Jurisdiction: USA | Advanced Privacy Features: Kill Switch (only at Mac), Smart Mode | Number of Servers and Countries: 1,300 servers in over 50 countries | Streaming and P2P: Restricted, dedicated servers
If you’ve been considering SaferVPN and you’re on the fence about it, you’ve come to the right place. This Safer VPN review should help you to decide if SaferVPN is worth it or if you should look elsewhere.
Pros and Cons of SaferVPN
On paper, SaferVPN looks pretty solid. It has a good-sized server network of over 1300 servers spread across over 50 different countries. It also has a fair selection of apps supporting all major platforms, including macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Plus, it has browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
SaferVPN also supports several different protocols and offers support for OpenVPN to set up the service on routers and various other devices and platforms. It also has excellent support via email and 24/7 live chat and provides the standard privacy you’d expect from a VPN.
That said, SaferVPN has some issues. It appears to be a solid VPN but suffers when it comes to performance and lacks any features beyond those offered by every basic VPN in town.
- Simple apps provide a user-friendly interface for most popular platforms, including macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android
- Offers moderate speeds on some VPN servers
- Long-term service plans are inexpensive
- Unblocks BBC iPlayer and Netflix
- It can be set up on routers and other devices
- Includes a VPN kill switch
- VPN speeds are below average
- Has server connection issues, including with streaming servers
- DNS leakage has been reported
- App crashes occasionally
- Fails to unblock Disney+, Amazon Prime, and others
- Only has three servers for torrenting
- Keeps limited VPN connection data logs
- Not a reliable VPN for use in China
- The kill switch for Windows is unreliable
Overall, SaferVPN is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to VPN providers. On the one hand, it has a lot of what you like to see in a VPN, offering internet privacy and can be used to unblock some streaming services. On the other hand, SaferVPN seems to have some tech issues, and it logs more information than some VPN users will be comfortable with (we’ll get to that in a minute).
The Verdict: Is SaferVPN Worth It?
The bottom line is, as we’ll go over in more detail in this SaferVPN review, SaferVPN promises to be a dependable VPN provider but fails to deliver. On the company’s website, SaferVPN claims to be “the fastest and simplest VPN.” However, in testing, many of its servers failed to perform. Combine this with the VPN provider’s lack of features, and most users can find a better VPN elsewhere.
While download speeds can be decent, they’re unreliable and limited by location. For instance, SaferVPN has servers in New York, London, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong that perform pretty well, but these speeds are only reliable for those near those servers. For most distant connections, performance is below average.
The problem is, certain features are limited with SaferVPN, such as torrenting. Torrenting is only allowed on three servers, making it unreliable at best. What’s more, SaferVPN logs more data than many users will find necessary, especially for a privacy product.
That said, SaferVPN does have easy-to-use apps. They’re easy to install and simple to figure out. However, this straightforward approach comes at the cost of advanced features, although you’ll also find SaferVPN’s support to be prompt and knowledgeable, despite using bots to answer the simplest and most common questions.
One of the significant factors going for SafeVPN is its price for the long-term plans. Nevertheless, its lack of features and below-par speeds, combined with recent server connection issues, make it a hard VPN to recommend.
SaferVPN has been in business since 2013. Not long after this VPN provider began its service, it was acquired by NetProtect, which is a subsidiary company of J2 Global, based in the United States.
That said, SaferVPN itself is actually based out of Tel Aviv, Israel. Israel’s privacy laws strictly limit the government’s legal ability to monitor and track citizens.
Incidentally, Israel and the United States are both countries known for gathering and sharing intelligence as part of their laws. This means that any data that a VPN provider logs about you could be requested by law enforcement to build a legal case. However, the good news is that SaferVPN logs only limited information that should make it difficult for law enforcement.
Here’s a breakdown of the basics regarding SaferVPN:
- Data: unlimited bandwidth
- Speed: averaging 76Mbps depending on the server connection
- Logging policy: saves limited anonymous user information for 90 days
- Data leaks: none reported
- Jurisdiction: Tel Aviv, Israel (but is US-owned)
- Servers: 1300+ in 52 different countries
- IP Addresses: 1300+
- Torrenting: restricted to three servers, one in Spain, one in Canada, and one in the Netherlands
- Streaming: US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, but not many others
- Support: Extensive online guides and 24/7 live chat support
Jurisdiction and Privacy Laws
As we mentioned above, SaferVPN is owned by an American company and has its home base in Israel. While this jurisdiction may not seem the best for privacy, it all depends on SaferVPN’s logging policies and the data it keeps.
Regarding transparency, SaferVPN is clear about its logging policies. The VPN provider claims never to log or monitor VPN network traffic. However, unlike some VPNs that do not log any information about users, SaferVPN is a little looser with its definition of “no logging.”
