When an old co-worker first started using a VPN, they purchased what they thought was good deal: a FastestVPN subscription.
At the time, they couldn’t get the VPN to connect whatsoever. After spending a few hours going back-and-forth with FastestVPN’s support team via email (and live chat), the old co-worker ended up calling it a loss, as all the support team could tell them was: “Well, it’s working fine from our side…”
The thing is – they weren’t the only one with the issue:
But this was quite some time ago and FastestVPN reportedly made some upgrades for 2020. We were interested to find out whether the service (and support) improved at all since the above discussed nightmarish introduction.
And of course, we’ll be sharing our findings with you in this review.
FastestVPN Review Overview
- Fast Speeds recorded on UK server
- Connect up to 10 devices and use them simultaneously
- Unblock\'s Netflix and iPlayer
- 36 month plan - $1.11 per month ($39.95 total cost)
- 12 month plan - $2.5 per month ($29.95 total cost)
- 1 month plan - $10.00 per month ($10.00 total cost)
Take a look at How We Rate VPN Providers!
How FastestVPN Compares to the Competition
The first step is always checking where a VPN is based. The FastestVPN website is a bit buggy – scrolling is choppy, making things difficult to read – but we quickly discovered the VPN claims to be located in the Cayman Islands.
However, we also discovered more than a few VPN providers lie about their location. This is especially true when the company is based in a 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes jurisdiction but claims to be in a privacy-friendly country… such as the Cayman Islands.
So we started digging a little deeper.
First, we checked the Page Source to see whether there was any Google Analytics code. This code includes the internationally recognized abbreviated country code, showing where the website owner is based. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any Google Analytics coding (even though FastestVPN claims to use it).
We then did a WhoIS check for the website. Sometimes this will give you the country of registration, but no luck this time.
So we checked the Page Information instead, clicked on “View Certificate” under the Security tab… and found this:
It’s probably safe to assume Cloudflare doesn’t own FastestVPN. At the very least, we can’t find anything to suggest they do!
But this does leave us with a bit of a sticky situation, as we can’t verify FastestVPN’s location.
While we’re tempted to give the provider the benefit of the doubt, we also prefer to err on the side of caution.
However, you’ll notice “FastestVPN also uses Google Analytics, Hotjar and Livechat software,” which means there’s at least some information being logged anytime you visit their website.
There’s also no mention of passwords being stored, but once you set up an account and login on the website, your password and payment method are both recorded there.
The provider is also stingy on details regarding the third-parties it’s partnered with. All we know is “It may be, but is not limited to, promotional offers” (emphasis ours)… which again indicates at least some information is being logged:
The only hint FastestVPN is recording this information at all is found in the FAQ section:
Once again, while we’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, we have to err on the side of caution.
Military-Grade Encryption, but VPN Protocols Need Update
Unfortunately, this is the only information their website offers. You need to pay for a subscription, download and install the app, click “Menu > Settings” to see what the “and more” VPN protocols refers to.
On the plus side, you can switch between UDP, TCP, or IKEv2, with IKEv2 being the default. (L2TP and PPTP are too unsecured to be included as positives).
However, if you want to use OpenVPN – generally recognized as the most secure option – you need to download the open-source OpenVPN GUI and manually configure it to connect to FastestVPN. This involves reaching out to the provider’s support team.
Overall, we think FastestVPN’s 2020 update should have focused more on security and less on a flashy new user interface.
Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, DNS Leak Protection
Coming back to a spark of good news, the update did at least include one overdue security upgrade: the inclusion of an automatic kill switch.
We’re glad to see this, as the kill switch is an important security feature that should always be on by default.
FastestVPN also offers a few other great features, including split tunneling (which allows you to create exceptions for running some of your internet traffic via your normal connection) and the super-important DNS leak protection:
However, it is worth mentioning several users complained about IP and DNS leaks. We weren’t able to replicate the issue at first, but once we re-enabled WebRTC in our browser, we immediately started experiencing sporadic leaks.
This means you need to disable your browser’s WebRTC if you want to benefit from the “built-in DNS leak protection.”
Limited TOR Compatibility
FastestVPN doesn’t offer any sort of Double VPN feature, also known as a Multi-Hop. This is unfortunate, as it’s a great option to have if you want to double your encryption and halve the chances of someone discovering your real IP address.
The alternative we typically recommend is using The Onion Router. This free proxy browser reroutes your connection via 3 “nodes,” adding a little bit of encryption and completely spoofing your location. It’s not as good as a Double VPN feature however, and you should use the TOR-over-VPN method if you want to stay secure.
Unfortunately, FastestVPN is extremely slow when connected to TOR – slower than usual – to the point of usability being basically impossible. So TOR-over-VPN is not a likely option here either.
Very Small Server Park
We don’t have an exact number, but FastestVPN seems to only have “150+” servers in “31+” countries.
You have to hunt for this information on the website, as the number is only given on the Pricing tab and seems to be roughly accurate based on their Server/Host Name List. This latter page can only be found via the FAQ section, it seems.
As for “31+” countries, only 30 are listed anywhere on the site.
We counted the same number in the app, so we don’t know where that extra 1+ is supposed to be found.
This is another series of negatives for FastestVPN. Not only is their server park incredibly small (even if the “250+” claim given by some of our competitors is true), but it seems you can’t even trust the provider to be honest about the number of countries they’re found in.
