A name like VPN4ALL seems to indicate a widely accessible service to protect as many users as possible from the prying eyes of surveillance powers. Of course, it could also just be a cynical move by an online business trying to get your hard-earned cash. Our VPN4ALL review is here to see whether or not it delivers the goods.
Quick glances at the VPN’s website may alarm certain potential customers due to the considerably high prices of its subscription packages. For that money, you get airtight security, speedy server connections, and reasonably good apps and extensions. But the whole purpose of our VPN4ALL review is to see just how far those prices can take you.
As such, we’ve covered everything from its capabilities with unblocking geo-restricted content (such as from Netflix) to its abilities with torrenting and breaching the Great Firewall of China. In other words, we’ve turned our expert eyes beneath the hood of this relatively expensive VPN to give a rigorous shakedown, all in service to letting you decide whether or not it’s worth it.
Is VPN4ALL safe to use?
VPN4ALL makes a strong start by using AES-256-bit encryption. This is the industry standard for a reason: it’s practically invincible.
As well as this, VPN4ALL supports two of the most secure protocols available: OpenVPN and SSTP.
The service is also safeguarded against DNS spoofing, and as a result, it passed our DNS leak tests with flying colors.
If your server connection drops, you automatically become vulnerable to attacks
Unfortunately, the optimism of our VPN4ALL review ends there as the service lacks a kill switch. This means that, if your server connection drops, you automatically become vulnerable to attacks. It’s not exactly thrilling news for mobile users in particular.
We’re thrilled to learn that VPN4ALL is hosted by Web Broadcasting Ltd., a company registered in the Seychelles.
This places the VPN beyond the reach of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliances, meaning that the company is under no legal obligation to data retention laws.
Prospective buyers may worry about the VPN’s real security levels, however, given that the company is incorporated in the Netherlands, which is actually within the 9 Eyes alliance and subject to EU data retention laws.
Nevertheless, the website states that VPN4ALL Ltd. ‘does not own, administer or control the VPN4ALL secure server network’. That’s the property of Web Broadcasting Ltd. which, again, is located in the Seychelles data haven.
As with any such service, VPN4ALL claims not to log user activity. Indeed, the only thing it does track is your bandwidth usage, which is acceptable seeing as that is not personally identifiable information.
Speed and performance
VPN4ALL has a decent fleet of around 500 servers in 80 cities (in 50 countries) worldwide. This isn’t the largest server fleet on the market, but it’s also far from the worst.
Along with this, they also have a feature they call Smart Traffic Routing. VPN4ALL aren’t exactly clear about what this is, how it works, or how it enhances connection speeds—and it also appears to be a unique feature developed specifically for this VPN, so other sources similarly failed to provide any explanation.
Either way, though, we’re happy to report that VPN4ALL performed well on our speed tests. Aside from some really distant servers in Asia, there was little discrepancy in terms of speed with the servers we tested.
How to download and install it
It can be difficult to find a VPN that provides a comprehensive array of options without overloading first-time users with information.
VPN4ALL really strikes a fine balance here. For Mac OS X users, it’s simply a case of logging into the Client Area after purchase and downloading the .dmg file to your computer.
This is easy enough to find; the website redirects you straight to the Client Area after you purchase a plan. After that, log on to VPN4ALL and choose a server to connect to. That’s really all there is to it!
Windows users face a slightly longer installation process, but it’s really no different to the majority of VPN available today.
It’s more or less the same as the OS X process, but you’ll need to run VPN4ALL as an administrator and then reboot your computer.
Apps and extensions
VPN4ALL lags slightly in terms of cross-platform availability, but it does cover the essentials.
The desktop version currently has custom apps for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux; its mobile client supports Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry.
Keeping up with this approach is the user interface: Windows must put up with a slightly mechanical and workmanlike GUI.
It isn’t terribly ugly, to be sure, but it could be enough for aesthetes to think twice about investing in VPN4ALL.
