SaferVPN is a good choice if you need strong encryption to secure your connection on public WiFi. It’s a cheap VPN with simple custom apps and average speeds. However, the VPN’s security features are offset by privacy and performance issues – it stores connection logs, has limited P2P support, and cannot reliably unblock Netflix.
SaferVPN has been around since 2013 and boldly describes itself as “the fastest and simplest VPN.”
SaferVPN’s mission is to “provide secure, private and uncensored Internet access to anyone, anywhere,” but does it succeed in reaching that goal? And can it really be as good as it claims?
We have thoroughly tested out SaferVPN’s service to find and answer to that – plus the following questions:
- Does SaferVPN work with Netflix?
- Is SaferVPN fast?
- Does SaferVPN collect user logs?
- Can you use SaferVPN to torrent?
- Does SaferVPN work on Firestick?
- Is SaferVPN legit?
We go into a lot of detail in the below review to give you a comprehensive understanding of what SaferVPN can do. But if you want a sneak peek, take a look at its main pros and cons below:
SaferVPN Pros & Cons
- Moderate VPN speeds
- VPN kill switch & no IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks
- Simple custom apps. Instant set-up on popular devices
- Collects some VPN connection data logs
- Server connection issues (incl. streaming servers)
- Torrenting only permitted on 3 servers
- Unreliable for China
SaferVPN Key Summary
|Logging Policy||Anonymous Server Usage Data|
|Jurisdiction||US (Five-Eyes Member)|
|Works in China||Unreliable|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Cheapest Price||$2.50/mo over 36 Months|
SaferVPN is undoubtedly cheap, and the company has done some commendable work for internet freedom with its Unblock the Web initiative, but is the VPN service really as good as it boasts?
Let’s find out, by first looking at SaferVPN’s background and logging policy.
Who is SaferVPN?
About & Logging
SaferVPN was first released in 2013 and was recently acquired by NetProtect, a subsidiary of J2 Global, which is based in the US.
The US is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which is bad news for privacy.
SaferVPN’s logging policy isn’t as privacy-friendly as it could be but it doesn’t keep logs of any personally identifiable information like your originating IP address.
However, SaferVPN’s servers do collect the following information each time a user activates the VPN service:
- Date and time at which the session began and ended
- Amount of data transmitted during the session
- The chosen country and server location
- The country which you connected from
SaferVPN keeps these logs for 90 days, which is longer than we’re comfortable with, but considering it’d likely be very difficult to link any online activity back to an individual using this data it’s not too concerning.
Reasonable speeds on nearby servers, less reliable on distant connections
Speed & Reliability
SaferVPN is by no means the fastest VPN but it’s quick enough for casual users looking to surf the web and stream in HD.
On same-country VPN connections (like London-to-London) you can expect SaferVPN to bring down your download speeds by around 18% drop, which isn’t too bad for a VPN.
With speeds of around 76Mbps we could stream buffer-free and download large files pretty quickly.
Local Speed Test Results
Before using SaferVPN:
When connected to SaferVPN:
Use our Speed Test Tool to compare SaferVPN’s speeds across different cities.
Download speed without SaferVPN: 92.40Mbps
Download speed with SaferVPN: 76.09Mbps
Our download speed loss when SaferVPN is running: 18%
International connections, such as the UK to the US, are far less speedy, dropping by around 76% – a very noticeable difference.
While 22Mbps is still fast enough for HD streaming on Netflix, you may struggle if you have a slower internet connection without a VPN – ours clocks in at 100Mbps.
If you want an idea of how fast SaferVPN is on international connections take a look at our speed test results connecting out from the UK to SaferVPN servers in:
- USA: 22Mbps (download) & 34Mbps (upload)
- Germany: 61Mbps (download) & 75Mbps (upload)
- Singapore: 15Mbps (download) & 7Mbps (upload)
- Australia: 13Mbps (download) & 3Mbps (upload)
Upload speeds are generally good as long as you connect to a nearby server, but torrenters should take note that P2P is only permitted on the Canada, Spain, and Netherlands servers. We recommend looking at these instead.
However, gamers will be generally satisfied with SaferVPN’s low ping times.
Small server network covering most popular locations
SaferVPN has recently expanded its server network to a respectable 1,300 servers across 51 countries. The global spread is strong and covers all the usual VPN server locations, plus a few rarer options.
Europe is represented all the way from the west (Ireland, Portugal, France), to Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, Norway), down to the Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia), and right to the south (Greece, Italy, Bulgaria).
Asia is well represented not just with the usual options like Singapore and Japan, but also India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, and South Korea.
There’s servers in the Americas from top to bottom, and Australia and New Zealand are featured, too – the only missing piece is (as is sadly often the case with VPNs) Africa.
If you live in Africa, South Africa is the only SaferVPN server on your entire continent.
The only regional options here are in the United States (with an East, West, and Streaming option) and the UK (which has a regular server and a streaming-optimized server).
Given the size of some of the countries catered to, like India and Australia, just one server in each of them might mean slow speeds – even if you’re within the country itself.
If you want a VPN service with a much larger server network, Cyberghost VPN has servers in over 90 countries.
ExpressVPN is also an excellent choice if you require plenty of city-level servers in the US.
SaferVPN operates just over 1,300 individual servers, and all of them are virtual machines. This means that SaferVPN leases cloud-based servers from third-party providers.
While SaferVPN encrypts traffic on those virtual servers, we prefer VPN services to own physical servers so that they are in full control of the servers to ensure maximum security and privacy.
SaferVPN says on its support site that it has over 2,000 IP addresses. However that information is likely outdated, as it hasn’t been updated since it expanded its server network. With its number of countries nearly doubling and number of total server more than tripling following a May 2020 update you can expect that 2,000 IP address figure to be considerably higher now.
Streaming servers often don't work, limited P2P support
Streaming & Torrenting
SaferVPN has servers that are optimized for both US and UK streaming services, but they often don’t work.
For the past couple of months we’ve had trouble connecting to the dedicated streaming servers, and when they do eventually connect we sometimes found our favorite platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer to be blocked.
In the past, SaferVPN was a great choice for streaming fans, but its recent instability has pushed it way down our list of recommendations.
Until it resolves the constant connection issues these are the best VPNs for streaming.
SaferVPN provides fast upload speeds if you connect to a nearby server, but since torrenting and P2P are only permitted on three server locations (the Netherlands, Canada, and Spain) if you live far away you should take a look at the best VPNs for torrenting instead.
The small number of P2P-friendly servers may also lead to server congestion and slow speeds during peak times.
You can use SaferVPN with Kodi too – if you want to use it on your Amazon Fire TV Stick or other streaming device you’ll have to install the VPN on your router.
SaferVPN comes with a VPN kill switch and IP leak protection, but it does log more connection details than we’d like.
An unreliable VPN for China
SaferVPN is unreliable for China. Since the Chinese crackdown on VPNs started, SaferVPN has struggled to maintain consistent connectivity in the country.
The custom VPN apps are blocked, but sometimes manually configuring the VPN with the OpenVPN protocol works. It’s a fairly lengthy and technical process, and it’s still not guaranteed to work.
SaferVPN lacks the additional obfuscation tools that are usually needed to overcome these more aggressive government blocks.
Take a look at our current VPN choices for China that come with all the necessary anti-censorship features.
In other high-censorship countries, SaferVPN remains a decent choice due to its powerful privacy tools, accessibility to Tor over VPN and selection of servers in Asia-Pacific
Simple custom apps for four popular platforms, plus router support
Platforms & Devices
SaferVPN offers custom VPN apps for the most popular devices:
- Microsoft Windows
- Apple MacOS
On SaferVPN’s website you can also find loads of manual set-up guides for those devices without native apps such as Linux, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.
You can connect to SaferVPN on five devices at once – a pretty standard number for most popular VPNs.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
Amazon Fire TV
SaferVPN doesn’t have any custom apps for streaming devices or games consoles, so if you want to use it on your Amazon Fire TV Stick or Xbox, you’ll need to manually configure your router.
Or, if you own a Fire TV Stick, you can take a look at our list of the best Amazon Fire TV Stick VPNs of 2020.
SaferVPN provides step-by-step instructions for setting up its VPN on your router, or you can buy one pre-flashed.
Once your router is set up with SaferVPN every internet-connected device in your home will be protected, including games consoles and streaming devices.
SaferVPN provides browser extensions for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, which can be installed in a matter of seconds.
These browser add-ons are included in the price of the paid subscriptions, but also available to free users (subject to a 500MB monthly data cap).
These extensions are proxies: they don’t create an encrypted VPN connection, or have the advanced features as the SaferVPN desktop client. We can’t recommend using these extensions as a complete substitute for the main SaferVPN app.
Strong encryption & all the necessary security tools
Encryption & Security
DNS Leak Blocking
IPV6 Leak Blocking
VPN Kill Switch
TOR via VPN Server
Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.
SaferVPN provides strong encryption and some great security features to keep you safe online.
