Hoxx VPN is more like a proxy service than a full VPN. It promises to unblock geo-restricted websites, hide your IP address and encryption your Internet connection. It offers both free and paid version to protect your personal data when using public Wi-Fi.
Hoxx VPN is owned and operated by a company called VPN1 LLC. They are based in the United States.
Their product has been on the market since 2014 and, according to their official website, over 1 million users have used it across their 674 servers located in 32 country locations.
Those are impressive numbers, to say the least.
Hoxx promises “100% safety, privacy, and protection.” All three things VPNs should aspire to.
But do they deliver? That’s what we set out to find in this review.
Hoxx General Info
|OVERALL RANK||#72 out of 74|
|VPN PROTOCOLS||HTTP Tunneling, ShadowSocks|
|SPEED||50 out of 74|
|LOG FILES/JURISDICTION||Logging, United States|
|COST||Free or $40/yr|
Hoxx VPN Pros
Hoxx VPN offers the same promises as every other VPN on the market:
- Grant you anonymity on the web by masking your public IP and relocating you to a server in another country.
- Access Geo or government blocked content in a secure environment, including entertainment streaming services and social media platforms.
But here’s the thing.
We used this VPN app to try doing those things.
Here’s what worked (and what didn’t).
1. Good Number of Servers, Unlimited Connections
Hoxx VPN allows for an unlimited number of connections. This is good considering that internet users divide their time between desktop and mobile devices.
Especially when most other average VPNs only allow three simultaneous connections.
Premium users also have access to all 674 servers located in 32 countries. Those numbers are great right off the bat because it means your chances of finding an unencumbered server close to you is good.
But to be honest, this is kinda where our positive vibes ended.
Pretty soon, the experience turned south.
So without further ado…
Hoxx VPN Cons
We have 11 items under this Cons list.
I found this VPN to be very problematic, from its unapologetic logging policies to its demonizing of common services (like torrenting).
My hands-on test was an absolute disaster, too. So you’ve got that to look forward to.
Alright, take a deep breath and let’s dive in.
1. Hoxx VPN LOGS Your Web Activity
I give Hoxx points for honesty.
They state on their Frequently Asked Questions page that they do keep logs of your internet activity to fight against illegal actions.
While their stance against criminal activity is admirable, the whole point of a VPN is to not have your activity logged. Doing so flies in the face of its very purpose.
They log information on your browser, your access times, pages viewed, IP address, and the page you viewed before activating their services.
Also, they don’t guarantee that your personal information is safe while using their software.
Not only are they logging your information, they’re also reserving the right to save it. But that’s alright because they won’t share it, right?
And there it is.
Hoxx is stating that your information is not safe on their server. They can and will turn anything you do or say over to the government or law enforcement if they deem it necessary.
Holy crap. Run and hide.
2. U.S. Jurisdiction Means Original 5 Eyes Alliance Member
VPN1 LLC, the parent company of Hoxx VPN, is located in the United States.
That’s awesome, right? Buy American! Make ‘Murica Gr8t Again!
Not so fast…
The United States is a member of the 5 Eyes surveillance alliance. So in addition to the CIA and FBI keeping your personal data on record, they’re also going to share it with Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
(Photo Credit: pbs.org)
In other words, if one of these countries collects information, they will share it with the other four.
Not a great start. Especially after that egregious logging policy.
3. Outdated Encryption and VPN Tunneling Protocols
Hoxx VPN uses 4096-bit RSA encryption.
This used to be most secure encryption algorithm on the planet.
Like, years and years and years and years and years and years ago.
Researchers were able to crack it in 2013 using only rudimentary hardware.
This falls way short of the impenetrable 256-bit AES standard used by most government agencies (and other top VPNs we’ve reviewed).
Supercomputers have come nowhere close to cracking AES-256, so it stands up a lot better than a system that was broken into five years ago using only a microphone.
