VPNArea is a small, Bulgarian-based VPN company that was founded in 2012. It’s owned by an off-shore company called Offshore Security EOOD.
According to their website, they have 212 server locations in 70 countries. Their LinkedIn page shows 11-50 employees, so it seems legit first pass.
They claim themselves as “High-Speed VPN service rated #1.”
Sounds good on the surface, but let’s see what we’re going to find out in this VPNArea review.
First, the basics.
What Does VPNArea Offer?
VPNArea prides itself on speed.
That includes their 200+ server network, which spans across 65+ different countries. The vast majority of which are located in the U.S. and Europe (with a few sprinkled around in Asia, South America, along with a couple in the Middle East and Africa).
VPNArea is quick to point out that their ‘customer-to-server’ ratio is among the best in the industry, which should translate to better performance and speed for everyone.
Specifically, they have one server dedicated for 250 customers, which results in a “13 times better members:server ratio” than their competitors. What does that mean?
In other words, they don’t ‘oversell’ their servers that end up just jeopardizing performance for everyone else. They keep a watchful eye on the number of customers they have relative to available servers. Instead of just jamming as many people as possible on their servers and jeopardizing performance for everyone else, they purposefully monitor each so you’ll only have great performance experiences.
They also have a feature that will show you how many users are on a server currently. That even means you can search and select a server with zero users to ensure the best results possible. (In addition, you can search by speed too if that’s the primary concern at the time.)
VPNArea has applications available for every single major device, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can connect up to five different device connections at a single time.
You should have unlimited access when using these devices, because there’s absolutely no throttling, downloading, or other restrictions.
And you might be able to get unlimited devices with your unlimited access by connecting through one of their FlashRouters partner setup. These pre-configured routers make it super easy to setup DD-WRT firmware and lock-down your entire internet connection.
You can also use this workaround to encrypt both smart TVs and game consoles, too.
If your VPN connection suddenly dropped and disconnected, there’s a kill switch feature that will protect against your IP address popping up all of a sudden.
There’s also an “Auto IP Changer” feature that will automatically switch your IP address however often you’d like (often down to minutes).
And on top of that handy feature, is an “Anti-DNS Leak” to protect your real IP address. Here’s how it works.
Whether you like it or not, internet providers can still gain access to see which domain names you’re visiting (even when your VPN connection is running). The reason comes down to how your devices will use DNS servers of your internet service provider to change hostnames into IP addresses (when accessing).
So this Anti-DNS Leak feature will allow you to go into your DNS servers and select different ones based on available countries.
If you’ve already read enough to like what you see, VPNArea offers a 7-day money back guarantee.
VPNArea Pros +
1. They use OpenVPN and it comes with many perks
VPNArea’s primary VPN client is called Chameleon, which is an OpenVPN-based program.
While they do support a few other protocol options, they don’t recommend them. Here’s why.
OpenVPN is the ‘industry-standard’ protocol, relying on the rock-solid SSL encryption that’s used by SSL certificates to lock down all major websites you use on a daily basis. There are currently no known security vulnerabilities and it’s standard encryption algorithms (more on that in the next section below) are among the best in the business.
Now, compare that to other protocols, like PPTP, which only feature the most primitive (if any) security encryption. So while they might do the trick for bypassing or re-routing IP addresses to change your ‘visible’ location, they still pose a tremendous risk for anyone worried about their session data getting hijacked.
That extends to popular cloud-based, file management services like Dropbox or Google Drive. These don’t require you to login each and every time you want to sync what’s on your device and what’s in the cloud. Instead, you have a “synchronization token” which will keep an open connection between the two.
The problem, is that if someone gets their hands on this sync token, they can automatically intercept every single thing being passed through the connection. As well as inject malware and cause all forms of havoc.
There are also known issues with options like WebRTC and IPv6, which could inadvertently unmask your true IP address (even when connected to a VPN).
2. VPNArea has a solid 256-bit encryption by default
Every reliable VPN uses 256-bit encryption by default. Private Internet Access also offers 126-bit encryption (optionally).
In short, 256-bit encryption is used by top governments around the world. And it’ll make sure your VPN connection is safe and secure.
That number (256) refers to the level of strength and required combinations to eventual unlock the encryption.
In short, it’s basically brute-force proof.
3. No-Logging Policy
VPNArea couldn’t even keep logs if they wanted to (which they don’t).
