VPN Gate is a freemium privacy solution and a subsidiary of SoftEtherVPN that was introduced in Japan. The VPN service was initially launched as a research project of University of Tsukuba, Japan.
Eventually, VPN Gate gained massive popularity among netizens as the service kept on adding more encryption protocols and privacy features. Interestingly, VPN Gate works with randomly distributed voluntarily-run VPN servers that work under decentralized control.
Furthermore, I will analyze VPNGate’s potential as one of best VPN for the users.
Here’s a quick look into pros and drawbacks of VPN Gate below.
- Free of Cost Service
- Global Server Spread
- Protection against DNS Leaks and WebRTC Leaks
- No Data Caps
- No Bandwidth Caps
- Offers a wide range of Encryption Protocols (SSL, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, MS-SSTP)
- Lack of Customer Support Channels
- Doubtful Logging Policy
- No Additional Features
- No Dedicated Clients
What is SoftEther?
SoftEther is an open source and free alternative VPN platform. This platform is based on HHTPS and hence, uses TCP port 443 with SSL/TLS encryption. For this reason, SoftEther is also called as SSL-VPN.
Since its traffic is barely distinguishable from the regular HTTPs traffic, it is hard for any firewall to block it. This is the reason why sometimes SoftEther succeeds in circumventing blocks that seem virtually impenetrable.
Despite being its own protocol, SoftEther also works with OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, MS-SSTP, EtherIP and L2TPv3.
This tool is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris and FreeBSD. You can also use L2TP and other protocols to use SoftEther on Android and iOS.
VPN Gate Review – Free VPN Service
VPN Gate 2018 is 100% free and it will remain that way. In fact, the individuals behind this tool have made it clear that there will never be a paid version of this service.
As I mentioned before, this VPN is completely run by volunteer who do not intend to turn profit through this service. Of course, this also means that the VPN will not be around forever. The volunteers behind VPN Gate intend on pulling the plug on this service in eight years or so.
Hence, privacy seekers should make use of this service while it lasts.
Interestingly, you will find the logging policy of the VPN Gate on the server list page. Here, the providers make it clear that they keep logs for two weeks.
Other than that, VPN Gate also maintains a strict anti-abuse policy. For that purpose, it records connection logs that include:
- Time and date
- IP address, ID and VPN server’s destination hostname
- Type of action (disconnect and connect)
- Choice of VPN protocol (L2TP, SSL-VPN, SSTP or OpenVPN)
- Hostname and Original IP address of the source VPN client computer
- VPN Client software-name, id and version
- Debug data of communication errors and number of bytes and packets during the VPN connection
All this information ends up on the university’s logging server through all of VPN Gate servers.
Since, VPN Gate keeps all this information; it will be unwise for anyone seeking online privacy to opt for this VPN. Instead, you are better off checking out these no logs VPN service.
Protocols & Encryption
Encryption tunneling protocols play a vital role when choosing a VPN provider. Hence, in this VPNGate review, you will be glad to learn that this VPN offers plenty of protocol options.
As VPN Gate servers are run by worldwide volunteers, each server can support different protocols including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec or SSL-VPN. However, I didn’t find PPTP protocol, which is not a big issue since PPTP is an obsolete technology anyway.
VPN Gate has an interesting mechanism for tunneling protocols and encryption. Here, is how it works:
Server operators of VPN Gate have the freedom to choose which encryption they would like to use on their server. They can use anything up to the 256-bit military grade encryption.
Therefore, you are never too sure which encryption level is being used until you test the VPN yourself. It varies on server to server.
A responsive customer support system and a wide range of support channels are what users consider before choosing a VPN service. VPN Gate in this case doesn’t compete with premium VPN providers.
While examining customer service for this VPNGate review, I wasn’t able to find any 24/7 live chat or helpline for timely customer support. But, as a free VPN service, VPN Gate offers a detailed discussion forum where users can find basic information about VPN Gate.
VPN Gate also maintains step-by-step guides on how to set up the VPN on different platforms. The site identifies your respective OS and based on that, recommends you the most suitable solution.
Being a free VPN provider, VPN Gate does not really boast an exceptional customer support. Or an even average support for that matter.
Efficient customer support operation requires strong investment. Hence, it is no surprise that VPN Gate lags behind in this department.
