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VPN99 review

A budget-friendly and fast VPN, but it has a few problems

VPN99
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

VPN99 isn’t just super affordable, but also delivers amazing speeds and can unblock some geo-restricted content. Additionally, it gives you a chance to see how capable it is for yourself before you make a commitment. However, its low price does come at a few costs; the no-logging policy is almost non-existent, there are no desktop apps or torrenting support, the mobile apps are very basic, the knowledge base scanty, and so is its server network. We also couldn’t get it to work on a desktop device.

For

  • Budget-friendly
  • Excellent download speeds
  • Can unblock Netflix US
  • 24-hour no-questions-asked money-back guarantee

Against

  • No desktop apps
  • Missing no-logs policy
  • Mobile apps are basic
  • Torrenting isn’t supported
  • Can’t unblock BBC iPlayer
  • The knowledge base could be better
  • Limited server network
  • No PayPal support

VPN99 is a small provider of VPN services that has a few positive qualities, but falls down in certain crucial areas. Its basic service does what it’s supposed to, though, at least in terms of download speeds and unblocking geo-restricted VOD platforms.

Price

The provider’s cheapest pricing option is the very affordable three-year plan at only $0.60/month (billed $21.90 every three years). Its other subscriptions are incredibly cheap as well; the typically pricey one-month subscription only costs $1.99, when some rivals charge you up to $15 for this plan length. 

Accepted payment methods include credit/debit cards, internet wallets, and cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, PayPal is not supported.

Under one subscription, you can establish a VPN connection on up to 2 devices simultaneously.

If you purchased your subscription via the website, you’ll have the right to a full refund within 24 hours, which is a decent alternative to a free trial. If you’ve done so via the app, then this period extends to 3 days. And that’s not all - you even get a 30-day money-back guarantee if the platform doesn’t live up to your expectations.

VPN99

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives

What VPN99 lacks, the best services on the market deliver in abundance. If you’re seeking a VPN provider with a detailed no-logging policy and an independent audit to confirm it, then you can choose between ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, or CyberGhost. They might cost more, but they don’t attempt to hide any details and will provide you with advanced apps for all the major devices (and then some), along with peerless download speeds and unblocking capabilities.

Streaming

Many users decide to sign up for a VPN service because it can help them bypass geographical blocks that some popular streaming platforms impose on their content.

From our tests (and as confirmed by the provider), we discovered that VPN99 can certainly unblock Netflix US. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for BBC iPlayer, which continued to see through our attempts to cloak our IP address with a British one.

About the company 

The company running this VPN is registered in Cyprus and provides access to an undisclosed number of servers in 15 countries, including Indonesia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Mexico, Vietnam, and others.

Privacy and encryption

When you establish a VPN connection via this service, your data is encapsulated with a 2048-bit encryption algorithm. The provider uses OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP connection protocols.

If you were hoping that VPN99 is a good solution for anonymous torrenting, then you’ll be disappointed. The provider doesn’t block any type of traffic except, you guessed it, torrenting.

Also, the mobile apps are exceptionally basic and we’ve seen no sign of a kill switch or any other privacy-enhancing features you might find elsewhere.

The Privacy Policy expresses the provider’s dedication to its users’ online anonymity but only in terms of accessing its website and during payments, not in terms of using its services. There’s no mention of a no-logs policy in this area, but in the FAQ section we are told that “VPN99 has a strict no-logging policy”. Since there are no details or any sort of a third-party audit, it’s impossible to know for certain just how secure your private data actually is with this provider.

VPN99

(Image credit: Future)

Support

VPN99 only has apps for Android and iOS. As for other platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and routers, it can be manually enabled through third-party software like TunnelBlick and OpenVPN GUI, or through your device’s own settings.

At the time of writing, the provider’s Android app had a score of 3.9 stars (out of 5) as rated by 600 users. It has been installed over half a million times and was updated only one month prior to our review.

The iOS app had an even better rating - 4.5 stars - but has only been rated by 81 users. Apple doesn’t show how many times an app was downloaded, but in its version history we could see that it is updated very regularly.

There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. At the time of writing this review, the Chrome extension had an average rating of 3.5 stars as rated by 47 users and has been downloaded by over 6,000 users. The Firefox add-on had only 2.8 stars as rated by 17 people (out of 304 who downloaded it). The extensions seem to be updated less often than the mobile apps.

VPN99’s customer support can be reached via email, by submitting a contact request, or by pressing the green Feedback button in the lower right corner of the website. We tried the Feedback button route and got our response via email in less than 15 minutes.

Before reaching out to customer support though, you may find the answers you’re seeking in the provider’s modest help center, which contains manual installation instructions for all supported platforms, information on available VPN locations, as well as answers to frequently asked questions. All the instructions manuals are accompanied by screenshots.

Speed and experience

For some reason, the manual installation instructions for OpenVPN setup on Windows were in Russian. However, thanks to the good ole’ Google Translate we managed to get around quite easily. 

The process isn’t very beginner-friendly, at least not on Windows and Mac, as you need to download and install third-party software, as well as the desired servers, move them into the OpenVPN config folder, and type in your VPN credentials when you’re connecting to a server option for the first time. Therefore, beginners might prefer the much simpler mobile apps.

We preferred them as well, because when we tried to connect on Windows, the servers wouldn’t accept our login credentials. The Android app, on the other hand, worked like a charm, so this is where we chose to test the provider’s download speeds.

Our testing connection’s speed was 39Mbps and we tested a number of different VPN locations to see how much speed loss we’d experience. The first victim of our tests was a server in Germany, which performed marvelously, delivering a high download speed of 26.6Mbps. We then easily switched to a UK server which was slightly slower but still impressive with 20.5Mbps.

Then it was time for a bigger challenge - the USA - but VPN99 still delivered a strong 16.3Mbps. Finally, wanting to see how a server on the other side of the planet would fare, so connected to a site in Vietnam. This time around, the download speed reached only 1.37Mbps, but is to be expected from such an exotic location.

Verdict

VPN99 might not be one of the rulers of the VPN space, but it does have some good points. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg, its speeds are commendable, and it can unblock the coveted US Netflix content. On top of that, it even allows you to take its platform for a test run for 24 hours and then ask for a refund, which you'll get with no questions asked.

That said, we found its lack of no-logs policy concerning and so far there have been no external audits. Also, torrenting is forbidden, there are no desktop apps to make things easier for beginners (and even the manual installation didn’t work for us), and its mobile apps are far from feature-rich.