The next contender on our ever-growing list of VPN service providers is FastestVPN. You can imagine why this one caught our attention by simply glancing at its not-so-subtle name. Not relatively-fast VPN, not even fast VPN, but fastest.
Nowadays on the software market, it can be really difficult to compete with other developers who might be promoting the same type of service you are, but with a pinch of boldness most of them can really pull it off.
Well, today we’re going to find out together if FastestVPN lives up to its name and is, indeed, the fastest VPN provider out there. Of course we’ll be focused on many other aspects as well, since, as we know from previous reviews, speed comes in second (ironic, right?) when it comes to things you should be checking out when trying a new VPN service (first comes security, obviously).
A bit of background checking
First thing’s first, the company behind the FastestVPN project is based in the Cayman Islands. It put together a team of IT specialists who developed this privacy software solution and, according to their website, are committed to provide you with both hiqh-quality security features as well as high speed.
Not many other details can be found regarding the company, but take it this way: if they’re so protective with their data, that means that most probably they’re going to do the same with yours.
Good location choice
What do we do about the Cayman Island? Well, for starters it’s a popular destination for spending your holidays. You know, lounge chairs, the beach, sunrise and sunsets, cocktails with tiny umbrellas. Sounds familiar?
Another thing that you probably might not be aware of is that Cayman Island is renowned about protecting the privacy of its inhabitants; from bank account details to other types of personal information, you name it. On top of that, it’s not a member of the (in)famous 5, 9 or 14 Eyes alliances. These things make it a desireable location for giving birth to a VPN project such as FastestVPN.
We’ve learned that FastestVPN advocates for a free, boundaryless Internet, one that’s not subjected to paranoid levels of monitoring, one that’s not censored by various agencies and institutions.
“We do not store your logs in anyway. Any information or logs related to your browsing history – the websites you visit, the content you download or stream, your traffic destinations, or your DNS queries – stays with you and you alone.”
Data they do keep
However, some data is required in order for you to access their service and make use of its capabilities. That shouldn’t put you off as it’s a common practice and, besides, it’s not the kind of data that ties you to your online activity while you’re using the VPN.
Therefore, we have another statement claiming that the data they require and keep is only your email address, the one that you choose for signing up for their service, and that if you ever decide to deactivate your account, your email address is automatically removed from their database.
It is also worth mentioning that third parties such as Google Analytics, Livechat and Hotjar are used within the site to enhance the performance of their website and overall user experience. However, FastestVPN denies responsibility for how these third-parties handle your data.
In the event of legal notices and inquiries
Concerning legal notes, it’s pretty much the same story: since they can’t link user activity to any particular users, they can’t provide anyone with data that can be used as evidence in a court of law. The location helps them very much with this cause, since it’s one of the few countries that have no mandatory data retention laws, which means that they’re not legally bound to store user data or even share it with anyone. Cool!
Quick intro to FastestVPN
Moving on, we know that FastestVPN is based in Cayman Island and doesn’t log your data, but let’s discover a few more essential details before plunging into the depths of this VPN service provider.
A quick glance at the features section displayed on its website reveals that besides the perks already mentioned, this service has a lot more to offer. For instance, FastestVPN comes with both an ad blocker that’s embeded in the app and also anti-malware capabilities.
These can come in quite handy, especially considering that nowadays users everywhere tend to be reckless with their devices, choosing not to use anti-malware solutions because they hog device resources or simply because they don’t fully understand the implications of using such tools.
Actually we’re going to discuss a few things about security measures, not just the protocols in use. First thing first, they use 256-Bit AES encryption, which means that malevolent agents of any nature would need to try a tremendous amount (2 to the 256th power) of different combinations. 256-Bit AES encryption is used by several professionals, Government agencies, and even the military.
An embedded NAT Firewall adds an extra layer of security by making sure that your security is not jeopardized by any incoming traffic that shouldn’t be there. More so, you get to benefit from Wi-Fi security features without lifting a finger.
