FastestVPN’s claim that it is the “world’s best and fastest VPN service provider” in the VPN market is far from the truth. The vendor tries to create a picture of a premium VPN, but as you’ll read in our FastestVPN review, its weaknesses outweigh the strengths.
- FastestVPN is a poor VPN service that’s short on features and configuration options.
- The VPN struggles to unblock major streaming services, including Netflix.
- FastestVPN has serviceable speeds, but it experiences annoying video lags and buffering during streaming.
- Overall, we cannot recommend using FastestVPN, as we discovered DNS and IP leaks, which compromises your security.
We took FastestVPN for a spin and stretched its capabilities to the limit. We liked the low price but were unimpressed with its sub-par speeds, buggy clients and odd choice of default protocol. Read on to learn why you should ditch this VPN for one of our best VPN providers.
No, you cannot trust FastestVPN because it has DNS leaks.
Yes, FastestVPN works with Netflix, but the performance is lackluster. We had to try multiple VPN servers to find one that could open Netflix U.S.
Fast Technologies Ltd. owns FastestVPN.
FastestVPN is based in the Cayman Islands, a country with no mandatory data retention laws.
FastestVPN Review: Alternatives
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, regional payment systems, WebMoney
- : 5
- : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
- : 6
- : PayPal, Credit card, PayNearMe, Bank/Wire Transfer
- : 5
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 30
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 7
FastestVPN: Strengths & Weaknesses
- Decent speeds
- Based in the Cayman Islands
- IP & DNS leaks
- Doesn’t unblock all streaming apps
- Buggy apps
FastestVPN doesn’t offer much beyond the basics of VPN features, and even the essentials are restricted to which app you use.
Let’s start with the kill switch, which cuts your internet traffic when the VPN connection drops. This essential VPN feature is available on all its operating systems (OSes), but you can only turn it on or off with Windows and Android. In iOS and Mac apps, it’s always enabled by default (which isn’t a bad thing, as you can see in our kill switch guide).
The split tunneling option lets you use the VPN with certain apps, while allowing other apps to connect directly to the internet, but it’s available for Windows and Android users only.
In our testing, we couldn’t access the settings tab on the Windows app, so we could not test the split tunneling feature on Windows (we go into more detail in the “ease of use” section). We contacted FastestVPN support via live chat, who was unable to resolve the issue.
The iOS app has a “smart tunneling” tool that works similarly to split tunneling, but on a per-URL basis. Whenever you open that URL, FastestVPN automatically connects to the last server you used.
Beyond those basic VPN features, FastestVPN offers an ad-blocker, NAT firewall and malware protection. However, there’s no option to turn them off. In fact, they don’t even appear in the app, though a FastestVPN representative told us that these features come built in and are always turned on.
We did a quick ad blocking test, and the Windows app successfully blocked Google ads on web pages. As for the NAT firewall and malware protection tools, we’ll have to take the agent’s word for it.
As far as compatible devices go, FastestVPN works on major OSes: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. You can also install it on routers, streaming devices such as Kodi and Roku, and smart TVs such as Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV and Apple TV. In addition, FastestVPN has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
A single subscription supports 10 simultaneous connections, which is enough for most households. Thankfully, you can set up additional simultaneous connections. Each additional connection costs $6 for three years. For example, if you want 11 simultaneous connections, the three-year plan will increase from $25 to $31 total.
FastestVPN Features Overview
|Payment methods||PayPal, Credit card|
|Supports split tunneling|
|Free trial available|
|Worldwide server amount||500 servers in 33 countries|
|Desktop OSes||Windows, MacOS, Linux|
|Mobile OSes||Android, iOS|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox|
|Can be installed on routers|
|Can access Netflix US|
|Can access BBC iPlayer|
|Can access Hulu|
|Can access Amazon Prime Video|
|VPN protocols available||IPSec, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Enabled at device startup|
|Passed DNS leak test|
|Malware/ad blocker included|
FastestVPN’s monthly plan costs $10, which is average for VPNs, while the annual plan costs $2.49 per month. The price drops even further on the three-year plan, to $1.11 per month. This makes FastestVPN one of the most affordable VPNs — cheaper than even Private Internet Access. However, considering the VPN’s limited features, it doesn’t make our best cheap VPN list.
FastestVPN Lifetime Subscriptions
Besides the regular pricing page, FastestVPN has a deals page hidden deep on its site. Although the page displays Christmas deals, they are still available. FastestVPN calls these “lifetime” plans — but that marketing is deceptive, as they are set for three years or five years, not forever.
According to a FastestVPN representative, the term “billed lifetime” means that you effectively lock in that price every time you renew — you pay the same price for every additional three or five years after the first subscription.
