In our previous BoxPN review, the main issue we saw was that it was aggravatingly slow. This time around, things aren’t so bad when it comes to speed. It’s still not a race-winning stallion (for that, read our ExpressVPN review), but it seems to get the job done rather than barely loading websites.
However, not everything has improved. Since our last review, we were contacted by a BoxPN customer who had some interesting things to tell us: this person, using their own credentials, was somehow logged in to another person’s account. We were also shown chat logs showing that BoxPN completely brushed these issues off.
This level of outright negligence and lack of control over users’ accounts is a red flag that cannot be ignored. If you want to save yourself time (and potentially a lot more), then be sure to check out our best VPN roundup. Otherwise, read on for all the details of our time with the BoxPN VPN.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Greatly improved speeds
- Affordable pricing
- Works well on Netflix & Hulu
- Doesn’t work with Amazon Prime Video
- Inconsistent speeds
- No free trial & only a 7 day guarantee
- Lacking features
- Not secure
Alternatives for BoxPN
- : PayPal, Credit card, Sofort, Mint, Other cryptocurrencies
- : 5
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
- : 5
- : PayPal, Credit card, AliPay, UnionPay, Webmoney, Monero
- : Unlimited
- : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 7
BoxPN offers very little in terms of features. It currently supports Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, but for this review we primarily looked at the Windows client. The settings are divided into two pages: “general” and “kill switch.”
The “general” tab contains checkboxes for launching the client automatically when you boot up your computer, reconnecting automatically if the connection is lost and hiding your login credentials when the software boots up.
In the “kill switch” tab, there is a checkbox to turn the kill switch on or off and another that allows you to define a list of programs that will have traffic blocked automatically if the VPN disconnects. That’s standard fare for a VPN, as you can see in our Private Internet Access review.
Although having a kill switch is a good start, and the application can launch on startup, we couldn’t find any way to get the VPN to actually connect automatically when booting up.
This means that even with the kill switch, there will still be windows of vulnerability that cannot be covered when you start your machine. So make sure nothing potentially sensitive is in your boot order, such as your torrenting software.
Also, the VPN is noticeably missing any kinds of bells and whistles, like split tunneling or even an ad blocker. If you’re looking for a feature-rich VPN, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are two of the best.
BoxPN Features Overview
|Payment methods||PayPal, Credit card, Sofort, Mint, Other cryptocurrencies|
|Supports split tunneling|
|Free trial available|
|Worldwide server amount||150 servers in 32 locations|
|Desktop OSes||Windows, MacOS, Linux|
|Mobile OSes||Android, iOS|
|Can be installed on routers|
|Can access Netflix US|
|Can access BBC iPlayer|
|Can access Hulu|
|Can access Amazon Prime Video|
|VPN protocols available||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP|
|Enabled at device startup|
|Passed DNS leak test|
|Malware/ad blocker included|
|Live Chat||office hours|
Almost as if trying to make up ground for its lack of features, BoxPN offers some tempting prices. The month-to-month subscription option isn’t a great deal. The three-month plan brings the per-month cost down by about a third, but the truly convincing offer is the annual plan.
The annual plan breaks down to a cost of about $3 per month. Although some competitors offer more affordable monthly plans — like what we saw in our Mullvad review — this annual plan pricing is very competitive, even with some of the most affordable options out there. Even the three-year plan we looked at in our NordVPN review works out to be slightly costlier per month than BoxPN’s annual option.
There are some drawbacks with BoxPN though. For starters, it offers only a seven-day money-back guarantee, while most VPN providers give users 30 days. Also, each account only allows for up to five simultaneous connections, which might not be enough for some users (read our best VPN for multiple devices for that). Plus, there isn’t a free trial.
If you’re looking for a VPN service with a free trial, or one that allows unlimited simultaneous connections on a single account, be sure to take a look at our Windscribe review.
Touching on one final positive note on pricing, BoxPN accepts a wide variety of payment methods, including various cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Ease of Use
BoxPN’s website uses a simple layout that will probably feel familiar to most people. There are multiple easy-to-find places on the website for you to sign up for an account, and the BoxPN VPN download is equally easy to find.
We didn’t have any issues with installation, and the software ran without causing any problems, even while we were working on demanding tasks. Although the VPN doesn’t have the best looking interface we’ve seen (check out our ProtonVPN review for a top contender in that field), it gets the job done without any issues or frustrations.
