The following service that we’ve caught our attention and decided to perform our research, tests, and review on, is called SaferVPN. There’s just something about being somewhat suggestive when naming your service that gets almost every VPN service provider.
Given that this service has been launched in a time of need when many countries were heavily focused on censoring various publications, social media platforms and other means of information that might’ve been deemed as dangerous to some entities, it’s no wonder that a suggestive name was a strong move from VPN developers.
As usual, this article holds a lot of useful information about SaferVPN, ranging from its history, how it came to be, events that it has been involved in, details about the company that developed and is currently supporting its services, test procedures, and results and more. So, if you’re curious about the outcome, join us in this discovery-based journey to see if it really holds up to its standards.
You might’ve scrolled rapidly to the bottom of the page just to notice that yes, this is indeed a long read, but don’t fret, as we’re all about keeping things in a “straight to the point” manner. There’s nothing much that we can do about the actual length of this review, but we thought of something and devised a table of content. That way you can browse this review without having to go through all the “boring” facts and stuff. Enjoy!
- Something to begin with
- Dark times passed
- Their mission
- What about privacy?
- Quick analysis
- Israel Jurisdiction
- Terms of service analysis
- A few words about SaferVPN
- Protocols they use for keeping your data safe
- Supports several device types
- Limited number of devices
- How does it do that?
- How can you use that to your advantage
- Creating an account
- Downloading the app on your device
- Checking the installer for malware
- Deploying SaferVPN on your PC
- Using it for the first time
- Simple does the trick
- The famous “Settings” window
- Tampering with the settings
- Added functionality
- Connecting to a server
- List of servers
- Services unlocked
- Bypass censorship
- Unblock Smart TVs and streaming devices
- TOR and torrenting support
- Customer support
- Additional support
- Security check-up results
- Speed test results
- Pricing plans
- SaferVPN for business
Something to begin with
You’re maybe curious about the birthplace, time of conceiving, and reason for creating such a service. First thing’s first, the company behind this project is called Safer Social Ltd., but the story behind this service is much, much more interesting than just the basic “company X developed Y product” story.
In 2013, a team of cybersecurity-focused software developers, including founders Sagi Gidali and Amit Bareket, released SaferVPN. The parent company behind the SaferVPN first got success after developing and patenting a service for aiding law enforcement in successfully identifying and busting car thieves. The first application created by the two co-founders mentioned above won second place in the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition.
Dark times passed
A few years ago, in 2014 to be more specific, Turkey made an attempt at Internet freedom by enforcing a block on Twitter, which was, is, and probably will be a major player in the social media market. As a response, SaferVPN launched an initiative suggestively called #UnblockTheWeb, which gave users the chance of unlocking the forbidden content by providing them with free access to their VPN services. The #UnblockTheWeb initiative was made possible with the help of the non-profit “Advancing Human Rights” and their crowdsourcing platform, Movements.org. Their aim was to provide users who lived in closed societies all around the world at least one million hours of Internet access.
But there’s more to come. In the year 2016, the same initiative provided free VPN accounts to a coalition of bloggers from Bangladesh, so that they could communicate with each other in a stress-free manner. Apple tagged along and, in the same year, approved of SaferVPN to implement an automatic Wi-Fi security system. This patented technology would alert users whenever they connected to a Wi-Fi network that was not secure, even in the situation that their devices were locked, thus preventing privacy violations, data leaks and other unfortunate incidents.
SaferVPN advocates and fights for Internet freedom, without any boundaries or censorship to anyone, regardless of location. According to their website, they have successfully established beneficial collaborations with global NGOs, and several free-speech activists who are unfortunate enough to live in countries that are highly censored.
“At SaferVPN, we aim to provide secure, private and uncensored internet to anyone, anywhere. As Internet freedom fighters, we’ve successfully established ground-breaking collaborations with global NGOs and free speech activists living in highly censored countries.”
An accurate example of such a country would be China, which denies its inhabitants the right to use Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, Google and various other services. Another similar situation is that of services that are only available in their parent countries, or, if they’re available in other countries as well, their quality is highly diminished or content is heavily censored (e.g. Netflix, Pandora, Spotify).