Last, but not least, the list of protocols used by FastestVPN is as follows:
- PPTP – also known as Point-to-Point Tunneling protocol; this is an obsolete protocol that is most often preferred for its high connection speed, since it comprises basic encryption capabilities;
- L2TP – Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol; this is a protocol that doesn’t pack any encryption or privacy capabilities, but instead relies on an encryption protocol to do so;
- IKEv2 – Internet Key Exchange (v1 or v2, depending on its version) protocol is the newest and most reliable choice when it comes to security; however, not all devices support it;
- TCP – this protocol is more reliable than UDP, can bypass firewalls, but this comes with a price: slower speed;
- UDP – an alternative to TCP if you want faster connections (when streaming, for instance), but at the cost of reliability; when using OpenVPN, UDP is the protocol of choice;
Many device types supported
As many other similar VPN providers, FastestVPN didn’t choke the threshold of supported device types and as a result, you can deploy its app on more than just one device type. Therefore, you can install it on Android, Mac, Windows and iOS devices.
Although this might not seem a wide range of device types at first glance, you’ll be glad to know that using the app isn’t the only way to take advantage of FastestVPN’s capabilities. The VPN is also compatible with various routers, Linux devices, Kodi, Fire Stick, Android Box, Xbox, Roku, PS3, PS4, pfSense, Synology NAS, Apple TV, Chromebook, Fire TV, and more.
You might need to perform a bunch of additional operations in order to use FastestVPN on the device of your choice (in case there’s no app for it yet), but their website provides you with an extensive knowledge database full of helpful guides regarding configuring and using the VPN. So it’s safe to say that you’re most likely covered, no matter what device you’re on.
Large number of maximum devices supported
Ok, maybe this title isn’t exactly the most suggestive one; what we meant is that, compared with other competitor VPN service providers, FastestVPN lets you use the same account on 10 devices at the same time.
That can come in really handy especially if your household has more than just one computer or if you’re a technology aficionado who likes to stay connected on more than just one device, such as a Smart TV, a gaming console, a tablet, a router, and so on, and so forth.
It is necessary that you register for an account and purchase a subscription plan so that you can use FastestVPN on your device to its fullest extent, since there’s no trial version that you can download and test the features before buying them.
However, downloading the app doesn’t require that you have an account with a paid subscription. Simply navigate to their website, access the “Apps” section at the top of the page and scroll down until you reach a pane full of device names (such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and so on). Clicking any of these entries will either download the required file directly to your device, bring you to a product page (for iOS devices) or provide you with a setup tutorial for certain devices (Linux, routers).
Installing FastestVPN on your PC
I know we’ve mentioned a large number of devices above, but we’re only going to run you through the basics of installing this application on your Windows computer. Why? Because we believe that most users will attempt to deploy it on a Windows computer and because it’s the most commonly-used device in a household. Plus, the website has got you covered with quick guides for everything, putting all of that info here would be overkill.
First thing that seemed a bit out of place was that the installer came packed in an archive, as opposed to competitors’ products who just deliver an executable to your PC. No trouble there, though, just unpack the archive and run the installer from there. Once you do that, you’ll notice that there’s not much else you have to do, no extra steps, no complicated configuration. Click this-click that, you’re done. The version we installed on our system is 126.96.36.199.
During our VPN-discovery trip, we’ve encountered some VPN services who were not too user-friendly when it came to placing the download button on their website and made you wonder around for a long time before finally spotting it. Not the case with FastestVPN.
Running it for first-timers
After you’ve deployed the app on your target computer, you can start using it just like that. There’s no complicated stuff regarding this chapter, and as a matter of fact, the app can be launched automatically after the installation is completed.
Obviously, the first step you need to take after you’re inside the app would be to log in using valid credentials. After doing so, you’ll reach the app’s dashboard, which is as simple as it gets.
The main window is simple enough to be used even by computer novices, since no complex controls are available in its layout. Simplicity is more effective in this case, since the whole purpose of this service is not to complicate your life, but to offer you efficient privacy protection as quickly and hassle-free as possible.