You can set the app to auto-select the best performing VPN protocol – we recommend OpenVPN wherever possible as this offers the best balance between performance and privacy.
AES-256 encryption, which SaferVPN uses, is as strong as it gets. In fact, this cipher is considered near-unbreakable.
SaferVPN’s kill switch is an essential feature, ensuring your true IP address isn’t exposed by stopping all web traffic should the VPN disconnect unexpectedly.
SaferVPN doesn’t operate its own DNS servers, which is disappointing, but it does use Google Public DNS, which is considered to provide a very high level of performance and security.
Recent updates to the SaferVPN app include DNS and IPv6 leak protection. This prevents DNS requests from being exposed to your ISP and, thankfully, we found no such leaks during our independent tests.
SaferVPN’s leak test results on browserleaks.com while connected to a US VPN server. We test from the UK.
For an extra layer of privacy, you can access Tor through SaferVPN, and you can also allow local network devices such as printers to bypass the VPN connection (split tunneling), which is very useful.
Quick & easy setup, but suffers from lots of connection issues
Ease of Use
How to Install & Set Up SaferVPN
It's really easy to find where to download the software on SaferVPN's website.
Simply select the appropriate platform from the long list of SaferVPN custom apps available.
The SaferVPN setup wizard will guide you through the installation process.
You can check on how quickly the software is being installed here - usually it's done within a couple of minutes.
SaferVPN’s main dashboard. Search for or scroll through servers on the left and then connect.
SaferVPN’s connected screen clearly shows important connection details such as your new IP address.
SaferVPN settings screen. Choose your VPN protocol from a separate tab with helpful hints shown.
SaferVPN’s additional settings include easy access to customer support and a VPN speed test tool.
SaferVPN’s custom VPN apps are super easy to download and install, but recently the app’s stability has sharply declined with far too many server connection failures to make for a smooth experience.
We were often unable to connect to our preferred servers, even after seeking help from customer support.
Aside from that, the apps are very basic and easy to navigate for beginners.
Installing SaferVPN’s browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox is really simple. All you need to do is click through to either the Chrome Web Store or Mozilla Add-ons store, download the extension, log in, and connect. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Live chat agents lack in-depth knowledge
|24/7 Live chat support||Yes|
SaferVPN does offer 24/7 live chat support but it left us feeling frustrated at times. While live chat responses are extremely quick, the support agents often struggled to answer even the most basic of questions.
When we enquired how long SaferVPN stores connection logs for, the agent was reluctant to tell us any specific information. We resorted to emailing the support team, and thankfully got a response in less than 10 minutes that actually answered our question.
SaferVPN’s online knowledge base covers the basics of installation and troubleshooting well enough, but we want to see a higher level of depth and detail in some areas.
Cheap plans with 30-day money-back guarantee
Payment & Refund Options
SaferVPN accepts most standard payment methods including cryptocurrencies for purchasing privacy:
- Major credit and debit cards
- A host of other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Tron through CoinGate
There are currently no international options accepted, which means no Alipay or UnionPay.
SaferVPN offers both a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 24-hour free trial. The money-back guarantee is ‘no questions asked’, with no hidden catches, restrictions or data caps.
Your card will be charged when you sign up but all refunds are processed in approximately ten working days, making it a relatively risk-free process.
The free trial gives you full access to the service for 24 hours. The only information requested by SaferVPN is your email address, so it’s is a great way to test out the VPN software without having to worry about applying for a refund if you aren’t satisfied.
Do We Recommend SaferVPN?
The Bottom Line
SaferVPN used to be a good VPN, but recent server connection issues make it far too unreliable for us to recommend it anymore.
Speeds are underwhelming, streaming access has plummeted, although the recent massive expansion to its server network is a big positive – more changes like that in near future would be welcomed.
SaferVPN also logs a bit more data than we’d like to see (and it’s based in the US).
SaferVPN has been around since 2013 and is located in Israel—a country with stringent privacy laws that shield companies and citizens from its many forms of government surveillance. This, combined with the company’s no-logging policy, should keep any of your online doings safely under wraps while you’re using their services.
However, Israel has been known to share information with Five Eyes (FVEY), an intelligence sharing agreement between the U.S.A, U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. That the company maintains an office in New York City compounds concerns over this point. If you live in a Five, Nine, or Fourteen Eyes country and have concerns that regional laws may not be enough to keep your online activities from being shared with your government, SaferVPN’s services may not be for you.
SafeVPN: Security, software, servers, and speed
That “no logging” policy that we mentioned earlier? It’s not strict. If you use SaferVPN, they’ll retain data on the date and time you accessed their servers, which country you were in when you connected, the country location of the server you chose to tunnel to, and how much data was transmitted during your session. That said, the company doesn’t record IP address information and has no knowledge of what you’re uploading or downloading.
SaferVPN’s Mac app comes equipped with a kill switch that, when activated, will stop all upload/download activity on your computer in the event that you’re disconnected from the company’s VPN network. Like other VPN providers, the service uses AES-256-bit encryption to keep your data traffic locked away from prying eyes. On Macs, the SaferVPN app defaults to using OpenVPN to connect to the company’s servers. If you prefer, switching to L2TP over IP Sec, which offers slower connection speeds, is as easy as clicking a button in the app’s settings.
I found their Mac app to be easy enough to use, as it offered easy access to the company’s server list and a settings menu that features clear descriptions of what each option on it does.
SaferVPN isn’t forthcoming about the exact number of servers in their global network. Its website states that the company’s customers can connect to “700+ premium servers in over 35+ countries.” This isn’t as many servers and locations as other providers offer, but it’s still a respectable number. Given that this is a paid service, we’d appreciate knowing how many servers users actually have access to.
It is possible to engage in P2P file sharing using SaferVPN, but only via one of their servers. This could make for painfully slow file transfers.
Any of SaferVPN’s three subscriptions provide users with VPN access for up to five devices simultaneously, with free client apps for Mac, iOS, Android and Windows.
During testing, connecting to SaferVPN’s servers resulted in the following upload/download speed reductions versus connecting to the Internet without a VPN.
If you’re interested in using SaferVPN on a month-to-month basis, it’ll cost $10 every 30 days. The best value is a two-year subscription for $84, which breaks down to around $3.50 per month. SaferVPN also offers a one-year plan for $60, which works out to $5 per month.
No matter which plan you invest in, the company offers a no-catch 30 day money back guarantee. Payment can be made using a credit card, PaymentWall, PayPal, or Bitcoin.
While the physical location of SaferVPN’s offices is a concern, given the potential for user data being shared with a number of governments, the online security and anonymity of the company’s service is capable enough to keep users’ online traffic safe from non-state sponsored hackers.
Editor’s Note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
SaferVPN’s offices is a concern, given the potential for user data being shared with a number of governments, but the company's VPN service is capable enough to keep users’ online traffic safe from non-state sponsored hackers.
- Israeli-based company with strict user-privacy laws
- Fast connections to Asia
- AES-256-bit encryption
- Payment wall and Bitcoin payment processing
- P2P file sharing only allowed on a single server
- Company office in New York City compounds intelligence gathering concerns
- Israel takes part in a number of international data intelligence-sharing programs
SaferVPN has a few issues, but nothing we can't forgive, and overall the service is fast, friendly, and with a wide range of apps and setup options.
- Mostly fast
- Unblocks Netflix
- Lots of clients and browser extensions
- Manual setup for routers and other devices
- Relatively small network
- P2P supported on just 3 servers
- Limited configuration options in some areas
- A few servers can be very slow
SaferVPN may not have highest of VPN profiles, but scrolling down its website reveals that the company offers plenty of interesting and appealing features.
There are Windows, Mac, iOS and Android apps, and Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. OpenVPN support and some detailed tutorials allow setting up the service on other platforms and devices. Automatic protection enables connecting whenever you access insecure Wi-Fi, and there's 24/7 customer support via live chat or email if anything goes wrong. It's clearly trying to bring the goods to turn up the heat on the likes of ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
The network is smaller than some at 700+ servers spread across 34 locations. Torrent support is limited to only three (Canada, Netherlands, Spain), but it's good to know it's available.
The website gives you some real detail to explore. SaferVPN doesn't just state that it supports IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP, for instance – there's also a detailed web page explaining each protocol, when you should use it and when you really shouldn't.
SaferVPN's one-month plan is a little expensive at $10.99 per month (£8.45), but this drops to $5.49 (£4.22) with the one-year plan, and only $3.29 (£2.53) a month if you sign up for two years.
There's also a free trial to sample the service. It's only 24 hours, which isn't long enough, but you don't have to provide any payment details, and if you sign up and regret it, you're also protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Privacy and logging
SaferVPN's website clearly displays the company’s no logging policy: "We never log or monitor your VPN network traffic. What you do online is your business and we aim to keep it that way!"
A 'No Log' page goes on to state that SaferVPN doesn't log 'your source IP address, your DNS queries, your VPN IP address, your personal data, your browsing history, your metadata.'
