ExpressVPN

Are you looking for a fast, free VPN with decent security features? Browsec claims to provide speeds up to 100 Mbps and a secure browsing experience. So, I put Browsec through a series of tests. Does it stand up to its claims? Yes, but with some caveats.

Browsec is a lightweight VPN that works through an extension on your desktop’s browser, with a customer base of approximately 8 million users worldwide and more than 4 million downloads and 25,000 reviews on Chrome. You can also add it to Firefox or Opera, and it has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices available on the Play Store or App Store.

Looking for a good VPN to keep you safe while browsing isn’t always easy, but my testing showed that Browsec provides decent connection speeds and security. However, the legal concerns and the fact that it is based in Russia shatter some of the promises regarding privacy.

After performing a series of tests, I can say Browsec VPN is easy to use, but streaming Netflix US and other platforms weren’t possible even on the premium servers.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

 

Browsec Features — 2023 Update

💸 Price2.99 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee7 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs?Yes
🖥 Number of servers1000+
💻 Number of devices per license5
🛡 Kill switchYes
🗺 Based in countryRussian Federation
📥 Supports torrentingYes

Streaming — Supports Funimation and BBC iPlayer (But Not Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+)

I don’t think streaming is Browsec’s strong suit as the decrease in speed makes for a bad experience with buffering, and many websites block it.

However, it was great to see that even the free servers could unblock BBC iPlayer and Funimation during my tests. The paid servers performed better because I managed to stream without any buffering issues. However, I couldn’t unblock Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max with neither free nor paid servers.

Unblocked: BBC iPlayer and Funimation

Browsec can unblock BBC iPlayer and Funimation, but the streaming can take a while on the free version due to slow speeds.

I was also able to stream shows from BBC iPlayer using Browsec

The premium UK server performed the best and provided a great streaming experience without any buffering.

Browsec also helped me unblock Funimation and Hotstar. However, the slow speeds and a lot of buffering kept me from enjoying my favorite shows.

Browsec can unblock Funimation with ease

Blocked By: HBO Max, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video

I was disappointed as Browsec couldn’t unblock websites such as Disney+ and Hulu, even with the paid premium servers. Disney+ didn’t load and displayed a black screen.

HBO Max didn’t fare well either. I connected to the US server, loaded up the webpage, and got a black screen. The same thing happened when I tried streaming Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime Video also detects Browsec and restricts me from streaming content

Netflix US doesn’t work with Browsec as the webpage loads up but just pushes a “Remind Me” button when the show becomes available in your region.

I wasn’t able to access Netflix US on the free and premium US servers

Even as I tried accessing Netflix Japan, I couldn’t get around to Netflix’s error messages. I experienced the same issue when I tried Belgium, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, and a few other countries.

Speeds — Fast Speeds, But Only With a Premium Subscription

Browsec claims speeds of up to 100 Mbps with any premium servers, and my test results were great. The free ones, however, were super slow.

My baseline results were 77.2 Mbps and 72.90 Mbps download and upload speeds with a ping of 4 ms.

My baseline speed results without being connected to any VPN

I connected to 3 different servers and noticed a massive difference between the free and the premium servers. The free server dropped to 1.75 Mbps and 1.55 Mbps download and upload speeds. That was devastating as it decreased by over 90%, which is painfully slow even for browsing.

Browsec slows down the speeds on the free servers

To my surprise, the premium server performed well and increased my download speeds to 87.14 Mbps. But the slow 11.85 Mbps upload speeds didn’t meet the stage of my average upload speeds. The pings in both the free and premium servers were disappointing.

The premium US and UK servers work great, but the free ones are slow

I also tried connecting to the Singapore server, and it was a big disaster. The speeds dropped by a lot, and the overall browsing experience turned slow.

