Last update: 09.12.2018
RA4W VPN wants you to get raw with them, but are they keeping your data secure when you do?
RA4W VPN is a US-based VPN that protects your data using OpenVPN and the AES-256 cipher (market standard).
They advertise high-speed transfers, but we’ve seen several complaints online that speeds are being throttled. On the other hand, if speed isn’t your main concern, it’s one of the cheapest VPNs on the market at just $3.49/month or $29.99 for lifetime subscription – just keep in mind that’s the company’s lifetime they have in mind, not yours.
Not only is it cheap, but you get a lot of accessibility for that low price. Currently, the tool supports not just a range of mobile and desktop options, but several routers as well.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a VPN that will unlock Netflix, then RA4W VPN is not the answer for you. However, if you’re a movie fan and a tech-buff, you’ll be happy to know that this VPN gives you access to torrenting and other P2P, with the exception of US servers.
Finally, during our RA4W VPN Review, we found it very user-friendly – something that even non-techies could easily get up and running. However, if you do run into any issues, they have a good customer support team as well.
We hate it when VPNs don’t offer a free trial, and we know you do too. Keep reading this RA4W VPN Review to decide if this low-cost VPN is the right one for you.
Is R4AW VPN Safe to Use?
The reason we started our RA4W VPN review by mentioning that it is registered in the US is that this is problematic in terms of security. Firstly, the US is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which means data gathered by intelligence in the US may be accessed by other Five Eyes countries. Secondly, it has an overall privacy-unfriendly atmosphere, where law enforcement has wide powers to access personal data.
On top of that, they’re using state-of-the-art encryption and VPN protocols. In terms of encryption, they use government-grade 256-Bit AES encryption. Seriously, this is the encryption the US government uses to keep their information secure. To this date, there are no known direct breaches of this encryption.
They also use the OpenVPN protocol, which is the gold standard in the industry thanks to its security and open-source nature.
Speed & Performance
Generally, the speed tests for this RA4W VPN review showed good results and we operated at 50-60% of our standard connection speeds. There are a number of facts that will affect the final result of any speed test, including the distance to the server, the original connection and the hardware itself. Ultimately, however, we wouldn’t recommend this VPN for users who are focused on speed – there are better options.
RA4W VPN offers 33 servers in around 20 countries. While the majority of these are, unsurprisingly, in the US, they have decent international coverage as well. Rather surprisingly, they even claim to have two servers in Russia. They are probably Virtual Private Servers (VPS), but we wouldn’t recommend using them just in case they aren’t.
Users who aren’t focused on speed will be happy that the service allows an unlimited number of connections. The only restriction is that each connection has to be via a different server.
How to download & install RA4W VPN
Since RA4W VPN doesn’t offer a free trial option, the only way to get the download link is by signing up for an account. Luckily, their entry membership fee is very affordable. Getting up and running is as easy as downloading the application – just click the green button and run the executable.
The only hiccup that we ran into when using the app for this RA4W VPN review was the fact that the username and password for the application is not the same as the one for the website. Instead, you’ll find the login information on your user dashboard in the Member’s area of the website.
How to use it
Once you’ve navigated the oddly-confusing login procedure, you’ll be ready to use RA4W VPN. The client is very easy-to-use, if not exactly easy on the eyes. Bright green, really? But getting connected is as easy as clicking on the big green “Connect” button.
Anyone with a bit of technical knowledge, on the other hand, will find the Windows client rather aggravating. There seems to be a lot going on, but in reality, there isn’t much there. With no ways to configure our connection and change important settings, we found that even on Windows, we relied exclusively on OpenVPN instead of the dedicated client.
What the dedicated client does give you, however, are your connection statistics (such as your upload and download speeds). Kind of interesting, sure but not terribly useful.
Apps & Extensions
At present, the service only has a dedicated client for Windows. However, the use of OpenVPN means that it can be downloaded on a variety of other devices.