While that sounds good, it's not as specific or clearly defined as we would like (what does this mean by 'personal data', 'metadata', what is logged?), and other elements of the small print give a very different picture.
For example, the 'Unlawful Activity' clause of the Terms of Service states that if you've violated SaferVPN's rules, the company may disclose details "relating to your profile, email addresses, usage history, posted materials, IP addresses and traffic information." If you don't break the rules then presumably this won't happen, but it does seem as though SaferVPN is at least capable of logging a lot of data.
The acceptable use policy also raises some issues for us. For example, a very restrictive ‘obscenity’ clause says you must not "upload, post, or otherwise transmit any content which is obscene, indecent, or pornographic, or which is otherwise objectionable." Of course, we're 100% in favor of rules about illegal content, such as child pornography, but extending the rules so far that they could catch almost anyone is more of a problem.
SaferVPN offers VPN clients for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome and Firefox.
Getting started with SaferVPN is exceptionally easy. We entered our email address, tapped a link in a follow-up email, chose a password and were offered a choice of apps (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and the Chrome and Firefox extensions.) We chose the Windows client and it was downloaded and installed within seconds.
The client has a very familiar interface. You can get connected to your nearest server with a click, or choose your preferred location from a list. This is relatively basic - you can't view locations within a country, there are no server load figures or ping times - but a Search box helps you find what you need (type NE to see only Netherlands and New Zealand), and you can mark commonly-used servers as Favorites for easy access later.
We think there's a small usability issue in SaferVPN's decision to display its location list in a separate window, rather than within the main client console. This then stays open until you manually close it, even once you've connected. When it is open, sometimes the location window position is linked to the main console (drag one and you also move the other), and sometimes it isn't. This isn't a critical problem and we figured out the rules, but the idea still seems a little pointless, and we much prefer the approach of handling location lists within the same interface as everything else.
There's a smaller issue in the client not using desktop notifications by default to alert you when you're connected or the VPN connection drops. This can be a problem, as if the connection fails, you may not realize until you next look at the client interface. But this is only an issue with the default settings, and you can turn notifications on from the Settings box with a click (assuming you notice the problem).
There are plenty of other options, too, including the ability to change protocol (OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP), automatically connect when you access untrusted networks, and use a kill switch to block internet access if the VPN fails. You can't do much in the way of fine-tuning - there's no way to choose between OpenVPN UDP or TCP connection types, for instance - but SaferVPN covers the basics very well.
One of the major benefits SaferVPN claims to offer is its ability to 'access blocked sites', allowing you to 'kiss restrictions goodbye and access all your favorite sites from anywhere in the world.'
The Windows client tried to point us in the right direction by recommending 'US Streaming' and 'UK Streaming' locations. We connected to the UK server and it immediately enabled streaming BBC iPlayer content, a very good start.
The success stories continued when the US Streaming server allowed us to browse US-only YouTube content.
Netflix has some of the best VPN-blocking systems around, but SaferVPN wasn't deterred, and its US Streaming location again gave us instant access to US-only Netflix content.
SaferVPN's Windows client connected to its servers reasonably quickly, and benchmarking websites including Speedtest.net and Fast.com found performance was generally very good. Our local UK servers averaged a creditable 60Mbps on our 75Mbps test line, and European locations also score well, with Italy for instance managing 40Mbps.
UK to US connections were speedy and reliable, with east coast performance reaching 55Mbps, while west coast servers were barely any different at 45-50Mbps.
We had to go long-distance to run into any problems, with Australia barely reaching 10Mbps and Thailand struggling to 2-3Mbps.
We rounded off our tests with a privacy check, and weren't surprised to see SaferVPN passed here, too, with DNS and WebRTC leaks safely plugged at all times.
It's not the largest or most powerful VPN we've used, but otherwise SaferVPN is an appealing service: generally speedy, mostly easy-to-use, with lots of clients and a free access-all-areas 24-hour trial to check it out.
Even though SaferVPN is a relatively new VPN provider, the Israeli-based company has established itself as one of the best VPN providers on the market. They offer reliable service with great speeds and plenty of servers around the globe, as well as terrific support and an easy-to-use client. Continue reading our comprehensive SaferVPN review to discover all the details of their service.
Installing the client is easy and straightforward – just follow the instructions and you can start using SaferVPN in a matter of minutes. Once you open the Windows client, you can connect to any of their servers. The client will recommend the best server for your location but you can switch to another server anytime you want. After selecting a server, click the connect button. You can also choose which protocol you want to use – you can test each of them in order to determine which works best for your needs. As you can see, the entire process is more than simple, which is great news for inexperienced users.
Recently, SaferVPN has wowed its Mac and Windows users with a new and improved client interface and powerful add-ons. With these latest software upgrades, you get even greater protection than before and maximized ease of use. Learn more about the new features in the following sections of this SaferVPN review.
Performance and Reliability
SaferVPN offers stable and safe services, regardless of your chosen plan. Since most VPN users are interested in finding out how a VPN will affect their system’s performance, you will be happy to learn that speed is one of SaferVPN’s strongest features. Additionally, all their servers, especially the ones located in the United States, performed excellently. In laymen terms, you can Skype, use torrents or watch a full feature film through SaferVPN with no lags or crashes.
Like most VPN services, SaferVPN is not just limited to Windows and Mac. You can use it on your smartphone or tablet too since it has clients specifically made for iOS and Android. However, bear in mind that the speeds will be slower with the Android client than with the Windows client. Still, the performance is decent enough for some YouTube time and even an episode or two of your favorite Netflix show, which is more than enough for most users. SaferVPN also supports Linux, various routers, and Chromebook.
Industry-leading speed seems to be the primary focus of this VPN service provider. Connecting to the service is very quick, usually under ten seconds, and while it is basically impossible to maintain the regular ISP speeds, the download/upload speed loss is moderate, if not indiscernible. There are no bandwidth or speed limits and you can use the service on up to 5 devices at the same time with a single account.
As already stated in this SaferVPN review, there are designated apps for each of the major platforms and operating systems (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and routers) and they are generally very easy to use. No particular configuration is required, which makes setup very easy and quick. There is also a great little extension for Chrome, available for free.
SaferVPN offers you a choice between multiple encryption protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP. The 256-bit encryption used by SaferVPN is currently the strongest in the industry.
The network of servers spans over 34 countries of the globe, with more than 700 premium VPN servers. New server locations are added constantly in order to improve user experience. Just recently, the network has been expanded to include servers in Mexico, Argentina, Portugal, and Ireland. Unlimited server switching is allowed. This means that you can choose where you want to connect, depending on your location or your specific browsing, streaming or file-sharing needs, and you can easily change servers as often and as much as you want.
SaferVPN also offers a handy little feature called Automatic Diagnose Fix, which is integrated into all their apps. It is used to detect, solve or fix any issues you might be having. If any of the issues persist, you can always contact the customer support using live chat or e-mail, whichever you prefer.
The staff is available 24/7 and response times are generally good. In case you are not satisfied with the service you are getting from SaferVPN, you will be pleased to hear there is a 30-day money back guarantee. As of late, SaferVPN Windows and Mac apps include DNS and IPv6 leak protection while mobile apps for Android and iOS have been enriched with a kill-switch called VPN Internet Lock.
Security and Privacy
SaferVPN offers a variety of encryption protocols, all of them working just fine, although we are probably more inclined to Open VPN since it’s the safest and most reliable one. Other options include IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP.
In the past, SaferVPN was known for keeping connection logs that made some users uneasy. Fortunately, this VPN provider listens to its customers, so now it does not only bring you great anonymity with its no data logging policy, but it has also reduced connection logs to a minimum. It now limits the logs to session time and duration, information about contacting user support, and similar non-sensitive data. It may also hold payment information, but this can be deleted upon request.
In addition to the live chat option mentioned earlier, SaferVPN also offers detailed instructions for installation and use on each platform. They also have an amazing help center where you can either browse issues and questions by category or type your own and see if it’s already addressed. It’s all very clearly laid out and generally very helpful.
When it comes to payment, SaferVPN offers three options. You can choose between the monthly, annual, and 2-year plans. The monthly plan costs $9.99 per month, the annual plan costs $5.13 per month, and the 2-year plan costs $3.49 per month. The best option is definitely the 2-year plan, which is billed every 24 months. All plans come with the 30-day money back guarantee. Payment options include credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, Alipay, Mobiamo, and Mint.
SaferVPN Pros & Cons
At the end of this SaferVPN review, here’s a quick overview of the features that wowed us and the aspects of the service that could use some improvement.
- Intuitive, easy-to-use interface
- Great support
- Good speed and high reliability
- Good payment plans
- Free Chrome extension
- Pay with Bitcoin
- Keeps minimum connection logs
The SaferVPN reviews listed below reflect the opinions and experiences of real users and are in no way influenced by the dating site reviewed here. Before publishing each review, our team checks whether it was submitted by an actual user in an effort to prevent false or spammy reviews.