While SaferVPN may say that “what you do online is your business,” the company still collects and stores some data, including the following:
- The country which you connect from
- The location of the server to which you are connecting
- The amount of data you transmit during the session
- The time and date when the session begins and when it ends
As you can see, SaferVPN’s idea of a no-logging policy is somewhat different from what some think it should be. However, the VPN provider does not log your browsing history, metadata, source IP address, VPN IP address, or DNS queries. While this sounds good, when you look at the list above of the data SaferVPN does collect, it’s somewhat problematic.
That said, SaferVPN does not keep any logs of personally identifiable information. Without your originating IP address, it should be impossible to trace your activity. Plus, there’s no record of the website you visited or any files you share or download. The point, however, is that SaferVPN logs more information than you might be comfortable with.
Also, be aware that SaferVPN has an “Unlawful Activity” clause that if you violate SaferVPN’s rules, the VPN provider can disclose details about your profile to law enforcement agencies. Depending on how you set your account up, these details can include your email address, posted materials, usage history, traffic information, and IP address.
Given this policy, our recommendation is not to break the rules if you’re going to use SaferVPN. On top of that, keep in mind that SaferVPN stores the above information for 90 days, which is significantly longer than other VPN companies.
Finally, it’s vital to note that SaferVPN’s privacy policies have never been officially verified by a third party. Unlike popular alternatives like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, SaferVPN has never had an external audit.
Overall, SaferVPN is a basic VPN provider that offers most of the standard VPN features but lacks advanced features. Once you download the app and open the client, you’ll see a straightforward interface. You can connect to the closest server or choose one from the location list.
There’s a search box if you need help finding a particular server, but little else. For instance, servers are labeled by country, and the servers’ exact location is not shown. There’s also a lack of server load figures or ping times. However, you can add servers to your Favorites list so you can find them again later.
Another option for the client includes the ability to change protocols. The protocols available are:
While OpenVPN is the standard and one of the most reliable protocols that most VPNs default to, it’s nice to have other options. In addition to the protocols above, you can also set an OpenVPN port.
As for additional features, there’s an Automatic Location option that enables you to connect to the nearest server easily. However, you’ll have to make sure the client knows your location before this feature will work. You can also enable notifications, which you should do right away so that the app tells you if your connection drops and reconnects to a different server.
Also, there’s a kill switch that is designed to automatically disconnect the internet from your device when your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. This feature is vital to protect your privacy, as a lost VPN connection can expose your IP address and internet traffic when it was supposed to be covered by the VPN.
Unfortunately, SaferVPN’s kill switch is unreliable. When SaferVPN drops a connection, it takes an average of 10-15 seconds to reconnect, leaving your data exposed during that time, which is when the kill switch should kick in. Unfortunately, SaferVPN’s kill switch doesn’t always work, instead displaying a message that the internet access is blocked even though it isn’t.
Lastly, SaferVPN supports router installation. This feature is nice to have and one that a lot of VPNs don’t offer. By installing SaferVPN on your router directly, you make your entire connection run through the VPN servers, thereby making the whole network private. This method enables you to protect a large number of devices, bypassing the limit on simultaneous device connections.
Absent Popular Features
As we’ve already discussed, SaferVPN offers a basic interface and not a lot of extra security features. The unfortunate thing about this lacks features that can provide additional privacy and security, such as an ad blocker to optimize your data usage.
SaferVPN also doesn’t offer features like a dedicated IP and a double VPN, both of which add an extra layer of protection online from hackers and prying eyes. What’s more, SaferVPN lacks Stealth VPN and RAM-only servers. With Stealth VPN, your VPN traffic is disguised as regular traffic. With RAM-only servers, your data is never archived as the VPN only uses RAM memory that automatically dumps every time the server reboots.
There’s also no way to further encrypt your traffic through a Multihop server, also called cascaded VPNs, to make it nearly impossible to track your identity and internet activity. On top of that, it would be nice to have split tunneling, a feature that enables you to choose whether or not an app’s traffic is routed through your VPN or regular ISP connection.
Many VPNs have a limit on the number of devices you can use at the same time, although there are VPN providers without this restriction. With SaferVPN, you’re limited to up to five device connections at the same time. For more, you’ll need more than one account.
The reason simultaneous connections are important is to protect the growing number of devices we all have these days. Most of us now have laptops, smartphones, tablets, SmartTVs, and other devices that we use on a regular basis. Compound this with every device your family uses, and it’s easy to see how a limit on device usage can be a problem.