Their Bulgaria-based location means a strict “No Logs” law. And their day-to-day servers and emails are headquartered in the beautiful and notoriously secretive Switzerland.
Some VPN providers will keep logs of basic activities for a temporary amount of time in order to better improve the service. For example, they’ll track how many people are using the service over the course of the thirty days and monitor when people are logging in or out.
But VPNArea takes extreme precautions here.
In addition, some of their plans will offer a dedicated, shared IP address that’s used for all members, so that your individual actions will be indistinguishable from all other users.
4. Somewhat affordable ($4.92/mo)
VPNArea’s pricing plans are mostly the same.
The primary difference comes down to plan length; so you can get discounts when opting for a longer commitment of six months to one year.
But there’s also one disadvantage that their true ‘monthly’ plan has: no dedicated IP option.
That means if you don’t want to prepay for a few months, you won’t get access to their shared IP that is spread across all users to hide or mask your actions.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the pricing table:
- 1 month= $9.90/mo
- All features except Dedicated IP option
- 1 year=$4.92/mo
- All features included
- 6 months=$8.33/mo
- $50.00/ 6 months
- All features included
Payment methods include all major debit and credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, WebMoney and Alipay.
5. Their app works with Netflix (and they kinda allow torrenting)
One of my ranking criteria is the possibility to stream content on Netflix and use the VPN software for torrenting. After my second try, I managed to get into Netflix and they do allow torrenting as well, but with limited options.
Here’s a list of which servers are OK for torrenting in the eyes of a VPNArea (https://vpnarea.com/forum/thread/which-servers-allow-torrents-and-which-dont/)
6. Their app is sleek and easy to use
One of the things I love most about VPNArea is that they have software available on so many different devices, including:
- Windows 7 or newer
- Mac OS (Yosemite or newer)
- iOS (iPhone, iPad)
- Numerous routers
You can use the app on up to six devices all at the same time. Account sharing is also permitted.
The desktop app’s user interface is sleek, easy to log into, and very simple to navigate. You can use the search bar to find a specific server or simply just select one of their servers off the list and hit “Connect.”
For each server, you can view the current load, distance from the server to your location, and the server’s current speed.
VPNArea’s mobile app is even more user-friendly.
I tested the iOS app and was pleasantly surprised at how simple it is to choose a server and speed, rate the app, report a problem, and more (all from the main menu).
The server list is easy to scroll through and also includes current speeds for each location.
Once you select a server, you can toggle between “Connected” and “Disconnected” with the press of a button.
VPNArea Cons –
1. Customer support (be cautious)
VPNArea now offers live chat.
That means around-the-clock, 27/7 chat support. Someone, somewhere, should be available at any moment to help you out.
At least, that’s the theory.
Their FAQ page reads: “Response time is normally never more than 4 hours and most of the times you’ll reach us on Live Chat right away.”
Let’s put this theory to the test and see how they actually do.
All you have to do is enter a username or nickname and your email address and click “Start Chat” to get started.
Once your question is submitted, you will be greeted with a message estimating your wait time. My estimated wait time was just one minute.
That doesn’t seem so bad…
… except, over an hour later, I was still awaiting a response.
That’s pretty disappointing for ‘live’ chat (that’s apparently not live at all).
They do still have traditional ticketed customer support – you can submit a ticket and when they have time, they’ll respond to you.
However, in most cases, you will not get instant help from VPNArea. It took them 16 hours to reply to me. In an ideal world, that’s way too long. After all, I’m a paying customer, right?
Their admin dashboard is also a little quirky – it’s difficult to change/reset passwords.
For that, I had to contact them (and wait a few mores hours). They eventually fixed it, but nevertheless, it was a headache that should have been completely avoidable.
2. VPNArea speed: 39% slower than competitors
To make this review accurate, I went ahead, connected to one of their servers and opened speedtest.net
While performing the test, I used a 100 Mbps Internet connection.
After connecting to EU, US and ASIA servers, I found out that VPNArea is kinda slow.
US Server (New York)
- Ping: 114ms
- Download: 10.05 Mbps
- Upload: 7.18 Mbps
EU Server (Amsterdam)
- Ping: 42ms
- Download: 47.36 Mbps
- Upload: 23.81 Mbps
Asia Server (Hong Kong)
- Ping: 366ms
- Download: 6.99 Mbps
- Upload: 2.63 Mbps
While their EU speed was OK, the US download and upload speeds were too slow. This software throttled my Internet speed by more than 80%.
