Public Wi-Fi networks and internet-enabled devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets, are a practical combination that allow us to access online applications pretty much anywhere we are. The number of free Wi-Fi services available around the world continues increasing and nowadays, it is possible to connect to internet using mobile devices in places like airports, coffee shops, public transport and hotels. Being able to access internet on the go is incredibly convenient, but it is important to keep in mind that public Wi-Fi networks can also represent a risk for the security of our data.
Since Wi-Fi hotspots are often open and unsecure, It is easier for malicious eavesdroppers to intercept the connection and steal your personal information when you attempt to connect to these networks. One of the best ways to stay safe while connecting to a free Wi-Fi, is using a VPN service. The VPN will provide a high level of protection by redirecting your traffic through a secure, private network even if you are using a public one. This is a versatile solution that not only provides security for your data, but that also protects your privacy and gives you the possibility to remain anonymous online.
Furthermore, a VPN can ensure that your online browsing experience is truly enjoyable and flexible, because it allows you to bypass censorship and geo-location restrictions. The security, privacy and anonymity that you can experience with a VPN, make it a crucial tool for users who want to protect their information and defend their online freedom. Whether you connect from your home computer (where you are also exposed to security risks) or from your mobile device using a public network, you can always rely on the protection that a VPN service offers.
There are many providers available, but since anonymity is one of the main reasons why users choose to use a VPN, providers that accept Bitcoin as a method of payment are preferred by many. EarthVPN is in the list of options that support this anonymous payment solution and it also offers additional features that will appeal to security concerned people. EarthVPN is based in Northern Cyprus and it counts with the support and advanced technology of one of the leading internet service providers in the region. The company offers a wide range of solutions that are backed up with the solid experience of its team.
Affordability, commitment to privacy protection and a good set of features, are aspects that have earned EarthVPN the attention of many customers. This provider is building its name with a conveniently priced service that helps users to stand against online surveillance and internet censorship. We are taking a look at this relatively new provider in the VPN industry, to help you decide if it is the option that better suits your needs.
EarthVPN supports a diversity of advanced features for those who require a high level of security, but it has also managed to keep things simple for new customers. Their services are organized in a plan that includes everything required for basic and effective VPN protection and the price changes depending on the length of your subscription. Advanced options are available for an additional fee, but the core service is available for a very reasonable price. If you get the basic package, the monthly cost is as low as $3.99 USD and for a full year, you only pay $39.99 USD.
You can also set a subscription for three months for just $10.99, six months for $20.99 and if you want to be covered by EarthVPN for two years, you just need to pay $77.99, which is incredibly convenient and means that the monthly price of your VPN service would be around $3.25. Whether you select a monthly or a biennially subscription, you will enjoy all the features that EarthVPN’s standard plan supports. You can access P2P/torrents and switch between all the servers in their network, which will allow you to access content from any website, online service or social media app, no matter where in the world you are located.
Since you can bypass any restrictions imposed by your ISP, government or other parties, you will be able to watch TV shows, stream videos or chat with people from around the world. In terms of security, EarthVPN offers PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN with encryption level of 128-bit AES and 2048 RSA key authentication. It is possible to enable Socks proxy/SSH tunnelling protocol for an additional cost of $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. If you wish to get a higher level or security for your connection, you can upgrade to 256-bit AES encryption from $1.99 per month. Port Forwarding is also available for the same cost.
EarthVPN’s service is compatible with a wide selection of platforms including Windows, Linux, OS X, Android and iOS. You can set up the service in your desktop, laptop, iDevices, Android smartphone or tablet, as well as DD-WRT/Tomato Routers, which will enable you to share the VPN connection with your SmartTVs, gaming consoles or Boxee Box. There are software clients for Windows and Mac OS, meaning that users of these operating systems can easily connect to EarthVPN after downloading it. Other platforms such as Linux, Android and iOS require manual configuration, but EarthVPN’s website provides detailed guides that will help you to set up the service on any device.
Bear in mind that the option to connect using multiple devices including your smartphone or tablet, is available as an add-on and you will have to pay $1.99 per month or $19.99 for it. This will allow you to connect to up to three devices at the simultaneously, but they all have to be connected via the same modem/IP address. A single account cannot be used at multiple locations, but you can get a second account for your mobile device at a discounted price.
The dedicated software clients don’t include options like kill switch or server status information, but their interface is very easy to use, which is an advantage for less experienced users. Once you enter your login details, you will be able to customize your connection by choosing the protocol, port, country and server that you prefer. Although we had issues trying to access certain servers (particularly in Europe), in general, EarthVPN is reliable and we didn’t experience disconnections while using the service.
The speed results were not consistent and in certain cases you may notice a considerable slowdown in the connection when using OpenVPN, but this depends on the server selected. The website offers a useful speed test section, where you can find the download/ upload speeds for any server available. Overall, we found EarthVPN’s performance satisfactory in most cases and we hope that they fix the connection issues that affect some of their servers.
The best VPN providers are known for offering a no logging policy that guarantees the privacy of your connection. As expected, EarthVPN promises to respect and to protect your data. Although basic personal information is collected when you sign up (which is the standard practice amongst VPN providers), EarthVPN clearly states that it doesn’t keep any logs and it doesn’t monitor your activity at all. However, it is important to keep in mind that if they receive any notification from law enforcement relating to criminal activity involving EarthVPN’s IPs, they reserve the right to investigate the matter.
We came across posts on blogs and forums that refer to supposed security issues and cases in which EarthVPN’s users who broke the law, were identified in spite of the no logging policy offered by the company, but the truth is that there doesn’t seem to be any support for these claims. In the end, the main thing to remember is that unless you are using EarthVPN for illegal purposes, there is no reason to be concerned. There are no data retention laws in their jurisdiction and they are committed to offer online anonymity, flexibility and security for legitimate users.
Location and Performance
EarthVPN has serves in 151 locations across 32 countries including Panama, India, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, United States, Australia and Brazil. The fact that you get access to this diversity of options, means that you can effectively bypass censorship and enjoy content freely, anywhere in the world. EarthVPN offers dynamic IP address by default, but you can get a static (dedicated) IP address, again, for an extra fee.
Unfortunately, EarthVPN doesn’t offer live chat and the ticket system service is not as efficient as it should be. Their reply was helpful, but it took several hours which doesn’t provide the best customer experience, particularly when you are dealing with technical issues. There is a useful FAQ section, excellent configuration guides and a decent knowledge base, but we feel that EarthVPN should invest more in customer service if it truly wants to establish a strong reputation and sense of trust amongst its users.
EarthVPN’s stands out for offering very reasonable prices and a good quality service for the most part. The pricing structure is clear and places EarthVPN as one of the cheapest options available, making it an ideal solution for those who are not familiar with VPN services, and want to select a plan without any complications. EarthVPN represents great value for money for most users, but if you are looking for advanced features, the price will increase considerably as they are only available as add-ons.
Even so, the basic service includes features that will satisfy the majority of customers for a price that can’t be beaten. They accept bitcoin, have a 7-day money back guarantee, an easy to use software and a rich selection of servers. Regardless of the issues with the customer support and the availability of certain servers (which we hope are addresses promptly), EarthVPN is definitely an option that should be taken into consideration.