VPNArea is a secure, zero-logs VPN that offers great performance on local connections. Dedicated streaming servers make accessing popular sites such as Netflix an absolute breeze, and optimized servers for P2P activity reduce the chances of congestion for torrenters. The user-friendly apps are available for all popular platforms, and you can easily protect all internet-connected devices in your household by manually configuring your router to support the VPN.
VPNArea boasts strong encryption and more security features than most of our top-tier providers, notably a configurable kill switch and first-party DNS servers, along with Double Hop servers for an extra layer of privacy. A genuinely zero-logs policy means that nothing you do online can be traced back to you as an individual, even if a law enforcement agency requested your personal data. Customer support is decent, with a 24/7 live chat feature, but some of the more advanced setup guides are limited to paying customers.
Pricing & Deals
Much like the majority of other VPN providers, VPNArea offers three different pricing plans so you can choose a length that best suits you. These all offer the same features but vary depending on how long you sign up for – the longer your subscription, the less you pay on a monthly basis.
Paying one month at a time is the most expensive option at $9.90, but even this isn’t a bad price compared to some top-tier providers. The annual plan offers the biggest savings, dropping by 50% and costing a very reasonable $4.92 per month, and there’s also a six-month plan at $8.33, a reduction of 16%.
Get an extra 15% off any VPNArea plan
VPNArea Pricing & Deals
VPNArea offers a seven-day money-back guarantee in place of a free trial, which seems a little stingy when you consider that some providers, such as CyberGhost, offer up to 45 days. VPNArea’s guarantee does appear to be a genuinely ‘no questions asked’ guarantee, however you do have to email the refunds team and state your reason for canceling before they will begin to process your request. Obviously anyone who has breached the Terms of Service will not be eligible to get their money back, as is usually the case. All refunds will be processed within 72 hours, but VPNArea aims not to take any longer than 24 hours, making it a fairly risk-free commitment.
Bitcoin users should note that they’ll also need to send VPNArea the address of their Bitcoin wallet in order for their refund to be processed. This makes a refreshing change, as normally providers are very reluctant to refund via Bitcoin, even though it is one of the most secure payment methods.
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.
Speed & Reliability
VPNArea offers solid performance on local connections but isn’t quite as reliable over longer distances. Connecting to nearby servers will provide you with speeds more than quick enough for browsing and streaming on multiple devices at once, and P2P-optimized servers make it a good choice for torrenters too.
VPNArea’s download performance is pretty much standard in comparison to other providers at the same price-point. Speeds peaked at almost 70Mbps in the UK (we test from London) and averaged around 50Mbps across the rest of Europe, which isn’t as fast as our top-tier providers (some of which offer upwards of 300Mbps) but enough to do most things online without breaking a sweat. Connecting out to the US East Coast from Europe you can expect downloads of over 30Mbps, which was a pleasant surprise, even if performance connecting out to Australia and Japan failed to produce a paltry 10Mbps.
Once we were connected, we found VPNArea to be incredibly reliable, with consistent speed test results in each location and no connection drops whatsoever. The only minor issue is how long it took to connect – sometimes it was as quick as a couple of seconds, but connecting to further away servers (such as those in Asia) meant that we were left waiting for quite a bit longer. Unless you’re going to be switching servers a lot, this is unlikely to be a problem, but just something to bear in mind.
Latency was a little higher than we’d expected, at around 11ms on same-city connections. While this is hardly going to affect the majority of users, keen gamers should consider looking elsewhere, as there are providers on the current market that offer ping times of 1ms or even less.
Uploads were surprisingly even better than downloads, consistently coming in at 60Mbps+ on local connections and peaking at almost 90Mbps in the Netherlands. Combined with P2P-optimized servers and a strict zero-logs policy, this makes VPNArea an excellent choice for torrenters. As is usually the case, these speeds dropped off dramatically on international connections, struggling to reach 3Mbps in Australia, but this is nothing to worry too much about.