The mission SaferVPN has embarked on aims to disrupt these “local villages” that have formed over the last few years and help users bypass these unfair restrictions, whether it’s censorship or geographical limitation we’re talking about. Last, but not least, SaferVPN’s service also helps its users to remain connected without being monitored by government institutions, large companies, ISPs or other malevolent users and connect to public Wi-Fi networks without compromising their security, as well.
What about privacy?
Wandering around SaferVPN’s website, we were starting to get more and more curious about the location of the company, since we didn’t find any direct statement, such as “X company is based in Y country” or something similar.
What we did find, however, was a mention about Israel on one of their pages, along with some explanations why you shouldn’t be concerned about Big Brother. Alright, that’s good enough for us confirmation as any: the company is based in Israel.
Now for clarification: Israel had a history of collaborations with government surveillance programs, which might make you raise a brow when you learn about SaferVPN’s location. Maybe that’s the reason why they don’t say it up front and let you do some digging on your own, these concerns might cost them the trust of some customers, even though their policy is in favor of its users.
The three reasons why you shouldn’t be concerned that are proudly displayed on their website are as follows:
Israel’s new Privacy Protection Regulations came into effect on May 2018
Israeli law protects information security under the Protection of Privacy Law (PPL).
Israel’s Supreme Court limits authorities’ power to invade privacy.
We couldn’t just put them out there and leave them like that, we want to clarify a bunch of things as well. However, if you want to check for yourself, here you go, the Privacy Protection Regulations, the Protection of Privacy Law (PPL) and the article referring to Big Brother Law limitation.
Although certain data can be collected (the “Big Brother Law” hasn’t been completely abolished), it can only be used to aid law enforcement in solving a concrete crime case and not gathered idly or used for “general crime prevention.”
It has been noticed that, given total freedom on the matter, certain institutions had “exceeded their authority under the law,” and, as a response, some limits have been set in order to prevent such events from ever re-occurring. Thus, the limitation is applied in such a way that keeps individual privacy violations to a minimum and, even more, limits them to cases of crucial necessity.
SaferVPN is based in Israel, so what we’re going to do next is we’re going to throw a bunch of insight about Israeli jurisdiction your way, so that you can better understand about how location (region) can sometimes have a huge impact on your privacy.
The first thing that’s worth mentioning is that using a VPN in Israel is one hundred percent legal, so you don’t have to fret about that. Although the government aims to maintain the Israeli inhabitants’ access to the Internet as free as possible, there were some events that would hint that the situation is sometimes the exact opposite.
Legislation that provides the government with a legal framework to fight crime more efficiently has been introduced and, as a direct consequence, various websites have been either restricted or downright blocked. Certain hateful posts on social media have been blocked and/or deleted, as well.
On an end note, if you’re concerned about 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances, you can rest assured, as Israel is not a member of these associations, so it’s highly unlikely that your personal data will wind up in the hands of another member country’s government or in the drawer of another member country’s intelligence agency. Moving on.
Terms of service analysis
Yeah, we get it, terms of service are a real pain when it comes to giving them the full rundown and yeah, we get it that most of you skip the agreement sections every time you encounter them, but, while we understand this kind of behaviour, we don’t condone it.
Mostly because it’s your safety concerned, you should be extra careful when you get into any sort of agreement, especially when it comes to personal data, privacy and security.
Instead of analyzing each and every single row of this agreement, you can take a look at this section where we’ve extracted the essence of the legal terms and put them here in a more accessible manner.
