tigerVPN fails to catch its prey – user attention.
Founded in Slovakia back in 2011, this VPN now has years of experience behind it. The developers have not been wasting their time, either, creating one of the most user-friendly services around.
There’s also the socially-conscious angle for a VPN company – giving away 2 percent of its revenues directly to animal welfare and conservation charities.
The big question is whether they have focused too much on ease of use instead of providing rock-solid privacy and security. To find out, continue with our tigerVPN review.
Is tigerVPN safe to use?
tigerVPN’s safety is average at best. Here’s what it has to offer:
- Military-grade AES-256 encryption
- OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP and “Stealth Technology” protocols
- DNS leak protection
- NAT firewall
- Anonymous payment options
As you can see, it lacks IKEv2, which means iOS users will be forced to use the older L2TP/IPSec instead, which is slower and less safe. The PPTP option is so outdated that you can choose it only if your device doesn’t support OpenVPN or IPSec. If that wasn’t enough, tigerVPN clearly states in its Terms and Conditions that OpenVPN is the only protocol they support and troubleshoot.
We also missed the multihop function that allows chaining servers for extra security. Also, tigerVPN doesn’t support Tor over VPN which is one of the safest ways to access the web.
Most importantly, tigerVPN doesn’t have a kill switch. This is a serious blow for anyone who wants security and privacy from their VPN service, because, in case of a connection failure, tigerVPN will jump into a tree, leaving your true IP address exposed.
Does tigerVPN keep logs?
- Account data (email address, password)
- Payment and tax data (geolocation and time stamp)
- Anonymized financial data
- Information related to providing the VPN service:
- OS, VPN protocol and app version
- Traffic stats
- Connection session (server location)
- Usage and tracking data (web beacons, affiliate links, pixels, and app identifiers about how you use their website and apps)
As you can see, tigerVPN logs way more than needed and also provides usage and tracking data to third-parties.
On the bright side, their “Stealth Technology” does what it says on the packaging – adding an extra layer of anonymity wherever you head to the internet. And their NAT Firewall even barricades you from other VPN users. Finally, Slovakia is a good location for a VPN – it doesn’t restrict the use of VPN services, it doesn’t have much censorship (if any), it has no data retention laws, and is not part of such intelligence-sharing frameworks, as the 14 eyes member countries.
Is tigerVPN leak-proof?
Another attractive security feature on tigerVPN’s roster is DNS leak protection. We’re really concerned when VPNs neglect leakage because it’s a key reason why personal information gets exposed. With leak protection measures enabled, DNS requests run through their own servers and aren’t routed through your ISP’s DNS. It’s a neat, secure way to do things, and we appreciate the thinking behind it.
We found no WebRTC leaks while testing tigerVPN. In the worst case scenario, you can disable IPv6 to make sure you’re safe. Alternatively, WebRTC can be disabled on most browsers.
Overall, we’ve been satisfied with the security features, but the lack of the kill switch makes tigerVPN’s security a liability.
Speed and performance
We ran our test from Europe using the OpenVPN protocol, with a no-VPN speed of 245 Mbps:
No-VPN speed, Europe
Here are the numbers from different locations with tigerVPN on.
New York, US
- Download: 17 Mbps (93% drop-off)
- Upload: 2 Mbps (99% drop-off)
Los Angeles, US
- Download: 15 Mbps (94% drop-off)
- Upload: 23 Mbps (91% drop-off)
- Download: 8 Mbps (97% drop-off)
- Upload: 1 Mbps (99% drop-off)
- Download: 8 Mbps (97% drop-off)
- Upload: 5 Mbps (98% drop-off)
London, United Kingdom
- Download: 20 Mbps (92% drop-off)
- Upload: 70 Mbps (71% drop-off)
We generally found a below-average level of performance – decent in nearby locations, but barely acceptable in other continents.
One of the best things about tigerVPN is its wide network of servers. The company operates over 300+ servers in 40+ countries around the world. In fact, they are so confident about their capacity that they operate a “30% rule,” where 30% of bandwidth is “reserved” for exceptional circumstances.
TigerVPN also has a handy feature that automatically analyzes available servers, making accurate recommendations about which ones to use. Sometimes a server that’s physically further away can give you better speeds than the overloaded one sitting next to you.
Unfortunately, we were disappointed that the number of servers and countries hasn’t changed in six months since our initial review in September 2018.
So if you’re into low latency gaming or streaming, there’s a good chance tigerVPN won’t fit the bill.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
tigerVPN supports all major platforms, including:
You can also manually configure tigerVPN on Linux and DD-WRT routers.
Downloading and installing tigerVPN client is a simple procedure. Just visit their website and head either to the Download or the Pricing page.
