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It seems that “safe” isn’t enough for this Tel-Aviv based VPN provider. They want to appear “safer” than anyone else. But can SaferVPN, founded in 2013, live up to its name?
Is SaferVPN safe to use? Without further ado, let’s explore what our SaferVPN review team has found.
Security & Privacy: is SaferVPN safe to use?
SaferVPN has a bunch of security features, which include:
- Military-grade AES-256 encryption
- Perfect Forward Secrecy generates a new encryption key for each session
- OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP protocols
- No-logs policy
- Protects you when using public wifis
- Kill switch
- Anonymous payment
- Tor over VPN
This is a very solid bouquet, making SaferVPN a truly safe tool. We would like to see a stealth protocol added sometime in the future which could help against the DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), though. Also, adding a multihop option would be nice, but that’s needed only for those who need maximum security – the majority of users will be happy with what they get.
Does SaferVPN log your data?
This is what SaferVPN logs when you’re using the VPN:
- Date and time of your sessions (start and end)
- Amount of data transmitted per session
- Visited VPN location and from which country (no actual IP addresses get recorded)
From this angle, we would say that it’s far from being a no-logs provider. But, from another angle, they don’t record personally identifiable sensitive information that could link you to your internet traffic.
SaferVPN emphasizes they never share or sell user information. Whatever is kept about you (e.g., your email) is only for sustaining and improving the VPN service.
Does it leak?
SaferVPN has DNS leak protection on its servers. It uses Google Public DNS, making SaferVPN servers untraceable.
IPv6 protection works by automatically blocking IPv6 when SaferVPN is on. When it comes to WebRTC vulnerabilities, this service offers nothing particular, meaning that you’ll have to make sure that your browser has it disabled.
We put all this into practice and found no leaks when testing SaferVPN.
Speed and performance
You may experience impressive connection times and average speeds with SaferVPN.
We did a number of tests from Europe. Here’s our baseline speed test result:
- Download: 278 Mbps
- Upload: 255 Mbps
Then, we started to connect to servers all over the world. Let’s see our results:
- Download: 31 Mbps (89% drop-off)
- Upload: 29 Mbps (90% drop-off)
- Download: 61 Mbps (78% drop-off)
- Upload: 95 Mbps (66% drop-off)
- Download: 24 Mbps (91% drop-off)
- Upload: 8 Mbps (97% drop-off)
- Download: 17 Mbps (94% drop-off)
- Upload: 8 Mbps (97% drop-off)
In fact, we found serious differences when connecting to the same location again and again. It would be nice to have more reliable speeds for a location instead of reconnecting multiple times to reach the optimal server, which might provide very good speeds.
This provider manages all 700+ of its high-speed VPN servers in 30+ countries. That’s certainly an important and favorable attitude in the case of VPN networks – an example to follow. Other big players have thousands of servers, but this VPN still covers a major part of the globe.
The good thing is that SaferVPN commands their server fleet, adding more security and reliability when compared to those services which rent servers from third-parties.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
SaferVPN is available for any of the main platforms, including:
It also offers Chrome and Firefox browser extensions as well as manual configuration options for a long list of routers, game consoles, Kindle Fire, Roku, and Smart TVs.
You can install SaferVPN on five devices and use it on them simultaneously.
If you’re already decided on buying SaferVPN, simply go to safervpn.com and click Get SaferVPN Now or any other green call-to-action button, which will lead you to a pricing plan selection screen.
However, SaferVPN has a 24-hour free trial which is not actively promoted and can be found in their Help Center article “How do I subscribe to SaferVPN?”. This trial requires your email address only and gives you unlimited access to all features.
Installing this VPN can’t get any easier. After launching your app, the welcome screen comes up, where you click Next.
Then, you need to be careful because the next one is a tricky screen. This is where you usually have to select a radio button if you accept the terms of the agreement.
However, there’s only a notification reminding you that “By clicking Install you accept the terms of the agreement.” But, before you could read this line, you’re instructed to click Install to install SaferVPN. So, chances are you won’t even read that last bit about accepting the terms.
Our SaferVPN review team found it an intuitive and plain VPN app. All the supported platforms have easy-to-use clients that also look quite okay.
Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see an automatically recommended location in the middle of the app window. At this point, you can choose to click the Connect button or select another location.
You have two choices if you want to change the location. First, click the flag icon and choose a server from the pop-up list. Second, click the pin icon next to the main Connect/Disconnect button.
Now, simply click on any desired location and click Connect on the main screen. One annoying thing is that you have to disconnect from the current server before you could choose another one.
At the top right corner of your app window, you can find the 3-bar icon (hamburger) to use to display the menu.
At first sight, it may seem that you have quite a few options here. However, if you look closer, you’ll realize that the SaferVPN apps aren’t that rich when it comes to customization.
The Settings menu doesn’t give you that many options.
The Protocols tab does let you choose from four protocols as well as an Automatic option (default). But that’s about it.
On the Auto. WiFi and Kill Switch tabs, you can mainly toggle these features on or off. Finally, on the Support tab, you can read the FAQ knowledge base, open a support ticket, and run a speed test.
The SaferVPN clients have no flashy graphics or design. The goal was to offer a very easy to use interface. And, they did succeed in that. Of course, if you’re a hardcore VPN user, you may desire more on the front of customization. Nevertheless, this VPN is a good choice for beginner users and who aren’t that concerned about their anonymity and privacy.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
SaferVPN is good for Netflix – it unblocks the UK and the US libraries.
The streaming speed is also good, enough to watch your favorite shows in UHD (4K).
While some rare-content seekers might feel disappointed without the Australian or Japanese Netflix libraries, most users will be content with what they find in the US and UK versions.
We also tried, albeit unsuccessfully, other platforms (NBC, BBC iPlayer, and Comedy Central) with SaferVPN’s dedicated streaming servers. On the bright side, Kodi player worked just fine – SaferVPN even has a manual on setting it up.
P2P and torrenting
SaferVPN barely supports torrenting. There are only a few optimized and dedicated servers for P2P traffic in Canada, Netherlands, and Spain.
Try it for a day for free and see if this is the service you want to pay for. But that might not be enough to see how well you can download or upload torrent files with SaferVPN.
Nevertheless, don’t give up the hope to find the best VPN for torrenting because we’ve already prepared a ranking for that.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
Since we can’t really test this angle ourselves, we need to rely on what this provider and user reports suggest. The good news is, SaferVPN works in China.
However, it might not be very consistent: SaferVPN doesn’t offer any stealth protocols to bypass deep packet inspection (DPI), used in China to block VPN traffic.
If you need airtight anonymity, better check out our best VPN services for China.
SaferVPN has a good live chat support option. The answers might seem a bit bot-like, but they provide you with the solution. Also, the waiting times were quite short, even for a non-registered user.
There’s also a Help Center that offers many easy-to-understand tutorials on manually configuring SaferVPN on different devices or streaming a show on a certain platform. There’s an extensive FAQ conveniently structured according to different topics, such as Billing or Account settings. Finally, if you’re not into discussing your issues live, feel free to open a ticket and wait for a reply by email.
A big plus for SaferVPN is the 24-hour free trial version with no limits over the number of servers or bandwidth.
The paid plans are quite similar to CyberGhost or NordVPN. However, the latter VPNs have multiple times more servers worldwide and true no-logs policies. Therefore, they can offer you a higher level of security and privacy for the same amount of money.
Here are the pricing plans of SaferVPN:
- 1 Month – $12.95
- 1 Year – $5.49/month or $65.88
- 2 Years – $3.29/month or $78.96
- 3 Years – $2.50/month or $89.99
This service also grants you a no-hassle 30-day money-back guarantee and allows five simultaneous connections per account.
You can use credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and JCB), PayPal, and Bitcoin to purchase your chosen plan. Privacy-conscious users will surely appreciate the latter anonymous payment option.
Despite everything, SaferVPN is not a well-priced service.
SaferVPN is a good VPN, but we cannot recommend it simply because you can get a great VPN for the same price. It’s easy to use, offers okay speeds, unblocks Netflix, and accepts Bitcoins. It also is safe enough for the everyday user.
What we would like to see in the future is full torrenting support and a stealth protocol for using it in China. With these additions and a larger server fleet, we might just change our mind.