2019's Review of the VPNReactor
I tend to spend my time writing in public places. However, there’s a certain paranoia I feel using a public network. I know that there are people out there looking to snipe my personal data.
I was desperate for a solution to my anxiety. Had I known about this VPN a few months back, I may have been able to avoid hours of it.
With this VPNReactor review, I’ll give you the full scoop on the service, letting you know if it’s worth your time and money.
|Logging||It keeps connection logs for 5 days, then deletes them.|
|Locations & Servers||56 servers spread over 18 countries around the globe.|
|Simultaneous Connections||This service only allows 2 simultaneous connections.|
|Encryption||For free plans, VPNReactor uses PPTP for encryption. They offer paid plans that offer multiple protocols, from OpenVPN and IKEv2 to their exclusive StealthVPN.|
|Torrent and P2P allowed||It supports the use of P2P and torrenting, but its use is highly discouraged due to privacy issues.|
|Speed||Speeds are average, if not a bit on the slow side.|
|Usability||It uses a dated aesthetic but makes up for it by providing a simple layout and easy access to settings.|
|Live Chat||No live chat. Support is only offered through tickets and email.|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone/iPad, Linux, Xbox, Playstation, Smart TVs, and certain routers.|
|Price:||While offering a (limited) free plan, ReactorVPN opts for 3, relatively expensive paid plans, ranging from $7.99 a month to $17.99 a month.|
|Better alternative:||Find it here|
Established in 2010, this VPN offers a way for you to anonymize your presence on the Internet, whether it’s hackers on your coffee shop’s network or your pesky ISP monitoring your every click.
In addition to anonymity, they encrypt your data using 8 different protocols that you can disable/enable at will. If you think that your devices aren’t secure enough at home or on a public network, they also offer a way to alleviate those fears.
If you often find yourself on public networks or perform sensitive business on your devices, this VPN may be worth considering. However, pricing may deter you, with them opting for more pricey plans.
Features and Benefits of VPNReactor
Their website presents a clean, if not a bit simple, layout. The page displays important information about the program, such as server locations and offered protocols.
To get more in-depth information about the VPN, there is a FAQ page under the Support tab. Perhaps the most important information found there is the detailing of how the connection is established.
VPNReactor uses three forms of SSL encryption: 128-bit, 160-bit, and 256-bit.
The support for multiple SSL encryption techniques ensures that your connection is secure no matter where you’re connecting to and from. These SSL techniques also allow access to geo-blocked content.
My only gripe with their website is how they’ve programmed their tabs.
On the top of the page are your typical tabs that take you to the Support page, login page, etc.
However, instead of simply taking you to the page in the same tab, the website loads up a brand new tab. It’s not a big deal, but it is something that caught me by surprise.
When it comes to the program itself, VPNReactor decided to dial their aesthetic down a bit.
Instead of a nice, clean layout, the program gives a dated feel.
This isn’t necessarily bad, as while an eyesore, all my options were conveniently placed.
If you can get past the dated aesthetic, the program is easy-to-use, intuitive, and is light on your computer’s resources.
ReactorVPN claims to delete all your activity logs, but only after a certain period of time has passed.
A quick glance on their “Security FAQs” page tells you that ReactorVPN doesn’t keep any of your connection logs, but the keyword here is “keep”.
They do delete all your connection logs, but only after a 5-day waiting period.
This 5-day waiting period is due to VPNReactor being a U.S. company.
Due to data retention laws and the U.S. being a “Five Eyes” country, they must retain connection logs so the information is available for government officials if needed.
One area that VPNReactor stands above other mid-range VPN services is encryption. While other VPN services may offer a few options for encryption, this VPN goes all out, offering 8 protocols:
You have to use PPTP for the initial connection but can change the protocol once connected.
While their list of protocols is impressive, the Free and Basic plans only offer PPTP. Want the rest? You’ll have to pay for the Max or Pro plan, which seems to be a price-gouging move on their part.
A Global Phenomenon
When the company first started, they only operated servers in the U.S. As the company has grown, they’ve implemented servers in 18 countries, expanding their arsenal of servers to 56.
The majority of servers are in the U.S, with Europe holding second place. After these two, there are a few servers in Asia and one in Australia.
Unfortunately, its $7.99/mo Basic plan will only grant you access to their U.S. servers. If you need access to their global servers, you’ll have to pay for the Max or Pro plan.
If you opt for their Pro plan, you will gain the ability to have a dedicated IP.
If you think you’ll need a dedicated IP, then the only option is shelling out $17.99/mo. If not, then the Max plan will be good enough for server access.
