VPNBook Review 2021
VPNBook is a freemium service that offers a dedicated IP feature at an expensive $7.95/mo price. It only offers 11 servers in 6 countries, some of which support torrenting but none unblock Netflix. The service has earned 2.0 stars rating overall.
Is VPNBook really a free service?
Yes, VPNBook is one free VPN that is packed with some fantastic features and amazing performance. While it offers limited servers and does not offer any dedicated applications for devices, it is still known to offer decent speeds and the ability to unblock geo-restricted video streaming services.
This VPN is a Switzerland-based free VPN provider. It has 8 VPN servers located in the US, Germany, France, Canada, and Poland. In addition, it has 2 proxy servers in the UK and US each and an “Outline VPN” (which is basically Shadowsocks) server in Canada.
VPNBook does not have dedicated apps for any platform but supports all devices that can run OpenVPN. As such, you get a no-frills service with no extra features such as Kill Switch to keep you protected from accidental leaks of your information.
For security, the provider uses AES-256 encryption but has a less-than-ideal logging policy, as it stores IP address of users and connection timestamps. Speed is another factor where the provider performs poorly.
Although it is still pretty good for a free service, that’s because the standard of free VPNs is quite low. Therefore, in this VPNBook 2021 review, I rate it 2.0/5.0.
My Rating Criteria
For this review, the following criteria were taken into consideration:
- Jurisdiction – Where is VPNBook located?
- Security – Is VPNBook safe?
- Leaks – IP, DNS & WebRTC Leak Tests
- Servers – Is VPNBook P2P Compatible?
- Speed – Not on the Higher Side
- Streaming – Does VPNBook support Netflix?
- Compatibility – Supports Different Platforms & Devices
- Pricing – How much is VPNBook?
- Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit Reviews & Support
Jurisdiction – Where is VPNBook located?
VPNBook hails from a safe jurisdiction i.e. Switzerland. The country is not a part of 14 eyes alliance nor it follows mandatory users’ data retention rules as well. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about as far as government surveillance is concerned, since VPNBook is located in a country with safe jurisdiction.
Security – Is VPNBook safe?
VPNBook is safe because it uses good encryption standards. The provider offers PPTP and OpenVPN protocol that uses 256-bit military-grade encryption by default. The provider claims to use AES-256 encryption:
In the config files of the provider, I found that the provider truly does use AES-256 making it a great choice for users in countries with high surveillance. It is also one of the few VPNs that work in Bahrain and other Middle Eastern countries like UEA.
Does VPNBook keep logs?
VPNBook keeps logs to some extent, such as your IP and connection timestamps.
Although the provider is quite good as far as encryption is concerned, it does have a logging policy that raises some concerns. For instance, the provider clearly mentions that they store IP address addresses and connection timestamps:
Therefore, VPNBook is not the best option out there if you are looking for security and privacy in general. Nonetheless, it is still more reliable than many other free providers.
Leaks – IP, DNS & WebRTC Leak Tests
The service does not expose your actual whereabouts be it IP, DNS or WebRTC information online. To test the service, I used ipleak.org and connected it to the Canada server. Here are the results:
IP Leak Test:
No IP leaks were detected when connected to this server.
DNS Leak Test:
The service passed the DNS leak test comfortably.
WebRTC Leak Test:
Similarly, it also found innocent of any WebRTC leaks.
Server – Is VPNBook P2P compatible?
As a free online software that runs on advertisements and donations, VPNBook only has 11 servers in total located in the following countries:
VPNBook also offers paid dedicated servers as a paid option in three regions: Canada, US East, and US West. In addition to VPN servers, there’s a VPNBook free web proxy. There are four proxy servers within the UK, US, France, and Canada that can be accessed through the web. Keep in mind that these servers will only change your IP address but do not offer the same level of security that the VPN protocols do.
Can you use VPNBook for torrenting?
You can download torrents with VPNBook on its Poland and Germany servers, but p2p activity is restricted on other servers. We recommend you don’t use VPNBook for torrenting due to the below reasons:
- VPNBook’s speeds are very slow.
- VPNBook logs personal information which includes your actual IP address, this can easily match you to your P2P activities.
- Absence of Internet Kill Switch and DNS leak protection puts your privacy at risk.
Does VPNBook work in China?
VPNBook doesn’t work in China. There are no nearby servers to China within VPNBook’s network, nor does it use any obfuscation features to fool sophisticated Chinese firewalls. Nonetheless, it does offer VPN Outline which runs on the Shadowsocks proxy, though it isn’t effective in China as per our research.
Speed – Not on the Higher Side
In terms of speed, VPNBook may disappoint you big time. I used 30 Mbps internet connection while conducting the speed test.
