SaferVPN Review 2023: All you need to know
Reading a first-hand VPN review is an important part of selecting a VPN. This SaferVPN review helps you in that selection process by analyzing the VPN’s strengths as well as drawbacks.
Pros & Cons
SaferVPN is a popular VPN service that has been around for about 8 years. The VPN has been operating from Israel for a long time, but in 2019, it was acquired by NetProtect during J2 Global’s acquisition spree.
Here’s an overview of the VPN service:
- 1,300+ servers in 50 countries
- Works with Netflix (only)
- Apps for many devices
- Keeps some logs
- No advanced features
In this SaferVPN review, we’ll look at the VPN in more detail and analyze key areas such as pricing, features, capabilities, client apps, and so much more. By the end of the review, you will be in a position to determine whether this is the right VPN for you.
What can SaferVPN do?
SaferVPN may not be able to match fully-featured VPNs such as NordVPN, but it still offers a decent service.
Streaming: Does SaferVPN work with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other services?
SaferVPN is a great Netflix VPN as the VPN has servers that are optimized for the streaming service. Although these servers are no longer labeled, they still work quite well, and you won't have to struggle to look for a specific server.
We tested the VPN’s Netflix capabilities using several servers, and we were able to access Netflix US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, and more.
However, we were disappointed to see that the VPN doesn’t unblock BBC iPlayer. After connecting to the UK location several times, we still couldn’t get a working server. The VPN is also blocked by Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. If you use any of these services, you can look at our suggestions for the best VPNs for streaming.
Does SaferVPN support torrenting?
Yes, SaferVPN supports torrenting. However, its torrenting capabilities are limited as you can only torrent through the Netherlands, Canada, and Spain servers. The fact that the VPN supports torrenting is good, although there are better torrenting options.
Does SaferVPN work in China?
No, SaferVPN does not work in China or other countries that block VPNs. This is because the VPN doesn’t have any obfuscation capabilities that can avoid deep packet inspection (dpi) blocking.
Is SaferVPN Secure?
Yes, SaferVPN is secure. Here’s a closer look at its privacy and security.
SaferVPN was launched in 2013 as a product of Tel Aviv-based Perimeter 81. However, in 2019, it was acquired by US-based NetProtect, which American tech giant J2 Global owns. Now, the VPN is operated by Mudhook Marketing, Inc, which also operates IPVanish.
Since NetProtect owns SaferVPN, the VPN is now under the laws of the US. This is not ideal as the US government is known for mass surveillance, and it frequently hands out subpoenas to VPNs. This means that SaferVPN can be easily forced to submit any data they have about you. So what does SaferVPN keep?
“We do not log your browsing activity, data or IP addresses including:
- Any of the websites you visited in the past or plan on visiting in the future.
- Any data you may have downloaded, shared, or viewed.
- Any of your IP address or DNS queries.
However, the VPN also goes on to say that they log:
- The date and time on which the session began and ended
- The amount of data transmitted during each Session
- To which location (e.g., USA East) (We do not hold servers’ IP addresses)
- And from which country you connected from (We do not hold IP addresses)
While it's good to see that SaferVPN doesn’t log your online activities, it’s also worrying to see that they collect so much data. The connection time stamps, server connected to, and country of origin information can be used to correlate certain activities to a particular user.
Apart from that, SaferVPN states in their terms of service that in case of illegal activities, they may provide the appropriate entities with your “profile, email addresses, usage history, posted materials, IP addresses, and traffic information.” This statement raises so many questions as the VPN states that they do no collect most of that information, and so privacy enthusiasts might want to look at audited zero-log VPNs such as NordVPN.
While assessing SaferVPN’s privacy, we also conducted several IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests to know if the VPN can leak information.
We were glad to see that none of the servers we connected to leaked any information.
The VPN provides a DNS leak protection feature that forces the connection to use their DNS. It’s important to keep the feature enabled as your ISP DNS addresses will leak without it.
SaferVPN uses AES-256 Encryption for data, SHA256 for Control Messages, and 2048-bit SSL/TLS handshake encryption. These are very good encryption standards, so nobody can intercept your traffic.
The VPN also gives users control over the security levels through multiple protocols. These include:
IKEv2 is a new and advanced protocol that is known for its stability and offers great speeds. The protocol is able to reconnect when switching networks or after losing an internet connection.
OpenVPN is the industry standard, and it offers the highest performance and security levels. The protocol is highly configurable.
L2TP/ IPSec and PPTP aren’t really recommended as the former can be quite slow while the latter is not secure enough.
Overall, it’s good to see SaferVPN offers multiple protocols as it gives users flexibility depending on what they want to accomplish. For example, if you just want to stream on Netflix, you can use PPTP as you won't need to worry about security.
