RA4W VPN Review

RA4WVPN review

Launched back in the latter end of 2013, RA4WVPN is owned and operated by a US-based company called RA4W LLC (not ideal, more on this later). They boast robust security and anonymity. They’ve updated their brand in mid-2019 so there’s some potential. 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 RA4WVPN in-depth and looking at everything from security and safety to speed, pricing and even customer service.

If you want to learn more about RA4WVPN and decide whether it’s the right VPN service for your needs, carry on reading this review.

RA4W VPN Specs & Offers

VPN Name RA4W VPN
Leak Test Leaks Detected
Logging Policy Grey Area
Speed Slow
Torrenting Torrenting & P2P Allowed
Netflix No Netflix
Jurisdiction Inside Five Eyes
Servers / Countries 30 / 20
Max Connections "Unlimited" (Read Review)
Kill Switch Does Not Have Kill Switch
Anonymous Payment Methods Crypto
Free Trial Not Available
Refunds Strict Conditions (7 Days)
Customer Support Email, Tickets
Price Starting From $2.08

RA4WVPN Pros

Torrenting Policy: Torrent away!

RA4WVPN 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 RA4WVPN to torrent from their Romanian and Russian servers to avoid any DMCA complaints. They strictly disallow torrenting on other servers due to “DMCA & other 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 RA4WVPN has your back. If you break their ToS and torrent on any of the restricted servers, don’t be surprised if you receive a DMCA report.

Pricing & Plans: Cheap, cheap, cheap (is there a bird in here?)

A redeeming factor is that RA4WVPN is very, very cheap. It used to start at $3.49 but they’ve bumped up the prices up recently. Today, it starts at $4.99 for a rolling month-by-month subscription.

They do not offer a lifetime access plan anymore. This is a little sad to see since it only cost $50. The same $50 now only covers 2 years of service. The average cost per month comes out to $2.08 which still remains very competitive in the industry’s standards.

Even if you get the 1-year access, it still comes out to just over $2.91 per month on average ($34.99 upfront). This beats PIA VPN‘s $3.11 per month and NordVPN‘s $2.99 per month.

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.

VPNs usually charge $10+ for a rolling month-to-month subscription. It’s refreshing to see a low price point from the get-go.

Sign-Up Process: You won’t find an easier sign-up

Downloading and installing RA4WVPN’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 RA4WVPN with the same username and password used on the website. Instead, you’ll find your VPN login details on the RA4WVPN website via the dashboard.

This easy method is definitely on-par with Windscribe and Mullvad.

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.

When you are deciding on a VPN provider and want to suss out their logging policy, it’s always best to turn to their privacy policy. After all, they cannot, by law, tell lies here. Privacy policies can usually be found in a VPN site’s footer.

RA4WVPN’s privacy policy states:

In short, they don’t keep anything—for a US-based VPN company, this is great.

Whether we believe them is another matter, though. The website and product isn’t at 100% and it definitely causes some doubts…

Encryption and Protocols: Super secure and superb

RA4WVPN’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, RA4WVPN 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 RA4WVPN 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.

RA4WVPN Neutral Points

Device Compatibility: A little lacking in this department

There’s only a Windows application currently available, but RA4WVPN can be used on macOS and Linux with simple workarounds. There are plenty of guides available online to this effect (they have their own guide too). 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 RA4WVPN, 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. RA4WVPN is easy enough to use, though, so you probably won’t need to use it unless you need help configuring it on non-Windows platforms.

RA4WVPN Cons

Servers & Locations: Erm, where are the rest?

RA4WVPN 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 30 is a no-go for us.

They’ve also been having some issues with network outage at the time of the review.

If 11 out of ~20 countries are unavailable, then they’re only offering servers in just 10 countries. At least they are honest about this, fixing the issue and are in communication with the customers.

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, RA4WVPN is the latter – slow.

Connecting to a RA4WVPN 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 Test: Nope, look elsewhere for entertainment, folks

When we tested this on RA4WVPN, we could not access any Netflix content on any of the servers we tested. Boo, no Netflix? Oh RA4WVPN, how you wound us.

To access Netflix with a VPN, we recommend these top picks.

They do openly advertize other platforms they unblock such as music services and other streaming services. None of them are aggressive in blacklisting VPN IPs so this list didn’t exactly impress 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 RA4WVPN. 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 RA4WVPN we tested on two trusted websites for leak testing:

  1. dnsleaktest.com
  2. ipleak.net

Unfortunately, RA4WVPN 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 RA4WVPN. Honestly, that’s all we have to say here. Oh dear, RA4WVPN, oh dear.

RA4WVPN as a Business

RA4WVPN is owned and operated by a US-based company called RA4W LLC. The service launched in 2013.

They have a LinkedIn page that claims they’ve served over 20,000 customers. But there’s not much company information available other than that and no listed employees.

There is a name connected to RA4W – someone who hunted the product on ProductHunt. We’ll let you do the research if you’re extra curious.

Jurisdiction

RA4WVPN 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 RA4WVPN is based in the US, the government can demand your data and RA4WVPN 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.

RA4WVPN Conclusion: Not trustworthy

Well, now that that’s all out of the way, let’s talk frankly. We find it difficult recommending RA4WVPN. 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, there is 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.

On a positive note: the customer support is good, and they allow torrenting. They also claim 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, RA4WVPN.

On top of that, RA4WVPN has some bad rep among the /r/vpnreviews community:

RA4WVPN Keeps Logs from r/vpnreviews

Do you think it’ll be enough for your needs?

All we’re saying is, you can make a better bet. There are better and more reputable services out there. Just go through our best VPNs!

Published by

Jamie Cambell

Ethical Hacker. Ph.D., M.S. in Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley. Technology enthusiast and also a part-time gamer. My goal is liberating the Internet.

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