DNS and IP Leak Test
Sometimes, a VPN fails to perform its basic function. In that, it leaks your information inadvertently through DNS and IP leaks. All this happens while you think you’re secured with the VPN masking your actual IP address.
Believe me. You do not want this to happen. DNS and IP leaks kill the entire purpose of a VPN. And the worse thing is that you remain in dark about what is happening.
So, is VPNgate safe?
Thankfully, there were no DNS and IP leaks while I was connected to this VPN.
VPN Gate Review for Torrenting
The widely praised media sharing method Torrenting or P2P file sharing is popular among netizens around the world. However, torrenting has been declared illegal and faces a ban in majority of nations including the US, UK, India, Australia and more regions.
A VPN with L2TP/IPSec is considered as a safe and perfect solution to download torrents anonymously. Interestingly, VPN Gate 2018 offers L2TP/IPSec, but is not preferred for torrenting.
As VPN Gate servers are run voluntarily by worldwide users, your online activities might get shared with ISP or copyright trolls. Thus, in VPN Gate review, I suggest users to steer clear of VPN Gate especially for torrenting activities.
We all have the need for speed. Whether it’s getting a latte from Starbucks or downloading our favorite movie, we want things to happen fast.
That’s why, I have made speed tests a regular part of my VPN reviews. I use Ookla to test out the true worth of a VPN service.
So, without further ado, here how VPN Gate performed in my tests:
Normal connection Speed:
With VPN Gate Connected:
As you can observe, VPNGate isn’t exactly the fastest VPN service around. In particular, the VPN Gate download speed leaves a lot to be desired.
In short, this VPN gets you past geo-restrictions but slacks your speed to a notable degree.
VPN Gate Server List
VPN Gate offers a massive servers infrastructure consisting about 5788 public VPN relay servers that are distributed across prime regions of the world. The exact number of public VPN relay servers keeps on changing, but on average VPN Gate offers around 12 to 13 active servers in the US. VPN Gate servers are located across the New York, Florida, Texas and more cities.
In addition, VPN Gate’s servers are also dotted across the Ukraine, China, Georgia, UK, Germany, Canada, Poland, Japan, Philippines (Free VPNs for Philippines 2018), Brazil, Norway, India, Mexico and Thailand.
You can access complete list of VPN Gate servers here. After connecting to VPN Gate, users can freely access tons of geo-restricted sites and services including Hulu, Pandora and many more with VPN Gate.
VPN Gate Pricing & Plans
VPN Gate is free and it will remain that way throughout its existence. The individuals behind this brilliant venture have no plans on introducing paid plans.
This is something unusual as we have previously seen ‘free VPNs’ venture into paid pricing plans. However, it seems as if money is not the motivational factor for the good people in Tsukuba University.
A lot of you might be raising your eyebrows at the generosity of the provider. But still, it is hard to judge anyone’s intentions.
VPN Gate Compatibility across Different Platforms
VPN Gate is available on a range of platforms. Users can freely use the VPN on Windows, Android and iOS. However, will need to manually setup these VPNs on these devices.
Following are the platforms that on which you can use VPN Gate hassle-free:
VPN Gate on Windows
Windows users can use VPN Gate on their laptops and desktops to get protected against prowling hackers, snoopers, identity thieves, state-surveillance and more cyber threats.
In addition, unrestricted-accessibility is a valuable advantage of using VPN Gate on Windows, that allows you to unblock almost each and every website from anywhere in the world.
How to Use VPN Gate on Windows?