SaferVPN doesn’t have many features, but here’s what you get with the VPN.
A Kill switch is a vital privacy tool for any VPN. The feature works by disabling all internet connections whenever the VPN connection is dropped. This prevents exposure due to accidental disconnections.
SaferVPN provides a kill switch for its desktop and Android apps. The feature is known as Kill Switch on the desktop apps and Network Lock on Android.
Automatic WiFi Connection
This feature protects your data and device by automatically connecting the VPN whenever you connect to an unsecured network. The feature comes in handy if you connect to public WiFi hotspots as these networks pose huge risks of data theft.
Automatic WiFi Connection is available on both desktop and mobile apps. On desktops, you can exempt certain networks through a feature labeled “Manage Trusted Networks.”
DNS Leak Prevention
SaferVPN has a DNS leak prevention feature on Windows labeled “Use VPN Interface DNS.” This feature ensures that all DNS queries are tunneled through the VPN to prevent exposure. It is enabled by default.
Although it has become a standard feature, SaferVPN allows users to connect up to 5 devices simultaneously. This is a welcome functionality as the VPN has a wide array of VPN apps.
SaferVPN Server Network
SaferVPN has a network that consists of 1300+ servers in 50 different countries. This is not the largest server network you'll come across, but it is still decent enough to offer good speeds. The servers are well distributed across different regions, and you can connect to the Americas, Europe, Oceania, Africa, and Asia.
Some of SaferVPN’s servers are optimized for streaming. However, they are no longer labeled. You also can’t choose specific servers or regions, with the only exceptions being US East and US West.
All SaferVPN servers offer unlimited switches and bandwidth.
Pricing & Plans
SaferVPN provides four different plans. These plans offer the same features and functionalities, and so the only difference comes in the subscription period. The value you get increases with the subscription length.
Here’s a breakdown of SaferVPN’s plans:
- 1-month plan: Costs $12.95 a month, billed every 30 days.
- 1-year plan: Costs $5.49 a month, billed $65.88 every 12 months.
- 2-year plan: Costs $3.29 a month, billed $78.96 every 24 months.
- 3-year plan: Costs $2.50 a month, billed $89.99 every 36 months.
Overall, the VPN’s 1-month plan is on the higher end and can be termed as expensive. The 1-year plan brings the price significantly down and is priced fairly. The 2-year and 3-year plans provide even bigger discounts and offer great value.
Supported payment methods
SaferVPN accepts payments through credit cards and PayPal. While these may be sufficient for most people, some users who would like to pay anonymously via Bitcoin will be disappointed. The VPN doesn’t provide any cryptocurrency payment options.
Does SaferVPN have a free trial?
Yes, SaferVPN has a free trial. The VPN offers free trials that range from 3 days to 7 days. When you install the VPN’s desktop apps, the VPN will tell you that you can try the service for free for 3 days. On mobile apps, the trial states that it lasts for 7 days. We noticed that if you sign in on a mobile device with the 3-day account, it automatically shifts to 7 days.
The SaferVPN free trial is one of the best as you won’t even need to provide a payment method. All you need to do is enter your email address and a password. From there, you can access all the VPN’s servers and features.
Does SaferVPN have a money-back guarantee?
Yes, SaferVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. Their refund policy is quite straightforward as it only requires you to contact support after canceling your account within the first 30 days. There are no hidden bandwidth limits to qualify for the refund.
Getting started with SaferVPN
The SaferVPN website is well designed, making it easy to obtain information about the VPN. It's also relatively easy to sign up as the pricing page lists all plans along with what you get and the discounts for each plan. Once you select a plan, you'll then be required to select a plan and a payment method.
Alternatively, you can download the app for your device first to try out the free trial. This will allow you to use the VPN without paying or providing a payment method. Once you enter an email address and a password, you are good to go. You won’t even be required to verify your email address.
Which devices & platforms does SaferVPN support?
SaferVPN is quite compatible, and it provides apps for:
The VPN can also be set up on a router. SaferVPN makes this easier by providing configuration guides for various routers, and they have also partnered with flashrouters to help users who would like a pre-configured router.
Overall, SaferVPN does well to provide multiple options, although Linux support is significantly missing.
Ease of use
To give you an overview of what to expect from SaferVPN, we tested several of the VPN’s apps.
SaferVPN Windows App
The SaferVPN download file for Windows is quite small as it has a size of just over 10 MB. You can download and install it within a minute.
After logging in to the app, it will suggest an automatic location that you can connect to with just a single click. However, the SaferVPN algorithm for Windows rarely gets the optimal location right.