- The Terms of Service document was last updated on 1st August 2018, so you might want to check as often as possible if this date changes because if it does, it means that something was modified within the agreement;
- If you use the SaferVPN services and/or access the website, it will be seen as your automatically acceptance and agreement of these terms, so make sure you agree with all of them or stop using the service and visiting the website altogether;
- You are not allowed to access the website and/or use the SaferVPN service if you’re not of legal age to form a binding agreement with SaferVPN;
- You are not allowed to use the service if you’re legally prohibited to do so by the laws of the country you’re a resident of;
- You are not allowed to use the service in any unlawful manner or for promoting illegal activities;
- You are not allowed to reproduce, print, download, save, republish, display, modify, create derivative works of, decompile, broadcast, transmit (you get the point), any parts of the service or website;
- You are not allowed to monitor or copy the website without permission by using robots, spiders, anonymizing proxies and the such;
- You are not allowed to use the SaferVPN service to engage in any form of unsolicited communication, such as spamming, pyramid schemes, chain letters and the such;
- You are not allowed to use the SaferVPN service to distribute questionable content (hateful, libelous, discriminatory, obscene, vulgar, etc);
- You are not allowed to use the service to generate or distribute comments that are not childproof or ones that are directed at minors under the age of 18;
- You are not allowed to generate or distribute content that contains, references, advertises or promotes sexual material, pornography, dating or any other mature content of any kind;
- SaferVPN will report it to authorities if it detects that any content that has anything to do with child pornography is distributed through their service;
- You are not allowed to engage in any form of hacking activities, including but not limited to scanning for open ports, attempting to brute-force, crack passwords, sniff traffic and the such, while connected to SaferVPN;
- You are not allowed to perform any activities that might result in the service starting to work in an improper manner, such as disabling it, overburdening or impairing its proper functionality;
- You are the only one that’s responsible for what happens on your account, so you must make sure that your credentials are safe and sound and let SaferVPN know immediately if you suspect that your account has been compromised;
- It goes without saying that if you breach any term or condition in the agreement you have with SaferVPN, your account might be suspended or terminated, depending on the severity of the breach;
Pretty standard stuff, considering that VPNs are often used to cloak various violations. In other words, if you break the law, your account might get terminated and you’ll also be held accountable for it.
Since we’ve finished discussing general stuff like what you can and can’t do and what you are and are not responsible for, we can focus on the part that’s more VPN-specific, so to say. Yes, that’s privacy.
Privacy is the yardstick of the VPN industry, so it’s easy to understand why we care so deeply about it (and also why you should care at least as much as we do). That being said, we’ll try to find any mentions about what data is kept, the reasons SaferVPN collects your data and how they plan on using it.
- Since privacy falls under the general terms of service documentation, it has the same “last updated” date as the Terms of Service, which is the 1st of August, 2018, so make sure you check this date often for changes, as it might be a subtle hint that modifications have occurred;
- SaferVPN claims that the company is committed to protecting the privacy and security of the users;
- No IP addresses, data or browsing activity will be collected, logged or stored;
- Since they claim to be collecting only minimal usage statistics needed for service quality maintenance, SaferVPN states that they can’t share user information with third parties (including government authorities), willingly or unwillingly, because said data does not exist, to begin with;
Sources SaferVPN collects data from:
- Personal data that you give them directly;
- Personal data they collect automatically;
- Personal data they collect from other sources;
When you create a user account, you willingly provide your email address as well as other pieces of personal information to SaferVPN.
Your email address will be used to alert you about various things like password changes, announcements, updates, promotional messages, and payment transactions.
What comprises the minimal usage statistics that SaferVPN collects:
- The date and time when the session began;
- The date and time when the session has ended;
- The amount of data that was transmitted during each session;
- Which location you chose to connect to;
- Which country you connected from;
For the last two bits of data (i.e. origin and destination countries), SaferVPN does not log IP addresses.
Data collected from the SaferVPN website:
- The date and time of your visits to SaferVPN’s website;
- The pages that you’ve viewed;
- The time you’ve spent on their site;
- The websites that you’ve visited just before and immediately after visiting the SaferVPN website;
SaferVPN claims that they don’t collect:
- Any of the websites that you visited in the past and those you plan on visiting in the future;
- Any data that you may have downloaded, shared or viewed;
- Any of your IP addresses or DNS queries;
SAFERVPN SHALL USE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO PROTECT INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THE SERVICE, BUT YOU HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOUR SUBMISSION OF SUCH INFORMATION IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK, AND SAFERVPN HEREBY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL LIABILITY FOR ANY DISCLOSURE, LOSS OR LIABILITY RELATING TO SUCH INFORMATION IN ANY WAY.
Well, it seems pretty obvious to us that SaferVPN are really concerned about your privacy and are doing anything possible to prevent your personal stuff spilling out in the wrong direction.
A few words about SaferVPN
Alright, we’ve learned that the company behind this project has been founded in 2013 by Amit Bareket and Sagi Gidali, but there are still some things that have not been discussed.
According to their website, as of September 2017, SaferVPN boasts a total of 700 servers in more than 34 locations worldwide. While that’s not the largest network of servers we’ve encountered, it is still an admirable amount.