SaferVPN in brief:
- P2P allowed: Netherlands server only
- Business location: Tel Aviv, IL
- Number of servers: 700
- Number of country locations: 34
- Monthly cost: $65.88 billed annually, or $78.96 for two years
- VPN protocol: IKEv2 (default with OpenVPN as fallback)
- Data encryption: AES-256
- Data authentication: SHA-256
- Handshake encryption: 2048-bit
A relative newcomer to the world of VPNs, SaferVPN got its start in 2013 with 150 servers in 24 countries. Over the past four years, the server count is now around 700 and its country list is 34.
Features and services
The Safer VPN interface with its various options revealed.
SaferVPN has a very simple interface. The service’s desktop program for Windows features a single panel with a non-interactive map of the world with current status information when connected, such as your PC’s current public IP address and time connected.
If you click on the map marker to the right of the Connect button, a second panel shows up on the left with a list of SaferVPN’s possible connections. The list includes 41 options including two U.S. connections, and U.S. and UK streaming servers. In the past the U.S. streaming server hasn’t worked well to get around Netflix’s regional restrictions; at this writing, however, it was working. The UK server also worked with Netflix in my tests, if you’d like to experience the catalog available to folks on the other side of the pond.
SaferVPN’s settings view.
For those who want to get a few extra features, click the “hamburger” menu icon in the upper right-hand corner and select Settings. From there, you can select a specific VPN protocol such as OpenVPN or IKEv2. If you don’t choose your own protocol, SaferVPN opts for IKEv2 first and then falls back to OpenVPN if that fails.
SaferVPN’s settings also include the ability to auto-connect whenever you’re on a Wi-Fi connection, as well as a “safe list” of Wi-Fi networks where you don’t want to use a VPN. There’s also a kill switch to stop internet traffic when the VPN connection goes down.
SaferVPN’s app also fixed my quibble in a previous version of this review. Namely, that the desktop program did not leave the taskbar when you click the “X” in the upper-right corner. Instead, it just minimized to the taskbar. Now it does disappear, and you can re-open it by clicking on the SaferVPN icon in the System Tray.
SaferVPN is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. There is also a Chrome extension and the company sells routers with its services built in. Paid account holders can connect up to five devices at once.
SaferVPN’s speeds were much improved in our tests, and, in some cases, very impressive. Overall, SaferVPN’s average speed in my tests came out to nearly 48.75 percent of the base download speed, compared to around 33 percent last time. SaferVPN will definitely get the job done, and its speeds are currently among the fastest.
Privacy, anonymity, and trust
SaferVPN for Chrome.
SaferVPN begins by allowing you to run a 24-hour free trial. All it requires from you to start is an email and password. If you decide to sign up, SaferVPN accepts Bitcoin, PayPal, and credit cards, allowing for various levels of anonymity when paying.
As far as the company itself, I have personally met with the team to discuss its service. Their offices are currently at 26 Nachmani St. in Tel Aviv. The company CEO is Amit Bareket, and co-founder Sagi Gidali is the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO).
For users who just want a VPN that works and gets you connected securely over public Wi-Fi or at home, SaferVPN is a good choice. The pricing is lower than the last time we looked but still a little higher than you’ll find with the other services we’ve looked at. Overall, SaferVPN is a good service that makes it easy to get started with a VPN but also has a few tweaks available for more advanced users.
Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
- Approachable interface
- Lots of servers
- Logging policy may still dissuade ultra privacy-conscious users
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.
Founded in 2013, SaferVPN is an Israeli-based VPN provider that has become known as a reliable, privacy-protecting VPN service.
This provider bills itself as the “fastest and simplest VPN worldwide.” I decided to give the provider a try to see if it lives up to its billing – and to see how well it protects users from the perils of the web.
Are SaferVPN’s connection speeds really the fastest?
Does it provide reliable access to Netflix and other streaming services?
How well does the provider protect your online privacy and security?
And while SaferVPN has some excellent pricing options, their monthly tariff is one of the highest in the industry. Is it worth it?
See if SaferVPN is For You
SaferVPN has speedy connections, excellent privacy and security protection, and much more.
They offer a month-to-month plan, 1 and 2 year plans but if you’re willing to opt for the 3-year plan, you’ll pay just $2.50 per month.
SaferVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee available for all subscription plans, as well as a 24-hour free trial.
Below, I not only answer these questions, but I also give a comprehensive report on all of the VPN provider’s other features, as well as its overall performance.
I strongly recommend SaferVPN to VPN shoppers looking for an easy-to-use yet secure VPN provider. The provider protects your online privacy while providing easy-to-use apps, making it an ideal provider for the first-time VPN user.
|Tested Speed:||40.92 Mbps average download speed (independently tested)|
|Streaming Support:||HD & 4K HDR|
|Unblocks Netflix?:||Yes – reliably for the U.S. and U.K.; hit or miss in other countries|
|U.S. Streaming Services Supported:||Netflix U.S., HBO|
|U.K. Streaming Services Supported:||Netflix U.K., BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Amazon Prime (U.K. Only)|
|Supports P2P File Sharing:||Yes, but limited to servers in the Netherlands, Canada and Spain|
|Value for the Money:||4.5/5|
|Cost:||$2.50/month for 3-year deal|
|Money-Back Guarantee:||30 days (24-hour free trial)|
- Speedy connections
- Unblocks Netflix in the U.S., U.K. and other countries
- Keeps no logs connected to your online travels
- Top-notch privacy and security protections
- Kill switch protection
- Global server coverage needs improvement
- Customization features are a bit lacking
SaferVPN has all of the popular device platforms covered, with native apps for the Windows, macOS, Android and iOS platforms.
It also provides browser extensions for the Chrome and Firefox platforms. (Take note that they only protect your in-browser activities.)
The provider offers manual setup instructions for using the provider with Linux and various makes and models of routers.
SaferVPN’s desktop apps offer only the basics, such as a kill switch, automatic Wi-Fi protection and the ability to select from 3 protocols: IKEv2, OpenVPN and L2TP over IPSec, which I’ll discuss more in the Security and Privacy section.
The provider’s mobile apps are even more streamlined, offering only automatic Wi-Fi protection and an option to automatically reconnect in case of connection failure. (Perhaps this is intended as a replacement for kill switch protection?)
All of the above adds up to streamlined apps that are good options for beginners but are a bit lacking for experienced VPN users.
SaferVPN allows up to 5 simultaneous connections on a single username. If you need more, I suggest finding a compatible router, as that will enable you to protect multiple connected devices via a single access point.
At the time of this writing, SaferVPN’s global server numbers show 700 servers in 34 countries. That is far below the coverage that other VPN providers offer, so I strongly suggest you check out the provider’s server locations before signing on the dotted line.
Although SaferVPN does allow P2P file sharing activity while connected to its servers, the P2P action is limited to the Netherlands, Canada and Spain server locations.
24/7 live chat support is available from the provider’s customer support folks, along with a support ticket tracking system and a searchable help center.
Accessing streaming content from other regions is arguably one of the most popular activities that users enjoy while connected to a VPN. Before making a final buying decision about any VPN provider, I always check out their streaming features.
My entertainment tastes are all over the map, meaning the streaming providers I enjoy are literally all over the map. That’s where a VPN’s ability to make it appear as if I’m in another part of the world comes in handy.
Using a VPN to open access to streaming content in another region was a relatively simple matter, once upon a time.
However, in recent years, streaming services have begun cracking down on VPN users. This is due to their geographically-based content agreements with television and movie studios.
SaferVPN does an adequate job of opening the gates to regional content for Netflix and other streaming providers.
The VPN has 2 designated streaming servers, one for the U.S. and the other for the U.K. They proved exceptionally reliable for Netflix. All other VPN servers proved to be hit or miss.
Amazon Prime unblocking was a 50/50 proposition, as the U.K. Prime content was accessible, while the U.S. Prime servers told me I couldn’t watch while using a VPN or proxy.
The U.K. streaming VPN server worked well to open access to BBC iPlayer.
Meanwhile, Hulu in the U.S. simply gave me an “error playing this video” message whenever I tried to play any of its video content.
Despite these issues, when I was able to access any of the streaming services, the video began playing quickly. All content played smoothly, with no delays or pixelization.
Security and Privacy
SaferVPN does an above-average job of protecting their users’ privacy, offering military-grade encryption for their connections.
This provider says it does not collect or log any of your browsing activity, data accessed or any IP addresses you connect to. It also doesn’t record your real IP address, VPN IP address, DNS queries or any metadata.
Bitcoin is happily accepted here, allowing you to go for complete anonymity by using a disposable email address, keeping all of your subscription info undercover.
SaferVPN uses 256-bit military-level encryption, keeping your online antics away from the prying eyes of interested third parties, like the government and even that guy in the hoodie sitting at the next table over in Starbucks.
Desktop apps have 3 protocol options: IKEv2, OpenVPN and L2TP over IPSec.
Mobile apps use IKEv2, which makes sense, as IKEv2 allows for faster connections, a valuable feature on mobile apps. Desktop apps make available the OpenVPN protocol, which is safe and open source, and has quickly become the most preferred protocol in the industry.
