Tuxler is a relatively popular VPN that was created to “give people back their right to surf the Web without any borders.” They claim to be the first fully free VPN to ever be made.
This claim is difficult to verify or substantiate, but what we really care about is how Tuxler performs. Yes, it’s free. But does it work?
We’ve put this VPN service through some pretty comprehensive testing to deduce once and for all whether it is worth your time, let alone paying for (they have a premium plan!).
Carry on reading our review to find out more.
Tuxler VPN Pros
Sign-Up Process: No sign-up necessary
You only need to sign up for Tuxler if you want to use their premium service (tip: don’t).
If you’d like to use their free version, you can just download and use it without having to register.
Torrenting Policy: Yes, but good luck with that…
Tuxler verifies on their blog post about best VPNs for torrenting that they have servers ideal for such an activity.
Just don’t take their word for it.
With shockingly-low download and upload speeds, you’re not going to be doing much, nevermind torrenting or participating in P2P activities. (See our Cons section for more on this.)
Payment Methods: Some good options!
You can pay for a Tuxler plan using PayPal, major credit/debit cards, and cryptocurrency.
We appreciate the inclusion of cryptocurrency because this facilitates privacy-conscious payment offerings, and doesn’t attach a payment account to the VPN.
It would be nice to see the ability to pay by cash or check, though, as some VPNs like Mullvad do.
Tuxler VPN Neutral Points
Servers and Locations: An okay offering, but we’d like to see more
Tuxler VPN has a respectable number of servers and locations. You can easily access them through the app in dropdown lists.
We counted around 60 different countries with one or two servers per country.
This is not a huge number of locations, but it’s something. 100+ servers puts Tuxler securely in the Neutral pile; we’d like to see more, but it’s not barebones.
Of course, it falls way behind other VPNs like NordVPN, which has thousands of servers spread across the world.
Tuxler VPN Cons
VPN Speed and Performance: Oh jeez… it’s… it’s not good
Tuxler is by far the worst VPN we have reviewed in terms of speed and performance.
The results were absolutely embarrassing, especially since they reflected the premium plan’s performance. Eesh.
We connected to Akron in the USA—with terrible results:
Tuxler completely obliterated our download and upload speeds. For reference, these are our normal speeds when not using a VPN:
As with any VPN, we expected to see some reduction but these results are frankly shocking.
Speed isn’t always the most important factor, but between the abysmal speeds and ridiculous pings, we’d recommend avoiding Tuxler if you need speed and stability (gamers, downloaders, streamers, Netflix bingers, be warned).
Netflix Test: Nope, no chance
Unsurprisingly, none of Tuxler’s servers we tested would work with Netflix.
Netflix detected Tuxler as a proxy each time and blocked our access to the service.
Not that you’d be able to get much streaming done with speeds as diabolical as Tuxler’s (see above).
Pricing & Plans: Free is nice, but premium is overly pricey
Tuxler offers both free and premium plans.
The premium plan costs $7.99/month which isn’t the cheapest we’ve seen; it works out to $95.88 per year.
They don’t offer any bulk plans with a discount (e.g. quarterly, annually) like most other VPN providers do. We’ve seen annual plans at $60 and lower for much better services.
Again, let’s take NordVPN for example. You can purchase a 3-year subscription billed as a single payment, which works out to less than $3 per month for access to a far superior service.
Refund Policy: No refunds!
Tuxler does not offer any refunds for any reason. Their refund policy states:
“Our licenses are non-refundable. Tuxler Privacy Technologies, Inc. strictly adheres to a non-refund policy because we offer users a fully featured Free Tuxler version for as long as they like before upgrading to a paid version. Thus we do not issue refunds of Premium versions for any reason. Please be sure to try our Free version before you purchase a paid one.”
Most VPNs offer a refund policy, so you’d think that a website calling itself one of the best would have one.
If you don’t want to pay up only to discover the service sucks, don’t do it. You won’t get your money back.
Device Compatibility: Not much beyond desktops
Tuxler works with Windows and macOS.
They also offer Chrome and Firefox extensions, plus an iOS app that has a single one-star review.