However, the complete list of servers is not disclosed anywhere on the website, so it’s hard to know exactly how many of them are available to the wide public. You can still see a map of server locations, but selecting any of the pins on that map won’t trigger any effect. Hovering your mouse cursor on top of a pin will just display its name.
Protocols they use for keeping your data safe
This is one of the most important aspects when choosing a VPN provider: checking for protocols they offer support for, since these little guys will help you keep your data safe, even in the event of a breach (yes, I’m talking about hackers.)
Alright, coming back to our list: SaferVPN lets you choose from four different protocols, as listed here:
- OpenVPN – this is the most commonly-used protocol thanks to both its security level and overall performance;
- PPTP – also known as Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol, it is commonly used for its basic encryption that provides its users with high connection speeds;
- L2TP/IPSec – Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol is a secure alternative, but slower than other protocols; is a good alternative only if OpenVPN or IKEv2 are unavailable; requires the use of certificates or a shared key;
- IKEv2 – this is the newest and fastest protocol available; it provides good security but not all platforms feature support for IKEv2.
Supports several device types
Ok, so you do want a VPN service to unlock various contents for you and keep your connection anonymous, but you’re not just a regular user: you have several devices that need the same level of protection.
Fortunately, SaferVPN doesn’t stop at just Windows-enabled computers, but features support for several other device types. The list comprises Windows computers, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux devices, Chrome, Firefox, eBook readers, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone and Blackberry phones, streaming media such as Open Elec, Amazon Kindle Fire, Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV, Amazon Fire Stick TV, Kodi, Popcorn Time, PS3, PS4, Chromecast, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, routers, NAS and VPN-sharing devices.
To be honest, that’s an impressive list of supported devices, maybe the one with the widest range we’ve encountered so far. More so, each device has an installation guide available on the website, in case you ever get lost or confuse during the setup.
Limited number of devices
Unfortunately, the maximum number of devices you can run the application, simultaneously, on the same account, is 5 devices. However, instead of purchasing a new license if you plan to use it on more than 5 devices, you can just go to your account details and hit the “add more” hyperlink. This lets you add more devices (up to 20) for a cost, obviously.
Although we used the “unfortunately” term above, this is not an uncommon practice, limiting the number of devices per account, since this can be easily exploited by customers by simply sharing the same account with several others, leeching from the same account. Netflix learned this the hard way and they’re now struggling to stop this account sharing phenomenon.
How does it do that?
We know a lot of what it can do, but how exactly does it work? Well, for starters, the first step would be installing the client on the device of their choice, pick the desired server location from the combo menu and hit the connection button.
Once the location has been selected and the connection procedure has been initiated, the customer receives an alternate IP address matching that of the server they’re connected to. Until the connection is closed, the IP address along with everything it involves will remain the same (spoofed/masked). In other words, you’ll be perceived online as if you were browsing the Internet from the location you chose.
How can you use that to your advantage
Among the reasons to use such a service in the first place you can find, of course, securing your connection (protecting your privacy against prying eyes), unlock geo-restricted content or censored/banned services, platforms and apps, as well as save money on flights, streaming services, car rental, etc.
It is well-known that more often than not, some service providers do little to no effort in order to ensure that their pricing is a fair one, depending on the consumer profile. For instance, Netflix provides its services for the same prince in the US as in the rest of the world, which is highly unfair to begin with. On top of that, they also block certain content for non-US users, so it’s kind of a double-damage situation.
Using a VPN service such as SaferVPN spoofs your location and virtually places you in any country you want, as long as they have an active server in that location that you can connect to.
Creating an account
So, you want to be a SaferVPN customer, right? Well, you must know that since this service is a premium one, you will need an account in order to make the most of its features. Actually you need that account even to be able to use the service, so we’ll show you how you can get an account.
- Head to the product’s landing page;
- Select a plan from the list (you know, the one that suits your needs best);
- Type your email address in the designated field;
- Choose your preferred payment method from the list;
- Type your payment details in the designated fields;
- Click the “JOIN NOW” button;
Now you’re not only the proud owner of a SaferVPN account, but you’ve also bought a subscription plan that you can use to your leisure. Well, till it expires, that is.
