Launched back in the latter end of 2013, RA4W VPN is owned and operated by a US-based company called RA4W LLC (not ideal, more on this later). They boast robust security and anonymity. Sounds good, but that’s the basic requirement for any VPN – and we’ve not yet tested whether they achieve this. Shall we begin?
We will be taking a look at RA4W VPN in-depth and looking at everything from security and safety to speed, pricing and even customer service.
If you want to learn more about RA4W VPN and decide whether it’s the right VPN service for your needs, carry on reading this review.
RA4W VPN Pros
RA4W VPN really shines when it comes to their torrenting policy; they place absolutely no restrictions on it as long as you’re using the right nodes or servers. You can use RA4W VPN to torrent from their Romanian and Russian servers to avoid any DMCA complaints. You might not be able to access Netflix, but you can certainly torrent to your heart’s content!
Using VPNs for P2P sharing and torrenting keeps your personal data safe, and it’s good to know that RA4W VPN has your back.
Pricing: Cheap, cheap, cheap (is there a bird in here?)
A redeeming factor is that RA4W VPN is very, very cheap. Starting at $3.49 for a rolling month-by-month subscription, the price ranges top out at $29.99 for an entire lifetime’s access. Why anybody would bother buying the monthly subscriptions is beyond us. $30 or so is a bargain, that is, if everything suits to your needs.
It is worth noting that there is no money back guarantee (let’s be honest, you won’t be losing much if the service turns out to not suit your needs exactly) unless there’s a major technical issue. This is outlined in more detail through their Terms of Service.
Sign-Up Process: You won’t find an easier sign-up anywhere else
Downloading and installing RA4W VPN’s application is as simple and straightforward as it gets. There is a single file needed, so once you click download and run through the installation wizard you’re ready.
Installation takes next to no time. One thing to note is that you don’t log in to RA4W VPN with the same username and password used on the website. Instead, you’ll find your VPN login details on the RA4W VPN website via the dashboard.
Logging Policy: Your data is your own
Raw4VPN state clearly on their main page that they do not keep any logs on their servers. While this is something which all VPN providers claim, some of them often stretch the truth, and will, in fact, keep some logs. Some keep these for a short amount of time, others for longer.
In short, they don’t keep anything—for a US-based VPN company, this is great.
Super Secure Encryption and Protocols
RA4W VPN’s encryption and protocols are top of the range. First of all, they use 256-bit AES encryption, the same encryption used by governmental organizations and militaries throughout the world. It is virtually unbreakable, even from brute force attacks, with currently no known security flaws or loopholes.
In addition to this encryption, RA4W VPN uses OpenVPN protocol, the industry’s leading protocol. All the serious VPNs use it and it is highly renowned by cybersecurity experts.
Payment Methods: The basics plus Bitcoin for anonymity
You can pay for RA4W VPN through three methods: credit or debit card (Visa and MasterCard), PayPal, or Bitcoin. We’ve seen better payment options, but we’re happy to see Bitcoin on there, even if other cryptocurrencies are missing from the list.
RA4W VPN Neutral Points
Device Compatibility: A little lacking in this department
There’s only a Windows application currently available, but RA4W VPN can be used on MacOS and Linux with simple workarounds. There are plenty of guides available online to this effect. It does work on Android by using an OpenVPN workaround, but this is overly complex—all VPN providers should recognize the growing use of smartphone devices and offer their own robust smartphone VPN apps – c’mon RA4W VPN, keep up!
One point in their favor: you can use an unlimited number of devices, provided each is using a different server. Handy, but considering it’s limited to a few platforms currently, the value of this is somewhat… restricted.
Customer Support: Speedy but tickets only
At the time of writing this review, email support—in addition to the FAQs and other information offered on their website—seemed to be the only support option.
Their customer support is fast, however. Responses take as little as half an hour and as long as three hours to receive a response.
Customer support doesn’t try and palm you off with their FAQs either, providing you with real, insightful and useful answers to the questions you asked.
Product Documentation: Basic, but enough to get by with
RaW4 VPN has standard product documentation on its site in terms of their FAQs and a limited knowledge base. RA4W VPN is easy enough to use, though, so you probably won’t need to use it.
RA4W VPN Cons
Servers & Locations: Erm, where are the rest?
RA4W VPN offers just over 30 servers across just over 20 countries. That’s disappointingly low, but at least the server quality seems to be high.
Still, this is a con, definitely; with other VPNs offering thousands of servers, to offer just 33 is a no-go for us.
Speed and Performance: Have any more MBs, please?
The biggie—speed and performance. All VPNs slow down internet speeds to a certain extent; it’s not possible to use a VPN and also get your full download speeds. Some only slow you down by a factor of 5% whereas others slow you down by 95% – it’s all dependent on the servers and connection quality. Unfortunately, RA4W VPN is the latter – slow.
Connecting to a RA4W VPN server, we ran tests using speedtest.net against our 250Mbps download speeds which average out at 230Mbps.
The results weren’t good; when connecting to both US and EU servers we experienced significant speed drops, 68% and 83% to be exact.
Netflix: Nope, look elsewhere for entertainment, folks
When we tested this on RA4W VPN, we could not access any Netflix content on any of the servers we tested. Boo, no Netflix? Oh RA4W VPN, how you wound us.
IP and DNS Leak Tests: Somebody got a cork? We got a leak!
Let’s get the bad news out of the way now; we found DNS leaks when testing RA4W VPN. So far as VPNs are concerned, IP and DNS leaks are major security flaws that put your information at risk. No amount of encryption and lack of logging can keep you safe if your IP and DNS is leaked to people who are watching (e.g. your ISP)!
Each time we review a VPN, we put it through a series of DNS and IP leak testing. For RA4W VPN we tested on two trusted websites for leak testing:
Unfortunately, RA4W VPN fell down at one hurdle and failed the perfect-privacy.com DNS leak test.
Kill Switch: Where… where is it?!
There is no kill switch with RA4W VPN. Honestly, that’s all we have to say here. Oh dear, RA4W VPN, oh dear.
RA4W VPN as a Business
RA4W VPN is based in the US, a country that’s part of the “Five Eyes” surveillance alliance between the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. These five nations share all the information they obtain through spying. This means that because RA4W VPN is based in the US, the government can demand your data and RA4W VPN would have to comply.
Five Eyes has also been expanded to include 14 additional countries. So, when so many governments could potentially request your held data, the anonymity factor isn’t great. Yes, they don’t store any data with regard to your VPN usage; however, they do store your basic information which could be enough to incriminate you if it came to it.
RA4W VPN Conclusion
Well, now that that’s all out of the way, let’s talk frankly. We find it difficult recommending RA4W VPN. First, you can’t use Netflix. Secondly, while the encryption is good this is rendered useless by the fact that DNS leaks were found and additionally, no kill switch.
There are a limited number of servers and the speeds are slow. Compatibility with smartphones isn’t great and if you need that functionality, you have to make it work yourself.
Customer support is good, and they allow torrenting. They also keep zero logs despite being based in the US. Oh yeah, pricing is dirt-cheap as well. Those four points don’t outweigh the negatives – sorry, RA4W VPN.
On top of that, RA4W VPN has some bad rep among the /r/vpnreviews community:
A lifetime service is still a gamble at $30. Maybe it’ll be enough for your needs? All we’re saying is, there are better and more reputable services out there; a lot of them you can read about on our best VPN reviews list!