Is VPNArea Trustworthy?
Logging Policy & Jurisdiction
VPNArea was founded in 2012 and is owned by Bulgarian-based company Offshore Security LTD.
Its headquarters are currently in Varna, Bulgaria, which would usually be a bad choice for a VPN service given it’s subject to intrusive EU surveillance laws and data-sharing agreements.
However VPNArea’s strict no-logs policy means that its jurisdiction is nothing to be concerned about, as even if a third party requested your personal information, VPNArea would not be able to hand it over.
Most VPNs will claim not to collect any logs, but VPNArea is one of the very few VPN services we’ve reviewed that is truly no-logs.
It does not monitor, record or store “any login dates, timestamps, incoming and outgoing IP addresses, bandwidth statistics or any other identifiable data of any VPN users.” This means nothing you do while connected to VPNArea can be traced back to you.
Consistently fast same-country speeds
Speed & Reliability
VPNArea is fast if you’re mainly planning on connecting to the same country or one nearby. We recorded download speeds of around 90Mbps. However, its international speed performance is poor. Our speeds fell to as low as 4Mbps, which is too slow for streaming or torrenting.
Here are the speed test results we recorded when connected to a nearby VPNArea server:
Local Speed Test results before using VPNArea:
- Download Speed: 94Mbps
- Upload Speed: 99Mbps
- Ping: 3ms
Local Speed Test results with VPNArea:
Download speed loss when VPNArea is running: 4%
VPNArea’s speed performance is very good on local connections.
It’s a strong choice for gamers, too, thanks to its quick same-country latency of just 8ms. It also produced very fast upload speeds, which is ideal for torrenting. Even better, VPNArea’s connections were incredibly reliable with no drops at all.
International Speed Test Results
We also tested VPNArea’s speeds when connected to servers from around the world.
Here are our latest VPNArea international speed test results:
- Download: 48Mbps
- Upload: 36Mbps
- Download: 77Mbps
- Upload: 80Mbps
- Download: 12Mbps
- Upload: 6Mbps
- Download: 4Mbps
- Upload: 2Mbps
For more information on exactly how we measure VPN performance, take a look at How We Test VPNs.
Servers located in 55 countries
VPNArea has servers in 55 countries around the world. It offers a decent variety, with dedicated servers for streaming and bypassing censorship. However, there are a total of just 165 servers, which is too few to keep up with demand. Overall, VPNArea's server features are impressive but aren't as good as top VPNs
There are city-level server options in a handful of VPNArea’s locations, with the broadest range of choice in the US. Users located in the US can choose from 42 VPNArea servers spread over 11 different cities, which is great news for performance.
Other countries with city-specific server choice include Australia (five), Canada (four), Italy (three), Spain (two), South Africa (two), and the UK (three).
As usual, Europe and North America have the best server coverage, however there’s a lot of choice outside of these regions too, which is refreshing to see. There are no obvious gaps in VPNArea’s server network, but it would be nice to see some more city-level options in the future.
All of VPNArea’s servers are physically located in the region. We prefer this, as it improves security and is more transparent for users. However, it does limit the countries where VPNArea can have servers.
We really like that VPNArea owns and operates its own DNS servers, however we were disappointed by the total number of servers at just 165. There’s also only one shared IP address per server, which can mean bad news for performance, but is also excellent for privacy.
Works with Netflix
VPNArea unblocks Netflix on its dedicated servers. We were able to watch the US, Canada, UK, and Italy Netflix libraries. Disappointingly, we weren't able to watch Amazon Prime Video or Hulu, and it only sometimes works with BBC iPlayer.
VPNArea’s dedicated Netflix servers are labeled in the app with “NFLX”. For example, to stream US Netflix, connect to ‘USA-0-NFLX’.
The video and audio quality was fine, but we couldn’t stream in 4K.
VPNArea also has a dedicated UK server for streaming BBC iPlayer, but it’s very unreliable and doesn’t always work. Unfortunately, VPNArea wasn’t working with BBC iPlayer in our most recent streaming tests.
We asked VPNArea’s live chat agents when they expected the issue with BBC iPlayer to be resolved, and they told us they didn’t have a timeframe but would be notifying users of the problem. BBC iPlayer fans should therefore use one of these tested and working VPNs instead.
Torrenting allowed on all servers
VPNArea is a good VPN for torrenting. In our tests, it has a fast bitrate speed and allowed torrenting on all 165 of its servers. The VPN also has a private logging policy and strong encryption. You can trust VPNArea to keep your P2P activity private.
VPNArea comes with many servers that are optimized for P2P activity.
Combine this with fast local download and upload speeds, no IP or DNS leaks, and a VPN kill switch and you have a very appealing VPN for torrenters.
Good for China (desktop-only)
VPNArea is a good choice for China. It has X-Stunnel VPN servers in many locations, which will disguise your connection as HTTPS traffic and allow you to bypass state censorship. The only downside is that this is only available on a PC. For mobile, you'll have to use another VPN.
VPNArea offers X-Stunnel servers in China, Japan, Singapore and the US (as well as a few other countries). As a result, you can connect to a nearby location for the best possible speeds.