In short, it was slow compared with other top VPNs.
Do I Recommend VPNArea?
The short answer is nope.
There’s a lot to like about VPNArea. They offer all major protocols, along with the best encryption methods money can buy. Good start!
That whole ‘server-to-customer’ ratio isn’t a bunch of hot air, either. Too many customers becomes a problem when you’re all vying for the same pool of resources. Jam-packed servers mean slower performance.
Their lower-than-average pricing is tempting.
And their VPN client interface is solid. Plus, the VPNArea app is available on up to almost every type of device out there.
The features pack a punch, too: there’s a built-in speed test, kill switch, anti-DNS leak, and auto-IP changer.
However, there are three major cons that I just can’t overlook at the end of the day:
- They’re a bit slow for serious use. Even with the ‘low member-to-server ratio’ thing. If you’re planning to use this VPN for torrenting or Netflix – their performance won’t cut it.
- In addition to that, they don’t allow torrenting on ALL of their servers. So be sure to double-check their TOS before torrenting.
- There is nothing ‘live’ about their live chat, and customer support takes a while to respond.
Unsure if VPNArea is right for you? Take a look at the best VPNs in 2018.
P.S. I’m always interested in user-reviews so if you’ve used VPNArea before, don’t hesitate to leave your review below. If your experience matched mine, cool. If it didn’t, that’s fine too!
Add your own review:
16 user reviews for VPNArea
Reply to Barry
Thank you for the good words and for finding us faster than PureVPN and IPVanish.
The software issue you mentioned and you've raised with us is already solved, including for the user forum post you mentioned. We released a new version 22.214.171.1242 few days after your complaint, that among other improvements has also fixed this bug, we've notified you of this in your ticket. The bug only impacted a tiny fraction of the Windows users, all of those affected who replied to us have confirmed the new version solves the issue for them.
86% of our servers support torrents, the rest 14% are mainly servers in China, UAE and similar locations which would make torrenting difficult. We have marked absolutely all servers that support P2P and there is a clearly visible and intuitive section "Torrents" in our Windows and Mac app where you can see all such servers.
It would be great if you give our service another chance, as we believe you'll now continue to be as happy as you were before the upgrade.
Needs better help/support
In theory there really is a lot to like about VPNArea. Good # of servers, strong AES256 OpenVPN encryption, kill switch and Anti-DNS (all of which appear to work very well), very few disconnections, and militant no logs policy and outside of 5-14 eyes domicile. Oh, and reasonable pricing.
BUT…and it is a big BUT!
Good heavens if you have a problem because help and support is woeful! Live Chat (recently implemented?) is a waste of time…95% of my queries get sent to Tech support via email. Each time a 12-24 hour wait for response. Live chat has too many “cut ‘n paste” responses. Every time – no matter what the issue – I get the same pasted response (change from UDP to TCP and change port # to XYZ for example).
Recent change of Chameleon software has from v1.06 (IIRC) to v2.0.1. has been nothing less than woeful. Plenty of 3Party forum posts complaining of regular disconnects on this upgrade. MY RECOMMENDATION IS IF YOU HAVE ORIGINAL SOFTWARE AND IT IS WORKING – DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES UPGARDE. Migraines will result.
Oh, and when servers are down – they are down for long periods of time. Often in my experience, the fastest servers are the ones that have gone down for me regularly – and that is unfortunate.
Clearly not all servers allow torrenting so they should also specify that more clearly. The obvious ones are labelled P2P like Germany, Netherlands, Canada etc but often one doesn’t want to use those and choose more obscure servers – but you don’t know if they will allow torrenting until you connect.
I really wanted to like VPNArea – speeds are better than PureVPN and IPVanish which I previously used – but better service/support and a stable upgraded software release for Windows 10 would really help. Until that is fixed, this one is only recommended for geeks who know what they doing as you will have to sort out any problems mostly for yourself. I will wait for my account to lapse and go with someone else…
Good VPN service. thumbs up
I think this review is a bit outdated because there is 24/7 live chat now on VPNArea and also the app screenshots is of an old app, not the current VPNArea app which I guess is a much newer version because it looks quite modern and user friendly to me.
I’ve signed up with them because I needed dedicated IP and from what my research showed they’re the provider to go for since u get a bonus free private VPN server.