Downloading the app on your device
Well, the best part of this is that you don’t need to create an account in order to be able to download the SaferVPN application to the device of your choice. The bad news is that you can’t actually do anything with it unless you have an account, so how does that help us?
Well, for starters I think it’s good enough that you don’t have to go through the hassle of logging into your account every time you want to download SaferVPN to your device. Secondly, you might want to just download the app and scan it for malware without necessarily using it, so that’s another positive on our list.
- Head to the landing page of the product;
- Click the “SaferVPN” logo as seen in the screenshot;
- Hover your mouse cursor over the “Apps” section of the top menu;
- Select the device you want to download the application on;
- On the newly-opened page, just click the “Download” button;
You’re set! If you’ve followed our instructions exactly as we’ve described them, then you should have a copy of the SaferVPN app on your device. If not, please check the screenshots and the steps and try again.
Note: We’ve downloaded the app on our Windows computer since that’s the environment where we’re going to conduct all of our testings and reviewing.
Checking the installer for malware
Naturally, once you’ve downloaded the SaferVPN app on your computer, you’d want to just jump straight to the installation part, but no can do since we have other concerns that we must take care of. One of us has been hinted at above. Can you guess what it is? If your guess was malware detection, you were right.
So what we’re going to do now is take the installation executable we’ve just downloaded on our Windows computer and send it over to VirusTotal for a full, in-depth analysis of what could possibly be wrong with the file, malware-wise.
Well, take a look at our results, SaferVPN is clean as a whistle. You can also take a look at the screenshot we took of the results below.
Deploying SaferVPN on your PC
As we’ve previously discussed this matter before, we will refer to installing this application only on Windows-enabled computers, since we believe they’re the most commonly used devices in correlation with this kind of service and also one of the most commonly-owned devices.
The actual installation process doesn’t take long and it can be figured out even by the least experienced computer users since all you have to do is accept the End User License Agreement and follow the on-screen instructions embedded in the wizard layout. The rest of the process is carried out automatically, without any additional assistance on your side. The version we’ve installed is 4.4.2.
Using it for the first time
Now it’s all set up and waiting for you to launch it, but before you get to all it has to offer, you must provide it with valid credentials. After typing your username (email) and password in the designated fields and toggling the “remember password” option according to your needs, you’re brought to the main window.
As you can notice by looking at the app (or at the gorgeous screenshots below), SaferVPN is quite simplistic, but not in a bad way at all. It packs everything you need to get you started without crowding your screen too much. More so, hitting the close (x) button will just take it out of your sight, minimizing it to the System Tray, so you can keep on working without thinking about it too much.
Simple does the trick
Like magicians who don’t reveal the tricks up their sleeve, sometimes it’s best to not spoil the magic by keeping things out of sight. I’m not talking about secrecy, but for users who prefer a simple approach, this kind of interface does the trick pretty good. One push of a button and you’re anonymous and instantly browsing from another country.
However, that doesn’t mean that SaferVPN doesn’t come with a bunch of nifty switches that you can tinker with, especially if you’re into this. At the top-right corner of the main window, you’ll notice the sandwich button (the one looking like three horizontal lines one on top of another). Clicking this lets you access your account profile on the service’s website, upgrade your account, sign out and, finally, get into the “Settings” window.
The famous “Settings” window
As before, the “Settings” window isn’t something to be scared of, since its layout is still user-friendly and its functions intuitive enough to be used even by novices.
This window is divided into five main categories, which are quite self-explanatory: “General,” “Protocols,” “Auto-WiFi,” “Kill Switch” and “Support.” Ok, maybe the “Auto-WiFi” is a bit ambiguous, but we’ve mentioned before and if you paid attention, you probably know what it’s all about.
Tampering with the settings
It’s worth mentioning that not a single parameter you’ll change will crash the application or make it unusable, unsafe, unsecured and so on. This can be a bit of a letdown for users who like living life on the fast lane, but it’s great news for novices who might want to experiment for a bit knowing that nothing could go wrong with their service.
First thing’s first, we got the “General” tab, where you can set the app to be launched on OS startup, toggle if you want it to start as minimized or not, show notifications whenever you connect or disconnect to a VPN server, perform a manual update check and enable sending crash reports automatically to the support team (hey, I didn’t say the app will NEVER crash).
