VPNArea will be the star of our review today and, although its name might not be a play on words (that we’re absolute suckers for) and its services are not among the big players on the market, its features look promising and that’s plenty more than enough to convince us.
During this review, we’ll extract company details and bring them back to you, get in-depth information about the service we’re testing, then perform a series of security and speed tests (in this order) to determine whether or not VPNArea is what you’re looking for.
The company behind this VPN provider, called Offshore Security EOOD, is registered in Bulgaria and created the VPNArea project in 2012. The fact that the company is based in Bulgaria makes the VPN fall under Bulgarian laws and regulations.
Not many more details could we dig regarding the company’s whereabouts, history, and other similar information, but that shouldn’t be concerning for you. You may think that if they went this distance to keep their company info private, they’d do the same with your data.
First thing’s first, VPNs are 100% legal in Bulgaria since no regulation is formulated against using such services. Second of all, Bulgaria is not a member of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliance, which means they’re not legally bound to help other countries and/or their government or law agencies provide surveillance data about their inhabitants.
No government restrictions are imposed regarding Internet access. More so, their constitution and legislation prohibit arbitrary interference with correspondence, privacy, home, and family. On the other hand, Bulgarian security services are allowed to access electronic data when investigating cyber crimes or serious, other ones. Various NGOs are against the practice of law gaps that enable prosecutors to request the data mentioned above directly from the appropriate service providers without having a court authorization, to begin with.
However, at the moment there are no reports to testify that the government has attempted to collect sensitive, personal data whenever a person expressed its political, ideological or religious views, as long as the person’s actions were peaceful.
Terms of Service analysis
The Terms of Service document, although not as long as other agreements for similar VPN providers, keeps a lengthy, not-so-user-friendly format. However, if you’re patient enough and want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, you can give it a read, since it’s not overly complicated. We’ve highlighted a few of the most important aspects of the agreement in the following section:
- Make sure you check the “last modified” part, located at the top of the document (currently set at the 4th of January 2017);
- Offshore Security EOOD reserves their right to change, remove or add parts in the Terms of Service document without notifying you beforehand, the only notification type being the “last modification” date at the top of the document;
- Modifications will become effective immediately after being posted on the website;
- Registered users will probably receive notifications via email or other available channels;
- Using or continuing to use their service will be deemed as accepting the terms of the agreement;
- Submitting personal information to the website while browsing is not mandatory, however, in order to use their service, you must provide them with an email address (filling the name and country fields are optional);
- You confirm that you are at least 18 years old;
- You take full responsibility for your access and use of the service you’re provided with;
- Despite the fact that the account is for a single user, it can be shared with others. However, you are to be held responsible for anything that happens on your account, regardless of the fact that you might not be the one who’s using it at the moment;
- The fact that you own a VPNArea license doesn’t grant you any copyright or intellectual right over any part of the service or product you’re using;
- Spamming or any form of unsolicited communication might result in your account being terminated immediately. Offshore Security EOOD may decide at their discretion what is to be considered spam;
- Offshore Security EOOD may change the fees that they charge you for using their services without prior notice;
- Offshore Security EOOD may not be held responsible for any contents that you might access while using their services and also for the potential loss, corruption, removal or alteration of data;
- You may not break the law or the terms of the agreement while using their service. Otherwise, your account as a whole, or any part of it, might be modified or discontinued, temporarily or permanently, with notice;
As you can see, the terms of usage are not at all absurd and don’t interfere with your usage of their VPN service, just as long as you obey the law and respect the terms you’ve automatically agreed with when you started to use VPNArea.