My download speeds dropped to 5.38 Mbps, and my upload speeds dropped to 1.74 Mbps. Here is a complete list of all the servers I tested Browsec with:

ServerDownload SpeedsUpload Speeds
Unprotected77.22 Mbps72.90 Mbps
US (Free Server)53.22 Mbps (31% loss)11.72 Mbps (83% loss)
UK (Free Server)52.66 Mbps (32% loss)8.18 Mbps (88% loss)
Netherlands (Free Server)1.75 Mbps (97% loss)1.55 Mbps (97% loss)
Singapore (Free Server)5.38 Mbps (93% loss)1.74 Mbps (96% loss)
Japan22.79 Mbps (70% loss)3.72 Mbps (94% loss)
Chile1.65 Mbps (98% loss)1.08 Mbps (98% loss)

Are Browsec's Speeds Fast Enough For Gaming? Yes

I would recommend staying away from gaming if you’re on the free servers. However, with a premium account, gaming is possible. Since Browsec is a browser extension, you can play online browser games. I tried out a diep.io match, but I had to use the faster US server to play it smoothly.

Also, if you are a serious gamer with triple-AAA PC titles, then Browsec won’t even work for you.

Games work only on the premium Browsec servers

Server Network — 4 Free and 42 Premium Locations

Browsec provides amazing premium servers but limits its free servers. The free version is limited to 4 locations, and the premium bumps it up to 42 locations.

The free VPN is limited to pre-selected servers in the US, the UK, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

On the other hand, paid users can access all the Browsec servers worldwide. The premium servers have locations such as Australia, India, France, South Africa, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Spain. But even with a premium subscription, certain regions such as South America are entirely excluded, and Asia is only partially covered. Also, most of these servers are virtual, meaning you might experience slower speeds.

The premium subscription allows you access to 40+ server locations

All the servers are available to use on Android, but you need to create an account first before accessing them.

The Browsec Android app has 40+ premium server locations

Security — Solid With Strong Encryption

Browsec provides solid security and encrypts all your data using AES-256 encryption. The only difference is that mobile devices use IPSec/IKEv2 protocol, and browser extensions use HTTP Proxy over TLS. I also ran a test with the Virus Total tool to check if Browsec had any malicious files, which is crucial, especially when using a free VPN.

Browsec has zero malware or viruses as shown with the Virus Total scan

I’ve seen my fair share of free VPNs carrying malware, but Browsec didn’t have any. I also ran a DNS leak test to see if Browsec was leaking anything.

A leak test showed that Browsec doesn’t leak any data and spoofs my IP address

Running the IP leak test revealed that my IP was indeed hidden, and there was no WebRTC leak. The superb score continues as the DNS leak test was also negative. So, it’s great to see that Browsec will keep your data secure and safe without the fear of hackers getting into your device, even while using public WiFi.

I also looked at the mobile app permissions. That is necessary as most mobile VPNs don’t have a great reputation for protecting your data.

The app permissions Browsec requires on Android are acceptable and run in the background

Browsec doesn’t offer a kill switch, but it does have split tunneling, which you can access through its “Smart Settings.” Split tunneling can increase your speeds and provide greater privacy by making a list of websites you want to visit with the VPN on and without the VPN. Essentially, this feature lets you route some of your traffic through an encrypted VPN, while other sites can have direct access to the internet.

You can use Browsec’s Smart Settings to access the Split Tunneling feature

All you need to do is click on the “Smart Settings” tab and then enter the URLs of the site that you want the VPN to be active on.

Privacy — Risky and Confusing

While Browsec is generally safe to use, it has some privacy concerns. Browsec states it does collect data but doesn’t use or sell it to third-party services. While it’s not based in any of the 14 Eyes countries, it’s still based in Russia, which has its own concerning factor. Interestingly, there is no About page on its website to find more info on the company itself.

Browsec’s policy claims to collect user data

Browsec admits it can hand over if required by the law. That’s the case with many VPNs, even more expensive ones. It would be nice to see an independent logging audit done of the VPN, though. That would help clear up how much personal data is actually collected.

Browsec can share your data if required by the law

On the bright side, it does have an automatic kill switch. If you lose your VPN connection, you automatically disconnect from the internet, so your data is protected.

