RA4W VPN Review (2020)
Ra4W VPN is one of the most exciting VPNs today.
The service focuses on two things: anonymity and affordability.
But while the VPN does have some useful features, it also comes with a few drawbacks.
In this Ra4W VPN Review, I will be covering everything related to the speed, safety, and overall usability of the service.
|Logging||Zero logs policy|
|Locations & Servers||63 servers in 23 countries|
|Encryption||AES 256-bit encryption|
|Torrent and P2P allowed||Limited|
|Live Chat||No Live Chat support|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Routers ((DD-WRT, Tomato, AsusWRT)|
|Price:||Monthly: $4.99 /Mo. |
1-year: $2.91 /Mo.
2-year: $2.08 /Mo.
|Better alternative:||Find it here|
But First, What Should You Look at When getting a VPN
VPNs have many benefits. They protect your privacy when online, obfuscate your communications as well as allow you to view restricted content.
But you have to look for a provider that meets your needs.
The VPN Encryption and Protocols
The more robust your VPN encryption, the more secure your data will be.
I recommend getting a VPN that offers 256-bit AES as one of its ciphers.
There are also newer protocols like 64-bit Blowfish and ChaCha20, each with their own benefits.
In regards to the VPN protocols, OpenVPN and IKEv2 remain the best.
The protocols strike a great balance between speed and security and are great for both streaming and privacy-focused users.
You want to consider a VPN that does not log any personal data.
Usage logs can expose your internet activities and for torrent users, open you to legal liability as well. I’ve seen many providers claim to have a ‘no logging’ policy only to find the opposite is true.
As with most things these days, always make sure you go through the fine print.
VPNs will improve your online security, but they will also chip away at your speeds.
Generally, this is mainly due to the encryption, but the best VPNs are still able to deliver excellent performance.
Look for a VPN that offers different configurations for different uses.
Servers and Server Locations
When it comes to servers, the more, the merrier.
But you shouldn’t focus solely on the number of servers as the location of the servers is equally important.
To access content available in the Netherlands only, you will need a VPN that has Dutch servers.
Versatility and Ease of Use
It goes without saying that a VPN must be compatible with your device for you to use it. Even you should be on the lookout for multi-platform compatibility as well as support for simultaneous connections.
You never know, you may need another device down the road.
Again, you should ensure your VPN comes with native apps.
But if you know your way around VPNs, you can still opt for a less intuitive option requiring manual configuration.
Fast and reliable customer service is a telltale sign of a company that values its customers. I recommend a VPN that has Live Chat support and a well-maintained FAQ section.
Introducing Ra4W VPN
Ra4W is a US-based VPN service that promises secure connections and access to geo-blocked content. It’s affordable and a great option if you are on a budget.
Founded in 2013, Ra4W is owned and operated by Ra4W LLC, and they do not keep any activity logs. The VPN operates 60 servers in 24 countries, which pales in comparison to the thousands of servers offered by the likes of NordVPN or even Surfshark.
As a security-focused guy, encryption is one of my top priorities, and Ra4W VPN does deliver to that end. They recently overhauled their service and now offer the robust AES 256-bit algorithm combined with the OpenVPN protocol.
At $4.99 per month, the service is well-priced and accepted payment methods include Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Bitcoin.
Ra4W Features and Benefits
Security and Privacy
Ra4W has a secure website complete with SSL encryption.
This is good because it ensures all your interactions and the information you provide are protected.
What About the Encryption?
Well, as already mentioned, all Ra4W server connections are safeguarded with 256-bit AES encryption. As for the protocols, they mainly offer OpenVPN.
No DNS Leak Protection
Although Ra4W VPN offers robust encryption, there is one major flaw I found – DNS leaks. Now, this should worry every privacy-minded as your ISP can see everything you search on the internet.
Zero-logging policy, 5-Eyes Jurisdiction
After all, no logs = no data.
Should the authorities come knocking, it would be difficult for them to collect anything meaningful. The provider only collects your email address, which is used for registration purposes only.
Every other information – your name, address, and internet activities included – remains hidden, even to Ra4W themselves.
Few Working Servers
Ra4W gives access to 63 servers in 23 countries across Europe, Africa, Oceania, North America, and the Asia Pacific.
However, at the time of testing, only 13 of those servers were online. But at the very least, they allow unlimited server switching.
They do not support SmartDNS or offer Dedicated IPs.
Slows Internet Speeds by Up To 88%
Unfortunately, the limited server network isn’t the only issue with this service.
As someone who likes their videos in HD, I found Ra4W’s connections to be quite abysmal.
I tested several servers and compared the speeds to my standard internet connection. The US posted the best results with a 57% reduction in speed.
That should tell you a lot about Ra4W VPN’s speeds, especially when you consider that the as today top providers offer connections that can reach over 90% of your benchmark speed.