Of course, just because you have all of these devices does not mean you need a VPN for all of them. The issue is that it’s become increasingly difficult for us to separate work from play in our digital lives. For this reason, it helps to have a VPN that enables simultaneous connections on as many devices as possible.
SaferVPN’s five device limit is not bad. Many VPNs cap this limit somewhere between five and eight. That said, there are available VPN providers that do not have this limit. As always, it’s crucial to find a VPN that suits your individual needs.
One of the strengths of SaferVPN is the array of devices it supports. You can use SaferVPN on all major platforms using the apps and many streaming devices and gaming consoles. There are also browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
For the apps, you’ll find them for major platforms such as Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. There are also apps for routers and Linux. All of them have easy to understand setup guides available from the SaferVPN website to make things easier, especially for more difficult devices, like routers, Windows phones, and even BlackBerry.
SaferVPN also has apps for many popular streaming devices and game consoles. You can find them for AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Nintendo, Playstation, Roku, and Xbox. However, one of the most effective ways to protect these types of devices is to install SaferVPN on your router. With your router set up with SaferVPN, every device in your home will be protected and private.
Lastly, SaferVPN has browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. These extensions are simple to install and add an extra layer of internet security when browsing the web. They’re free for paid subscribers but can also be used by free users with a 500MB monthly data cap.
It should be noted that browser extensions are proxies, so they lack advanced features that the apps and desktop clients provide and don’t create an encrypted VPN connection on their own. Instead, they act as a substitute for the primary SaferVPN application when needed or on top of your regular connection.
There is more to a server network than the total number of servers and countries a VPN covers. It’s also vital to consider the location of the servers. For instance, many VPNs claim to have servers in a certain number of countries, but if they only have one server in many of those countries, the server network’s coverage is not as good as it appears.
With this in mind, SaferVPN covers 55 countries and has over 1300 servers. This is not bad, but some VPNs cover 90+ countries. That said, some VPNs cover less. So, what about SurferVPN?
SurferVPN has coverage in all of the usual server locations, including the United States and Europe. For example, SaferVPN has servers all over Europe, from western Europe including Portugal, France, and Ireland, to the Baltic States including Estonia and Latvia, to southern Europe including Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria, all the way up north to the Scandinavian region of Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
Asia also has some excellent coverage with the usual locations like Japan and Singapore. However, on top of that, SaferVPN has servers in Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, South Korea, and the Philippines.
Of course, SaferVPN has many servers in the United States, New Zealand and Australia. However, African countries with servers in South Africa and Nigeria do not have enough coverage for the entire African continent. For this reason, we don’t recommend SaferVPN if you live in Africa.
Unfortunately, while the above description appears impressive, many of the countries contain only a single SaferVPN server. This fact makes it look like SaferVPN covers most of the world, when really it’s designed for users in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In fact, the only regional options SaferVPN offers are in the United States, with options for West, East, and Streaming, and the United Kingdom, with options to connect to a regular server or one that is optimized for streaming). Beyond that, many countries are described here, particularly larger ones like Australia and India, that are likely to experience slow speed due to there not being enough servers, even for those living within said countries.
For many users across the globe, using a VPN is the only way for them to unblock popular streaming services. The good news is that SaferVPN works for unblocking Netflix. However, what about other streaming platforms?
Many SaferVPN reviews report connecting to Netflix with SaferVPN to be pretty straightforward. Connection speeds with many servers are fast enough to provide a reliable streaming experience without lag or buffering. The only issue is that you may have to spend a little time finding a suitable server.
However, since Netflix is known to block IP addresses associated with VPN providers, it’s nice to see that SaferVPN still works to unblock geo-restricted content on Netflix. To ensure it remains this way requires work on SaferVPN’s part, which it appears it is doing.
As for other streaming services, SaferVPN struggles. Some servers can unblock BBC iPlayer, but most of them are unable to. The same goes for Hulu, which is not surprising when you consider the fact that Hulu is known to be aggressively anti-VPN. You’re also likely to have trouble unblocking Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney+, and YouTube.
Interestingly, some report recent issues with connecting to SaferVPN’s streaming servers. This unreliability is troubling, even if SaferVPN is able to fix these issues and resolve the unstable connection problem.
Torrenting and other P2P activity is another reason many get a VPN. Without one, ISPs have been known to throttle your connection if torrent downloading is detected, even the legal kind. For this reason, it’s essential to have a reliable VPN if you intend to engage in P2P activity.
Fortunately, SaferVPN offers fast speeds on its dedicated P2P servers. Unfortunately, these servers are only located in three locations: Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands. If you live close to any of these three locations, your torrenting speeds will remain fast, but the farther you live from these server locations, the slower your connection will be.