Overall we were pretty impressed with VPNArea’s performance, especially considering they don’t collect any connection logs even for server maintenance purposes. Local speeds will allow you to stream in HD on multiple devices at once no problem, and reliable uploads mean it’s great for torrenting. While latency wasn’t horrendously high, hardcore gamers might want to consider other providers with lower ping times, and if you’re going to be connecting internationally on a regular basis, there are better options out there.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How we test for VPN speed performance.
VPNArea offers an incredibly diverse server network with an impressive total of 70 countries spread across the globe. This is one of the larger networks we’ve seen in our tests so far, and we like that coverage is still pretty decent outside of Europe and North America. There are a few providers offering more locations should you need them but for the majority, VPNArea’s offering should be more than enough.
After speaking with a member of the customer support team, he could confirm to us that they operate over 200 servers, with one shared IP address per server. While this is good news for privacy, as it makes it far easier for you to get ‘lost in the crowd’, it’s bad news for performance, as it could lead to potential congestion at peak times. Thankfully you can avoid crowded servers by checking their load in the VPNArea app.
A choice of 42 servers spread over 11 different US cities is up there with some of our top-tier providers, and is great for users that need to drill down to a specific state for whatever reason. There’s also a choice of five cities in Australia, four in the UK, three in Canada, and at least two in a handful of countries not usually so well-served, including Austria, Brazil and South Africa.
As is to be expected, Europe and North America have the best coverage, however there’s a lot of choice outside of these regions too. Users in the Asia-Pacific region can choose from options in Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and a server in mainland China, plus loads more. South America has servers in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, and we like that Africa isn’t limited to South Africa and also offers a choice of servers in Tunisia and Egypt.
You can find the complete list of VPNArea server locations by country and city on their website below.
Platforms & Devices
VPNArea offers custom apps for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and Linux devices which are incredibly easy to set up and use. You can also use the VPN with some devices lacking native apps, such as Blackberry or Windows Phone, but you’re restricted to the IKEv2 protocol rather than OpenVPN. There are useful installation guides on VPNArea’s website, just bear in mind that you can only access these if you have an active subscription.
If you want to protect all of the internet-connected devices in your home without installing individual apps on each one, you have a couple of options. You can either manually configure your existing router to work with the VPN software (you can find the list of supported routers on the website), or you can buy a pre-configured router from a site such as FlashRouters. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these – obviously purchasing a pre-flashed router means you can simply plug it in and begin using the VPN, but they are fairly expensive, whereas installing the software on your existing router may take a little bit of effort on your part but at least you don’t have to buy a new one. VPNArea does provide step-by-step tutorials on their website to give you a helping hand.
VPNArea doesn’t offer any kinds of browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari, which is unlikely to be an issue for most users but could be off-putting if you mainly want to protect your browser and are looking for a more lightweight solution than a full VPN app. If this is the case, you’ll be better off looking at providers such as ExpressVPN, which offers full-featured extensions for all popular browsers, or NordVPN which provides less-secure (but quicker) proxies.
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 software, as this will automatically protect all of the internet-connected devices in your home. As we mentioned earlier in our review, you have a couple of options when it comes to installing the VPN at router level. You can either manually configure your existing router (you can find the list of supported routers on the website) or purchase a pre-configured one from FlashRouters.
This means you can use the VPN on devices such as your AppleTV, Google Chromecast, Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation, plus many more. VPNArea also offers step-by-step guides for Kodi and Amazon Fire TV Stick as you can install the software directly onto these devices with some manual configuration, however this might not be the easiest solution for VPN newbies. If you’re looking to plug-and-play, there are better options out there, but it’s great for those who were already planning to install the VPN at router level.
Streaming & Torrenting
VPNArea is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for super-fast, hassle-free access to major streaming services. Thanks to optimized streaming servers, we had no problems at all watching Netflix through both the US and UK servers, and brilliant local performance means you can take advantage of the HD option and watch your favorite shows in great quality without worrying about buffering.