An Android app is supposedly in the works.
There’s no support for routers or other devices such as games consoles.
It’s very basic, to say the least.
Product Interface: Very, very, very basic (that’s a lot of very’s)
Tuxler’s interface is very basic; it seems that very little thought has gone into making it look good. Still, it’s simple enough to use.
All you can do on the app is connect to the service, browse through locations, and check for updates. You cannot configure anything at all.
It is simple enough to use, but simple to a fault – not being able to change settings concerns us.
Customer Support: Virtually non-existent
Through their ‘Contact’ page, you can fill out a typical contact form and email them.
While doing our research, we saw plenty of customers complaining that Tuxler does not respond to emails or customer support requests.
Again, disappointing to see.
Product Documentation: No FAQs
The list of disappointments continues. Tuxler has no FAQ section or knowledgebase. We’d have expected at least a minimal list of FAQs.
The only thing we found was a blog about VPN-related topics. But none of this helps the user when they run into trouble while using Tuxler.
Logging Policy: Say goodbye to your data, it’s theirs now
Tuxler’s approach to logging doesn’t leave a good impression, as they openly state that they collect a range of data and information about their users (including online activity and browsing habits!)
This is a major red flag for us – and should be for you too.
They also say that this data is passed on to authorities (such as law enforcement agencies) and internet service providers when requested.
So, it’s clear that Tuxler is not suitable for anybody with privacy concerns.
However, Tuxler notes that they comply with the GDPR and includes a link where you can view all your collected data and request removal.
Judging by their poor customer support record and the fact that they’ve misspelled GDPR multiple times worries us that they would be just as careless on this front.
Encryption and Protocols: What exactly are they using?
Tuxler does not disclose how it protects their users’ online activities.
They do not mention which encryption and tunneling protocols they use. Given the all-around low quality of this service we’ve encountered so far, they probably aren’t very good.
Another flaw in Tuxler’s service.
IP and DNS Leak Testing: Leaks, leaks everywhere!
We found lots of leaks when we tested Tuxler, though we really weren’t surprised at all.
Oh, dear Tuxler, you’re not getting much right!
Kill Switch: Error 404, not found
Tuxler’s app does not include a kill switch.
This means that if for some reason you are using their VPN service and your connection suddenly drops, your IP will be revealed and all the pages you are currently on will be visible to your ISP and anybody else who is watching.
It is standard practice for VPNs to come with a kill switch now so we don’t understand why Tuxler hasn’t caught up.
Tuxler VPN as a Business
Owned by Tuxler Privacy Technologies Inc, Tuxler’s site claims that the VPN was created “by a team of [passionate] people who wanted to improve the world.”
Their company is registered and based in Walnut Creek, CA, USA.
This is all we know!
Since Tuxler’s parent company is based in California, this means that they fall inside the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes agreements between different countries such as the US, UK, and Canada who work together to collect and distribute intelligence.
Given that they are located in the US and openly admit to taking and disclosing logs, we are not impressed at all and we encourage anybody who is even slightly concerned about their privacy to stay far, far away from Tuxler.
Tuxler VPN Conclusion: Stay away
There is very little to say about Tuxler that’s good. It has torrenting support, provided you can get sufficient speeds. That’s about it.
Tuxler VPN is a poor product that is weakly executed. It puts its users’ privacy and information at risk. Sure, it’s relatively inexpensive or free, but you’re still getting zero value.
Speeds are slow. There’s no kill switch. We don’t know what encryption and protocols are being used. They failed our leak tests for both IP and DNS information. They have poor customer support and a strict no-refunds policy. They log and disclose your data…
Wait, there’s more.
It doesn’t work with Netflix. It would be virtually useless—in fact, it would be useless—for torrenting and P2P activities given their abysmal speeds.
Its free service is only available because it is community-powered and works by giving users access to other users’ IP addresses following a P2P model.
While this traffic is encrypted, we don’t know by what, posing a serious risk to your privacy and security.
The verdict? Skip Tuxler.
Every VPN service on our top 10 list offers much better value at a reasonable price, including generous refund policies.