If you’re familiar with torrent-streaming service Popcorn Time, VPN.ht is its VPN brother!
These two services both demanded to be shut down due to being one of the largest sources of movie piracy. Yet, we see both of them still alive and kicking; does that mean they’re too popular and powerful to be dismissed?
In this review, we take a look at VPN.ht and the features it offers; is it a good VPN or is it just holding onto the coat-tails of its more illegal brother?
VPN Speed and Performance: Acceptable
The slower speeds are largely attributed to the encryption that data has to go through and the time the data needs to bounce from one server to another.
We tested the speeds for VPN.ht and the results weren’t bad – at all.
Streaming high definition content was never a problem, neither was downloading large files.
If you are in need of even faster speeds, you can reduce the level of encryption from 256-bit to 128-bit to get a nice little boost.
Lowering the encryption level still maintains a secure connection with the added upside of better latency and transfer rates.
Netflix Test: A world of movie madness – unleashed!
VPN.ht is proud to offer geo-restricted content bypasses, promising “no borders” between you and the content.
It’s really great that VPN.ht works with Netflix; a lot of VPNs miss the mark here, and it’s one of the main reasons people sign up for VPNs. Good job, VPN.ht, you did it!
Torrenting Policy – Torrent lovers unite!
Well VPN.ht, you continue to impress!
VPN.ht has been involved in torrenting for the longest time, it’s gone through a lot – including legal battles.
This has shaped VPN.ht well enough to be a really solid VPN option for torrenting, and they offer a strongly supported environment for torrenting.
So, transfer away!
Pricing & Plans: How cheap is cheap? How about $1 for a month?
VPN.ht offers one of the cheapest VPN services you’ll find, period.
The first month costs a single dollar – a dollar? Excuse us while we rub our eyes to check we’re not misreading. Nope, definitely a dollar.
Should you go for an annual plan, the price is set at $3.33 a month, which works out to $39.99 a year.
Overall, that’s freakin’ cheap – there’s no arguing that. So far, VPN.ht, we’re impressed on all counts. Is there anything VPN.ht can’t do? (see the Cons list, there is – sorry, spoilers!)
Payment Options: Tons of Options (No seriously, there’s loads)
VPN.ht go the extra mile by offering a multitude of payment options, including cryptocurrencies of all varieties.
VPN.ht offer the standard credit card and PayPal options, along with various payment services.
The cryptocurrency options aren’t just limited to Bitcoin but also offer to other alternative coins such as Ethereum, Ripple and more. We’re getting the feeling this review might be turning into a long list of Pros for VPN.ht – curse you and your good service, VPN.ht!
Refund Policy: Very generous (okay, seriously, what is VPN.ht hiding? If something’s too good to be true…)
What amuses us about VPN.ht is that they offer the first month for a cost that’s next to nothing and yet still give users a 30-day money-back guarantee.
This is a far cry from other budget VPNs that offer a limited trial/money-back periods, with the typical busywork to get your money back.
Device Compatibility: Use it on just about anything (does your toaster have Wi-Fi?)
VPN.ht casts a wide net with their device compatibility.
Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS – the most common platforms are all covered.
There’s also support for routers which enables any Wi-Fi-compatible device to have access to the VPN service.
The standard plan offered by VPN.ht only allows for a maximum of 3 simultaneous users (the standard is 5).
Thankfully, router support removes that limit in lieu of allowing the limit to be as many devices as the router can support.
Sign-Up Process: A Few Simple Steps
Signing up for VPN.ht involves a few steps; it’s not difficult to do, but it can be lengthy when compared to other VPNs.
Once you choose to subscribe to their service, you will be asked to input some basic information.
For the sake of anonymity, you can just make up an email address; just make sure it works!
Once you’ve created your login credentials, you’ll be led to the payment screen.
For this review, we tried paying with PayPal and we were given an invoice right away for our subscription.
A good sign that VPN.ht values your anonymity is that they don’t include your name on the invoice.
Less information collected? Bravo, VPN.ht, bravo.
