Why do we need a Virtual Private Network? It is a question that many of us may have asked at one point. For those who are yet to experience the benefits of a VPN, we have to state that it is a revolutionary tech that can help with our digital security. As the name suggests, it’s a virtual and private network that allows connected users to remain safely hidden behind remote servers and access the internet privately.
It also secures data communication via encryption. Hence, there is no chance of someone peeking at what you’re doing on the internet. However, individual VPNs are web services. Thus, there have to be providers who offer it to regular users. DotVPN is one such vendor that we came across recently. That is why we are writing a review on DotVPN to better understand this service.
Having studied it in-depth, we didn’t find anything the VPN excels at. The company operates out of Hong Kong, which is a safer choice from a privacy point of view. But overall, the experience is poor. Be it streaming, torrenting, or bypassing blocks, the VPN is almost terrible. Having said that, given below are our detailed findings for the interested readers that can justify our lack of interest in the service.
Note — The following article is subjective. We do not recommend any particular service or product. Readers are free to visit the official DotVPN website for any additional information.
DotVPN key specs
|Connection speed||47 Mbps|
|Data logging||Zero-logging policy|
|IP, DNS, WebRTC leaks||None|
|IP addresses||Not disclosed|
|Number of simultaneous connections||5|
|Cheapest price||$2.90 over 12 months|
|Free trial||30 days (Payment information needed)|
|Money-back guarantee||30-Day money-return warranty|
Features of DotVPN
It’s time to look at the aspects that distinguish DotVPN from the competition.
Privacy and logging policy
Hailing from Hong Kong, the VPN did alright with the privacy aspect. It has also included a clear-cut no-logging policy that can allow users to have peace of mind. Here’s everything the VPN logs:
- Your email address and password
- IP address but only for 24 hours
- Your payment schedule
- Any data from tech support and comments on the website for up to two years
Although some of you may find the logging of IP addresses a red flag, it is pretty reasonable when explained. Also, it is temporary to prevent spam, fraud, or other abuse of the site and service. There is no PII (Personal Identifiable Information) within the collected data.
DotVPN chooses to provide different VPN protocols based on the platform. While it uses OpenVPN on Android, iOS has to make do with IPSec. Sadly, though, none of these apps include a much-needed VPN kill switch to ensure security. For advanced features, it offers Tor over VPN servers and that’s all. Here’s what the vendor has to offer:
- VPN protocol — L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), SSL VPN
- Encryption — AES-128, 4096-Bit Key Encryption
- Security — None
- Advanced features — Ad blocker, Tor over VPN servers
Surprisingly, DotVPN is relatively fast for a mobile-only VPN. Although its top speed can’t outmatch market leaders, being a VPN with a smaller network, it doesn’t disappoint. The local connection was smooth, and even the speed on international servers was not lacking.
While the VPN claims to offer more than 700 VPN servers, once you boot up the app, you will only find 12 locations. And even these locations are not well spread as one would expect. Most servers are in North America and Europe. Outside these locations, it has one each in Singapore and Japan. We were surprised to find that the VPN doesn’t offer any server coverage for Australia, South America, Africa, or even India.
Sadly, the VPN is a bust for streaming, as most mobile-exclusive VPNs are. It fails to bypass the geo-blocks of the most prominent streaming platforms. Although one reason can be a lack of global coverage, it surely lacks the necessary features. We also missed Smart DNS.
The VPN is horrible for torrenting. While it lacks the VPN kill switch to prevent any accidents, the servers, too, forbid any P2P traffic. Furthermore, it lacks the Port Forwarding that torrent users love.
Bypassing VPN blocks
There is no obfuscation tool available for the VPN, so forget about sidestepping VPN blocks. The service won’t work in highly censored regions, despite claiming so.
There is no 24/7 live chat support or even an email option. It has a simple text user interface that allows you to send messages and wait for a response that can sometimes take more than 24 hours.
Platform support for DotVPN
As we have explicitly expressed previously, the VPN is a mobile-only service with exclusive apps available only for Android and iOS. Although it has a Chromebook add-on, it is a simple browser extension proxy. It also has browser extensions for Opera, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.
DotVPN pricing and subscriptions
We agree that the VPN is cheaper than most. Then again it also lacks more than enough necessary features. In the same price bracket, you can get a leading vendor. However, it has two subscription choices:
- Monthly — $5 per month
- Annual — $2.9 monthly
The VPN also accepts Bitcoin as payment alongside different cryptocurrencies. Also, you can use the VPN without paying for 30 days as it has a free trial. Furthermore, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- It offers OpenVPN
- Faster than most mobile-only or browser VPNs
- Located in Hong Kong, an acceptable country for privacy
- 4096-bit encryption keys
- Zero-logs VPN
- 30-day free trial available
- No streaming
- P2P traffic blocked
- Lacks obfuscation capabilities
- A small network (700+ servers)
- No servers in many densely populated countries
- No live chat or 24/7 support
- Lacks advanced features
- Limited to the mobile platform and browsers
DotVPN is a provider from Hong Kong offering decent security and privacy but is limited to mobile devices and web browsers. It has decent encryption, solid speed (all things considered), good price, and mainstream protocols, but nothing extraordinary. It lacks support for torrenting, obfuscation, streaming, and better Customer Service.