An Average Feat
Speed is not this VPN’s defining factor. While ok, you can find faster VPNs within the same price range.
|Speed before using VPNReactor||24 ms||171.2 Mbps||22.56 Mbps|
|Connected to New York, US server||66 ms||89.10 Mbps (-48%)||19.70 Mbps (-13%)|
|Connected to Tokyo server||325 ms||117.5 Mbps (-31%)||4.20 Mbps (-81%)|
|Connected to Germany server||72 ms||55.20 Mbps (-68%)||7.60 Mbps (-66%)|
As you can tell by the chart, both upload and download speeds take a massive hit.
While the loss of speed remains typical with a VPN, it only offers average speeds with their servers when compared to other VPN services.
Does It Support Torrenting/P2P?
Yes. There is one caveat, though. While VPNreactor is able to torrent media, there have been reports of users getting in trouble for torrenting copyrighted material.
Torrent at your own risk. They promise complete privacy but forgoes it when it comes to legally-questionable use, but illegal actions taken under their VPN has the possibility of being reported to your ISP/law enforcement.
Servers available for torrenting remain limited as well, only having a 3-country coverage.
How About Netflix? Streaming?
I’m happy to report that this service can access Netflix and other streaming services. If all you need is a way to access region-blocked content on Netflix, this VPN may be your ideal service.
However, the service is ineffective at bypassing China’s restrictions on the Netflix website. If you’re in China, I recommend looking elsewhere for your streaming needs.
When it comes to various other streaming services such as Spotify or Hulu, the VPN passes with flying colors. Again, it’s a bit slow, but it works.
Support for SmartDNS
SmartDNS is a valuable option to have, and unfortunately, this VPN doesn’t come bundled with it. The addition of SmartDNS would help justify the high price of their plans, but it doesn’t seem ready to take that step.
While not a huge loss, it’s disappointing that $17.99/mo won’t get you SmartDNS. The $17.99/mo plan seems to be mostly useless as a whole unless you really need the dedicated IP.
This is where this VPN shines. It supports everything.
I mean it!
As of writing, it supports:
Despite this incredible list, it’s a shame that the service only supports up to 2 simultaneous connections.
And even though it offers 2 simultaneous connections, you can’t have two computers connected at once. Only one computer and one phone and vice versa.
Their Customer Support
Perhaps the service’s weakest link. In an age where companies are offering live chat services and support through social media, they have left themselves with a dated support system.
The only way to request support is through email or a support ticket, though support tickets will inevitably lead back into an email. With no live chat option or even a phone call option, their support is incredibly lacking.
Alternatives to VPNReactor
The VPN industry contains many different VPN services, all claiming to do one thing better than the other. Because of this, it’s important that you know how certain VPNs compare with one another.
Choosing which VPNs to compare against it was difficult, but I was able to narrow down the competition to three VPNs:
How does VPNReacto compare to these other services?
Does it have the legs to stand up to them?
First off, we have NordVPN. With over 5,700 servers located across 60 countries, NordVPN is nothing to sneeze at.
NordVPN comes out on top when it comes to torrenting, offering a fast and secure connection to torrent, unlike VPNReactor.
However, NordVPN doesn’t offer the roster of encryption protocols that VPNReactor does. If you care about having more options when it comes to encryption, it might be for you.
On the other hand, you may want to do some torrenting.
In that case, take a look at NordVPN and see if it fits your needs.
ExpressVPN is up next, and there is no contest between these two when it comes to speed.
With 3,000 servers across 94 countries, their global reach is also outstanding.
They also offer multiple other features, such as a password generator, an IP leak test, and a DNS leak test.
However, VPNReactor still reigns when it comes to protocol selection, but just barely. The simple layout of their program also works to their benefit, making settings more obvious to the user than ExpressVPN.
The good news is that both support torrenting, though ExpressVPN works in China, unlike it’s competition.
If the limit of 2 simultaneous connections bothers you, IPVanish may be the VPN for you, allowing up to 10 simultaneous connections.
Customer support is on the level of VPNReactor, with email being the only option.
When it comes to layout, IPVanish and VPNReactor trade blows, as both offer a user-friendly interface.
Conclusion: Is VPNReactor Worth it?
Among the competition, I only see it being worth it if you may need more control over your encryption. Otherwise, you may want to go elsewhere for a VPN service.
The features of VPNReactor don’t match the asking price, their range of servers is small compared to other VPN services, and the speeds leave a lot to be desired.
Click here to check out my recommendation, NordVPN.
For the price, you get a clean interface, fast speeds and an ala carte of servers.