Now if you’re wondering about how to use VPN Gate on Windows, then I have created a simple guide in this VPN Gate review that would allow you to use VPN Gate on Windows seven:
- Go to Control Panel>Network and Internet>Network and Sharing Center, and tap on Set up a new connection or network
- Now, tap on Connect to a workplace>Use my internet connection (VPN)
- You will be presented with a configuration window. Enter IP address or host name of a VPN server (choose a desired server from servers list). Make sure to check enable “Don’t connect now; just set up so I can connect later” and proceed by clicking Next
- Next, type “VPN” in the user name and password field and check mark Remember this password. Then you will be presented with a window showing The connection is ready to use, click Close
- Now, go to Control Panel>Network and Sharing Center and tap on Change adapter settings
- Right-click on newly made VPN connection and tap on Properties
- In the Properties window, tap on Security tab. Click on dropdown menu list of Type of VPN, and select Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPsec (L2TP/IPSec). Then click on Advanced settings and enter “VPN” in Use preshared key for authentication field
- Finally double click on the newly made VPN connection, enter VPN on both username and password fields and hit connect. Upon successful connection, enjoy accessing thousands of geo-blocked sites and services including Fox Go, HBO Now, Hulu and many more with VPN Gate on windows
VPN Gate on iPhone
While conducting this VPN Gate review, I found no official in-house client for iPhone, iPad or other iOS devices. But, iOS users can easily setup VPN Gate on their device using a simple three-step configuration process mentioned below:
How to Use VPN Gate on iPhone? – L2TP/IPSec VPN Setup
Here’s how you can setup VPN Gate on your iPhone using L2TP/IPSec protocol:
- Go to Settings>General>VPN>Add VPN Configuration
- Now, you will be presented with VPN configuration for a new L2TP/IPSec connection. Here, you have to enter the IP address or host name of a desired VPN Gate relay servers. You can find servers detail from list here. Then, enter “VPN” in all three fields i.e. Account, Password and Secret and proceed
- Finally, connect to VPN by tapping on the newly made VPN connection
VPN Gate on Android
Unlike iPhone, VPN Gate does not offer a native app for Android., However, you can manually setup VPN Gate on your android device using following steps:
How To Use VPN Gate On Android
- Go to Settings>More (Wireless & Networks)>VPN>Add VPN Profile
- A new VPN connection configuration window will appear. Enter “VPN” in the name field, select L2TP/IPSec PSK in Type field. Lastly, enter the IP address or host name of a desired VPN Gate server, you can choose a server from list here
- Scroll down and tap on “Show advanced options”. Enter “VPN” in IPSec pre-shared key field. Then, type “0.0.0.0/0” in Forwarding routes and tap on Save
- Finally, open VPN connection settings list and tap on settings of new connection. Enter “VPN” in username and password fields. Proceed by checking on Save account information and tap on connect
VPN Gate Client Review Plug-In With SoftEther VPN Client
Windows users can also install this VPN using SoftEther VPN Gate Client. This is relatively a simpler method than manual configuration. Here’s how you can setup VPN Gate Client plug-in with Soft-ether VPN client:
- Download and install SoftEtherVPN client
- Launch SoftEtherVPN client and select VPN Gate Public VPN Relay Servers
- You will be able to see a list of VPN Gate public relay VPN servers along with their stats
- Choose desired VPN server and double click on it to connect
- Upon successful connection, you will be able to access tons of on-demand entertainment sites and services that were previously unblocked in your region
VPN Gate Alternatives
VPN Gate is not stacked with advanced security tools like many other VPN providers. However, those provider may cost you some money.
So, if you are in mood for a superior VPN experience, checkout the following providers:
VPN Gate Twitter Review
Due to the easy availability of VPN Gate, it has millions of users worldwide. So, what do you think about this server?
Well, this can be answered by a quick visit to Twitter, which is one of the most popular social media platforms.
On twitter, many users recommend VPN Gate to bypass geo-restrictions.
google vpn gate. you can find step by step tutorial on their website.😀
— dominic (@Dom_Song) November 13, 2018
Moreover, the android version of the VPN has also found takers on twitter.
Open VPN and VPN gate have android versions! You can try those because they’re pretty good
— Lia(莉亜) @ みもりんに会った (@dropsof_snow) November 16, 2018
VPN Gate Reddit Review
Redditors have a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude toward VPNs. They don’t mince any words when it comes to VPN services and their efficiency. Hence, I expected honest reviews of VPN Gate on reddit and I found tons.
Some redditors asked “is VPNGate” safe? The replies showed that people trust this service.
Interestingly, reddit users also recommend VPN Gate for unblocking Japanese Netflix. Now, although this quite possible, the slow speed of the VPN might hinder the streaming experience.
Overall, reddit seems to on the ‘Team VPN Gate’ as of now. Let’s see if that holds up in the future.
VPN Gate is a suitable choice for those who wish to unblock geo-restricted sites and services. But, if top-grade privacy, robust online security and reliable data protection is what you’re looking for then choose a full-fledge premium VPN service. For this VPN Gate review, I give their service an average 1.8/5 rating as per privacy features and service offerings.