VPN Unlimited Review
VPN Unlimited offers good speed and a wide selection of servers, but is lacking when it comes to torrenting and privacy.
By James Crace – Last Updated: 08 Oct'17
Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at the services offered by VPN Unlimited. The service’s speeds are good and the software is user-friendly, but it’s not the best option for heavy torrent users or those with privacy concerns. We’ll see why later in the article.
VPN Unlimited is the product of KeepSolid, a productivity and privacy company behind tools like KeepSolid DNS Firewall, which is included with VPN Unlimited. This utility blocks malware, advertisements and tracking, giving users an added layer of protection.
Currently, VPN Unlimited is offering a seven-day free trial (making it fairly unique among VPNs), so make sure to visit VPN Unlimited and take the service out for a spin.
VPN Unlimited offers a solid client with over 1,000 servers in 70 countries. Their client software makes using a VPN dead simple, and it’s easily one of the most accessible and convenient clients we’ve used.
Speed is solid on all tested servers and the service has apps for every platform, as well as extensions for every major browser. The Chrome extension made it simple to use on my Chromebook, a feature missing from many other providers in our VPN comparison chart.
- Fast speeds
- 1,000 servers in over 70 countries
- Great apps for every platform
- DNS firewall
- Strong encryption
- Some traffic logs are kept
- Peer-to-peer traffic not recommended (i.e. torrents)
- Doesn’t own their own hardware
- Can’t access Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video
- No killswitch
All the features included with VPN Unlimited are available from within the app, and are presented in a clean and accessible interface.
You can search for a server or select one from the list provided, and there is an “optimal” button as well, that will automatically search for a nearby server. This is a nice feature if you’re on vacation or traveling and you want some added privacy without searching for a specific server.
In addition to that, each server listing shows the service’s current workload, so you can pick a server based on how busy it is. Higher workloads means more users are connected, so picking a server with a low workload should result in better speeds.
VPN Unlimited offers three levels of protection from within the app, namely low, medium and high. These three settings enable the KeepSolid DNS Firewall, provided by VPN Unlimited’s parent company and are designed to protect against malware and malicious tracking.
While I had no problem accessing the BBC iPlayer app, as soon as I tried streaming Netflix, my VPN was detected. If you’re looking to access Netflix UK, Hulu or Amazon Video, you’re out of luck with VPN Unlimited. VPNs usually offer protection and anonymity for peer-to-peer networks, such as bittorrent, but with VPN Unlimited only five servers out of the available 1,000 permit P2P traffic.
According to VPN Unlimited’s website:
“The primary use of VPN Unlimited is not to download torrents, but to offer online security, there are limited cases when our technical team has to subside connection speeds due to torrenting.”
Even on servers that allow P2P traffic, you may get slow connection speeds. In a response to questions by TorrentFreak, a company spokesman said:
“If we notice any spam related activities or other illegal actions, the user’s account will be blocked without any extensive or preliminary warning.”
It makes sense for a business to protect itself, but compared to other zero-knowledge VPN providers that keep absolutely no logs, VPN Unlimited falls short.
VPN Unlimited offers a simple and affordable price structure, including a “lifetime” plan. The price is comparable to the other services we’ve done VPN reviews on and, as with most providers, you’ll save money by signing up for a longer plan. VPN Unlimited offers a seven-day free trial as well as a seven-day money back guarantee, so I suggest taking advantage of this while the offer is still valid and try out the service yourself.
$ 8 99monthly
$ 107 88yearly
$ 3 33monthly
$ 39 99yearly
$ 149 99yearly
|Bandwidth||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB|
The “basic” plan is quite expensive in the long run, so it may be best after the trial has run out to purchase the “professional” plan and save yourself over $60.
The service accepts payment in the following ways:
Overall, the “basic” plan is a bit too expensive for long-term usage.
However, the “professional” plan is of great value and puts VPN Unlimited right in line with other providers. A wide variety of payment options makes it easy to use your preferred payment method. VPN Unlimited allows five devices per plan, but gives you the option to add up to 10 more devices, at $0.99 a month for each device or $4.99 a year for 10.
This is a great deal, as most providers charge a flat monthly fee for additional devices.
VPN Unlimited is dead simple to use. The sign-up process takes just a minute and the apps are quick to download and install.