OpenVPN is widely considered to be the best modern VPN protocol. Rather than embrace this, Hoxx utilizes HTTP tunneling for browser add-on services and Shadowsocks protocol for its Android and desktop apps.
Additionally, Shadowsocks is only a proxy, not a VPN protocol, meaning that it is limited in terms of what programs can run on top of it.
4. IP Leaks Detected
Every VPN we review goes through an extensive series of six major tests to check for DNS and WebRTC leaks.
A DNS leak occurs when your VPN server is either ignored or bypassed due to an error. This exposes your IP address to your ISP rendering the VPN useless.
DNS leaks are a huge problem, with up to 70% of Chrome extension VPNs falling prey to this error.
WebRTC grants real-time communications capabilities to browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox. It’s a really great service that is meant to help the development of RTC applications. However, it can cause an issue for VPNs.
A WebRTC leak occurs when the presence of APIs interferes with the VPN uncovers the original IP address.
Much like every other VPN we review, we put Hoxx through our six tests to see if IP leaks were occurring. Out of those six, it failed three, suffering from both DNS and WebRTC leaks.
Keep in mind that our physical location was in Estonia (EE) and Perfect Privacy DNS leak test found it out.
- https://ipleak.net/ – Passed
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip – Passed
- https://ipx.ac/run – Passed
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc – Failed
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ – Failed
- https://dnsleak.com – Failed
A 50% failure rate does not bode well for the safety of Hoxx VPN.
A mixture of outdated encryption and VPN protocols coupled with a dismal testing performance leads us to classify this VPN as unsafe.
The only good news is that we didn’t see any evidence of potential viruses or malware in their installation files.
5. Slows Internet Speeds by 94%
Slowdowns are inevitable.
But 94% slower? That’s completely avoidable.
We tested two different Hoxx servers against our own unconnected network speeds.
And the first EU test saw a performance decline of almost 70%.
EU Speed Test:
- Ping: 39 ms
- Download: 29.66 Mbps (69% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
- Upload: 46.21 Mbps (12% slower than 53 Mbps benchmark)
Our US test fared a tiny bit better for download speeds. But not upload ones.
Take a look for yourself.
US Speed Test:
- Ping 197 ms
- Download: 48.99 Mbps (49% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
- Upload: 2.78 Mbps (94% slower than 53 Mbps benchmark)
These speed results place Hoxx VPN at number 50 out of 74. While it’s not the slowest, it is nowhere near the fastest either.
6. Does Not Work With Netflix
Netflix doesn’t require outrageous internet speeds to function.
So for a while, VPNs were the answer to accessing Netflix content from anywhere on the globe.
That didn’t last long, though.
Just a few years ago, Netflix began cracking down on VPN servers one by one. And today? Most are still suffering the consequences.
Take Hoxx as an example.
We tested five different Hoxx servers and none of them worked with Netflix.
- Canada – Failed
- US Chicago – Failed
- NL – Failed
- US NY – Failed
- US Miami – Failed
7. Does Not Allow Torrenting
Torrenting gets a lot of flack because it’s typically associated with content piracy.
However, your worst nightmare while torrenting isn’t necessarily copyright infringement.
But the other people you’re connected to. P2P offers unprecedented access to download massive files at blazing speeds. It also leaves you completely open to security breaches without a VPN attached.
Despite the legitimate uses of torrenting, however, Hoxx VPN draws a strong line in the sand against it on their Frequently Asked Questions page.
While many VPNs limit torrenting services to certain servers, Hoxx VPN does not support it at all.
If you’re looking for a VPN specifically for torrenting, check out our list of top torrenting VPNs instead.
8. Limited Device Support
Hoxx VPN is supported as a desktop and mobile app. The company’s primary focus, as stated on their website, is the browser market.
Hoxx VPN currently works with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Android, Mac, and opera, with iOS support coming in July 2018.
What’s not so good is that it means they do not offer support for routers, gaming consoles, or smart TVs.
