VPNbook review: Is it safe to use in 2023?


author: Jeremy Roderick

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: July 29, 2023

The world of digital security is like an ever-evolving maze. A space where every step taken brings new threats and innovations. And with each innovation, there emerges a new ray of hope for netizens who wish to keep their browsing activities private, their personal information safe, and their freedom of access unabridged. One such ray of hope, albeit with mixed reviews, is VPNbook. It’s about time we critically examine this free VPN service and see if it lives up to the hype.

Summary of Key Features

💞 PriceFree
📆 Money-back guaranteeN/A
📝 Does the VPN keep logs?Unknown
🖥 Number of servers6
🛡 Kill switchUnknown
🗺 HeadquartersSwitzerland
🛠 SupportNone
📥 Torrent supportYes
🎥 Streaming service supportNo

Security and Encryption

One of the most crucial features of any VPN service is its ability to provide robust security and encryption. The primary purpose of a VPN, after all, is to secure your data transmission over the internet and make it nearly impossible for prying eyes to decipher. But does VPNbook truly offer that ironclad security it boasts of?

Used Security Technologies

VPNbook claims to use the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit keys — often referred to as AES-256. Now, this is a strong encryption algorithm and is, indeed, industry-standard. It’s used by the US government for protecting “SECRET” information. But the real question is, how effectively has VPNbook implemented this?

Many users have raised concerns about VPNbook’s lack of transparency in its security protocols. The service fails to provide clear information about its encryption libraries, handshake methods, or data authentication protocols. So, even though it uses AES-256, the ambiguity in its implementation is enough to raise eyebrows.

Moreover, VPNbook uses Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) as its default protocol. Now, PPTP is one of the oldest VPN protocols, and though it offers decent speed, its security measures are less than optimal in comparison to modern standards. Despite the fast speed, the PPTP’s security weaknesses are well-documented and widely acknowledged in the cybersecurity community.

It is indeed a worrying sign that VPNbook seems to be relying on an outdated and less secure protocol. In comparison, industry-leading VPN services are using more secure and efficient protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2.

Used Encryption Technologies

When it comes to encryption, VPNbook again gives a mixed signal. As mentioned, VPNbook uses AES-256 encryption, which is indeed top-tier. However, it’s the lack of specificity about its encryption details that is cause for concern.

The best VPN services offer not only the highest standard of encryption but also maintain an open line of communication with their users about how they implement that encryption. By keeping the users in the dark, VPNbook runs the risk of eroding the trust that is central to any security service.

Is it a deliberate act, or is it simply negligence? Either way, it’s not an encouraging sign when a VPN provider fails to clarify such crucial aspects of its security infrastructure.

Principles of Personal Data Protection and Jurisdiction

Moving beyond the realm of technicalities, the ethical aspects of VPN usage are just as important, if not more so. A VPN service might have the most robust technical security measures in place, but if they fail to uphold the principles of personal data protection, all their technical proficiency might end up in vain.

Analysis of Personal Data Protection Principles

VPNbook’s privacy policy raises another red flag. In a space where most top-tier VPN services are adopting strict no-logs policies, VPNbook seems to be walking the opposite path. Their privacy policy openly states that they keep logs of connection times and IP addresses for a week.

It’s important to note that connection logs in themselves are not necessarily harmful. However, the fact that they’re storing IP addresses, even for a limited time, is a cause for concern. This practice could potentially compromise the anonymity of their users, which is the very essence of using a VPN.

Company Jurisdiction

On top of this, VPNbook is based in Switzerland. While Switzerland is typically considered a privacy-friendly country due to its strict data protection laws and is outside of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance, VPNbook’s data retention policy brings this advantage into question.

In a nutshell, when it comes to personal data protection principles and jurisdiction, VPNbook leaves a lot to be desired. While its technical security measures are a mix of strong and outdated protocols, its approach towards personal data protection is less than ideal, to say the least.

So, does VPNbook’s mixed bag of features and questionable data retention policy make it a reliable VPN service? Or should netizens look elsewhere for their security needs? As we dive deeper into the intricacies of VPNbook’s offerings in the following sections, we hope to answer these pressing questions.

Stay tuned as we delve further into VPNbook’s server network, streaming, and torrenting support, user-friendliness, pricing packages, and customer support. Let’s find out if the free price tag comes with hidden costs.

For now, one thing is clear. VPNbook, while offering some solid features, raises enough red flags to warrant skepticism. It seems to underscore the old adage, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Server Network

No VPN analysis would be complete without a comprehensive review of its server network. A VPN’s server network is the backbone of its operations, determining not just the speed and reliability of its connections but also the diversity of its geo-location offerings. So how does VPNbook fare in this department? Let’s find out.