The “Protocols” category comprises the ones we’ve talked about earlier, plus an additional one called “Automatic.” You probably figured out what this is, but, if not, we’ll let you know that this option connects to the best protocol in the list. You can leave it like that if you’re unsure, or just use OpenVPN.
The “Auto-WiFi” section we talked about earlier lets you enable automatic Wi-Fi security whenever you’re browsing the Internet over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. This provides you with instant protection by keeping your data safe. From this same section, you can enable a “Trusted Wi-Fi Network Management” feature, which lets you add SSIDs that don’t need the added security to the list.
If you’re familiar with VPN software, then you probably know what the “Kill Switch” is. Basically, it’s a measure of protection that stops all the Internet traffic if you get disconnected from SaferVPN unexpectedly. Some hackers used this technique, of attempting to severe the client’s connection to the VPN, so that they could accurately locate them and uncover other bits of private data.
More so, it can also happen when you’re using torrents, that your computer will automatically connect to the next available network and resume the download or upload process, creating a breach in your security system. Using the “Kill Switch” makes sure that this won’t be an issue. You can also allow access to local network printers from the same category.
Last, but not least, the “Support” tab enables you to open the “Knowledge Base,” open a “Support ticket” and even run a speed test directly from the app. Using any of the three mentioned features will open a new tab in your web browser with the function you requested.
Connecting to a server
Once you launch the app, you’ll probably find that a server has been already selected for you and is just waiting for you to connect to it. However, if you’re not satisfied with this selection, you can easily change it by clicking the “pinpoint” button next to the large “CONNECT” one. It can be easily missed, but if you know how a map pinpoint looks, you should have no problem identifying and operating it.
Once you press it, a secondary window will become visible on your screen, along with a combo menu that hosts several locations, sorted by a bunch of criteria, including “Favorite,” “Recommended” and “All locations.” Furthermore, you can let the app decide what server to connect to by choosing the “Automatic” option from this menu.
Each server can be added to a “Favorite” collection by clicking the star button next to it. This places the server higher on the list so that you can notice it quicker and connect to it with minimum efforts.
List of servers
Here’s a list of locations that SaferVPN harbors its servers in, as well as their PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 hosts.
|Server Location||PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN||IKEV2|
|U.S.A. – East Coast||us1.safervpn.com||us1.safersoftware.net|
|U.S.A. – West Coast (Fast connection to Asia)||us2.safervpn.com||us2.safersoftware.net|
|United Kingdom (Streaming)||uk2.safervpn.com||uk2.safersoftware.net|
|The Netherlands (Torrenting)||nl1.safervpn.com||nl1.safersoftware.net|
|Canada (including torrenting)||ca1.safervpn.com||ca1.safersoftware.net|
|Spain (including torrenting)||es1.safervpn.com||es1.safersoftware.net|
As you can see, the list doesn’t exactly comprise an outstanding amount of locations, but it’s to be appreciated that a wide and varied range of the world has been covered by their network. One quick glance at the in-app list of locations lets us know that for the US and UK there are special streaming servers that you can connect to for an optimized experience with streaming services.
It’s time to run a quick rundown on services that can be fully unlocked with the aid of this VPN service provider. Although new entertainment flood the market day by day, not all of us are fortunate of us to have 100% access to them since some are partially censored, while others are completely banned from certain locations or for some users.
Take Netflix for example. Originally a service for US residents, it has recently opened its exclusive gates to other countries as well. However, aside from the fact that the service has the same price for US and non-US residents, some of the content it delivers to US customers is not available at all for users in other countries. Double the unfairness.
Fortunately, VPN providers such as SaferVPN can help you trick the system by making it believe you’re a US resident. How? As stated above, you just connect to a US server and the service you’re trying to access will “see” you as a US resident. Although, recently, Netflix started addressing VPN users and started cracking down on them, closing accounts and severing access to their services. Most of the time, VPN providers don’t take responsibility for these incidents, so tread carefully.
Some services, as explained above, are blocked entirely in certain locations. Using a VPN usually bypasses this censorship, but in some situations, you have to take some extra steps. For instance, some countries also ban VPN usage, so you have to connect to VPN servers manually, by inputting the server’s address.
As stated on SaferVPN’s website, you can unlock various services such as Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia (English pages are blocked in China, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia), YouTube, Google, and Whatsapp.