While the US server speeds were somewhat acceptable, the EU speeds were some of the slowest I’ve seen. Overall, speeds dipped by up to 88%.
|Speed before using Ra4W VPN||28 ms||148.73 Mbps||48.68 Mbps|
|Connected to New York, US server||132 ms||63.32 Mbps (-57.43%)||15.97 Mbps (-67.19%)|
|Connected to London, UK server||56 ms||27 Mbps (-81.78%)||11.02 Mbps (-77.37%)|
Allows Torrenting but There Are Better Options
Although Ra4W VPN does support torrents, but only on specific servers.
They strictly disallow the traffic on almost all their server locations with the only exceptions being Russia and Romania.
With this in mind, and taking into account their slow EU speeds, I would way there are better options available, including NordVPN.
Doesn’t Work with Netflix
Netflix is a hard nut to crack. The streaming service employs a string of security measures to block VPN IPs and prevent users from accessing any content other than that which is made available in their location.
A few VPNs are still able to provide access to the streaming service from anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, Ra4W isn’t one of them, and neither do they claim to be.
Native App for Windows Only
Ra4W provides a ready-to-use to Windows users only.
They have also indicated they will be releasing the iOS app soon. Other than that, it is built to be used with third-party and open-source applications.
You will find configuration files for all the primary devices, including routers.
If you want native apps for Mac, Android, iOS, or even Linux, this may be a drawback.
Responsive Email Support
When I noticed that Ra4W did offer a Live Chat, I was a bit skeptical about the reliability of their customer service. But as they say, never judge a book by its cover.
Ra4W’s email support is quick and easily one of the most responsive around.
I send them two queries at separate times, and both times, I got a response with 5 minutes.
Now when it comes to customer support, that’s super fast!
Plans and Refund Policy
Ra4W VPN has some incredible prices. Their monthly plan costs $4.99, which is way below the industry average of $6-7.
But where things get really exciting, is with their 1-year and 2-year plans, which are available at just $2.91/mo and $2.08/mo respectively.
So far so good but what about a money-back guarantee?
Well, it doesn’t exist.
You will only get a refund in case of a non-delivery, major defects or if the service is not as described.
Alternatives to Ra4W VPN
NordVPN – The Best All-Around VPN
NordVPN is an excellent VPN service that offers superb speeds and equally impressive security and privacy features. They offer over 5,600 servers in 60 countries, making it for everyone to find a server near their location.
Like Ra4W, NordVPN primarily uses 256-bit AES encryption with the secure OpenVPN protocol. Additionally, they also support IKEv2/IPsec, which is faster and more ideal for streaming.
NordVPN solves the DNS leak flaw Ra4W VPN possesses.
Their DNS leak protection is robust, and they also include a kill switch, which ensures your IP is not exposed in case a dropped connection.
The provider is located in Panama, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, and they do not keep any logs. Extra security features include perfect forward secrecy and CyberSec, which automatically blocks ads and malware.
NordVPN works perfectly well with Netflix, and their SmartPlay feature, allows you to access the streaming site with a single click.
You can use the VPN on virtually all your devices. Apps are sleek and intuitive and available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Android TV, and Linux.
The VPN supports 6 simultaneous connections.
Well, they also support routers allowing you to cover every device connected to your home Wi-Fi.
SurfShark VPN: Great for Streaming
Another fantastic alternative for Ra4W VPN that offers fast and secure connections.
Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands, a country that sits well outside the 14-Eyes surveillance alliance. They neither keep connection nor activity logs.
Surfshark gives access to 800-plus in over 50 countries, of which some support Dedicated IPs and SmartDNS. About speed, the title says it all. Server connections are fast, and you can stream movies and TV shows in high definition.
In regards to security, Surfshark doesn’t disappoint either.
Just like NordVPN and Ra4W VPN, they support both AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN.
Surfshark supports a wide range of devices and similarly to Ra4W VPN allows you to connect as many as you need.
VPN Baron: The Best Economical VPN
If you are looking for a fast VPN at a more affordable rate, then VPNBaron might be your ideal Ra4W alternative. The VPN provides speedy connections and boasts a 99% guaranteed uptime.
All their connections are encrypted using AES 256-bit algorithm, and their tunneling protocols include OpenVPN and IKEv2. They also offer an automatic kill switch for Mac and Windows.
VPNBaron’s server coverage is limited, with them having servers in 12 countries. But that’s not the main issue with this VPN. The provider admits to keeping logs and personal information, and as such, you should use the VPN for less-sensitive tasks like streaming.
VPNBaron supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers.
However, the provider offers dedicated apps for Windows and Mac only.
If you need more information about this service provider, please go to the more in-depth VPNBaron review page.
Depending on your plan, you can connect from 2 to 5 devices simultaneously.
Ra4W VPN has a definite appeal when it comes to pricing.
But remember price is what you pay, value is what you get. And in terms of value, I wouldn’t recommend it.
While the service does come with secure encryption and strict logging policy, I found their lack of adequate DNS leak protection quite disconcerting.
Again, I wasn’t impressed with the performance nor their device compatibility.
I think you should stick with a trustworthy service such as NordVPN.