As I mentioned above, while SaferVPN’s desktop app offers kill switch protection, their mobile apps offer only an option to automatically reconnect in case of connection failure.
Before revealing my SaferVPN connection speed figures, I’d like to go over how we determine the speed numbers.
We performed all speed tests using a gigabit Ethernet connection located in the United States. We test by connecting to 3 different locations – The United Kingdom, the United States and Hong Kong.
We perform the tests on 3 different days and at 3 different times of day: morning, midday and evening. We use each provider’s Windows app and connect via OpenVPN over UDP.
We found that the provider’s connections were more than up to anything we threw at them, with plenty of bandwidth for streaming video and online gaming. Their average download speed of 40.92 Mbps is one of the best speeds we’ve seen. Even 4K HDR content will begin streaming quickly and play smoothly.
SaferVPN’s 1-month pricing makes it a member of the high-priced spread club. However, if you’re willing to make a 1- to 3-year commitment, you can score an excellent price.
A month-to-month subscription will take a $12.95-sized chunk from your billfold.
The 1-year plan cuts the price precipitously to an average of $5.49 per month. The 2-year package drops that down to $3.29 per month, and if you’re willing to opt for the 3-year plan, you’ll pay just $2.50 per month.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is available for all subscription plans. A 24-hour free trial is also available.
1. Great Download Speeds
SaferVPN is fast…
While using SaferVPN, I managed to achieve an impressive 79.23 Mbps on an EU server, making SaferVPN the 5th fastest VPN (out of 70+) that has ever been reviewed on this site.
US Server (New York)
- Ping: 120ms
- Download: 57.47 Mbps
- Upload: 23.09 Mbps
EU Server (Amsterdam)
- Ping: 43ms
- Download: 79.23 Mbps
- Upload: 27.78 Mbps
Asia Server (Hong Kong)
- Ping: 323ms
- Download: 1.28 Mbps
- Upload: 0.37 Mbps
UK Server (London)
- Ping: 46ms
- Download: 64.38 Mbps
- Upload: 39.40 Mbps
*As always take these speed tests with a grain of salt since they rely on so many different variables and can change from person to person. However, we have tested over 70+ VPNs for this site so we have a baseline that we can compare every VPN against.*
Now that you’ve seen their speeds, most of you are plugging your nose and waiting for the cold water…
After all, with download speeds this fast, there’s no way that SaferVPN could offer their services at a budget-friendly price, right?
2. Seamless Installation and Use
Call me petty, but I absolutely detest VPN providers who force users to restart their devices after installing the VPN client.
Luckily, not only is SaferVPN “Restart Free”, they are also one of the simplest and most user-friendly VPNs that I have ever reviewed.
About 3 minutes after I purchased their services, SaferVPN was installed, launched, and protecting my Windows device.
With one of the most straightforward user interfaces I have ever encountered, SaferVPN makes it easy to use their service and you can protect your device with just the click of a button.
They also make it easy to quickly find and optimize your settings and ensure that you have the perfect connection for your specific goals.
Although SaferVPN might not be the most feature-rich provider that I’ve ever reviewed, their intuitive design and easy to navigate interface makes using their software an absolute delight.
3. Effective Customer Service (But using BOTS?)
While it isn’t up to the standard of a company like ExpressVPN, SaferVPN’s customer support definitely exceeded my expectations.
Throughout the course of this review, I submitted a handful of queries at different times, some of them genuine, and some of them designed to gauge the efficacy of the support team.
Each time, I received a prompt response to my question and was on my way in a matter of minutes.
Here’s one such encounter that I had while trying to figure out if there was a better way to use SaferVPN for torrenting (which we will talk about in the “Cons” section).
This whole conversation took place in about 90 seconds and is very indicative of my overall customer service experience.
Their team isn’t the most knowledgeable support crew that I’ve ever seen, but they got the job done and they did so in a matter of minutes.
However, I should point out that at various points throughout this SaferVPN review, it did seem that they were using an automated software to respond to my customer support inquiries.
While I cannot verify this theory, I do believe that SaferVPN uses robots to answer some of the more common queries that are submitted through their chat feature and, if you look at the above correspondence, you will understand why.
The question that I submitted did not require a client email address for any reason and (considering the fact that they probably receive this question 100 times a day), my support agent should have been able to answer me immediately.
Instead, I was asked to provide my email address (less than one second after submitting my question) for no apparent reason making me feel like I was talking to a robot and not an actual agent.
This trend repeated itself across several other support questions and while it amounted to little more than a mild annoyance, I did feel that it was worth mentioning. Considering the overall quality of their customer support and the general friendliness of their team, I’ve got to applaud SaferVPN on their customer service… Bots or no bots.
4. Kill Switch and 5 Simultaneous Connections
As I’ve already mentioned, SaferVPN does not offer a particularly feature dense service.
And I’m honestly kind of glad that they don’t.
After using their VPN for some time, it’s clear to me that they focused almost all of their resources on optimizing their servers, creating an efficient support team, and offering their services at an affordable price.
SaferVPN does a few things great whereas most of their competitors do a lot of things acceptably.
While many users might be disappointed by the apparent lack of bells and whistles, I feel that SaferVPN offers all of the features that truly matter, including a kill switch* and a generous 5 device simultaneous connection limit.
Both of these features are welcomed additions to an already stellar service and I am happy to report that (unlike many of their competitors) SaferVPN’s kill switch feature works exactly as advertised.
*Kill Switch is a feature that disconnects you instantly when you lose your Internet connections. This avoids your IP being leaked.
5. Jurisdiction = Israel
Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, the mere location of SaferVPN might make it seem like they’ve lost the game before they even set foot on the field.
After all, Israel has become an increasingly tumultuous and politically charged region, making many VPN buyers hesitant about trusting their privacy to a company located at the center of the turmoil.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I originally learned about their location, I was pretty nervous about using their services too.
However, after a little bit of light digging, I found that Israel might actually be one of the best jurisdictions for a VPN due to their privacy laws that severely limit the government’s (legal) ability to track and monitor ordinary citizens.
6. Works with Netflix (at least some servers)
When I tried connecting to Netflix, SaferVPN seemed to work.
Obviously, not all of the servers worked, maybe 30%, since Netflix is actively trying to crack down VPN providers and block their IP’s to respect their geo-restrictions.
Here’s a quick summary:
- “US streaming” server option worked nicely for me – quick and easy
- US East server didn’t connect to Netflix at all
- Canadian server was blocked by Netflix
- Netherlands server worked nicely
- UK server was blocked by Netflix
US East server, UK and Canadian servers didn’t work with Netflix
Netflix worked on “US Streaming” and Netherland servers.
Although SaferVPN has a lot of great things going for it, their services aren’t perfect and they aren’t for everyone. So before you go smashing that “Buy Now” button, let’s take a quick look at some of the “Cons” of using SaferVPN’s services.
1. Torrenting is VERY Limited
Personally, this was my biggest point of contention with SaferVPN’s services.
Considering that they have such a vast collection of servers, you would imagine that they would have spent some time optimizing at least a few of those servers for P2P transfers and torrenting.
However, SaferVPN only has one server out of their collection of 700 that works for these purposes. (Their Netherlands server if you’re wondering).
If you plan to use their services solely for torrenting then forget it. There are much better VPNs available for torrenting.
This particular “con” is far from a deal breaker, but it is an issue that I would like to see the company take more seriously.
2. The “No Logging” Policy Could Be More Strict
Something that always bothers me about VPN companies is how misleading their logging policies can be.
In fact, if you dig through their privacy policies, it’s not uncommon to find companies that advertise a “Zero Logs” policy while actually logging a metric crap ton of data.
Although SaferVPN doesn’t quite fall into that category, they do track a little bit too much data for my liking.
As you can see, this isn’t quite the “Zero Logs” policy that we are promised. Although it’s far from ideal, I didn’t find SaferVPN’s logging policy to be particularly worrisome.
Would I prefer to use a VPN that doesn’t log any of my information? You bet.
Does SaferVPN’s logging policy preclude me from using their services? Not at all.
3. SaferVPN Doesn’t Work in China
If I ask you to think of the first country where you would need to use a VPN, what comes to mind?
Considering their draconian government and oppressive censorship laws, China is one of those countries that you shouldn’t visit without a fully functioning VPN.
Unfortunately, according to many third-party sources, SaferVPN’s applications will no longer work while on Chinese soil.
And this is a big problem for the company.
Expats and travellers all across the world rely on high quality VPN providers (like SaferVPN) to unblock content and keep themselves safe and the fact that their services no longer work in the region is a big blow to their potential customer base.
If you aren’t travelling to China anytime soon, then you can ignore this point, buy SaferVPN, and go along your merry way.
Otherwise, you will need to purchase a more premium service like ExpressVPN.
(Please note that this is not something I could directly test since I have not visited China in recent months. If you have a different experience using SaferVPN in the so-called People’s Republic, please let me know in the comments below.)
