VPNArea, a small Bulgarian-based VPN provider founded in 2012, likes to sing its own praises, but is it really everything it’s cracked up to be? Owned by an off-shore company called Offshore Security EEOD, VPNArea boasts an impressive number of servers and locations, strong encryption and decent speeds.
As always, we are going to put all these claims to the test, pick apart VPNArea and determine whether these claims are true. As a service that claims they’re the #1 choice for any VPN user, we’re expecting good results!
VPNArea Specs & Offers
|Leak Test||No Leaks|
|Logging Policy||No Logs|
|Torrenting||Limited Torrenting & P2P|
|Jurisdiction||Outside of Eyes (Bulgaria)|
|Servers / Countries||160 / 65|
|Kill Switch||Has Kill Switch|
|Anonymous Payment Methods||Crypto|
|Free Trial||Not Available|
|Refunds||(14-30 Day No-Questions-Asked Money-Back)|
|Customer Support||24/7 Live Chat, Email, Ticket|
|Price Starting From||$4.92|
Logging Policy: Safe as a… well, a safe!
VPNArea doesn’t keep any logs, and even if they wanted to this wouldn’t be allowed under Bulgarian law. VPNArea’s main servers are also based in Switzerland, known for its independence and focus on privacy (there’s a reason Swiss banks are renowned!).
IP and DNS Leak Test: Robust system
VPNArea has robust anti-DNS leak systems in place which protect your IP address and prevent it from being leaked. This also stops ISPs from seeing what you are doing, and secure encryption means you cannot be compromised.
VPNArea is also the one behind ipleak.org – it’s safe to say, they’re serious about plugging leaks.
Kill Switch: Yes!
If your VPN connection suddenly drops or is interrupted, then VPNArea’s kill switch feature kicks in and protects your IP from popping up.
Encryption and Protocols: Highest grade
VPNArea uses 256-Bit encryption as standard. This is the same level of encryption used by militaries and governments around the world.
VPNArea uses a program called Chameleon which is based on OpenVPN. OpenVPN is used by all major VPNs due to the solid SSL encryption that it delivers.
Any VPN which doesn’t use OpenVPN (or WireGuard) should never be used as they likely rely on more primitive protocols such as PPTP which has inherent vulnerabilities.
Payment Methods: Plenty of choices
There’s a respectable range of payment methods on offer; in addition to traditional credit or debit cards (Visa and Mastercard), you can pay with Bitcoin, UnionPay, Alipay and a few other country-specific payment providers.
At the moment, VPNArea does not support other cryptocurrency payments, cash or checks.
Device Compatibility: Use it on just about anything
VPNArea has compatibility and specific applications for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and smart devices such as consoles and TVs. You can connect up to six different devices at one time, too. Oh, they also encourage you to share your account with a friend!
VPNArea doesn’t throttle you either, so you can run six devices at once without having to worry about reduced speeds or any other restrictions. All their apps on the various devices are intuitive and easy to use. Overall, a solid offering VPNArea!
Sign-Up Process: Quick and easy
Signing up is easy. You just need to choose a username, password and email address. The privacy-conscious amongst us should note that your email address will be kept on file.
Given that other services such as Mullvad don’t require any personal information at all, those seeking complete anonymity should look elsewhere.
Product Interface: Up and running in a matter of minutes
VPNArea earns a few extra points for supreme ease of use—browsing servers, connecting and changing DNS is as simple as a few mouse clicks. It’s basic enough for the least tech-savvy user to get up and running quickly.
Customer Support: Plenty of promise, but needs some attention
VPNArea offers live chat, email support, and forums. This customer support is offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Their FAQs openly state that most queries are responded to within four hours and “most times” you should be able to reach a support agent through the live chat.
Customer support requires you to input a username or nickname alongside an email address (probably to get back to you later if they’re offline). The live chat agent, Kyle, answered within a minute during our routine tests.
For whatever reason the live chat doesn’t work, your message will turn into a ticket which you can respond via email. The wait times here isn’t so bad but you may have to wait a few hours if your timing is unlucky.
