Logs your personal IP address
Logging & Jurisdiction
VPNBook has a horrible logging policy. It stores your real IP address and keeps track of when you connect to a VPN server. It's incredibly rare for a VPN to log your IP address, even the very bad ones - but that's just what VPNBook does. This alone is reason enough to not use VPNBook.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much information about VPNBook’s company information online. There are no records of who founded it or when.
The official VPNBook Twitter account was created in August 2012, which roughly lines up with the first appearance of vpnbook.com on the Wayback Machine.
All that VPNBook discloses is that it’s based in Switzerland.
VPNBook is transparent about its business model, at least. According to its website, it makes money through advertisements (on the website) and donations.
There is a premium service, too, that provides users with a dedicated VPN server and bandwidth. It costs $7.95 a month and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Switzerland is a great place for a VPN company to be based – it’s not part of the Five-Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, nor is it a member of the EU, another organization known for data sharing among its members.
However, VPNBook is not a private VPN so its Swiss jurisdiction counts for very little.
The policy claims that VPNBook doesn’t log “any personal information” or “any user’s internet data” but proceeds to say that it stores users’ true IP addresses and VPN connection timestamps.
IP addresses can be used to identify you and match you to your online activities – it’s one of the absolute worst things a VPN can log.
This data is automatically deleted every week. Regardless, this is a terrible logging policy.
Painfully slow speeds
Speed & Reliability
VPNBook is so slow that we had trouble even running speed tests with it connected. Web pages took up to a minute to fully load, and when we eventually could run the tests the results were unsurprising.
The fastest speeds we experienced were 15Mbps down and 12Mbps up on the France server (we test from the UK), with a high ping time of 62ms.
The slowest speeds? The VPN was slow the test page failed to load at all when we connected to a US server.
Local Speed Test results before using VPNBook:
- Download Speed: 95.65Mbps
- Upload Speed: 98.03Mbps
- Ping: 7ms
Local Speed Test results with VPNBook:
Download speed loss when VPNBook is running: 84%
Speeds dropped to under 5Mbps on both Germany and Canada servers.
VPNBook is barely fast enough for browsing, let alone streaming, gaming, and torrenting.
A top free VPN like ProtonVPN recorded an average local speed of 95Mbps. That’s a mere 5% speed loss, compared to VPNBook’s 84% reduction.
If you’re prepared to pay for a VPN subscription, we recommend you consider one of the fastest VPNs available, based on our in-house testing.
Not good for streaming
Despite claiming to work with Netflix on its website, VPNBook didn’t unblock any streaming service during our tests. We tried to watch Netflix on the two US servers available and both times we received a proxy error message.
Throughout our streaming tests, VPNBook didn’t work with a single streaming platform.
We tested VPNBook with 12 different platforms, including Netflix, HBO Max, DAZN, Disney+, and Hulu. The VPN failed to stream all of them.
Moreover, there’s no way to watch BBC iPlayer from abroad either, since there are no UK servers to choose from.
EXPERT ADVICE: NordVPN is a very good streaming VPN, unblocking Netflix USA, HBO Max, Disney+, and more. Try NordVPN risk-free for 30 days.
VPNBook is a bad choice for torrenting
VPNBook actually allows P2P traffic on a couple of its servers, which is unusual for a free VPN. However, speeds are so bad and the logging policy is so invasive that torrenting with it is a bad idea all-round.
VPNBook allows P2P traffic on two servers: Germany and Poland. If you’re using the VPNBook Android application, rather than the OpenVPN app, then you can only torrent on the Germany server.
In any case, we advise you don’t use VPNBook for torrenting. The three main reasons for not using VPNBook for torrenting are the following:
- VPNBook’s speeds are extremely slow.
- VPNBook logs your IP address, which could reveal your file-sharing activities.
- There’s no VPN kill switch, which heightens the risk of your IP address being exposed.
Based on the above, you’re putting yourself at risk if you still decide to torrent with VPNBook. To torrent safely, use a secure VPN for torrenting.
DNS leaks & sub-par security
Security & Features
VPNBook doesn’t come with any security extras, but at the very least it does provide VPN connections through OpenVPN with strong AES encryption. However we experienced DNS leaks in our testing, leaving the sites you visit exposed.
VPNBook supports OpenVPN. It’s our preferred VPN protocol – it’s open-source, secure, and pretty fast, too. Coupled with AES-128 or AES-256 ciphers it’s really safe.
But that’s where the positives end for VPNBook.
Alongside OpenVPN, VPNBook provides PPTP configuration files. While PPTP is easier to install on popular devices it’s not safe to use.
In fact, PPTP can be hacked in minutes.
You shouldn’t use it at all.
Even if you stick with OpenVPN VPNBook doesn’t come with a VPN kill switch, which may put your personal details at risk.
Should the VPN disconnect suddenly, your IP address would be exposed to your ISP and any other snooping third parties.
