VPN.asia is a badly misnamed VPN provider based out of Central America. Though it has a nice interface and gets into Netflix, customer support isn't very good and speeds are so low that you can't stream properly. Check out our full VPN.asia review to see why you may want to keep shopping.
VPN.asia sounds like it should be based in Asia but is actually incorporated in Belize. It’s an economically priced VPN option with fairly minimal features, that has a clean bright interface but has little else to distinguish it from the crowd of other VPN services out there, especially our best VPN selection.
It’s not the best VPN for torrenting because its speeds aren’t great, though it has decent security features. It’s also not the best for watching geoblocked content because although it gets into Netflix the picture quality is poor. See our best VPN for Netflix review for some better options.
The biggest strike against VPN.asia, however, is that it does not honor its money-back guarantee. If you’re only shopping and trying out VPNs, give VPN.asia a wide berth. If you think this may be the one for you, however, keep reading.
- Great for all streaming
- Highly secure
- Split tunneling
- Massive server network
- 3 simultaneous connections
- Well priced
- Highly secure
- Thousands of servers
- Six simultaneous connections
- Lack of detail on server location
- No split tunneling
- Gets into Netflix
- Updated interface
- Automatic killswitch
- Lackluster split tunneling
- No killswitch controls
- Spotty ad blocker performance
- Good security
- Gets into Netflix
- Easy to use interface
- Reneged refund
- Mediocre speeds
- Poor customer support
- Weak knowledgebase
- No split tunneling
- Few servers
VPN.asia is a little thin on interesting features. Sizewise, its desktop client is somewhere between the big clunky interfaces of services like Shellfire (see our Shellfire review), and the mobile sized desktop interfaces of most of the market-leading VPN services. See our ExpressVPN review for an example.
The advantage of a mobile sized desktop client is that you can position it at the edge of your screen while doing other things without it getting too much in the way. The VPN.asia interface is twice the size of a mobile screen so it’s a bit big to position at the edge of your monitor in this way.
The thinking seems to have been to put most features on the surface of the client instead of having a series of screens within it. There’s certainly something to be said for arranging things this way, so that you can take everything in at a glance, and the client is colorful and attractive.
A killswitch has recently been added to the VPN.asia interface. This is a function that disconnects your internet if your VPN connection fails. It’s a useful security feature that ensures no-one will glimpse your IP address while your guard is down.
It used to have a speed test which has now been removed from the interface, and now it just tells you your IP address and how long you’ve been connected for. If you want the “full protection” option that was formerly there, you can find it in the “options tab.”
Inside the “options” tab you can choose connection types like UDP and TCP as well as various encryption protocols. The ability to make easy choices between encryption protocols is a feature that not every VPN service offers so it’s good to see it here.
Unsurprisingly, VPN.asia doesn’t offer split tunneling which is a feature found in some of the more boutique services that allows you to choose which applications on your computer go through the VPN. It helps to optimize your connection speed if your computer’s communication with the printer isn’t going through a server seven thousand miles away.
$ 5 99monthly
$ 49 996 months
$ 29 99yearly
|Bandwidth||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB|
VPN.asia is on the lower end of the VPN price spectrum and is very economical if you go for the yearly option. Whether this counts as value for money given its shortcomings is debatable. There are similarly priced options around that do most things better than VPN.asia at the moment. See our MullvadVPN review for an example.
VPN.asia says on its website that it accepts all payment types but this is a typical piece of overstatement. It does accept major credit cards as well as bitcoin and “paymentwall” but it doesn’t accommodate the range of more obscure electronic payment options that are often available among its competitors.
VPN.asia Money-Back Guarantee
VPN.asia offers a seven-day money back guarantee if you want to test it for yourself. However, neither when we wrote the first version of this review a year ago, nor this time around did we get our money back. If you really only want to test out the service, you may want to pay the monthly and save yourself a few bucks.
VPN.asia also has a referral deal whereby you get 30 days free VPN coverage for every friend you refer who signs up. This is a good deal if it actually lives to this part of what it promises on the website.
VPN.asia is simple to install. You go to the download section on its website, click the download button for your operating system, drag and drop the icon into the applications folder and you’re ready to go. Before the user interface is enabled, it will ask you to sign in using the login details that were sent to you when you subscribed to the service.
The user interface is quite minimalist compared to many VPN services that overload their clients with all kinds of microsettings. VPN.asia’s client shows you the server list, a connection button, a killswitch, and buttons linking you to your log in details.
It’s not obvious at first that in order to get to more detailed settings you have to click on a link in the email it sends you after you install the application. This signs you up to the support services and it’s not clear why this has to be done separately from your sign up for the service in the first place.
It asks you at this point to provide your full name rather than the email username you use to sign into the app, which means having to remember more log in details than seems strictly necessary.
Connecting and disconnecting to servers is easy, and the killswitch button is right there on the interface too, but there aren’t really any other settings to speak of making this probably the least configurable VPN service we’ve seen lately.
