Browsec VPN Review 2021: What does it offer?
There are several methods you can secure your online experience, but using a VPN is the most reliable. Browsec VPN is one of the decent options out there, and knowing what the VPN has to offer will help you determine whether it's the best option for you.
Pros & Cons
- Easy to use
- Good speeds
- Works with Netflix & BBC iPlayer
- Extremely fast server switching
- Decent server network
- Free VPN plan
- 7-day money-back guarantee
- Unclear privacy and logging policy
- Lacks advanced features
- No desktop apps
- Based in Russia
Browsec is a Russia-based VPN service that started as a browser proxy. However, the VPN has diversified and expanded over the years, and it now has a decent server network that consists of 600+ servers in 42 countries.
Here’s an overview of the service:
- Good speeds
- Works with Netflix & BBC iPlayer
- Solid security
- Limited compatibility
The VPN still has a lot of work to do to be mentioned with the likes of Surfshark VPN, but it already has several strengths that make it worth looking at. This Browsec VPN review will analyze the VPN’s capabilities, speeds, pricing, features, and everything else you need to know. It will also compare the VPN with the market leaders to help you make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
Browsec VPN offers several functionalities, although some are quite limited as the VPN doesn't have desktop apps.
Streaming: Does Browsec VPN work with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other services?
We conducted several streaming tests to determine whether Browsec VPN works with Netflix and other streaming services.
When connected to US West servers, we were able to stream Netflix US without any issues. We also managed to access Netflix UK and Netflix Canada.
Apart from Netflix, we were also able to stream on BBC iPlayer using the UK servers.
Does Browsec VPN support torrenting?
No, Browsec VPN doesn’t support torrenting. This is because the VPN doesn’t offer a Windows or Mac app. At the moment, you can only use Browsec VPN on your browser, and this means that the VPN won't tunnel any other traffic. If you are a torrenting fan, check out the best VPNs for torrenting.
Does Browsec VPN work in China?
No, Browsec VPN doesn’t work in China or other censored countries. The VPN doesn’t have any obfuscation capabilities, and its lack of a desktop client means there aren’t many advanced functionalities.
Yes, Browsec is a secure VPN as it uses industry-standard encryption techniques.
Browsec VPN is based in Russia. The country is not part of the 14-eyes multilateral, but it is also a region known for stringent privacy policies. Over the years, the Russian government created laws that enhance monitoring and content censoring. And in 2019, the government threatened to ban VPNs that didn't comply with its censorship measures. VPNs operating in the country were then forced to provide access to their servers, a move that led to the exit of several of them.
The fact that Browsec is based in such a region means that you can’t rely on it for maximum privacy. And to make this worse, it doesn’t promise much on its website either.
When doing this Browsec review, we conducted several tests using random servers to determine whether Browsec VPN leaks any data. We were glad to see that Browsec VPN didn't leak any IP address, DNS addresses, or WebRTC information during all our tests.
To ensure that you are not affected by any WebRTC leaks, Browsec VPN has a feature that forces WebRTC connections to go through the VPN.
Browsec VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption across all its apps and extensions. This is paired with IPSec IKEv2 for mobile applications and HTTP Proxy over TLS for browser extensions.
This kind of security is solid, and so you can be sure that your data is safe.
As you would expect from a VPN that doesn’t have a desktop app, Browsec VPN doesn’t boast many features. Here’s an overview of the VPN’s features.
Web RTC Leak Prevention
WebRTC (web real-time communication) is a protocol that allows users to make audio and video calls using their browser. However, the protocol can expose your real IP address to websites even when using a VPN.
Browsec helps avoid this by providing a feature that prevents any possible WebRTC IP leaks. Note that the feature may affect your audio or video quality, so it should only be enabled when necessary.
Browsec provides split tunneling on both its browser extensions and Android app. On the app, split tunneling is known as "App Protection," and it allows you to choose the apps that you'd like to tunnel through the VPN. All apps are enabled by default.