Rundown on its main features
As you’ve probably noticed already, the main screen lets you see various connection details such as your current location and IP address, the download and upload speed values, the current plan you’re using with FastestVPN as well as the list of servers that you can connect to.
Clicking the location that the app’s defaulted to will bring you to the full list of servers that you can choose from. It’s not an impressive list, to be honest, the selection of servers is quite narrow and a quarter of this list is made of servers located in the USA, so you can imagine that they aren’t big on variety, either.
However, we expect the servers to be nothing short of the “fastest” ones available, since that’s what this product is trying to sell (it’s in the name, after all, right?).
Clicking the hamburger button (the button that looks like three horizontal lines) lets you access the application’s main menu, which is how you navigate through the app’s features. At first sight, you get a locations list, the settings section, information about your account, quick-access to the FAQ, a “share” button if you want to spread the word, an “Upgrade” function for, guess what, upgrading your plan and the “About Us” section where you can check the version of the app and read some quick info about the project.
If you’re a tinkerer looking for a thrill, then accessing the “Settings” window won’t deliver your fix as you expected. I’m not saying that you can’t configure almost anything, but this section is so simple that you couldn’t go wrong even as a rookie.
Again, not saying that you should go nuts and start pressing random buttons KNOWING that you CAN’T go wrong, since some of the stuff there (the protocols) can mess up your security if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. Some of the options there are entirely harmless, such as launching the app at Windows startup and enabling the Internet Kill Switch.
The Kill Switch is disabled by default, but we strongly advise you to enable it and leave it like that, since it has the potential to save you if, for instance, you’re torrenting, your VPN connection drops and your PC decides to reconnect to your default connection, leaving you vulnerable, in the open.
The “Settings” section also has a shortcut to Windows’ Network Diagnostics tool that you can rely on if you have any kind of trouble with your connection. I’m not saying it’s 100% effective, but sometimes it’s faster than looking on the Internet for a fix.
Getting it online
We’ve talked about configuring and accessing some of its features, but now it’s time to actually put this tool to work. Getting on one of their servers can be done as easily as selecting your favorite location and hitting the large button with a lightning bolt in the middle that says “Click to connect.”
After doing so, you’ll notice that your “Current Location” status will change to match the one you’ve selected and the IP address will be also different. The download and upload counters at the bottom of the screen will also suddenly become active and start recording your traffic information and displaying it in real-time for you to see.
We’ve had several problems with connecting to their servers, for both wireless and wired connections. Eventually we got it up and running, but most of the times we’d be facing a “Check your connectivity” prompt, which left us disconnected from the FastestVPN servers. Not good. However, this situation seems to have been triggered by an incoming update, which led us to version 188.8.131.52.
After we deployed this update, connecting to a server was done in a moment’s notice and no drops have been recorded. After the update we were prompted to enter our credentials once again, even though we checked the “remember” tick box in the previous version.
As mentioned before, the list of locations and servers that FastestVPN can get you connected to is not exactly impressive, since other similar products offer a much wider range of locations and a larger network of servers.
If you check the current locations list, you’ll notice that there’s a total of 28 locations and 7 of them (that’s a quarter) point only to US servers. That leaves us with 21 regions that are outside of US.
The list of locations is as follows:
So, as you see, not exactly breathtaking. However, at the top of the page they brag about “Blazing Fast Servers” in the locations listed above. Guess we’ll just see about that.
Unlocking restricted contents
Normally there are users who try VPN services for security concerns, then there are those who want to unlock some geo-restricted contents on the Internet, but ultimately, a good VPN can effortlessly cover both of these functions at the end of the day.
But we’ve talked about security stuff, now let’s humor users who’re looking for unlocking restricted content. A lot of online services receive one form of censorship or another in some countries, but luckily, VPN providers have the key.
From entertainment services such as Netflix, Spotify, Twitch, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and such, to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Telegram and so on, there’s a huge chance that each of them has some sort of censorship policy in some countries.