- As mentioned in the Terms of Service, browsing the website doesn’t force you to hand out any kind of personal information to Offshore Security EOOD. However, using their service does require you to create an account, which in turn involves providing the company with an email address and possibly other types of personal data;
- Registered users should understand that their email address is collected by the system upon creating their account;
- A username and password will be needed in order to register your account on their website;
- A country is also required during the account creation phase, but this piece of data won’t be validated or stored, as it will be simply used for VAT calculation purposes;
- Processing refunds for various services such as PayPal, Payza or Paymentwall requires the collection of a transaction ID. However, this data can be deleted if you personally contact Offshore Security EOOD and request this from them. Paying via BitPay (Bitcoin) doesn’t require collecting any information;
- There is a no-logging policy that states that logs for any single customer’s VPN activity will not be monitored, recorded or stored;
- Login dates, incoming and outgoing IP addresses, timestamps, other identifiable VPN data or bandwidth statistics, along with DNS requests are not tracked, monitored, recorded, logged or tracked;
- Some information is automatically collected from website visitors via Cookies and is used mainly for troubleshooting and customer support;
Data they do collect and the reasons why
Numerous VPN service providers gloat about their zero-logging policy and how they collect absolutely no information from their customers, but if you read the fine print, you’ll see that things are far from being like that. Usually, VPN providers require some personal information from their customers, including but not limited to their names, email addresses, address details and payment info, so the zero-logging claim is more often than not just a myth. VPNArea makes no exception since they also collect some data, but let’s see exactly what do they require from you:
- As stated above, there’s a bundle of data that they collect via Cookies, mostly for troubleshooting purposes;
- Data required to create a new account, which only encompasses your email address or, better yet, AN email address, since they don’t put emphasis on the “it must be yours” aspect;
- Your activity outside of their website is not tracked via cookies, nor the activities of the users who are connected to their services;
As you can see, the list of required details is quite narrow, so it shouldn’t really be a concern. Let’s see how they plan on using these pieces of information:
- Creating new accounts;
- Collecting service payments;
- Identifying and communicating with their subscribers;
- Troubleshooting and/or customer support;
- Verifying your identity when you log in on the site or service;
- Internal record keeping;
- Completing your online order;
- Management and improvement of their website and services;
- Tailor their website to your preferences;
- Improving their responses to inquiries and requests and other similar customer service purposes;
- Notifying you about changes;
- Analyzing usage and trends – understanding user interaction with their site and services;
Again, their reasoning is far from being absurd and as long as the data they require is kept to a minimum, the ways they plan on using it shouldn’t concern you at all. Things are looking good.
A quick introduction to VPNArea
We don’t really know if it’s got anything to do with the name they chose for this service, but the fact that you can share your account with multiple users and the name of the service (i.e. VPNArea) seem to be no coincidence.
It’s like they allow you to define your area of comfort and share your account with whoever is in that ‘area’. Get it? Anyway, it’s a bit early to talk since we didn’t get to the testing part yet, but VPNArea seems promising since it’s a rare thing that a VPN provider would let you share your account freely (as long as you realize that you’re responsible for whatever happens on it).
There’s a huge range of devices that you can set up the VPN on, including but not limited to Windows PCs, macOS X, Android, iPhone, iPad, Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, OpenVPN, routers, FireTV and Kodi devices. You can use the application on up to 6 devices at the same time. You and the others you’re sharing your account with (if you do).
They feature no-logs DNS servers that you can use to block ads on Windows and Mac and also feature Stunnel support, which enables you to connect to their service from countries with the heavily-controlled Internet, such as China, United Arab Emirates or Iran. Configuration files are also available on their website in case you’re running a manual setup of the VPNArea service.
Creating an account
Unfortunately for trial-lovers, you need to purchase a subscription plan before you’ll be able to access and use the VPNArea service. More so, purchasing a subscription plan will automatically generate an account for you that you can use to log on the website and in the application.
In order to generate an account, you must follow the steps described below (check the screenshots if you encounter difficulties):
- Visit the VPN service’s landing page;
- Option 1) locate the “Get VPNArea” button;
- Option 2) Locate the “Buy Now” button;
- Click either of the 1) or 2) buttons;
- Choose a plan that you prefer from the newly-opened page;
- Scroll down and fill the required information in the designated fields (email, username, password);
- Choose your preferred payment method;
- Choose your country from the VAT menu;
- Check the order total price and the details to see if they match;
- Accept the terms of the agreements by ticking the corresponding checkbox;
- Hit the “Continue” button;
After the payment has been successfully processed, your account will be activated. You can log into your account either on the website or in the application and start using the VPNArea service.
Logging into your account; the dashboard
After you’ve successfully signed up for an account, you can log into the website and access your account’s “control room,” also called the dashboard. VPNArea comes with one of the widest dashboards we’ve seen yet, holding controls for downloading the app, setting it up, managing your account, checking the status of the servers and many more features.
All you have to do is click the “My Account” button on the landing page (somewhere at the top of the page), type your credentials in the corresponding fields and hit the “Log in” button.
Notice that somewhere in the top-left corner of the screen, next to the VPNArea logo, there’s a button resembling three lines one on top of the other. Clicking it will expand the left-side menu, letting you see the description of each section you can access.
