VPNShazam talks a good game, but a lot of the claims seem highly dubious.
Established in 2009, Palestine-based and Israeli-owned VPNShazam is an online privacy solution that promises to keep your personal information protected from any prying eyes.
The ability to purchase dedicated IPs makes this service useful for bypassing geo-blocking on sites like Netflix. However, this VPNShazam review will show the service to have serious holes and a lack of transparency.
VPNShazam covers some of the security basics, but is light on features. Here’s what you can expect from it:
- A good selection of tunneling protocols: PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN (UDP, TCP), SSTP, IKEv2
- Solid encryption: probably AES-128 or AES-256 (the website doesn’t say)
Unless you’re using the OpenVPN app, you will find VPNShazam lacking in several important ways: no kill switch, no DNS leak protection, no advanced security features. For this reason, it is advisable to use OpenVPN, rather than the VPNShazam app.
Does VPNShazam Keep Logs?
Even more problematic is the fact that VPNShazam is owned by an Israeli company. Israel is a partner of the 5 Eyes global surveillance alliance and known for its strict control of the internet. As such, any “no logging” claim should be taken with a grain of salt.
Speed and performance
Another area where we take issue with claims on the VPNShazam website. Firstly they simultaneously claim they have 1,800+ and 400+ servers – there’s a big difference and the truth is unclear. Secondly, the number of countries with VPN servers (140+) is not believable at all. If anything, it’s a clear sign that VPNShazam is heavily reliant on Virtual Private Servers (VPS), rather than physical, bare-metal servers.
Finally, the FAQ says the VPN will not slow down the user’s internet connection. This is a blatant lie and not technically possible – any and all VPNs will slow down the internet connection. It’s just a matter of how much.
Which brings us to the speeds of VPNShazam. Grade: decidedly average.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
VPNShazam supports all of the major platforms, but only has custom apps for two:
However, users will be able to use the service in a round-about way on:
As previously mentioned, we recommend using the much more feature-rich and battle-tested OpenVPN app, rather than the custom VPNShazam apps (which are admittedly easier to use).
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
With more than 16 servers in the USA, VPNShazam is a great choice for anyone who would like to access US-based services which include the likes of Netflix and Hulu. However, you might be forced to get a dedicated IP for that.
P2P and torrenting
Is VPNShazam good for P2P/torrenting? Well, it just so happens that the service does actually support it, within reason. P2P traffic is allowed on servers in Brunei, Turkey, Sweden, Romania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, Russia, and Sweden. This means VPNShazam is not great for torrenters in Asia or on the American side of the Atlantic.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
VPNShazam apparently has special VPN servers that you to get around the restrictions in countries such as China. This means that common services such as Facebook and Twitter can be accessed, whereas previously, they would be blocked. With that said, the service has no stealth mode or stealth protocol, which leads us to doubt its effectiveness in the face of advanced censorship measures like Deep Packet Inspection.
With VPNShazam, there are several options to get help from customer support should you need it. This includes:
- Live chat
- Knowledge base
The live chat is responsive, which was a bit of a surprise. The knowledge base on the official website includes setup guides for all devices with screenshots also provided. There is also a pretty bad FAQ section, seemingly meant to mislead more than inform. Overall, however, the customer support is quite decent.
At the time of writing our VPNShazam review, here at the available subscription options:
- 1-month plan: $8.99
- 3-month plan: $12.95 ($4.32/month)
- 6-month plan: $19.95 ($3.33/month)
- 2-year plan (says it’s available on the home page, but doesn’t seem to actually be available).
- Dedicated IP: +$2/month
The pricing is confusing. According to the homepage, a dedicated IP is an additional $2/month, however, on the Products page switching between the regular and Dedicated IP plan only adds $0.04 to the monthly price. There also seems to be no 2-year plan, despite claims to the contrary.
There’s no free trial, but you do get a 7-day money-back guarantee for your peace of mind. Fortunately, there are also plenty of payment methods, including an anonymous option – crypto.
Whether VPNShazam is good or not seems like a side point. The provider peddles in inconsistencies, misleading info and outright lies on the website. While it may be good for certain uses, we can’t really recommend it.