Torrenting — No Support For P2P

Browsec is limited to a browser extension with no desktop app. Because of that, it won’t work with torrent clients. If P2P file sharing and torrenting are essential to you, pass on Browsec and use other VPNs I found safe for torrenting.

Does Browsec VPN Work in China? No

Unfortunately, Browsec doesn’t work in China. I confirmed this by asking its customer support.

A quick query to the customer support team resulted in that Browsec is blocked in China

Like most VPNs, Browsec, too, won’t be able to bypass the “Great Firewall.” A Hong Kong server may allow some local coverage, but it is unlikely to work smoothly.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Free Allows for Unlimited Connections, Premium Works On 5 Devices or Browsers

The Browsec VPN extension can be installed on an unlimited number of devices, but this is only applicable to the free version. Moreover, initiating usage of the free version doesn’t require an account.

However, if you have a premium account, it only works on 5 browsers at a time. The extension worked great, and I ran it back to back on 3 devices to see if it would strain the performance. It worked flawlessly as I didn’t see any performance loss.

Device Compatibility — Works on Browsers and Smartphones

Browsec is specifically made as an extension or plugin for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera Browser. However, it’s not available on Safari, which instantly removes a massive chunk of users. Since it runs on browsers only, Browsec is not compatible with Amazon Fire Stick, Kodi, and Roku.

Browsec’s extension running on the Chrome browser

As it doesn’t have a native desktop app other than mobile, you won’t be able to use it with PC games or other apps that don’t need a browser to run.

Browsec is working on an app for Mac and Safari users

According to its website, the Browsec team is also working to develop a Mac-compatible app.

Installation & Apps

Set-Up & Installation — Straightforward

Browsec makes installing the extensions very easy. Google Chrome, Firefox, and other browser extensions have a speedy installation process.

The extension UI seems a little outdated, but the Android and iOS apps have a better-designed UI and work smoothly.

Browsec has a clean UI with the Android app

As soon as you install the extension, click on the “Protect Me” button, and it will be up and running.

Browsec can be accessed and connected with a single click

You can also access the settings with a single click, turn off the VPN with the slider, and change servers within seconds.

Pricing

There are 3 different plans for the premium Browsec experience. The most affordable plan is $2.99/month with a subscription period of 2 years, which is in the lower range compared to the industry standard.

You can also choose between various payment options ranging from credit cards to PayPal. It also has a speedy 7-day money-back guarantee, perfect if you aren’t sure about committing to Browsec VPN.

You need to explain your reason to get a refund from Browsec

The refund went smoothly. However, you need to explain the reason why you are asking for a refund.

Reliability & Support

Browsec has a decent support team. While it doesn’t have a live chat feature that some of the other premium names offer, email works fine. I emailed Browsec through its contact page and got my answer in about 2 hours.

If you need basic installation help or troubleshooting issues, you can find helpful info on its Help Center and FAQ page. Compared to other VPNs, Browsec’s FAQ is narrow, answering only 4 basic questions.

Browsec has an easy to use contact page

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict – Decent Free VPN with Basic Security Features

Browsec is a decent free VPN if you’re looking for basic security features as it is only limited to browser extensions and mobile apps. Its premium version performed much better in terms of speed. However, I do not recommend using the free account due to the slow connection speeds.

Because it is based in Russia, I don’t recommend it to privacy-oriented users, but its premium account offers better security.

It will help you bypass BBC iPlayer’s geo-restrictions and also unblock streaming sites such as Funimation, but all the other websites block it.

FAQs on Browsec VPN

Is Browsec safe?

Yes, Browsec is safe to use and install. I ran many tests, and Browsec didn’t leak any data.

Can Browsec unblock Netflix?

No. While the extension won’t unblock Netflix US and other countries such as Japan, you can browse the local content. Other websites also block it.

Will Browsec slow my speeds down?

Yes. Almost all VPNs slow down your speed. However, the premium version delivers fantastic speeds with a great browsing experience. Hence, I recommend using the premium servers for streaming and gaming.

Table of Contents

Best VPN Deals
9.8
5/5