The “lifetime” three-year plan costs $25 (or $0.70 per month), which is about $5 cheaper than the normal three-year plan. The five-year plan costs $40 (or $0.66 per month), which costs about the same amount as the normal three-year plan. VPNs don’t get any cheaper — but you get what you pay for.
Each FastestVPN plan offers one month of free 2TB cloud storage from Internxt, which earned lackluster reviews from us, as you can read in our Internxt review.
FastestVPN isn’t the first VPN service to partner with cloud storage providers. ExpressVPN has an even better deal: one year of free unlimited cloud backup from Backblaze, one of the best online backup services (read our Backblaze review).
You can pay for FastestVPN via credit card, PayPal or cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin or ethereum). The only downside about the pricing is the 15-day money-back guarantee, which is half of what most providers offer.
Ease of Use
The hallmarks of a poor service began to show as soon as we hit the VPN download button. We noticed that FastestVPN doesn’t have a digitally signed installer for Windows, which is a strike against it. Most VPN services use a digitally signed installer, which is more effective because it makes automatic registry entries before unpacking and installing the app.
At first, nothing seemed unusual when downloading FastestVPN; our antivirus software didn’t flag the files, and the installation went smoothly. However, when we attempted to log in, the FastestVPN app showed an error.
When we finally managed to log in, we quickly became aware of more issues, including not being able to access the settings tab (using the Windows app). The app showed the error “please disconnect VPN first,” yet the app wasn’t connected.
We contacted FastestVPN support via live chat, and after a lengthy conversation, the agent shared a link to a different version of the app. Unfortunately, the second version was even worse. It prevented us from connecting to the internet entirely, and even after changing our device’s DNS settings, we couldn’t find a way around that issue.
In the end, we were unable to test the Windows app’s VPN protocols and kill switch due to the buggy client (It’s worse than Atlas VPN). Luckily, we didn’t face the same issues when installing FastestVPN on Android, iOS and Mac devices.
FastestVPN PC App
The flawed installation aside, the Windows app has a visually appealing user interface (UI). The main screen has three sections: the menu, the server list and a connection button area with a world map in the background.
You can scroll through the list of servers or use the search function to find the server you want to connect to. However, we didn’t like the two-stage connection process. When you click on your ideal server, a dialogue box pops up and you have to click “yes” to establish a connection. That extra step is unnecessary; most VPN services let you establish a connection by double-clicking.
Aside from that niggle, when you “star” your favorite servers, they automatically move to the top of the list, making it easier to find them next time. In addition, there’s a “smart connect” option that automatically picks the best location for you.
The Windows and macOS apps don’t give you much room to configure the settings. Windows users can only adjust the protocol options, split tunneling and the kill switch (although we were unable to do so in our testing), while the Mac app only lets you tweak the protocols. As mentioned, the other features are enabled by default.
Furthermore, there are no auto-connect options. The Windows app has a “launch on Windows startup” option, but even that must be activated or deactivated during installation.
FastestVPN Mobile App
The Android and iOS apps are identical to their desktop versions in terms of design and settings options. The only difference is that Android users can configure the split tunneling tool, whereas iOS users get an option to fiddle around with the “smart tunneling.”
Overall, we were dissatisfied with the quality of the apps, the functionality of the features and the ease of use between different OS options. This is not a one-click setup, like you’ll find with ExpressVPN or CyberGhost (read our CyberGhost review).
Speed is arguably the only category where FastestVPN delivers a commendable performance. It’s not the fastest VPN, as it claims, but FastestVPN’s speeds are serviceable, as we found out in our speed tests.
On average, FastestVPN reached 86% and 79% of our unprotected download and upload speeds, respectively. Singapore, the closest server geographically (out of the servers we tested), hit 95% of our unprotected download speed. On the other hand, the farthest server — in the U.S. — had the fastest upload speed as it reached 88% of the unprotected speed.
The latency didn’t increase with distance, nor did the speed improve with decreased distance. However, its ping rate increased by a whopping 3,200%, with servers located in Brazil and Japan recording the highest latency — this means FastestVPN is not a good VPN for online gaming or streaming.
How We Ran Our FastestVPN Speed Tests
We tested FastestVPN on default settings, something we do in all our VPN reviews. That means the speed test results we got reflect the performance of FastestVPN’s default VPN protocol, IKEv2, which is one of the fastest protocol options and usually best for mobile devices.
We picked seven VPN servers in different locations to see how distance impacted FastestVPN’s speed. As you’ll see in the server location section, there weren’t many location options, with no servers nearby in Africa.
The primary purpose of using a VPN is to enhance digital security and privacy. The choice of security features — primarily VPN protocols and encryption standards — dictates the level of security a VPN can deliver.
As far as VPN protocols go, FastestVPN supports OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), IKEv2 and IPsec. OpenVPN is the pick of the bunch because it offers the best combination of speed and security.
That said, FastestVPN has picked IKEv2 as the default protocol over the tried-and-tested OpenVPN. IKEv2 isn’t bad; it’s fast and works best on mobile devices. However, when it comes to all-round performance, it’s a weaker option than OpenVPN protocol.
In addition, FastestVPN supports IPsec, a dated protocol with low security. It doesn’t support modern protocols like WireGuard.
As for the encryption standard, FastestVPN uses the industry-standard AES-256, which is as secure as it gets. When your traffic is encrypted with AES-256, it would take a couple trillion years for hackers, ISPs or government agencies to decrypt it with brute force.
Sadly, even with these security features, FastestVPN doesn’t guarantee top-notch digital security. Our rigorous DNS leak tests revealed that most of its servers have IP and DNS leaks.
This means that even when the VPN is connected, DNS data could leak out and your ISP, government or malicious snoopers could see where you go online. This defeats the purpose of the VPN, and until FastestVPN fixes its DNS and IP leaks, we can’t recommend using the service.
The only information FastestVPN keeps is your email address to facilitate billing and account registration. As per the provider, the details are expunged from its database once you deactivate your FastestVPN account.
Who Owns FastestVPN?
We couldn’t find details about the ownership online or on the FastestVPN website. We had to ask customer support to shed light on this. The agent told us that FastestVPN is owned by Fast Technologies Ltd.
According to Crunchbase, FastestVPN is based in the Cayman Islands. The country has no mandatory data retention laws and that aids its course toward providing total digital privacy.
Streaming with FastestVPN is a mixed bag. The VPN got us into Amazon Prime Video (U.S. and Netherlands) on the first attempt. However, we had to switch servers multiple times to unblock Netflix. Beyond that, we couldn’t find a way around Disney Plus, HBO Max or BBC iPlayer geo-restrictions.
The streaming services identified our real location, denying us access to their catalogs. However, given the IP and DNS leaks we had seen earlier, that didn’t come as a surprise. Even worse, we experienced buffering and video lags, which ruined the streaming experience. However, if you’re closer to one of FastestVPN’s servers, the streaming performance could improve.
Clearly, FastestVPN isn’t adept at streaming. If you want to keep up with your favorite movies or TV shows, we recommend getting one of the best VPNs for streaming.
FastestVPN doesn’t seem to know the size of its server network. The customer support team, the website and the FastestVPN apps provide contradicting details.
A representative told us that FastestVPN has more than 500 VPN servers in more than 50 locations spanning 35 countries. However, the table of locations on FastestVPN’s website lists 33 countries, but the text below states that it has servers in over 52 locations in more than 40 countries. Finally, the Android app lists 79 VPN server locations in 33 countries.
It’s a bit concerning that the service doesn’t have consistent details about where their servers are located.
Beyond the server count, the geographical spread seems narrow. A huge chunk of FastestVPN servers are in Europe and North America. The Asia-Pacific region is sparsely represented, as are the Middle East and South America. Sadly, FastestVPN doesn’t offer a server location in Africa.
The server locations you can access depend on the VPN protocol you’ve chosen, and that’s another mark against this VPN. For example, Australia1 is unavailable on IKEv2, but it is available when you choose OpenVPN TCP.
Providing customer support is one thing; delivering accurate guidance and expert advice is another. FastestVPN has nailed the first part, but the quality of advice is questionable.
Take live chat, for example. This support channel is available 24/7, meaning you can ask for assistance anytime, anywhere. We sought clarification about multiple aspects of FastestVPN via live chat throughout this review. The agents were fast to respond to our queries.
However, their inconsistent facts (see the server locations section) and reluctance to respond to some questions put a damper on the live chat experience.
For example, one of the agents could not clarify whether FastestVPN offers an ad blocker and anti-malware features. At one point, the agent asked us where we got the details about these features and even tried to convince us that we don’t need them.
Beyond live chat support, you can contact FastestVPN agents via email. If you fancy self-service options, there’s an FAQ page and knowledgebase with helpful guides. Like most VPN providers, FastestVPN doesn’t offer phone support.
Overall, we cannot recommend FastestVPN. It’s short on features and doesn’t give users much room to tweak its settings to match their preferences. Even worse, the app has DNS and IP leaks and can’t be trusted to safeguard your digital security — not to mention its weak unblocking capabilities.
Amid its drawbacks, there are a few positives, and the price is one of them. If you’re a bargain hunter, the exceptionally low price could be a lure, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for with FastestVPN. If you’re on a tight budget, there are even some free VPN services that provide better protection.
Have you used FastestVPN before? Which attributes did you like most? Where do you think FastestVPN should improve? What would you recommend the VPN service for? We’d like to hear about it in the comment section. Thank you for reading.