2019's Review of the FrootVPN: To Buy or Not to Buy?
FrootVPN is a pretty solid VPN based in Sweden.
I think that FrootVPN has got a lot going for it. It’s relatively affordable, and offers a good level of security and privacy. It’s also pretty fast.
It also represents something of a compromise when it comes to choosing a VPN. There are VPNs out there that offer stronger security, and there are faster services available, but what really lets FrootVPN down is their customer service.
All this said, you might feel that FrootVPN offers a good mix of features for the price. If you want a quick, solid VPN at a reasonable price, it might be for you.
I’m here to help you decide.
So here’s my full, no-holds-barred FrootVPN review.
|Jurisdiction||Sweden (part of Nine Eyes)|
|Logging||Claimed No-Logging Policy|
|Locations & Servers||30 countries & 45 servers|
|Torrent and P2P allowed||Yes|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Synology, Routers|
|Price:||$2.99 per month|
Things To Consider Before Buying a VPN
Before looking at FrootVPN specifically, let’s remind ourselves of what a great VPN should offer in 2019.
The primary reason to use a VPN is, and always has been, the added security it offers. By encrypting your internet connection, a quality VPN will significantly reduce your exposure to cyber attacks.
In addition, by routing your internet connection through a network of servers, a good VPN will keep you totally anonymous online. This can prevent hackers and surveillance agencies from tracking your activity.
The most powerful encryption around at the moment is AES 256, although many VPNs (like FrootVPN) choose to use a slightly less complex cipher in order to achieve higher speeds.
When it comes to the server network, you should look for a VPN that offers dozens (if not hundreds) of secure servers, because large server networks are generally more reliable.
All of this added security comes at a price, of course, and that price is speed. Browsing, downloading, and streaming via a VPN is typically slower than using a standard network connection.
When using the best VPNs around, though, the difference in speed should be difficult to notice.
Ease Of Use
You should also look for a VPN that is easy to use.
You don’t want to spend hours configuring your VPN.
A VPN with an intuitive and well-designed interface will save you time by allowing you to focus on what is important.
Hopefully, you won’t have any problems connecting to your VPN provider. If you do, though, you want a provider who is quick when it comes to responding to your queries.
Today, that means that a VPN company must provide a live chat interface, and respond within a few minutes to your questions.
This, as we will see below, is what really lets FrootVPN down.
Finally, there are all those extra features that are not strictly necessary, but which it is nice to have.
They could also include a Kill Switch, which automatically kills your internet connection if your VPN connection is lost, and ensures that you are always protected.
What Is FrootVPN?
FrootVPN has a long and illustrious history, as far as VPNs go.
Founded by Frootynet AB in Sweden way back in 2014, it was actually endorsed by the Pirate Bay in its early years.
In fact, when TPB was raided by Swedish police December 2014, the site changed it’s front page logo to promote FrootVPN.
According to TorrentFreak, this led to Froot gaining over 100,000 new users within a few weeks.
Unfortunately for Froot, 2014 is ancient history as far as the VPN marketplace goes.
In the years since, hundreds of new VPN services have appeared, and Froot (as we will see) is now on the verge of being outcompeted by these new companies.
Still, if you are looking for a VPN with a proven track record of delivering high-quality service, and don’t trust the newcomers just yet, FrootVPN is a solid choice.
Features and Benefits
Let’s take a detailed look at what FrootVPN are offering, and how it stacks up against the other VPNs out there.
First up, the overall user experience. I have to say that FrootVPN’s home page, and the design of their apps and plugins, are among the best I’ve seen.
That might have something to do with them begin Swedish: the design to clean, straightforward, and easy to use.
Froot also make a big deal out of the features that their VPN offers by default. So, to be fair to them, here they are:
When it comes to security, FrootVPN is pretty good.
The VPN uses 2048-bit encryption. This is not as secure as full-blown AES 256, but it is also far more practical. It comes with a much lower computing load than AES 256, and as a result, encryption and decryption is significantly faster.
FrootVPN also offers PGP functionality, and received an A+ SSL Rating back in 2015.
This level of encryption can also be applied to torrent traffic, which used to be a somewhat unique feature of FrootVPN, and was probably the reason why the Pirate Bay recommended the service in 2014.
Today, however, this is a fairly standard feature.
And now we get to some of the downsides of FrootVPN.
I’m sorry to say that the number of servers they offer is a little low. FrootVPN offers 47 servers across 35 countries.
These include most of the important locations you would expect from a quality VPN:
The problem is that this is a very low number of servers for a VPN company in 2019. You might not need a server in Uzbekistan, sure, but the value of a large and well-diversified server network goes beyond streaming Uzbek Netflix.
Ultimately, you want your VPN provider to offer a huge choice of servers because this is proof that they’ve invested time and money in building a reliable, stable network.
And in this regard, I’m afraid that FrootVPN pick up some minus points.
