If you’re considering VPNBook, a free Swiss-based VPN, it claims to unblock streaming platforms while maintaining your anonymity. However, its lack of apps poses a problem, making it less user-friendly. The complex manual setup using an OpenVPN client app, Outline VPN, or a PPTP connection might not be the most convenient choice.

To verify its performance and understand what the service offers, you should try the VPN and put it through a series of tests. Examine the VPN’s privacy policy to determine if rumors of activity logging are true. Additionally, assess the VPN on speed, unblocking capability, security, and more.

Remember that with a lack of security features like a kill switch and speeds that may slow your connection significantly, VPNBook may not compete well with more robust premium VPNs. While it does well in preventing leaks, its unreliability and potential privacy issues make it challenging to recommend. Consider trying other VPN options for a more reliable and secure experience.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

 

  • 100% free service: VPNBook operates as a completely free VPN supported by advertising and donations, allowing installation without registration.
  • Streaming platform limitations: Unfortunately, VPNBook couldn’t unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer, hindering access to streaming services.
  • Atrociously slow speeds: The VPN service disappoints with significantly slow speeds, affecting user experience.
  • Logging concerns: VPNBook’s privacy policy indicates the storage of IP and login information for one week, potentially compromising privacy.
  • Lack of native app: VPNBook lacks native apps, making it less user-friendly, relying on OpenVPN, PPTP, and Outline VPN client apps or configurations.
  • Sub-par security: Basic security features, including a kill switch, are missing. The service uses AES-256 encryption only through OpenVPN connections.
  • Not recommended for torrenting: Limited P2P servers and slow speeds make VPNBook unsuitable for torrent downloads.
  • No money-back guarantee: VPNBook doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee for its services.
  • Limited server network: With only 11 servers available, connection options and unblocking abilities are restricted.
  • Paid dedicated VPN server option: For a monthly fee, VPNBook offers a dedicated IP with 500GB bandwidth per month, providing a paid alternative.

2023 Update Features Of VPNBook

💸 Price0 USD/month
📝 Does VPN keep logs?No
🖥 Number of servers11+
💻 Number of devices per license5
🛡 Kill switchNo
🗺 Based in countrySwitzerland
🛠 SupportVia Email/Ticketing System
📥 Supports torrentingYes

Streaming — Unable to Unblock Popular Streaming Platforms

If you try VPNBook with the hope of unblocking Netflix and more, it’s easily detected and blocked. During your usage, you might discover that the US1 server is down despite being shown as “online” on the website. The US2 server might need to be more helpful for streaming, too. When accessing your US Netflix account with these servers, you may experience constant “NSES-404” error messages.

Netflix US instantly blocked VPNBook

Blocked By: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Hotstar, and Voot

If you try using VPNBook to unblock streaming services like Amazon Prime and Disney+, it may fail to do so. The UK server functions as a basic proxy server, and, unsurprisingly, BBC iPlayer can detect the VPN.

Even if you manage to bypass geo-blocks on a streaming platform, be prepared for severe buffering. The speeds will likely be so slow that watching in HD becomes unlikely. During your trial with the US server, you may need help to load Hulu’s homepage and encounter problems getting YouTube to work. Remember that these issues are common with free VPNs, and you should explore alternative providers for a better streaming experience.

Speeds — Painfully Slow

If you try VPNBook, the speeds are so slow that running a speed test becomes difficult when connected. Browsing websites could take up to a minute or more to fully load on all the servers you try.

Remember that most free VPNs, including VPNBook, experience a performance hit in terms of speed. You can carry out your speed tests using Ookla with an OpenVPN setup.

Pay attention to the main measurements of speed:

  • Download speed (Mbps) determines how quickly you can download data, indicating the quality of streaming you can expect. Usually, at least 5 Mbps is needed for HD streaming and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD or 4K.
  • Upload speed (Mbps): This measures how fast you can send internet traffic. A minimum of 5 Mbps is desirable for upload speed.
  • Ping (ms): This is the response time for your connection, which is crucial for gaming. The lower the ping, the better, and anything above 100ms may affect performance. Consider these factors when trying out VPNBook to assess its speed performance.

