Last update: 01.10.2018
Sleek, powerful, and able to savage many of its competitors, tigerVPN is an impressive addition to the VPN scene, but it’s far from perfect in every department.
Promising “bulletproof” security, the chance to bypass geo-blocking measures in seconds, and a “premium service with an affordable price tag,” tigerVPN sounds like a pretty appealing service.
But when you get past the exterior and the usual blitz of special features, what does the VPN really bring to the table? This tigerVPN review will get to the heart of what one of the leading VPNs has to offer.
Founded in Slovakia back in 2011, this VPN now has years of experience behind it. The developers have not been wasting their time, either. As we’ll see later in this review, this is among the most user-friendly services around.
It’s also one of the more socially-conscious, with 2 percent of revenues heading directly to animal welfare and conservation charities (hence the tiger branding).
However, the big question is whether they have focused too much on ease of use and not enough on providing the rock-solid privacy and security options we expect from top-ranking VPNs. This is a much shadier area, but read on, and our tigerVPN review will explain all.
Is tigerVPN safe to use?
As they say, “safety first,” so what’s the score? Is this one safe for ordinary web users and streamers?
Tiger covers most bases when it comes to protocols, but there are oversights as well. The VPN offers OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. OpenVPN UDP and TCP versions are the standard option (not just for premium packages), which is great because it provides a very high level of protection.
However, iOS apps rarely include OpenVPN (due to Apple’s policies). Therefore, you will be forced to use an older and less secure L2TP/IPSec instead. This is not optimal, and many top VPN services offer IKEv2/IPSec, which is a fast and very secure protocol that’s well-suited for mobile devices. Sadly, this is not the case here.
As for the outdated PPTP, we simply don’t recommend using it. Luckily, you won’t be even allowed to select it if your device supports either L2TP/IPSec or OpenVPN protocol.
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.
Tiger claims to not keep logs, and we couldn’t find any evidence to contradict this. Moreover, 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.
It’s not all good news. Military-grade encryption (AES-256) is awesome, but it doesn’t matter so much if you’re disconnected. This is why other VPNs offer a kill switch – to kill all traffic in the event of a disconnection.
Slovakia is a decent 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 5-eyes, 9-eyes, and 14-eyes countries. The app does log some things, but the type of data logged is not extremely sensitive. We’re inclined to let it slide.
Overall, we’ve been satisfied by the security features, but the lack of the kill switch makes tigerVPN’s security a liability.
Speed and performance
One of the best things about tigerVPN is its wide network of servers. The company operates over 300 servers in 42 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. We were a bit disappointed though that the number of servers and countries hasn’t changed in four months since our initial review in September 2018.
In our testing, we generally found a good level of performance – not stellar by any means, but acceptable. Even servers as distant as Japan delivered workable speeds.
We ran our test from Europe using OpenVPN protocol, with a no-VPN speed of 40 Mbps, and here’s what we’ve got with tigerVPN.
New York, US
We were glad to find the latency not going up much above 100ms and the speed virtually staying the same.
Los Angeles, US
Switching to the West Coast cost us significantly. The latency jumped to 240 ms, and the speed dropped to 28 Mbps, but it still can be considered a good result.
Moving across the Pacific to Australia we saw that Tiger VPN managed to maintain the US download speed at the cost of upload. This should be satisfactory for most users, just like the inevitable latency of 300+ ms.
Speeds in Japan were almost the same as in Australia. The same goes for the latency. And we can say that not many VPNs manage to stay above 80% of the original speed this far from the testing site.
London, United Kingdom
Getting back in Europe meant getting back to low latency and high upload speeds. And you cannot ask for more download speed as that would mean entering a no-VPN zone.
So if you’re into low latency gaming or streaming, there’s a good chance for this VPN to fit the bill. TigerVPN 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.
How to download tigerVPN client
We tried to download the client for this tigerVPN review, and it turned out to be a simple procedure. Just visit their website and head to the download page. Watch out, though, because the download starts automatically – something that we don’t appreciate much.
This is the way if you want to use a three-day free trial that requires only an active email address from you.
Alternatively, you can press the Get started button on the home page, because inevitably you will have to choose a pricing plan and the payment method.
How to install it
Once you’ve downloaded the tigerVPN client, there’s no reason to search the web for solutions on how to install it. The auto-installation takes care of the technical side of things.
The only catch is that for that three-day free trial you’ll need to press Download and not Get started on their Home page. Although, if you’re not afraid of entering your payment details and forgetting to cancel before the 7-day money-back guarantee expires, you can choose the latter option instead. Unfortunately, it’s one of the shortest among all competitors.
However, if you like the sound of their services and end up taking the plunge, getting online takes seconds. You’ll have the client up and running in no time, with the list of servers sorted alphabetically right in the main menu.
How to use it
As we mentioned earlier in this tigerVPN review, being user-friendly is at the core of what this app does. This is most evident in their client, which does everything newbies could ask for from a VPN front end.
At the top right of the main menu, there’s a gearbox icon where under System Settings you can calibrate protocols, how servers are displayed and general app settings, such as Run at startup.
The Troubleshooting section lets you check the VPN Status displayed at status.tigervpn.com, Help opens you a Knowledge Base webpage, and you can Submit a Report with the app data that includes your username and password in plain text for some reason.
