VPNTunnel review: A comprehensive guide

Read an unbiased review of VPNTunnel. Discover its features, security, speed, and reliability to make an informed decision.

Apr 20, 2024 - 12:00
May 29, 2024 - 15:43
VPNTunnel review: A comprehensive guide
VPNTunnel, a swiftly growing VPN service, originates from Sweden but operates out of the Seychelles.

Our Verdict

Our Verdict

VPNTunnel, a swiftly growing VPN service, originates from Sweden but operates out of the Seychelles. With a notable European presence and servers in Latin America, it stands out as a top choice for the region. Offering diverse access methods like dedicated apps for Windows, Android, and iOS alongside OpenVPN for various systems, it caters to a broad user base. For insights on accessing this VPN without charge, delve into our review.

like Pros

  • Offers a discreet three-day free trial
  • Commits to a strict no-logs policy
  • A generous seven-day money-back guarantee

dislike Cons

  • Lack of a custom app for Macs
  • Absence of a kill switch feature
  • Restricts file sharing capabilities
vpntunnel
4.8
star star star star star
Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Starting price

$3.33

Secure data transmission

Yes

Anonymity and privacy protection

VPN tunnels also serve to protect the user's anonymity

Features

Here's a breakdown of the company's package features:

  • More than 800 servers spanning across 31 countries
  • Proprietary application designed for Windows, Android, and iOS platforms
  • Multilingual application support for OpenVPN
  • Compatibility with Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP), and Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) for manual setup
  • Strict no-activity logs policy ensuring user privacy
  • Allows up to five simultaneous connections per account
  • No data throughput limits, offering unrestricted browsing and streaming
  • Multilingual website for enhanced accessibility
  • Strong server network primarily concentrated in Europe, with notable locations in Latin America, such as Brazil, Argentina, and Panama

Pricing options and plans

VPNTunnel stands out for its affordability within the VPN market, particularly with its heavily discounted one-year plan, which offers exceptional value when broken down into monthly rates. While the three-month subscription is available, it doesn't receive as significant a discount as the yearly option.

Every subscription period comes with a seven-day money-back guarantee and permits connection for up to five devices simultaneously, with strict enforcement against account sharing.

Accepted payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and bank transfer, providing customers with flexibility.

Interestingly, while the VPNTunnel website doesn't mention it, ProPrivacy.com reveals that users can access a three-day free trial by contacting the support team through the site's Contact Us page.

Security

VPNTunnel provides manual setup options for PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP/IPSec protocols. However, macOS users should be aware that PPTP isn't compatible with the operating system. The website states that OpenVPN isn't available for iOS and Android but offers manual setup instructions for these platforms. Nonetheless, users may explore installing the OpenVPN GUI interface, which is free and potentially usable on smartphones or tablets.

Interestingly, despite FAQ statements, a custom app is indeed accessible for Windows, Android, and iOS platforms, indicating outdated information on the website.

Regarding encryption, VPNTunnel employs Blowfish encryption with a 128-bit key, differing from the more common 256-bit AES encryption. While AES is widely regarded as the most secure encryption, some prefer Blowfish due to concerns about the US government's involvement in AES's creation. Despite its shorter key length, Blowfish remains uncracked, offering a robust alternative.

Lengthier encryption keys enhance security by prolonging the time required for brute-force attacks to crack the encryption. While 256-bit keys offer increased security, they also demand more processing power and may introduce communication delays. Some argue that using a 256-bit key is unnecessary over-engineering when a system utilizing a 128-bit key is already considered uncrackable.

OpenVPN encryption Logs & legal
  • Cipher: Blowfish-128
  • Data Authentication: HMAC SHA1
  • Handshake: RSA-2048
  • Control Authentication: HMAC SHA1
  • Forward Secrecy: DHE-2048
  • Connection Logs: None
  • Traffic Logs: None
  • Country of Operation: Ok

In OpenVPN, distributing Blowfish encryption keys is crucial since the same key encrypts and decrypts messages, necessitating both sides to possess identical keys. To address this, OpenVPN employs a public key system during key distribution. Here, a separate key decrypts messages, ensuring the encryption key remains private. This public key is embedded in a security certificate, serving as an authentication method.

During connection establishment, the client encrypts a message using the public key from the certificate. If the server successfully decrypts and responds, it verifies its identity. Intercepting this message is futile for hackers as they lack the decryption key.

VPNTunnel utilizes an RSA cipher with a standard 2048-bit key, prevalent in the VPN industry. However, top-tier companies opt for a more secure 4096-bit key.

While utilizing the standard OpenVPN GUI interface, VPNTunnel faces limitations in incorporating additional security features. Custom VPN apps typically integrate these measures, including a kill switch to halt internet access if the VPN connection drops, and automatic WiFi protection, crucial for mobile devices.

