The first thing you encounter on LimeVPN’s website is the headline, ‘Cheap VPN Service Provider.’ For some people, that’s understandably exciting; for others, not so much. As such, our LimeVPN review is here to decide whether the headline means ‘cheap and cheerful’ or ‘cheap and nasty.’
On first glance, it’s a fantastically secure piece of software that uses military-grade encryption. Better yet, it’s available on a range of operating systems and apps and, depending on where you are, it can offer some genuinely speedy server connections. However, these are just some of the aspects we’ll need to cover in our LimeVPN review.
What we’re also interested in are the practicalities of using LimeVPN, such as whether it unblocks Netflix or can provide access to filtered content for users in China. We understand that these are the main draws for users seeking a high-quality VPN, so we’ve taken a look under the hood to see precisely how it all works out.
Is LimeVPN safe to use?
LimeVPN uses 256-bit encryption, although it isn’t clear whether that’s AES–CBC/GCM or the Blowfish cipher. Both are viable options, but it would help to know the specifics.
We do know, however, that LimeVPN supports OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, and PPTP protocols. The main ones we’re interested in are OpenVPN and SSTP, as these are among the best and most secure protocols on the market today.
Where LimeVPN falters slightly is in its leak protection. Although it doesn’t have a private DNS server, it does have strong DNS leak protection, alongside safeguards against WebRTC leaks.
Putting the service to the test, we found that LimeVPN did not leak our DNS or WebRTC information. However, there’s no protection against IPv6 leakage, which is obviously a notable issue.
Thankfully, though, LimeVPN does come with a kill switch, which is essential for making sure your data remains locked tight even when your connection drops.
This is where our LimeVPN review becomes slightly less impressed with the service. The company is registered in Singapore, which is a known collaborator with the 5/9/14 Eyes alliances.
The Singaporean government is also known to pry on its citizens in clandestine ways and is very shady about the content it filters from easy access.
Thankfully, LimeVPN’s log-keeping policy ensures almost total anonymity; the only things it tracks are your bandwidth usage, the duration of your connection, and the times at which you log on and off.
Thus, we find it quite easy to believe this statement from their website: ‘Neither we nor third parties are technically possible to match an IP address to an account.’
Speed and performance
LimeVPN has a server fleet of around twenty, which is a tiny amount. These are mostly in North America, Western Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
As such, there is little chance of good speeds for users in core East Asian territories (China, Japan, the Koreas), the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, the UAE), or South America (Brazil, Peru, or Argentina).
Otherwise, LimeVPN delivers relatively decent speeds despite the smaller fleet of servers. The VPN is connected to 10Gbit nodes, so it performed relatively well on our speed tests.
How to download and install it
All the relevant files can be found on the company’s website and become available after you’ve made your account and selected your payment plan.
The actual installation process tends to be rather complicated. For that reason, though, the LimeVPN website features very detailed instructions under its ‘How to Use’ section on the top banner.
The website is relatively easy to navigate, so it’s easy enough to find this information. However, there were certain flaws to be found with the website, such as a misguided IP tracker and more than a few dead hyperlinks.
While there seems to be a sufficient level of attention to detail regarding the actual VPN service, do keep in mind that a company’s website can often be reflective of the services it offers. Long-term users of LimeVPN should bear that in mind.
Apps and extensions
LimeVPN is available for a range of operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, and Chromebook.
LimeVPN is also compatible with certain routers. This particularly pleases us because it makes it likely that LimeVPN supports Amazon TV and Kodi.
Unfortunately, there are no browser extensions available with LimeVPN, which certainly detracts from the positive user experience one may wish to have with this service.
LimeVPN for Netflix
Netflix is one of the primary reasons people use VPN. Whether it’s to catch up on TV from your home country while abroad, or simply to access a different, larger catalogue of choices, VPN is the best way to achieve that.
Looking around the web, though, not every reviewer seems to have been able to use LimeVPN to access Netflix. Most seem to have received the dreaded error message: ‘You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy.’
Our experience was completely the opposite: we were able to stream high-quality video on US Netflix (accessing from the UK) without any glitches or buffering.
LimeVPN for torrenting
LimeVPN, on the other hand, seems genuinely pro-torrenting. Not only does it provide P2P support (on the Pro package), there is even an advisory blog post on the LimeVPN website entitled ‘The Safest Countries for Torrenting.’
With the company’s blessing and with relatively powerful connection speeds, then, LimeVPN appears to be one of the better services with which to satisfy your torrenting needs.
Is it good for users in China?
Bypassing the Great Firewall of China is no easy task, and even the most prominent protocol in use, OpenVPN, is unable to crack it.
For this reason, LimeVPN is likely unsuitable for non-Windows users in China.
The reason we say ‘non-Windows’, however, is that LimeVPN does support SSTP, which can be used to bypass the Great Firewall.
SSTP was developed by Microsoft, and as a result, it is only compatible on Windows. This ultimately saves LimeVPN, but it’s still a shame that it couldn’t be more accessible across the board.
It’s all well and good a VPN being top-of-the-line in terms of quality and security features, but if something goes wrong unexpectedly, or if you’re new to VPN, then it better to know the company has your back.
Alas, LimeVPN has a genuine 24/7 chat function with accurate, comprehensive, but not jargon-riddled tech support.
The website’s FAQ section leaves a lot to be desired, though, as it only covers a light range of possible issues. This may be an issue for some who may not feel confident striking up a conversation with support teams.
As we mentioned during the intro, LimeVPN is likely the cheapest of its kind—and proudly so.
At just $1.49 per month, the basic package of LimeVPN is almost a steal. That package comes with most of the essential features of a VPN, including unlimited bandwidth and hotspot WiFi protection.
There is a significantly more expensive version, LimeVPN Pro, for $19.99 per month. This version supports P2P sharing and torrenting, provides DDoS protection, and TOR over VPN.
Our only issue here is that some of those features are available on VPN that cost less than $11 per month. However, the $1.49/month basic package should certainly provide excellent value-for-money for most users.
To answer the question posed at the beginning of our LimeVPN review, we mostly believe this service falls into the ‘cheap and cheerful’ category.
It’s extraordinarily good value for money for the basic package, although advanced users and fans of torrenting should note that their dedicated package is significantly more expensive.
If we were to suggest any improvements to the service, though, there’s one in particular that springs to mind: move it the hell away from Singapore. Not only does the government collaborate with other surveillance giants, it’s also incredibly shady about how it operates its own data surveillance efforts.