BlackVPN is another smaller VPN provider that somehow manages to get on big websites like TorrentFreak advertising how it’s a top-notch VPN provider that cares about your security. They claim that they have the highest speeds and reliable servers. In this BlackVPN review, we uncover the truth.
Pricing 5.5 /10
BlackVPN has two pricing schemes–one for allowing privacy as a full package, and one without. The website doesn’t bother to convert this into USD for you, so here it is: $10.81 for the complete package, and $8.53 for the package without privacy (respectively 9.50 euros and 7.50 euros). For these prices, you get three connections.
I’m not really sure why BlackVPN has this pricing model, since most people will need the full package. That Package is also fairly expensive, around 81 cents more than standard VPN providers.
On the flipside, they do accept BTC and provide 14-day refunds–so there’s that. However, the site does have a delay when you pay with BTC even though it only took me five mins to get my login instructions (it took much longer actually to start using BlackVPN).
If you want a cheaper VPN, check here.
BlackVPN is just another VPN provider who doesn’t have their own unique native client. This has many disadvantages. It’s harder to install Viscosity and OpenVPN then a custom made client–and, they require more configuration but contain less features. You won’t find a kill switch in Viscosity, for example. There also isn’t an easy ability to swap protocols or customize your user experience like we’ve seen in some clients (namely TorGuard VPN with dedicated IP address integration).
I tried to get BlackVPN working with their OpenVPN client, but since I’ve used BTGuard before–another client that has OpenVPN as their main way to connect to their servers, I couldn’t get BlackVPN to work. Support told me to just use viscosity.
Viscosity is fine for simple use, but it did take extra steps to set up like–registering to download a file, waiting for a license to be sent to my email, and then installing said license. Make sure to keep your login details handy (the website gives you their own to the client) because you’ll be entering them a TON to download files, register, or even just to log into BlackVPN’s servers on viscosity. The client also has an option to remember your information, but it never actually worked for me.
BlackVPN’s viscosity configuration gets the job done, but it’s not anything close to a pleasant VPN software experience. If you want a good VPN app for PC or Windows, check out these top 5 VPN providers.
Mobile Software 6/10
BlackVPN does have a decent Android mobile application–since it works well, and looks fairly nice. Inside the app, you have your basic connect options, as well as some options to look at your account. For some reason, it also looks like BlackVPN uses Comic Sans MS font. However, while we enjoyed the Android app, we were disappointed not to see an iPhone application available. Also, don’t expect good speeds.
Extra Services 5/10
Surprisingly, BlackVPN offers pre-flashed VPN routers. They sell some bundles with yearly access which is great to see since only a few VPN providers sell routers. However, BlackVPN advertises that it works with Netflix as a selling point, and after I tested the TV USA West server, it most definitely does not.
BlackVPN’s website is fairly basic. It feels cheap in a lot of ways, from the blog hosted on medium, to it’s weird pricing model, to simple pages that look like they were constructed out of basic HTML. The website gets the job done, so you can pay them and download your VPN, but there aren’t forums or that many support guides you might need.
The website also does a poor job of expanding on what makes BlackVPN different than any other VPN provider–besides claiming the same thing that they all do, without actually delivering it.
BlackVPN has a small server selection (around 15 different locations). It’s sad to see that they don’t even offer a “privacy” server for USA, only a TV one. I went ahead and asked support about the differences between the two server types but couldn’t get a clear answer. The rep informed me that there wasn’t any difference between the two server types. Then why name them differently?
BlackVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, and they have a powerful 4096-bit RSA key (a bit overkill). We also liked their 0 log policy, but think that their emphasis on their server location, or bias against US-based VPNs is a bit bull. The US doesn’t have a data retention law, and they use their base in Hong Kong as a selling point, but for customers, there’s no difference. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a VPN legally, or illegally. If police want in, they’ll get in.
Their explanation on TorrentFreak confirms this “if we received a valid court order from a Hong Kong court then we would be legally obliged to obey it.” Also note, earlier on, BlackVPN did have a 7-day log policy.
In our tests, BlackVPN didn’t do so well. Connection speeds were very slow, and browsing was even difficult with higher than average ping. We only received around 3 Mbps for a torrent download, much less than 20 Mbps we’ve seen from other VPN providers. For the best torrent VPN providers, check out this resource.
BlackVPN’s support is a mixed bag. On one hand, they do have live chat, but it’s only available sometimes. I’m pretty sure there’s just one person running it, since when you do talk to them there’s HUGE delays. When I was talking to a rep, he simply stopped answering me even though I waited 10 mins. His first reply was also extremely brief and not very helpful. I later checked back and he did eventually respond that the difference is that on TV servers you can’t download torrents.
Their ticket support seems OK, but it did take them a day to respond to my ticket request.
BlackVPN has been touted among a few websites as a solid VPN service that cares about privacy. However, we’ve also seen other users complain about the service and seen some unprofessional remarks made on social media from the company itself. In our BlackVPN review, we came away less than impressed.
If you don’t want a native client app, don’t care about poor speeds, lackluster support, a cheap looking website, and higher than average pricing –BlackVPN could wow you with high encryption and a base in Hong Kong. But if you want a VPN that you can use on an everyday basis for gaming, streaming, torrenting, browsing, or using Netflix, look elsewhere.