SaferVPN is a speedy VPN that’s becoming increasingly appealing to the more privacy-conscious user. Upload and download speeds are very good across its global network, and access to Netflix and other streaming services is made easy through servers optimized for video. Well-designed custom apps are available for the usual platforms and are incredibly easy to set up and use. A long list of routers is also supported.
SaferVPN offers strong encryption and has recently added some advanced privacy features such as a VPN killswitch and DNS leak protection. Its logging policy is minimal, collecting only the basic connection metadata required to maintain a high level of server performance. Customer support is helpful enough but live chat responses are very scripted and often end up going round in circles.
Pricing & Deals
SaferVPN offers a range of pricing plans so you’ll have no problems finding the best option for your needs. Each one has the same features but the longer subscription you choose, the less you pay on a monthly basis.
A single month is the most expensive option at $10.99, but that’s actually a very reasonable price when compared to the majority of other providers. You can save 50% if you opt for an annual subscription, bringing the price down to just $5.49 per month. The biggest reduction can be found on the 3-year plan, coming in at a very affordable $2.50 and saving you 77%.
Get 77% 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 genuinely ‘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 7-10 working days, making it a relatively risk-free process.
The free trial gives you full access to the service for 24 hours without having to provide any payment details. The only information requested by SaferVPN is your email address, which they use to send you a confirmation link. This is a great way to test out the software without having to worry about applying for a refund if you aren’t satisfied.
You can also sign up to the refer-a-friend program which gives you and a friend a free month using the service if they sign up for a paid plan. Better still, there’s no limit to the number of friends you can refer.
SaferVPN accepts most standard payment methods including most major credit and debit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin. Unfortunately, they don't currently offer any international options, such as Alipay and UnionPay, which may be frustrating for some.
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. Speeds across most popular servers are more than ample for streaming your favorite shows in HD across multiple devices, and low latency makes it very appealing to gamers. Connecting out from more distant locations such as Australia you can expect speeds good enough for general browsing and streaming but not much else.
SaferVPN Performance Data
- Download Speed Average:43.99 MbpsUpload Speed Average:25.51 MbpsPing Time Average:140 ms
- Download Speed Average:133.47 MbpsUpload Speed Average:95.53 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:217.92 MbpsUpload Speed Average:99.81 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:143.67 MbpsUpload Speed Average:142.73 MbpsPing Time Average:3 ms
- Download Speed Average:110.07 MbpsUpload Speed Average:108.82 MbpsPing Time Average:4 ms
- Download Speed Average:105.40 MbpsUpload Speed Average:99.79 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:104.05 MbpsUpload Speed Average:57.72 MbpsPing Time Average:22 ms
- Download Speed Average:240.06 MbpsUpload Speed Average:169.16 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:72.26 MbpsUpload Speed Average:61.56 MbpsPing Time Average:49 ms
- Download Speed Average:142.08 MbpsUpload Speed Average:81.65 MbpsPing Time Average:5 ms
- Download Speed Average:114.67 MbpsUpload Speed Average:53.65 MbpsPing Time Average:76 ms
- Download Speed Average:63.91 MbpsUpload Speed Average:16.84 MbpsPing Time Average:93 ms
SaferVPN offers fast, reliable speeds, both on local connections and across its global network. Connecting locally provided a brilliant average speed of 132Mbps, with Singapore peaking at 240Mbps. Connecting out to the US from the UK you can expect a respectable 30Mbps, more than enough for HD streaming. More distant locations didn’t perform so well, with most connections out from Australia struggling to reach 12Mbps.
We also logged very low latency of under 2ms in Singapore and Paris and 4ms in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and New York, making SaferVPN a fantastic choice for gamers. Ping was not so reliable across all locations however, ballooning out to an extremely laggy 76ms in Toronto and 93ms in Vancouver.
SaferVPN has one of the quickest connection times out of every provider we’ve tested, coming in at a very quick 5 seconds on average. Performance overall was very reliable with negligible to no connection drops, provided you have a stable internet connection.
