SaferVPN review – fast, simple, and extremely affordable
SaferVPN is a relatively new player in the VPN space and it has rapidly improved and expanded its services. It claims to be the fastest and simplest VPN service around, without compromising on security and privacy. Do those claims hold true and what is this VPN capable of? Let’s find out in this quick SaferVPN review.
Creating an account
To get started, you need to first select a payment plan, sign up with an email address, and then add your payment information. The email address is required to log in to the apps. SaferVPN says this information isn’t shared with anyone and is used only for customer service. If you’re still worried, you can always set up a dummy email account.
Payment and pricing
SaferVPN plans start at $8.99 per month, which is cheaper than competing services like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Of course, there are also significant discounts available if you opt for long-term plans. The annual plan is priced at $65.88 ($5.49 per month), and the 2-year plan will set you back just $78.96 ($3.29 per month).
Even better for Android Authority readers you can get 3 years of service for $89.99, equivalent to paying $2.50 a month. That’s without a doubt one of the best prices you’ll find for a premium VPN service.
Aside from great pricing, what puts SaferVPN above a lot of the competition is its 24-hour trial period. You only have to provide any payment information after the trial expires. This is really nice to have. Not a lot of premium VPN services are offering any kind of free trial. Further, SaferVPN also gives a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Payment methods are limited to credit cards, Paypal, and Bitcoin. These options are standard and should be okay for almost everyone, but those looking for alternate cryptocurrencies or payment wall choices may be disappointed.
Easy to download and install applications are available for Windows, iOS, Mac, and Android, and browser extensions are also available for Chrome and Firefox. You can also buy a Wi-Fi router with SaferVPN pre-installed or set it up with your existing router.
You can find the list of SaferVPN routers here, and find manual installation guides for your existing router here. Manual installation guides are also available for gaming consoles, media streamers like the Chromecast and Nvidia Shield TV, Chromebooks, and Linux systems. You can find them here.
For this review, we took a detailed look at the Windows and Android applications.
Setup and settings
SaferVPN claims to be the simplest VPN around, which is evident when you first log in to the Windows app. After signing in with your email address and password, you are greeted with a small, static world map which marks the automatic location (best server) the app chooses for you. All you then have to do is click on the green Connect button to get started.
Clicking on the location pointer icon next to the Connect button brings up the list of countries. SaferVPN has over 700 servers in 34 countries, though the list only lets you select which country you want to connect to, rather than a specific server. There are no sorting options based on server load or ping time either. Basically, the app does all the heavy lifting when finding the best server for you, and the only control you have is with regards to which country you want to connect to.
For most things, the best server will be the one closest to you. The list includes a couple of extra options as well, like U.S. streaming and U.K. streaming. It’s not specifically mentioned in the app anywhere, but SaferVPN allows only one server for P2P — Netherlands. This information is tucked away in the support pages on the website, which you can find here.
The Settings menu can be found by clicking on the icon at the top right corner of the app. Like everything else about the app, it’s very simple and lists only the essentials. Here you can select a specific VPN protocol (we recommend OpenVPN) or just leave it on Automatic. The Auto Wi-Fi feature keeps your device protected when connected to a public Wi-Fi network, and the Kill Switch blocks all internet connectivity if the VPN unexpectedly drops its connection. That’s all there is to it.
The user interface of the Android app is largely similar to the Windows app. The only noticeable difference is that the location icon has been moved to the top left corner. There is also no separate Settings menu. The hamburger menu lists the VPN protocol, Kill Switch, and Wi-Fi Security options instead.
Ease of use
It doesn’t get any simpler or easier to use than the SaferVPN apps. The available settings and features are self-explanatory and minimal, but still provide everything you need to keep your online presence private and secure. I like that things remain identical across platforms, so there aren’t any new features or settings to worry about when using SaferVPN on different devices.
Security and privacy
SaferVPN is based in Isreal, where there are very strong privacy laws and limits on the government’s ability to monitor activity. What can be concerning for privacy buffs is Israel’s involvement in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing agreement, which includes the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. However, the regional laws should be enough to assure your online privacy.
I tested for IP leaks, WebRTC detection, and DNS leaks using ipleak.net and found no issues. I ran the test multiple times while working on this review because there have been some reports about IP and DNS leaks. SaferVPN claims to have addressed any issues with a previous update, which certainly seems to be the case.
To test the speed, I used the Ookla Speed Test after connecting to server locations like India (best server), U.S. (U.S. streaming server), U.K. (UK streaming server), Netherlands (the only location for P2P), Singapore, and Australia. SaferVPN is one of the fastest when it comes to connecting to a server, requiring only a two to five seconds to do so. Every other VPN I’ve reviewed so far took closer to 10 seconds on average.
SaferVPN is one of the fastest VPN services I’ve reviewed so far. At peak performance, the speeds are fantastic. I was able to use the U.S. and U.K. streaming servers for Netflix and BBC iPlayer and without buffering or lag issues. I saw a slight bump in speed when connected to the other U.S. option (U.S. East), but since streaming is the main reason I need a VPN to connect to a U.S. location, I didn’t use it as much.
However, as impressive as the speeds are when everything is running well, the one issue that came up is consistency. The apps allow you to connect to a country, without any information about the specific server and server load. For the most part, it makes the best choice, but there have been occasions where the speed has been really slow, and I had to disconnect and reconnect to the same location. The location may have been the same, but the server was obviously different, as the speed returned to normal after that.
- Allows up to five concurrent connections.
- 24-hour free trial and 30-day money back guarantee are both available.
- Zero activity logging, but connection and location information (not IP addresses) are logged.
- Over 700 server locations in 34 countries.
- Torrenting works fine, but SaferVPN allows P2P from only one location (Netherlands). Remember to respect your country’s copyright laws. We do not condone or encourage any illegal activities.
- You can unblock or circumvent geolocation restrictions for various streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer by using the specific U.S. streaming and U.K. streaming servers.
- Security features include Kill Switch and Wi-Fi Security.
- 24/7 customer service available.
SaferVPN – Our final thoughts
SaferVPN definitely delivers on its promise of being the fastest and simplest VPN service around. The apps are very simple and with no bells and whistles, and it’s very easy to install one and connect to the VPN. The speeds are also as fast, if not faster, then more expensive options like ExpressVPN.
That simplicity has its negatives as well. You can only choose a country to connect to. Some users may prefer knowing about specific servers and information like server load and ping times. The app generally does a good job picking the best option, but consistency issues crop up occasionally. It’s also not great for torrenting since SaferVPN allows only one location for P2P.
Security features like the Kill Switch and Wi-Fi Security are nice additions, but services like NordVPN offer a lot more options. SaferVPN doesn’t keep any activity logs, but it keeping connection logs may be of concern for some users.
If you are looking for a fast, simple, and very easy to use VPN, you can sign up for SaferVPN here. On the other hand, if you prefer having additional information and control over server choices, security features, and more, there are other options out there.
Not sure if SaferVPN is write for you? Don’t forget to check out our reviews of ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, and PureVPN. We’ll also be bringing you even more quick review looks at some of the best VPNs in the weeks and months to come.
Like what you see? Sign up now! Remember, Android Authority readers can get 3 years of service for $89.99, equivalent to paying $2.50 a month.
Note: I haven’t been able to personally verify this, but according to some third-party sources and user reviews, SaferVPN doesn’t appear to work in China. One of the reasons for getting a VPN service is using the internet in China. If that is a factor, look for alternate options.
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