These X-Stunnel VPN servers are only available on Windows and Mac devices, though, and there are no manual workarounds for iOS or Android. Mobile users should avoid.
VPNArea’s obfuscated servers mean that it’s also a reliable VPN service for those in other countries with oppressive censorship regimes such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the UAE.
Can be used with tons of different devices, including routers
Platforms & Devices
VPNArea has apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, as well as internet routers. It’s also available on TV platforms such as Fire TV and Android TV. There are no browser extensions and no Smart DNS tool, though.
Here’s the full list of platforms that VPNArea can be downloaded on:
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
VPNArea can be used with loads of different games consoles and streaming devices by connecting them to a router running the VPN, as this will automatically protect all of the internet-connected devices in your home.
VPNArea isn’t the best option if you’re looking for a plug-and-play solution for your games console, but it’ll do the job well enough. If you’re looking for something a little more straightforward, take a look at our ExpressVPN review – its MediaStreamer service makes life a lot easier.
If you’re going to be installing VPNArea on individual devices, you can use it on up to six of them at the same time – that’s about the average we see from most VPN services.
Strong privacy features will protect you online
Security & Features
VPNArea will keep you safe online. The desktop app uses OpenVPN, the most secure VPN protocol. You can also connect using double hop, which is a privacy-enhancing feature that we rarely see from a VPN of this size. VPNArea’s VPN connections are secured using AES-256 encryption.
VPNArea includes a kill switch feature, which protects you from any potential connection drops. It also prevents DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks. Even better, it operates its own zero-log DNS servers to keep your personal information private.
Additionally, VPNArea operates Double VPN servers, providing you with an extra layer of privacy when you’re connected to the VPN. There’s also a built-in ad-blocker and malware protection.
Port forwarding is available on VPNArea – but you’ll need to get in touch with support to request it be enabled on your account. You can also get a VPNArea dedicated IP for an extra annual fee.
Cluttered apps with some usability flaws
Ease of Use
Frankly, VPNArea's apps are ugly and not enjoyable to use. We found the design to be outdated and not fit for 2021. It's easy enough to download and install the app, but we had issues when trying to log in. We recommend avoiding VPNArea if you've never used a VPN before.
How to Install & Set Up VPNArea
VPNArea’s desktop app has some excellent features but also a few annoying quirks that ruined the experience for us a little. There’s no main screen as such, so you’re just redirected to the VPN server list once you’ve logged in.
The VPN server list is split up into useful tabs such as torrenting, streaming and obfuscated – you can sort the servers by distance, speed or percentage load too. The VPN settings all come with simple on/off toggles but we would like the app to include much more contextual information.
24/7 live chat makes up for limited resources
VPNAreas has good customer support, with a wide range of options. Its customer service team is available 24/7 and replied quickly and knowledgeably to our questions. It doesn't come with many online tutorials like some top VPNs, but it's adequate for a VPN of this size.
|24/7 Live chat support||Yes|
Disappointingly, some of VPNAre’s resources (such as setup guides) are limited to paying customers only.
On the website, there are loads of in-depth FAQs covering a variety of topics from encryption to the security of different VPN protocols.
We were pleasantly surprised that VPNArea offers a genuinely 24/7 live chat feature with friendly, helpful agents. We always received a response within a matter of minutes, too.
Longest plan is excellent value for money
Price & Value for Money
VPNArea is a fairly cheap provider in comparison to other VPN services of a similar quality. VPNArea’s monthly plan is the most expensive option at $9.90, but you can drop this right down to $2.99 on the three-year plan, saving you 70%.
Here are VPNArea’s subscription options in full:
US$9.90/moBilled $9.90 every month
US$4.92/moBilled $59.00 every 12 months
US$2.99/moBilled $107.64 every 3 years
All plans have 7-day money-back guarantee
Payment & Refund Options
VPNArea offers loads of different payment options, including all major credit and debit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin. You can also pay using a ton of international methods, such as WebMoney, Alipay and Hipercard, which is great for those living abroad.
VPNArea doesn’t provide a free trial, but instead offers a ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantee, which is a different length depending on the plan you signed up for. The 12-month and three-year subscriptions come with a 30-day refund period, whereas the 1-month option is 14 days.
In order to apply for a refund, all you have to do is contact VPNArea via live chat or email, and your refund will be sent to you within 48 hours (VPNArea claims that 98% of users receive their refund within just 15 hours).
Do We Recommend VPNArea?
The Bottom Line
VPNArea is something of a hidden gem. It’s far from the most popular VPN on the market, but we have no hesitation in recommending VPNArea.
It’s not perfect (the app can be frustrating at times), but VPNArea’s excellent list of features and super-secure logging policy are real highlights.
Alternatives to VPNArea
ExpressVPN excels in most areas, but it's an especially good choice if you don't want to have to worry about a frustrating or clunky app - ExpressVPN is as easy to use as they come. Read ExpressVPN review
Put off by VPNArea's inconsistency with BBC iPlayer? CyberGhost is a super cost-effective way to access iPlayer, not to mention tons of other popular streaming services. Read CyberGhost review