SaferVPN is a speedy VPN becoming increasingly appealing to the more privacy-conscious user.
Users can stream Netflix and other popular services buffer-free through optimized servers, but torrenters will be disappointed that P2P activity is highly restricted to three server locations.
SaferVPN’s strong encryption, advanced privacy features, and minimal logging policy help to mitigate its privacy-unfriendly US jurisdiction, but some improvement could still be made on this front.
Pricing & Deals
A single month is the most expensive option at $10.99, but you can save 55% if you opt for an annual subscription ($4.99 per month), and 80% on the three-year plan, coming in at a very affordable $2.29 a month.
Get 80% off SaferVPN's 3-year plan
SaferVPN Pricing & Deals
SaferVPN offers both a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 24-hour free trial. The money-back guarantee is ‘no questions asked’, with no hidden catches, restrictions or data caps.
Your card will be charged when you sign up but all refunds are processed in approximately ten working days, making it a relatively risk-free process.
The free trial gives you full access to the service for 24 hours. The only information requested by SaferVPN is your email address, so it’s is a great way to test out the software without having to worry about applying for a refund if you aren’t satisfied.
SaferVPN accepts most standard payment methods including most major credit and debit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin.
There are currently no international options accepted, such as Alipay or UnionPay.
Speed & Reliability
SaferVPN is by no means the fastest VPN in the current market but, it makes up for this by delivering consistent performance across its server network.
SaferVPN Performance Data
- Download Speed Average:48.69 MbpsUpload Speed Average:31.94 MbpsPing Time Average:140 ms
- Download Speed Average:131.59 MbpsUpload Speed Average:95.81 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:212.49 MbpsUpload Speed Average:97.08 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:157.66 MbpsUpload Speed Average:139.57 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:125.25 MbpsUpload Speed Average:117.66 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:212.96 MbpsUpload Speed Average:184.56 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:88.82 MbpsUpload Speed Average:63.50 MbpsPing Time Average:28 ms
- Download Speed Average:212.21 MbpsUpload Speed Average:148.01 MbpsPing Time Average:1 ms
- Download Speed Average:242.96 MbpsUpload Speed Average:184.91 MbpsPing Time Average:1 ms
- Download Speed Average:180.40 MbpsUpload Speed Average:101.89 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:149.37 MbpsUpload Speed Average:79.73 MbpsPing Time Average:56 ms
- Download Speed Average:57.29 MbpsUpload Speed Average:21.36 MbpsPing Time Average:91 ms
Local performance is ample for streaming your favorite shows in HD across multiple devices, and low latency makes it very appealing to gamers. International connections as not as impressive, though.
Connecting locally provided a brilliant average speed of 161Mbps, with some cities peaking at 243Mbps. Connecting out to the US from the UK you can expect a respectable 34Mbps.
More distant locations didn’t perform so well, with most connections out from Australia struggling to reach 11Mbps.
Upload speeds are also very consistent, coming in at a very respectable average of 112Mbps on local connections.
While this may sound like great news for torrenters, take note that P2P is only permitted on the Canadian, Spanish and Netherlands servers, the last of which comes in at a lower (but still very respectable) 96Mbps upload speed.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
SaferVPN falls short on server locations when compared to other top-tier providers with only 34 international locations to choose from.
The majority are in Europe and North America, with a handful in the Asia-Pacific. South America and Africa have just four locations between them, so some users may struggle to connect locally.
SaferVPN operates just over 700 individual servers, but with only 1,000 IP addresses on offer users may experience reduced performance and server congestion at busier times.
Most disappointing is that SaferVPN doesn’t offer any city-level servers at all across its network, which is something its most popular rivals, such as Astrill and StrongVPN, do well.
You can choose between East and West in the US, which is better than nothing but still not all that useful if you need to connect to a specific state.
Platforms & Devices
SaferVPN offers custom apps for various popular devices including Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, and allows you to use the software on five devices simultaneous at once.
On the website you can also find loads of manual set-up guides for those devices without native apps such as Linux, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
SaferVPN also provides step-by-step instructions to manually configure your existing router, or alternatively you can buy one pre-flashed.
Once your router is set up every Internet-connected device in your home will be protected, including games consoles and streaming devices. We’d like to see some custom apps for those, though, as many VPNs now offer native support for Android TV and more.
SaferVPN offers browser extensions for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, which can be installed in a matter of seconds. They’re included in the price of the paid subscriptions, but also available to free users subject to a 500MB data cap.
It should be noted that these do not create a VPN connection as they are proxy extensions. They don’t encrypt your connection or offer the same advanced features as the desktop client, so we wouldn’t recommend using them as a complete substitute for the main apps.