SaferVPN Pricing, Plans & Features
I was astonished to find that their services are actually marketed at an incredibly budget friendly and affordable price.
Like, less than $3 a month affordable…
However, you’ll need to be ready to pay 2 or 3 years upfront.
All of their packages offer the same features and services and the only difference between them is how long you actually get to use their service.
Here’s how it all breaks down.
1 Year: $59.88
- $4.99 per month
- $59.88 per year
- 55% savings
2 Years: $71.77
- $35.89 per year
- 73% savings
Three Years: $82.26
- $2.29 per month
- $27.42 per year
- 80% Savings
Some of you might remember that the last time I reviewed SaferVPN they offered a 14-day money back guarantee and a 24 hour free trial.
However, they have improved their money back guarantee and extended the return window from 14 to 30 days.
SaferVPN also allows their users to pay with a Credit Card, PayPal, Bitcoin (anonymous payment) or Paymentwall meaning that, if privacy is an issue, your entire purchase can be made with complete anonymity.
Do We Recommend SaferVPN?
Not really, but they’re not a bad option per se…
Out of the 70+ VPNs that have been reviewed on this site, SaferVPN currently ranks 41st overall and 5th in speed, but some of the cons are making them un-recommendable.
They offer fast (and stable) speeds, a seamless interface, and good customer service all at a decent price.
While their services aren’t definitely free of problems and I am eager for the company to improve their Torrenting capacity and logging policy, my experience with SaferVPN was satisfiable.
SaferVPN is a virtual private network that was founded in Israel in 2013. According to a Forbes article that profiled the startup two years later, the founders’ goal was to “differentiate themselves by appealing not only to experts in the field of online security but also to people of all ages and with varying technical skills.”
That’s hardly a unique goal these days, but it does give us a frame of reference for what SaferVPN is trying to do. Succeeding as a mass-appeal VPN means being easy to use, budget-friendly, compatible with Netflix and speedy enough that you can install it for your grandparents without them yelling at you for breaking their internet.
In our SaferVPN review, we’ll give you the lowdown on its speed, user-friendliness, price, feature set, streaming performance and more. It checks the minimum required boxes, including unblocking Netflix, but isn’t yet a contender for our best VPN ranking.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Low-priced annual plans
- Good speeds close to home
- Browser extensions
- Automatic WiFi security
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & Amazon Prime Video
- User-friendly interface
- No leaks
- Stellar customer service
- No split tunneling
- Some security holes
- Inconsistent server locations
- Can’t unblock Hulu
SaferVPN has a decent array of basic features, including a kill switch. VPN beginners will find everything they need here, though experts might feel restricted by the absence of split tunneling.
SaferVPN is available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, and as a Firefox and Chrome extension. Furthermore, SaferVPN offers router support. Nothing special, but what we expect from a mid-tier VPN service.
There’s a kill switch, which immediately shuts down your internet if your connection to the VPN drops. While SaferVPN’s kill switch is bare-bones, we’re still glad to see it, especially since it’s available on every platform.
Automatic WiFi security is one of SaferVPN’s most unique features. It’s a sort of reverse killswitch that instantly launches the VPN if you connect to unsecured WiFi — useful if you do a lot of work in coffee shops and hotel lobbies.
Other than a few standard options, like named trusted networks and launching the VPN when your device boots up, that’s about it. There’s nothing special here, which is disappointing. However, SaferVPN still covers the essentials.
SaferVPN Features Overview
Starts from$ 250per month
PayPal, Credit card, Bank transfer, Moneybookers, Skrill, Webmoney, Alipay, TRON
Worldwide server amount
1300 servers in 50 countries
Can be installed on routers
Can access Amazon Prime Video
VPN protocols available
IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2
Enabled at device startup
Malware/ad blocker included
When we last reviewed SaferVPN, it didn’t have a monthly plan. Now it does, but it’s overpriced. The one-year, two-year and three-year plans are much more in keeping with this VPN’s goal of accessibility, with average or below average costs per month.
There’s no forever free plan. If that’s what you’re looking for, head over to our list of the best free VPN services.
With just one subscription tier that includes all features, the only difference is how long you sign up for. There’s an eight day free trial. Additionally, each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Every plan allows you to use SaferVPN on five devices. That’s not bad, but plenty of VPN services offer higher device limits or remove them entirely. You can get around the limit by installing SaferVPN on your router, but if you don’t want to deal with the hassle, just read our best VPN for multiple devices guide.
We tend to use Private Internet Access as our baseline for a cheap VPN . PIA’s one-year plan costs $3.33 per month, but that’s as long as it goes. At both the two-year and three-year levels, SaferVPN beats out PIA, staking a claim as one of the cheapest VPNs around. That’s not to mention the free trial, which most VPNs lack.
SaferVPN recently started accepting a raft of new payment methods. In addition to credit cards, debit cards and PayPal, you can pay with online bank transfers, Alipay, Webmoney, Moneybookers and Skrill. Crypto owners can pay with bitcoin or TRON.
Ease of Use
It’s hard to find anything to complain about in SaferVPN’s interface. It avoids the two biggest pitfalls of a VPN UI: excessive simplicity and general brokenness.
Signing up for SaferVPN is a brisk three-step process. Just choose a plan, enter an email address for your account and pick your payment method.
SaferVPN then sends you an email which you can use to complete your download. You can also choose to use the control panel on the website. Either way, once it’s on your hard drive, you’re good to get started right away.
Here on the main window, you’ve got four options: connect, change your server, visit SaferVPN’s Facebook page, or open the preferences menu. Your first connection requires installing a helper tool, but after that, it happens quickly.
We like VPNs that let you change your server from the main window; not being able to do that was one of our big issues with Speedify. On SaferVPN, you can quickly search for a server, see the ones recommended to you as the fastest or favorite a server to find it later.
The settings panel is easy to navigate, with five tabs encompassing all SaferVPN’s features. From here, you can change your protocol, activate automatic WiFi security, enable the kill switch and toggle a few other miscellaneous options.
You can also access the knowledgebase and submit customer support tickets from the app. You can also run a speedtest, though it connects you to a third-party website (the same one we use, in fact).
We can’t see anything in SaferVPN’s UI turning away a first-time user. Our only objection is that you have to click an “apply” button to make some changes stick, which isn’t common among VPNs and might cause confusion.
SaferVPN is very fast close to home. It’s not quite fast enough to make our list of the fastest VPNs, since that also requires a consistency SaferVPN doesn’t quite achieve — but as long as you’re tunneling near your location, its speed is extraordinary.
These speed tests were conducted over a standard home WiFi connection. The first protected server was automatically chosen as the fastest, the next three came from the recommended list and the final three were tested because they’re in traditionally underserved locations.
As you can see, SaferVPN had a negligible impact on browsing performance when we connected to its recommended server. Connecting on the U.S. east coast or in Europe gave up a larger chunk of our download speed, and by the time we reached Eastern Europe, Africa and South America, things were crawling.
However, proportion is more important than absolute speed. With these percentages, a fast ethernet connection could reach the recommended 5 Mbps for streaming from anywhere in the world. Relatively speaking, the latency was also quite good, making SaferVPN a good VPN for gaming (though not one of the best).
By default, SaferVPN secures internet traffic using OpenVPN combined with AES-256 encryption. That’s about as safe as you can get, as you can see in our guide to VPN security. However, the inclusion of PPTP on some operating systems is a vulnerability.
Your other options are IKEv2, which is best for mobile connections, and L2TP/IPSec, which is slower but more secure. SaferVPN also allows you to set the protocol to “automatic,” which defaults to OpenVPN, but lets SaferVPN fall back on other protocols if necessary. The only thing missing is WireGuard.
SaferVPN claims to have “bank-grade encryption.” Most of the time, this means some form of AES, which nearly all online security software employs in some capacity. It’s definitely secure, but it’s like bragging that your motel has air conditioning and color TV. Check out our encryption rundown to learn more.
Because of the partial presence of PPTP, we’ve docked SaferVPN several percentage points. PPTP is an outdated, highly vulnerable protocol that doesn’t support AES-256 encryption. The chance that it might ever be automatically selected makes SaferVPN less secure. In fact, services like ProtonVPN don’t even offer PPTP. You can learn more about this in our VPN protocol breakdown.
We tested several servers for DNS leaks and came through clean. No WebRTC or IP leaks were in evidence either.
A VPN that doesn’t protect your privacy isn’t worth anything. So many services have been caught selling their users’ data that no-logging policies, which practically every VPN now has in some form, just can’t be trusted anymore. SaferVPN has one such logging policy, though it hasn’t been proven wrong like IPVanish.
The policy goes on to explain what data SaferVPN does log: date and time of browsing sessions, amount of data transferred, server location(s) used and country the VPN was accessed from. Although a little more than expected, SaferVPN doesn’t log your IP address. It’d be difficult to identify you out of the information collected.
It retains the right to keep this data for as long as it sees fit, even after you end your subscription and delete your account. This saved information can be used to “protect the rights of SaferVPN, of its Users and of other third-parties.” That’s a lot more exceptions and leeway than we like to see.
