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TV When Away VPN review

Great speeds but not for torrenting

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

TV When Away is a VPN provider primarily specializing in unblocking the UK-only content to netizens outside of the UK. It succeeds in doing this at amazing speeds but this doesn’t mean you can use it for speedy and anonymous torrenting as such operations are strictly forbidden. It also has no native clients but operates via third-party software.

For

  • Unblocks Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer
  • Blazing speeds
  • Speedy customer support

Against

  • Forbids torrenting
  • No privacy policy
  • Lacks native clients

Founded in 2012, TV When Away is a provider of UK-based VPN, proxy, and smart DNS solutions that focuses on providing its users with a UK IP address with which they can access various services typically available only on the UK soil. However, it’s far from the best VPN service as it doesn’t have any native clients and forbids torrenting.

Price

TV When Away has four subscription packages differing only in length. So the cheapest one is the 1-week option at £3.99/week ($5.14). It is followed by the 1-month plan at £7.99/month ($10.29) and the 6-month one at £29.99 ($38.65) charged every six months (equals to $6.44/month). Finally, the annual subscription comes with a price tag of £49.99/year ($64.42), which equals to $5.37/month.

All the pricing options include a 100% money-back guarantee which, according to the FAQ section on the website allows you to “change your mind in the first few weeks”. Take this with a grain of salt, however, as the terms of service state you only have 72 hours, and “you must also have given our support team a chance to resolve any issues prior to us granting the refund”. We sent our request within 24 hours after the purchase and we received the refund almost instantly, without any hassle.

You can pay for the vendor’s services using Paypal. No free trial is offered. Also, only one simultaneous VPN connection is permitted.

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives

TV When Away is a decent option for everyone who wants to be able to access the UK-only content when not in the UK, but it’s far from many of the current VPN top dogs, all of which by themselves are capable of unblocking not just the UK content, but lots of other geo-restricted streaming channels and services.

Let’s just take ExpressVPN as an example. Its list of unblockable services includes Netflix US, ESPN, HBO, Showtime, Hulu, Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Spotify, and many more. Although its platform isn’t as amazing as ExpressVPN, NordVPN is just as successful in unblocking various localized geo-blocked streaming content thanks to its SmartPlay technology, and so are Surfshark and CyberGhost. All of them also allow torrenting, feature native clients for all major platforms, and have detailed privacy and no-logging policies.

Streaming

Lots of VPN users are looking for a platform that can provide them with access to major VOD services and channels like Netflix UK and BBC iPlayer, which is why they will certainly appreciate TV When Away. The vendor specializes in unblocking these, and many other streaming services, including Amazon Prime Instant Video, Sky Go, ITV Hub, and more (although the UK libraries exclusively).

(Image credit: Future)

About the company

The company operating TV When Away is located in Derby, the United Kingdom. All of its servers are based in the UK, so no matter where you are in the world, you’ll have a UK IP address at all times with it, allowing you to access all UK-based online TV services. 

Its website doesn’t state how many servers exactly are available to its users (and the customer support wouldn’t disclose this information either), but it does say that the company uses “fault tolerant rack mounted cloud based servers provided by Cloud Next in the UK. Their SLA with us is to provide 99.9% uptime and unlimited bandwidth which we in turn pass on to our subscribers”. This means we can expect reliable and stable connections.

Privacy and encryption

TV When Away provides its VPN services over the OpenVPN Connect app and its default connection protocol. Your privacy is preserved with the unbreakable RSA 2048-bit encryption (SHA256withRSA).

Interestingly, there is no privacy policy to be found anywhere on the website, but there is a page devoted to the provider’s terms of service. In it, we could only find one short paragraph on the (no) logging policy, which said that “Log files stored on our servers are only used for monitoring server performance, identifying software bugs, identifying any potential security breaches, and for the purpose of identifying abusive users. The log files are not used for monitoring or censoring your internet activities.” While this sounds good enough, there’s no way to actually verify whether any of it is actually true, what information exactly is collected, and what is done with it, unless the provider opens its proverbial doors to outside auditors.

According to the same ToS, torrenting is strictly forbidden. As a matter of fact, you aren’t allowed “to access, participate or download files from torrent or P2P file sharing sites.” While torrenting isn’t illegal in the UK, sharing copyrighted material is, so it’s understandable why this provider may want to distance itself from such activities to avoid taking any blame.

Support

TV When Away is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, but it doesn’t have any native clients for them. Instead, it offers links for the third-party VPN software along with the detailed configuration guides that are available in the client control panel on the website.

You can also enable its proxy service on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, while the smart DNS is reserved for PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, and Smart TVs. The instruction for their setup is also available on the website.

Should you encounter any issues that the website doesn’t address, be it in the FAQ section or the client control panel, you can reach out to the customer support using a contact form.

(Image credit: Future)

Speed and experience

Once you pay for your subscription, you’ll be directed to download the OpenVPN Connect client so you can set up the VPN on your desktop device. The client is pre-configured to TV When Away so you can connect immediately upon setup.

We tested the download speeds and were pleasantly surprised with the results. Specifically, upon testing it on a 35Mbps connection, our speed test has shown a remarkable 28Mbps.You can’t select a server location as they’re all located in the UK.

Verdict

TV When Away does an excellent job in enabling expats and other folk living in the countries outside the UK access the UK-only streaming content from wherever they may be and at blazing speeds. However, its offering doesn’t stand out much from the other VPNs such as ExpressVPN

In fact, many other providers also offer access to not just the UK-based content but from plenty of other locations like the US, Japan, Germany, France, and so on. Unlike TV When Away, they also support torrenting on their P2P-optimized servers and have native apps for all the major platforms.