VPN.ht: Can it help you be completely anonymous?
The VPN market is growing every single year and the service quality offered by companies has to be weighed against one another in order to find the best service provider of them all. By signing up for a reliable and top VPN, we give ourselves the opportunity to make the best use of the service.
VPN.ht is a fairly new service provider that started its operations in the year 2014 from Canada. The server count for the company is fairly low considering their late entry to the market, but let us discuss more about the whole package on offer.
Is My Privacy Protected with VPN.ht?
This particular statement is quite inconsistent and contrary to what many customers are sharing on the web regarding their experiences using VPN.ht. The company also states that they store and send personal information to a third-party server or analytics tool to evaluate the service usage, which we think is not good. They also state, “Our software may send diagnostic data to a third party analytics provider for the purpose of identifying connection errors and possible bugs in our application. The information collected is generic in nature and does not contain personally identifying information. We use third party cookies, pixels and website analytics tools to track sales promotions or advertisements and to understand which pages on the Site receive visitors.”
Such a third-party influence is not something we like to have when using a VPN service. None of us want our data shared with someone completely unknown and unaware to us. The kill switch feature is also not available. As far as privacy goes, VPN.ht is not the best choice.
How Much is VPN.ht? Is There a Free Trial?
The pricing plan is kept simple, with a monthly and an annual membership plan. The monthly membership plan costs $1/month for the first month and later increases to $4.99/month. The annual membership plan is billed annually at $39.99/year, which means it is just $3.33/mo. Annual membership is the most popular and attractive option of the two, and to sweeten the deal, VPN.ht is offering all its features for both these subscription plans. Unfortunately, there is no free trial on offer.
A 30-day money-back guarantee can be used as a free trial. Another exciting aspect of this VPN is the flexible payment options on offer. They accept credit card, PayPal and even all major cryptocurrencies, which is very good if you are considering complete payment anonymity. As far as pricing goes, VPN.ht is cheaper than most other companies, which gives them an edge over other providers.
VPN.ht Speed Test
Performance metrics and leak tests help us determine the performance level of a VPN. The speeds offered by VPN.ht will not make you excited but are fair and decent compared to other slow speed VPN service providers. The average download speed offered by its servers is in the range of 26Mbps, and in case of some servers, the speeds shot up to a maximum of about 96Mbps, which is quite good. As you can see, the speeds were inconsistent and you cannot expect to get a uniform level of speed in one particular server at all times.
The speeds mentioned above were tested on both 128-bit encrypted and 256-bit encrypted connections. During peak hours, the speeds tend to go below average, but this is applicable for most service providers except for some of the top VPNs. In general, it was found that US-based servers delivered good speeds when compared to servers from Australia, UK etc. No leaks were detected on DNS, WebRTC, IPv6 and IPv4 leak tests. VPN.ht was launched in the market with an exclusive support for torrenting, P2P sharing and gaming, and their speeds make the service apt for just that.
How is Customer Service at VPN.ht?
Customer support is offered in the form of a Knowledge Base, FAQs, setup guides, and a ticketing system. There is no live chat support or email support on offer. Articles listed on the website provide enough information on all the different aspects of the VPN. New users can look through these setup guide articles and help section articles to get their connection up and running. Support tickets are answered quickly, and the portal lets you communicate with the support staff regarding the kind of support you need, whether it is sales or technical or setup related, signing in, and so on. The staff members are highly skilled and possess all the knowledge required to solve even the most complex VPN issues that some of you might face. Live support would have been an exciting addition for sure.
Let us now list some of the key features offered by VPN.ht before discussing any further:
- 128 servers spread across 24 countries.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- 3 simultaneous device connections supported.
- Unlimited server switching.
- Unlimited server speeds.
- P2P support.
- Multiple protocol and encryption options.
As you can see, the features list is not very extensive, and we have to say that this is one of the major drawbacks of VPN.ht. The number of servers may not be extensive, but it should be enough for a user to gain access to their favorite country’s websites. An unlimited server switching feature lets you connect with as many servers as you want to test out.
Smart DNS is also offered, which in addition to a VPN will work perfectly in helping subscribers unblock restrictions without compromising on security and anonymity. Free smart DNS comes as a standard for all subscribers, which is a great deal. The software setup is simple and the smooth user interface makes navigation easy. As mentioned earlier, P2P sharing and torrenting are supported by VPN.ht. The software is compatible across all major devices and OS platforms. As far as the features go, the company does need to offer a lot more to attract more subscribers.
Is VPN.ht Safe?
VPN.ht does not maintain activity logs and connection logs, which is amazing as far as privacy and security is concerned. Subscribers have the option of choosing between multiple encryptions including 64-bit Blowfish, 128-bit and 256-bit AES RSA encryption. Smartphone users can make use of the 128-bit encryption, whereas others can stick with the high quality 256-bit military grade security encryption. Multiple protocols like OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP are also on offer, but you can get well-balanced security and speed by using the OpenVPN protocol. A strong encryption such as this one is more than enough to fend off hackers, snoopers and other fraudsters.
We have to say that we did find VPN.ht to be a mixed bag considering all the aspects. There are many pros and equally cons, so we might not rate this service provider to be one of the best in the business. If your main aim is P2P sharing, torrenting and gaming, then you can certainly sign up for the service offered by VPN.ht because it is cost effective. An overall improvement to the feature package will make it more attractive for any subscriber. If we were to give an overall rating to the service offered by this company, we would give them a solid 3.5 on 5.