Researching in the news, we found no indication that SaferVPN abused this policy, and it at least doesn’t log user IP addresses like Speedify does. We’re sticklers for privacy, though, after testing so many untrustworthy VPNs like Astrill. It takes more than a lack of damning evidence for a VPN to win our unqualified trust.
SaferVPN got onto Netflix without any trouble at all. We used a close-in server to maximize speed, and streamed video without any buffering or lag. Amazon Prime Video worked the same way.
Using the streaming server in the UK, we were also able to access BBC iPlayer, though trying to do so over WiFi from the U.S. leads to slow enough speeds that you might not be able to watch the shows you unblock.
Hulu, which is fastest becoming the toughest streaming nut to crack, caught the VPN when we tried to load a show. Still, with a faster cabled connection, SaferVPN could rival the services on our best VPN for Netflix and best VPN for BBC iPlayer guides.
It wasn’t easy to get accurate information about SaferVPN’s server locations, since there are several conflicting maps and lists on the website. Trusting only the VPN itself, we found about 1,300 total servers spread across 52 countries. The bulk of them are located in Europe, but the network has at least one data center on all six continents.
Unlike services such as TorGuard, which limit your server access based on your subscription plan, all SaferVPN’s servers are available to all customers.
Since we last reviewed it in 2019, SaferVPN’s network has grown slowly but steadily. They recently added 20 new countries, the majority of which are outside Western Europe. At the same time, some locations, such as Colombia, seem to have been dropped.
There are promising indications that SaferVPN is pushing to expand into less-covered parts of the world, but it would be great to have more consistency. Nobody wants to drop $80 on a two-year VPN subscription, only to have it cut their local server after three months.
SaferVPN’s customer service is prompt and knowledgeable. You can get help through a knowledgebase, live chat or an email support ticket. All its help features are connected to the desktop app through the settings panel.
We had a chance to practically test SaferVPN’s customer service in the middle of writing this review. Every time we disconnected from the VPN, our internet connection died as well, despite not having the kill switch enabled.
We reached out to SaferVPN via the Zendesk live chat feature on its website and began chatting with a support professional immediately. At his prompting, we tried a different protocol, which solved the problem.
We submitted an email support ticket on a more general topic and got a detailed reply early the next day.
When checking out a VPN’s knowledgebase, we look for launch guides, general questions and troubleshooting. SaferVPN’s FAQ has extensive articles on all those subjects, all written in plain language. The option to look through the most common questions is also nice.
There’s no forum, but SaferVPN prominently advertises its Facebook page. We checked it out and found mostly posts by SaferVPN itself, with very little engagement. Some of the posts are high-quality, but don’t go in there expecting vibrant conversations between users.
We started this review with a question: does SaferVPN succeed at appealing to non-experts? After drilling into every aspect of this service, the answer is a resounding yes. Signing up for a year is cheap. The user interface is nearly free of pain points. The speed is amazing if you have a server nearby.
This service achieves its stated goal with flying colors. We’re less certain that it succeeds as a VPN overall. It gathers a lot of user data, and gives itself an unsettling amount of freedom to use that data as it sees fit. It supports PPTP, in an era when the NSA’s ability to decrypt that protocol is an open secret. Its speed lags far behind on off-continent servers.
Yet we can’t bring ourselves to condemn SaferVPN completely. Its good points really shine, especially its UI, customer service, and WiFi safety features.
Since SaferVPN is still fairly new, we are adopting a policy of cautious optimism. This service is growing fast, and still has time to become something great.
How Can I Use SaferVPN?
SaferVPN prevents hackers and other interlopers from seeing your online activity and sensitive personal information. Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, click the “connect” button, then browse the internet like normal. With your identity shielded by the VPN, you can send money online worry-free, get around internet censorship in your country, or just watch porn in peace.
Where Is SaferVPN Located?
SaferVPN was founded in Israel, where it’s still located.
Does SaferVPN Work With Netflix?
Yes, SaferVPN unblocks Netflix. However, the streaming vs. VPN battle is constantly shifting, so this might not always be true.
SaferVPN offers the following additional features:
- 24/7 live chat support
- Automatic location selection algorithm
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting is permitted (Netherlands server only)
- WiFi protection
- Chrome extension
Servers are located around the world, with some in more unusual locations such as South Africa, Brazil, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
Automatic Location Selection Algorithm
This is a feature that SaferVPN appears very proud of:
"We have a diagnose fix feature that runs in the background and selects the best VPN protocol to be used based on the system configuration. In most cases, we use IKEv2 over IPSEC (AES 256) and falling back to OpenVPN (AES 256)."
IKEv2 is widely regarded as a secure VPN protocol and is particularly great when regularly switching between WiFi and mobile, or between different WiFi networks. We generally recommend OpenVPN, however, as it is a proven standard for keeping your data safe. If you prefer to stick with OpenVPN then its no big deal as Automatic Location Selection Algorithm is entirely optional.
Speed and Performance
All tests were performed on my Virgin Media UK 80 Mbps/5 Mbps fiber connection, using the OpenVPN protocol. I allowed SaferVPN to auto-select servers in a given location.
The graphs show the highest, lowest, and average speeds for each server and location. I have seen worse results, but meh.
DNS resolution was correctly performed by third-party servers. SaferVPN uses Google DNS for this, but the results are proxied to prevent Google from knowing who made them. Although not as good as a provider performing its own DNS resolution, I think this is fine.
Unfortunately, the other results are less encouraging. In Windows, I detected an IPv6 leak via WebRTC. Although WebRTC leaks are primarily a browser issue, many VPN services have tightened up their settings to minimize the likelihood of them happening. Even worse, the macOS client leaked my IPv6 address, not just through WebRTC, also as a regular IP leak. Anyone with an IPv6 connection is therefore strongly advised to disable IPv6 in their OS settings and block WebRTC in their browsers.
As is usual, the per-month price drops the longer you buy a subscription for. A 24-hour free trial is available, which is nice. No credit card details are required for this. SaferVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Payment can be made via credit/debit card, Paypal, or Bitcoin. More obscure payment options are also available courtesy of Paymentwall.
Ease of Use
SaferVPN offers custom apps for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. The mobile apps use OpenVPN with the same encryption settings as the desktop apps. SaferVPN also provides good manual setup guides for Linux, Blackberry phones, Windows phones, numerous routers, and various media streaming platforms.
The SaferVPN Windows VPN client
The SaferVPN client is quite simple, but gets the job done.
It is not clear which protocol is used when the default “Automatic” is selected. Support was unable to tell me this, either.
The SaferVPN Windows client has a kill switch. I tested this by force-closing the app in Windows Task Manager, but found myself still connected to the internet.
This means that the kill switch is reactive – it shuts down the internet when it detects that the VPN has disconnected. It does not work, for example, if the VPN client itself suffers a crash. A firewall-based kill switch that prevents any connections outside the VPN would be better, but any kill switch is preferable to none.
I did notice that the client connects to VPN servers very quickly, which is nice. As we shall see, though, the client does not include any DNS leak protection.
I own an Android phone, so I downloaded the Android app from the Play Store.
SaferVPN has greatly reduced the number of permissions its app requires. The above list is now very reasonable.
The app also looks good, and I detected no IP leaks while using it.
Chrome and Firefox Extensions
SaferVPN offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. I was told that (and I assume this also applies to the Firefox add-on):
“We do not explicitly use the encryption within our Chrome extension. The Chrome itself (internally) use SSL as security layer on top on http protocol to secure a user session data from being stolen by “bad” people.”
I think this means it uses HTTPS, but am far from sure. If you want an encrypted connection then stick with using the full VPN client.
|Free trial||Yes - 1 Day|
|Money-back guarantee length||30|
Other than the setup guides, support is primarily via 24/7 live chat. A ticketed email system is also in place. When I contacted SaferVPN’s support via live chat, responses were almost instant, and very friendly.
I do not consider it fair to expect front-line support staff to have in-depth technical knowledge, but I was a little annoyed to be repeatedly given “I can assure you that we use the best possible encryption” answers when asking for details.
More importantly, when my queries were escalated via ticketed email for attention by more knowledgeable staff members, I found the answers rather unsatisfactory. Good examples of this are when I asked about Chrome extension security, and when I unable to discover if perfect forward secrecy is deployed.
Privacy and Security
SaferVPN (and therefore Perimeter 81) is based in Israel, which has strong data protection laws that strictly and specifically limit the government’s ability to spy on personal data.
On the other hand, Mossad is a close ally of the NSA, and Israel is known for the robustness of its cyberdefense operations and for its cooperation with the NSA in its mass surveillance operations. On balance, though, Israel’s strong data protection laws make it a fairly privacy-friendly location.
On its home page, SaferVPN says,
“No Logging Policy! We value and respect your privacy — in and out of the web. We never log or monitor your VPN network traffic.”