How a VPN can help is by assigning you a virtual address, one that’s based in a different country than your original one, so that the services you’re trying to access let their guard down, thinking you’re in some region they didn’t ban. All of the services mentioned above (and probably more) can be easily unlocked with FastestVPN. Usually, if a service is not available after establishing a VPN connection, you should just try switching to another server in another country. If the service is still non-functional, try addressing this issue with the customer support team and they’ll gladly help you.
Caution is advised
However, you should be aware that some of the services mentioned above are not pleased with this behavior and attempt to stop it from perpetrating as soon as possible. What does that mean? Well, an example of such event is when Netflix waged war against VPN users who attempted to use their platform without actually living in the US.
Originally, Netflix was only available for US inhabitants, but now their gates are open for users located in other countries as well. However, their services cost the same no matter where you’re from, and if you’re “unlucky” enough to be outside of the US, some TV series and movies are not even available for you to enjoy. So you pay the same, but for half the entertainment.
VPN might not be the safest solution to access this stuff you’ve been kept away from, but it’s the best choice we’ve got. You should be aware though, that in the event of Netflix discovering that you’re using a VPN, they might terminate your account, and that’s your responsibility. Most likely you won’t get any refund from VPN providers, either. Same goes for other services, not only Netflix.
Torrenting with FastestVPN
Ah, yes, torrenting. This type (P2P) of file transfer is among the most efficient ones there are today. It would receive much more praise than it does were it not for pirates who chose it as their favorite way of sharing contents illegally. So it’s not unusual for your torrenting to be frowned upon, even if you’re downloading or uploading totally acceptable contents.
Since its potential for piracy is huge, torrenting has caught the attention of various people, including lawyers, government agencies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and even hacker who might attempt to use your illegal torrenting to blackmail you. Hey, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.
Although I would like to say that FastestVPN doesn’t condone torrenting illegal contents or any behavior of the sorts, a bunch of links proudly displayed on the website might contradict my claims. You are even offered a bunch of alternatives to popular torrenting websites, which is a big no-no. Keep in mind that FindYourVPN.com does not advocate for piracy and we are just pointing these things out so you can be as informed as possible.
The Customer Support experience
Since the moment you access their website you’ll be prompted to change a few words with one of the Support team members. A large “We are here!” prompt will pop in the bottom-left corner of your Internet browser’s window, letting you get in touch with the support team as soon as you want to. Clicking the prompt or, if you closed it, the “Online” bar, will ask your for your name, email address, phone number (optional) and a question you want to ask or message you want to send.
After providing the necessary data, you can begin exchanging messages with the support team. Our experience was good, we received an answer in a bunch of seconds and the conversation was overall pleasant. However, if you’re not a fan of chatting live with anyone, you can send an email with your inquiry, but keep in mind that it WILL take them longer to reply.
Alternatively, if you are more of a “do-it-yourself” kind of person, checking their knowledge base will let you access several guides on how to configure the service on a plethora of devices, troubleshoot errors and even bypass some limitations in case using the app traditionally doesn’t work. For instance, if you’re located in China and your VPN is blocked by the firewalls.
It is also possible to follow them on their social media pages, since you’ll be able to find certain updates and news that won’t be posted in other places. Note that, for now, their Facebook follower button is pointing to a broken address and if you want to follow or contact them on Facebook, you need to check for their profile manually.
Tools we’ll be testing with
If you’re not familiar with our reviews, know that we’ve been consequent regarding our testing tools, so that we provide each VPN service with a fair chance at an honest review and fair test results. With this information in mind, we’re informing you that security tests (and the most important ones, also) will be done on the IPX website and the results will be (aside from being discussed here with you) posted, so that you can compare it to yours.
The speed tests (which we’ll take a huge interest in this time, since this provider brags about being the fastest there is) will be done with Netflix’s fast.com website, since we’ve discovered that it’s more accurate than the traditional Ookla Speed Test. Actually it’s more relevant, not more accurate.
We got the security results back!
After vigorously testing for leaks and the such, we’re proud to bring you back the results of our little procedures. If you’re in a hurry and would pretty much prefer analyzing them on your own, here you go.