Overview of the Server Network

At first glance, VPNbook’s server offerings seem sparse, especially when compared to the industry-leading VPN services. It offers only six server locations, which include the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Poland, and a dedicated server for P2P sharing.

In a landscape where most VPN services offer hundreds, if not thousands, of server locations around the globe, VPNbook’s offerings seem paltry. The limited number of servers not only restricts the geographical coverage but also potentially affects the server load and the connection speed.

Global Coverage and Availability

VPNbook’s global coverage is decidedly limited. With servers only in Europe and North America, users in other continents are likely to experience slower connection speeds due to the increased distance from the servers. Plus, the lack of server locations also restricts users’ ability to bypass geographically restricted content.

Number of Servers

As VPNbook is a free service, perhaps the limited number of servers should not come as a surprise. After all, maintaining a large server network incurs substantial costs. However, the fact remains that with a meager server count, VPNbook lags far behind most of its competitors, including both free and paid services.

Server Speed

One might argue that the number of servers is not as important as their speed and reliability. So, how does VPNbook perform on this front? Once again, the answer is mixed.

Given that the servers are relatively few and geographically concentrated, users close to the server locations might experience decent speeds. However, the farther the user is from the server location, the more likely they are to experience significant lag and slower download speeds.

Server Speed Table in Different Countries

This is best illustrated with a speed table comparing VPNbook’s performance across different countries.

CountryDownload Speed (Mbps)Upload Speed (Mbps)
USA (closest to server)73.636.8
UK (transatlantic)41.919.5
Australia (farthest from server)12.86.7

It’s clear from the table that VPNbook’s speed varies significantly based on the user’s proximity to its server locations.

Streaming and Torrenting

For many users, the primary reason for using a VPN is to stream content or engage in P2P sharing, often known as torrenting. Let’s explore how VPNbook holds up in these departments.


Streaming content from popular services like Netflix, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer is a common use for VPNs, allowing users to bypass geo-restrictions and enjoy a wider array of content.

Supported Services

With VPNbook, however, your streaming experience might leave a lot to be desired. During tests, the service was unable to unblock Netflix, which is a significant drawback. Given that many VPNs today offer dedicated servers for streaming, VPNbook’s inability to bypass Netflix’s VPN block is disappointing.

No detailed information is available about other streaming platforms. But given the struggle with Netflix, one can safely assume that VPNbook might face similar hurdles with other popular services.

Supported Services Table

Streaming ServiceSupported by VPNbook
BBC iPlayer❓


Torrenting is where VPNbook shows some promise. It offers a dedicated server for P2P sharing, which is a plus. However, remember that VPNbook keeps logs of connection times and IP addresses for a week, which could potentially be problematic for torrent users.

Supported Clients

VPNbook supports popular torrent clients like BitTorrent, uTorrent, and qBittorrent. While it’s certainly a positive aspect, it’s important to remember that the overall safety and anonymity of torrenting heavily depend on the VPN’s logging policy and encryption standards, areas where VPNbook raises concerns.

Supported Clients Table

Torrent ClientSupported by VPNbook

In conclusion, VPNbook offers mixed results when it comes to server speed and its support for streaming and torrenting. Its limited server network might be adequate for basic browsing and low-intensity tasks, but it might struggle with data-heavy activities like streaming and gaming, especially for users farther away from its server locations.

For the streaming and torrenting enthusiasts, VPNbook’s performance seems underwhelming. Its inability to unblock popular streaming services and its questionable logging practices could be dealbreakers for many potential users.

Compatibility and User-Friendliness

What use is a security service if it doesn’t extend its coverage to all your devices or leaves you fumbling through confusing instructions? In this section, we’ll explore how VPNbook fares in terms of compatibility and user-friendliness.

Compatibility with Different Platforms

On the compatibility front, VPNbook seems to offer a decent range. It supports the most common operating systems including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It also extends support to mobile devices running Android and iOS.

But here’s the kicker: VPNbook doesn’t provide dedicated apps for any platform. Instead, users have to manually configure the VPN settings on their devices, which is a far cry from the convenient, one-click solutions provided by most other VPN services.

While VPNbook does provide step-by-step guides for setting up the VPN on various platforms, the lack of dedicated apps significantly undermines its user-friendliness.

Moreover, VPNbook fails to mention whether it supports other devices like routers, smart TVs, or gaming consoles. Given its manual setup process, compatibility with such devices seems doubtful.

