BoxPN is a promising VPN service that utterly fails to deliver when it comes to speed. While its ease of use is impressive, its server switch time is great and it has great pricing, it drops the ball in too many vital areas to be recommended. Read our full BoxPN review for the details.
BoxPN is a virtual private network based in the privacy-friendly Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and offers a well-designed, clean interface, excellent pricing and without a doubt the worst speeds we’ve encountered while writing up our VPN reviews. Even connecting to California from Florida saw a speed reduction of 86 percent, a truly unacceptable drop.
While the upsides make us want to recommend BoxPN, its downsides are simply too much to handle and readers are much better off checking out NordVPN, ExpressVPN or CyberGhost, our top three in our selection for the best VPN providers. It’s a shame, as there is plenty of promise in this “VPN in a box.”
Keep reading for our full BoxPN review and a list of might-have-beens.
- Great for all streaming
- Highly secure
- Split tunneling
- Massive server network
- 3 simultaneous connections
- Gets into Netflix
- Application filter
- VPN sharing
- Difficult to use
- No knowledgebase
- Fast server switching
- Unlimited bandwidth
- No speed throttling
- Unlimited server switches
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Based in the Seychelles
- OpenVPN tunneling protocol
- AES 256-bit encryption
- No logging
- Connect five devices simultaneously
- Limited server selection
- No killswitch on macOS or mobile
- No support for routers or smart devices
BoxPN is elegant in its design and simple to use. We like the clean lines and large font, with big buttons making it clear where to go within the interface.
The company also states on its website that it does not throttle speeds or limit bandwidth. That’s great in theory, but with a system as slow as BoxPN, it doesn’t make much of a difference.
Recently, BoxPN introduced a killswitch, which is an essential VPN tool that improves overall safety. If your connection to the VPN server is interrupted, the killswitch severs your internet connection so your IP won’t get exposed. Though not everybody will need it, people that torrent as well as those living in countries with internet censorship like China will be very happy to know they’re safe.
Windows users are the only ones with access to the killswitch, though. The macOS client and mobile apps don’t have it yet, according to BoxPN’s customer service department. A bit of an oversight, in our opinion.
BoxPN Streaming Performance
Netflix employs an advanced VPN-blocking system that stops most streaming attempts and returns the dreaded Netflix proxy error, meaning you won’t be watching Stranger Things unless you disengage your VPN.
That said, many services beat the Netflix VPN ban and BoxPN is one of them, though only in a few instances. We connected to 10 servers in BoxPN’s network and one of them worked with Netflix. It was a U.S.-based server in California. One out of 10 is not a great success rate, but it’s better than most.
We tried the VPN with other popular streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and the BBC iPlayer. Amazon and Hulu struck out with every server.
BBC’s iPlayer is available only to users in the UK. BoxPN has a dedicated server for the service that is labeled “iPlayer,” but when we connected to it, we could not access video content. If watching the British news is what you’re after, check out our best VPN for iPlayer selection, instead.
BoxPN Features Overview
Choosing your BoxPN plan boils down to how long you want to commit to using the service. You don’t get more features with one plan than you do with another.
|Plan||1 Month||3 Months||12 months|
$ 9 99monthly
$ 19 983 months
$ 35 00monthly
|Bandwidth||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB|
The monthly rate for a one-year plan drops as low as $2.99, which makes BoxPN one of the most affordable VPNs we’ve seen.
It’s disappointing to see commitment periods capped at one year, though. Other VPNs offer longer plans. Private Internet Access, for instance, has a two-year plan that comes out to less than $3 per month (read our PIA review), while VPN Unlimited even offers lifetime plans (read our VPN Unlimited review).
BoxPN also allows you to pay with cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, meaning you can be fully anonymous if you want. You can learn more about how bitcoin works in our what is bitcoin guide. Other payment options include credit card, PayPal, Perfect Money and global payments.
BoxPN is very user-friendly and has been designed well. Overall, using it is a breeze, from account creation to choosing and switching servers. The pleasantness starts right from the website, which is clearly laid out.
After you purchase a subscription, it asks you to create a username and password.
The setup screen is straightforward. Enter your email address, pick a username and set up a password — or generate one with our best password managers. Nowhere does it ask for identifying information such as your real name, address or phone number. You’ll still need to provide an email, but you could use a throwaway one.
You’ll be asked to confirm your email address before reaching the user dashboard. From there, you can select your platform, whether it be Windows, macOS, Android or iOS. If you want to manually configure the VPN, you can do that, as well. For this review, we used the client on Windows 10.
The dashboard includes a section in the upper right-hand corner where you can track the amount of data you’ve used from month to month. BoxPN isn’t capping your bandwidth, though, so we wonder why anybody would want to keep track.
After opening the client on your desktop, you’ll be asked to log in with the username and password you created earlier. Once we entered our credentials, it booted up immediately and without lag.
The user interface is clean and simple. Select the server you want to use and click the “connect” button next to it. During our testing, we connected in less than 20 seconds on more than 20 servers. Switching between servers was equally fast, a big plus to BoxPN.
