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BlackVPN Review

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This BlackVPN review will help you better understand the Hong Kong-based VPN provider. While they are a very small provider, with just 31 servers, they are actually pretty decent in most other things. Their size, however, will always hold them back when compared to the best VPNs with thousands of servers.

They have done some great work putting together their network with bare-metal servers of their own, rather than cloud servers. They also guarantee to have no virtual locations and that all servers are actually physically in the countries they claim to be in. They are somewhat torrent-friendly, outside of the 14 eyes jurisdiction, and keep no logs.

Those are all great things, but they stumble in two areas. We have already talked about their very small number of servers, but it is also worth noting that while they are outside of the 14 eyes countries, they are in Hong Kong which is controlled by China. Some of the strictest laws governing the Internet happen in China, with monitoring and censorship being frequent. Those two facts make it hard for us to really recommend them instead of the Top 10 VPN Providers on our list.

Features

Black VPN really impresses us with their list of features, especially for such a small provider. They also are setup for use on BlackVPN with Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Linux, Android and routers.

The problem is their payment structure. The features which you get depend on the plan that you sign up for. Lower plans have fewer features, while the most expensive have the most:

  • Privacy: No access to the UK and US servers, no TV streaming. You also get unrestricted P2P/Bittorrent. 16 countries besides the UK/US.
  • TV: You can stream TV from only four location, 3 are in the US, the other is in the UK. You can not torrent or P2P on any servers.
  • Global: Every server location can stream TV from the USA and UK, and every server except those in the US/UK can torrent.

This pricing and feature structure is very unusual. Most VPN providers will allow for every feature to be accessed and pricing will change depending on the length of the contract.

They do offer some decent features though:

  • Kill switch
  • DNS leak protection
  • Open VPN with AES-256 bit encryption
  • SSL Tunnels, IPSec/L2TP or PPTP protocols are also supported
  • Seven simultaneous connections with one account
  • NAT firewall

These are great features which are all available to every payment plan.

Servers & countries

This may be BlackVPN’s biggest weakness as they only have a total of 31 servers at the time of this review. They’re in 18 countries with 20 VPN location (The USA gets 3 locations, so it’s one location per country).

Those countries include:

  • Americas: Brazil, Canada, USA
  • Europe: Czechia, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, UK
  • Asia/Oceania:  Australia, Japan

There are certainly some locations in there which help, but with such a small footprint in Asia and South America, and no servers in all of Africa, they simply do not have the server network of a high-quality provider.

Speed & reliability

BlackVPN make a claim on their website, then link to their Twitter, about claimed VPN speeds of users. This data is all at least two years old, according to the tweet datestamps, but they do show some interesting details:

We looked through their tweet history and found many similarities between all their data: These are just spikes in an otherwise average showing of performance.

Pricing & payments

Blakc VPN has one of the most complex pricing structures we’ve seen. As we stated in the features section, they break their pricing down based on what features you want:

  • Privacy, €49/year: No access to the UK and US servers, and no streaming. You also get unrestricted P2P/Bittorrent. 16 countries besides the UK/US.
  • TV, €75/year: Three streaming locations in the US, one in the UK. No torrenting.
  • Global, €99/year: Stream on any server, and torrent on every server except those in the US/UK.

These prices are in Euros, converted to USD at the time of writing, and their Global plan is $110.

For comparison, one of the top VPNs is IPVanish, and they charge $77 per year – and they’re not even the best-priced VPN we review!

That’s not all as they then break down each feature by term lengths, just to make things even more confusing:

  • Privacy: €5.00 for one month, €13.00 for 3 months access, €49.00 for 12 months
  • TV: USA only €49.00/year,UK only €49.00/year, US & UK for €75/year,
  • Global: €9.50 for 1 month, €27.00 for 3 months, €99.00 12 months access:

Absolutely convoluted and overpriced. See a VPN like Private Internet Access for a great price and even more features than BlackVPN.

Support

This is another weak aspect of BlackVPN’s service. They have no live chat, which is a hallmark of a truly great VPN. What they do have is:

  • Support tickets
  • Contact form
  • PGP/GPG key
  • FAQ

The PGP/GPG key is interesting for those who know how to use it, but whatever happened to an old fashioned email address for support?

Policies & logging

When visiting their Terms of Service page, they make something clear right off the top, that they keep:

  • No activity logs.
  • No connection logs.
  • No bandwidth logs.
  • No DNS logs.
  • No IP address logs
  • No connection timestamp logs.

They then also clearly state that they can see when a user connects and how much bandwidth they use, but that this is erased when the user disconnects. They also keep your email address and payment records. Their no-log policy is solid.

They state that they do not log anything, but will work with law enforcement if given the correct subpoena. If they truly log nothing then they will have nothing to give to the police. They operate in Hong Kong and follow the laws governed there. Again, Hong Kong is under China’s jurisdiction, so be cautious in how much trust you put into this.

Refunds are given within 14 days of the purchase, no questions asked. Those whose accounts are terminated for violating their terms of service will not get a refund. Violations include:

  • Sending spam
  • Hacking
  • Harming others
  • Downloading on the US or UK servers

They also state that downloading copyrighted material is against their ToS, and they could track the user responsible and ban them if they get too many DMCA notices.

Expert recommendation

BlackVPN looks like a great VPN on the surface, but further digging makes us not particularly fond of them. Namely:

  • They are located in Hong Kong, which is controlled by China.
  • Their pricing structure, and the prices themselves, are outrageous.
  • They have a very low server count, and little word-wide footprint.

This BlackVPN review was tough to write as they looked good at first glance, but the more we looked the more we found aspects of their service which we did not like. We can not recommend them at this time, and urge you to look at our list of the Top 5 VPN Providers instead.

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How Do We Rate VPNs?

Our ratings for blackvpn review are based on our professional experience and extensive tests with VPN providers between April 2014 – July 2014, taking into account user feedback and reviews we receive. As a friendly disclosure, some VPN providers do compensate us for customers we refer them, but this in no way effects their ranking on our website, nor our reviews.

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