VPNBook is a free VPN service based out of Switzerland. The country is known for respecting the privacy of people, and VPNBook uses that fact to provide users with a privacy-protecting service. As it is a free VPN service, you don’t expect them to offer you much in terms of performance and extra security features. While VPNBook does not offer security features, it does provide a reasonably good service that is good enough for anyone wishing to have an option to unblock geo-restricted services like Netflix USA for free. Despite the limited servers, VPNBook is able to give you access to Netflix USA.
Pricing and Plans
VPNBook does not have any pricing plans. The service is free to use, and you can use it as much as you want without any restriction. Most other VPNs offer only a free trial and a money back guarantee, but VPNBook offers a completely free service with no restrictions on the usage. You can use as much bandwidth as you want and make as many connections as you want.
The company clearly states on the website that the funds are generated through ads on the website and within the service. The ads when you use the VPN aren’t that many to speak of, which is always an encouraging and positive sign for VPN users.
VPNBook is a free VPN service and is limited by its no-cost service in offering users a very small pool of servers. There are servers in only four countries of the world namely USA, Canada, Germany, and Romania. The fact that there are no UK servers is a bother for UK expats and people wanting to access British streaming services like the BBC iPlayer.
VPNBook fared pretty well when tested for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. Our internet connection does not support IPv6, so testing for IPV6 leaks was not possible. However, DNS and WebRTC leak tests returned positive results. Despite being a free service, VPNBook managed to obfuscate our online presence ably.
VPNBook does not offer a dedicated client or an app. It offers a manual setup for PPTP and OpenVPN GUI setup for OpenVPN. Setting up the service is pretty simple and can be done from the website itself. To use OpenVPN, you have to download the OpenVPN GUI software from the website. Once downloaded, download all the config files listed on the website. Extract these config files to C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config. This will populate the config file, and you will be able to use the OpenVPN service on your Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Android, or iOS device.
Whenever you want to connect to the VPN, you have to click on the OpenVPN link in the taskbar notification tray and choose a server. When you click on Connect, you will be prompted for a password. The username and password for each server is listed on the VPNBook website. You will have to manually enter them every time you want to connect to a server. These passwords change every week for security issues, so make sure you enter the right password.
VPNBook offers decent connection speeds to users. Being a free VPN, we did not expect much from it. But the speed test results from Germany and Canadian servers showed that you could stream videos in SD quality without a problem with VPNBook. In addition to that, VPNBook is able to give you passage into Netflix USA, which is something many of the best-paid VPN services fail to do. This is truly praiseworthy. VPNBook also offers P2P support through the 2 servers in Romania.
Privacy and Anonymity
VPNBook supports PPTP and OpenVPN over UDP and TCP through its service. The encryption is managed by AES 256-bit and AES 128-bit. Some people have an issue when VPNs use 128-bit encryption, but VPNBook clarifies that even 128-bit encryption is strong and has not been cracked yet. It’s not a big deal that they aren’t using 256-bit since it helps offer better speeds without compromising on the security.
The key handling is done through RSA encryption. The cause for concern lies in the fact that VPNBook uses 1024-bit encryption for this purpose, which is not secure. Most of the standard VPNs use 2048-bit encryption, with many of the top VPNs even using 4096-bit encryption. This is one area where VPNBook has to put in some work.
VPNBook does not record your online activity or monitor your usage. It does, however, record the IP address from which you start using the service and the connection timestamp. This information is maintained for a week. It’s never a pleasant sight to see VPNs record anything about the users, and most people are unsure of trusting a VPN for this. There have also been cases where trials were supported by logs from VPNBook. Many think that this VPN is a scam and a front for US authorities to trap defaulters. However, there’s no substance behind those accusations, although the fact remains that if VPNBook is prompted by authorities to hand over your IP and timestamp during the week it holds them, they will comply.
VPNBook offers a basic customer support service in the form of email support and contact form on the website. The FAQ section is not very useful, but the response times were decent. The only concern with submitting a query via the contact form is that you have to provide your name and email address. Apart from this, you don’t have to provide information anywhere since there’s no payment involved and no dedicated client requests for it.
VPNBook is a free VPN service that offers you something more than other free VPN services. For starters, it actually hides your online activity and makes it safe for you to share sensitive data. Your activity logs are not recorded, but IP and connection timestamps are for a week. There aren’t many servers to VPNBook’s name, but they offer decent connection speeds and hide your activity. With P2P support and the ability to bypass Netflix USA’s VPN block, VPNBook is a good option for those only looking for a streaming VPN for services in the US.