FrootVPN is a new VPN, which made headlines with the online community in 2014. With some very smart marketing, it got a recommendation by The Pirate Bay.
At the time, it was the FrootVPN free plan that was all the rage with torrenters.
Now, the service has moved up the rankings and gone away from being a free VPN to join other premium services.
We will look to see how this VPN stacks up against other premium services, and if FrootVPN offers more than it did when it was free.
On their claims, they enable users to be safe and untraceable. They retain no logs; there is a money-back guarantee, and they offer the fastest and best VPN service you can get.
The problem is most VPN providers promote themselves in the same manner. Our Froot VPN review digs deep to see if there is more to this affordable VPN, or it is little more than the free service with an added price tag.
- Strong security and privacy
- P2P file sharing and torrenting
- Affordable services
Plans and Pricing
FrootVPN began as a free service, and it was when the operating expenses became too much they began to be a paid-for service. The pricing plans are straightforward, and it only differs for the sign-up period.
|12 Months||$2.99||Billed $35.88 for 12months|
|3 Months||$3.99||Billed $11.97 for 3 months|
|1 Month||$4.99||Billed $4.99 for 1 month|
There are a few payment options available to subscribers such as credit cards, PayPal, Perfect Money, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies.
Now the company has changed away from a free provider, and it is strange to see there is no free trial on offer. However, FrootVPN pricing is very affordable, and users can sign up for a short duration to test the service.
One thing to note is that in most areas, they promote a 30-day money-back guarantee; however, while you are signing up, it only states 7-day money back.
In the terms and service, it also states 30-days, so the error is in the payment page. While reading other FrootVPN reviews for research, it was worrying when reading some user reviews. Several users claim they were not receiving refunds as guaranteed.
FrootVPN is a secure VPN; however, when you begin to look at their location, things quickly become cloudy.
The firm is Swedish, and Sweden is part of the 14 eyes jurisdiction. However, it appears they are
registered in Seychelles. This is more secure as there is no governing jurisdiction for this foreign country.
You can add to this that the website is available in Russian and English, and while this doesn’t mean anything regarding where the company is located, it does add to the confusion.
VPN protocols in use are OpenVPN, Stunnel, PPTP, and L2TP. The company uses 2048-bit encryption, and although not as strong encryption as AES 256-bit encryption, it is secure enough to keep anyone from seeing what you are doing online.
One other thing is they don’t use any NAT services. Network Address Translation is a router feature and changes your IP address.
This is only available for routers in Sweden and stops any third parties from changing anything to do with data.
A couple of other things to note are they have an A+ rating for SSL, and they also use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy).
This makes encryption stronger than just the basic PPTP, L2TP. OpenVPN, PPTP are at opposite ends of the protocol spectrum, and it is good to see that FrootVPN uses the former as default rather than the weaker latter option.
All the best VPN services claim they don’t retain any user data. FrootVPN doesn’t deviate from this, and they claim they don’t keep any logs.
All the company retains is a username, password, and email address. This is good to know and will depend on where they are located.
If the company is offshore, then no worries at all, yet Sweden, as part of the 14 eyes, you never know who may come knocking.
A zero-logging policy needs to be one thing any VPN provider offers, and most of all, they need to stick to it.
Ease of Use
The Froot VPN services allow five simultaneous connections for each account.
Once you subscribe and download FrootVPN, you will be in luck if you are a Windows user. The reason being, this is the only platform that receives native support.
The company has been around for several years, and so far, there are no other client apps for any devices apart from the Windows-based devices. Unless you have windows, Mac users are in the same position as mobile users.
The VPN requires setting up using the appropriate third-party app on the device. In this case, the default being the OpenVPN software. If you have certain routers that are supported, you can set up the VPN connection, and use this as one device while covering all devices in your home.
This is probably the best way rather than setting up OpenVPN on every device you have.
When you begin the process of signing up, you see a “Get FrootVPN” button on the homepage.
Select this, and it takes you to the plan page. By default, the twelve-month plan is selected, so select the three-month or the one-month plan if you want something different.