This is the speed result on its French server:
The US server delivered almost the same speeds:
As such, VPNBook is not a fast service at all.
Streaming – Does VPNBook support Netflix?
Sadly, VPNBook is not compatible with Netflix. Even though the provider claims that it works with Netflix, I got the familiar proxy error when trying to access Netflix with VPNBook enabled:
Other Streaming Services
Trying the VPNBook on other platforms such as BBC iPlayer and Hulu also led to the same results i.e. the VPN was easily detected by these websites and I was denied access to every streaming platform that I tried.
Therefore, VPNBook cannot be used for unblocking streaming websites.
Compatibility – Supports Different Platforms & Devices
This VPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, & iOS. However, it does not have dedicated clients for any of these platforms.
This means you will have to use third-party apps such as OpenVPN GUI and OpenVPN Connect to access VPNBook on Windows and smartphones respectively.
VPNBook for Windows
To get this VPN on Windows, download VPNBook config files for OpenVPN mentioned below:
Once downloaded, you will have to extract the contents of the RAR file in this location: C:\Users \[your username]\ OpenVPN \Config (you will of course need OpenVPN GUI installed on your machine to be able to do this).
After extracting the files to this location, you will be able to connect to VPNBook servers from the taskbar.
VPNBook for macOS
You can get VPNBook for macOS through TunnelBlick, where you can add the necessary config files in much the same as Windows. The performance of VPNBook on macOS is the same as that in Windows with slow speeds and same levels of encryption.
VPNBook for Android
VPNBook Android setup requires you to download the OpenVPN Connect app. This will allow you to import the OpenVPN config files:
VPNBook for iOS
For iOS, the VPNBook setup process is much the same as in the case of Android.
You can find setup tutorials for all platforms here.
Pricing – How much is VPNBook?
VPNBook offers its services absolutely free. However, you will need to pay for attaining dedicated IP VPN subscription.
The service exclusively offers dedicated IP VPN feature that you can avail after paying $7.95 on a monthly basis.
Likewise, the dedicated VPN feature is embedded with different benefits like 500 GB+ dedicated bandwidth and 5 simultaneous connections. You can also check out the IPVanish review as it offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
In case you have opted for dedicated VPN service, you will have to use different online payment methods to pay your monthly dues.
Here are those payment plans:
- American Express
As already described, most of this service is free. Hence, there is no need for a money-back guarantee for that instance.
However, the service offers 30 days money-back guarantee benefit to the users those who opt premium dedicated IP VPN service.
VPNBook offers a free web proxy on its site. The 256-bit SSL-encrypted allows users to bypass government censorship.
It does that by hiding your actual IP address and providing you with an alternative one. The proxy servers are from the US, UK, and Canada.
Netizens can use this tool to unblock sites like YouTube and Facebook.
Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Rating, Reddit Reviews & Support
I researched VPNBook on Trustpilot and Reddit to see what the people have to say about this VPN:
However, VPNBook has no presence on Trustpilot. This shows that the provider isn’t as well-known because most companies that are recognized widely enough are available on Trustpilot.
VPNBook Reddit Review
VPNBook has a shady reputation and has been accused by some Redditors of being a “honeypot“.
While nothing conclusive is available to test the veracity of these claims, the thread does consist of some interesting points made against VPNBook.
I’d suggest users to stay away from this service if privacy is what you’re aiming to obtain from this VPN.
The provider has no dedicated customer support. They only deliver one option by the name of “Contact Us” to their users.
Through the ‘contact us’ page, you can directly send your queries through an email ticketing system. Otherwise, this section is pretty empty, containing only three FAQs with short answers.
The provider’s email is [email protected].
Comparison between ExpressVPN & VPNBook
I have mentioned the attributes of both these VPNs to help you decide about your online privacy in the right way.
|Servers||3000+ in 94 Countries||11 in 6 Countries|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, macOS, Android,|
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands||Switzerland|
|Logging Policy||Zero Logs||Keep Logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||Email & Tutorials|
If you did not find VPNBook enticing, there are various other options on the net. The following are some VPNs that can serve as a good alternative to VPNBook.
- Surfshark VPN
- Windscribe VPN
- Ivacy VPN
- Buffered VPN
- Astrill VPN
Do I Recommend VPNBook?
No, I don’t recommend VPNBook. The review hereby conducted has found that the service has a small server network, keeps your logs, no support for Netflix and other popular streaming platforms, and awful speeds.
Based on the above VPNBook review, I would assign 2.0/5.0 stars rating overall.
If you want to check out other VPNs, see our VPN reviews 2021 guide that includes 160+ reviews.