Streaming & Torrenting
SaferVPN is a popular choice with streaming fans due to servers optimized for both US and UK streaming services.
Access to Netflix is made easy through the US streaming server but on occasion we had issues getting connected. This didn’t last long, though. The story is much the same with BBC iPlayer, which we were able to access in most of our tests.
Kodi users and torrenters should be aware that P2P is only permitted on the Netherlands, Canada and Spain servers, meaning server congestion and slow speeds may be experienced at times.
Encryption & Security
You can set the app to auto-select the best performing protocol – we recommend OpenVPN wherever possible as this offers the best balance between performance and privacy. AES-256 encryption is as strong as it gets.
The VPN kill switch is an essential feature, ensuring your true IP address isn’t exposed by stopping all web traffic should the VPN disconnect unexpectedly.
SaferVPN doesn’t operate its own DNS servers, but it does use Google Public DNS, which are considered to provide a very high level of performance and security, and recent updates to the app include DNS and IPv6 leak protection.
This prevents DNS requests from being exposed to your ISP and, thankfully, we found no such leaks during our independent tests.
For an extra layer of privacy, you can access Tor through SaferVPN, and you can also allow local network devices such as printers to bypass the VPN connection, which is very useful.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- VPN Kill Switch
- TOR via VPN Server
SaferVPN is not the simplest VPN to use in China since the crackdowns on VPNs started.
The only way to use the service successfully is to manually configure the L2TP protocol, which is a fairly lengthy and fiddly process and still not guaranteed to work.
SaferVPN is lacking in the additional obfuscation tools that are usually needed to overcome these more aggressive government blocks.
In other high-censorship countries, SaferVPN remains a decent choice due to its powerful privacy tools, accessibility to Tor over VPN and great performance throughout the global server network.
SaferVPN’s logging policy is pretty minimal, but it could do even more to reduce what it logs without compromising on performance.
It does not log “your browsing activity, data, or IP addresses”, including the websites you visit and anything you download or share.
SaferVPN’s servers log the following information each time a user activates the service:
- Date and time at which the session began and ended
- Amount of data transmitted during the session
- The chosen country and server location
While none of this data is personally identifiable on its own, the authorities could potentially use the timestamp to identify a user when cross-referenced with multiple sources to prove that they’ve visited certain websites.
SaferVPN keeps these logs for three months, which is a little longer than we’re comfortable with.
SaferVPN has its headquarters in New York, US, which could be a potential red flag for some users. However, its minimal logging policy goes some way to mitigating this.
SaferVPN states that if for any reason a government, business, or any other type of organization wanted to acquire data relating to a specific individual, it would be impossible for them to hand it over as it simply does not exist.
Ease of Use
SaferVPN has a simple, nicely-designed set of custom apps, which are all very pleasant to use.
The main screen of the desktop app is stripped back to the essentials, displaying only basic connection info including your new IP address and a big on/off button.
A list of the limited configurable settings can be found behind the menu in the top right-hand corner, and is organized into helpful tabs to make it easy to navigate.
The mobile apps are just as slick but lack some of the essential security features like the VPN kill switch. The Android app does allow you to turn on automatic WiFi protection and auto-reconnect, though.
Even if you’ve never used a VPN before, installing and downloading SaferVPN should only take you a few minutes from start to finish. There are loads of setup guides on the website if you need extra help, though.
Just download the relevant software from the site and following the prompts given to you by the installation wizard. After that, simply enter your login credentials and you’re all set.
SaferVPN’s customer support left us feeling frustrated at times. Live chat responses are extremely quick, but support agents often struggled to answer even the most basic of questions.
When we enquired how long connection logs were stored for, the agent was reluctant to tell us any specific information. We resorted to emailing the support team, and thankfully got a response in less than 10 minutes that actually answered our question.
The online knowledge base covers the basics of installation and troubleshooting well enough, but we would have liked to see a higher level of depth and detail in some areas.
The Bottom Line
- Consistently good performance, with speeds of up to 243Mbps
- Optimized streaming servers for easy access to Netflix and more
- Really easy to use. Instant set-up on most popular devices
- Connect securely to 34 countries
- Advanced privacy features such as access to Tor over VPN
- Server network could be bigger
- Falls under US jurisdiction
- Limited customer service
- Torrenting only permitted on 3 servers
SaferVPN is a cheap choice if you’re looking for a speedy VPN to cover your basic privacy needs and access popular streaming sites like Netflix.
On privacy, SaferVPN’s minimal logging policy goes a long way to countering the fact it’s based in the US, and advanced features like a VPN kill switch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection are added bonuses.
Some may be put off by the limited server network, and it’s not the best choice for heavy torrenters, but SaferVPN is still a reliable and secure option for everyday users.