Despite its simplicity. it has an irritating quirk in that when you click on and highlight a server, then click the connect button it deselects your selection and throws an error message. There’s also a right-pointing arrow on each server location that appears to do nothing at all.
To select a server, you have to double click the server and then the green connection button activates itself, becoming a red “disconnect” button. You can then dismiss the client by clicking anywhere outside it, and recall it by clicking on the icon in the menu bar that is so small you could mistake it for a piece of food stuck to your monitor.
Neither the icon in the menu bar nor the icon in your dock if you use a Mac tells you whether you’re connected at any given moment. You have to bring up the client instead which you can do either by clicking on the menu-bar icon and clicking “show.”
VPN.asia supports Windows, Mac, iOS and Android but it doesn’t do any of the less common operating systems like Linux or Kindle, or offer support for configuring your router.
It allows you multiple connections but this is not quite as generous as it sounds because it only allows one connection on each type of device. Therefore, if you have two laptops you can’t use it on both, but if you have a laptop, an iPad and a smartphone you’re catered for.
It says on the website that it has servers in 30 countries and counting. However, only 25 servers show up on the client interface, and since several countries have more than one server, this amounts to not much more than half the stated number.
That said, the geographical spread is good in some ways: there are servers in locations — like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi — that are not represented by many VPN services today. However, it has no servers in Central or South America despite being incorporated in Belize, nor any servers in Africa or the Middle East.
Its server locations may recommend it to people who have certain location-specific needs, but otherwise VPN.asia is definitely one of the worst services on the market in terms of server numbers.
The speeds we clocked on VPN.asia were on the slow side, generally between 10 and 20 percent of the unprotected speed, so you probably won’t want to use it for your torrenting activities or streaming (check out our best VPN for streaming for better alternatives).
|Amsterdam:||152||6.69||20.5 [yes really]|
It’s noticeable that the European and Asian servers are faster than those in North America, probably because of a combination of high customer demand for the American servers and the proximity to our location of the European ones.
VPN.asia operates a no-logging policy, and uses 256-bit AES encryption which is now standard in the VPN industry. It allows you various choices as regards encryption protocols: Its first two options are L2PT, and PPTP which has well known security vulnerabilities but is often faster than some of the more secure alternatives.
You also have the option of a combination of OpenVPN with either TCP or UDP connection types. These connection types offer different combinations of speed and stability, and you can play around with them when you’re experiencing slow torrenting speeds or a fragile connection while watching your favorite TV show.
There’s also a mode called “stealth” in the list of encryption protocols, and the name suggests it should be the one to use for getting into geoblocked content like Netflix or BBC iPlayer but when we tried it we found that Netflix threw up its standard error message saying that we seemed to be using a proxy server.
However, after playing around with the various combinations of encryption protocol and connection type we got into U.S. Netflix using OpenVPN with a TCP connection. Predictably, we couldn’t get into BBC iPlayer, however, which is usually a harder task for most VPNs out there (except the best VPN for BBC iPlayer, of course).
Although its ability to get into Netflix is a good feature of VPN.asia, it must be added that our connection speed took a steep nosedive while using the protocol that got us in, and the picture was quite grainy at times while we were using it.
VPN.asia did fine on our DNS leak test both while using stealth mode and while connected to Netflix. It also offers SHA-256 hash authentication, which is a cryptographic function developed by the NSA and offers another level of security if you’re worried about being hacked.
VPN.asia has a well-designed landing page on its website where it says confidently: “Pick a VPN provider who can talk the talk AND walk the walk. You get 5 star customer service with customized request forms and 24/7 internet chat representatives. Anytime. Anywhere.” Then it has a fake-looking customer testimonial as back up for this claim.
In reality there is a button at the top of the user interface that will open a webpage where you can connect to the VPN.asia support staff. It says you can talk to them via live chat, using a contact form, or directly via email, but we found the livechat button wasn’t working even though it said the support staff were online.
We therefore used the contact form and got a message on the screen thanking us for the feedback, though we had been asking a technical question. A few minutes later a robo-acknowledgment that our query was being looked into arrived via email. We heard no more from them however.
The same goes for the promised refund: at time of writing we have been waiting seven days for a response on our request and have pretty much written off getting our money back.
The VPN.asia knowledgebase is also found on this page, and it amounts to a whole lot of nothing. There’s actually more information about the features on offer on the website’s landing page. Since it has recently added new features like a killswitch, perhaps the FAQs are on the way, but for now they contain next to no information.
VPN.asia is a VPN service that promises much and delivers only some of it. It performs the basic VPN function of encryption adequately, but doesn’t yet rise to the finer points of VPN customer service or configurability.
It’s a fairly low-priced option that will get you into Netflix and allow you to torrent securely but its slow speeds detract from its strengths and therefore we can’t really recommend it as offering the best value for money when compared to our other VPN reviews.
What are your experiences with VPN.asia? Agree or disagree with our verdict? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.