Last update: 05.08.2019
Allowing you to filter your web traffic through two servers of your choice, Netmap is a provider which offers excellent online privacy for its users – all made possible with a clear no-logging policy and a choice of solid encryption protocols. However, with a lack of decent customer support, high cost, and inconsistent speeds, it has much room for improvement.
Aimed at a predominantly Russian-speaking crowd, Netmap is a VPN service that offers a range of advanced security features which allow you to benefit from enhanced online privacy. Providing a range of price plans, Netmap benefits from a range of solid security protocols, doesn’t keep any logs, and can even be used to bypass geo-restrictions put in place by services such as Netflix.
In our complete Netmap review, we’ll tell you everything that you need to know if you’re considering investing in this particular service. In the process, we’ll cover the price, security features, speed & performance, and much more. Continue reading as we provide all of the essential information.
Security and privacy
If a VPN doesn’t use solid encryption protocols to secure your data, then it is pretty much useless, as any opportunist thieves can easily intercept it. Thankfully, you shouldn’t have such a problem with Netmap, as it supports a total of 5 encryption protocols:
- Tor node
A kill switch is also included with Netmap, which means that your internet connection is cut in the event your VPN connection is interrupted. In turn, this protects you from having your data intercepted by any would-be thieves or any other prying eyes.
However, bear in mind that there is no IPv6 or DNS leak protection, though they offer their own DNS servers. This means that your data could potentially be leaked even while your VPN connection is active. This may be slightly concerning to anyone worried about their online privacy. With that said, this particular VPN supports solid 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN and L2TP over IPSec.
Does Netmap keep logs?
Netmap is based in Russia and has a Soviet Union domain (.su). That looks a bit suspicious, taking into account that optimal online privacy is something that might not be guaranteed with this particular provider.
Netmap claims not to keep any logs of its users, while anonymous payment methods are also accepted if you have any doubts. Just bear in mind that the website doesn’t mention any specifics in terms of what data is stored. Also, it’s important to remember that Netmap is in Russia, which has strong mandatory data retention laws.
Speed and performance
We made our test from Europe, with the following baseline speed:
Then we’ve tried a nearby location to see what’s the effect of turning Netmap VPN on:
- Download: 14 Mbps (94% drop-off)
- Upload: 31 Mbps (88% drop-off)
- Download: 19 Mbps (92% drop-off)
- Upload: 72 Mbps (72% drop-off)
- Download: 5 Mbps (98% drop-off)
- Upload: 9 Mbps (97% drop-off)
- Download: 8 Mbps (97% drop-off)
- Upload: 14 Mbps (95% drop-off)
The speeds offered by Netmap are very slow. This means that you probably won’t be able to perform most online tasks which include HD video streaming, gaming, and torrenting.
The number of servers at your disposal is something that you need to take into account when you are looking to invest in a VPN. With a total of 32 servers in 23 countries, it’s safe to say that you don’t get a whole lot of choice with Netmap VPN – especially when you compare it to the likes of NordVPN and ExpressVPN which each offer over 4,000 and 3,000 servers respectively.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
You’ll find that you can set up Netmap on each of the following platforms:
- Mac OS
Getting things up and running should be easy enough for anyone with at least a little technical knowledge. However, obtaining customer support is easier said than done in most cases. This will be looked at further in our Netmap review.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
Unblocking hugely popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer is one of the biggest reasons one might use a VPN service. After all, an ever-increasing number of websites and services happen to be utilizing such practices which block access to content based on your geographical location.
At the present moment, we were unable to connect to Netflix, Hulu or BBC iPlayer with Netmap. For a guaranteed way to bypass geo-blocked services, check out our list of the best VPNs for Netflix.
P2P and torrenting
With no-logging, the ability to pay anonymously, and the fact that there is a kill switch, Netmap can be used by anyone who downloads torrents as this ensures that your internet activity isn’t viewed by a third-party if your VPN connection is interrupted.
However, there are no dedicated servers for downloading content or streaming, and the lack of leak protection could worry some people. So, be sure to take this into account before purchasing a subscription if these are features you would like to benefit from.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
When it comes to countries such as China, it’s safe to say that you need to take extra care whether you’re a resident or even just visiting the country. Many websites and services such as Facebook are blocked within the country as it takes a very strict stance on internet censorship – utilizing something known as the Great Firewall of China.
In terms of Netmap VPN, there is a blog post on their website which specifically mentions that their service can be used within China. However, as there is no DNS or IPv6 leak protection, this means that you would be far better off searching for an alternative VPN to keep yourself adequately protected in your quest to avoid online surveillance. Otherwise, you might find yourself getting onto the wrong side of the law if you were caught using a VPN for illicit purposes.
When it comes to customer support, Netmap offers the following support options:
- Live chat
- Setup guides
- Support ticket
While their website states that they’re working 24/7, that doesn’t seem to apply to the live chat which was offline at the moment of writing this article.
In their dedicated setup guides and FAQ, it appears that screenshots are in Russian language only, which could potentially lead to you struggling to set up the service on your device. With that said, there are text-based instructions underneath, which should be easy enough to follow along for most users.
It’s safe to say that Netmap isn’t the most cost-effective VPN out there. This means that it might well be pushed beyond the price range of a lot of people.
They offer the following pricing options:
- Yearly: $10.83 a month
- 6 months: $11.66 a month
- 1 month: $15.00 a month
It’s important to mention that the plans above aren’t any good for those who have multiple devices. This is because you can only set up the service on 1 device per each protocol, which is disappointing considering this isn’t the case with most other VPNs.
You can purchase Netmap with Bitcoin and WebMoney among the other options at your disposal. Using a credit card is possible with a Russian service called InterKassa. Either way, if you do decide to purchase a subscription and aren’t happy in any way, there’s a 7-day refund guarantee. It doesn’t appear that a free trial is available.
Overall, it is clear to see that several excellent security features will ensure that your personal information is kept well away from any prying eyes. However, this VPN’s many downsides such as its high monthly cost, mediocre speeds and inability to get around geo-restrictions mean that you have plenty of other alternatives to choose from that are superior in more ways than one.
The fact that it’s based in Russia, which is said to be cracking down on VPN use, also means that Netmap’s longevity will be thrown into doubt.