Since using a VPN service has the ability to virtually place you anywhere else in the world (for instance, in countries where the services above are not censored/blocked), you can easily bypass these limitations.
Unblock Smart TVs and streaming devices
Another SaferVPN feature that’s worth mentioning in our review is the unlocking of Smart TVs and other popular streaming devices, such as the Chromecast, Xbox and Playstation gaming consoles.
If you’re unfortunate enough, you’ve probably encountered the dreaded “Content unavailable in your country” message prompt or maybe a similar one when using any of the devices mentioned above. However, the situation can be fixed.
Since this VPN service doesn’t provide you with native support for the Smart TVs and other streaming devices named above, you must follow a different approach. Actually you have to choose between two alternatives: either use your laptop to create a virtual hotspot (after you connect to a VPN server, that is, since all the traffic will be routed through the VPN server), or use a VPN-enabled router (after you configure it to the server of your choice).
TOR and torrenting support
Luckily for you, SaferVPN is perfectly capable of handling their torrenting stuff, especially if you were to consider that they do have P2P-specialized servers that they recommend you connect to each time you want to engage in a little peer-to-peer file-sharing.
But we simply couldn’t take their word for it so we’ve tried to see it for ourselves. So what we did was we connected to the SaferVPN service, we’ve fired up our torrenting client and downloaded something random from the Internet (legally, obviously). Well, what do you know? There was no slowdown, no throttling and no issue overall. SaferVPN really works with torrenting.
TOR is a whole different story. While using TOR in conjunction with SaferVPN works perfectly fine, you shouldn’t do that. And I don’t mean it just with SaferVPN, but with any other VPN service, as well. Although you’re adding an extra layer of security on top of your connection, your speed will be reduced to a shadow of its former self and then there’s the risk that you might land on a malicious exit node, which passes unencrypted traffic, which makes you an ideal target for monitoring. Stay safe, will you?
The SaferVPN customer support has got you covered in more than just one way. As soon as you’ve landed on their homepage, you’ll notice a round avatar icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen with a chat bubble, greeting you and asking if there’s anything the support team can assist you with.
Curiosity got the best of us and we clicked it and a chat little prompt appeared, along with an inviting “Chat Now” button. Shortly after pressing it, we needed to fill in some details such as an email address, specify whether we’re existing customers or not and choose an issue we wanted to discuss. Along “Inquiry/question” and “Technical issue” there was also an “Other” option we could pick.
The customer support was friendly, replied in short notice and had no trouble answering all of our questions. At the end of the chat, you can give the person who you chatted with a thumbs up or a thumbs down, depending on your experience, and also save the transcript.
If that’s not enough to satisfy your customer support needs, you’ll be glad to know that SaferVPN also provides you with a ticket system, an article database with integrated “Search” functionality, a FAQ section, a Help Center, as well as a collection of quickstart guides that are sorted by device type.
Each one of the quickstart articles can effectively guide you through the whole installation process and even throw you a bit of information about using the app efficiently, depending on the device you’re using it on.
If that’s not enough, you’ll be glad to find out that (like numerous other important VPN service providers) they keep a blog, where you can keep yourself up-to-date with various cyber-security-related information, but they’re also available on major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
A quick glance on their social media pages lets us know that these pages are quite well-kept, with frequent updates. We also attempted to contact them on Facebook, since this platform provided us with more relevant information, such as the typical response time, which currently is situated around the “1h” mark. So, whatever your needs are regarding customer support, it’s likely that SaferVPN has, indeed, got you covered.
Security check-up results
Now for the part that’s less fun for you and more fun for us: security tests. A lot of technical terms will fly left and right and everywhere around, but for a good cause: we’re going to find out exactly how secure SaferVPN really is.
For that to happen we’re going to run a battery of security tests as we’ve described here in this awesome article, with the mention that these security tests will unfold on a single server. This means that we won’t switch servers during these tests. Why? Because we want to find out if there are any location-related inconsistencies, that’s why.
That being said, the results are as follows:
As you can see for yourself, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with SaferVPN, given that no IP, DNS, Flash IP or WebRTC leaks have been noticed during our tests.
Conclusion: SaferVPN can really keep your connection airtight, waterproof, foolproof, you name it. Nothing comes in and nothing gets out. Tight.
