Last update: 09.13.2018
Far from a disaster from Down Under, VPNSecure offers a bonzer package for Premium users, with a few minor issues here and there.
Hailing from Australia, VPNSecure first appeared way back in 2010, when hardly anyone had heard about Virtual Private Networks. The fact that it’s still around and doing well 8 years later is a pretty good sign that they’re doing something right, and this VPNSecure review will find out whether those first impressions hold any water.
Part of VPNSecure’s appeal is its very vocal commitment to privacy, but we’ll have a few things to say about that in a moment. There’s more to this VPN than logs and encryption.
For instance, VPNSecure offers very cheap short-term trial periods and (which is pretty unusual for major VPNs) a money-back guarantee, so if you decide that it’s not for you, there’s always a way out. It also claims to offer excellent P2P coverage, technical support, and speeds, as well as a global network of servers.
All-in-all the public face of this VPN is appealing, and it seems to be a serious contender. But don’t be too hasty to sign up just yet. Read this VPNSecure review before making a purchase – there’s more to every VPN than meets the eye.
Is VPNSecure safe to use?
Firstly, let’s talk a bit about privacy and security. After all, the major reason to use a VPN is to shield your identity from external eyes, and many readers’ first question will be ‘is VPNSecure safe to use?’
In short, we couldn’t find any evidence that VPNSecure keeps information, so we’re confident that their claims are accurate. Overall, the company has been relatively candid about shortcomings, they have made changes, and tuned things up in a way we commend.
With that said, VPNSecure Pty Ltd is registered in Australia – a member of the 5-eyes intelligence sharing framework and generally not the most privacy-friendly place in the World. You should keep that in mind when considering VPNSecure.
There are some reasons to be cautious, but they aren’t really about T&Cs. An academic paper from a few years back highlighted IPv6 and DNS leakage as a problem with VPNSecure on Android, putting it on various VPN warning lists.
However, VPNSecure themselves have publicly stated that leakage issues have been addressed (or never existed in the first place). And the VPNSecure client offers “leak fixes” and the option to shut off IPv6, so if you’re concerned you can limit the risk of leakage.
The company has also updated their encryption in recent months. Previously, they offered old-fashioned DES-CBC 64 bit encryption, but have beefed up protection to AES-256-GCM (with options to use lower strength versions if speed is affected). So that should put users’ minds at rest.
VPNSecure also offers Stealth VPN – which is a proven workaround for deep packet inspection, adding another layer of secrecy which those in intrusive jurisdictions will appreciate.
So, overall, it’s a decent performance on the security front.
Speed & Performance
Another key part of our VPNSecure review is speed. When you use a VPN, the slowdown is a real experience killer, making it difficult to stream Netflix or run multiplayer games.
We used VPNSecure with an Android phone and desktop PC, and in both cases the speeds were OK. Download speeds of over 30 Mbps were common, but not universal, and we could stream content relatively effectively on both platforms.
If you’re having speed troubles with VPNSecure, you can fiddle around with the encryption settings. This way, you can achieve faster speeds, but that tends to come with a downgrade in the security department – so we don’t recommend it.
On the other hand, VPNSecure was reliable. We couldn’t detect any outages or significant performance dips, and the mediocre speeds didn’t sag while streaming.
But there’s one catch. Not every VPNSecure server offers the same quality of service, as users in India have confirmed. So be sure to take advantage of their trial period before you invest in their packages. There’s a chance that other VPNs offer better speed for a similar price.
How to download VPNSecure
VPNSecure is available on a wide range of platforms, with clients for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7,8 and 10, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. So everyone should be able to download a copy and get underway with relative ease.
There’s no need to ask support how to download VPNSecure either. The website swiftly leads you to the download pages, where you can select the right package and get a hold of the client in seconds.
We recommend trying the free package first. It might be free of charge, but with zero logs and 2Gb of bandwidth, it gives a flavor of what to expect when you commit to Premium packages (which we’ll discuss later in this review).
How to install VPNSecure
There’s no need to worry about how to install VPNSecure. As with downloading the client, getting started could hardly be easier. Once you’ve chosen your pricing plan and downloaded the client, you’ll automatically reach the installation stage. This unpacks the client and installs it on your chosen OS.
When you choose your plan, you’ll have to pick a username and password. When the client is up and running, just enter these details, press “sign in” and you can start selecting servers and exploring how to use VPNSecure.
How to use it
This is an area where VPNSecure impressed us. When you’ve logged in, VPNSecure displays a list of all available servers, with suggestions based on relative download speeds. The interface is nice and simple – not good looking, but functional and easy to get to grips with.
The main screen should be enough for entry-level VPN users, but there’s a drop down menu with many more features, including applying StealthVPN and choosing encryption types.
Even better, VPNSecure doesn’t try to railroad users into only using their proprietary app. They also let you connect to VPNSecure servers via OpenVPN (if you’ve signed up for a Premium package). Various types of router are also catered for, including Tomato, Raspberry Pi, Synology NAS and DD-WRT. So if you have a technical side and want to customize your VPN usage, setting VPNSecure up on your router may be the way to go.