Local Speeds

If you try VPNBook, compare your base speed without a VPN to the connection speeds via a nearby VPNBook server. This provides the most accurate measure of how internet performance is affected by the VPN.

It’s normal to expect some slowdown when connected to a VPN, as it works to encrypt your internet traffic. However, with good VPNs, the decrease in speed should be barely noticeable. When you connect to a VPNBook server in France, your speed is reduced by over 96%.

Your upload speed also took a 98% hit, and your ping time increased to 8 times more than your base rate.

My connection took a colossal hit when using VPNBook, with speeds slowing dramatically

During most of the speed tests, the test site couldn’t even go beyond connecting to the server. These poor speeds may prevent you from enjoying most online activities, such as streaming in HD, torrenting, or even browsing. Consider these factors when trying out VPNBook to assess its impact on your internet performance.

Long Distance Speeds

If you try VPNBook, getting any usable speed from most long-distance servers is challenging. Servers tested in Germany, Poland, the US, and Canada may need to provide a stable, fast connection. Even when you can connect, speeds could drop by over 90% on average.

.Unfortunately, this poor performance persists whether you’re using the OpenVPN, Outline VPN, or PPTP connection methods. Consider exploring other options for reliable, fast connections. You might want to take a look at some of these super-fast premium VPNs, where you won’t have to compromise on speed.

Are VPNBook’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No

If you try VPNBook, you might need help browsing web pages and playing games. The speeds on most of its servers might need to be improved to support lag-free gaming. For decent performance, you’ll need a ping that’s ideally below 100ms or 50ms for the most competitive gamers.

Attempting to use VPNBook to play online games only resulted in an error message

If you attempt playing Asphalt 9: Legends on the US server, you may encounter the following error. It would help if you did not recommend VPNBook for gaming of any sort. While OpenVPN might increase your protection against DDoS attacks and other security risks, even casual gamers might struggle with the high ping and low speeds or even lack of any connection at all. Consider these factors if you’re aiming to use VPNBook for gaming.

Server Network — Small and Limited

If you try VPNBook, you’ll notice that its server network consists of only 11 servers across 6 countries. This includes 8 servers in the US, Canada, France, Poland, and Germany, 2 proxy servers in the US and UK, and an Outline VPN server in Canada. This server count aligns more or less with what you expect from a free VPN, although having more than 3 options for the dedicated VPN service is preferable.

Suppose you reach out to VPNBook to inquire about the physical or virtual locations of the servers. In that case, you might not receive an immediate response. While you could calculate RTT time (round trip time for data to go to the server and back) as a guess, it might only sometimes be a reliable solution due to potential influences from network congestion and other factors. Consider these aspects when assessing VPNBook’s server locations and reliability.

RegionCountries
EuropeUK (proxy only), Poland, Germany, France
North AmericaUnited States, Canada

If you try VPNBook, you’ll find that free server options are divided into OpenVPN, OutlineVPN, and PPTP, with a convenient display showing online servers and relevant updates, such as password changes. Each tab provides login details and confirms which servers support P2P.

The network is small, but you can quickly determine each server’s status

However, note that no servers are available in Asia, Africa, or South America. Suppose you’re located in regions like Australia, Brazil, India, Hong Kong, or Saudi Arabia. In that case, you won’t find nearby servers, which might impact reliability and speed.

Despite not disclosing the total number of IP addresses, there might be few, given the observed poor speeds. Having a wide range of servers is beneficial for bypassing geo-blocks for streaming. If you require more server options, consider exploring these premium VPNs for a better experience.

Security — Not Enough Features to Keep You Safe

If you try VPNBook, you’ll notice that it lacks essential security features, such as a kill switch. Despite this, it successfully passed the leak tests and incorporates high-spec encryption through its OpenVPN setup.

Encryption and Protocols

When setting up VPNBook, you have several configuration options with varying levels of security. The PPTP (point-to-point tunneling) manual setup is easier to install and use, but it lacks the same level of safety.

The second configuration option involves using VPN server accounts with either Outline VPN or OpenVPN software. It’s important to note that only the OpenVPN configuration employs 256-bit AES encryption, providing a military-grade level of security.