What’s more, the fact that SaferVPN has so few servers dedicated to torrenting means speeds are likely to be slow and the servers congested, particularly during peak times. Nevertheless, if you live in Spain, Canada, the Netherlands, or a neighboring country, SaferVPN can provide decent torrenting capabilities.
It’s a shame SaferVPN doesn’t have P2P servers located in the US or the UK. There are other VPNs that do.
While it’s nice that SaferVPN has been in business for as long as it has and the fact that an American company runs it, it might not be the best choice for privacy. Fortunately, there are lots of VPNs to choose from, including some with more security features. Despite SaferVPN’s consistent speeds for closely-located servers, you may want to consider one of the following alternatives instead.
Surfshark offers unlimited device connections and comes at a fair price. It also has excellent unblocking features for geographically restricted content. Plus, you can engage in P2P activity on multiple simultaneous devices.
Like SaferVPN, Surfshark can unblock Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. However, it also enables access to Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. That said, streaming speeds with Surfshark are capable but not fast enough for UltraHD quality.
As a budget-friendly option, Surfshark does not have the speeds that you can get with some VPNs. Surfshark’s speeds range from 99Mbps to 15Mbps, depending on the server. Although this is not bad, it does not compare with the speeds you can get when you connect to a server geographically close to your location using SaferVPN.
Where Surfshark truly shines above SaferVPN is in its features and security protection. With its CleanWeb protection feature, Surfshark guards against malware and other security threats. What’s more, Whitelister enables you to select specific websites and apps to bypass the VPN, so you can still use local websites without having to disconnect and a whole lot more.
Overall, Surfshark is a reasonable, budget-friendly solution. It’s perfect for families and households looking for a VPN to unblock geo-restricted content.
- Over 1,040 servers worldwide.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited device connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Lots of security features
- Fewer servers available
- Slower speeds than other VPNs
One of the best VPNs on the market today is NordVPN. It comes highly recommended, with over 5,500 servers worldwide, including 1,600+ in the United States, 400+ in Canada, 270+ in Australia, and 40+ in New Zealand, it has a larger network than SurferVPN, although connection speeds vary from server to server.
On top of that, NordVPN is excellent for unblocking geo-restricted content, providing access to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and others. Plus, it offers unlimited bandwidth and has servers in locations all over the world.
Like SaferVPN, NordVPN limits the number of devices you can use on one account simultaneously. However, NordVPN comes with a lot more features, including Quick Connect, which enables you to connect to the fastest server in a given location. You also have the option to obtain a dedicated IP address. What’s more, NordVPN has excellent customer service and fast server speeds.
All in all, NordVPN has a lot to offer, including features that SurferVPN does not have. It is a bit more expensive, and its interface can be confusing for first-time VPN users, but it still comes highly recommended.
- Over 5,500 servers in 58 countries
- Designed to circumvent geolocation restrictions
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- It can be used on up to six devices
- Challenging to learn for new VPN users
- Challenging to locate common features like the kill switch
Like most VPNs, SaferVPN gets cheaper the longer you commit to the service. So, while the price starts out a little steep when you pay for it on a monthly basis, it drops significantly with a two-year or three-year plan.
The problem with long-term contracts is the concern that the VPN is going to change or fail to offer the service you need at some point during your contract. For example, SaferVPN may unblock Netflix right now, but what if it doesn’t in three months, and you’ve already committed to three years? That said, SaferVPN’s long-term prices are very inexpensive.
As for payment options, SaferVPN accepts a variety of payment methods. Of course, you can use major credit cards and PayPal to ensure complete privacy. You can also pay for the VPN service with Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies, including Tron, CoinGate, and Ethereum.
SaferVPN Free Trial
The SaferVPN trial used to be a 24-hour period in which you could try this VPN for free. However, the free trial is no longer available. Instead, you can try the service with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To take advantage of this SaferVPN trial, you’ll need to be sure to cancel your subscription before the 30 days are up. If you don’t, you’ll be charged for the following month. While it’s not the same as a genuine free trial, it’s still an excellent way to try the service before committing.
However, there is a trick to get a 7-day free trial. Install the SaferVPN app on your mobile device, create an account, and use it on any device after.
Some SaferVPN reviews report that SaferVPN used to be a reliable service. Unfortunately, it is not what it once was, with server connection issues and underwhelming speeds. Even worse is the fact that SaferVPN no longer unblocks the streaming services it used to.
The bottom line is that even a good VPN can become unstable if it’s not managed correctly. However, SaferVPN’s recent expansion of its server network is a step in the right direction. Who knows, by this time next year, SaferVPN could be a fantastic VPN provider. It’s possible.
But would SaferVPN ever change its logging policies? It’s possible. Nonetheless, until then, SaferVPN’s lack of features and below-average speeds makes it difficult to recommend to most users.