Privacy

VPNTunnel boasts one of the most stringent privacy policies in the industry, refraining from keeping any logs, a rarity among VPN providers. Unlike many others that claim no logs but retain connection data, VPNTunnel ensures no activity or connection logs are stored, a critical distinction often overlooked by other companies.

Emphasizing its commitment to privacy, VPNTunnel's fine print underscores its Swedish server infrastructure, despite its operational base now being in the Seychelles. This distinction is crucial, as Swedish servers enjoy robust privacy laws.

The absence of connection logs, which typically contain users' IP addresses and activity timestamps, significantly bolsters user privacy, shielding them from potential surveillance or prosecution.

However, the privacy policy specifies this logging policy only pertains to servers in Sweden, leaving ambiguity regarding servers in other countries. Unfortunately, neither the FAQ page nor the terms of service document elucidates logging procedures outside Sweden.

While VPNTunnel asserts it doesn't collect personal information, it's unclear how IP addresses are handled, as this aspect isn't explicitly addressed in the privacy policy.

The Process

Registering for an account

To subscribe, select "Order" from the site's top menu, choose your desired subscription period, and input your email address. Ensure it's valid as a verification email will be sent. You'll have various payment options; I opted for PayPal. Be sure to uncheck the "Enable Subscription" box to avoid recurring charges. After approving the purchase through PayPal, you'll see a Thank You page. Click the button on this page to set up your account and download the VPN software. Once you create a username and password, access the client area to download the app. Note that app installation may require a computer restart. Expect three emails: one for account validation, a thank-you message, and a receipt from the payment processor.

VPNTunnel's windows VPN application

Upon installation, a desktop shortcut for the VPNTunnel app is created. Simply click on it to open the application.

Credentials for accessing the app are the same ones you established during the initial subscription setup. These login details are only required on the first use; subsequent logins will be automatic.

The app interface is user-friendly, catering to all skill levels. Your current location is displayed at the top, followed by a dropdown menu offering VPN protocol options. While various protocols are available, sticking with the default setting of OpenVPN over User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is recommended. To connect, simply select a location and hit "Connect."

Settings within the app are somewhat limited, lacking features like a kill switch and automatic WiFi protection. However, enabling options such as "Start program with Windows" and "Auto-reconnect if connection is dropped" can approximate these functionalities.

Language preferences can be adjusted within the app, with choices including English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Further down the screen, options are available to specify connection ports, though it's advisable to leave these settings untouched unless you possess networking expertise.

Assessment of performance: Speed, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 Tests

I conducted speed tests on VPNTunnel using OpenVPN over UDP. Five test runs were performed from a Caribbean location, connecting to Miami for US tests and London for UK tests.

I used IPLocation.net to verify the actual server locations. When connected to the New York server, IPLocation reported my location as Parsippany, New Jersey, with variations from other geo-location systems. Upon reconnecting, my location was identified as New York City by the app, with IPLocation results varying between New York Garden City, Westbury in New York, Lingwood, Texas, and even the City of London in the UK.

Attempting connection to the Toronto server failed, leading to connection to Montreal, where IPLocation results varied, with some suggesting locations in New Brunswick and Alberta. Speed tests from Montreal consistently showed poor performance, despite multiple attempts to rule out external factors.

VPNTunnel offers three UK servers, including one optimized for BBC iPlayer. When connected to this server, IPLocation results were inconsistent, with reported locations ranging from Johannesburg, South Africa, to various locations in the UK. Unfortunately, speeds were insufficient for video streaming.

Failing to connect to the London server, I connected to the Coventry server, which IPLocation consistently identified as Coventry or Rugby, located nearby.

Analysis of speed performance and leak tests

The graphs display the highest, lowest, and average speeds achieved for each server and location. Both the New York and Coventry servers demonstrated commendable speed performance for both download and upload tasks.

While connected to the VPNTunnel server in New York, additional tests were conducted using ipleak.net to assess DNS leaks and the WebRTC bug. Results indicated my location as Parsippany, New Jersey, with calls to DNS servers in Arizona and Sweden, though neither revealed my true location in the Dominican Republic. Similarly, our leak test detected my location as being in the US without identifying any WebRTC inconsistencies or DNS leaks.

Unfortunately, due to my Internet Service Provider's lack of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) addresses, testing for IPv6 leaks was not feasible.

Streaming services

While connected to the New York server, attempts to access Netflix resulted in a timeout error, indicating difficulty circumventing access blocks. However, access to Yahoo and Facebook remained unaffected. ABC detected the VPN and denied video delivery, while NBC also refused playback, showcasing stringent VPN detection measures.

Switching to the VPNTunnel server designated for BBC iPlayer access proved unsuccessful, as the BBC detected the VPN and restricted video playback. Netflix UK similarly denied access. Although Channel 4 allowed video streaming, slow transfer speeds led to frequent playback interruptions.

Using the Coventry server yielded improved speeds, enabling comfortable video streaming from the Channel 4 website. However, access to Netflix UK and BBC iPlayer remained restricted.

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