Apps & Extensions
One of the best things (to our mind) about VPNSecure is the range of add-ons that the developers have provided. For instance, users can use SSH SOCKS to create TCP tunnels, adding another layer of security for data transmission.
More importantly, they also offer an extension for Google Chrome, which acts as an HTTP proxy and routes all web browsing through the VPN servers. You can toggle it on and off with a single button press, making it convenient to surf however you want to. Of course, the drawback is that there’s no support for Microsoft Edge or Firefox, which is a bit of a disappointment.
VPNSecure for Netflix
Here’s one area where we struggled a bit. After trying a few different servers, we were unable to fool the Netflix platform with VPNSecure. So, if you need to work around online streaming geo-blockers, using VPNSecure for Netflix probably isn’t the best option.
However, there’s a “but”. VPNSecure offers a Premium package called “Smarter DNS”, which does actually get around Netflix’s security measures, allowing you to watch blocked content. This also applies to streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, so it’s very handy for entertainment lovers.
On the flip-side, while VPNSecure was reasonably fast for us, but it’s certainly not the quickest streaming VPN around, so even if you do access blocked content, there are probably better ways to go about it.
VPNSecure for Torrenting: worth it?
If using VPNSecure for Netflix isn’t such a great idea, what about using VPNSecure for torrenting? You might expect a similar situation, and you would be correct.
As we noted above, there are faster VPN services than VPNSecure, which delivers mediocre speeds. Torrenters might also find that P2P is blocked on their local server, as a couple of UK servers and one US server specifically limit torrenting.
Then again, most VPNSecure servers do permit P2P downloads and the Premium package offers unlimited downloads (unless you’re using the Free version, which has a 600 MB limit).
So if you’re into torrenting, this isn’t a bad tool to choose. We’d still say it’s wise to look beyond this VPNSecure review though.
VPNSecure in China: the Best Way to Get Around the Censors?
What about VPNSecure’s ability to work around government censorship? Right off the bat, the company promises to let you “take back your freedom and enjoy un-restricted internet”. To make it happen, they provide StealthVPN. But do their claims amount to anything?
The answer is yes, you should be able to enjoy VPNSecure in China. The StealthVPN feature helps users evade government blocks aimed at encrypted OpenVPN traffic – at least according to our Chinese contacts. On the other hand, the speed isn’t great.
By the way, VPNSecure seems to be a fairly good choice for those in other repressive parts of the world as well. Although this is probably with the exception of 14-eyes countries (due to the company being registered in Australia).
The first thing you’ll notice on the VPNSecure website is their efficiency at providing support. Live chat bubbles appear when you get to the purchasing stage and there is a huge library of How-tos and FAQs.
The Knowledge Base is a great resource for VPN users in general, let alone VPNService customers. Meanwhile, the 24/7 chat seems to work as advertised, with real-world support staff available (and friendly) whenever you need them.
We weren’t so crazy about the “support ticket”, which optimistically promises help within 30 minutes. More like two hours in our experience, but at least the company responded.
Overall, we’re confident that if you run into problems, VPNSecure will help – which sets them apart from many VPN operators.
Now we’ve come to pricing. As we’ve noted above, there are a few options here. The first option is free, and comes with 1 server in the US and a 2GB bandwidth limit. Nevertheless, it provides a really helpful introduction to the VPNSecure client.
The main package costs $9.95 for one month, $8.32 per month for 6 months, or a very reasonable $6.66 per month for 12 months. That’s below many products of similar strength and comes with a range of attractive features, including OpenVPN, HTTP proxies, and SmarterDNS.
But you don’t even need to splash out on the main package straight away. You can also purchase one-month taster packages and there are even 2-day trial packages for a couple of dollars which come with everything VPNSecure has to offer. We liked that flexibility and creativity – it’s not so common on the VPN market.
Yes, okay, fine – there’s a VPNSecure lifetime subscription as well, but we’re not feeling it. On multiple occasions we have heard this scenario with the lifetime subscription model: 1) A VPN provider needs a financial injection and decides to employ the short-term solution of offering a lifetime subscription; 2) the short-term solution turns out to be that – a short-term solution; 3) the company goes bankrupt or disappears; 4) subscribers realize that the deal was on the VPN’s lifetime – not theirs.
Payment methods accepted include PayPal, CashU, Payza, Paymentwall, Bitcoin and all major credit or debit cards – so the whole spectrum of VPN users should be covered.
Conclusion of the VPNSecure Review
Overall, we enjoyed getting to know the VPNSecure interface and appreciated the wide range of payment packages. It’s easy to use, not too expensive, and the support is top of the line. But there are potential downsides as well. Namely, average speeds, no Netflix access for free users and a few question marks around security.
Basically, if you shell out for the full VPNSecure price, we think this is a solid option.