One reason a small server park is a negative is it can result in poor VPN speeds. We go into greater detail in our post What Is The Fastest VPN. Spoiler alert – FastestVPN doesn’t even make the top 10!
In brief, however, it has to do with network congestion. This happens when too many users are sharing a server and it has to operate at (or close to) maximum capacity. As a result, performance drops and speed suffers.
Network congestion isn’t the only issue that can negatively affect VPN speed, however, so we put some effort into accounting for such things when doing our tests.
With that said, here’s how FastestVPN performed:
Surprisingly, FastestVPN offered above average speeds for the UK servers we tested.
Device Compatibility and Connections
FastestVPN offers an impressive list of compatible devices:
- Smart TVs
- Fire Stick/Android Box
- Chrome (browser extension)
- Firefox (browser extension)
There isn’t an app for any of them, but the page does mention being able to use FastestVPN on gaming consoles too. This is likely via a router setup.
You also get up to 10 simultaneous connections, which is about double the industry standard. This is definitely one of the few things FastestVPN has gotten 100% right.
One thing we do want to note, however, is Mac users may want to steer clear of FastestVPN entirely. Some users reported their system freezing and needing to be restored from a backup disk after installing FastestVPN:
We were unable to replicate this issue, but you do need to be aware of it. Err on the side of caution by taking a look at our guide on the Best VPNs for Mac.
Subscription Plans and Pricing
Typically, FastestVPN only offers 3 different pricing tiers:
- 1 Month – $10
- 1 Year – $29.95
- 3 Years – $39.95
However, at the time of writing, the provider is running a limited time offer for a 5 Year Plan at $49.95 ($44.95 if you click the yellow arrow to apply the extra coupon):
As for payment methods, some VPN review sites mention cryptocurrency as an option. However, only credit cards and PayPal are offered when purchasing a subscription.
It’s possible you can access additional methods like cryptocurrency by talking to FastestVPN’s support. Unfortunately, we cannot confirm this, as the support team is consistently ignoring our attempts at contacting them.
While FastestVPN proudly promotes itself as a viable option for streaming any service from any location, reality proves otherwise.
The provider claims to work with BBC iPlayer and Kodi, but makes no such promises for Netflix. This is ironic, as we were unable to access either of the two promised streaming services, but had success with Netflix US and Hulu via the Miami (Florida) US server.
Unfortunately, none of the other Netflix regions worked.
Part of the problem is such services are using robust anti-VPN software. More relevant to this review, another part of the problem is, while some VPNs still work for streaming, others don’t, but promise to.
If streaming is a major motivation behind searching for a VPN, we suggest checking the following guides for better options:
FastestVPN allows Peer-to-Peer (P2P) connections and even has specialized Unix-based torrenting servers to make this easier for users:
We were able to confirm these servers do the job as advertised, though the speeds weren’t all that fantastic. Still, if you’re not doing a lot of file-sharing, it works well enough. If you’re a heavy torrentor, however, you’ll want to use one of the Best Torrenting VPNs instead.
Usability and Support
As mentioned in the introduction to this review, when an old co-worker first tried to use FastestVPN a few years ago, it was a nightmarish experience. The installation took forever, they had to log in multiple times, and they couldn’t connect at all.
They weren’t alone in this either. Here’s another user review, from just before the update:
Unfortunately, the same was almost true this time around. We had to attempt downloading the app several times before it was successful, and the setup file kept getting tagged as “unsafe” by Windows Defender.
We were also required to restart our PC – a big pet peeve.
That said, the installation process was pretty quick and we were able to establish a connection.
Overall, the usability upgrades are a nice touch, but we feel FastestVPN focused too much on appearance and not nearly enough on function.
There are still a few things you need to manually tweak (like enabling the killswitch) before the VPN is safe to use.
EDIT: During the editing of this review, we did have success in reaching an agent through FastestVPN’s live chat. The support agent we spoke to was friendly and prompt, and confirmed cryptocurrency is not a payment option. We’re happy with this development and happy to give FastestVPN credit where credit is due.
How to Cancel FastestVPN and Get Your Money Back
However, the Terms of Service say you cannot cancel an active FastestVPN subscription:
Refunds have to be requested via email within 15 days of purchase… whether you get one, however, seems to be an entirely different story:
All-in-all, our experience with FastestVPN was pretty much the same: a nightmare. You’d be well-advised to stay clear.
How much does FastestVPN cost per month?
FastestVPN costs $10 per month.
Does FastestVPN work for Netflix?
Yes, but only with the USA Netflix specialized servers and the Florida server.
Is FastestVPN legitimate?
Furthermore, several users complained their refund requests are either denied or ignored despite complying with FastestVPN’s Terms of Service and refund policy.
Is FastestVPN a good VPN?
No. There are several issues with the features and functionality, as well as several more concerning issues as detailed in the previous FAQ entry.
Does FastestVPN hide My IP address?
Yes, FastestVPN is able to hide your IP address provided you have WebRTC disabled in your browser.
Does FastestVPN charge monthly?
Yes, though there are also 1-year and 3-year subscription options.
Is FastestVPN a zero-logs VPN?
Can you cancel FastestVPN anytime?
No. The Terms of Service reveal “No cancellation of the current account is allowed during active subscription period.”
Is FastestVPN safe in China?