tigerVPN isn’t a big name in the VPN industry, but it’s been around since 2011 and has developed an attractive, tiger-themed range of custom apps.
With mediocre local performance and basic security features, it’s clear that tigerVPN geared towards beginners looking to use public WiFi securely rather than those seeking online anonymity or blistering performance.
Pricing & Deals
tigerVPN is fairly expensive if you pay month-to-month at $11.99, but it offers a three-year plan that works out at a much more affordable $2.75 a month.
If you don’t want to commit for that long, the annual plan offers a 58% saving bringing the monthly price down to $6.67.
Get 77% off tigerVPN's 3-year plan
tigerVPN Pricing & Deals
tigerVPN offers a seven-day money-back guarantee and a three-day free trial. Be warned that canceling your subscription within seven days does not trigger a refund, though, as you are required to claim one by contacting the support team via live chat or email.
Those who pay with Bitcoin aren’t eligible for a refund and are instead encouraged to test the apps out using the free trial.
The free trial is offered so that users can ‘verify if [their] devices and network equipment is capable to communicate with our VPN infrastructure’. No payment details are required, but after you won’t be eligible for the money-back guarantee if you run into connectivity issues due to incompatibility.
We really don’t like that tigerVPN is willing to terminate accounts that are inactive for over two months or do not use the service ‘on a regular base [sic]’. No refunds are given if this occurs and users wishing to reactivate their account will have to pay a reinstatement fee.
The usual payment methods are available, including credit or debit card and PayPal, as well as Bitcoin for those who want to pay anonymously. tigerVPN also accepts MINT through its partnership with Paymentwall.
Speed & Reliability
tigerVPN offers underwhelming speeds locally, and worse performance on international connections. It’ll be fast enough for general browsing and HD streaming on a single device, though.
Downloads peaked in the Netherlands (we test from the UK) at 32Mbps, with pretty similar results across Europe. Connecting out to the US East Coast was below par at 13Mbps, dropping to under 10Mbps over longer distances.
Uploads were marginally better, but security flaws within the apps mean that torrenters should steer clear. We recorded the best speeds in the UK (59Mbps) and, as was the case with downloads, they dropped off significantly over more distant connections.
Latency was a little high at 15ms on same-city connections, which isn’t ideal for gamers. It also takes ages to connect and change between servers (up to 30 seconds) on the desktop apps, which, due to the lack of a VPN kill switch, leaves you temporarily unprotected.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
tigerVPN has a middling server network, with a total of 43 countries spread across the globe.
It covers many popular locations in Europe and North America, but also offers a good level of choice in the Asia-Pacific region with 15 countries and South and Central America with five. Unfortunately, Africa is covered by South Africa alone.
You can drill down to city level in a handful of locations, with a choice of seven cities in the US, three in Canada, and two in the UK. We were pleasantly surprised to see city-level choice in Brazil, India, Italy, and Japan too, as they are often overlooked.
tigerVPN maintains only 300 individual servers, which is a little disappointing for a service that’s been around since 2011.
Platforms & Devices
tigerVPN offers custom apps for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, which are available to download from its website. It also allows you to use the VPN on up to five devices at the same time.
There are also setup guides for other devices including Linux, Chromebook, and DD-WRT routers, but these require some manual configuration. Thankfully, the guides are simple to follow and shouldn’t cause too much hassle.
By configuring a router you will be able to protect all internet-connected devices in your home, including games consoles and streaming devices. Since the only setup guide offered for routers is specific to DD-WRT, it’s not guaranteed to work on others.
Streaming & Torrenting
tigerVPN has a useful document outlining which servers to use to unblock Netflix but, unfortunately, the US servers currently don’t work.
We were able to stream EU content using the Madrid server as stated on the document, though. BBC iPlayer is also blocked.
Torrenting is permitted by tigerVPN, but users are asked to use the Amsterdam, Bucharest, and Montreal servers only as these jurisdictions are more tolerant of P2P activity.
