VPNArea Review Summary
+ Speed and performance
+ Online privacy and security
VPNArea is a Bulgaria-based VPN provider that does very well in the areas of performance and privacy. In the past year they have released a new lineup of apps while also optimizing their network for speed (and it shows). It passed all privacy and security tests for this review while also having good speeds and reliability throughout the server network. VPNArea continues to work well with Netflix and other streaming services and it is also one of the few VPNs that offer dedicated IP addresses.
Passed all tests
24/7 Live chat
- Zero logs
- Excellent speed and reliability
- Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Anonymous payment options
- Strong security features, with self-hosted DNS
- Ad blocking
- Dedicated IP addresses available in different countries
- Large server network
- 24/7 live chat support
- Mac OS app (version 2) still in beta
- Limited number of Netflix streaming servers (but still works well)
Company information and jurisdiction
VPNArea has been around since 2012 and is under the parent company of Offshore Security EOOD. According to the website, the computer systems and hosting for the company are physically based in Switzerland, which is where “customer data” is processed – according to their website. Switzerland remains one of the best countries for privacy and data security and is not a member of the EU. (See the 5 Eyes and 14 Eyes surveillance guide for more info on this topic.)
The parent company (Offshore Security EOOD) is registered in Bulgaria. From a legal perspective, that puts VPNArea under Bulgarian laws. Much like Switzerland, Bulgaria is also a good privacy jurisdiction and it is not a close partner with other surveillance regimes (such as the US and UK).
VPNArea price and refund policy
VPNArea offers three different pricing tiers, with the yearly rate coming in at $4.92 per month.
As you can see above, the best savings will be with the 12-months plan, which is typical for most VPN providers.
When it comes to features, all of the accounts are the same. The one exception is that dedicated IP addresses are only available with 6-month and 12-month accounts.
When purchasing a subscription you have lots of different payment options:
- PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Discover, American Express (AmEx), UnionPay, JCB, Bitcoin, Webmoney and Payza.
Note: One unique benefit you get with VPNArea is the ability to share your account with others (most VPNs prohibit this). This will potentially allow you to split the cost with someone else.
Refund policy – VPNArea offers a clear-cut 7 day money-back guarantee. After carefully reading the fine print, I did not find any hidden clauses or bandwidth exceptions.
VPNArea’s new apps
VPNArea has recently released a new lineup of applications. These new apps are a huge improvement over the old design. The layout is intuitive and it is very user-friendly, while at the same time offering lots of great features and unique settings.
Here is the Windows app that I tested out for the review.
6 connections – VPNArea gives you six simultaneous connections to use with your subscription. And as noted above, you can share these connections with others.
VPNArea provides you with step-by-step installation tutorials for many devices and platforms. In the member’s area you can access guides for:
- Mac OS X
- iOS (iPhone and iPad)
- Routers (Asus, DD-WRT, Tomato, GLI, Asus Merlin)
- Streaming services and other devices (Amazon Fire Stick, Kodi, Netflix, etc.)
VPNArea’s main application is called Chameleon. We’ll take a close look at how it performed with both Windows and Mac OS.
VPNArea on Windows
VPNArea’s Windows application did very well in testing. It offers you a user-friendly layout that also incorporates the numerous privacy and security features. Here you can see a few of the features and settings in the Windows app.
The new VPNArea Windows app is very polished. Changing the settings and connecting to a VPN server is simple and intuitive.
Here are some of the main features and settings you will find:
- DNS leak protection
- IP leak protection (includes WebRTC leak protection)
- Kill switch (to block all internet traffic if the VPN connection drops)
- Startup options for full-time, always-on VPN use
Overall the Windows client performed very well in my testing and daily use. The privacy and security features are very customizable, which allows you to configure exactly how you want your VPN to work.
I ran the windows app through a variety of different leak tests and did not find any problems:
In the tests above I noticed there were nine different DNS servers in various countries, but there were no DNS leaks (with my ISP’s IP address). VPNArea uses their own secure DNS servers.
VPNArea on Mac OS
Just like with Windows, VPNArea also has a great new version of their Chameleon application (version 2) for Mac OS. It offers all of the important features and leak protection settings that you will find with the VPNArea Windows app.
Here is the new VPNArea Mac OS app (version 2):
Unfortunately at this time, the Mac OS app (version 2) is still in beta. But the VPNArea support team told me that the full version should be released out of BETA soon.
You can still use the stable version 1 of the VPNArea app, however, which I tested below. While the design is not as good as the new app, version 1 still performed fine in testing.
Here I am running a leak test with VPNArea’s version 1 Mac OS app (no leaks were found):
Above you can see the VPN server I am using in Canada, along with the custom DNS resolvers I set in the application. The WEBRTC result is just a local address (not a leak).
