN application is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, most routers, Chrome, and Firefox.
Like most VPNs available today, SaferVPN has a simple app available for most common operating systems. Once you complete a SaferVPN download, you can install the app quite easily, and in just a few clicks, be connected to the network of servers around the world.
SaferVPN currently has over 700 servers operating in 34 countries. Like many modern VPNs, you don’t pick a server location – you pick your desired country for outbound IP address, and the system finds a suitable server automatically. The app works on all major operating systems – Linux is yet to be supported, but the company is working on rolling out a Linux version of their app soon. A full range of protocols is supported, including the typical OpenVPN, along with L2TP, PTPP, and IKEv2.
Privacy & Encryption – Is SaferVPN Safe?
SaferVPN, by its very name, seeks to reassure you that it is inherently safe. And, as most SaferVPN reviews point out, it really is! They use industry-standard AES-256, a 256-bit encryption algorithm that is essentially impossible to brute-force crack. At the same time, they do not show any DNS or IP leaking in testing. To top it off, they also employ a kill switch. So, if you do lose connection to the VPN, then your connection to the remote server drops immediately. This prevents your IP address from being exposed. Additionally, in late 2017, the company rolled-out automatic Wi-Fi security, which protects devices automatically when on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks – an extra layer of safety and security that no other VPN offers. They don’t log your data; they only record anonymized data on session length and total data transfer, as well as origin country – there’s nothing linked to your IP address or account, and nothing about where you browse or what you do while connected.
The interface is one area where SaferVPN distinguishes itself from the competition. The app, regardless of which platform you use, is simple, straightforward, streamlined, and easy-to-use. While there aren’t a ton of advanced features packed into the app or the service, it lets you easily pick and switch server countries as often as you’d like, change the protocol being used, and other basic tasks. It’s also visually appealing.
The performance of SaferVPN is good to excellent in terms of speed and connection stability. In many cases, 60-70% of download speed for large files or streaming is achieved, so there is very limited overhead/latency added. Even when using servers in less-developed countries, halfway around the world, you can still achieve respectable 5-10 Mbps speeds. However, there are two important things to note here. First, torrenting is not allowed on the SaferVPN service, at all. Second, Netflix functionality (along with other subscription streaming services) is hit or miss based on server and location. When it works, the quality is excellent, but not every connection option works with every service, and it changes all the time.
Ease of Use
Currently, there are no complaints with ease of use. After completing the SaferVPN download, you install the app, open it, and click to connect. Favorite server locations are marked, and the whole list of locations is available, along with some basic menus of options (changing the protocol, for instance), help, and so forth. That’s all there is to it!
The customer support options for SaferVPN include an online support/knowledge base for self-help, full of detailed information, guides, and FAQs. This is far more detailed than many of their competitors and deserves recognition. At the same time, help is available either via email/ticket system or through 24/7 live chat agents (which may or may not employ some bots/AI as a first-pass screening tool). Customer satisfaction with the support options is extremely high, and it’s clearly an area that the company has put a lot of effort into getting right.
SaferVPN Prices and Packages
There is no SaferVPN free option, as with some other service providers. Instead, there is a SaferVPN trial, which allows you to use the service for 24 hours unrestricted for free. Otherwise, the subscription packages all offer the same features, and just differ in duration and price, as detailed below.
This is the monthly, pay-as-you-go plan, and as with most services, it is the most expensive in the long-term. Avoid unless you are unsure about using the service long-term, or you’ll be paying a lot of extra cost for no reason.
The annual plan is a much better option than the monthly, with a price that works out to slightly less than half of the cost when paid monthly.
Two Year Plan
The two-year plan is really your best bet. It’s 70% cheaper than the monthly plan, and 40% cheaper than the annual plan. In other words; you get two years for only about $13 more than you’d pay for 1 year under the annual plan.
SaferVPN has really made a name for itself in the few short years that it has been around. It offers all the basic features of most top VPNs, the added bonus of automatic Wi-Fi security, is compatible with all major operating systems and devices and has excellent speed and reliability. The downsides are a prohibition on torrenting, and spotty/inconsistent access to Netflix and other premium streaming platforms (though the streaming technology/servers are there and work well). The price is very competitive with other top-tier consumer VPNs, so it’s definitely worth giving it a try, either for a month or with the 24-hour free trial. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, so really, trying for a month means you have nothing to lose!
Pros and Cons
- Good speed and network reliability
- Pricing plans are fair and reasonable
- Strong security and consumer privacy protection
- Multiple payment options, including Bitcoin for anonymity
- No torrenting allowed on the service
- Netflix and other premium streaming service access is inconsistent
- Limited advanced features/configurations