Now for the most patient of you, let’s discuss the results for a bit. The IP address has been successfully masked to match the one displayed in the main window of the app. PTR was set to a specific server and we’ve been provided with the record. The country, city, latitude and longitude match those of the server we chose before.
The ASN pointed to AS24961 myLoc managed IT AG, ISP was also detected accordingly (myLoc managed IT AG), the domain name was set to myloc.de and the IP type detected as non-residential (data center).
As usual, IPv6 geolocation data was unavailable, the DNS pointed to the ASN we mentioned above, and WebRTC info was spoofed as it should, with the Private IPv4 pointing to our internal IP address and the Public one set to the server’s. The rest of the data retrieved by IPX was of little to no importance to our privacy, as it can’t be used to disclose any critical information about our online identity.
Overall, FastestVPN seems capable of protecting your privacy and not leak any important data to the prying eyes of any malevolent user out there. The tests have spoken!
Speed result are also here
Now that we’ve finished with testing for holes in its security system, it’s time to shine the spotlight on FastestVPN’s signature feature: its connection speed values.
They are as follows:
- Germany (Dusseldorf) – 12 Mbps;
- Australia (Sydney) – 770 Kbps;
- Hong Kong S.A.R. – 8.1 Mbps;
- USA (Atlanta) – 4.8 Mbps;
As you can see, not only these speed values aren’t the TOP of what we’ve seen till now, they’re not even in the top 5. On top of that, the locations aren’t that many and neither are they varied enough. However, once we got them established, the connections were stable, so at least they got that going on.
No trial, although advertised
There’s no trial available for you to test the application’s features before deciding to purchase a subscription plan, even though on their website you can find the following message:
“You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain with a free trial of our intuitive VPN apps.”
However, on the “Common Questions” section you can see this fragment:
“We currently do not offer any free trials, but we do have a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee policy for all users. So, if somehow you are not satisfied with our services, we will give you your money back.”
The trial that’s erroneously advertised on their website is probably referring to the 7-day money-back guarantee and although you there’s no actual trial, you can at least get your money back if you decide this service is not exactly fit for your needs.
For this to happen, you need to register for a subscription plan and pay for it first, so you can’t skip giving away your bank details and sharing personal information such as name, address and email with FastestVPN.
Multiple subscription plans
As of today (February 2019), you can purchase a lifetime subscription plan for 80$ instead of 1600$. The offer becomes available as soon as you access the buy page, so if you can’t find it, there’s a huge change it probably expired.
So here’s the list of subscription plans:
- 1 Month plan – 10$ per month;
- 1 Year plan – 2.49$ per month, billed 29.95$ annually instead of 120$;
- 3 Year plan – 1.11$ per month, billed 39.95$ trienially instead of 360$;
- 5 Year plan – 0.83$ per month, billed 49.95$ every 5 years (60 months) instead of 600$.
Although security-wise the service is indeed flawless (as any modern VPN provider should be), but speed-wise it’s somewhat disappointing, considering its name advertises high connection speeds, the price per month is a bit high.
So, to wrap it up, we have this VPN service provider that’s called FastestVPN, but is not even close to being the fastest one out there. It also provides you with a quite narrow range of server locations, but what lacks in number of servers and speed values it makes up with security features. Security-wise it has everything it needs and then some, providing you with a NAT firewall, an ad-blocker and an anti-malware component.
Although no trial is offered to you, you can at least get your money back if, after 7 days of trial, you’re not entirely satisfied by their product. The standard 1-month subscription plan is a bit pricey for what it has to offer, but if you decide to give them a shot, you can purchase a bigger plan, since the discounts are really generous.
+ Customer support is comprehensive; (5)
+ Good security features; (5)
+ Ad-blocker and anti-malware; (4)
+ Zero-log policy (Cayman Island); (5)
– Narrow range of server locations; (1)
– Relatively low connection speeds; (2.5)
– Standard subscription costs are a bit pricey; (2.5)
FastestVPN got a 3.57/5 rating.