Note: I will update this VPNArea review when the new Mac OS app version 2 is released out of beta. Until then, Mac OS users can go with the version 1 of the app or IKEv2 (manual configuration). Both should offer excellent performance and no leaks, with the big difference being the new design/layout.
VPNArea for Netflix, streaming, and torrenting
VPNArea is an ideal choice for anyone wanting to stream media and/or torrent (P2P downloads).
They offer dedicated servers for various streaming services. There are a few different regional hubs that provide access for:
- BBC iPlayer
- Amazon Prime
- SkyGo Italy
VPNArea is one of the best VPNs for Netflix because it continues to provide good access to the service without getting blocked. However, one drawback is that there are only a few of these access hubs for Netflix (US and Europe).
Within the VPNArea app you can find a large number of servers that are designated for P2P (torrenting) downloads. These servers are optimized to provide plenty of bandwidth for large downloads.
Unlike with many VPN providers, VPNArea does not limit or restrict torrent traffic. This is another advantage of using VPNArea for torrenting, in addition to their offshore jurisdiction and zero logs policy. (VPNArea is currently one of the top recommendations in the best VPN for torrenting guide.)
VPNArea has a large server network which should provide you with a fast and reliable server no matter where you are located in the world.
They currently have servers in 70 different countries.
Another benefit of VPNArea’s server network is that there is plenty of available bandwidth. You can see bandwidth and server stats in both the applications and in the member’s area of their website.
VPNArea’s server network now also supports the IKEv2 VPN protocol.
While IKEv2 is not open source, like OpenVPN, it is still considered secure and can be used on most operating systems without third-party apps. Another benefit with IKEv2 is that it is less CPU-intensive in comparison to OpenVPN.
You will likely experience the best performance with the IKEv2 protocol, which is easy to setup with most operating systems.
No Log Files.
We do not monitor, record or store logs for any single customer’s VPN activity. We do not monitor, record or store any login dates, timestamps, incoming and outgoing IP addresses, bandwidth statistics or any other identifiable data of any VPN users using our VPN servers.
After reading through all of VPNArea’s policies, I did not find anything alarming.
If you are looking for a no-logs VPN service that checks all the right boxes with customer privacy and data security, then VPNArea would be an excellent choice.
VPNArea speed test
I tested a number of different servers for this VPNArea review and overall the speeds were excellent.
While I have seen a few different complaints about VPNArea’s speeds in the past, I did not experience any speed problems whatsoever in the latest round of tests (June 2018). My benchmark (internet provider) speed for testing was 100 Mbps and my physical testing location was in Germany.
VPNArea speed with nearby servers
With nearby servers I could consistently get 70-90 Mbps – these were excellent results. Here I’m testing a VPNArea server in Denmark and getting 86 Mbps download:
Here was another test with a nearby server in France: 76 Mbps download:
I also tested a few other nearby servers and the results were always excellent. While there are many factors that affect VPN speed, VPNArea performed among the fastest VPNs I have tested.
VPNArea also did well with long-distance speed testing. I tested out a number of different servers in the US and Canada and could usually get between 45 and 60 Mbps. Considering the long distance, these are great speeds.
Here is a speed test with a VPNArea server in New York:
VPNArea did well in all speed tests for this review. It performed much better in this latest round of testing than in previous reviews.
Note: I performed all tests using 256-bit OpenVPN. You could likely get even faster results by using the IKEv2 protocol (which I did not test for this review).
Do you want a VPN that will give you great speeds? VPNArea would be a solid choice.
Support and website
One great new addition to VPNArea is the 24/7 live chat support. You can get instant access to support through the VPNArea website in the bottom right-hand corner. I tested this out for the review and was connected to a support technician in under a minute. In all interactions I found the support staff to be helpful and professional.
In addition to the live chat support, VPNArea also offers support via email (ticket system).
VPNArea’s website is simple and easy to navigate. You can see the server status page from within the member’s area. There is also a user forum where you can post general inquiries or suggestions.
Is VPNArea recommended?
Yes. It is an excellent VPN service for privacy-conscious users that also does well with performance (speed) and streaming content.
It seems that VPNArea has made tremendous improvements with their network speeds as I verified with the latest round of testing. Their new apps are very impressive and on par with other leading VPN services.
While the Mac OS app (version 2) is still in beta, Mac users can still use version 1 or go with the IKEv2 option for an app-free VPN on your operating system.
And if you are someone who likes to stream Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other services, VPNArea remains an excellent choice. While it doesn’t offer as many Netflix servers as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, VPNArea still gets the job done with their regional hubs in Europe and the US.
VPNArea review conclusion
VPNArea remains one of the best VPNs on the market, despite being a smaller provider that does not get too much attention.
It performed well in all areas of testing for this review and remains an excellent choice with the current discount pricing and 7 day money-back guarantee.
If you value performance, privacy, and the ability to stream your favorite content, VPNArea is worth a try.