Downloading the app on your device
As before, you can download the application on your device in two ways:
- Access your dashboard as instructed above;
- Select the “Download / Setup” section of the dashboard;
- Scroll down and locate your device of choice;
- Hit the “Download” button corresponding to the device you want;
- (Optional) In case you want to perform a manual installation, consult the guides depending on the device you prefer;
- Access the VPNArea landing page;
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page;
- Locate the “VPNArea Apps” section somewhere at the bottom-right corner of the page;
- Choose from the various VPNArea app editions (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Pre-Configured Routers);
- Hit the “Download” button on the newly-opened page;
Scanning the installer for malware
We usually hand out this advice in all of our reviews, but we feel it can help you keep your device’s security at optimal parameters: always perform malware checks for everything you download from the Internet, including VPN installers.
Although an in-depth check can take forever and maybe not at all expensive, you can do your own checks without hiring experts by using VirusTotal. Sure enough, the results won’t be as accurate as for a professional checkup, but it’s still better than blindly running any executable without checking it out beforehand.
We’ve performed a VirusTotal scan on the VPNArea installer and the results were good. No malware component was detected. You can check our results here.
Installing VPNArea on your device
Assuming that you’ve successfully downloaded the installer from the official website on your computer, we can proceed with installing it on your device.
- Double-click the installer’s executable file;
- Hit “Install” on the main screen of the installer;
- Wait for the installation to be successfully completed;
- Choose whether or not VPNArea should be launched after the setup;
- Hit the “Finish” button;
As you can see, there’s nothing much to do on your side during the setup of VPNArea, as most of the installation process is carried out automatically, with minimum assistance required on your side (clicking a bunch of buttons). More so, you can notice the lack of a User Agreement section within the installer and how the TAP network adapter is installed without requiring confirmation from you.
Running VPNArea on your computer
Alright, so now the application is installed on your computer. What next? Well, if you checked the “Run VPNArea” option during the last step of the installation process, you should see the app’s window now. If not, launch it from wherever you want (e.g. desktop shortcut, Start Menu shortcut).
Once you’re in the app, you’ll have to provide it with your credentials in order to start making use of its features. The main window of the app also lets you access the full list of servers you can connect to through this service and also the settings that can be modified from within the app.
Although the aforementioned features can be accessed and some of them even modified without needing to input your credentials first, actually using the app to establish a secure tunneled connection between you and the server of your choice is not possible without being logged in. Note that, as opposed to the website, logging into the app requires a ‘username’ and a password and not an email/password combination.
Our first impressions
If you didn’t connect by using your credentials at the previous step and decided to explore the app’s features, you might have difficulties in finding your way back to the login screen, since the app doesn’t have a “back” button, which might make you close the app and start it again. However, logging in can be done from the “Settings” menu (see the corresponding fields) and then connecting to a server while your credentials are in their appropriate locations.
The main window of the app is fairly large compared to the software solutions provided by other VPN services. Visually-wise the VPNArea app is not a stunner, as it holds several features and it seems that some of them have been bunked together in certain locations of the window, giving an overall cluttered feel.
You can toggle between the list of servers and the configuration screen by using the Settings/Server List button, which changes its name depending on what menu you’re currently visiting. The main window also holds a “Hide” button that’s used to quickly send the application to the system tray, so as to not interfere with any other active application on your PC.
Actually using the app
Here comes the fun part. If you want to establish a secure VPN connection, you have to navigate to the Servers List screen (by using the button mentioned in the previous section), choose a server from the list and hit the large “Connect” button beneath the list.
Notice that each of the servers in the list holds additional information regarding the server, such as its current load level (percentage), the distance between your real location and the server and the ping value (ms). The servers are organized in several categories, which include “All servers,” “Recommended,” “Favorites,” “P2P – Torrents,” “Special” and “Dedicated IP.”
Below the “Connect” button there’s also a collection of details which includes the VPN status, your real IP address, as well as whether or not you benefit from ad blocking and malware protection.
If you want to tinker with the application’s configuration options, you can easily do so by clicking the “Settings” button in the main window.
Messing with the options
As mentioned above, you can access the configuration menu by clicking the “Settings” button in the main window. Once you’re there, notice that the top of the window holds several sections, called “Settings,” “Server Settings,” “Connection Log,” “Kill Switch,” “Anti DNS leak” and “Auto IP Changer.”
However, if you’ll click around, you’ll probably discover sooner or later that the sections displayed at the top of the settings section aren’t exactly sections; instead, they can be used to quickly navigate through the whole collection of settings in a faster manner than simply scrolling down.
