2019's Review of the VPN.ht Service Provider
Back in 2012, I received my first and last DMCA notice after downloading a movie from KAT. While I was lucky to escape without any consequences, I’m now paranoid about facing legal action over torrenting.
I quickly learned that the internet wasn’t as private or as safe as I thought. Now, whenever I get online, I always make sure to use a VPN like VPN.ht.
In this VPN.ht review, I’ll take an in-depth look at the service and provide you with all you need to know.
|Locations & Servers||126 servers in 24 countries|
|Encryption||64 Bit Blowfish, 128 Bit AES, 256 Bit AES|
|Torrent and P2P allowed||Yes|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, Routers|
|Payment options||PayPal, Bitcoin, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Mobiamo, and many others|
|Price:||Monthly: $4.99 ($1.00/first month) Yearly: $39.99|
Things to Consider Before Buying a VPN
The internet is littered with all manner of safety and privacy risks.
That’s why it’s essential to evaluate and select your VPN service provider carefully.
Below are some of the key aspects you should look into before buying into a VPN.
How Fast is the VPN?
Generally, a VPN will slow down your internet connection as a result of the encryptions applied.
However, the rate at which they do so varies from one provider to the next.
The best VPNs can ensure a subtle change in speed and allow you to stream media in high definition.
For the best performance, look for a VPN that has servers near you and one that offers different configurations for different purposes.
Servers in Your Preferred Locations
While a vast server list doesn’t always translate to better performance, you will want a VPN that has servers in different locations across the globe.
Remember, if you want to access media available in the Netherlands only, you will need a VPN that has servers in the country.
Connecting to a VPN server in your home region will also enable you to view local search results and keep up with the news and events in your country.
Security Encryption and Protocols
VPNs work by encrypting your internet traffic, and the strength of that encryption determines how secure your data is.
128 bit AES and 256 bit AES are the primary encryption standards used today with the latter being the safest and most robust.
However, AES 128 bit has its benefits too as it’s faster and hence, more suitable for streaming and other less sensitive uses.
VPNs providers are subject to the laws of the countries in which they are based.
To total privacy, I suggest VPNs that are located outside the ‘Fourteen Eyes’ sphere of influence.
While you may not think about it, some VPNs sell your user data to third parties to boost revenues, and you don’t want to be a part of that.
Is the VPN User-Friendly?
A good VPN should be easy to set up and use.
If you are a beginner, it’s better to opt for a VPN that has ready-to-use VPN apps for all your devices.
Look for Good Customer Support
Slow customer support can be frustrating.
Luckily, the best VPN service providers have reliable customer service and expert technical teams that swiftly respond to queries and fix issues as they occur.
VPN.ht is an excellent VPN that was originally developed for Popcorn Time.
For those not in the know, Popcorn Time was an app that allowed users to watch torrented movies, but with an easy-to-use interface.
The service is safe and secure and offers an easy to use solution for overcoming geographical restrictions and allowing users to enjoy virtually any content on the internet.
VPN.ht is based in Hong Kong, which means they enjoy some of the best privacy laws anywhere. They are not required to provide any data to the government, and in any case, they maintain a strict ‘no logging’ policy.
This VPN delivers respectable speeds and is ideal for streaming. When it comes to data security, VPN.ht provides a choice of encryption standards allowing you to choose the option that is best suitable to your needs and preferences.
At $4.99 per month, VPN.ht is one of the most affordable providers in the market.
The provider accepts a wide range of payment methods, including PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Bitcoin, for the more privacy-focused users.
All subscription plans here feature 100% Money-Back Guarantee for your first 30 days of service.
Features and Benefits of VPN.ht
Security and Privacy
VPN.ht has a beautiful website that is easy to navigate.
The site itself is encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), ensuring all customer information is protected. This protects you should you, keeping your data out of the hands of thieves.
In regard to their VPN software, the provider offers different encryption standards allowing you to pick the best option depending on your usage.
With the service, you can hide your online activity with 64-bit Blowfish, 128-bit AES, or 256-bit AES encryption.
These different configurations make VPN.ht an ideal choice for a wide range of applications.
For instance, 64-bit Blowfish encryption delivers the best speed ratings allowing you to stream media in HD and even 4K if your baseline speeds allow. It’s actually one of the reasons why VPN.ht worked so well with Popcorn Time.
More sensitive applications like banking are, however, better done with the military-grade AES 256-bit algorithm.
The VPN protocols supported include OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec. They also offer DNS leak protection on Windows, Mac, and Linux clients.
Great for Online Anonymity: They Do Not Keep Logs
VPN.ht operates out of Hong Kong, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, and they do not log or share any information with anyone.
The company impressively demonstrated that when they were included in the resulting lawsuit after Popcorn Time was shut down by the MPAA.
Servers and Locations
Do They Offer Dedicated IPs?
This is one area where VPN.ht disappoints.
Although the VPN service provider has a huge list of Shared IPs, they do not offer any Dedicated IPs.
While good for online anonymity, Shared IPs are easily detected and blocked by streaming services.
Finally, a Budget VPN that Supports SmartDNS
Who doesn’t like a free SmartDNS service?
VPN.ht includes a SmartDNS on all their VPN subscriptions. In fact, it’s one of the few providers that do so with the rest being on the premium spectrum.