In the browser, the feature is known as "Smart Settings." Smart Settings allows you to filter websites you'd like to either tunnel or bypass. The best thing about the feature is that you can select different locations for different websites. For example, you can set your banking website to use a local server, your news site to bypass the VPN entirely, and Netflix to use a US server.
Always on is an Android feature that helps users stay connected at all times. The feature works by making the Browsec VPN connection persistent, so the VPN will always try to reconnect even after a reboot. The feature takes advantage of Android’s inbuilt Always-on functionality.
5 Simultaneous Connections
Browsec VPN allows you to use your account on multiple devices and browsers. The number of devices you can sign-in on is not limited, but you can only connect up to 5 devices simultaneously. Note that the VPN counts each browser as a device.
If you are using the free version, the number of devices won't matter as Browsec doesn't require an account, even on mobile devices.
Browsec VPN has a server network that consists of 600+ servers in 42 countries. This number is quite small when compared to the market leaders, but it is still a decent network size that can provide great speeds.
The Browsec VPN servers are also well spread. You can connect to the Americas, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and India. Server switches are unlimited, but you won’t be able to select a particular server or access them at the city-level.
Browsec VPN provides a free plan for all devices. This plan allows users to access the service without bandwidth limits, making the VPN quite popular. You don't even have to log in to use the service, as every user is assigned a unique ID.
However, as you would expect, the free plan has its limits. First, you can only connect to four server locations: Netherlands, Singapore, United Kingdom, and United States. Note that these servers also have lots of other users, so you can expect average performance. The speeds also seem to be capped as there's a huge difference between free and premium servers.
As for the premium service, Browsec provides three plans:
- Monthly Plan: Costs $4.99 a month, billed every 30 days.
- Annual Plan: Costs $3.33 a month, billed $39.99 every 12 months.
- 2-Year Plan: Costs $2.99 a month, billed $71.99 every 24 months.
Overall, Browsec is one of the best-priced VPNs. The monthly plan is half the price of most VPNs, and the annual and 2-year plans provide a great discount.
Supported payment methods
Browsec VPN accepts payments through credit/ debit cards and PayPal. You can also activate your account via a voucher code if you have one.
Unfortunately, there's no option for paying via Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. This means that users who prefer to pay anonymously will be at a disadvantage, but you can have a look at our list of the best VPNs for Bitcoin.
Does Browsec VPN have a free trial?
No, Browsec VPN doesn’t provide a free trial. This is because the VPN already has a free plan that you can use to test out the service sufficiently. Note that you won’t be able to rely on the free plan for streaming.
Does Browsec VPN have a money-back guarantee?
Yes, Browsec VPN has a money-back guarantee. You can request for a refund within 7 days of subscription by sending a request to [email protected]. The VPN advises that you provide the payment details (date, time, payment provider) in your email to make the process faster. There are no tricky refund clauses such as the amount of bandwidth used.
The Browsec VPN website is simple and easy to use. However, it doesn’t provide much information about either the VPN or the company behind it.
Apart from that, getting started with the VPN is super easy. The homepage gives you an option to "Get Browsec Premium" or "Install Browsec for free." The first option leads you to a subscription page where you can choose a plan and a payment method. From there, you will get an email asking you to confirm your account.
Which devices & platforms does Browsec VPN support?
Compatibility is Browsec’s biggest drawback. You can only install Browsec VPN on:
- Chrome/ Edge
As you can tell from the VPN's name, Browsec was initially developed to provide browsing security, and it started with only the Browsec VPN Chrome extension. The VPN later expanded to other browsers and developed Android and iOS apps which are now fully operational.
However, Browsec is yet to launch a VPN for Windows and macOS. According to the VPN’s website, these two are still in development. This is okay as the VPN is still growing, but some users would argue that Browsec should at least support OpenVPN configuration on Windows. This would let users secure their entire traffic by connecting to Browsec servers using the open-source OpenVPN client. Support for more protocols would also enable manual configuration at the router level.