The service is also easy to customize. You don’t need to restrict yourself to their own client, because everything is designed to work seamlessly with OpenVPN. Again, that’s the kind of touch we like to see.
Apps and extensions
You can download Tiger VPN apps for all major platforms – Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Perhaps the only real criticisms we can level at Tiger is that they are yet to make apps for Routers and Linux; there are no browser extensions either.
Both are areas where the VPN could sharpen up. But until there’s a kill switch for all existing apps, it would be a poor choice to allocate seemingly low resources on creating more apps or browser extensions.
Is using tigerVPN for Netflix a good idea?
In 2017, tigerVPN’s customer service team promised to “constantly” seek ways to optimize Netflix connectivity. At the same time, they provided a spreadsheet showing which tigerVPN servers were Netflix-ready – and that sheet hasn’t been updated in over a year. Not encouraging.
We made our own test from Europe using Netflix’s own speed test Fast.com to see if it would be possible to stream your show in HD or UHD (4K) from certain locations. Our no-VPN result was 250 Mbps. Then we logged in to netflix.com and checked if we can actually do that.
New York, US
After our general Speed test, we were surprised to see such big drop-off with Fast.com, one that did not even allow us to stream UHD. In any case, tigerVPN was unable to jump over Netflix’s geo-blocking fence.
Los Angeles, US
Sadly, we arrived at the West Coast only to see our speed cut in half. It was still good for watching Netflix in HD, and luckily so because tigerVPN unblocked the US library for us!
The streaming went smoothly even though we had to wait for thee or four seconds for the show to load or when we decided to skip some parts.
Toronto and Vancouver, Canada
With 7 Mbps speed, Toronto seemed to be the worst place for Netflix in North America so far. Especially when you get that sadness-inducing “Whoops…” message. The same happened with Vancouver.
Moving across the ocean left us with 4 Mbps only, which was no longer enough for HD streaming. Therefore, we were almost happy to avoid seeing those blurry faces due to the geo-blocking.
The speed in Japan was quite similar to that in Australia. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the ability to lift Netflix’s geo-block.
London, United Kingdom
On our way back to continental Europe, we’ve hopped into London at a solid speed of 43 Mbps. Two out of four IP location tools gave us the French flag, so that’s probably the reason why Netflix decided to do the same. In any case, it all ended with the “Whoops…” message.
The speed remained similar to the UK’s – more than enough for UHD. But tigerVPN was unable to unblock Netflix.
The Netherlands saw an unexpected plummeting of speed and the expected “Whoops…” error message instead of our show. A sad end to our world-wide test of how tigerVPN unblocks Netflix indeed.
After trying servers around the world, we found only one that worked fine, but since the provider doesn’t track these working servers and force users to rely on trial and error, we don’t recommend using tigerVPN for Netflix which easily detects when you are using this service.
tigerVPN for Torrenting
What about torrenting?
We were pleased to find that tigerVPN specifically allows 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.
Most tigerVPN packages come with unlimited bandwidth, which lends itself to heavy torrenting. Our tests backed this up. Download speeds were impressive via both uTorrent and BitTorrent clients.
Overall, this is a strong point of tigerVPN. If you’re into torrents, we would recommend you give the service a try.
Can you rely on tigerVPN in China?
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.
Speeds are good, connections are reliable, and one can feel reassured due to Tiger’s stance on censorship. So yes, using it in China is a good idea.
After checking out their website and trying to submit a basic customer query on kill switch, our tigerVPN review must conclude that support isn’t their strongest suit.
Sure, 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 for a second response for another 20 minutes.
So while the 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.
[optional [[tigervpn-support-gif]] and [] and [] if needed]
Pricing: will the tigerVPN price make you wild?
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. Just keep in mind that their support gives priority to paid users, so if you need to wait longer (we didn’t have to), that might be the case.
The one-month deal got a bit cheaper in recent months, which is contrary to the competition but is still expensive at $11.90/month. The prices decline from there, with a 6-month package billed at $8.33/month, and the 1-year package costing as little as $6.67/month.
That’s fairly standard pricing of a premium VPN, which tigerVPN, unfortunately, isn’t. Even their promo offer of three years for $2.75/month doesn’t seem tempting at all when NordVPN offers a much better package for $2.99/month.
If you are willing to commit to the longer deal, it’s worth it not only because of the money you save. Starting with a six-month plan, you get five instead of two simultaneous connections – almost enough for a small business.
There used to be a tigerVPN lifetime subscription, but it has since disappeared – and good riddance! Allow us to explain: whenever we hear “tigerVPN lifetime subscription,” we can’t help but think – whose lifetime might that be? Well, it sure as hell is not your lifetime. If the company goes bankrupt, who will honor that deal?
All tigerVPN pricing plans have a 7-day money back guarantee, so if you try it and find it lacking, there’s a way out. We must note that this is one of the shortest money-back periods among competitors.
Should you decide to pay for tigerVPN, it offers plenty of options to do so. 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.
Conclusion of tigerVPN review: Good speed and… what else?
While tigerVPN didn’t drive us wild with excitement, it did score a lot of credit with impressive features. We loved the torrenting capabilities, a wide choice of platforms, the easy-to-use app, anonymous payment option, performance, and server choice.
But the Netflix issue made us paws (apologies for the pun), and we weren’t persuaded by their Support either. So even if this TigerVPN review makes it stand out in the VPN jungle, it’s not a roaring success in every area.