Dashlane’s name should sound familiar primarily because of their password manager service. However, with the 6th version of this tool, to our surprise, they added an integrated VPN functionality. This new feature has made it interesting enough for us to test the service out to see how it compares to other VPNs.
Are the security featured solid? Is it fast? How compatible is this service with your devices? Let’s dig in.
Security and privacy features
First of all, I should point out that Dashlane uses technology provided by AnchorFree for their VPN features. This is the same company that makes a Hotspot Shield, a premium VPN service. All this means that in theory, you should be getting a more or less comparable service.
However, this isn’t entirely good news: in the past, the Center for Democracy and Technology and Carnegie Mellon University accused Hotspot Shield of data mining and selling it to advertisers. Is this a valid privacy concern? Let’s see!
Encryption and tunneling protocols
Dashlane uses AES-256 encryption, whereas the tunneling protocol depends on your device. On Windows and Android devices, it uses OpenVPN, on macOS you get IPSec, and on iOS devices, the protocol used is AnchorFree’s proprietary Catapult Hydra. The latter is very fast protocol, great for streaming or torrenting.
I was somewhat surprised by such variety of security protocols because Hotspot Shield themselves dropped OpenVPN in favor of Catapult Hydra.
Dashlane has no kill switch on Windows, Mac, or iOS.
Using these Dashlane apps, when your network connection is interrupted, you will automatically reconnect using your regular connection. Android devices have an inbuilt kill switch feature called Always-On VPN to take care of you when using Dashlane.
IP or DNS leaks
One of the ways you can check for IP or DNS leaks is to run a simple online test which we do for all our reviews. In order to do that, I connected to Italy and was assigned the IP address 220.127.116.11.
Then I checked whether my IP address or DNS queries were leaking:
As you can see, our real DNS IP address was revealed during these tests, which mean our ISP can see what we’re doing online. This is exactly the sort of situation we want to prevent by using a VPN.
Dashlane operates out of the US. If you are privacy conscious, this should raise some concerns for you. The US has a long history of nationwide surveillance programs and is a member of the Five Eyes alliance. This makes it a far from ideal place to run a VPN from.
If privacy is your major concern, you have better chances of finding it with VPNs located elsewhere.
Dashlane’s logging policy as stated on their website:
“The only information tracked is technical information related to your VPN connection, in order to maintain performance and stability.
No history is kept of your browsing through the VPN. Additionally, Dashlane provides no identifiable information about our users to AnchorFree, the providers of the technology behind our VPN.
AnchorFree does not collect or retain any personal information from Dashlane’s users, and therefore does not share any such data with third parties. Furthermore, AnchorFree serves no advertisements and does not provide any advertising SDKs to its partners’ applications.”
This is certainly a reassuring stance on privacy, which also answers the question raised earlier. Dashlane claims not to give any data to AnchorFree, the developers of Hotspot Shield.
If staying completely anonymous is your #1 concern, choose a different service – Dashlane doesn’t accept anonymous payments. You can only pay by credit card or via PayPal.
To see how their speeds stack up I completed a series of usual tests. Always keep in mind that VPN speeds are a highly subjective matter that depends on many factors with the user’s location being a particularly significant one.
First, I tested the internet connection speed without a VPN:
- Download: 235.66 Mbps (72% drop-off)
- Upload: 279.51 Mbps (91% drop-off)
- Ping: 17
And, this is what I got when I tried connecting to different parts of the world:
- Download: 64.27 Mbps (72% drop-off)
- Upload: 22.80 Mbps (91% drop-off)
- Ping: 27
- Download: 24.74 Mbps (89% drop-off)
- Upload: 3.23 Mbps (98% drop-off)
- Ping: 305
- Download: 9.12 Mbps (96% drop-off)
- Upload: 0.48 Mbps (99% drop-off)
- Ping: 363
As usual, the further is the location from Europe, the worse connection speeds. No matter how you cut it, the connection speeds are disappointing. If you’re looking for killer speeds you definitely should be looking for a different VPN service.
Does Dashlane support my device?
Dashlane supports the following platforms and their VPN functionality works on their apps only:
You should also keep in mind that Firefox and Chrome extensions that are available do not provide a VPN service and are primarily intended to be used as a password manager.
Dashlane VPN desktop app
If you’re a Mac user and intend to use Dashlane as a VPN service you’re going to need to find it first. The VPN functionality is hidden deep in the settings menu. This might scare first-time users off.
On Windows, the experience is much more streamlined and you don’t get the impression that the promised feature is missing.
Once you find the VPN tab, you’ll need to install the additional files (with separate permissions) required for VPN setup after which you can easily connect to any of the 26 countries.
There are no other possible preference settings and you cannot choose particular servers, only countries. I assume that there is only one server per country as each time I tried to connect, I got the same IP addresses.
Dashlane VPN mobile apps
The easiest way to get the Dashlane VPN app is to download it from the Apple Store or Google Play store.
I would say that the mobile version has a superior interface to the desktop app. Finding the VPN option is much easier.
Other than that, the mobile version has a very similar interface to the desktop app. Again, it’s very clean and easy to follow.
Once you log in, you’ll be able to select a country from a drop-down menu and press on the connection switch.
Netflix and other streaming services
You can’t unblock Netflix using the Dashlane VPN. They even claim you can’t on their website:
“Some websites offering to stream movies and series, such as Netflix or HULU, don’t work if Dashlane VPN is activated.”
Needless to say, streaming is off the table with this VPN. If you’re looking for ways to watch Netflix you may have better luck finding it on our best VPN for Netflix list.
What about Kodi?
When it comes to anonymity, using Dashlane VPN with Kodi is better than nothing. However, with such insufficient speeds, the experience may not be very enjoyable.
Does Dashlane support torrenting?
The company states that this service can be used with P2P networks. Great news? Well, only sort-of. Port-forwarding is not supported which locks you out of some torrenting communities that calculate your download/upload ratios.
I didn’t really run into any problems with the service but it would seem that premium users’ tickets get reviewed first. It’s also a nice touch that you may contact them by mail or via their live chat support.
These options are not available through the app and you will have to go on their site should any issue came up.
Although you may use Dashlane for free, this only provides password manager functionality – it doesn’t include a VPN function.
Dashlane prices are decent, but you get tied down as there’s no 1 month subscription:
- 1 year (premium): $4.99/month
- 1 year (premium plus): $9.99/month
The supported payment methods include credit cards and PayPal only. Unfortunately, there is no anonymous payment option.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, but you’ll have to provide your credit card details
Should you get Dashlane VPN?
One of the biggest selling points of Dashlane is that it’s primarily a password manager that offers additional features like Dark Web monitoring. However, as strictly a VPN it’s somewhat weak.
Since you may use Dashlane with their free version on its own, it would make the most sense just to use it as a password manager and if you’re looking for a quality VPN service it’s probably best to invest in a separate provider. This way not only would you get more functionality, but you may also pay less since many major VPN providers can deliver a better experience for a better price.