BlackVPN

Price Range:
€4.90 to €9.90 Per Month – Visit Site

We we’re very pleased when testing out Hong Kong based, medium sized VPN service provider, BlackVPN. They don’t have a huge amount of servers but the speeds are excellent and they have a solid privacy policy with an honest service agreement. The service is straight forward without any special features but they do offer varied packages to cater to specific needs, while also catering to advanced users and applications.

They have a strong following and positive reviews from many users in Europe for having high performing and stable streaming servers and quality customer service, so we decided to give them a try and see how BlackVPN did overall when compared to other VPN services.

Features:

BlackVPN offers a small server list, but they manage each one and ensure high bandwidth to match their unlimited transfer rate. A total of 12 servers located in Canada, USA, UK, Switzerland, Panama, Lithuania, Netherlands, Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Singapore and Luxembourg are available but depending the package you pick, you may have a limited access, we will go over those in detail in the pricing overview. All packages allow for 3 simultaneous connections at this time.

There’s no bells and whistles with BlackVPN, they don’t offer any software and opt for OpenVPN as their standard connection protocol and we are all for that. We often advise in our reviews and posts that OpenVPN is the superior VPN protocol at this time in terms of security and privacy. OpenVPN should be favored when possible, so we have no problem with that, L2TP/IPSec and PPTP can also be used.

The setup tutorials are one of the best features offered right off the BlackVPN website. They offer visual guides to video guides for all platforms including iOS, Androis and router firmware such as DD-WRT and pfSense. Linux users will be pleased to know they also have complete step by step tutorials to help them get connected. The guides range from beginner to advanced users.

BlackVPN also offers pre-configured VPN routers running on dd-wrt. The routers include 1 year of BlackVPN service and just like the regular VPN packages, you have the choice between their different service types which we will go over in detail under the pricing overview later on. The advantages of using a VPN router are immense, it allows you to keep devices like Apple TV, Boxee or gaming consoles, Xbox, Playstation, Wii U and such behind the VPN connection at all times. Pretty much anything connected to the router is behind the tunnel automatically.

Security:

Opting for OpenVPN when using BlackVPN provides a solid AES-256 4096-bit key, which is the highest encryption level possible. We suggest a minimum of 1024-bit encryption for a good balance between speed and security, but with BlackVPN, we w’re reminded that it is possible to have the best of both worlds, as we did not suffer much speed loss with the higher encryption. L2TP/IPSec was also tested and worked well while providing solid stability. Using OpenVPN remains the most secure and private way to use your VPN connection and with the solid servers offered by BlackVPN, it is the way to go.

We love BlackVPN’s honest privacy policy. They have a 0-log policy that is well enforced, but just like all other VPN services, some of their servers are prone to DMCA takedowns. Instead of brushing off the topic, they clearly state that US, UK and SG servers are off bound for P2P. Due to possible copyright violation notices, BlackVPN must comply by temporarily monitoring IP activity and forwarding the copyright violation notice to the user while terminating their account.  This is something that most VPN providers do as a necessity to retain your privacy, by not giving out your private information, but still taking action on the copyright violation, ensuring they don’t get shut down due to DMCA takedowns.

Speed:

BlackVPN has an impressive little collection of servers in terms of speed and stability. Their TV streaming servers located in the US, UK and Singapore are all extremely fast but we didn’t find the rest of the global packages to be very slow either. Streaming good quality image was not difficult and after testing over a week, we did not suffer from any server overload during any possible peak times.

Using global servers, the speeds remained impressive. The further the location, the slower it naturally god but on average we we’re hitting anywhere from 80-90% of our full bandwidth on a 25Mbit connection, which is always impressive using a 2048-bit encryption key. The service was stable and also tested for P2P, and we found to have suffered from very little amount of connection drops.

Pricing:

BlackVPN offers different packages for different needs, allowing users to select a tailored service at discounted price while still having the choice of a global package that includes the full server list. Along with that, a single server connection package is offered where you get to pick which Country/server you want at lower cost. Along with a total of 4 packages, BlackVPN also offers 2 models of pre-configured routers with dd-wrt and 1 year of included VPN service. The same 4 packages are offered but include both the cost of the router and the 1-year service fee.

Privacy Package

Price: 1 Month for €5 – 3 Months for €13 – 1 Year for €49
Servers: Switzerland, Panama, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Canada, Luxembourg and Netherlands

This is the package best fit for safe and anonymous browsing as well as P2P users. We would suggest also staying off the Canada server by preference is downloading or sharing copyright materiel on P2P networks. These locations offer the best possibly log free policy service.

TV Package

Price: 1 Month for €7.50 – 3 Months for €20 – 1 Year for €75
Servers: United States, United Kingdom, Singapore

These servers are strategically placed to offer you the best in broadcasting offered online while supporting super-fast speeds for all the streaming you want. The servers are certainly solid after testing streaming all the way up to high definition quality.

Global Package

Price: 1 Month for €9.50 – 3 Months for €27 – 1 Year for €99
Servers: All Servers

This package simple combines BlackVPN’s Privacy and TV packages, giving you access to their full server list. Ultimately, the only difference between each package is the server list.

Single Package

Price: 1 Month for €5 – 3 Months for €13 – 1 Year for €49
Servers: Choice of 1 between US, UK, Canada, Singapore, Netherlands or Switzerland

BlackVPN also offers a budget package for those who really only need access to a single server location. The price is not drastically cheaper and identical to the Privacy Package, which gives little benefit unless you need one of the video streaming locations.

BlackVPN VPN Routers

Each package is also offered with a pre-configured VPN router of your choice, the price ranges from €99 to €149 with the choice between a Cisco Linksys E900 or the Asus RT-AC56U which handles speeds of 25Mbps on VPN but also costs an additional €90

Customer Service:

First let’s say that BlackVPN’s customer service is top notch, cordial and attentive but we did find a few spots that needed improvement with the website and information provided. The information and help provided was concise and response time was extremely quick. BlackVPN has implemented an online chat available directly on the website, always available at the bottom right, allowing you to get support in an instant. The online set-up guides also deserve props for being very well presented and easy to use.

Conclusion:

Although not a very large network compared to many other providers we have tested, BlackVPN provided impressive results in terms of speed and we really appreciate the honest privacy policy enforced. The website can be a little bit more user friendly but remains very easy to browse and signup. The tutorials are extensive and cater to a large audience. They seem to have a following of loyal customers based mostly in Europe and rate as one of the best small-medium sized VPN services we have tested.

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