The first option is for those who want to use a three-day free trial that requires only an active email address from you. You will be able to set the free trial up after installation. The latter option is for those who have already made up their minds to involuntarily spend money on tigerVPN by entering their payment details and forgetting the 7-day money-back guarantee deadline.
The installation process consists of pressing Next until you get to launch the app. You’ll have the client up and running in no time, with the list of servers sorted alphabetically right in the main menu.
At the top right of the main menu, there’s a gearbox icon for Settings where under System Settings you can switch from the UDP to the TCP protocol, change the way servers are displayed and other minor preferences.
The Troubleshooting section lets you check the VPN Status displayed at status.tigervpn.com, Help opens a Knowledge Base webpage, and you can also Submit a Report with the app data that for some reason includes your login email, username, and password in plain text.
As you can see, the tigerVPN client is very basic, lacking any advanced settings. But you don’t need to restrict yourself to it, because everything is designed to work seamlessly with OpenVPN software.
tigerVPN for Netflix and other streaming platforms
We made our Netflix test from Europe using Fast.com to see if it would be possible to stream your show in HD or UHD (4K). Our no-VPN speed result was 250 Mbps.
In January, only one US server unblocked the Netflix US library and showed us Godzilla The Planet Eater, which, based on its on-screen looks, should go on some moon diet.
This time, with the help of the UK servers, the number had doubled! Below are the speeds of the US and the UK servers which unblocked Netflix as per fast.com:
This means that streaming in UHD (4K) that requires 25 Mbps might be difficult if the library you want to reach is in another continent or your general connection speed is low.
When it comes to other streaming platforms, tigerVPN doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer or Hulu.
P2P and torrenting
tigerVPN allows unlimited torrenting across their servers, something many VPN services do not offer. With that said, they recommend using servers in places like Amsterdam, Bucharest, and Montreal, where torrenting is widely accepted. This means that users in Asia and Australia might be sacrificing some speed for their peace of mind.
Overall, torrenting is a strong point of tigerVPN. If you’re into P2P action, we recommend you give the service a try.
tigerVPN in China and elsewhere
As you might expect from a politically-minded company, tigerVPN has also expressed their support for freedom of speech in China.
And they seem to have translated this concern into action. Our contacts in China, whom we asked to run some tests for this tigerVPN review, report that they had some success in penetrating the Great Firewall. This isn’t that surprising, considering that the VPN has a “stealth” feature to bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).
Speeds are good, connections are reliable, and one can feel reassured due to Tiger’s stance on censorship. So yes, using tigerVPN in China is possible. This means that it should also do just fine in other countries with restricted internet access. But we cannot recommend this simply because this VPN service has no kill switch.
After checking out their website and trying to submit a basic customer query on the kill switch, our tigerVPN review must conclude that live support isn’t their strongest suit.
They have a decent library of self-help resources and also operate lively social media accounts. However, in a world where even some second-rate VPNs offer 24/7 one-on-one support via live chat, tigerVPN has fallen behind.
Having noted that their Support reacts faster if you’re a premium client, we opened the chat which said that we might need to wait up to 20 minutes for a reply.
Unfortunately, after that time our question was yet to be seen by the staff of two members.
After finally establishing a connection with a third staff member whose avatar was not shown initially, we had to wait another 20 minutes for a second response.
So while the live support could be faster, especially since we were all in Europe, what it lacked in this department, it compensated with politeness and friendliness, cheering us up with some GIFs, something we’ve never experienced before when contacting Support.
tigerVPN is one of the few services that still offer a free trial, even though it’s for three days only. Just like the one-month paid plan, the free version gives two simultaneous connections and all available locations, which should be enough to see if you’re ready for any of the three premium pricing plans:
- 1 month, 2 simultaneous connections – $11.99/month
- 1 year, 5 simultaneous connections – $6.67/month, billed $79.99 annually
- 3 years, 5 simultaneous connections – $2.75/month, billed $99.99 every three years
That’s fairly standard pricing of a premium VPN, which tigerVPN, unfortunately, isn’t.
All plans come with a 7-day money-back guarantee, which is among the shortest ones in the VPN industry. The yearly plans also add Shimo VPN Manager and StickyPassword Premium as a bonus.
The strongest point of tigerVPN’s pricing is the payment options. It accepts credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and Paymentwall options (Klarna, Giropay, Mobiamo, Mint). We were happy to find the option to pay anonymously which still is too often neglected by the majority of VPN services.
tigerVPN prices itself too high and therefore cannot be recommended. While the service is easy to use, allows torrenting and manages to unblock Netflix US and UK, it lacks an essential VPN feature – a kill switch. What is more, the speeds are below-average, and it doesn’t offer much support apart from the four major platforms.
There is not one feature that would make this service stand out from the competition and push you into considering it as an option. And while the sum of all parts would pass as a good free VPN, paying for it is out of the question.