The only option you can click to access a new feature is the connection log, which holds various information about your connection and other details related to it such as HTTP response status, a DNS list, DNS status, configuration status, WebRTC unblocking and many others. The contents of the connection log can be copied to your clipboard in an instant by simply clicking the corresponding hyperlink in the log section.
VPNArea holds some extra features that can be found within the “Settings” menu and can greatly improve the functionality of the service. For instance, you can activate a built-in ad-blocker and malware-prevention tool, toggle a kill switch that severs your Internet access whenever you’re not connected to the VPN, enable or disable an anti-DNS leak feature and activate the IPv6 leak protection function.
More so, you can set the app to use custom DNS servers (the ad block and the anti-DNS leak will be disabled if you use this feature), change the connection protocol (between UDP and TCP), choose the connection port and add extra settings to the servers.
The list of servers you can connect to
As mentioned on the “Servers” section of their website, VPNArea lets you secure your connection through real servers in more than 100 locations in 65 countries.
|Country||OpenVPN UDP||OpenVPN TCP||IKEv2||Stunnel|
|Australia – Adelaide||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Australia – Brisbane||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Australia – Melbourne||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Australia – Perth||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Australia – Sydney||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Austria – Graz||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Austria – Vienna||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Brazil – Paraiba||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Brazil – SaoPaulo||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Canada – Montreal||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Canada – Netflix, NHL||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Canada – Toronto||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Canada – Vancouver||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|China – Beijing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|China – Guanzhou||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Germany – Berlin||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Germany – Frankfurt||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Isle of Man||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|IT – SkyGo, DAZN, Netflix||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Italy – Milan||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Italy – Palermo||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Russia – Moscow||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Russia – StPetersburg||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|South Africa – CapeTown||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|South Africa – JHN||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Spain – Madrid||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Spain – Valencia||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Turkey – Bursa||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Turkey – Istanbul||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – AZ – Phoenix||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – CA – Los Angeles||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – CA – SanJose||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – FL- Miami||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USA – GA – Atlanta||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – Netflix/HBO/Hulu||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – NY – NewYork||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – Phoenix||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – TX – Dallas||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|USA – WA – Seattle||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
You can access a complete list of servers from within the dashboard (152), where you can also find their IP addresses, the number of connected users to each server and their status (online/offline).
Services they can unlock
If you take a close look at their collection of servers, you’ll notice that some of them have some special suffixes, such as “NFLX” or “BBCiPlayer.” Needless to say, these suffixes stand for the ability of said servers to unlock popular entertainment services that are otherwise not available (some of them not entirely available) for everyone.
We were pleasantly surprised to notice that VPNArea was able to unlock many entertainment services, including Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Video Prime. However, note that this situation might be temporary since many of these entertainment power players have waged war against VPN users and each day more and more VPN services are becoming unable to unlock them.
Still, the fact that they can grant you access to the forbidden fruit (those services above) is no little thing. Good job, VPNArea!
Torrenting and TOR support
We all know that torrenting’s reputation has decayed and simply mentioning the practice can get some dirty looks thrown at you, or at least some scoffing, especially since various agencies have broken down on torrent aficionados and started prosecuting the unlawful ones.
However, torrenting by itself is a great way of sharing files and, if done right, it can save you a lot of hassle. Protecting your identity while torrenting is not at all a bad idea, even if you’re downloading contents in a legal manner. Well, VPNArea can help you do just that. All you have to do is remember to connect to the VPN server of your choice (you might want to pick one from the P2P – Torrenting category), fire up your torrenting client and leech away! (but seriously, leeching is not cool)
You can also use TOR in conjunction with the VPN client, as long as you connect to the VPN before launching the TOR client and connecting to the TOR network. However, if you do, you might want to understand that, while TOR adds an extra layer of security, it can severely affect your connection speed and, due to malicious TOR exit nodes, your traffic could be monitored, since traffic that passes those malicious nodes is usually not encrypted and easy to monitor.
Our experience with the customer support
You’ll be glad to know that, as opposed to other VPN service providers, VPNArea comes with a live chat feature. More so, their chat is reportedly available 24/7, so you can write to them whenever you encounter an issue and, good news, their response time is great. More so, they offer really helpful advice, as their customer support team is friendly and generally knowledgeable. At least that’s how it felt for us.
If you’re not a fan of real-time conversations and feel that it’s way easier to find the right words when you’re writing an email, you can either submit a ticket or contact them via direct email, since they support these features. More so, they offer you three email addresses, for support, refunds, and management, as well as a Skype ID. They used to offer a PGP key for communication encryption purposes, but due to recent findings, they’ve decided to stop offering it for now.