Overall, incredible support offering that’s a bit of a let down by delays.
VPNArea Neutral Points
Servers & Locations: We’d like to see more
At the time of writing, VPNArea offers a network of over 160 different servers spanning over 65 countries (up from 60 in 2018). Most of these are located within Europe and the U.S.
We’ve seen higher server counts but the coverage in 65 countries is quite the feat.
Still, are the servers quality, offering high speeds?
VPNArea claims their client to server ratio (i.e. the number of people connected to a server) is amongst the best in the industry. This should mean better performance from their servers.
Let’s find out if that’s true, with some speed tests.
VPN Speed & Performance: Expect speeds to be reduced by around 50% for high-speed connections
Now, we have a 250Mbps internet connection which averages around 230Mbps regularly.
We connected to a VPNArea server in North America and Europe to see how VPNArea fared.
Here are the results from a US server:
Here are the results from a European server:
As you can see, we lost between 40-50% of our download speeds. This isn’t mind-bogglingly slow, but there’s definitely room for improvement. This is going to be problematic for people who don’t have the best download speeds to begin with. Combined with a lack of servers, we expect a lack of positive remarks for VPNArea’s performance for customers.
Still, getting over 100 Mbps is nothing to scoff at.
Netflix Test: Yeah, but…
As with many VPNs where Netflix works, some servers work and others don’t. You just have to keep trying. I managed to get on Netflix on some US servers, so that’s good news.
Still, it doesn’t feel like there’s strong support for this high-demand feature. VPNArea doesn’t call out specific supported servers. It’s a bit disappointing, and we’d like to see VPNArea work on this, providing specific Netflix support.
Torrenting Policy: Yep, go for it
VPNArea’s policy when it comes to torrenting? They allow torrenting, but only on certain servers—any servers which have “P2P” after their name can be used for torrenting.
And don’t forget about their policy on illegal activities. They do not allow it.
For more viable options, it’s probably best to check out our top VPNs for torrenting.
Pricing & Plans: Nothing new here
VPNArea offers three different pricing points:
- $9.90 per month on a rolling month-by-month basis
- $4.92 per month billed as $59 every 12 months
- $2.99 per month billed as $107.64 every 36 months
These prices are competitive, but nothing we’ve not seen before. Many of the VPNs we’ve looked at shake out to around $60 per year when you purchase their service yearly.
The 36-month deal is on-par with what NordVPN provides in terms of duration and price.
All plans give you full access to VPNArea across six devices plus unlimited bandwidth.
Let’s not forget about the refund policy – it’s 30 days, no questions asked.
Product Documentation: Would like to have seen more
VPNArea has a typical set of FAQs, but that’s about it. There is a forum where you can ask questions and there’s a lot of information regarding the VPN product here, but there doesn’t appear to be a dedicated knowledgebase.
VPNArea as a Business
VPNArea is a Bulgarian-based VPN provider founded in 2012. It’s owned by an off-shore company called Offshore Security EEOD (LTD).
VPNArea boasts an impressive number of servers and locations, strong encryption and decent speeds.
Privacy advocates will be happy to know that Bulgaria is not a part of the Five, Nine, or Fourteen Eyes Alliance.
VPNArea Conclusion: To settle or not?
In conclusion, do we recommend VPNArea?
While the VPN is robust and safe in terms of there being no logging, secure encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection, it is lacking in other areas. Servers and download speeds are somewhat lacking.
Yes, they have all the bells and whistles when it comes to security, but so do many of the top VPNs we’ve reviewed – and they offer much more in terms of speed, security, and additional features.
If you’re looking for simple browsing and aren’t too concerned about being the fastest VPN user or having access to thousands of servers, then VPNArea is good enough. Customer support seems to be improving, too.
But at this price? Check out our top VPNs.
+ Easy to use
+ Works with Netflix(ish)
+ No logging
+ Plenty of device support
+ 24/7 Support
Things to consider:
– Sluggish speeds
– Lack of server choice
– User guides are lacking