Once you’re connected, it’s business as usual. The speeds are smooth and chances are you won’t notice any slowdown with day-to-day activities. Uploading and downloading files was also a breeze using both Google Drive and Dropbox.
Chromebooks had some issues with VPNs for a while, and most Chrome extensions from other VPNs were buggy or failed to work properly on my device. However VPN Unlimited worked like a charm: the browser extension installed in seconds and the process was as simple as signing-in and clicking the “on” button.
The test I was running was from DNSLeakTest. DNS leaks can expose your IP even when using a VPN or proxy, but VPN Unlimited passed with flying colors.
This was with the default settings on the client, and with a few clicks I could enable more protections, including anti-malware, anti-tracking and ad blocking. It doesn’t get much easier than that. I tried accessing both iPlayer and Netflix, but as mentioned earlier, Netflix detects the VPN and refuses to stream any content.
I selected the Coventry, UK server and loaded up iPlayer in just a few seconds, so VPN Unlimited works well for accessing content from the BBC. If you’re set on finding the best VPN for Netflix or the best VPN for iPlayer, check out our roundups of the best ones this year.
With VPN Unlimited, it’s easy to use a VPN on your desktop and mobile devices. All features are included in the apps and browser extensions, so you never have to login to the website to configure anything. Finding the optimal server and enabling additional privacy protections are the two killer features offered by VPN Unlimited’s apps.
VPN Unlimited supports all major platforms and devices. So it’s unlikely you’ll find a device it doesn’t already support, but if you do, the company offers custom routers running their VPN software. These routers utilize DD-WRT or Tomato, two open-source firmwares that allow you to run a VPN on routers instead of individual devices.
You can connect up to five of your devices on a VPN Unlimited account, with the option to add an additional device starting at $0.99 a month. You can add up to 10 additional devices this way and paying annually brings the price down further to $4.99.
This is an excellent value for the price and it’s a great way to share your VPN with family or friends. VPN Unlimited offers custom routers as well, which come pre-installed with a special firmware that allows you to protect all your devices while using only one slot on your account.
Even if you have a device that doesn’t have VPN support, if it connects to your router, it will be routed through a VPN tunnel. With a VPN router, you never have to worry about remembering to turn a connection on or off. It’s an excellent solution for homes and small businesses.
No matter where you live, chances are good that VPN Unlimited has a server nearby, since it sports over 1,000 servers across more than 70 countries. This means good coverage and connection speeds wherever you are, and customers can request servers be opened up in a nearby location. This is a nice gesture on VPN Unlimited’s part and demonstrates a commitment to its customers.
A thousand servers is impressive, but a little low when compared to the competition, such as ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review for more info) or TorGuard, which offer 1,500+ and 1,600+ servers, respectively (though it should be noted that there are services with far fewer). Even though VPN Unlimited has fewer servers than the competition, the spread is fairly diverse and should meet most people’s needs.
My home connection is 75Mbit/10Mbit, although with cable it varies on any given day, depending on a number of factors. Keep in mind that you’ll always get better speeds by selecting the server closest to you, and if you need a server in a specific country, it’s worth getting the free trial to see how your own speeds are.
There was only a small drop in speed with the VPN turned on, which is to be expected with most providers. The VPN protocol and encryption always adds a little overhead that results in a small speed decrease — in my case, it was about 20Mbit/s slower than my unprotected connection.
Still, the VPN proved fast enough for my needs:
|Home (Midwest U.S.)||70.38Mbps||11.90Mbps|
As you can see, the Chicago server resulted in the best speeds, probably because it’s only a little over 100 miles away. Routing my VPN connection to the UK and back resulted in much slower speeds.
Upload speeds weren’t affected as much as most ISPs intentionally keep upload speeds capped on the low side resulting in plenty of bandwidth, whereas download speeds are affected by more network congestion and other users.
While I wouldn’t recommend VPN Unlimited for big-time torrenters, I did check speeds on their Ontario, CA server, which allows torrenting. The Ontario server is further away from me than Chicago, but still close compared to Seattle or the UK.
Download speeds peaked at around 6 MB/s and averaged between 4-5MB/s. Converting to Mbit/s, the measurement used by Speedtest.net, that’s around 40Mbit/s which was in line with what speedtest.net reported.