With a Smart DNS, you can access restricted media without necessarily having to use the VPN. The technology does not use any encryption and is as such, faster and more ideal for video streaming.
Speed and Performance
VPN.ht offers fast and stable connections. I tested a few of their servers using a 180 Mbps internet connection from Europe.
The Hong Kong and US VPN servers performed rather respectably and posted a less than 50% reduction in speed. After connecting to the Australian server, the speed dropped by a whopping 78%.
Overall, I cannot say I was impressed by the speed, and therefore, VPN.ht misses out on the list of fastest VN services. Their SmartDNS connection did, however, provide a silver lining.
|Speed before using VPN.ht||25 ms||179.62 Mbps||18.81 Mbps|
|Connected to US server||49 ms||94.2 Mbps (-47.6%)||12.2 Mbps (-35.1%)|
|Connected to Hong Kong server||72 ms||102.91 Mbps (-42.7%)||12.05 Mbps (-35.9%)|
|Connected to Australia server||222 ms||38.04 Mbps (-78%)||8.52 Mbps (-54.7%)|
Torrents/P2P: Yes, But There Are Better Options
VPN.ht is one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
VPN.ht allows P2P traffic on all their servers and does not impose any data caps.
And thanks to their service’s excellent security and privacy features, you won’t have to worry about the authorities breathing down your neck.
Works Reliably with Netflix
VPN.ht works reliably with Netflix, Hulu, and a host of other streaming services.
The provider has multiple servers in the US, and I was able to connect to US Netflix without any issues.
If by any chance you are unable to connect to the service, switch to a different server and try again.
Ease of Use and Compatible Platforms
VPN.ht’s compatibility is impressive.
The VPN service supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, and routers. However, the provider offers native apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android only.
The apps are stable and easy to use with the possible exception of the desktop client, which is still in the beta phase. To use the VPN on the rest of the supported devices, you’ll need to configure the VPN manually.
Basic Customer Support
VPN.ht offers basic customer support. They lack a Live Chat feature, and you can only contact them via their email-supported ticketing system.
Aside from email support, VPN.HT also has a Knowledgebase page that includes a FAQ section, setup guides, and informative articles.
What Other Users Are Saying About VPN.ht
A good number of VPN.ht users joined the service during the good old days of Popcorn Time.
Looking on the user comments on the internet, you will see most have stuck with the VPN service since. Comments from new users were also positive, which should tell you a lot about VPN.ht.
Alternatives to VPN.ht
The Best VPN for Netflix: NordVPN
NordVPN is an excellent alternative to VPN.ht.
The VPN is based in Panama and offers one of the largest VPN server networks with over 5,781 servers in 60 countries. This makes NordVPN a great solution for bypassing content restrictions.
If you are streaming fan, you will also be thrilled by the provider’s unique SmartPlay feature which allows access to streaming sites with a single click. And that’s not all. NordVPN also comes with Dedicated IPs and a SmartDNS feature.
Despite having incredible streaming features, NordVPN shines brighter when it comes to privacy and security. The VPN is equipped with the secure AES 256-bit encryption and uses the two best VPN protocols available – OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Additionally, they offer specialty servers like Onion over VPN and Double VPN, a privacy solution that sends your internet traffic through two servers, encrypting it twice. The VPN also features an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and CyberSec, an ad and malware blocking tool.
NordVPN covers up to six devices simultaneously, and they offer native apps for Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android TV, and Linux. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Best High-Speed VPN: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a fantastic VPN that provides ultra-fast speeds.
The British Virgin Island provider has 3,000-plus servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. Whether you are located in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, or the Americas, you will find a server near you.
Similarly to NordVPN and VPN.ht, ExpressVPN works well with Netflix, but it’s faster connections set it apart. When multitasking, their Split Tunneling feature allows you to improve performance by routing some of your traffic outside the VPN.
ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption with OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec. The VPN connections are further protected with an automatic kill switch and DNS/WebRTC leak protection. ExpressVPN is located outside the ’14 Eyes’ alliance, and they keep neither connection nor activity logs.
At $12.95 per month, ExpressVPN does not come on the cheap, but you can save up to 35% with a long-term subscription. They offer a 30-day money guarantee, and a single license supports five simultaneous connections.
Best for Torrenting: PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN is another VPN.ht alternative worth checking out.
The provider is reliable and offers servers in 60 countries across the world. The VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption with OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, and IKEv2. Extra security features include IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and Port Forwarding, which is perfect for torrenting.
Although PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, ’14 Eyes’ country, the provider does not store or share user data. Also, they accept Bitcoin, and you don’t have to submit any personally identifiable information during sign up.
PrivateVPN supports multiple OS platforms and has native apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. With the service you can connect up to 6 different devices simultaneously, all to unique IP addresses
At $7.67, PrivateVPN is competitively priced, and all their subscriptions are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VPN.ht is a great VPN service that delivers a respectable service.
The VPNs boasts excellent geo-unblocking capabilities and is ideal for streaming fans looking to access Netflix and other streaming services.
VPN.ht is also quite secure thanks to its military-grade encryption and best-in-class protocols. Their VPN speed is, however, fairly standard and may be an issue if your internet bandwidth isn’t high enough.