VPNArea has ikev2 as VPN as well as openvpn and in my case I reached 265mbps or so of my original 300mbps line with IKEv2, for example with ExpressVPN I could not get more than 120mbps even after following supports suggestions. Also setting up IKEv2 on my iphone was a piece of cake.
This is the first review I read about them so I just wanted to set the record straight as a thank you to them, because my experience differed positively from others in this review. I do recommend them
VPNArea is better then I ever expected
I have used VPNArea for 6 months now. I am a IT network admin so i know a decent amount about this stuff. whilr some servers are slower then they should be, 99 percent of the time they are very fast. the service never goes down. Also they are not part of any country where the US can demand data no questions.
VPNArea not recommended for iOS
I’ve used VPNArea for 4 months on an iPhone. Since updating to iOS 11, it’s practically unusable. My connection drops many times a day, the speed is slow, and some servers kill the WiFi connection forcing me to use LTE. Also for iOS users, switching DNS servers is a lengthy process that makes me feel like I’m doing VPNArea’s job for them. Not recommended.
Clunky Payment System, Spotty Customer Service
I have been a VPNArea user for more than two years, and with fairly good success. Whenever I had software issues, tech support was excellent. As time passed, I am seeing their server speeds are dropping, dramatically. Still, I decided to renew. Their payment system kept crashing, three times in a row. I contacted customer support @ [email protected], three days ago, and still zero response. Therefore, it would appear as though VPNArea and I must go our separate ways.
Run away from this service. Horrible support, horrible speed, etc
100mb/sec without Vpnarea
8mb/sec with Vpnarea
Unreliable server connections
Been using VPNArea for about 3 months. At least once a day, and often more often my connection to my chosen server is dropped and it will not connect for an hour or more. Choosing a different server sometimes fixes the problem, but often times not. Pretty frustrating.
I’ll be looking for something better.
Good to use in Italy
I had this VPN some months ago. I live in Italy and it’s difficult to find a Worldwide service like this with NINE server in my country. Also is not “filtered” by major companies, it’s fast and always working; the software is easy to use and very light.
I can absolutely recommend it.
Terrible speed and not working with Netflix
I bought this to watch Netflix from the US and while it does work it’s horribly slow. I’m talking constant buffering and then very poor quality even on an iPad. Wouldn’t recommend at all.
Fast and reliable, smartest customer support I ever came across
I have quite the opposite experience speed-wise. I’ve used expressvpn and nordvpn before and they don’t come close to what I reach with VPNArea on speedtest and downloads
Zack at livechat went out of his way to fix my elaborate network setup so that all my gear has VPN connection. Probably spent 2 hours with me on teamviewer and phone, live chat was readily available when i needed it. Had a good understanding of networks and Linux. 10/10
Works for me
I’ve been using VPNarea for almost a year and it’s been nothing but good to me. Slow, you say? Not for me. Hard to connect, you say? Not for me. My one year membership is coming to a close and you can bet I’ll be re-upping. Not even a hesitation.
It works, but nothing special
I was referred to VPNArea from another review site and decided to give them ago. Unfortunately, the product wasn’t any good. Here’s why:
– It takes a lot of time to connect to certain servers (I asked support about this, but never got any solid reply)
– The software itself looks like it’s been made in 2010 (lacks of UI and UX)
+ It’s pretty cheap compared with many others
+ It actually works.
I’m not sure if I continue using it or move onto something more reliable, such as PIA..
VPNArea is a really poor service. They admin area is pathetic to say the least. Recovering/Changing passwords requires a lot of back and fourth conversations with their support rep.
Also, after reading your review it seems like they’re slow too. Based on that – I wouldn’t recommend it.
One of the worst online experiences.
Didn’t reach the customer support for a week. Once I did, they didn’t fix the issues that I had. I somehow paid twice for a monthly subscription and didn’t get a refund. I wouldn’t poke them with a stick, since their service stinks. I unsubscribed and went to another provider which fills my VPN needs. If I had to rate my experience with VPNArea, I’d rate it 0/10.
fast and cheap
I hit 80-90% of my original speed with uTorrent, had to try more than 1 server to find the best speed but is faster than ExpressVPN & NordVPN. I changed expressVPN with VPNarea cos VPNArea works with netflix is cheap and account sharing is ok.
Quite happy overall!