Keenow Review 2019 – Good Performance, Bad Logging Policy
Keenow is a VPN and SmartDNS service developed by Keen Media Group. The stated vision of the company is to end online censorship and the team behind this VPN considers the practice of geo-blocking wrong and discriminatory.
The company comes across as quite sincere in its mission to help people overcome the nuisance of geo-blocking. In this Keenow review, I will test the true capabilities of this VPN and if it’s a good choice for users battling to keep their privacy secure on the precarious digital environment of today.
Read our other VPN reviews to assess salient features of alternative providers.
Keenow VPN is headquartered in Israel and is therefore obliged to follow the laws of the country. Although a jurisdiction in Israel might appear to be dangerous for our privacy, the legislation of the country actually recognizes the right of individuals to online privacy.
The role of Israel in domestic surveillance-gathering alliances like the 14 Eyes is a bit unclear. However, Snowden mentioned more than 30 countries that are involved – to varying degrees – online surveillance of citizens, including Israel.
So, on the one hand, the legal structure of Israel is quite reassuring from the privacy standpoint, but surveillance agencies in the country don’t really inspire too much trust.
As such, Keenow isn’t exactly in the green zone in terms of jurisdiction, but it isn’t in the red either. This is the first problem associated with this VPN that made me raise eyebrows while covering this Keenow Unblocker review.
According to this statement, Keenow is keeping user records of IP address, timestamps, and bandwidth. However, the service does not monitor or record the web traffic of users (the data transmitted and received over the web while using the VPN).
I have mixed feelings about Keenow’s logging policy. It does deserve to be commended for clearly disclosing what type of user data it retains.
But at the same time, the provider is retaining an awful lot of information that goes against its commitment towards protecting user privacy, as I discovered while performing my research for this Keenow VPN review.
The Israeli jurisdiction could be overlooked if the company was following a no-logs policy, because there would be no way any agency could access user data if there are no such logs in the first place.
Therefore, Keenow should revise its logging policy and follow the footstep of VPNs like ExpressVPN or Surfshark, which keep no data logs of users as revealed in our logging policy guide.
For this Keenow VPN review, I used a 30 Mbps connection to test server speeds.
After connecting to a US server via Keenow, there was hardly any difference in speed:
Keenow truly deserves a 10/10 in terms of speed performance.
IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks can compromise your privacy as well as security by revealing your real IP address to the Internet.
Our detailed VPN leak test guide discusses the different types of leaks your VPN may be affected by as well as the test results for 50+ providers.
I connected to a US, California server to test how secure the Smart DNS technology of Keenow is. As you can see above, it passed WebRTC and DNS leak test with ease.
So, as far as my Keenow Unblocker review is concerned, this provider is pretty fast
Some countries and websites block VPN usage to prevent users from gaining access with the help of a VPN even.
To tackle this problem, some VPNs use obfuscation, to hide the fact that they are using a VPN and thus access the restricted parts of the internet in certain countries like China, North Korea etc.
The premium version of Keenow carries the obfuscation feature (which it calls “stealth VPN”).
This is an excellent feature if you’re facing denial to access to some websites because your use of a proxy or VPN is being detected by it.
To find out how obfuscation brings you one step closer to attaining digital invisibility on the web, check our guide on VPN obfuscation.
App File Check
The Windows app of Keenow came clean when I checked it for malware on virustotal.com.
Thus, the VPN is free from any suspicious or unwanted codes in its program.
Exploring the compatibility features of the provider in this Keenow review, this service supports popular platforms i.e. Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. Beyond, the compatibility of the service is quite limited (no Linux support).
The service does offer an apk for Amazon Fire TV, which is really convenient for FireStick users. The Keenow app for all devices is pretty basic, but functions well. From the visual standpoint, the apps can surely be improved.
Keenow offers three packages. A free package which comes with serious limitations, and 1-month and 12-month subscription, which are tagged at $9.95/month and $5.79/month. If you’ve been asking “is Keenow free?”, the simple answer is yes. However, expect a lot of limitations.
The 12-month subscription comes with 30-day refund windows, while this money-back guarantee remains valid for 7 days in the 1-month plan.
Keenow offers a good range of payment options and the best thing is that it accepts bitcoin payments as well.
Now to the important question “is Keenow safe?”. Well, Keenow uses OpenVPN as the VPN tunneling protocol and AES-256 or encrypting user data packets. These are modern protocols that most leading providers in the industry are known for utilizing.
In addition, Keenow has a kill switch feature embedded in its VPN client, but this only works in the paid version. So, this was an impressive point in this Keenow VPN review 2019 and it can thus be considered quite safe.
Keenow provides more than 40 servers distributed across 30 countries. This is a pretty small server network considering the fact that the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer servers upwards of 3,000.
However, the commonly desired server locations such as the US, UK, Germany, and Australia are covered, which are especially useful for unblocking popular streaming channels and platforms.
There is no information regarding how many of these servers are physical and the company doesn’t list server addresses that could be used to determine whether the provider is utilizing any virtual servers. Therefore, I couldn’t accurately judge the quality of its servers for this Keenow unblock review.
If you are curious about the difference between physical and virtual servers, check out our guide on physical vs virtual servers.
The provider has hardly bothered coming off as a transparent company. The company has neither undergone any third party audit and has never published a transparency report.
There is a general trend among online companies in the present day to disregard user privacy, as Facebook’s data-harvesting scandals show.
This is why it is important for service providers to strive to attain some semblance of transparency on how they operate the business and gain customer confidence this way.
Netflix US Unblocking
The ability to unblock streaming channels and platforms is the greatest selling point of this service. You can easily get past regional restrictions on Netflix by connecting to a US server in Keenow.
I tried watching “The Office” on Netflix, a show only available in the US library of the streaming service. It worked perfectly well and hardly any buffering was needed!
The Windows app of Keenow includes a “Virtual Router” feature which creates a VPN-enabled Wi-Fi network you can connect any of your other devices too.
You can connect an unlimited number of devices with a single Keenow account in this way. This feature adds points to the provider for the present Keenow VPN review.
Keenow uses a ticketing system to entertain user queries, complaints, and request. The provider doesn’t yet offer live chat, which is a little backward considering the current VPN industry standards where most providers have live chat enabled.
Nonetheless, Keenow responds to your tickets in less than 24 hours, which is acceptable as far as ticketing systems go.
Alternatives to Keenow
You can read reviews about other VPNs if you did not like Keenow:
- Windscribe review
- AVG Secure VPN review
- Unblock-Us review
- AzireVPN review
- X VPN review
- Hoxx VPN review
- Disconnect VPN review
- WiTopia PersonalVPN review
- Yoga VPN review
Keenow is a pretty good SmartDNS and VPN service that knows its strengths and sticks to it. Although its logging policy and overall company transparency are far from ideal, the provider works remarkably well for unblocking Netflix and other popular streaming platforms.
Thus, summing up this Keenow review, the VPN can safely be considered an above average VPN service as the discussion in this Keenow review demonstrates.