User-Friendliness Rating

When it comes to user-friendliness, VPNbook scores low. As mentioned earlier, the lack of dedicated apps means that users have to go through a rather convoluted setup process, which is not ideal, particularly for those who are new to VPNs.

The website interface also leaves much to be desired. While it’s relatively simple, it lacks the polished, intuitive feel of most contemporary VPN services.

In terms of usability, VPNbook presents a barebones service that seems more focused on function than form. While this may appeal to some users, it’s likely to put off those looking for a seamless, hassle-free VPN experience.

Pricing and Packages

Another major factor when choosing a VPN is the cost. The old saying goes, “you get what you pay for,” but is this true in the case of VPNbook?

Overview of Prices and Packages

The most obvious advantage of VPNbook is that it’s free. There are no packages or tiers to choose from – it’s a one-size-fits-all service with no monetary investment required. This makes it potentially appealing for those on a tight budget or those who only require a VPN for occasional, light use.

VPNbook review: Free VPN

But, as we’ve already seen, this lack of cost does come with a number of compromises. Most notably, the absence of dedicated apps, the limited server offerings, and the questionable logging policy.

Trial Version

Since the service is entirely free, there’s no need for a trial version. Users can start using VPNbook immediately after setting up the configurations on their devices.

Money-Back Guarantee

Similarly, as there is no initial investment, there’s no need for a money-back guarantee. In a way, the entire service functions as an ongoing free trial, albeit with certain limitations and concerns.

In conclusion, while VPNbook’s free service and broad OS compatibility might appeal to some, its user-unfriendliness and the trade-offs you make in terms of functionality could be a major deterrent for many. Moreover, the lack of dedicated apps is a significant drawback, particularly in an age when convenience and ease of use are paramount for most users.

So, while the price (or lack thereof) might be enticing, potential users should consider whether the compromises in server options, speed, and privacy are worth the savings.

Customer Support

Customer support is an integral part of any service. It becomes even more crucial with a VPN, given the technical nature of the service and the potential for unexpected glitches or queries. So, how does VPNbook fare on the customer support front? Let’s take a closer look.

Unfortunately, VPNbook’s customer support is, in a word, non-existent. There’s no live chat, no email support, no phone support, and not even a ticket system. If users encounter a problem or have a question, their only recourse is to consult the FAQ section on the website or navigate through the setup guides provided.

Table of Support Contact Options

Here’s a comparison table that makes the situation abundantly clear:

Support OptionAvailable at VPNbook
Live Chat❌
Email Support❌
Phone Support❌
Ticket System❌
FAQs/ Setup Guides✔

Without doubt, this lack of support is a glaring weak spot in VPNbook’s service. It not only complicates troubleshooting but also makes it almost impossible for users to receive personalized assistance.

Pros and Cons

Having examined VPNbook in detail, let’s summarize its advantages and disadvantages. This section will provide a quick reference guide for users to weigh the benefits against the drawbacks.

Analysis of Advantages and Disadvantages

VPNbook, like any other service, has its strengths and weaknesses. Its main advantage is its price. As a completely free service, it provides an accessible entry point for anyone wanting basic VPN functionality. It also supports torrenting, which is a plus for P2P users.

However, its disadvantages are numerous and significant. The absence of dedicated apps, a questionable logging policy, limited servers, poor unblocking abilities, and the lack of customer support are all major drawbacks that detract from its overall value.

Description of Pros and Cons for Users

For the user, this means that while VPNbook can offer a basic level of online anonymity and the ability to engage in P2P sharing, its utility ends there. It fails to deliver on several fronts that are integral to a comprehensive and reliable VPN service.

Summary in Bullet Point in Table Format

Here’s a summary of VPNbook’s pros and cons:

Free serviceNo dedicated apps
Supports torrentingQuestionable logging policy
Simple website interfaceLimited server offerings
Supports common operating systemsPoor unblocking capabilities
Non-existent customer support

In summary, while VPNbook offers a free service and some basic functionality, its drawbacks make it a questionable choice, especially for those who value privacy, user experience, and customer support.

VPNbook’s service seems to underline the adage, “You get what you pay for”. In trying to cut costs, it appears that VPNbook has also cut corners, leaving it with a service that might be free, but is also quite limited.


Given the numerous concerns surrounding VPNbook, it’s worth considering some alternatives. Here, we will briefly compare VPNbook with some of the top VPN providers in the market – NordVPN, Surfshark, PureVPN, and ExpressVPN. Each of these alternatives offers a more comprehensive suite of features, robust security protocols, and extensive customer support, albeit at a price.

VPNbook vs NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the most reputable providers in the VPN market. It boasts over 5,000 servers in 59 countries, far outpacing VPNbook’s limited offerings. Furthermore, NordVPN uses industry-leading security measures, including 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy, which contrasts sharply with VPNbook’s questionable data protection practices.

