Shellfire is focused on simplicity and while the service falls short when it comes to advanced features, it will get the attention of people who want strong security and privacy. This is thanks to the fact that this German VPN provider doesn’t keep any logs and it offers a high level of encryption. The software is easy to use and it is designed to help you to navigate the internet securely and to unblock content that is not available in your location. Shellfire improves the security of your connection and that helps you to defeat geo-blocks in order to access websites. It also has an appealing free service.
Privacy and Security
The protocols supported are OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. Shellfire offers different levles of encryption, depending on the plan selected. If you are subscribed to the Premier Plus plan, Shellfire offers OpenVPN with AES 256-CBC. Premium customers get OpenVPN with AES-192-CBC, while the free plan provides AES-128-CBC. They use 2048 bit RSA keys and certificates, as well as DHE for forward secrecy. While the level of encryption offered to Premium Plus customers is the strongest, the protection available to other plans should be enough for most cases. As usual, make sure that you opt for OpenVPN whenever available because this is the most secure protocol. L2TP/IPSec is the second best choice, while PPTP is the least secure one.
As previously mentioned, Shellfire is a no logs provider, which makes it an attractive solution for those concerned about how their online data is handled. No activity or connection logs are kept as the company has decided to take advantage of the unclear data retention policy that is currently valid in Germany. That being said, the laws that protect privacy may change in the future and there are reasons to think that Germany is not exactly the best location for a VPN. After all, the BND, which is the German intelligence service, is known for its surveillance practices and it works on cooperation with the NSA and the GCHQ. Still, Shellfire is committed to keep its customers’ data safe and to update them about any changes. They also accept Bitcoin as method of payment and allow P2P in selected servers.
There is dedicated VPN clients for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. Having custom software and mobile apps for the most popular platforms makes the installation process easier. In addition, Shellfire offers guides for manual setup on these and other platforms that support OpenVPN, PPTP and IPSec. In order to start using the free service, only your email address is required, but if you opt for one of the paid plans, you would need to provide additional information for billing purposes. If preferred you can pay using Bitcoin, which will enhance your anonymity.
While Shellfire’s VPN client is fairly basic, but it offers good performance and it ensures that your real IP address remains hidden. Although there are no advanced features available, the service is effective when it comes to keeping your online traffic protected from eavesdroppers, hackers and other threats. In addition, it allows you to bypass geo-restrictions. Shellfire can help you to unblock content from popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Netflix, although given the changing nature of Netflix’s geographical blocks, the service is not guaranteed to work as a way to access Netflix US from other locations.
They have servers in 31 countries including Finland, Ireland, Chile, Iceland, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, Hong Kong, Greece, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Hungary and Australia. The speeds of the service are generally good, although the results would depend on factors like the server selected, the level of encryption and the location you are connecting from. Shellfire only allows one connection at a time, which is a bit disappointing since most people have multiple devices that need to be secured with a VPN. Still, you can use a router to connect all your devices and in fact, Shellfire offers its own portable VPN router called Shellfire box that allows you to connect as many devices as needed.
The free plan allows you to connect to servers in Germany and the United States. It has a speed limit of 1000 per second. The Premium plan costs €4 per month (about $4.50 at the time of writing), but if you subscribe for a full year, the monthly cost is reduced to €2.90, which at the moment is around $3.25 USD. This plan gives you access to servers in 20 countries and a speed limit of up to 12000 kb/sec. The most complete option is the Premium Plus plan, which offers unlimited speed, access to servers in all the countries supported (31) and the highest level of encryption. This price of this plan is €8 per month ($9.84 USD) or €5 per month ($5.58), if you pay for one year in advance. All plans offer unlimited traffic.
The website offers manual setup guides and a brief FAQ that covers different aspects of the service. To contact Shellfire, you can use the email and web form support, or reach out to them via their social media profiles. There is also a live chat, but its availability is limited. Support is offered in English and German and they reply to questions in a professional and efficient manner.
Overall, Shellfire is a decent VPN solution to keep your information protected, particularly when you are connected to the internet using public WiFi. The service is very simple, but that may be ideal for users who are just getting started in the world of VPNs. The encryption is good for most purposes and no IP leaks were detected. In addition, the no logs policy will attract many customers. We’d like to see support for more simultaneous connections in the future and possibly. After all, it is possible to find cheaper VPN services that support up to 5 simultaneous connections for a lower price.