If nothing of the above ways of receiving help with an issue does the trick for you, then you can always head to the community forum (yes, they have a community forum) and talk to other users or take a look at the installation guides from your dashboard.
Preparing our operating table
As you know, we can’t help but test every single VPN service provider that gets within our reach and decide whether it can provide you with an airtight level of security or not and after security issues are out of the way, we can focus on speed and see how fast the connections can get.
Since security tests can sometimes be inaccurate, we’ve decided to use three tools for this assessment: IPX, ipleak and BrowserLeaks, each of which is widely available for anyone to try. This is a very important aspect of the tools we use since they allow other users to repeat our tests and compare their results to ours or discuss them with other users.
Speed tests will be performed with Netflix’s fast.com service, since it can tell you exactly how fast your connection is, without any additional tech gibberish.
Security results are in!
For the security tests, we chose a server in New York, U.S.A., since it’s among the farther ones available and we figured we could also perform some stress-testing (not actual stress-testing), as servers that are far away are believed to have certain functionality faults. Let’s begin:
Using IPX Tool – Test Result
IP Address – 220.127.116.11 – masked
PTR – 18.104.22.168 – masked
Country – United States – masked
City – Atlanta – masked
Lat/Long – 33.75360, -84.39014 – masked
ASN AS32780 Hosting Services, Inc. – masked
ISP Total Server Solutions L.L.C. – masked
Domain Name totalserversolutions.com – masked
IP type Non-Residential (Data Center) – masked
IPv6 Geolocation – not available
DNS leak – no
WebRTC leak – no
Flash IP leak – no
Conclusion: According to IPX, VPNArea doesn’t leak important data. However, we’ve selected a server in New York and IPX detected it in Atlanta, Georgia. We figured that it might be due to virtual servers, but they claim that they’re using only real servers. You can see our results here.
Using ipleak Tool – Test Result
IP: 22.214.171.124 – masked
Tor Exit Node: Unknown – safe
AirVPN Exit Node: No – safe
Country: United States (US) – masked
Region: New York (NY) – masked
City: New York – masked
Metro (US-Only): 501 – masked
Time Zone: America/New_York – masked
Latitude & Longitude: 40.7308 , -73.9975 – masked
DNS leaks: no
WebRTC requests leaked: no
Flash IP data leaked: no
IPv6 data leaked: no
Conclusion: According to ipleak, VPNArea doesn’t leak data. More so, this time the server was accurately detected in New York, USA, so we figured that maybe the previous test had a location detection issue.
Using BrowserLeaks Tool – Test Result
IP address – 126.96.36.199 – masked
Hostname – n/a
Country – United States (US) – masked
State/Region – New York (NY) – masked
City – New York – masked
ISP – Total Server Solutions L.L.C. – masked
Organization – Hosting Services Inc – masked
ASN – AS32780 Hosting Services, Inc. – masked
Timezone – America/New_York – masked
Local Time – Wed, 29 May 2019 08:16:29 -0400 – masked
Latitude/Longitude – 40.7308,-73.9975 – masked
IPv6 Address – n/a
WebRTC Leak Test:
Local IP address – 10.186.35.10 – masked
Public IP address – n/a
Flash IP address – n/a
DNS leaks – no
Conclusion: According to BrowserLeaks, VPNArea doesn’t leak important data. It also displayed the server’s location accurately, which strengthens our reasons to believe that IPX had a location detection issue.
The results of all the three tests have shown that VPNArea can secure your connection and keep it that way. We’ve encountered a minor issue with our location detection while testing with IPX, but the other two tests showed the server’s location accurately. VPNArea is safe.
Speed test results are back, as well!
As we usually do, instead of limiting our speed tests to only one server, we connect to several ones, located in various regions (we’re aiming for a widespread). This way, we also include the distance speed variation in our results, so you can see exactly how the distance between you and the server affects your overall connection speed.
The results are back and are as follows:
- Australia – 7.5 Mbps;
- Austria – 48 Mbps;
- Brazilia – 24 Mbps;
- Hong Kong – 21 Mbps;
- South Africa – 18 Mbps;
- USA – 35 Mbps;
As you can see, speed-wise VPNArea isn’t exactly outstanding, but at least the connection was stable and we didn’t experience any drops or lags due to disconnecting/connecting to various servers in a short time.
