Last Updated: July 30, 2020
- Company location:: Bulgaria
- Number of servers:: 209 in 65+ countries
- Zero-log policy:: Yes
- Stealth VPN:: Available
- Double VPN:: Supported
- Ad-blocker:: Included
- Torrenting:: Supported
- Streaming:: Supported
People looking for an affordable solution with a dedicated IP address.
- Fast servers with dedicated IP addresses
- Optimized servers for P2P and streaming
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Good customer support
- No free trial
- Intermittent performance issues
- Buggy Windows app
VPNArea is a lesser-known VPN service provider founded in 2012 and based in Bulgaria. Owned by Offshore Security LTD, they have around 209 servers in more than 65 countries.
Although VPNArea doesn’t attract buzz as much as the most popular VPN service providers, we tested it and worked out the most systematic and thorough VPNArea review for you.
VPNArea offers a packed suite of privacy and security features. The company has a zero-log policy which guarantees that none of your information except your login credentials will get stored. Moreover, you can connect to 6 different devices from one subscription, simultaneously.
Let’s now take a look at other features of VPNArea:
Most of the time when you connect to a VPN, the IP address assigned to you is shared by many other users. If you’ve read any other VPNArea reviews from 2020, you must’ve noticed that the provision for dedicated IPs is the highlight of VPNArea’s services. With a little bump ranging in between $13 and $60 (depending upon your location), for one year, the subscribers can make use of the VPNArea static IP address with a private server to their name. This is a premium feature and not that many VPN providers offer this service.
VPNArea owns and operates its own DNS servers, even though they’re only about 200 in number. Out of reach of invasive jurisdictions, VPNArea has its headquarters in Bulgaria and operates its central servers from Switzerland. The company maintains zero traffic logs, you can rest assured that your sensitive data is not being collected.
Moreover, with the bug bounty program, VPNArea has ensured that configuration errors that might have slipped past the developers get fixed by the user community and that there are no stones left unturned. Their servers are calibrated to share one IP address (per server) which means poor performance but is great news for privacy.
A killswitch is a unique VPN feature that is responsible for isolating your device from the web until the VPN connection is fully established or restored. VPNArea offers this feature for Mac OS X, Android, and Windows. With this feature, there is no possibility of accidentally exposing your identity, ensuring that your anonymity never gets compromised — something that all security enthusiasts have appreciated in their reviews of VPNArea.
Online ads have always been a constant source of grievance for media consumers. A standalone VPN can’t block all online ads. All it can do is offer limited protection against ad tracking and malware.
VPNArea, on the other hand, handles online ads by blocking (or redirecting) DNS requests to advertisers’ servers. If you’ve read any other VPNArea reviews, you know that this means no longer having to deal with malicious pop-ups and annoying auto-playing videos.
Split tunneling protocols or ‘stunneling’ allows you to avail VPNArea’s obfuscated VPN servers which can bypass the firewalls and conceal the use of VPN service from your ISP or the government.
The feature lets you access different security domains while alleviating bottlenecks and conserving bandwidth. Your data will be routed through an encrypted tunnel which will actively prevent snooping and hacker interventions.
With this enabled, you can use a web service from a local IP address and still stream foreign movies or download media without having to experience any drop in your data speed.
VPNArea Advanced Features
Stepping up the technicalities, let’s take a sneak-peek into the more advanced features of VPNArea.
P2P and BitTorrent
Users who share files regularly would be delighted to know that VPNArea has provisions for BitTorrent and P2P on most of its servers, which are optimized for high download speeds. The only servers (countries) which are devoid of P2P are:
- United Kingdom
- The Isle of Man
The VPNArea Chameleon, an OpenVPN-based protocol, is the tool’s primary one. The app also offers other protocols too but they aren’t that reliable. OpenVPN, which banks on the concrete SSL encryption system, is the standard protocol followed in the industry.
PPTP (among other protocols in VPNArea’s pocket), for instance, features only the most primitive encryption mechanism and can pose numerous security risks — a point of concern for those who are worried about their sessions being hijacked.
Protection from IP Leaks
After multiple tests using various servers, we found no IP or DNS leaks while using VPNArea on any connection type. When you use an application that makes use of IPv6 or WebRTC, you risk unmasking your true IP address (even while using a VPN, obviously).