We wouldn’t recommend torrenting at all, though, as a lack of VPN kill switch won’t guarantee you the protection needed for such a privacy-sensitive task.
Encryption & Security
tigerVPN offers a basic level of privacy with strong encryption but a distinct lack of security extras.
The custom apps run exclusively on OpenVPN, which is our preferred protocol for its balance between performance and privacy. You can manually configure the VPN to work with a handful of other protocols too. The iOS app is the only one that natively runs on IKEv2/IPSec. Encryption is via AES-256, a cipher considered ‘unbreakable’.
tigerVPN maintains its own first-party DNS servers, which would be great if we hadn’t found the MacOS app to be leaking our DNS requests. This allows your ISP – and any on-path eavesdroppers – to see which websites you’re visiting. tigerVPN is now aware of the issue which only affects MacOS version 10.14.2. Thankfully, all of the other apps were sound.
The lack of a VPN kill switch means that your true IP address is at risk of being exposed to third parties should the VPN connection drop.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- First-party DNS
We can’t recommend tigerVPN to users looking for VPN to use in China – it just doesn’t offer the necessary obfuscation tools to beat the Great Firewall’s censorship.
If you need to bypass censorship in China or any other high-censorship countries, such as Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, our top pick is ExpressVPN.
tigerVPN collects a fair amount of connection metadata but thankfully none of this is personally-identifiable, and it doesn’t log your online activities or DNS queries.
Here is a list of the data it does collect:
- VPN protocol and version
- Operating system
- App version
- Connection timestamps
- Data transferred per session
- Chosen server location
- Favorite servers (you can opt out of this)
- Debug information (you can opt out of this)
This is information is used for server maintenance, troubleshooting, and detecting system abuse. It is stored for six months and then deleted, which is longer than we would like. However, as none of this can be traced back to an individual, it’s not too much of a worry.
tigerVPN is incorporated in Slovakia, a jurisdiction outside of the 14 Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which is a plus for privacy.
However, it is a member of the European Union, and is, therefore, subject to its intrusive data retention laws. This shouldn’t be too much of a concern, though, as tigerVPN doesn’t collect any personally-identifiable information.
Ease of Use
tigerVPN’s custom apps are simple and clutter-free across the board, whether you’re using the VPN on a desktop computer or mobile device.
The simplicity does come at the expense of configurability – there are very few settings to play with. You can toggle between TCP and UDP, but that’s it about it.
If you want to install the VPN on a device without a native app – or connect through a VPN protocol other than OpenVPN – some manual configuration is required. There are detailed guides on tigerVPN’s Help pages for Linux and DD-WRT routers, but you’re on your own for any other platforms.
You’ll be up and running in no time with tigerVPN – all you need to do is download the relevant software from your user dashboard, follow some simple installation prompts, and log into the client with your credentials.
tigerVPN offers a good level of customer support for paying customers, but live chat isn’t available for those without an account who will have to email instead.
Response time could also be improved – sometimes we had to wait just a few minutes but we were occasionally left waiting for hours. Despite this, we found the support agents to be friendly, helpful, and very knowledgeable, answering all our questions with ease.
The online resources – found in the ‘Help’ section of the website – are fairly comprehensive too and should answer most of your questions if live chat leaves you hanging. They are well-organized and there’s a handy search bar that makes finding answers quick and easy.
The Bottom Line
- Stream in HD on local connections
- Simple, beginner-friendly custom apps
- Choice of 62 cities in 43 countries
- No VPN kill switch available
- Some security issues with MacOS app
- Underwhelming performance
tigerVPN looks the part but unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver the full package we’d expect from a VPN that’s been around for several years.
The cutesy custom apps may look pretty but a lack of basic security features such as a VPN kill switch means that it can’t be recommended for the most privacy-conscious of users.
Performance and strong encryption will satisfy beginners who want to feel more secure using public WiFi, though.