One notable drawback is the absence of a kill switch. This becomes a concern, especially with OpenVPN, as your real IP address could be exposed during an unexpected VPN disconnection. Understanding the significance of kill switches is crucial in maintaining your online privacy and security.

Leak Test

If you try VPNBook, you might not find any IP, DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 leaks during your testing. While this is a positive outcome, it’s crucial to note the risk of potential data exposure in case of a connection drop.

When conducting leak tests, pay attention to specific aspects:

  • IP address: Leaked IP addresses can expose your location and compromise your online security.
  • DNS information: DNS leaks, similar to IP leaks, can reveal your location and compromise your private internet traffic.
  • WebRTC: This communication protocol between your browser and visited web pages can sometimes bypass VPN protection, revealing your IP.
  • IPv6: IPv6 data might bypass the VPN tunnel, exposing sensitive information. Most VPNs turn off IPv6 to prevent this.

You may not find leaks in your testing using ipleak.net and connecting to the French server with the OpenVPN setup.

I was confident that VPNBook prevented any data leaks using OpenVPN

However, despite this positive outcome, having more security features could further enhance privacy protection. VPNBook could greatly benefit from features like a kill switch and additional layers of security such as malware blocking or IP hopping.

Consider these aspects when assessing VPNBook’s security features for your privacy needs.

Privacy — Vague and Contradictory Policy

If you consider trying VPNBook, it claims to be based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, which is not subject to the 5, 9, or 14 eyes jurisdiction. While Switzerland is generally considered a safer location for privacy, the VPN’s policy might need to provide more reassurance.

Examining the policy reveals some ambiguity. While it claims not to log internet data or collect personal information, it also mentions logging the IP address and time of connection. This raises concerns about potential IP address exposure.

VPNBook mentions keeping connection logs to prevent “abusive activities” and advises against using the service for “doing evil.” However, the definition of “evil” is unclear. The policy assures automatic removal of records after a week.

VPNBook’s logging policy is contradictory and unusually worded

The lack of independent audits means you must trust the VPN’s claim of not logging internet data, which is typical for a small, free VPN. If you prefer a VPN with regular audits or find VPNBook’s policy concerning, consider exploring well-known no-logs VPNs for a more secure option.

Torrenting — Very Few Server Options and Slow Speeds

If you’re considering using VPNBook for torrenting, be aware that it supports P2P traffic on specific servers in Poland and Germany and through the paid dedicated VPN option in Canada. However, several challenges may arise if you choose this VPN for torrenting:

  • Server Optimization Issues: Connecting to servers optimized for torrenting can be frustrating due to limited options.
  • Slow Speeds: The speed is notably slow, rendering it impractical for fast downloads.
  • Lack of Kill Switch: The absence of a kill switch can leave your connection vulnerable in case of a VPN disconnection.

While the privacy policy allows P2P applications, it includes a standard warning against misuse, potentially referring to illegally downloading copyrighted material.

It’s crucial to note that the legality of torrenting varies by country and may be prohibited regardless of content copyright. Always verify the legality in your region before proceeding.

Considering these factors, VPNBook might not be the best choice for torrenting, as more reliable VPN options are available for P2P connections.

Does VPNBook Work in China? — No

Suppose you’re considering using VPNBook in China. In that case, it’s essential to note that its security features may not be reliable for this purpose. Contacting VPNBook to clarify its functionality in China might yield a different response.

Given its limitations in unblocking streaming platforms, it’s doubtful that VPNBook possesses the advanced obfuscation techniques necessary to work effectively in China. Even if it did, the absence of a kill switch could be a significant flaw, potentially leading to connection issues. The privacy policy also may need to provide more reassurance in this context.

Considering these factors, trying VPNBook in China might not be advisable. Exploring VPN options with stronger security features and proven efficacy in bypassing restrictions in regions like China is recommended.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Plenty of Connections

While VPNBook’s free manual configurations theoretically allow setup on unlimited devices, achieving this may not be the most user-friendly experience.

Opting for the dedicated IP option provides 5 simultaneous device connections. Still, there are more cost-effective VPNs available that offer greater value for multiple-device usage.