VPNArea also offers a dedicated UK server for watching BBC iPlayer, however access to this streaming site was inconsistent- some days we were able to watch content and other days we found it to be blocked. The other issue with these servers is that they’re very popular and are therefore likely to reach capacity at peak times (e.g. late afternoon and evening), so that’s something to bear in mind – hopefully VPNArea will introduce more servers in the future to help with this problem. You can find these servers under the ‘Special’ tab in the desktop app.
Encryption & Security
VPNArea does a lot right for privacy, with loads of advanced security features and a strict zero-logs policy. The desktop app runs on OpenVPN, which we really like as this is the most secure protocol, with the option to toggle between UDP and TCP. You can also connect using IKEv2, but VPNArea does state that although this is quicker, it doesn’t offer the same level of privacy. Encryption is via top cipher AES-256, which is favored by the US federal government and considered impossible to hack.
The amount of extra privacy features in VPNArea’s desktop app puts even some of our top-tier providers to shame. As well as the essential VPN kill switch feature, which blocks all your web traffic should the VPN connection drop for any reason, you’re also protected against DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks, preventing your true IP address from being exposed. VPNArea also operates its own zero-log DNS servers, preventing your traffic being routed through less-secure third-party servers, and meaning your ISP has no way of knowing what you’re doing online.
As well as all of these, VPNArea operates Double VPN servers, where your connection is routed through two different VPN servers before it reaches its destination, providing you with an extra layer of privacy. You can also turn on the integrated ad blocking and malware protection, which means advertising companies can’t see your browsing history and therefore can’t target you with personalized ads.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- Supports TCP Port 443
- VPN Kill Switch
- WebRTC Leak Blocking
- Ad Blocker
- Dedicated IP
- Double VPN
VPNArea is a decent choice for users who are mainly going to be connecting out from China and other high-censorship countries due to optimized servers that provide an additional layer of obfuscation. In the ‘Special’ servers tab, you can find X-Stunnel servers for loads of different locations, which will disguise your connection as normal HTTPS traffic and therefore give you a much better chance of beating government censors and accessing content that would otherwise be blocked.
VPNArea updates the available servers on a daily basis and is constantly adding new countries, so make sure you’re updated to the latest version of the app each time you connect. One minor downside is that the website is currently blocked in China, so you need to make sure you download the software and check it’s all working before you travel – either that, or have a backup VPN so you can access the site from the country.
These obfuscated servers mean that VPNArea is also a reliable solution for those in other countries with oppressive censorship regimes such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran, as your connection won’t appear as a VPN and therefore you’re far less likely to be detected and blocked. VPNArea’s diverse global server network is another advantage here, as it means that you’ll never be too far from a high-speed server in a free-speech country.
VPNArea is one of the few VPN providers on the current market that is genuinely zero-logs. They do 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”. They also don’t log or track any DNS requests sent to their DNS servers, so there’s no way of them knowing what you’re doing online, which is very reassuring.
VPNArea has its headquarters in Varna, Bulgaria, which could be a red flag for some as this makes it subject to intrusive EU surveillance and intelligence-sharing laws. However, a strict zero-logs policy means this 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, as they do not collect any logs that could be used to personally identify you.
Ease of Use
VPNArea’s Windows 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, you’re just redirected to the server list on login, but there are some useful stats at the bottom of the screen, such as your new IP address, connection status and whether or not you’ve turned on the ad blocker. The on/off button turns green when you’re connected to the VPN, and also displays the name of your chosen server, which we like.
The server list is split up into loads of useful tabs to make it easy for you to find the best option for what you’re going to be doing online. These include servers optimized for P2P/torrenting or streaming, as well as those offering an extra layer of obfuscation, which are ideal for users in high-censorship countries. There’s also a ‘recommended’ tab that shows you the servers closest to your physical location for the best possible performance. You can suit the servers by distance, speed or load too.