Enter your email address and select your payment method. If using your card or PayPal, these will auto-renew at the end of the initial signup period. The button to proceed says “Upgrade Now,” which appears strange if you are a new subscriber.
Once you do this, you receive a welcome email from the company, and then you can run through the final few steps of the sign-up procedure.
To go further, you log in to the website, and you are presented with your dashboard. It is from here that there are several options for you to view.
You can review your account, check all the server status, perform a speed test, contact the support staff, or you can access all the installation guides unless you are on a Windows PC.
You can download the only native (Windows) client and carry on with the installation. Once you install it, you then start the app and log in with your details.
For users of Windows, it takes a few minutes to complete the installation, yet if you have any other device, you can be there a while longer depending on how knowledgeable you are about this kind of procedure.
It will require downloading third-party applications, as well as manually configuring your devices. In many cases, it will be the OpenVPN software you use, yet you do need to tie this up to the FrootVPN service.
While you can go through this setup procedure with another VPN service provider, this is often for some specific devices rather than every device apart from one, with this VPN.
Once you are in the client, you have a basic interface. There is one tab, which is your settings. Here you can change startup behavior and language for the interface.
On the main screen, you have the option to select any country where you wish to connect, and underneath this drop-down, you have another where you can change the protocols.
One feature the app does have is you can send a log report to chat support right from inside the software. This can save time and make it easier for new users.
Countries can be sorted, added to favorites, or recent. You also have a quick connect button where all you select is the country, and the server offered by FrootVPN should be the optimal server for that area.
If you want to change the server in a different country, it takes a somewhat clumsy approach. Rather than one click to select the new country, every location has a standalone connect button. This requires users to connect to physically every server.
You can see from the beginning that FrootVPN will be short on features because they have no client apps for the majority of devices.
In the one app, they have a Kill switch, yet this doesn’t function like other VPN’s. The software uses the Windows firewall, and if you have disabled this, or you are using another, then the kill switch is rendered useless.
In use, though, you can block all traffic or certain applications. This is a sort of split tunnel switch as to what is blocked and what isn’t.
This incarnation of leak prevention may appear basic, yet in testing, there were no IP address leaks, and it worked without any issue. Perhaps this is more of a testament to the Windows firewall than the VPN client is.
There are some pros and cons with this, but at least you have these options in this client. On mobile devices, you have no such luck.
For other features, there is none, and this is reflected in the low price.
It is a lot to ask for a VPN service provider who only has one client app to offer any browser extensions.
The closest you get to this is the web dashboard you it presents you with, though this only allows you to control the OpenVPN software.
Browser extensions can be one of the easiest ways users can secure their connections without the need to begin installing a third-party application to be safe while browsing.
FrootVPN connects to multiple 10Gbps backbones, so it sounds promising when it comes to their speeds.
However, their number of servers is small in comparison to the best VPN’s. The service provider covers 35 countries and has 150 servers.
In our speed tests, we had some surprising results. It may not be the fastest VPN as they claim, yet if you are in the right area, you won’t find FrootVPN slow either.
On average, we saw less than a 20% drop off in download speed. Across the board, this is better than some larger providers who can suffer from around 50%.
Checking remote servers, as well as those closer to the connection point, we ran multiple tests and then compared them to the base speeds.
From a 150 Mbps connection in Europe, a nearby country returned a result of a download speed of just over 130 Mbps, and the upload speed was in the mid 20 Mbps range.
Remote servers, such as one in the United States, came back with speeds of around 115 Mbps for downloads while uploads halved to about 10 Mbps.
On the website, you can check the servers to see where the majority of internet traffic is going. You can also check the ping times, but most of these are quite high.
Another thing to note is the service is robust and shows minimal downtime, or the connections rarely drop. We also saw there were no DNS leaks, so their promise of being secure is upheld.
If you are the traveling kind and need a VPN to deliver security on foreign Wi-Fi connections, then you may find this more than ideal. Yet, if you continually transfer large files to remote or far off regions, then you may see some frustration creeping in.