Browser extensions aren’t essential, but they’re great as remote controls for your VPN which provides an added layer of user-friendliness to the experience
Furthermore, while researching out VPN4ALL review, we found no hint of add-ons or browser extensions. Browser extensions aren’t essential, but they’re great as remote controls for your VPN which provides an added layer of user-friendliness to the experience.
What’s more, the service appears to lack router support, and only allows for a single concurrent connection via VPN4ALL. For an expensive VPN like this, we’d expect bang for our buck.
VPN4ALL for Netflix
Whether you’re a US citizen traveling abroad and hoping to keep up with your favorite shows, or whether you’re simply trying to access a larger catalogue, accessing US Netflix is one of the main draws for VPN users in this day and age.
With the tests we conducted during our VPN4ALL review, we’re happy to report that the service does indeed circumvent Netflix’s pesky geo-restrictions.
Better yet, due to VPN4ALL’s relatively fast connection speeds, it can generally provide seamless video content that rarely succumbs to buffering pauses and the like.
Unfortunately, because the service appears to lack support for routers, you cannot use VPN4ALL for Amazon TV. Moreover, its lack of compatibility for other TV systems means that you also cannot use VPN4ALL for Kodi.
VPN4ALL for torrenting
Although it never mentions torrenting specifically, the VPN4ALL website explicitly states that sharing music, movies, or any other form of copyright infringement, is expressly prohibited.
In the Terms of Service, VPN4ALL similarly disallows the infringement of anyone’s intellectual property. The message is clear, then: you cannot use VPN4ALL for torrenting.
This is a shame because VPN4ALL is generally a speedy and ultra-secure service that, on paper at least, would be perfect for torrenting.
Alas, rules are rules.
Is it good for users in China?
VPN4ALL is robust in most respects, and its ability to crack the Great Firewall of China is no different.
With a reliable Deep Packet Inspection shield, VPN4ALL is certainly capable of bypassing Chinese content filters without being tracked.
As well as this, it features a modified version of OpenVPN, which helps to allow that protocol from overcoming its vulnerabilities with the Great Firewall.
As a result, we expect users in other countries with sturdy firewalls and VPN-blocking — such as Belarus, Iraq, and Iran – to safely and successfully browse the web with VPN4ALL.
VPN4ALL maintains an extensive, searchable ‘knowledge base’ that doubles as an instruction manual and also an FAQ of relevant questions. It contains over four hundred entries, and each one has fairly comprehensive answers.
If the knowledge base still does not answer your questions, there are two ways of getting in touch with customer support: through a ticket system or via email.
(It should be noted that the VPN4ALL website lists ‘live chat’ as a separate option, but this merely redirects you to the ticket form.)
Responses aren’t usually immediate — ours wasn’t, and user testimony confirms this — but an agent is likely to get back to you within two hours of opening a ticket.
Sadly, we have to admit that VPN4ALL is among the most expensive services for data privacy. While the going rate for a yearly package is around $6 per month, VPN4ALL charges £11.83 – or $15.10 at the current exchange rate.
We understand that VPN4ALL may not be the biggest company around and that they offer a genuinely great service, but that is simply extortionate. It kind of taints everything good we’ve covered throughout our VPN4ALL review.
There is a cheaper option, which is another yearly package for £7 per month ($9.01). This package limits your bandwidth allocation to 50GB per month.
VPN4ALL claims that 50GB is more than enough for a single user, but to be honest, data usage sometimes depends on the month, not on the user.
Worse yet, we have to reiterate that VPN4ALL does not support multiple connections. Whereas most services will allow for multiple users to connect under a single subscription, this VPN requires each household member to pay for their own subscription.
The only silver lining here is that VPN4ALL allows for unlimited server switches, which is indeed suitable for travellers and holiday-goers.
Though quite expensive, we feel like VPN4ALL definitely lives up to its implied promise to democratize data security on the web.
It’s straightforward enough for beginners, robust enough for veterans, and has enough servers in enough locations to ensure great speeds for all.
Our only real complaint is that some needs, such as support for Kodi and torrenting, are absolutely not met. While we acknowledge that VPN4ALL needs to protect their own security too, these are just the little niggles that prevent this very good VPN from becoming a great VPN.