Shellfire VPN: Are the features worth it?
We all look for a quality VPN service provider on the market, and most often than not, we end up subscribing for an ordinary one. That’s because we probably did not put enough effort in finding the best service provider. All you need to do is read as many reviews as possible to find the best VPN service in the market.
Shellfire VPN is known as one of those average service providers which can be a better option only for a normal user. If your use for a VPN is nothing more than casual, then read further to understand more about the services offered by this provider.
Is My Privacy Protected with Shellfire VPN?
Shellfire VPN is based in Germany, and the company follows all the rules and regulations imposed in the country. This is good, because Germany is a country that doesn’t follow strict Internet rules like the US or China. The privacy statement of the company states, “Personal data that is stored will only be used to process user requests and for technical and administrative purposes. Personal data will only then be passed on when needed to process user requests, for billing purposes or if the user has given their consent. The user can, at any time, withdraw their consent with immediate effect.”
The data provided by you is used as mentioned above, and as you can see, as a subscriber you would have the control to even withdraw this consent any time you wish. The company also states, “Personal data will be deleted if a user withdraws their consent or if the data is no longer needed. It will also be deleted when user requests have been dealt with or the law requires it to be deleted. If data is stored for billing or accounting purposes, it will not be affected by deletion requests and withdrawal of consent. Upon request, a user can obtain information about their stored personal data. This request must be made to the contact person named in the imprint”. This simply means that the privacy feature offered by the service provider is really good and one you could certainly rely on.
No connection logs or activity logs are maintained by the VPN service, which is another important privacy factor we look for. Many VPN companies maintain logs of some sort, but the fact that Shellfire simply doesn’t do that is appealing. The presence of an automatic kill switch feature would have made the deal even sweeter.
How Much is Shellfire VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
Shellfire VPN is a perfect choice for normal Internet users who mainly want to access German and US websites restriction free. Three different subscription plans are offered by the service, which are as follows:
- Free – Subscribers can sign up for this plan for free forever.
- Premium – $4/month, but for those who make a single annual payment, the monthly payment becomes $3.20.
- Premium Plus – $9/month, but a single annual payment will let you enjoy this plan for just $5.60/month.
A 14-day money-back guarantee is offered for Premium and Premium Plus subscribers. Free subscribers can only get access to 2 country servers; Premium subscribers get access to 20 country servers; and Premium Plus subscribers get access to all the servers operated by the company. The server speed limit for free users is 1000 kbit/sec; the same is 12000 kbit/s for premium users; and unlimited speed for Premium Plus users.
A 128-bit encryption is offered for free members, 192-bit encryption for premium members, and 256-bit encryption for premium plus users. Unrestricted and unlimited traffic is offered for all subscribers. The money-back guarantee allows you to test the services offered by Shellfire and request to get your money back if you are not satisfied with their features. Customers can make payments via PayPal, Bitcoin, Bank transfer, debit and credit cards.
Shellfire VPN Speed Test
As mentioned in the pricing plan section, speed restrictions are imposed depending on the plan you choose. In our test, we used the Premium Plus plan to test the overall performance of the Shellfire servers, and unfortunately, we are not quite happy with the performance. Upload and download speeds of major servers were quite poor. However, the leak test results were pretty good, with no visible leaks detected on DNS, IPv6, IPv4 and WebRTC leak tests. Slow connection speeds are not going to excite even free subscribers.
Speed limitations and bandwidth restrictions are not imposed on the Premium Plus membership plan; now, if this is the speed these users get, we expect only the worst for those who go with the other two plans. Long distance server connections tend to suffer a lot with poor network connectivity. Poor speeds do not allow you to watch HD videos or stream high quality video content, which is a major drawback.
How is Customer Service at Shellfire VPN?
There are no fancy customer support features, such as live chat or video support. Email customer support is the only form of customer service on offer, and one can expect to receive response from the support staff only after 24 hours, which is not ideal. Many customers have also complained about the poor response to their money back guarantee claims. If you are new to the VPN scenario and think that you will need help more often, then this is not the best VPN for you.
The knowledge base of Shellfire VPN is also not extensive, making it difficult for an ordinary user to resolve their doubts and questions. The FAQ section is also not very good, which means email is the only form of communication on offer and is not the best one out there. Poor communication and customer service makes it one of the least transparent VPN companies.
Shellfire VPN has servers spread across 35 countries, which is not very extensive, but should be more than enough for an ordinary user with very limited needs. Before we move on to discussing the different features offered by Shellfire, you need to understand that this is a basic service provider, and one cannot expect high quality features from this kind of service. Features offered to a user will vary depending on the type of membership plan chosen by the individual.
You can setup or install Shellfire VPN on all your favorite devices, such as Mac, Windows, Android, etc. and the designated apps or software applications will enable the installation process. There is no app for iOS users; hence, you will have to set up manually. User interface might not be the best around, but not the worst one either. You can adjust the various options on the interface according to your requirements.
Kill switch and split tunneling features are not available. Subscribers can connect to only one device simultaneously, which is also a major drawback of Shellfire.
Is Shellfire VPN Safe?
The encrypted Internet network offered to users varies based on the membership plan they choose. As mentioned earlier, Premium Plus plan subscribers get a 256-bit AES CBC encrypted Internet network, Premium plan users get 192-bit AES CBC, and free users only get 128-bit AES CBC. A shared IP address is used by Shellfire VPN servers. 2048-bit security certificates and RSA keys are used along with DHE forward secrecy.
Even the free version gets an OpenVPN protocol-based tunnel Internet network, which is a plus. Premium subscribers get the option of choosing between PPTP and OpenVPN protocol connections, whereas Plus subscribers get the option of L2TP/IPSec protocol in addition to those. The OpenVPN protocol is the highly recommended one, and PPTP should be used only for experiencing a high-speed connection.
Overall, Shellfire VPN is not for the enthusiastic Internet user. Varying speed and security options for different subscription plans are not ideal, and the lack of performance, customer support and features make it one of the below average VPN service providers. The only saving grace is the zero log policy implemented by the company.