Let’s talk about the money
As you probably figured out by now, VPNArea is a premium service, which means that you can’t access its features without purchasing a subscription plan beforehand. The plans are as follows:
- Monthly plan – $9.9 per month – no discount – 14-day money-back guarantee;
- Yearly plan – $4.92 per month; billed $59 every year instead of $118.8 – 50% discount – 30-day money-back guarantee;
- 3 Year plan – $2.99 per month; billed $107.64 every 3 years instead of $356.4 – 69.8% discount – 30-day money-back guarantee;
You can choose various platforms as payment processors such as PayPal, Alipay or WebMoney but you can also pay with Bitcoin or your credit card if you want. It’s a bit distracting that when you buy the app you see 30-day money-back guarantees but in the download section a single 7-day money-back is mentioned.
The prices aren’t high if you take into consideration the fact that you can share your account with others, so you could as well split the bill with them and choose a ‘spokesperson’ in case something goes wrong on the account. You know, someone to be held responsible.
Refer a friend program
If your social skills are outstanding and you’re good at persuading others, you can convince your peers to give VPNArea a try, since they have a referral program which can earn you credits which can be turned into free service days within the service.
All you have to do is convince them to purchase a subscription plan. The good news is that the bonus (credits) will be awarded to both you and the person you’re referring. The bonuses are as follows:
- If your referral purchases a 1-month membership – you and the referred person gain 10 days credit;
- If your referral purchases a 6 months membership – you and the referred person gain 30 days credit;
- If your referral purchases a 12 months membership – you and the referred person gain 50 days credit;
However, we have reasons to suspect that some sections of the website haven’t been updated recently since there’s no 6-month subscription plan you can purchase (for the 30-days credit bonus). And this is not the only inconsistency (see the money-back guarantee section above).
Bottom line, VPNArea is, as its name clearly states, a VPN service that’s meant to keep your connection secure and private, while also granting you access to some contents that would be otherwise not available due to geo-restrictions.
The company behind the project is based in Bulgaria, which, although not a member of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances, has some loopholes that allow authorities to demand private data from companies that run services such as VPNArea without having a court order. However, no incidents of this kind have been reported so far.
They don’t offer a trial version of their service, so you have to purchase a subscription plan in order to create an account and use their service as intended. On the bright side, as opposed to other VPN providers, they support and even encourage account sharing, so it’s possible to chip in with others when making the purchase. The same account can be used on up to 6 devices and the list of supported devices is a wide one, ranging from Windows and macOS computers to VPN-enabled routers and Linux distros.
The installer can be easily downloaded from the website. Upon scanning the setup file on VirusTotal we encountered no issue. Although the app seems a little cluttered and its design a bit sloppy on occasion, it’s still a user-friendly app that can be used effortlessly even by novices. Among its additional features, you can find a kill switch, an anti-DNS leak feature, a built-in ad-blocker with malware-prevention and IPv6 leak protection.
Security-wise we couldn’t identify any issue with VPNArea, since we ran our tests on 3 different services and no leak test came back positive. However, there was a minor inconsistency regarding the location of the server (we chose a NY server and the IPX test detected it was in Atlanta). We suspect it might be due to virtual servers, and, if true, that kind of contradicts the claim that they use only real servers in real locations.
The list of servers you can connect to is not exactly wide, holding a total of 152 servers, in more than 100 locations in 65 countries. It can help you unlock popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video Prime, and BBC iPlayer, while also providing you with support for torrenting and TOR.
They provide you with live chat, ticket submission, multiple contact emails sorted by the reason you’d want to contact them, a community forum and a Skype ID. They also used to have a PGP encryption key but dropped it due to recent discoveries.
Speed-wise they weren’t exactly great, but at least their connection was stable, as we didn’t encounter any sudden drops during our testing period. They offer 3 subscription plans, which, although not cheap, can be split between multiple users since account sharing is not forbidden.
Do we recommend VPNArea? Absolutely yes. They offer you a great deal with their account sharing policy, making their monthly subscription plan very accessible if you consider splitting it with others, their security is airtight, their range of supported devices is huge and they can unlock several entertainment services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
+ Bulgarian jurisdiction (not a member of 5, 9, 14 Eyes); (5)
+ No-logging policy; (5)
+ Great security; (5)
+ Account sharing is permitted; (5)
+ Can unlock Netflix, Hulu, etc; (5)
+ Works with torrents and TOR; (5)
+ Great customer support; (5)
+ Referral system; (5)
– Not the widest network of servers; (1.5)
– Some inconsistencies detected during the tests; (2)
– Not the greatest connection speeds; (1)
We grant VPNArea a 4.04/5 rating.s