A VPN is only as strong as its logging policy and, unfortunately for Encrypt.me, this one is far too intrusive for us to recommend it.
It’s a shame, because Encrypt.me does a lot right – it has impressively consistent, fast worldwide speeds, loads of servers, and is easy to use.
It’s light on features, though, and its US jurisdiction combined with how much data it stores should remove it from consideration.
Pricing & Deals
Encrypt.me offers pricing plans for families and offices, but chances are you’ll just want to look at one of the passes or subscriptions.
Month and year-long passes are the exact same price as subscriptions of the same length, the only difference is that they don’t automatically renew.
$8.33 is the price per month when you take out a year’s subscription, which is still far more than you should be paying – even the best VPN we’ve ever tested doesn’t cost that much.
Encrypt.me Pricing & Deals
Encrypt.me has a 30-day money back guarantee for all purchases made directly through its website. If you bought it through the iOS or Android app stores, though, you’ll need to deal with them to get a refund.
Payment & Refund Options
You’re restricted to just debit or credit cards – forget crypto, you can’t even pay with PayPal.
Speed & Reliability
Encrypt.me’s speeds surprised us – they definitely punch in at above the average, and you’d be hard pushed to find numbers notably better from a provider outside of our top 20.
Local download speeds from the London server averaged around 53Mbps for us, while the rest of Western Europe produced figures around the 45Mbps mark. Upload speeds were even higher than that in almost every server in Europe or North America.
Transatlantic connections to the US and Canada dropped a bit to 30Mbps and 20Mbps respectively, while East Asia and Australia fared roughly the same – fairly impressive stuff.
You get a decent spread of locations with Encrypt.me. It’s nothing to trouble out most prolific providers, but odds are you’ll be able to connect to either a server near you or a server in the country you’re looking for.
There’s city-level selection in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, and at least one server on every continent. African and South American users will have to be content with just the one option in South Africa and Brazil, though.
Encrypt.me’s website specifies that it maintains 132 servers, but has no mention of individual IP addresses – we can only assume it’s one per server.
Platforms & Devices
If you’re a Mac user then you’re in for a treat – Encrypt.me is a clean, tidy and simple app to use on MacOS. It’s largely similar to the Windows app, except better organized.
There’s no support for Linux, though, so if you’re not a user of one of the big two desktop operating systems then you’ll need to look elsewhere. It does have an Amazon Fire TV app, though, which is both rare and appreciated.
It also has custom apps for iOS and Android, which could scarcely be simpler – which is both a good and a bad thing. They’re intuitive and easy to use, almost to a fault. There’s very little you can do with them other than connect to your server of choice, although that will probably suit the average user.
Streaming & Torrenting
Remarkably, Encrypt.me actually works to unlock BBC iPlayer on its London server – something even the biggest names in the industry often struggle with.
UK Netflix is blocked, but you can access the US version on eight different servers including Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
Encrypt.me states clearly on its website that it’s service was not created with illegal torrenting in mind. That said, it seems that even legal P2P is banned, too, or at least throttled to the point of being useless.
Encryption & Security
On desktop Encrypt.me uses OpenVPN, our preferred VPN, while on smartphone it uses IKEv2.
You can’t choose between the two, although with OpenVPN you get a choice between UDP or TCP variants – it briefly and simply explains what the differences are, too, which is nice.
There’s no kill switch, which is a big miss, nor are there any additional obfuscation tools.
The one additional feature that we could determine from Encrypt.me’s website is OverCloak. Only on the MacOS app, it prevents DNS and IP leaks during the connection process.
We’re not even sure what level of encryption the app uses, as it’s not disclosed on the Encrypt.me website.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- WebRTC Leak Blocking
There’s little chance that Encrypt.me will work to bypass any sort of government-imposed censorship as it simply doesn’t have the technology to reliably do so.
Encrypt.me itself says that desktop versions of the app won’t work at all, while mobile versions work ‘intermittently’, in China at least. This information was last updated in 2017 and it’s unlikely the situation has improved since then.
First of all, let’s cover everything Encrypt.me logs:
- The number of bytes sent and received
- The length of time connected
- The IP address connected from and the (virtual) IP assigned
- The source port of the outgoing connection with start and end times
All of this is deleted after 16 days. If this seems like a lot of information, that’s because it is.
What’s more, the tone of the Encrypt.me website is equally worrying. It refuses to take a tough stance on privacy as a right and makes constant allusions to how difficult it is to guarantee as a concept.
To top it all off, Encrypt.me is based in the US. Notoriously intrusive when it comes to surveillance and a member of the Five Eyes data sharing alliance, Encrypt.me states that it will always cooperate with US law enforcement.
Ease of Use
Encrypt.me began life as an app specifically for Apple MacOS and iOS, and it shows.
It’s a wonderfully smooth, clean experience on devices on those platforms – everything is where it should be and there’s little room to go wrong.
It’s not quite as pleasant on Windows – particularly the nonsensically ordered server list – but it’s still minimalistic, if a little ugly.
Experienced users will be disappointed at the lack of advanced options, as there’s very little customization available on any platform or OS.
Setup is much the same story. Pick a subscription through the Encrypt.me website, download the app installer and you’re all good to go.
Alternatively, if you want to try before you buy you can download it without signing up for a 14-day free trial.
There’s no live chat support for Encrypt.me, which is a disappointment.
If you want to speak to a human about your issue you’ll need to rely on its email support, which could take several hours before responding to you depending on your time zone.
We found the help agents to be committed to finding a solution, though, and they weren’t afraid to dive into the technical stuff to get one.
The online FAQs are considerably less useful – you might get lucky and find your query answered there, but there’s very little practical help.
The Bottom Line
- Consistent worldwide speeds
- Unblocks iPlayer & US Netflix
- Easy to use
- Connect to 55 different cities
- No IP or DNS leaks
- Terrible logging policy
- No torrenting allowed
An otherwise solid VPN, Encrypt.me is completely let down by its logging policy. Encrypt.me simply doesn’t seem to be a company concerned with protecting its users’ privacy.
You shouldn’t look past that, but if you do you’ll find a product with a nice selection of global servers, decent access to streaming services, and very consistent speeds.
That it costs twice as much as some of our very best providers per month should put a halt to any continued interest, though. Go for a high-scorer instead.