The menu is easy to scroll through and use. The servers are listed in alphabetical order by country. If you find a fast server that you like, you can save it as a favorite. There’s a tab on the menu where your favorites are listed, so you won’t have to scroll through to find them again.
There’s also a usage log section if you want to check the status or history of your connection to BoxPN.
You’ll find a drop-down menu at the top of the interface that lets you switch your tunneling protocol.
We easily connected to a few websites and even streamed video on YouTube. Videos were choppy given the speed and the image quality wasn’t great. That said, BoxPN is a highly usable application with no major issues.
BoxPN is available on Android, iOS, Windows and macOS. However, it won’t be winning any awards and especially the mobile apps are very lacking, meaning if that’s a priority, you’re better off checking out our best VPN for mobile selection. Linux is not an option unless you like tinkering with OpenVPN files.
We initially thought BoxPN only supported three simultaneous connections because that’s what its “about us” page says.
Customer support told us the actual number allowable is five. A simple website update could save users some confusion. Even so, BoxPN is a far cry from our best VPN for multiple devices. Jump to our NordVPN review for one of the highest entries on that list.
There’s a discrepancy over BoxPN’s actual number of servers. On its website, it states that there are more than 80.
Its network page, which gives a detailed accounting of each server and its status, only lists 45, though, and the client gives you 48 options to switch between.
That is yet another information consistency issue. We reached out to BoxPN’s customer service to get a definitive answer and it confirmed that the VPN only has 45.
Whether it’s 45, 48 or 80 servers, the selection is still too small. Most providers have hundreds or thousands of servers to choose from, with a presence in nearly every major city on the planet. ExpressVPN and NordVPN have massive server networks, which is one of the reasons they stand atop the VPN world.
If BoxPN wants to be taken seriously, it needs to increase its server count and distribution; even a lower tier service like HideMyAss has a massive network, as you can read in our HMA review. It is only in 32 countries on five continents. While no one expects to connect to a server in Antarctica, the fact that it has no presence in Africa is not good.
BoxPN has terrible speeds. Every VPN is going to lose some speed because that’s the trade-off you have to make for anonymity, but BoxPN was so slow it hindered our ability to use it. It made us wish we were using one of the world’s fastest VPN services instead, such as TorGuard (read our TorGuard review).
|Location:||Ping (ms):||Download (Mbps):||Upload (Mbps):|
The only servers with usable internet speeds for high-definition streaming were in the U.S. and Japan. While those speeds were okay, they still dropped 86 percent of our unprotected rate.
If you’re looking to stream video or torrent, BoxPN will give you nothing but frustration and failure, which is a pity considering it was able to break into Netflix.
It turns out that BoxPN is being honest, at least from what we can tell. The biggest piece of information it keeps is your email address. That’s no threat, as you can create a burner email for the sake of privacy.
Surveillance jurisdiction is another area in which you could be compromised. If the VPN you’re using is based in a country that takes part in one of the major global surveillance alliances, it could be forced to reveal your identity to a government agency.
BoxPN does not have to worry about this, as it is in the Seychelles, which has great privacy laws.
The third and final component of a secure VPN is a strong pairing of tunneling protocols and encryption standards. BoxPN has that covered with OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, IPSec and SSTP.
OpenVPN is the default and best choice. It is an open source platform that remains on the cutting edge because it is maintained by the cybersecurity community. It works best when paired with AES 256-bit encryption, which is believed by many to be uncrackable. BoxPN uses both, providing the best security for a consumer platform.
BoxPN’s customer service is a mixed bag: while it has live chat, it is not 24/7. It gets points for effort, but improvements can be made.
We threw it a softball question because those are often telling as to the effectiveness of a customer support department. If it just brushes off the question and tells you to check the website, it’s a failure. If it takes initiative and gives you a personalized response that works, you know you’re dealing with quality staff.
The live chat was offline when we sent the message. Several hours later, we got a response via email.
That response answered the question. It’s not overly friendly or welcoming but it gets to the heart of the matter and provides resource links. That’s all you can ask for from a customer service representative.
While we commend it for having a live chat feature, we would like to see it expanded to 24/7 in the future to better serve the global marketplace.
BoxPN has an extensive knowledgebase in its support section. It has helpful articles that explain the service’s features, an FAQ and step-by-step guides that walk users through advanced subjects such as manually configuring OpenVPN. There is no user forum, though.
Those are great resources for users, but they do not replace the convenience of a 24/7 live chat system.
BoxPN is a good VPN with a seamless interface that was easy to install and use. It does not log anything and it is not in a jurisdiction that would require it to deliver your data. Protocols and encryption are top of the line and its customer service department answered our questions.
Even with BoxPN’s strong points, we can’t recommend it. Its speeds are unacceptable.
Most of the servers were so slow, they were virtually unusable. If BoxPN could pull that performance level up and increase its server count, it could be a force to be reckoned with in the future. As for now, you can find better options.
What are your thoughts on BoxPN? Do you agree with our assessment? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading.