Citizen VPN review
There has been a whole lot of hype about Citizen VPN and maybe it’s about time we uncovered the truth about whether or not it lives up to the hype.
If you live in an area where some of the popular website on the Internet are blocked or you are visiting a country that has such restrictions in place, then you might want to consider Citizen VPN as your preferred VPN.
What I love about this VPN is not just the fact that it frees up the Internet for you, but also because its website contains all the meaningful information you will ever need to know about it.
Is My Privacy Protected with CitizenVPN?
Citizen VPN has a very firm no-logging policy that gives their users maxim online anonymity as explained in its privacy terms.
“No logging of IP addresses. Our VPN servers log information about connections that we use to troubleshoot problems and optimize the service. Whenever a log normally includes the IP address or hardware-address of a Clients computer these logs are automatically and continually ‘anonymized’ (the IP or hardware-address is immediately anonymized). The only time an IP address is logged is upon purchase of your account, but this can only ever be used to prove that an account was purchased by someone using your IP address (i.e. potentially multiple people in a household or business etc), not if or when you have actually used it (the reason we keep it is to avoid fraud).
Payments are handled by a trusted third party. This ensures that we do not have any of your credit-card or banking information on file.
We don’t store your details. If you don’t enter your name and address then we don’t store it.
We store your email-address. The only identifying information we always store about you is the email-address you provided as we need to be able to send you login/password information. You may use an anonymous email service such as yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail if you like.
By not logging your IP address when you use the VPN server, and not storing credit card and banking information or your name/address, we ensure that should our servers ever be raided by the authorities or by anyone else, there will be no identifying information to find.”
How Much is CitizenVPN? Is There a Free Trial?
When it comes to pricing, Citizen VPN does not come cheap by any means. With their rates being paid in Euros users can subscribe to the monthly, annual or semi-annual plan. The annual plan will definitely help you save a few Euros, and you also get to have a 6-month money-back guarantee.
“a) If you contact us within the first 6 months of your purchase then you are entitled to a full 100% refund, regardless of the reason for your cancellation. However, if you have made payment via international bank-transfer or moneyorder such as Western Union Money Transfer or MoneyGram then we will deduct any applicable bank fees for making the refund to you via the same method (however, you may opt to receive your refund via a different method such as PayPal free of charge).
b) If your account is suspended or terminated due to a violation of this Agreement then we will not refund any remaining account balance. If your account is suspended or terminated for any other reason that is not due to a specific violation of this Agreement you are entitled to a refund of any remaining account balance.
c) Requests for refunds must be emailed to: [email protected] or by using the online form found at the URL: https://www.citizenvpn.com/email.pl while selecting ‘Billing/Accounts’ in the ‘Type’ field.”
CitizenVPN Speed Test
Citizen VPN has reasonably great speeds, but with the strong layers of encryption, the speed slows down a little.
“Regarding speed (bandwidth) then it will always be a little slower with a VPN connection. If, for example you have a 4 mbit connection then you can expect to get perhaps 3 mbit through. Our servers are very fast and have plenty capacity so you will not experience speed (bandwidth) limits from the server itself. It does, however, require some computing power from your computer to encrypt/decrypt the signal so if it is very weak then the speed can be limited by the computers capacity. Most computers have no problem to be used for watching Video streams/TV via VPN, even small notebooks or mobile units.
You can count on the speed getting slower the further away the VPN server is from you. Generally the further away it is the slower it gets.”
How is Customer Service at CitizenVPN?
Unfortunately for Citizen VPN, there is no live chat, and customer support can only be reached via email or the ticket support system. Even then, it was quite reliable and didn’t take days to have to solve one small issue.
CitizenVPN Supported OS
- Mac OS X
- Windows 7
CitizenVPN Customer Support
- Support Ticket
CitizenVPN Payment Methods
- Bank Transfer
- Money Order
- Western Union
- Credit Card
CitizenVPN IP Types
- Shared IP (Dynamic)
CitizenVPN Supported Devices
- DDWRT Router
CitizenVPN Server Locations
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
Is CitizenVPN Safe?
Citizen VPN has proven to be very secure in many ways. The issue of privacy being on top of its list does not keep it from making security a priority. However, Citizen VPN does admit to being open to sharing information with Danish authorities should they be called upon to do so, which can be quite discouraging for some users.
“We will never divulge any information about you or allow any third party to access our servers, including the authorities. Should the authorities ask for information we will only allow it with a proper court-order from a Danish court and this is only possible if they suspect a serious crime has taken place. We do not recognize any other authority and we operate under Danish law.”
I like the fact that Citizen APN goes into detail about the encryptions on their website and breaks it down for its users.
“We have two different connection methods with different encryption. Tunnelblick for Mac and OpenVPN for Windows are both OpenVPN clients (an open standard) which use AES-256bit encryption (very strong) and if you connect with PPTP (can be done easily with most operating systems, incl. iPhone/iPad/Android etc) then MPPE 128bit is used (less strong, but still strong).
To see if your connection is actually in fact encrypted it is best to check the log-file.
Tunnelblick and OpenVPN each has their own log-file that shows the same things when you connect. You can find the logfile in the menu. It is quite long so you have to search for something that looks like the following:
Data Channel Encrypt: Cipher ‘AES-256-CBC’ initialized with 256 bit key
Data Channel Encrypt: Using 160 bit message hash ‘SHA1’ for HMAC authentication
Data Channel Decrypt: Cipher ‘AES-256-CBC’ initialized with 256 bit key
Data Channel Decrypt: Using 160 bit message hash ‘SHA1’ for HMAC authentication
Control Channel: TLSv1, cipher TLSv1/SSLv3 DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, 1024 bit RSA
As you can see there are two ‘channels’, a ‘Data’ channel where all your internet traffic is sent and a ‘Control’ channel where control signals are sent back and forth to control the traffic. In this example it shows it is using ‘AES-256-CBC’ encryption on the data-channel with a 256bit key. On the control-channel it is using TLS which also is AES encryption but with a 1024bit key.”
With no DNS leaks and great speeds, this particular VPN might just be the one. However, a little polishing up here and there wouldn’t be the worst thing.