Even the most high-end VPN services sometimes suffer leaks when on IPv6. It’s honestly surprising that VPNArea suffered no leaks of any kind at any time, even when we were switching in between servers.
The company prides itself on providing the best in class encryption implementation to its users. On the control channel, VPNArea uses RSA 4096 handshake with HMAC SHA 256 authentication regulations.
All your data is exchanged using a 256-bit AES CBC (Cipher Blocker Chaining) where the next ciphertext block is dependent on all the plaintext blocks processed up until then.
VPNArea Servers and Locations
This Bulgaria based company has 209 servers located in over 120 cities in about 70 countries. All their central servers are located in the secrecy haven of Switzerland. Although their server count falls slightly on the lower side, there are 42 VPNArea servers spread over 11 cities in the US which gives its users diversity with performance.
In determining a VPN’s speed, a lot depends on the network conditions and the distance between the user’s location and his connected virtual private network server. Determining a VPN’s speed, hence, is quite a complicated process.
With the options of making estimates using the lowest, average, and peak VPNArea speeds with all the available servers, you can compare multiple fast servers for the one which works best for you.
In our research, VPNArea’s service worked out best for the servers in the United Kingdom and Germany. VPNArea bypassed all geoblocks and handled Netflix streaming like a breeze.
The drop in speed recorded when you connect to a VPN is from the time required by the software for encryption during the exchange. In our test cases, a drop in the speed was noticed when we connected to servers beyond the above two countries (strictly geological reasons), leaving us the least impressed with the US servers.
VPNArea Privacy and Jurisdiction
As mentioned earlier, VPNArea comes under the Bulgarian jurisdiction and has its day to day servers with email exchanges hosted in Switzerland — out of reach of invasive regimes.
Bulgaria has nothing to do with any intelligence-sharing alliances like Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes. VPNs are legal. There are no restrictions whatsoever concerning internet privacy.
When it comes to retaining logs, some of the other virtual private network providers have the habit of keeping track of basic data like user count over time, and trends of logging in and out. Although these companies claim logging is required to “improve their service”, VPNArea stays extremely cautious and refrains from keeping any logs. If you wish to further improve your privacy levels, you can make use of the VPNArea static IP service. This will establish you as one with the crowd, making it impossible for your ISP and the government to differentiate you from the rest of the users.
What’s more, VPNArea has never been associated with any scandals ever since it was founded in 2012.
VPNArea Security and Protocols
Talking about the security protocols, VPNArea has to offer both PPTP and OpenVPN. Lately, as many vulnerabilities were discovered in PPTP, this protocol is no longer recommended for use by any of the VPNArea reviews. OpenVPN, on the other hand, is the standard protocol used in the industry that offers SSL encryption and has no known vulnerability.
VPNArea uses 256-bit AES to encrypt the packets for exchange over the network. It’s the same encryption algorithm that’s used by the most hyperactive governments. It’s strong enough that no brute-force exploits can ever penetrate it.
So, a military-grade encryption algorithm on top of OpenVPN sounds like the best any VPN can offer.
VPNArea Leak Test Results
The VPNArea Windows app, although a bit buggy, has a well-structured, user-friendly design. In the settings of the app, there were many features listed, among which we have DNS leak protection, and IP address leak protection.
We conducted the IP and DNS leak tests and found that the connection remained stable for the most part. There were a few instances where connections wouldn’t establish, but these issues were solved by simply restarting the application.
VPNArea has a website of its own (ipleak.org) to examine the leaks. In our tests, the website couldn’t detect the existence of a VPN. It kept testing for hours for any WebRTC leaks even when we used apps like Google Meet, Facebook Messenger that use WebRTC in the background. Guess what – there weren’t any.
VPNArea and Streaming Services
VPNArea works with all the best streaming services. Yes, they have fewer servers compared to other companies, but those limited servers are optimized to handle streaming. The company prides itself on providing its users with unlimited bandwidth – which means that even with hours of continuous streaming, you won’t experience any throttling or slowing down.
VPNArea is compatible with plug-and-play streaming devices like Amazon’s Firestick and Google Chromecast but the extent of bandwidth, in this case, is debatable.