The server list is sorted alphabetically but does not have a search bar. However, you can favorite the servers you use most often so that you can find them more quickly in the future. The server list also shows the currently selected protocol and lets you change this right from the main screen of the application, which is nice.
The lack of options means that the settings menu is pretty barren and, by extension, easy to navigate. It’s certainly nothing to gawk at, but it gets the job done in an efficient enough way, so we don’t have too many negatives to mention about BoxPN’s user friendliness.
Since our last BoxPN review, the VPN has made its largest improvements with speed. In our previous review, we saw rock-bottom speeds. This time around, BoxPN performed much better than we’ve seen in the past, although it’s still far from the fastest or most consistent VPN out there.
The U.S. servers we tried all felt responsive and produced solid numbers on paper. We saw very similar numbers on the U.S. streaming servers, so even streaming in 4K wasn’t a problem. In the UK, though, the story was different.
The speeds we got on paper made us think that streaming would be no issue, but the UK server felt noticeably sluggish. Sites would take forever to load, video would buffer for a long time and you would be staring at a pixelated mess when it finally played.
The UK streaming servers fared a bit better, but they still took a considerable amount of time to initially buffer and sometimes stopped to buffer more.
Although this does show a huge amount of improvement over what we’ve seen in the past, the inconsistency and unpredictable behavior largely negate these gains. If you’re looking for a reliably fast VPN, be sure to take a look at our fastest VPNs roundup.
On the other hand, BoxPN showed impressive latency numbers. It won’t be making it in our best VPN for gaming roundup, but that’s still an important note.
BoxPN offers many of the industry-standard security options, including OpenVPN paired with AES-256 bit encryption and 2048-bit encryption used for the initial authentication. This is a setup that offers solid security, and it’s what we recommend in almost all use cases.
We weren’t able to pick up on any DNS or IP leaks during our testing, but we do have evidence from someone who reached out to us regarding some very alarming breaches of security and absolute negligence on part of BoxPN.
You can read a more detailed account of what happened by scrolling down to the “Living in a BoxPN” section of our monthly State of the Cloud article, but in short, the person who contacted us logged in to their account on the BoxPN VPN website to discover they were actually logged into someone else’s account.
From there, they could have taken this person’s credit card information or downloaded heaps of copyrighted movies. Instead, this good samaritan connected BoxPN’s customer support and was effectively told that it was his fault.
This is a major lapse in security, not to mention customer service, and is something that should drive away any potential customer from using this VPN. Read our VyprVPN review for an example of a VPN with excellent protocol and encryption options, plus actual security.
However, it does store a few things to maintain your account. These include an email address, payment method, submissions through the “contact us” page and anonymized Google Analytics data. Although this all seems above board and agreeable, it’s largely irrelevant in light of what we found in the security section.
Using BoxPN, we were able to get U.S. Netflix and Hulu working without any issues. Regardless of whether we used the normal servers or the ones that were marked as being optimized for streaming, we saw the same results. Both sites worked quite well, and videos loaded in quickly. However, Amazon Prime Video did not work at all.
Much like with Netflix and Hulu, we were able to get access to BBC iPlayer content regardless of whether we used the streaming server or a normal server, but as we mentioned in the speed section, simply getting access to the content is only half the battle sometimes. In reality, BBC iPlayer was unusable due to long buffering times and horrible quality.
For a more reliable streaming experience, we suggest looking at our best VPN for Amazon Prime article.
BoxPN currently has about 150 servers spread across 48 locations around the world. This is an improvement over what we saw last time, but it’s still far from the thousands of servers that a top-shelf provider will have. Our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN article shows off two powerful VPNs, both with a huge number of servers.
BoxPN’s knowledgebase is fairly expansive and covers a decent range of topics, including the basics of VPNs, installation for the available software — as well as manual installation for things like routers — and troubleshooting for common problems.
If the knowledgebase doesn’t have what you’re looking for, there is live chat support on the website, as well as a support ticket system. The live chat isn’t 24/7, and we found that we were often waiting for a response by email. An answer typically came within a few hours and offered the information we needed in a very concise form.
Even though this VPN has made improvements, especially when it comes to speed, it’s all ultimately pretty meaningless. The evidence we received from a former BoxPN customer is simply too much to make up for. A breach of security that serious cannot be overlooked.
We urge you to check out some of the VPNs we linked throughout this article and explore some of the great VPN options out there before settling for something like BoxPN. If you’ve had experiences of your own with BoxPN, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.