Taking into consideration the distance to the server and my usual connection speed, VPN Unlimited scores about average in the speed category. It’s awesome to see which servers are under a heavy workload, but I think The company could work on improving speeds across the service.
VPN Unlimited has some vague policies when it comes to privacy and security — for example, it claims not to log the websites you visit, yet they log traffic and data used.
The terms and conditions are worrisome, as they state:
“In case users are suspected of activities, which are declared illegal by the laws of countries where the local KeepSolid Inc. servers are hosted, we may log information, which is necessary to prove the user’s innocence and protect our service.”
VPN Unlimited logs some data at the very least, including traffic and bandwidth usage, but the service claims it doesn’t log what websites you visit. Since it terminates any users it finds spamming or breaking the law, there must be enough logging in place to corroborate user activities and comply with court orders.
VPN Unlimited is based in the United States and as we’ve all learned the NSA and other intelligence agencies can issue gag orders and wiretap providers without anyone’s knowledge. Generally I recommend people avoid U.S.-based providers for this very reason; well, that and spying by ISPs.
VPN Unlimited also does not own its physical hardware, meaning it rents or leases equipment and servers from others. Providers that own their own hardware have staff that are on-site or travel to the data center whenever an issue arises and in turn have greater control over the physical security of their servers.
The VPN service itself is very secure, utilizing OpenVPN or IPSec depending on the platform. Both of these protocols are well-tested, audited and considered quite strong, along with the AES-128 or AES-256 encryption that VPN Unlimited uses. The additional features provided by their KeepSolid DNS Firewall add another layer of protection against malware, tracking and advertisers.
KeepSolid’s DNS Firewall is a nice feature that adds increased protection, depending on which level you select. At the highest setting, VPN Unlimited will protect you from malware, stop tracking and block ads. This may change or break a few websites, as pages may render differently or refuse to load if they detect an adblocker.
Still, this is a feature that sets VPN Unlimited apart from the competition.
Most providers offer a killswitch these days, which is a trigger that automatically closes certain apps when the VPN disconnects. It’s one of the features users look for in a VPN, especially if they’re using torrent software or living in a country with censorship. Unfortunately, VPN Unlimited doesn’t offer a killswitch, despite all the other privacy and protection features built into its apps.
Torrent users should look elsewhere, as in addition to lacking a killswitch, there are only five servers that allow torrents. It’s fine for the occasional torrent or grabbing a Linux .iso, perhaps, but VPN Unlimited states in the FAQ that the service is not meant for downloading torrents.
Consider a provider such as TorGuard (check out our TorGuard review for more details), or learn how to torrent in the cloud and save your bandwidth for streaming. Overall, VPN Unlimited offers a secure VPN service. Home and business users, especially those that travel or work on public WiFi, would benefit from using VPN Unlimited.
It provides a secure tunnel for your data and protection against attackers and eavesdroppers. The privacy-conscious, however, may be better off with a provider that has a zero logging policy and owns its own hardware, such as TorGuard.
VPN Unlimited provides excellent customer service, and fast ticket response times. I sent a question and got a response in less than 30 minutes. You can access support via the website, from within the app or the browser extensions.
When it comes to self-service, the website has no shortage of documentation. The FAQ goes into technical details if you’re curious about the inner workings, and there are answers to almost any question you could have.
The manuals section has step-by-step guides to install and configure the software on every platform or device, if you prefer to tweak things or do it manually.
VPN Unlimited is a solid VPN for the average home or business user looking to protect themselves online. The server selection is great for those that travel or need to bypass filters and censorship and it works for BBC’s iPlayer — Netflix users will have to look elsewhere, unfortunately.
The user interface makes it dead simple to use, in the desktop apps or in the web browser, and customer service was quick to reply and helpful. It has everything most users would need, and enough servers to fit most use cases.
The speeds are fast for everyday usage, though you might notice a bit of a drop, and I wouldn’t recommend the service to torrenters. The terms and conditions are a bit worrisome, though, and privacy-conscious readers may want to look at one of our other best VPN providers.
With apps for every platform and custom routers, you’ll be able use their service on every device you own. It’s simple to use and protects your devices from malware, tracking and blocks ads, in addition to the normal privacy a VPN delivers. Take advantage of the VPN Unlimited free trial and low prices to see for yourself how easy it is to protect yourself online.
As always, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts. Thank you for reading.