FrootVPN also make a big deal out of the speed of their service. They offer unlimited bandwidth, and say that all their servers are connected ‘to multiple 10GBits/s backbones’, which makes them the fastest around.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Speeds in Europe, to be fair to Froot, are not bad. Downloading and streaming via their servers in the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK is OK. But only OK. Swap to a server in Asia, though, and the problem quickly becomes apparent: super-low download speeds.
This might not matter too much if you are just browsing, or even downloading small attachments. But streaming through FrootVPN is going to be a frustrating experience.
On the other hand, Froot offer apps for a huge range of devices, and all of them are well designed. Whether you are on your phone or laptop, the interface is simple and fast: you can choose a server from a drop-down list, and even advanced configuration is easy.
Importantly, FrootVPN also offer software for routers. Router-level VPNs are fast becoming the standard implementation for more advanced users, and Froot seem to have gone to some trouble to make installation on DD-WRT routers quick and painless (there is a guide here).
Streaming and Torrents
Many people get a VPN just to watch US Netflix, so how does FrootVPN stack up in this regard?
Pretty well. Access to Netflix is a little patchy, especially when connecting to US servers, but it works.
The problem, as I explained above, is the slow connection speed that FrootVPN offers on non-European servers. This makes streaming Netflix in the US a slightly exasperating experience, with frequent buffering and slow load times.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a VPN that provides security for browsing in Europe, and don’t mind too much that you can’t watch US Netflix, Froot could be a good choice.
That’s partially because FrootVPN offers great value.
First up, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try the service without committing to a contract.
That’s great if you are in the market for a new VPN and want to try out FrootVPN alongside a few other VPNs.
Pricing for standard services is simple and, as you will notice, cheap:
All of these packages is complete, and comes with every feature that FrootVPN offer. That makes these pricing plans really simple in comparison to those of other VPN providers, where added extras can surprise you with extra costs.
At $2.99 per month, FrootVPN is also one of the least expensive options out there. Not many VPNs are available at this price, and particularly not with all the features that Froot offer.
Last but definitely not least, customer service. FrootVPN have got a lot of criticism over the past few years for their slow customer service, but in my experience this has improved a lot recently.
FrootVPN now seem to be responsive and helpful when it comes to answering queries. Most important of all, their live chat staff seem to actually understand how their VPN works!
What Are Other People Saying?
Don’t just take my word for it, though. As part of this review I scoured the web for what people are saying about FrootVPN, and in general found that it has a loyal fanbase.
That said, there are also some who have found the same thing as I did – that while FrootVPN offers a fairly good range of services, the speed of their servers really lets them down.
So there you have it. Some people really love FrootVPN, and some people don’t. Given that, it might be difficult to decide if Froot are offering a good service.
In my opinion, though, these two opinions reflect the relative strengths and weaknesses of FrootVPN pretty well.
If you are looking for a cheap, fairly solid VPN for browsing, it’s a good option.
If you are going to be watching a lot of US Netflix through your VPN, there are better options out there.
There are a few great alternatives to FrootVPN:
NordVPN is one of the biggest and best VPNs around, and typically comes out near the top of VPN comparison reviews.
There are a couple of reasons for that, but all of them relate to the huge server network that Nord have built up over the past few years.
If you are looking for a VPN service that offers more reliable streaming than FrootVPN, then check out our review of NordVPN, and see if it is right for you.
IPVanish is another great alternative to FrootVPN. This VPN is certainly more simple than FrootVPN, and offers fewer extra features, but it does the basics extremely well.
IPVanish have taken a slightly different approach to other VPN providers, in seeking to give their customers the best speeds available.
This comes at the expense of added features, but has a number of other advantages:
Overall, if you want a basic VPN that just gets the job done, IPVanish is a good option. You can also check out our review of IPVanish if you are still unsure.
An alternative VPN for those of you in search of the ultimate in security is CyberGhost VPN.
CyberGhost uses the most secure encryption available at the moment, and so has become the number one choice for people looking to beef up their cyber security.
This comes at the cost of speed, but then FrootVPN doesn’t perform particularly well in that regard either.
CyberGhost is a great alternative for those who want the best level of security available, and are willing to make a (slight) compromise when it comes to speed.
If that sounds like you, check out our review of CyberGhost to find out more.
A good VPN should provide you with powerful encryption, absolute anonymity, and a huge choice of servers to choose from.
FrootVPN provides all three of these things, though it doesn’t excel in any one of them.
That said, the sheer length of time that FrootVPN has been around, and the number of loyal customers they have built up in that time, proves that their service remains a good one.
If you are looking for a VPN to stream Netflix, there are other options that might be a better fit.
If, however, you are looking for a reliable, cost-effective VPN for browsing in Europe, then FrootVPN is a great choice.
You can check out FrootVPN by clicking here.