VPNhub is a new VPN on the market and, as the branding suggests, it’s the brainchild of popular adult content website Pornhub. For the full-featured apps, it’s pretty pricey, but we’ll be focusing on the stripped-down complimentary service in this review.
While the marketing unsurprisingly emphasizes the VPN’s ability to access restricted content, it’s fairly good in terms of privacy too, with a reassuring logging policy and solid encryption.
Its claims of being the ‘best VPN and security solution’ are definitely not true; a VPN kill switch and improved performance for Android are just a couple of things we expect before we’d even consider that statement. Nevertheless, VPNhub shows promise for such a young service.
Speed & Reliability
VPNhub is fast for iOS, peaking at 61Mbps up and 69Mbps down, which is impressive considering we test from the UK. However, performance takes a huge drop for Android, with downloads struggling to reach 15Mbps and uploads just 4Mbps.
We don’t know why there is such a huge disparity between the two but iOS users will be able to pretty much do whatever they want online without breaking a sweat, while Android users will struggle to do much more than browse the web.
Free users of VPNhub get access to the US server location only, meaning that those outside the country will likely experience poor performance. It also restricts access to geo-specific content.
The server list shows a total of 47 countries, with city-level servers in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and a handful of European countries. These are marked with a padlock symbol, and you’ll have to upgrade to a fairly pricey premium plan if you want to unlock them.
There are a handful of free VPNs that offer a decent number of server locations – we like the 20 countries offered by TunnelBear.
Platforms & Devices
VPNhub offers free users custom apps for Android and iOS, but if you want solutions for Microsoft Windows and MacOS you’ll have to upgrade to a premium account.
There are no manual workarounds for other devices, such as games consoles or routers, for free or premium users.
If you want one free VPN to protect all your devices we’d recommend Windscribe.
Streaming & Torrenting
VPNhub doesn’t guarantee access to Netflix, and it’s impossible to watch BBC iPlayer due to the inability to connect to a UK server as a free user. We were able to watch Netflix on some connections but not on others; it completely depends on the US server the app automatically connects to.
While we found torrenting to be possible (albeit very slow), the level of security VPNhub offers makes it hard for us to recommend it to heavy P2P users.
Encryption & Security
VPNhub claims ‘military-grade’ encryption but doesn’t disclose any of the technicalities. A representative of VPNhub confirmed that the iOS app uses IKEv2, and Android uses OpenVPN.
These are both secure protocols but our preference is OpenVPN for its balance between performance and privacy. Encryption is via AES-256, a cipher considered ‘unbreakable’.
The apps don’t include a VPN kill switch, which is a big thumbs down for privacy. This essential feature protects against IP address exposure by blocking internet traffic should the VPN connection drop at any point.
We experienced no DNS or IPv6 leaks during our tests, and while VPNhub doesn’t have first-party DNS servers, it uses those owned by popular zero-logs VPN, IPVanish.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
Those connecting out from China and other high-censorship countries shouldn’t rely on VPNhub. In fact, VPNhub says so much in its FAQs:
“While we do our very best to support internet access and freedom of information for all in most
every country around the world, we have had reports that our vpn [sic] might be blocked in:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
While we cannot say that it’s impossible to connect in these countries, there are a few challenges to overcome.”
China in particular has been aggressively blocking VPN traffic. VPNhub offers no obfuscation tools to overcome the blocks, meaning that it’s unlikely you’d be able to use it from within the country. There are still a handful of reliable options and you can read about our top VPN picks for China here.
However, the logging policy is far too short for our liking, leaving too much unsaid. We reached out to VPNhub to get some more details, and a representative confirmed that no connection metadata is stored. He explained that VPNhub doesn’t collect timestamps, IP addresses, or server choices.
The policy states that it ‘may have access to your advertiser (device) ID’, but you can opt out of this within the app. It does warn that free users ‘will receive more ads and have a slower connection speed’ if they do so.
VPNhub shares ‘aggregate or non-personally identifiable information with non-affiliated third parties for advertising, marketing or research purposes’, but this shouldn’t be too much of a concern as the information can’t be linked back to individual users.
While VPNhub is headquartered in Cyprus, its data servers are located in the US, which means that any personal information will be processed there and is subject to its data protection and privacy regulations.
The US is one of the least privacy-friendly nations in the world, and a member of Five Eyes, an international intelligence-sharing alliance. However, VPNhub claims to not collect any personally-identifiable information about users, so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Ease of Use
Using VPNhub couldn’t be simpler; it’s a connect-and-forget kind of VPN that requires no technical know-how. However, its usability comes at the detriment of security and the lack of configurable options will leave more experienced VPN users wanting.
While annoying, the in-app pop-ups pushing us to upgrade to the premium plan weren’t as intrusive as those found on other free VPNs.
You can find a full server location list by clicking the world symbol in the top right for Android and left for iOS. All server locations other than the US show a padlock symbol to indicate they are restricted to premium users.
The very minimal settings menu allows you to opt out of sending your advertiser ID to VPNhub. You can also choose a ‘discreet icon’ to display on your handset’s home screen if you don’t want onlookers to recognize the Pornhub branding.
Setting up VPNhub on your Android or iOS device is as simple as downloading the app from the relevant app store and accepting the connection request.
Make sure to scroll through the free trial advert when you first open the app as this will automatically upgrade you to the premium plan after seven days.
VPNhub offers very few online resources, limited to a handful of very basic FAQs. There are no setup guides or troubleshooting tips, and we were also disappointed by the lack of technical information about the product.
An example of a free VPN with quality customer support is Hide.me.
The Bottom Line
- iOS downloads peak at 61Mbps
- Quick setup on Android and iOS
- Restricted to the US server location
- Poor performance on Android
- No kill switch or security extras
- Logging policy leaves too much unsaid
- Free users can’t use desktop apps