Moreover, NordVPN has dedicated apps for a wide range of devices, making it easy for users to get connected. It also offers 24/7 customer support through live chat and email, which VPNbook sorely lacks. NordVPN can unblock a wide range of streaming services, including Netflix, which VPNbook struggles with.

VPNbook vs Surfshark VPN

Surfshark is another popular choice among VPN users due to its unlimited device support, user-friendly apps, and impressive unblocking capabilities. It also has a no-logs policy, providing users with the privacy assurance that VPNbook fails to deliver.

Surfshark boasts over 3,200 servers in 65 countries, offering a variety of options for users to bypass geo-restrictions. Additionally, it provides 24/7 live chat support, a contrast to VPNbook’s non-existent customer support.

VPNbook vs PureVPN

PureVPN offers a wide range of features that are not present in VPNbook’s service. With over 6,500 servers in 140+ countries, its global coverage far exceeds that of VPNbook. Furthermore, PureVPN offers dedicated apps for all major platforms, ensuring a smooth user experience.

Notably, PureVPN maintains a no-logs policy and supports numerous streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. In terms of customer support, PureVPN offers 24/7 assistance via live chat, email, and a ticketing system.

VPNbook vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is known for its robust security measures, high-speed servers, and user-friendly applications. It operates more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, providing a broad range of options for bypassing geo-restrictions.

ExpressVPN has a stringent no-logs policy, and its TrustedServer technology wipes all data with every reboot. This is a marked difference from VPNbook’s approach to data retention. ExpressVPN also offers around-the-clock customer support via live chat and email.

While all these alternatives come with a price tag, the benefits they offer in terms of security, privacy, server options, speed, and customer support are unquestionably superior to VPNbook’s service.

Here’s a comparison table for a quick overview:

No. of Servers65000+3200+6500+3000+
Dedicated Apps❌✔✔✔✔
No-logs Policy❌✔✔✔✔
Streaming Support❌✔✔✔✔
Customer Support❌✔✔✔✔


When it comes to the virtual private network (VPN) space, there’s a lot of competition, and many services offer robust, feature-rich packages that are easy to use and reliable. Unfortunately, it’s hard to categorize VPNbook in this way.

While VPNbook’s service is free, its deficiencies are numerous and significant. The lack of dedicated apps, the questionable logging policy, limited servers, poor unblocking abilities, and virtually non-existent customer support all detract from its overall value.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a basic VPN for occasional use, VPNbook might serve your needs. However, for regular, comprehensive, and secure coverage, there are better, albeit paid, options available. It’s important to remember that in the realm of VPNs, as with many things, you often get what you pay for.

In our digital age, where data breaches are common and online privacy is of paramount importance, it’s worth investing in a reliable, trustworthy VPN service. While VPNbook may initially seem appealing due to its zero cost, the potential risks and limitations associated with its use might make it less attractive in the long run.

As always, the key is to identify your needs and priorities. If you value your online privacy and seek a robust, user-friendly, and reliable VPN service, there are many other options to consider.


Is it safe to use VPNBook?

The safety of using VPNBook is a somewhat contentious issue. The service uses strong encryption, which can protect your data in transit. However, the lack of clarity regarding its logging policy may be a concern for those who value their privacy. Without a clear stance on whether it retains user data or not, it’s challenging to affirm the safety of VPNBook.

What is better than VPNBook?

There are several VPNs better than VPNBook in terms of features, security, and overall performance. Notable alternatives include NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark. These VPNs offer robust security features, large server networks, the ability to unblock streaming services, dedicated applications, and reliable customer support.

What countries is VPNBook available in?

VPNBook offers server locations in six countries: Canada, Germany, Poland, France, the UK, and the US. As long as you can access the VPNBook website to obtain the necessary configurations, you can use it from anywhere in the world.

Does VPNBook support streaming services?

No, VPNBook doesn’t consistently unblock popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. If access to these services is a priority for you, it would be better to consider other VPN providers that offer reliable streaming support.

Does VPNBook offer customer support?

Unfortunately, VPNBook doesn’t provide dedicated customer support. This means if you run into any issues or have questions about the service, you’re left to figure things out on your own, which is far from ideal and not common among leading VPN providers.

About the author

Jeremy is a cybersecurity author specializing in VPNs and privacy apps. With a passion for digital security, he educates individuals and organizations on safeguarding their online presence. Jeremy shares his expertise through conferences and workshops, making significant strides in raising awareness and fostering a safer digital environment.