Drilling down a bit more, SaferVPN does not keep any usage logs. It also does not log your IP address when you make connections, or but it does keep a fair amount of other connection (metadata) information:
"• date and time on which the Session began, date and time on which the Session ended,
• the amount of data transmitted during each Session,
• to which location (eg. USA East) (We do not hold servers’ IP addresses),
• and from which country you connected from (We do not hold IP addresses)."
SaferVPN uses the following OpenVPN encryption: AES-256 for data channel cipher, RSA-2048 for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) handshake, and SHA-256 for control channel hash authentication.
Support was unable to tell me any more details, so I will guess that SaferVPN uses SHA-1 is for the data channel handshake (which is fine). SaferVPN has now confirmed that it does use perfect forward secrecy (PFS) for all OpenVPN and IKEv2 connections.
This is a strong OpenVPN setup. The SaferVPN Windows and macOS apps also include DNS leak protection and a kill switch, but as we have seen, these are not always effective. SaferVPN's Android and iOS apps include a kill switch, which remains a very useful, if all too unusual, feature.
SaferVPN has made some major improvements, and is now close to being a great service. It uses excellent encryption, has plenty of servers in useful locations, allows five connections at once, and has a good logging policy. It also offers some very handy bells and whistles, such a Chrome extension and strong support for IKEv2. Only somewhat underwhelming speed performance and sub-par (but friendly!) customer support now holds SaferVPN back. IPv6 users, though, should take additional security precautions.
With a 24-hour free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee, there's little reason not to check this highly competent service out for yourself.
aferVPN is an Israel-based provider that claims to be the “fastest and simplest” VPN service on the market.
It offers all of the key benefits we’ve come to expect from a reputable paid VPN: better privacy, improved security, and the ability to unblock content on the web.
But how does it perform versus the litany of competition?
We aim to find out…
- How fast is SaferVPN?
- Can SaferVPN unblock region-locked streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu?
- Is SaferVPN secure and private?
- Is SaferVPN a good value?
I’ll cover all that and more in this review.
PRICE WATCH: SaferVPN is currently running a promotion which gives an 81% discount.
I spent a few weeks using SaferVPN and put it through a battery of speed, streaming, and security tests. I used it to secure wi-fi hotspots, privately download files, and unblock streaming sites from abroad.
I’ve summarized my thoughts below, but read the full review to get an in-depth look at SaferVPN.
SaferVPN is an easy-to-use VPN with a couple of handy features like automatic wi-fi protection and 24/7 support. But subpar speeds, limited ability to unblock streaming services, and severe security bugs make it difficult to recommend. It doesn’t work in China.
SaferVPN Key data
|OVERALL RANK: #17 of 42 VPNs|
|Average Speed *:||36 Mbps|
|Video Streaming Support:||SD, HD|
|Other Streaming Services:||None|
|Encryption Type:||256-bit AES|
|Log Policy:||Connection timestamps, amount of data, server location, user location|
|Protocols:||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP|
|Value for Money||
|Lowest Monthly Cost:||$2.50|
|Money Back Guarantee:||30 days|
How does SaferVPN compare to other popular VPNs?
Here’s a table showing how SaferVPN’s key features compare to the competition:
SaferVPN pros and cons
Here’s a summary of what I liked and didn’t like about SaferVPN:
- Unblocks Netflix US and UK
- 24/7 support
- Automatic wi-fi protection
- Below average speeds
- Serious bugs that put user privacy at risk
- Doesn’t work in China
I’ll go into more details about all of these points in this review.
Speed: Is SaferVPN fast?
SaferVPN operates 1,300 servers in 50 countries, which is about average for VPN services at this price point.
Across all times and locations tested, SaferVPN average download speed was 36 Mbps. That’s quite a bit slower than average, as you can see from the chart below.
I ran speed tests on servers in North America, Europe, and Asia at various times of day. Here are the results for each region:
- North America (nearest): 39 Mbps
- Europe: 35 Mbps
- Asia: 35 Mbps
Speeds were still fast enough to stream HD video and torrent. I could play online games like Rocket League and Brawlhalla without too much added lag, but your ping time largely depends on how close you are to the nearest server. If you want to stream in 4K, live stream video in HD, or video chat in HD, then it might be best to look elsewhere.
Apps: What devices work with SaferVPN?
SaferVPN makes apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Web browser extensions are also available for Chrome and Firefox.
Customized VPN routers are also available, ranging in price from $199 to $299. If you already have a router with compatible firmware (DD-WRT), it’s possible to manually configure SaferVPN on it.
A single plan allows up to five devices to connect at the same time, which is the industry standard.
Streaming, Netflix, and Kodi
Does SaferVPN unblock Netflix?
Yes! I unblocked Netflix US both in a web browser and on the Netflix mobile app. Both the US and UK versions of Netflix can be unblocked with SaferVPN.
Unfortunately, SaferVPN didn’t fare so well when I attempted to unblock other streaming services. It was blocked by Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
Kodi users will find SaferVPN a bit limited. There’s no Amazon Firestick app or Linux app, so you’ll have to use workarounds or manual configuration to get up and running. If you’re using an Android TV box with access to Google Play, you can use the Android app. It should be compatible with any Kodi add-on once set up.
Does SaferVPN allow torrenting?
“Use any torrent” is prohibited under the company’s acceptable use terms, as are several other actions, even though the company directs users to torrent on specific servers.
Torrenting is only allowed on the Netherlands, Canada, and Spain servers. While piracy isn’t legal in those countries, they are known for being more lenient to P2P filesharers.
A kill switch can be enabled in both the desktop and mobile apps that stops all internet traffic going to and from your device if the VPN connection drops. This is important for torrenters because it prevents any identifiable data from leaking over a direct, unencrypted connection.
Security, privacy, and logging
SaferVPN is based in Israel, which might put off some users wary of government surveillance and intelligence sharing with the USA and its allies.
SaferVPN doesn’t log any of my traffic or my IP address. It does store some minimal logs including connection timestamps, amount of data transmitted each session, which location (but not server) I connect to, and which country (not IP address) from which I connect.
When connected with the OpenVPN protocol, the security is comprised of:
- 256-bit AES encryption
- 2,048-bit RSA keys
- SHA256 authentication
Unfortunately, it does not avail of perfect forward secrecy, so if a key is compromised then it can be used to decrypt traffic from past sessions.
SaferVPN struggles with DNS leaks. Some connections didn’t leak, but many did, defaulting to my ISP’s DNS servers instead of SaferVPN’s. That’s a serious problem if you want to unblock region-locked content, hide your real location, or prevent your ISP from seeing what websites you visit.
In some cases, the Windows app connected to the wrong country. In one instance, I connected to a UK VPN server, but received a German IP address. In another, it said I was connected to the UK but the VPN was not actually connected at all. These bugs pose a serious risk to users who might think their privacy is being protected.
SaferVPN’s customer support relies on both live support and a ticket submission system. The live support runs on Zendesk, a third-party company, so privacy-conscious users ought to opt for the ticket submission option.
One of the more uncommon features built into the apps is automatic wifi security. With this enabled, any time you connect to an unsecured wifi network, the SaferVPN app will automatically detect that the network is not secure and connect to the VPN. It’s a handy bonus, especially if you’re forgetful or lazy about opening up and connecting through the VPN app each time you connect to the wifi at a Starbucks or the airport. Note that you need to have the app running on desktop, at least in the system tray, for this to work.
Does SaferVPN work in China?
No, SaferVPN’s apps will not work in China. You cannot unblock Facebook, Google, Youtube, Gmail, Instagram, Tinder, or any of the other apps and websites that are normally censored in mainland China.
SaferVPN should work in other countries with less strict censorship regimes, although we are not able to test them ourselves.
Is SaferVPN’s customer service any good?
I used the Zendesk live chat on SaferVPN’s website to ask several questions about the service during the test period. In some cases, reps asked for my account email address, and other times it did not. Either way, support replied almost instantly with helpful answers, although some were clearly copy/pasted from a response book. It could be that they use chat bots in certain instances, but we’re not certain. Either way, responses came fast on every query we put forth.
I can also open a ticket if I want a more private option than Zendesk.
A searchable knowledge base is also available on the website, but it’s not as thorough as we’ve seen from rival competitors.
SaferVPN offers a single tier of service with steep discounts if you sign up for longer terms:
- Monthly: $12.95 per month
- One year: $5.49 per month
- Three years: $2.50 per month
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
SaferVPN accepts credit cards, PayPal, and two cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Tron. The guarantee is not available if you pay with crypto, though.
Save 80% on the 3 year plan
Discount applied automatically
Do I recommend SaferVPN?
On the plus side, SaferVPN is novice friendly and offers good discounts for longer terms.
But those advantages are undermined by slow speeds, inability to unblock most region-locked content, and severe security bugs. It’s also useless for users in China to bypass censorship. Those glaring issues make it difficult for me to recommend SaferVPN over the competition.
If you’re on the move often and want automatic wi-fi protection, then it could be good for basic web browsing, accessing social media, and streaming Netflix.