Tuxler VPN Review

2.5/10
Not recommended
Last updated: September 15, 2020

Bursting out of the gates with its community-powered service, Tuxler VPN could have been a contender, but it’s actually a pretty poor effort. Scoring poorly on almost all levels, this is a VPN to avoid.

Tuxler is a VPN which styles itself as the “first community-powered residential VPN ever created.” This means that it specializes in offering residential IPs (that is IPs linked to home addresses, not businesses). So it could be a handy tool for home users who want to unblock services like Netflix.

Mixing free and paid versions, boasting a customer base of 300,000 people, and promising high-level performance, the Tuxler VPN package certainly seems appealing on first glance. But does it actually deliver the privacy and security features users require? This review will take a deeper look at this residential VPN specialist.

Security

First impressions on the security side aren’t encouraging. Tuxler isn’t forthcoming with many details about the type of encryption used with its free and paid versions. Instead, the website just states that it uses “end-to-end encryption” which can “prevent eavesdropping and other types of surveillance.”

That’s great, and it’s true as far as it goes, but the type of E2E encryption used matters a lot. Older varieties are easy to crack and rarely seen as secure, while AES-256 and similar versions are virtually impregnable. It’s impossible to tell from the Tuxler website which form of encryption you’ll receive, and that’s not a good sign.

Moreover, Tuxler doesn’t feature a kill switch, which is a very basic security feature, and one that all good VPNs should possess. That way, if your VPN protection fails, your internet connection will be taken offline until protection can be restored.

There’s also no information on the Tuxler website about IP leak protection, DNS leak protection , Stealth VPN features, the authentication algorithm, or the types of protocols available to use. So if you download Tuxler VPN, you’ll be taking a huge risk. Any decent service would provide clear specifications about these features, allowing users to make an informed choice. That’s not the case here.

Does Tuxler VPN keep logs?

Things get even dicier when we take a look at the Tuxler Privacy Policy. When you pick a VPN, it’s important to choose one that doesn’t keep logs, and which doesn’t collect and sell your data to third parties. In a data-hungry world, that’s an ever-present temptation, and poor-quality VPNs often fail in this regard.

At least Tuxler is open about collecting data. The privacy policy clearly states that “Tuxler provides targeted advertising services for our advertiser clients” and that the company collects information about: online activity, devices and browsers, contact details, payment details, and even “third party sources where we have the rights to do so.”

The last clause is a strange addition in the VPN world, suggesting that users should be very careful about granting permissions to the Tuxler VPN app.

Additionally, Tuxler is a United States-based VPN. That could mean it comes with a heightened risk of surveillance or prosecution for P2P downloads. So bear that in mind.

Speed and performance

Some of these security and privacy flaws could be forgiven if Tuxler delivers lightning fast speeds. In that case, while privacy fans would want to stay away, Tuxler could be handy for streamers and general web users. So how does it fare in a generalized speed test?

Not well, actually. Tuxler doesn’t foreground speed as one of its unique selling propositions, so in some ways, this isn’t unexpected, but the speeds we found were very low by modern standards. It’s worth noting that your connection speed will vary from server to server (particularly depending on the distance from your location), but the average is comparatively low. This definitely isn’t a VPN for movie or TV streaming.

Server coverage

Tuxler focuses its marketing on the number of residential IPs it offers (providing users with as many unique, anonymous residential addresses as they need). But that doesn’t match up to a huge bank of servers, even though the website promises “millions of locations.”

That language is extremely deceptive. In reality, Tuxler’s “community powered” service doesn’t rely on fixed servers. It uses the bandwidth and processing power of nearby users to route traffic.

This means that users are dependent upon other Tuxler customers near them. If there are plenty of users, speeds can be passable. If not, the service barely works. It’s not a recipe for reliable connections and optimal performance.

Ease of use and multiplatform support

The Tuxler VPN client is available for the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Google Chrome (extension)
  • Firefox (extension)

So there’s a service for PC users and a service for Mac computers, while the site promises that both Android and iPhone versions are “coming soon.”

Setting it up is very simple. Just download the VPN from the bottom of the Tuxler home page, and you’re good to go. It’s possible to download the app and log in in a couple of minutes, which is refreshingly quick.

When you download the client and boot up Tuxler, the interface is fairly easy to use. There are no in-depth security features to wrestle with (unfortunately). You just pick a location and connect. Everything is neatly presented, and it’s generally a very usable, well-designed app. So we need to give Tuxler credit there.

Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms

Sadly, Netflix and Hulu users won’t find Tuxler to their liking. As we said earlier, the speeds are poor, so that’s an immediate red flag. Even if that weren’t the case, Tuxler is unable to work around the geo-blocking measures of Netflix US and probably some other platforms as well.

Whenever we tried to catch a TV show on Netflix, the streaming platform correctly detected we were re-routing our IP address, and denied access.

Recommended reads: Best VPN for Streaming

P2P and torrenting

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the same applies to P2P downloads. The speeds are very slow, while the lack of a Kill Switch makes torrent downloads far too risky. If you need a secure torrenting solution, look to premium VPNs, not Tuxler.

Recommended read: Best VPN for torrenting

Online censorship in China and elsewhere

Tuxler won’t be a reliable ally if you intend to breach the Great Firewall of China (or indeed work around censorship in any repressive country). In fact, it could put you at risk.

There’s no indication that the developers behind Tuxler are serious about defeating censorship. And the features confirm this story.

Customer support

A strong support game can go a long way in the VPN world, allowing users to deal with minor problems and optimize their experience. Unfortunately, this is another area where Tuxler doesn’t do well at all. For starters, the Help section isn’t accessible from the home page, making it hard to find, while the FAQ is simplistic and not particularly useful. And there’s only one way to contact the Tuxler team: a tired old email contact form. In an age of live chat support, that’s simply not that great.

Additionally, the information available via the site is minimal and unlikely to be helpful should serious issues arise.

Pricing

Tuxler offers two ways to use the service:

  • Free – Slow, ad-supported, and probably not very secure, the free Tuxler client promises limited residential IP addresses, and not much more.
  • Premium – Available for $7.99/month, the premium version claims to be 4 times as fast, and delivers unlimited location changes.

What’s more, Tuxler doesn’t operate a refund policy. That’s another unforgivable sin in the VPN world – particularly if you’re charging $7.99 per month for an unproven, not well-regarded service.

Bizarrely, Tuxler doesn’t offer a refund on paid services “because we offer users a fully featured Free Tuxler version for as long as they like.” This makes absolutely no sense, given that the paid version is supposedly 4 times as fast, and comes with added location changes.

Bottom line

If you’ve been looking for an innovative “community-powered” VPN which manages to balance speed, privacy, and value, keep looking. Tuxler may offer a kind of crowd-sourced VPN service, but it fails on pretty much every level. From encryption and protocols to privacy, speeds, pricing, and streaming, Tuxler has very little to offer for serious users.

Good

  • Free version
  • Offers plenty of anonymous residential IP addresses

Bad

  • Slow
  • Doesn't unblock Netflix
  • Lack of clarity about protocols, IP leaks, and encryption
  • Logging concerns
  • Community-powered model could be unsafe
  • Unreliable against state censorship
  • Poor quality support
  • Poor value for money
  • No kill switch
 2.5 / 10
Total score
$7.99 / month
Minimum Price
Top VPN options:
1. NordVPN
9.6 / 10
Excellent security
Very fast speeds
2. Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Great performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

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5 comments
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  1. 4ou

    been using it for a month found it to be just fine the lack of features is bad don’t get that wrong but using this to get around VPN blockers is so nice I have tried to use Nord and other VPNs to get around them but this one works just fine for me never had a connection issue at all and its quite fast to connect then again that is based on internet speed.


  2. Martin P

    Wow, this VPN looks really bad. I don’t even know why this kind of VPN exists, except for “stealing” money. It’s the worst VPN I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the review though, I won’t be trying this one out !


  3. New Uxio

    The only good thing about Tuxler is that there are no limits on bandwidth otherwise my sister’s experience with it was not that good. Speeds are slow. But it’s a free service no harm in giving it a try.


  4. Olympia Allain

    Every time that I use this application, at least one of the proxy locations I use (typically USA/CAN) are down and unusable for some time. I also find that once I am connected, I’ll have connectivity issues with the VPN several times a day and have to disconnect/switch locations to resume using the internet. They really have a lot to improve on


  5. r3al1ty

    They have excellent reviews on Facebook. Virtually everyone going gaga over them. While profession reviews seems to be mixed at best.

    One good thing about them is that they don’t limit bandwidth on free version but limit your features like frequency of server change etc.

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