Product Interface – Sleek & Stylish
If we nit-pick the UI, we don’t like that the login portion is incorporated into the main user interface.
Most VPNs would have you login on a separate screen.
Having it permanently on the main menu just makes the UI busy.
Overall though, it’s a sleek and stylish interface – we’ve seen some real Y2K-type VPNs, so seeing something modern is always a pro in our eyes.
Our favorite part of the UI? We still see those happy little aliens from the website!
Once you’ve entered your login credentials, you’ll be able to connect to your chosen server.
The display will show you your current IP address and the location of the server.
It will also show the length of time you’ve been connected to the server.
Logging Policy: Absolutely No Logs (They really mean it!)
A lot of VPN providers claim to keep no logs, yet still, some of your “harmless” information is kept – well don’t worry, because there are no leaks, logs, or lies here.
It was reported for a time that VPN.ht was vulnerable to DNS leaks.
Fortunately, this has been fixed and VPN.ht is more secure than ever.
Multiple DNS leak tests show no signs of leakage from VPN.ht.
Encryption and Protocols: Industry standard stuff
Nowadays, VPNs that don’t offer 256-Bit AES encryption are, being blunt, irrelevant.
There’s a reason it’s the industry standard for security; it’s virtually uncrackable.
It’s why you’ll find VPN.ht using it, and also gives you options to adjust if you want (as mentioned earlier, it can help improve speeds).
VPN.ht Neutral Points
Servers and Locations: We’d like to see more, but what’s here is GOOD
VPN.ht doesn’t have a lot of servers, 128 to be exact.
Despite the small number of servers, VPN.ht manages to spread their servers around the world, offering good coverage.
Customer Support: Ticket answers in 24 Hours
We’re not the biggest fan of tickets and always prefer VPNs having a live chat feature.
While that is true, we appreciate the fact that VPN.ht replied within the expected 24-hour window.
We have had experiences with VPN providers not responding to tickets at all, so despite the support method being somewhat outdated (chatbots, anyone?), it is still acceptable.
Even the two cons we have aren’t terribly bad. It seems VPN.ht just enjoy being great at everything!
Kill Switch: Not on Windows (Yet)
We tried VPN.Ht on both our mobile device and on a Windows PC.
It was quite unusual to find that the windows version does not have it, while the mobile app does!
A kill switch is a strong requirement. C’mon VPN.ht, get on it!
Product Documentation: Help Center is definitely lacking
It’s a little disappointing to see that there are just exactly 7 FAQs.
Most VPN providers invest a lot of effort in building their help-center, especially those without live chat support.
The only comprehensive section was the setup guides – maybe they expect people to not run into issues with their service?
For what it’s worth, the FAQs, however few there are, are well-written and easy to follow.
VPN.ht as a Business
VPN.ht is a newcomer in the VPN industry; they’ve only been around since 2015.
It is also worth noting that VPN.ht, before being available to the mass market, was Popcorn Time’s built-in VPN.
This shows just how inclined VPN.ht is to torrenting safety; we don’t condone their stance or history on questionable activities, but you can’t argue that their services are clearly effective.
Jurisdiction: Hong Kong
While Hong Kong functions as a special administrative region, it’s hard to say that it’s independent of China.
Hong Kong still abides by Chinese rules, despite being allowed to operate in a capacity that is comparable to a sovereign state.
Censorship in Hong Kong isn’t as hardcore as it is in mainland China, but don’t mistake that for complete freedom – China is one of the most notorious censorship-loving countries, so expect at least some influence there.
No one knows how much the Chinese government snoops into Hong Kong’s activities, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Fortunately, VPN.ht isn’t known to keep logs, so consider their service relatively safe. On top of that, their warrant canary page looks to be quite hefty in detail.
Conclusion: Damn good!
VPN.ht really is a solid performer. The strict no logs policy pleased us, along with industry-standard security features and strong speeds. The torrenting and streaming features are also amazing.
If they added more servers and threw a kill-switch in there somewhere, VPN.ht would start reaching the tippy-top of our recommendation list.
In summary, VPN.ht is a cheap VPN that you should really try; there’s a lot about it to love!