Any good VPN will have excellent support for their customers. On the website, FrootVPN claims to have 400,000 subscribers, yet they are weak on their support.
Live chat support is touted, yet this is slow, and may as well be a ticket system. Live chat is supposed to be as close to instantaneous, and you can understand a minute or so if there are no staff available.
However, when you are waiting for extended periods, there is nothing live about this part of their service.
When you need to wait for around an hour, and only receive “Yes and No answers,” there is lots of room for improvement.
Heading back to the website, you can click on the support tab, and you see a search box to find what you want in the knowledge base. Below this, you can raise a support ticket, or you scroll down for the knowledge base itself.
All of this covers the manual installation of the VPN using the various protocols. While these are enough to get your VPN up and running, there are no others for different aspects of the service.
At the bottom of the page, you have the FrootVPN FAQ section. Again, this is small and doesn’t cover many areas of use.
Overall, the help and support from FrootVPN are very far from being one of the best. If they are unable to have live support, then they shouldn’t advertise it as such.
Bypassing geo-restrictions set by Netflix is the test of any good VPN. FrootVPN has on its homepage a short video.
You can see here they list Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and YouTube as the primary streaming services they can access.
To see if FrootVPN does work with Netflix, we ran through a few connection tests with US Netflix being the first.
FrootVPN offers servers that are on the east and west coasts. Connecting to these, we were able to access US Netflix. Is it a good VPN for Netflix?
This sounds good so far, yet we were not able to crank up the definition before it began to stutter. Dropping to SD and there were no issues, so the remote speeds see enough of a reduction to prevent HD streaming.
Not all libraries were accessible, yet if you are after the largest amount of content, then you will have a reliable connection for now. To note, it wasn’t possible to connect to the Canadian Netflix library, yet the Mexico library was accessible.
The other services that were subject to tests came back positive, albeit with a slight hiccup here and there. Nevertheless, it was a decent streaming experience.
The one downside was the BBC iPlayer. With only one server in the UK, there are no options to change location, and unfortunately, there was no way we were able to access any content. This UK server is supposed to be a dedicated iPlayer server, yet there was no way it was allowing us into the service.
For a true streaming experience, no one wants to find it is suffering because of the performance of his or her VPN. This is true when the company touts its ability to bypass restrictions, and users have a restriction on access and quality by using said VPN.
In the beginning, there were some close ties with FrootVPN and PB. Therefore, you expect the service to carry on with this and deliver a rich torrenting experience.
Users will be happy to know that P2P traffic is allowable on all servers. Although, with a small amount of servers, this may affect your overall download speeds.
If users are in no rush to get their torrents with blazing speeds, then FrootVPN still keeps its roots and is a good safe VPN for torrenting.
Add to this the unlimited bandwidth you get as part of your plan (same as many other providers), and you can set it and forget it until all your torrent files finish downloading.
It is worth mentioning at this point, how the company talks about torrenting. Although it claims, torrents are allowed on all servers, and their usage policy paints a different picture.
The policy is not in-depth, yet they do say users will comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Once you find the paragraph about content, they mention illegal content. They do mention peer-to-peer, yet that is the transmitting of child pornography. Torrent files are not specifically mentioned, yet if they are copyrighted, then they will be classed as illegal content.
Is FrootVPN the best VPN for torrenting? It delivers as much as any other provider that allows torrenting, and you can do on all servers and not a select few.
However, there are better options from other VPN services that have more servers and are optimized to deliver the best file-sharing experience.
It is hard to recommend FrootVPN, as much as it is to say that users shouldn’t use it. If you are after a specific set of circumstances. Here it offers as much security as many larger companies, and when torrenting, users know they are safe and secure.
Where it lets itself down is the lack of apps and the limited size of their server network. If the company were to grow, then it may be a much easier decision to say yes, or no.
FrootVPN does a lot right, but it could do much more, and until then. Other alternatives make it easy to stay secure for new users or offer more features for a similar price.
A solid and affordable VPN with decent speeds and great security. For a backup VPN, it does more than enough.