SaferVPN is a high-end VPN service which is easy and effective to use thanks to a geographically distributed network of servers and great speed performance. SaferVPN is a customer-focused service with clear commitments to ensure data protection and maintain uncensored web activities. This is a good choice even for beginner users thanks to free trials and easy setup procedures.
Prices and options
SaferVPN comes with 3 pricing plans with the different number of concurrent connections support (1, 3 or 7). Otherwise, all three are identical. Free trial is offered for 1 day, as well as a money back guarantee for 2 weeks. Friend referrals are awarded with a free month for both. Most successful users can utilize this option to earn credit for up to 1-year free use.
In the case of one-off annual payment for the Single plan, monthly fee is just 5.99 dollars, which is an average price tag for a VPN service. For SMBs which opt for monthly installments the price is much higher: 29.99 dollars. The selection of payment methods is extensive. Credit cards are welcomed, as well as PayPal transfers, payments via regional web services like Alipay or WebMoney, and Bitcoins for total anonymity.
Privacy and Security Matters
SaferVPN can maintain connections via different protocols: PPTP, L2TP over IPSec, OpenVPN. PPTP is run in line with 128-bit encryption; L2TP & OpenVPN operate on the basis of 256-bit encryption keys.
The web-site, as well as the software clients of SaferVPN, is nicely-packed and easy to use, with a bold profile of features and readily accessible essential details (except for some technical details such as the precise encryption level). Everyone who spends few minutes browsing the web-site pages is prompted to use a gentle chat dialogue and get answers to any questions. Without any doubt, it is a sales trick to encourage the users to purchase a subscription. At the same time, it is a nice way to demonstrate interest to the customers and attention to their needs.
There are convenient navigation options and easily accessible client downloads, links to subscription plans and help sections. Blog offers a conventional mix of privacy recommendations, special offers and content unblocking guidelines.
Unfortunately, online support options are rather weak. The current base of knowledge is limited to textual set-up guides without illustrations and a rather small “Questions and Answers” section. In most problematic situations the users need to contact the team directly.
Nevertheless, any user disregarding his/her registration status has access to e-mail support, ticket system or Live Chat window available round the clock. In easy-to-solve cases SaferVPN ensures excellently prompt handling of chat enquires and tickets. Responses are received within few minutes. In the case of more complicated questions waiting time can be much longer.
It is a very easy thing to sign up to a free trial. All that is needed is to enter e-mail address and password. No more details (apart from payment info) are required from those who opt for the paid service. Even in the case of credit card payments, it is not required to indicate billing addresses. Bitcoins can be used for full anonymity.
Windows VPN Client
Well-balanced usability vs. usefulness is a rather challenging task for a VPN client, but SaferVPN managed to solve it with great results. Their client is smart and nice-looking. There is a convenient list of countries on the left and a big “Connect/Disconnect” button on the right which is color-coded depending on the connection status. Useful details like the current IP-address are clearly displayed. The user needs to open a second screen to select another connection protocol or to start the client with Windows. Also, there are on-screen links to support and account handling options.
A number of more advanced options would be useful, especially for advanced users. By way of example, there is no option to select a specific server rather than a specific country for connection. However, manual configuration of connection options is available with the use of the knowledge base.
Performance Metrics: Speed, DNS, IP tests
Without any doubt, SaferVPN is a fast service. Speed test results are impressive and close to maximum normal bandwidth with no loss of encryption efficiency. Moreover, these results remain equally positive and consistent for many servers and countries.
A weak point of the SaferVPN client is less than perfect protection against DNS leak vulnerabilities for Windows in comparison with some other clients. Anyway, most of the tests demonstrate decent results. This flaw can be fixed by the users on their own: manual system configuration shall be performed to use the DNS servers offered by Google rather than those offered by the ISP.
UK, no VPN:
SaferVPN offers bespoke client SW for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Some updates were introduced recently to the Mac client to bring it into sync with the Windows client from aesthetic and functional viewpoint. Several new convenient options were added, including automatic reconnection, protocol selection, and built-in speed performance tests for a better user experience and optimized operation for Mac users.
The Android client is very similar to the Windows client in terms of appearance and layout, but information presentation and configuration options are far from being identical. By way of example, it is impossible to select or identify the connection protocol.
Downstream speeds in the case of the Android application are significantly lower than those attained by the Windows application. Specifically, the best result for 30 Mbps connection is just 6 Mbps. Indeed, there can be even higher speed drops on Androids. Taking in account that here we deal with a beta version, higher speed performance, a wider scope of options and information are expected from future builds.
Other Services. Free Options
A short while ago SaferVPN together with Movements.org and Advancing Human Rights launched the Unblock the Web crowd-funding campaign. The purpose is to offer the VPN service on free-of-charge basis to human rights activists in those countries where governments follow the policy of close Internet censorship. In fact, this pro bono service shall not be available to the majority of “plain” users, but, nevertheless, this initiative is a clear statement of the SaferVPN’s commitment to struggle for their core values.
- Superb performance speed and reliability
- Smart and easy-to-use client
- No personal data are collected apart from the necessary minimum
- Convenient customer-focused web-site
- Effective ticket support and round-the-clock live chat
- iOS and Android applications
- Set-up guidelines for many devices
- Not too much advanced features in the SW client
- Weak knowledge base: set-up guidelines without graphics
- It is hard to obtain some technical details from the support team
- Torrents not supported.
The main disadvantage of SaferVPN is its weak knowledge base and the resulting difficulties in obtaining profound technical details or help. On the other hand, SaferVPN offers convenient client SW compatible with a range of platforms, and nicely-packed customer-focused web-site. It is very nice that they do not require any personal information from the users in exchange for their service in whatever aspect. In general, SaferVPN is a great high-performance service available in many countries. Free trial is offered to get first-hand experience and draw personal conclusions.
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