Upload speeds are also very consistent, coming in at a very respectable average of 90Mbps on local connections. If it hadn’t been for poor performance on the Canadian servers, the global average would have been even quicker, with some locations peaking at speeds of up to 143Mbps (London) and 169Mbps (Singapore). Unfortunately torrenters and P2P users might be disappointed as currently P2P is only permitted on the Canadian, Spanish and Netherlands servers, the last of which comes in at a much lower (but still respectable) 96Mbps upload speed.
SaferVPN is a great choice if you’re looking for consistent performance across a range of popular locations, but not so great if you’re going to be connecting internationally and want to stream in Ultra HD across several devices at once. For the average internet user, speeds on both local and global connections should be more than enough, however there are providers out there that are a great deal quicker if that is what you require.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How we test for VPN speed performance.
SaferVPN falls short on server locations when compared to other top-tier providers with only 34 countries to choose from. Should you only need to connect to a small number of countries then this limited choice may not affect you, however if that isn’t the case there are other options that might suit you better.
SaferVPN does operate a fairly large number of individual servers at over 700, however with only 1,000 IP addresses on offer they’re definitely at the smaller end of the scale compared to their rival providers. As their user base grows, this could lead to reduced performance and server congestion at busier times, which we did occasionally experience in our tests.
Unfortunately SaferVPN doesn’t offer any city-level servers at all across its network, which is something its rivals, such as Astrill and StrongVPN, do well for providing. With SaferVPN, the closest you get to this is a choice 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. The fact that you can’t even select an individual server is also pretty annoying.
As is normally the case, Europe is the best-served continent with 20 countries including popular options such as Russia, France and the Netherlands. It’s nice to see a few different choices in the Asia Pacific region such as Thailand, India and New Zealand, as well as the usual Australia and Hong Kong. South America and Africa are unfortunately not so well-covered with only 4 countries between them.
You can find the complete list of SaferVPN server locations by country and city on their website below.
Platforms & Devices
SaferVPN offers custom apps for various popular devices including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. They have also partnered with FlashRouters to sell a range of pre-configured routers with the SaferVPN software already installed, allowing you to protect every device on your network without having to install multiple apps.
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. Additionally SaferVPN provides step-by-step instructions to manually configure your existing router to support the software.
SaferVPN also offers extensions for both Chrome and Firefox. These are incredibly easy to download and add to your browser, and can be installed in a matter of seconds if you already have the main app set up on your device. 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 are not true VPN extensions but rather proxy extensions, as they do not encrypt your connection or offer the same advanced features as the desktop client. We wouldn’t recommend using them as a substitute for any of the main apps, however they are a useful bonus to have.
Console & Streaming Devices
You can use SaferVPN with various consoles and streaming devices by connecting them to a configured router or a device already running the SaferVPN app. This includes devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, PS3/4, Nintendo Wii and several others. This is where SaferVPN’s generous limit of 5 simultaneous connections comes in handy, as you can protect several of your devices at any one time.
On SaferVPN’s website you’ll find manual configuration guides for all of these devices and more, which are very straightforward to follow and contain lots of useful screenshots. In the future we’d love to see some custom apps for streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire Stick, but for now it’s easy enough to set the software up yourself.
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 their US streaming server, however be warned that whilst it works the vast majority of the time, on some occasions we did have a few issues getting connected. Thankfully SaferVPN are very aware of this and are working constantly to make sure that Netflix isn’t blocking any of their IP addresses.
The story is much the same with BBC iPlayer, which we were able to access in most of our tests. If there were ever any problems they didn’t last long, so unless you want to stream 24/7 you shouldn’t let this put you off too much. Brilliant speeds on the UK server mean you can also enjoy your favorite shows in HD.
Fast speeds and easy access means SaferVPN is also a good option for fans of other streaming services such as Hulu, HBO, Sky and Now TV. Kodi users and torrenters should be aware that P2P is only permitted on the Netherlands, Canadian and Spanish servers, meaning server congestion and slow speeds may be experienced at times. Other providers, such as IPVanish, offer unrestricted P2P activity on all servers, should you need it.