To select a server, you can click the highlighted location on the map or the server button on the map's top side. This will give you a list of servers grouped into Public, Recommended, and Favorites. You can scroll down to select a location or use the search box.
However, the VPN doesn’t allow you to switch a server when you are connected, which is quite disappointing.
To customize your connection, click the hamburger menu on the main screen and select Settings. This will open a separate window with several tabs.
The General tab allows you to determine how the app behaves, while the protocol tab lets you choose your preferred protocol. You can set the WiFi management rules under Auto WiFi and enable the Kill Switch on the next tab.
We noticed that the VPN connection notifications are disabled by default, which is somehow risky as you won’t know when the VPN disconnects. This is particularly important as we found the VPN's kill switch ineffective. After launching the VPN, ensure that you enable notifications under the General tab.
Overall, the SaferVPN Windows app is well designed and easy to use.
SaferVPN Mobile Apps
The SaferVPN mobile apps take a similar approach to the desktop app. They have a map that displays the selected server, and there’s a selection button that displays all servers.
Servers are displayed in a similar way to the desktop apps, and they are grouped into All, Recommended, and Favorites. You can also search a server. The Automatic selection feature works correctly, unlike the desktop apps.
The iOS app is quite limited. After opening the menu, the only features you’ll find are WiFi Security and Auto WiFi Protection. The former ensures safety when you connect to public hotspots, while the latter automatically reconnects whenever you experience any connection failure.
The SaferVPN Android app also has a section labeled WiFi Security, which contains Auto WiFi Protection and Internet Lock. The latter is a kill switch meant to ensure that data is never sent without a VPN connection. The app also allows you to select the protocol you'd like to use. The options are IKEv2 and OpenVPN. You can also leave it Automatic to let the app choose the best protocol for you.
Overall, the SaferVPN apps are also well designed and easy to use. We didn’t experience any connection issues, but the network lock feature on Android didn’t seem to work even after changing protocols.
SaferVPN Browser Extensions
SaferVPN provides browser extensions for Chrome/ Edge and Firefox. These extensions are not really VPNs but proxies. This means that the extension simply changes your IP address but does not offer any encryption.
The SaferVPN Chrome and Firefox extension provide servers in 8 countries and 16 locations. Unlike the apps, these servers are displayed according to cities rather than countries. The US has eight different cities, while all other countries have one city.
The proxy extension is easy to use, and it connects to a server immediately. The only area it can improve on is the feature section, as it has none.
How fast is SaferVPN?
SaferVPN bills itself as the fastest VPN and states that it “causes no discernible decrease in your download/upload speed.” During our SaferVPN review, we sought to establish if the VPN lives up to its claims by conducting several speed tests.
Our tests were conducted using a 50 Mbps connection, and we connected to both nearby and distant servers on the Windows app.
Nearby servers averaged 43 Mbps, which was quite impressive. However, the distant servers gave our speeds a bigger hit and averaged 30 Mbps to 40 Mbps.
We didn't notice any significant speed loss in our download speeds when using the Chrome extension. This can be attributed to the fact that there’s no encryption and SaferVPN servers weren’t crowded.
Overall, SaferVPN is a fast VPN. You can use it to stream in 4K or torrent without issues.
SaferVPN Customer Support
SaferVPN does well here as the VPN provides 24/7 customer support. There’s a live chat option that can connect you to an agent if you are looking for quick answers. In our case, we were able to talk to an agent within 30 seconds.
Apart from that, there’s also a ticketing option that you can use for more technical queries. There’s also an impressive support section on the website that features quick start guides, FAQs, common inquiries, and troubleshooting guides.
SaferVPN has some major drawbacks in that it doesn’t have any advanced features, doesn’t unblock most streaming services, and it has a questionable logging policy.
However, it can still be a good option if you are looking for a simple way to stay private and secure. The VPN has a fantastic interface that is easy to use, and you can use the service to torrent and stream on Netflix. And although the monthly plan is expensive, the longer-term plans offer great value.
Is SaferVPN any good?
SaferVPN is a good VPN option. It is safe and reliable, and you can use it to stream on Netflix or torrent anonymously.
Is SaferVPN safe?
SaferVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is the recommended security standard. It also doesn’t collect any usage logs or leak information, and this makes it a safe VPN.
Can I get a SaferVPN free trial?
Yes, SaferVPN offers a free trial to all users. To get started, just download the desktop or mobile apps and create a SaferVPN free account.
Can I download SaferVPN crack?
No, SaferVPN has no crack. Beware of websites that may lure you into installing malware that poses as a cracked version of the VPN. You can create a SaferVPN free trial account and enjoy the full version of the service for 7 days.