We didn’t face any issues accessing Netflix US’s content with the VPNArea desktop application. On the VPNArea Mac and Windows applications, servers are specifically marked for their performance in certain streaming platforms. So, you can identify those servers and select them accordingly.
In our tests, VPNArea had no trouble unblocking Netflix even when we randomly switched between the servers. Streaming on other platforms like Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, etc known for their notorious geoblocks, was also a breeze and there wasn’t any noticeable lag even with high definition settings.
As visible above, VPNArea has dedicated servers for BBC iPlayer in the UK and can unblock the Netflix libraries of Italy and the USA. And although the BBC iPlayer didn’t seem to work during our tests, the VPNArea agents assured they’ll be looking into these issues.
How Good Is VPNArea for Torrenting?
Despite unprecedented attempts from top governments and ISPs in stopping the regulation of pirated games, music, and videos via P2P torrenting, it remains active and perennially popular. But using a VPN while torrenting is one of the most practical ways of remaining anonymous while you are downloading files.
A good VPN service ensures that your connection is secure and that there are no leaks at any point in time, and VPNArea does just that. It is advisable to choose from the list of VPNArea recommended P2P servers for torrenting at unlimited bandwidth as other servers that are not optimized for torrenting may lead to some throttling in speeds.
Can VPNArea Bypass Geoblocks?
Today, most websites employ geoblocking of some kind. These restrictions become more obvious if you’re visiting or residing in China or the countries in the middle east which are known for their notorious web-censorship.
VPNArea can bypass these geoblocks.
If you use the X-Stunnel VPNArea servers in these countries, your connection will be disguised as normal HTTPS traffic that flows in and out. These servers are located all across the globe and are strong enough to overcome the (in)famous Great Firewall of China.
These X-Stunnel servers are active in the US, Japan, Singapore, and of course, China, among a few other countries. So, connecting to a server close to you will affect your data speeds if you’re on a Windows or a Mac device (there’s no workaround for VPNArea Android or iOS apps).
Ease of Use
Using the VPNArea pc app, apart from a few quirks, is largely a smooth experience. The VPNArea server list has been neatly divided into multiple tabs for obfuscated VPN servers, streaming, and torrenting servers. You have the option to sort and filter the servers based on their physical distance, their maximum bandwidth, P2P sharing and streaming optimization, and their loading percentage.
You can easily toggle on or off the different VPN settings. And if you’re unsure of what you’re doing, there’re brief contextual bits that can give you a quick walk-through.
VPNArea doesn’t offer any browser extensions. That’s one of the few aspects they need to cover hastily, but overall, the user experience of VPNArea apps on all its devices is great and they are thoroughly easy to use.
There’s no knowledge base, but there is an FAQ section with information about VPNArea dedicated IP service, general troubleshooting, etc. These in-detail FAQs cover all the common issues faced by both first-time and experienced VPN users.
On the site, you will also find the option to open a new ticket. You will have to enter your details like the email ID and your name and phone number apart from the description of the issue you are facing. You can come back later to check the status of your ticket.
If you have a general query, VPNArea has agents that will be ready to solve your more problems from their 24/7 live chat service. In our experience, these agents were prompt and never took more than a minute to reply. Almost all the user-written VPNArea reviews speak highly of their customer service if nothing else.
Although the best VPN providers don’t have to be the most expensive to give you the premium experience — some of the finest vendors out there are the most affordable of the lot too. Security comes with a price tag, and VPNArea has kept it wallet-friendly and quite reasonable.
The only downside is the lack of free trial. To try it for a month, you have to shell out ten cents shy of $10. This gets better if you subscribe to their service for longer, with $4.92 per month for a year and $2.99 per month if you are willing to pay upfront for the next 3 years.
But if you’re dissatisfied with their service, you can ask for a full refund. This policy is valid for 14 days on their 1-month plan and for 30 days on the 1- and 3-year VPNArea plans.
Honestly, we at TechJury think that there aren’t enough positive VPNArea reviews. It has great features, its agents offer prompt service on live chats and even the streaming and torrenting experiences are decent. It has a very limited number of servers and sometimes establishing a connection can take forever. But with its above-par features, super-secure encryption, and logging policies, it’s definitely worth your attention.