On top of all that, they don’t offer a kill switch.
In the event of a major IP leak, a kill switch can be a VPN’s last line of defense.
Hoxx VPN has no kill switch, leaving their users vulnerable to the many leaks we found throughout our testing.
9. Does Not Allow Use of TOR Network
Many VPNs support the TOR network.
TOR is a web browser that adds an additional layer of security to your activity. But TOR is not a perfect system, and there are many loopholes which can de-anonymize users.
To combat this, people began using a VPN in conjunction with TOR. This prevents anyone from knowing that you’re using TOR in the first place.
Hoxx VPN, however, does not allow TOR, and is again very firm about this on their Frequently Asked Questions page.
Well, no, Hoxx, actually it’s not illegal.
Minus one for fact-check failures.
It was even created by the good old U.S. of A. in the first place. So it’s definitely legal and widely used by activities and journalists around the world.
10. Extreme Installation and Performance Issues
I attempted to use Hoxx VPN for Windows after downloading it onto my laptop from their official site.
The download and installation went smoothly. Encouraging signs.
I then selected a U.S. based server and began trying to use it.
My progress came to an immediate halt when my first attempt at signing on was timed out.
After the spinning circle of doom rotated around for what felt like the 10,000th time, I canceled the login and tried again. This time I was connected, but there was another immediate problem.
I was informed that the system was spilling my IP address out through a WebRTC leak. So I logged out and logged back in. Once more, the connection timed out.
I canceled and logged in again. This time I connected successfully with no leak message. I went to try and access YouTube and was met with another issue.
When I logged out, my internet connection was fine. But while I was logged into Hoxx, I had no connectivity whatsoever.
As far as usability tests go, this was an epic failure. It was nearly impossible to get a stable internet connection despite several different attempts.
11. Contact Form Customer Support, Unhelpful
Hoxx VPN offers 24/7 customer support through email.
The bottom right-hand corner of the page has a support button. When you click on it, a larger contact form pops up.
Once you fill out the form, you receive an immediate response via email.
We sent over an open-ended question to confirm a few points for this review.
The response came back six hours later, which was encouraging!
Unfortunately, their answer was less so:
We got the bare minimum for one question, and nothing at all for the second. We were hoping for transparency and explanation. Instead, we received a blanket statement about the nature of VPNs.
Hoxx VPN Cost, Plans & Payment Methods
Hoxx has one premium plan with several different pricing options based on the amount of time you use the service.
You can do one week for $3, or $40 for the entire year which breaks down to $3.33 per month. As with most pricing structures, you save more by signing on for longer periods of time. The two-year plan, for instance, is little more than $2 per month.
They also have a free plan. The main differences between them boil down to limits and performance.
Free accounts have daily bandwidth limits while premium accounts are unlimited. Speed is also only guaranteed for premium users.
On their pricing page, Hoxx says that free users receive less encryption. Their previously advertised 4096-bit end-to-end encryption is not available to free users who receive 1024-bit.
The premium account comes with a number of additional features, such as improved 24/7 customer support, malware filtering, and guaranteed advertising prevention.
They accept a multitude of payment options, ranging from PayPal to traditional credit card transactions, to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for anonymous payments. These options are confusing though, as it seems to list several credit cards more than once.
Do I Recommend Hoxx VPN?
This is a VPN that managed to fail just about every test we put it through.
The provider’s logging policies alone are enough to give me pause, without even mentioning all of the leaks.
Logging and leaking are the two dreaded ‘L words’ of the VPN world. When you’re being tracked AND leaking information, what’s the point of having a VPN?
Their encryption and VPN protocols are outdated and easily crackable. The speed loss is far greater than average.
Our hands-on test was a spectacular failure filled with long load times, timed out logins, leaks, and crashing websites.
Their pricing is good. I guess.
But based on our findings, even $2 per month is grossly overpaying for a system that does not deliver the basic functions of a VPN.