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Red Shield VPN review

Basic VPN with room for improvement

Red Shield VPN
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Red Shield VPN is good for modest users who don’t require plenty of features, access to geo-restricted content and a wide range of server locations. However, it offers some nice download speeds, support for torrenting, helpful customer support and some of the best money-back policies in the business.

For

  • Solid speeds
  • Excellent money-back policies
  • Supports torrenting
  • Chat support in apps

Against

  • Doesn’t unblock Netflix or BBC iPlayer
  • Limited server infrastructure
  • Overly basic apps

Red Shield VPN is a small provider of VPN services with apps that allow you to create encrypted tunnels to its VPN servers in the country and city of your choosing.

Price

This VPN provider offers four subscription plans to choose from: one-month, three-month, six-month, and twelve-month, with the latter carrying the biggest discount at $49.90/year (the equivalent of $4.16/month).

With Red Shield VPN, you’ll be able to run up to five simultaneous VPN connections and you’ll even get a refund if the service isn’t to your liking.

Although the website says that the money-back guarantee spans 14 days, we were told by customer support that it actually lasts one month and no questions will be asked before a refund is issued. And if you encounter serious issues beyond that period, you’ll still be eligible for a refund.

The accepted payment methods are limited to debit/credit cards, Bitcoin and Dash only. There’s no PayPal in the picture which means no additional protections provided by the payment processing company. On the plus side, you’ll benefit from extra anonymity if you pay with cryptocurrencies.

Red Shield VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives

Red Shield VPN still has a lot of work to do if it wants to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the industry heavyweights, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark or CyberGhost. This includes improving its apps, expanding its server network and being able to unblock today’s popular streaming content. 

Streaming

Many VPN services are capable of providing their users with access to localized titles on today’s popular streaming services. Unfortunately, Red Shield VPN isn’t one of them, as we witnessed ourselves.

Netflix refused to show us any US-exclusive titles, even though we connected to a server in the US, and there aren’t any British servers available so we couldn’t even try streaming BBC iPlayer.

Red Shield VPN

(Image credit: Future)

About the company 

Red Shield VPN is a product of Private Networks Labs. As we were told by customer support, the company has several legal entities in countries like the UK, US, and Latvia, but its team is distributed around the world.

The vendor provides access to 20 servers in 10 locations across Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Singapore, and the US. Each location has a different IP count, ranging from several to 24 per server.

Privacy and encryption 

To protect your privacy, Red Shield VPN uses the IKEv2, OpenVPN, and OpenConnect connection protocols. We were told by customer service that support for WireGuard is also in the works. The VPN deploys the AES-256-CBC and AES-512-CBC encryption algorithms.

As an additional layer of defense, there’s also a kill switch, but it’s off by default. A kill switch is a handy tool that terminates your internet access whenever your VPN connection is interrupted, effectively preventing any of your sensitive data from leaking into the wrong hands.

Red Shield VPN’s Privacy Policy states that it doesn’t monitor user activity or keep any logs. It claims it has “no record of your activities such as which software you used, which websites you visited, what content you downloaded, which apps you used, etc. after you connected to any of our servers”. The provider’s FAQ states that torrenting is also allowed.

This is a rather short no-logs policy and we have no choice but to trust it, because it has not been verified by an external auditor.

Red Shield VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Support 

This VPN vendor provides user-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, but can also be installed on Linux and routers with the help of manual installation guides on the website and configuration files available for download.

At the time of writing, the provider’s Android app has a rating of 3.6 stars (out of 5) as judged by 33 users and was been updated roughly two months ago. The iOS app scored 5 stars as rated by 3 users and appears to be updated almost monthly.

If you have any questions or run into trouble, you can consult a rather tiny FAQ section, but the provider also has opened ways of connecting its customer support directly: via email, Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, and even text chat within the apps.

We tested the email route and got a detailed and friendly response within an hour, which is a decent response time for email support.

Speed and experience

The Red Shield VPN Windows app was very easy to use, as there aren’t any complicated features. However, this means that more demanding users will be left cold, without any customization options except the protocol selection and kill switch. 

We also noticed there were no notifications in the taskbar when the app connected/disconnected, so that should be corrected as soon as possible.

We tested the provider’s download speeds on a 69.19Mbps testing connection and from a location in south-east Europe. The results for Switzerland were excellent, at 28.14Mbps, but faltered a little when we crossed the ocean and tested a server in the US, which gave us a decent 12.66Mbps. 

Interestingly, the speeds didn’t drop all that much when using a server on the other side of the world in Singapore, giving us a solid 10.25Mbps. We can’t say we haven’t seen better speeds among the competition, but these are highly usable nonetheless.

Unfortunately, there are no servers in the UK, the location we often test for download speeds and access to British streaming content.

Verdict 

Red Shield VPN is still a far cry from the industry giants. It lacks a large-scale networks, the download speeds are middling and the apps are devoid of additioanl features.

That said, this VPN appears to offer superb privacy, P2P support, strong customer service, and some of the most tempting money-back policies in the industry.