Advantages and Disadvantages of Banana VPN
BananaVPN is has many standard features of VPN services. Privacy and security are highlighted on their home page. Streaming TV from foreign countries and accessing blocked sites like Skype, Facebook, and more are of course possible through this VPN service as well.
They also have options for Dedicated IPs for VOIP SIP devices or gaming, and a 3 day money back guarantee. All around, this is a pretty normal VPN service with normal features.
The most important feature to note is that they offer VPNs for Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile. These two devices are often not supported by other VPN services. They also have SSTP VPN available which is common, but not always an option with other VPN services. This is a VPN protocol well known for privacy, but only works with Windows Vista and later devices.
Another thing in their favor was that they were features in several computer magazines such as PC World and ZDNet. It should be mentioned that they were just ‘featured', and nothing was said with regards to the quality of their service, either positive or negative. This is one of those marketing things that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
They also emphasize that their service can be used for gaming and VOIP. While this may not seem special, considering you can use any VPN for gaming and VOIP, the fact that they advertise this on their site can make them more accountable for VPN speed. For example, if you use a VPN service that advertises ‘privacy', but your game is slow, they can say something like, “Yes, playing games takes longs of bandwidth.” With BananaVPN, because they advertise that it can be used for gaming, this is not the case.
Unfortunately, there are lots of notable negatives about BananaVPN. Not all will affect all users, but they should be known before you sign up.
1) No torrents, P2P, or use of filesharing ports. This is one of the main reasons people use VPNs, but it's not allowed here for obvious legal reasons.
2) Not all streaming services work with BananaVPN. I saw that Zattoo is blocked even on the German servers. This does not make me confident that I can watch Hulu on the US servers. Hulu is notorious for blocking some shared IPs.
3) There is only a 3 day trial period. Most services have a standard 7 day refund. Some go up to 14 days or even 30 days. Why so short guys?
4) $15 per month is expensive. Even the deal for $100 per year is only average for the industry. The price is not bad, but there's nothing special to say about it.
So BananaVPN isn't a bad service, but there are a lot of things to consider before signing up. If you have any personal experience with their VPN client or service, please let us know in the comments below. It will help other VPN users make a better decision before they purchase!
Sept 02, 2011