Speed test results
Well, fun’s over, but here’s where things might get slightly more interesting to you: we’re going to check and see exactly how fast SaferVPN’s servers are.
As opposed to the security tests that we’ve done earlier, this time we’re going to use several servers. Why? It’s simple. We want to see if location has any impact on the speed of this service’s servers and if it does, we wanna find out how much of a difference does it make.
Are you ready? Because we are. Let’s begin:
|Location||Internet Speed||Latency||Upload Speed||Downloaded||Uploaded|
|U.S.A.||26 Mbps||171 ms||323 ms||60 Mbps||80 MB||230 MB|
|Germany||99 Mbps||39 ms||57 ms||36 Mbps||70 MB||50 MB|
|Brazil||11 Mbps||250 ms||290 ms||34 Mbps||40 MB||130 MB|
|Hong Kong||5.1 Mbps||399 ms||563 ms||8.9 Mbps||9.1 MB||30 MB|
|South Africa||7.2 Mbps||221 ms||274 ms||35 Mbps||10 MB||130 MB|
|Australia||19 Mbps||343 ms||442 ms||57 Mbps||60 MB||190 MB|
In conclusion, SaferVPN is not exactly a fast VPN service, even though we’ve noticed a very high result in Germany. However, given that Germany is nearly next to us, it shouldn’t surprise you that a server that’s close by yields better results than one that’s thousands of miles away.
If we were to make an average of them all, SaferVPN falls under the below-average category.
Now we talk about the money. Like any other premium service we’ve previously tested, SaferVPN provides us with a bunch of subscription plans, with the classic “the more you buy, the cheaper it gets” plan in mind.
So far they’ve got three plans, as follows:
|Plan type||Monthly||Yearly||3 Year Plan|
every 12 months
every 36 months
|Features||Easy-to-use Apps for Every Device
Automatic Wi-Fi Security
Unlimited Speed and Bandwidth
Global Internet Access
24/7 Live Chat & Email Support
On top of that, SaferVPN provides you with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means that if anytime, during those first 30 days of usage, you change your mind about the application, find it to be not exactly fit your needs or for any other reason you don’t want it anymore, you can ask for a full refund.
SaferVPN for business
We’ve mentioned earlier that you can add up to a maximum of 20 devices per account, but your billing information will also be updated. What does that mean? It means that each additional device you add to your account will increase the cost of your subscription plan. Simple.
Now the reason why you can’t add more than 20 devices. The team behind SaferVPN also runs a project aimed at business owners, called Perimeter 81, which can be accessed here. Alternatively, if you try to push the limit past 20, you’ll be suggested to visit this page, or you can access it by clicking the “Learn More” button in the “Interested in SaferVPN for Business?” section of your account page.
You can request a demo, access various materials from the page listed above, view a list of products and explore their solutions, sorted by category. But if you’re interested, you should pay them a visit.
To sum it up, SaferVPN is a VPN service, which means it can protect your privacy while browsing online but also unlock new content for you, one that’s been subjected to censorship or banned from certain regions.
The company behind this project is based in Israel, which might raise concerns from various users who may believe that their data can be easily leaked to government institutions, law enforcement or intelligence agencies. However, the Israeli laws have been revised and privacy is no longer an easy target for certain groups.
The standard subscription enables you to use a maximum of 5 devices on the same account, but the amount can be increased (for money) for up to 20 devices. After this threshold, you’ll be advised to use a business solution. SaferVPN scored some good results in the security tests we’ve performed, and their speed was also more than satisfactory.
The number of servers, as well as the amount of locations they cover, is not outstanding, but it’s no pushover either. They offer no trial for their end users, but they boast a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also, their monthly payment is a bit higher reported to other similar products, ones who offer higher speeds, support more devices and have a wider range of servers.
+ Great customer support with lots of options; (5)
+ Wide range of supported device types; (5)
+ Offer a business plan; (5)
+ Satisfactory speed; (4)
+ Browser extensions; (4)
– Israel-based company, might raise a few data privacy concerns; (3)
– Small number of servers; (3.5)
– Higher price than other competitors; (3.5)
– Standard subscription supports 5 maximum devices; (4)
– Some VPN usage data is still logged, despite zero-log policy; (3)
SaferVPN has scored a 4/5 rating.