Device Compatibility — Works with all Popular Devices

If you’re considering VPNBook, note that it lacks custom VPN apps for devices. The only way to use it is through manual configuration, which can be complex. There are three setup options available:

  • PPTP is less secure and supports Windows, Android, Mac, PS3, and Linux.
  • OpenVPN is a third-party app compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Ubuntu, and routers.
  • Outline VPN, working with Windows, Chrome OS, iOS, macOS, Android, and Linux.
You can set up VPNBook on multiple device types, but it’s not easy

While it offers compatibility with various devices, the setup process could be more convenient. Even though it’s a free service, the absence of a simple Windows app can be frustrating. Exploring other affordable VPNs with dedicated Windows apps might be a better option for easier device compatibility.

Installation & Apps

Set-Up & Installation — Lengthy and Tricky Process

If you’re considering VPNBook, be prepared for a complex and unfriendly installation process. You must download and install multiple server files, certificate bundles, and a third-party app. For beginners, there might be better choices than this intricate setup.

Even the free web proxy, which doesn’t require any setup, lacks the encryption provided by a VPN. Setting up VPNBook requires some effort, and the steps vary slightly depending on your device. If you’re using Windows, you’ll encounter a similar process.

Consider whether this level of setup aligns with your comfort level before proceeding.

How to Set Up VPNBook

OpenVPN

If you want to try VPNBook using the OpenVPN connection method, follow these steps:

1. Download the OpenVPN Connect client: Visit the OpenVPN website and download the open-source client app for your platform.

I found the Connect software easy to locate on the OpenVPN webpage

2. Install the client: Install the OpenVPN software, adapting the process based on your platform.

I found the Connect software easy to locate on the OpenVPN webpage

3. Download the config files: Go to VPNBook’s website, navigate to the OpenVPN tab, and download the server files. Choose a server, like CA222 Canada, and download the certificate bundle.

The certificate bundles are the setup files for VPNBook, found on the OpenVPN tab

4. Import the files: Open the OpenVPN Connect app and import the downloaded files individually using the “import profile” option or the “+” button.

The easiest way to install the configuration files is from within the app

5. Add the profile: In the app, select “files,” browse for the config files, and upload them. Enter the provided username and password from the website, then click “add” to complete the process.

Once you’ve added the profile, you’ll be able to connect

Please note that VPNBook periodically changes profile credentials, so you may encounter connectivity issues despite entering the correct information. Be prepared to troubleshoot if needed.

PPTP and Outline VPN

If you want to try VPNBook using PPTP or Outline VPN, here’s what you can do:

1. PPTP Setup:

  • Enable port forwarding on your router.

  • Add a new PPTP connection on your device using the details provided on the VPNBook webpage.

  • After adding the connection, you should select PPTP as your VPN type under the security tab in the connection properties menu.

2. Outline VPN Setup:

 

  • Download the Outline VPN client software.

  • Use the string command provided on the VPNBook webpage to set up Outline VPN.

Note that PPTP is considered less secure than OpenVPN, and the setup process could be more user-friendly. For Outline VPN, remember that it doesn’t establish a true VPN tunnel but uses the Shadowsocks socks5 protocol. If you decide to try it, follow the provided instructions on the VPNBook webpage.

First install the Outline VPN client, then manually add the connection string provided

Dedicated VPN

If you decide to opt for VPNBook’s dedicated premium VPN option, here’s what you can do:

Setup via OpenVPN:

 

  • Sign up for the dedicated premium VPN option on the VPNBook website and provide your payment information.

  • Choose from the available locations.

  • Set up your dedicated VPN server using the OpenVPN route mentioned earlier.

  • Remember that it might take a short while for VPNBook to establish your dedicated VPN server.

Before setting up the connection, you’ll need to select a location and payment option

Considerations:

  • Sign up during business hours for a smoother process.

  • Be aware that the email sent after setup assumes some knowledge of manual configuration, which might be challenging for newcomers to OpenVPN.

  • Despite being mostly a free VPN, it would benefit VPNBook to enhance its support offerings, especially for the paid dedicated VPN option.

  • While manual setup is an option, a basic dedicated app could greatly improve the user experience.

 

Numerous inexpensive VPNs offer user-friendly apps, so you may want to explore those alternatives.