You’ll find the settings button in the bottom left-hand corner of the app, and again, this is organized into useful tabs such as ‘server settings’ and ‘kill switch’. Most of the features come with simple on/off toggles so you can easily tell whether or not they’re active, and we particularly like the contextual help that comes with some of the more advanced settings, as this will be really useful for VPN newbies.
Annoyingly, we experienced a fair few connection errors when we first used the app, and we’re still not sure what caused these – thankfully after a few attempts we were up and running again. Another minor gripe is the fact that you have to disconnect from one server before reconnecting to another, as this just feels a bit clunky and on the whole pretty unnecessary. We wouldn’t let this put you off too much though, as the apps are very well-designed and on the whole incredibly simple to use.
Getting started with VPNArea is incredibly quick and easy and takes just a couple of minutes from purchasing the VPN to connecting for the first time. All it takes is going to the support section of the site, downloading the relevant software for your device and following the series of prompts given to you by the installation wizard.
This process is pretty self-explanatory but there are step-by-step guides on VPNArea’s website should you get a bit stuck (bear in mind you’ll only be able to see these if you’ve already signed up to a paid subscription). Once the installation is complete, all you have to do is enter your login credentials and you’re good to go – just remember to use the username from your confirmation email, rather than your email address.
VPNArea’s customer support is decent enough for a provider of this size but we don’t like that some of the resources are limited to paying customers only. There isn’t really a knowledge base on the website as such, but there are loads of in-depth FAQs covering a variety of topics from encryption to the security of different VPN protocols. The one major downside of this is the total lack of organization – there’s no sense of order on this page and no search feature either, so be prepared to spend some time reading through a few answers before you find what you’re looking for.
We were pleasantly surprised that VPNArea offers a genuinely 24/7 live chat feature with friendly, helpful agents. Whenever we had a question, we received a response within a matter of minutes, and even though elements of these were often copied and pasted from the FAQs section, we were always satisfied with the information we were given. Unfortunately some of the setup guides (such as those for routers, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Kodi) can only be accessed if you have an active VPNArea subscription, an approach that seems to be becoming more and more popular with VPN providers. We aren’t huge fans of this as it means potential buyers aren’t able to assess how simple or complex the process might be, and it could put many people off. Disregarding this though, the guides themselves are incredibly useful and shouldn’t be a struggle to understand even if you’ve never used a VPN before.
The Bottom Line
- Local download speeds of up to 70Mbps
- Dedicated streaming servers for Netflix and iPlayer
- Custom apps for all popular platforms
- Connect securely to 70 countries
- Strict zero-logs policy and loads of privacy extras
- Short refund period (only 7 days)
- Some resources limited to paying customers
- Slow server connection times
VPNArea is a secure, genuinely zero-logs VPN that offers solid local performance and loads of extra privacy features. In terms of the price, it’s not the cheapest out there but it’s not bad value either, especially if you opt for the annual plan which works out at just $4.92 per month. Access to Netflix and other popular streaming sites is made incredibly easy through dedicated streaming servers, and keen torrenters will love the servers optimized for P2P activity.
If you’re looking for the highest possible levels of privacy, VPNArea is a very good shout. Their zero-logging policy means they don’t even collect basic connection metadata, and the apps pack in a ton of advanced settings such as a VPN kill switch, first-party DNS servers, DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection and a built-in ad blocker. Special obfuscated servers mean it also works well to access blocked content in high-censorship countries such as China.
Custom apps are available for all major platforms and are very user-friendly with loads of useful contextual info. You can manually configure your router with the software, however the setup guides for this are only accessible if you’ve signed up for a paid subscription. Customer support features 24/7 live chat with friendly, helpful agents, but the FAQs and general resources on the website could be organized a little better. As long as you’re not mad into gaming or need to connect internationally on several devices at once, VPNArea is definitely worth a try.