You’ll need to know how to configure the OpenVPN app, but when you do, you’ll be able to use RA4W VPN on Mac (OS X and above), Android, iOS, and Linux. It also works with certain routers, including DD-WRT, AsusWRT and Tomato routers.
RA4W VPN for Netflix
If access to Netflix US is the reason you’re looking for a VPN, then you would have already closed this RA4W VPN review after reading the pros and cons. Unfortunately, it cannot get access to any Netflix content. This is also true for other streaming services as well, such as the BBC iPlayer and Hulu. Since it doesn’t offer support for Amazon Fire TV either, it seems that movie fans will need to look elsewhere.
RA4W VPN for Torrenting
RA4W VPN technically allows access to P2P servers and torrenting. However, as we mentioned in the introduction, there are some limits placed on access to servers when torrenting. For one thing, P2P is not allowed on any US servers.
Additionally, clients who are located outside the US are quite restricted when it comes to the servers that can be used for torrents. According to their website, the following is a list of servers where torrenting or accessing P2P servers is banned.
- All US locations
- Sydney, AU
- Frankfurt, DE
- Espoo, FI
- Hong Kong, HK
- Pune, IN
- Tokyo, JP
- Warsaw, PL
- Singapore, SG
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Hampshire, UK
- London, UK
- Johannesburg, ZA
That takes out more than half their servers, which means that the remaining servers are more likely to be strained by the load of torrent users. The providers recommend torrenting through their servers in Belarus or Russia to avoid problems – not the best solution.
Is it good for users in China?
Unfortunately, RA4W VPN is not available to users in China. It is, however, available in many other restricted markets, including Belarus, Russia, and Bulgaria.
In 2017, the Chinese government announced that they were banning most private VPNs. Since then, many established VPNs have found it difficult to penetrate the “Great Firewall of China”. Users will find more success with VPNs that are newer to the market and therefore not as easily detected by the Chinese authorities or high-end large service providers (like ExpressVPN or NordVPN).
Customer support is a surprising bright spot for RA4W VPN. At first, we were disappointed by the lack of a live-chat. However, we have noticed that many of the low-end VPNs with a supposed 24/7 service end up offering sub-par support anyway.
Instead, customers will need to open a customer service ticket by filling out the contact form on the website. When we tried doing this for our RA4W VPN review, we were pleasantly surprised to receive a helpful, detailed and honest answer within a few hours of submitting our question.
For more run-of-the-mill problems, especially the type that occur during the installation and setup, we recommend searching through their knowledge base. They have a searchable FAQ section that covers a wide range of topics, from whether or not torrenting is allowed to issues with the configuration of the system.
At the moment, RA4W VPN offers four membership plans. All of them include unlimited bandwidth and devices, no logs, and unlimited port switching.
- Monthly – $3.49
- Quarterly – $7.99
- Yearly – $15.99
- Lifetime – $29.99
Those are very understandable prices, however, we would like to point out that RA4W VPN Lifetime subscription should be viewed with suspicion. In the past, this pricing model has been used as a way to make a buck before disappearing and so on. While that’s probably not the case here, Lifetime memberships always raise questions of sustainability and future trajectory – you have been warned!
Conclusion of the RA4W VPN review
The bottom line is that this is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, but it feels like the embodiment of “you get what you pay for”. Yes, the long-term memberships cost next to nothing, but we’re not sure that you’re getting value for money with that.
With 32 servers around the world, RA4W VPN offers decent coverage, however, we were disappointed to learn that half of them are off limits for torrenting.
RA4W VPN is good for users who are looking for many simultaneous connections. Unlike most providers that limit users to 1-7 devices, RA4W VPN support an unlimited number of connections.
Again, their customer service was this platform’s shining star. We were impressed with not just the speed but the clarity and quality of the response we got. The difficulties of getting past Netflix’ ban but are understandable, but saddening, and we’d like to see RA4W VPN rework the layout of their client to improve its functionality.