Encryption & Security
The VPN killswitch is an essential feature, ensuring your true IP address isn’t exposed by stopping all web traffic should the VPN disconnect unexpectedly. Recent updates to the app also include DNS and IPv6 leak protection, preventing a potential browser issue that bypasses the VPN connection and sends DNS requests directly to your ISP. Unfortunately SaferVPN doesn’t operate its own DNS servers, however it does use Google Public DNS, which are considered to provide a very high level of performance and security.
For an extra layer of privacy you can access Tor through SaferVPN, providing you with an double layer of encryption if you’re dealing with more sensitive information. 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 Killswitch
- TOR via VPN Server
Following China’s recent VPN crackdown, SaferVPN is no longer a good choice for people who are mainly going to be connecting out from that country. The only way to use the VPN service successfully is to manually configure and connect to individual server IP addresses, which is a very lengthy and fiddly process and still not guaranteed to work. SaferVPN is sadly 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 and accessibility to Tor over VPN. Great performance throughout the global server network is also an added bonus here, as well as solid coverage in heavily-censored locations such as Asia and parts of the Middle East.
SaferVPN’s servers log the following information each time a user activates the service:
- Data and time on which the session began and ended
- Amount of data transmitted during the session
- The chosen country and server location
As you can see, none of this data is personally identifiable and therefore cannot be traced back to you as an individual. SaferVPN keeps these logs for 3 months, which feels a little longer than necessary.
SaferVPN has its headquarters in New York, US, which could be a potential red flag for some users. However a very minimal logging policy goes some way to mitigating this, as no individual IP addresses are stored, meaning none of your browsing activity can be linked back to you.
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 but 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. It’s really easy to search for server locations and mark them as favorites for later, although we don’t love that the server list opens in a separate window.
A list of 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. Unfortunately in terms of advanced features it’s pretty limited in comparison to top-tier providers, only allowing you to control the killswitch, automatic WiFi security and your VPN protocol. While this certainly makes the app very accessible to VPN newbies, more advanced users may be left wanting.
The mobile app is just as slick, and you can choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols on Android. Unfortunately, the iOS app lacks any kind of manual protocol selection as the app automatically chooses one for you (LT2P, OpenVPN or PPTP). You can also manually configure the device to use IKEV2. Both mobile apps lack a killswitch feature, but the Android app does allow you to turn on automatic WiFi protection and auto-reconnect.
Even if you’ve never used a VPN before, installing and downloading SaferVPN should only take you a few minutes from start to finish. Whatever your device, there are loads of user-friendly set-up guides on the website. The process is as simple as downloading 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.
The prompts themselves are very straightforward to follow, however should you need further assistance the set-up guides should get you back on the right track. If not, simply contact one of their live chat agents, who will try their best to help you out.
SaferVPN’s customer support left us feeling frustrated at times. Live chat responses are extremely quick, but unfortunately support agents 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 and kept sending us irrelevant snippets of text from the FAQs. Due to this, we had to resort to emailing the support team, but thankfully we 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. Overall there’s enough material to help you solve most common issues, and we loved the handy search feature that prevents you having to trawl through loads of irrelevant articles.
The Bottom Line
- Consistently good performance, with speeds of up to 180Mbps
- 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
- Access to streaming sites not guaranteed
SaferVPN is a great choice if you’re looking for a speedy VPN to cover your basic privacy needs. In terms of price it’s one of the cheaper options on the current market, especially if you opt for the 3-year plan. Upload and download speeds are pretty fast in most popular locations, however P2P users may want to look elsewhere as torrenting is only permitted on 3 servers. Access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer is made easy through servers optimized for video.
On the privacy side of things, SaferVPN’s minimal logging policy goes a long way to mitigate the fact it’s based in the privacy-unfriendly US. Advanced features such as a VPN killswitch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection are added bonuses. It can be made to work at a push in China but there are more hassle-free options out there.
The software is slick and very user-friendly but lacking in configurable options, which might not be ideal for more experienced users. The limited server network means that it perhaps isn’t the best choice if you’re going to be connecting internationally on a regular basis, however it’s a great budget option for everyday browsers and privacy-conscious streamers.