SecureVPN assessment | TechRadar
Amazingly, the primary appeared earlier than we may even entry the web site, with our browser warning it was ‘insecure’ – the location certificates had expired 5 days earlier. If the corporate can miss one thing as apparent as that, how can anybody belief it to maintain the remainder of its methods maintained and safe?
The corporate’s free plan sums a lot of this up, all by itself. ‘Free’ is all the time a plus, however the plan has some main restrictions, together with a most 20 minutes per session, 1000MB knowledge switch per 30 days, and solely permitting one system to be related at a time.
Technical help may very well be an issue, as there’s barely any web site content material that will help you get arrange or troubleshoot points. The positioning is inconsistent over help hours, too, with the entrance web page saying it is accessible 24-7, however one other web page saying it is solely 9 am – 5 pm EST. (Both approach, we have seen a number of consumer reviews speaking about not receiving replies to help queries.)
Browse the web site and you may discover SecureVPN does not clearly point out what number of places it has, which appeared odd to us, as it is a main promoting level for any service.
Later, we discovered a doable purpose for this vagueness; the free plan has solely four places, in Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and United States. And even when you pay to improve, you continue to solely get two extra: Brazil and South Africa. In the event that they’re all you want, that is not an issue, however most suppliers offer you much more selection. NordVPN presents 59 international locations, as an example, ExpressVPN has 94, HideMyAss greater than 190.
Costs are tougher to search out than we anticipated. We tapped Improve on the Home windows shopper, and an online web page opened which displayed the worth as ‘$ / month’ and ‘$ / 12 months’ – no figures. Fee is accepted by way of PayPal solely on the web site, and once we clicked via to the PayPal website, we did not see a worth there, both.
Select the Pricing hyperlink on the web site, although, and it reveals a comparatively low month-to-month charge of $7.99, falling to a extra expensive $5.83. Signing up for Personal Web Entry prices a mean $2.85 for the primary annual time period (which incorporates two months free), and is $3.33 after that, for what seems to be like a much more succesful service.
Privateness and logging
SecureVPN’s privateness coverage is refreshingly brief at barely 500 phrases, and most of these are the routine ‘we do our greatest to guard you however cannot make 100% ensures’ warnings.
The content material of the coverage is not fairly as reassuring. There is a clear assertion that the corporate “doesn’t accumulate or log any site visitors or use of its VPN”, however it does accumulate the exterior and inner IPs for each service connection. So far as we’re involved, that IS logging use of the VPN.
One other clause says, “we could accumulate and disclose private data, together with your utilization knowledge, to governmental authorities or companies… at their request or pursuant to… authorized course of, if there’s a good religion perception that [this] is required by legislation.” In different phrases, they will not essentially anticipate a courtroom order at hand knowledge over: if an company asks, and SecureVPN thinks they’ve a great case, that is sufficient.
We additionally observed an oddity in in clause d) of SecureVPN’s software program license restrictions, which says you will need to not ‘modify or adapt the SecureVPN Software program, merge the SecureVPN Software program into one other program or create by-product works primarily based on the Hotspot Protect Software program.’ Hotspot Protect? A fast examine on-line revealed a Hotspot Protect privateness coverage with an identical textual content. We are able to solely guess how this happened, but when any of the coverage has been copy-and-pasted from one other supplier, then that does not encourage us to belief what it says.
SecureVPN offers apps for Home windows, iOS, Android and Mac. OpenVPN help suggests you could possibly set it up with different software program and gadgets, however there’s nothing on the web site about this.
Putting in the free Home windows shopper was simple, and utilizing it wasn’t tough, both: select the Germany, Italy, UK or US location, click on Join to guard ourselves, click on once more once we’re accomplished.
There’s not a single setting on provide, no superior options to discover, nothing in any respect. SecureVPN does not appear very involved in its Home windows model; its executable hasn’t been up to date since 2015. The web site has no element on what’s taking place beneath the hood, however we discovered it related by way of OpenVPN.
SecureVPN’s Android app seems to be extra fashionable, however the free model nonetheless solely has 4 places, there aren’t any settings, you have got the identical 1GB a month knowledge restrict, and it has adverts, too. (The Home windows app could be primary, however it’s ad-free.)
If this very primary service works for you, in idea you are in a position to improve to the paid plan with a click on.
We tried this with the Home windows app, and shortly bumped into bother. SecureVPN had no downside directing us to PayPal and taking our money, however PayPal wasn’t in a position to ship us again to SecureVPN, so finally we closed the tab.
A PayPal receipt arrived inside seconds, however we did not hear something from SecureVPN. There is no reside chat on the web site, no e mail tackle, only a net kind, so we used that to ship a plea for assist, offering our personal e mail tackle and PayPal transaction ID.
The subsequent day, with no reply, we despatched an e mail explaining the issue to the help tackle on the App Retailer.
This time, a few hours later, a response arrived asking for our platform and system sort. We replied instantly, however have been left ready one other 36 hours whereas exactly nothing occurred.
A daily buyer would in all probability surrender at this level, possibly cancel their PayPal subscription or ship an indignant e mail demanding their a reimbursement.
We’re skilled professionals, although, so we weren’t going to let pathetic customer support get in our approach; not when there is a job to be accomplished. We put in the Android app and continued with the assessment.
SecureVPN claims it permits you to ‘browse the whole lot you want’ ‘with none restrictions’, however that wasn’t our expertise. Though we had some success with BBC iPlayer (even with the free plan) and simple targets similar to US YouTube, we weren’t in a position to stream US Netflix content material, Amazon Prime Video or Disney+.
The SecureVPN app offers an possibility so as to add as much as four additional gadgets to your plan. May this enable us to get our common Home windows 10 system working, we questioned, with the complete plan?
No, the directions did not work. Our guess is the Home windows app is outdated and basically damaged, however SecureVPN both hasn’t observed or does not care, and has left the obtain accessible. (Does not say a lot about its competence, but when an organization does not even discover when its personal web site digital certificates expires, we in all probability should not be stunned.)
We tried velocity testing the free Home windows model, and that proved stunning succesful at 60-65Mbps on our 75Mbps take a look at line. Whether or not it will preserve that velocity over time is much less sure – free VPNs usually get overwhelmed at peak instances – however we have been glad simply to search out a facet of SecureVPN which wasn’t garbage.
We accomplished the assessment with our common leak assessments, and the outcomes have been no nice shock. The extra up-to-date Android app handed with out difficulties, however the drained previous Home windows app had a major DNS leak (but one more reason to not use it.)
SecureVPN’s restricted free plan is quicker and a little bit extra succesful than we anticipated, however the heavy restrictions, the utter incompetence, the damaged web site guarantees, and the entire lack of options make it unattainable to suggest. Should you attempt the free plan, do not use it for something even barely necessary, and by no means, ever, ever give SecureVPN your belief, or your cash.