What’s worse, even when the VPN was properly connected we experienced DNS leaks:
This means that our ISP can still see all of the websites we visited while using the VPN.
VPNBook isn’t a very safe VPN to use and unlike other VPNs that lack security extras, VPNBook doesn’t have the advantage of being super easy to use and beginner-friendly to make up for it.
Doesn’t work in China
VPNBook will not work in China. There is a slim chance of success at connecting to the internet in slightly less strictly-censored countries using its PPTP protocol setup, but that's far less secure.
Don’t use VPNBook to access blocked websites in China.
Most importantly, VPNBook doesn’t come with any obfuscation tools to bypass the Great Firewall.
Unsurprisingly, we couldn’t unblock any website testing the VPN service on our test server located in Shanghai.
Chinese censors are clearly detecting the service’s OpenVPN traffic and blocking it.
There are also no nearby VPN servers, so you’d have to connect over long distances. Given VPNBook’s poor speed performance, speeds would reduce to a crawl, even if it did somehow work.
Only five free server locations
Like many other free VPN services, VPNBook’s server network is very limited.There are five countries to choose from, but only when using OpenVPN configuration files. If you download the native Android app you can only choose between the US or Germany.
VPNBook’s five free server locations to choose from are:
There are no server locations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, or South America. There’s not even a server in the UK, which is uncommon.
There are only eight servers available in total with eight different IP addresses. This results in congestion at peak times, which explains why VPNBook’s speeds are so poor.
There is no information available on whether these servers are owned or rented by VPNBook, or if they are physical or virtual servers.
No native applications but compatible via configuration files
Platforms & Devices
VPNBook doesn’t have any native applications. There used to be a custom Android application, but that’s no longer the case. However, VPNBook is compatible with many devices, using VPNBook’s configuration files and the OpenVPN app.
VPNBook no longer has a custom application for Android, therefore it doesn’t currently maintain any VPN applications.
To use the VPN on a device, you have to manually configure VPNBook using its configuration files and the OpenVPN application. The process isn’t straightforward, but it works.
You can also set up VPNBook on your home router, letting you connect all internet-connected devices, including game consoles, to the VPN.
As there are no individual accounts, you can use VPNBook on as many devices you want.
However, if you’re a beginner user looking for an easy-to-use VPN, stay clear of VPNBook. Instead, opt for a VPN with native applications for all major platforms and operating systems.
Manual and tricky setup
Ease of Use
VPNBook's setup involves manual configuration on your device, often using the OpenVPN application. While this gives you access to a large number of platforms and devices, it's definitely inconvenient for most users.
How to Install & Set Up VPNBook
Setup for VPNBook is not too difficult, but it’s definitely more complex than a standard VPN, and does require some technical know-how.
The easiest method is to install VPNBook using PPTP as this doesn’t require any third-party software. However, as we explained in the Encryption section it’s not safe to use.
That leaves you with OpenVPN setup, which is a little trickier. You’ll have to install the free OpenVPN GUI from OpenVPN’s website and download VPNBook’s configuration files one-by-one.
Thankfully, VPNBook’s website provides step-by-step instructions for this, so it shouldn’t be too hard.
Once installed, OpenVPN’s software is a little clunky and it’s not at all pretty, but It’s simple enough to use.
VPNBook publishes passwords for the servers on its website, which you’ll need to connect to the service, and these change every one to two weeks.
We did have issues connecting to certain servers through different ports, though, which is yet another annoyance.
Very basic online resources, no reply to emails
There’s no live chat feature, and the online resources are limited to setup guides for major platforms. There is a support email address and a contact form for specific queries, but we didn't receive a response when we used them.
As is to be expected from such a low quality VPN service, VPNBook’s customer support isn’t very impressive.
There are a few simple setup guides for popular platforms with helpful screenshots, but that’s it aside from three very basic FAQs.
The website looks dated and is filled with incorrect information about the available servers and streaming compatibility.
The support email inbox sends out automated responses saying “due to the large number of emails we receive every day, we are unable to respond to every email individually.” We’ve never received a response to our inquiries.
VPNBook is bad in almost every way
The Bottom Line
We strongly advise you not to use VPNBook. It is slow, insecure and not user-friendly at all.
It’s intrusive logging policy is a major concern, as well as the lack of key security features.
The VPN is useless for most purposes including fast and private web browsing, unblocking websites, and anonymous file-sharing.
In summary, there is no reason to use VPNBook, especially as there are much better free VPNs available, such as the two we recommend below.
Alternatives to VPNBook
The best free VPN around, Windscribe is safe, secure, fast, and user-friendly. It comes with simple custom VPN apps for a range of popular devices, including Amazon Fire TV. Read Windscribe review
Proton VPN Free
Proton VPN comes with unlimited free data and is one of the most privacy-friendly free VPNs on the market. It also comes with a VPN kill switch and other security extras. Read Proton VPN Free review
User Feedback for VPNBook
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