Ease of use
After creating an account, Browsec VPN is one of the easiest VPNs to use. You can download the extension for your browser by clicking a link on the main website under “VPN apps.” You can also search the extension on the browser’s extension store.
Browsec Browser Extension
The Browsec VPN Firefox extension is identical to Browsec VPN for Chrome. Once you install any of them, you can use them without signing in. Clicking "Protect Me" will connect the addon to the nearest of the four free servers.
To access more servers, use your Browsec account to log in to the premium service. You will then be able to access all servers (labelled premium).
Browsec servers are listed in alphabetical order, and except for the US, all countries have just a single server location. There's a strength (network-like) bar to show each server's strength based on both your location and the number of users.
You can enable several functionalities by clicking the settings button on the homepage. On the settings page, you can:
- Enable Browsec for WebRTC connections
- Change browser timezone according to your virtual location (the browser can reveal your actual timezone)
- Disabling promo offers
To customize your connection, click “Smart Settings” on the lower side of the extension. This will allow you to set domain preferences, which include turning off the VPN for a particular domain or choosing a location for the domain.
Overall, the Browsec Browser extension is well designed and easy to use. However, it could still add more features, such as an ad-blocker.
Browsec Smartphone Apps
You can download Browsec VPN for iOS app from the Apple App Store. The app has a superb design that makes it both appealing and easy to use. There’s a button on the lower side that lets you connect with just a single click, and you can also choose your server by clicking a server drop-down menu.
However, that’s pretty much all you can do with the Browsec iPhone/ iPad app. The app doesn’t have a settings button that you can use to customize your connection. You won’t even be able to re-install the VPN configuration (a standard feature) if you experience any issues.
The Android app follows a similar design, but there’s a settings button below the connection button. This button allows you to choose the specific apps you want to protect or exempt from tunneling.
Apart from that, you can enable the “Always on” feature that makes Browsec VPN connection persistent even after reboot. You can download Browsec VPN for Android from the Google Play Store.
To give you an idea of how fast Browsec VPN is, we conducted several speed tests using random servers in different regions. Our tests were conducted using a connection that has speeds of 50 Mbps.
When we connected to nearby servers and servers in neighboring countries, we were impressed to see speeds of 44 Mbps to 47 Mbps. Distant servers recorded a more significant variance in speeds, averaging between 24 Mbps and 40 Mbps. We found free servers unpredictable as their speeds vary with the time of the day (or the number of users). They could go as high as 20 Mbps and as low as 2 Mbps.
Overall, we were impressed with Browsec premium VPN speeds.
Browsec VPN doesn’t score highly when it comes to customer support as they lack today’s preferred method of getting in touch – live chat support. To reach out to the representatives, you can click an email icon on the browser extension, and it will lead you to a ticket section on the website.
There’s also a support button on the Android app that starts a support email for you. And just like any other VPN with free and paid plans, Browsec prioritizes premium customers. We got a reply for a query after about 35 minutes, which is quite good.
However, the VPN’s website isn’t as impressive. The help section doesn’t provide any tutorials or a knowledge base. The FAQ section has only four questions, making the whole help section quite lackluster.
Is Browsec VPN free?
Yes, Browsec VPN has a free version. This version is limited, but you can upgrade to remove the restrictions.
Is there Browsec VPN Premium PC Version?
No, Browsec VPN is yet to launch a PC or Mac version as at the time of this review.
Is Browsec VPN safe?
Yes, Browsec VPN is one of the safe free VPNs. The VPN’s apps and extensions do not have any adware, according to VirusTotal. They also use the recommended encryption standards.
How do I activate Browsec?
You can upgrade Browsec by logging in with your premium account.
That said, Browsec VPN provides a good option for users seeking a simple way of browsing and making their internet activities private. The VPN also has good speeds, and it can be used to access geo-restricted titles on Netflix and unblock other streaming services.