Pricing

VPNBook offers a variety of connection options:

Free Connections:

 

  • Free OpenVPN, PPTP, and Outline VPN connections are available.

  • The free proxy on the website requires no setup.

 

Paid Dedicated VPN Option:

 

  • The dedicated VPN option is available for a monthly cost.

  • It includes dedicated CPU and memory, 500GB+ bandwidth per month, and supports 5 simultaneous device connections.

  • The business model relies on on-site advertisements and donations to sustain the service.

  • While the monthly cost might seem high compared to competitors, it comes with a risk-free -day money-back guarantee.

he webpage details the free setup configurations, with an option to donate to VPNBook

Note: The privacy policy and setup process might be confusing, so carefully considering your options and preferences is essential.

The following payment methods are accepted:

  • PayPal

  • VISA

  • Mastercard

  • American Express

  • Discover

 

If you prefer using cryptocurrency for secure payments, you might be disappointed as VPNBook currently doesn’t offer this option. Exploring low-cost alternatives with ad-free, reliable services, dedicated apps, and various server options could be better for you. Consider trying these alternative cost-effective VPNs to find options that better align with your preferences.

Reliability & Support

  • Email support
  • Web-form ticket submission
  • FAQ section
  • Social media presence: Facebook and Twitter

If you need assistance with VPNBook, you can only reach out through email or an online form, and keep in mind that support is not available on weekends.

If you encounter any issues, you’ll have to provide your details to request help, which may impact your privacy. While the website offers short answers to a few FAQs and setup guides for different systems, the overall customer support could be more robust.

Customer support seems almost non-existent

There’s no live chat support, and during the trial, you may not receive any responses to your email inquiries. If you decide to try VPNBook, be prepared for potential challenges in getting support.

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a VPN, there may be better choices than VPNBook. Setting it up can be time-consuming, and the limited servers, complex setup process, questionable privacy policy, streaming difficulties, and slow speeds may not provide the web-busting VPN experience you’re seeking.

Even with a secure connection, the absence of a kill switch could leave you exposed and blocked unexpectedly. While VPNBook is free and doesn’t have data or bandwidth caps, the lack of reliability and essential features makes it challenging to recommend. Consider trying alternative VPNs that offer better performance and a more user-friendly experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (VPNBook)-

Is VPNBook safe?

VPNBook offers decent encryption but lacks some fundamental security features. While its OpenVPN servers use AES 256-bit encryption, its PPTP servers utilize the less secure 128-bit. The OpenVPN setup prevented IP, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks during tests. However, the absence of a kill switch raises security concerns, leaving your connection potentially exposed.

Does VPNBook keep logs?

Despite claiming “no logs,” VPNBook does log certain information. It retains your IP address and login timestamps for a week. Although the company is Swiss-based (outside the “eyes” jurisdiction), the potential for IP address leakage or disclosure is worrisome.

Can VPNBook unblock Netflix?

No, VPNBook cannot unblock Netflix or other popular streaming services. Issues connecting to servers and persistent NSES-404 error messages on Netflix indicate limitations in accessing content from different country libraries.

Does VPNBook support P2P traffic?

Yes, but only on limited servers. VPNBook allows P2P traffic on two free servers in Germany and Poland. The premium dedicated VPN service includes a Canada server option. However, slow connections and security concerns may impact torrenting.

Will VPNBook slow my speeds down?

Yes, VPNBook significantly slows down internet speeds. Loading web pages takes considerable time, and streaming in HD is practically impossible, with speeds dropping by at least 90%.

Is VPNBook free?

Yes, VPNBook offers free server access, primarily funded by donations. Additionally, it provides a paid service for a dedicated server. However, the limited reliability of free servers may only meet some user requirements.

Can I download a modded APK for VPNBook?

No, as there is no dedicated app, and modifying APK files is not recommended due to potential risks from unverified sources, such as viruses and malware. It’s safer to set up a VPNBook using supported device options.

Does VPNBook have a browser extension?

VPNBook lacks browser extensions. However, you can use the Outline client extension on Chrome OS with additional setup. Note that this proxy offers less security and encryption than a VPN. Setting up VPNBook via the OpenVPN Connect app is recommended for maximum protection.

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