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VPNhub, launched in July 2018, has only been around for a couple of months but managed to make quite a name for itself in that short period of time. That could have something to do with the fact that every article about VPNhub zooms in on the fact that VPNhub’s parent company is one of the world’s biggest sites in the adult entertainment industry. However, we are in the business of reviewing and comparing VPN services, which means we’ll be looking at VPNhub as a standalone entity and judge it accordingly, as a VPN provider.
VPNhub is available in two models: a free version and a paid equivalent, both for Windows and for Mac. The service is also available for mobile devices. Both mobile apps are free, but the desktop versions require a Premium subscription, which gives access to faster connections from a wider range of countries and servers. A Premium subscription makes VPNhub a ad-free platform – a definite USP for a percentage of users. It also comes with a 7-day trial option, 24/7 support and the option to cancel immediately at any time.
During our research on VPN services, we’ve identified five key criteria for you to consider when choosing a VPN service: 1. Main security features 2. Resource consumption 3. Connection stability 4. Platforms/Devices accessibility 5. Value for money. Our reviews will examine each VPN service in accordance with how well it delivers on these five criteria.
How VPNhub meets the 5 criteria
1. Main Security Features
When scrutinizing a VPN service, the most important issue you want to take a close look at is the security it provides users with. For most people, the main reason for using a VPN is to prevent hackers and other ill-willed individuals or entities access to your personal info and data. The provided security needs to be topnotch, all the time. Otherwise, the whole purpose of using a VPN is gone.
VPNhub offers users several ways to set up an encrypted connection with a Remote Access Server (RAS). Since the mobile VPN apps are an equally important part of its product portfolio, VPNhub offers to connect using the IKEv2 protocol, currently the most common encryption method for mobile devices, and the OpenVPN protocol, which is widely regarded as the best encryption method, providing the best security and functional even in case of firewall restrictions. Depending on whether you want to scramble the OpenVPN connection, you have the option to choose between 256-bit and 128-bit encryption – when scrambled (which allows the VPN to bypass network traffic sensors aiming to detect and block VPN usage), only the 128-bit cipher (the encryption algorithm) is available. With the 256-bit OpenVPN encryption option, VPNhub delivers the highest security level available.
Additionally, when using the OpenVPN protocol to connect, users have the option to choose between a UDP connection or a TCP connection. The UDP connection, when supported by the network, is preferred due to its greater speed, although the TCP connection is generally considered to be more reliable. VPNhub offers both, so you can take your pick.
DNS Leak Protection
DNS, short for Domain Name System, is a fundamental protocol for the functioning of the internet that takes care of the conversion of domain names into numerical IP addresses. Your Internet provider, Google, or other third parties whose DNS servers you are using, can monitor, or even censor your internet activity. VPN providers, including VPNhub, usually have their own network of DNS servers. This means that from the moment you sign in to VPNhub, your web activity is private and protected from prying eyes because you are using one of VPNhub’s 76 dedicated servers, which are divided over 49 different countries. The list of servers and countries seems to be updated a lot, so it appears that VPNhub is working hard to expand its server network. Now, what happens in case of a VPN connection failure?
We speak of a DNS leak when software issues are causing your VPN to fail, meaning your ISP can track your internet activity, regardless of whether you’re using a VPN or not. This is a situation you want to prevent from happening, but your VPN provider relies on servers – and servers are known to sometimes fail. How does VPNhub deal with such occasions? What do they offer to counter this potential problem?
VPNhub offers two simple solutions to deal with this potential threat.
- Auto-reconnect: users have the option to activate the setting that automatically reconnects in case the VPN tunnel unexpectedly disconnects.
- Kill Switch: the Kill Switch feature, if activated, immediately cuts your internet connection completely when your VPN connection fails.
The definition of a connection log reads as follow: A connection log is a record of incoming and outgoing connections to a VPN server, which may include a user’s IP address. In other words, a reliable VPN service should not have connection logs, because it conflicts with the purpose of using a VPN in the first place. VPNhub does not keep a connection log. The only logs it keeps, and shows in the “Logs” tab of the settings, are an “Application” log that shows when the service is activated and to which location it connects and a “VpnSDK” log that mostly shows technical info and system errors. An activity log of your internet activity is absent – as should be the case.
2. Resource Consumption
First of all, modern PCs with ditto processors, should not be affected by the use of a VPN service. The processor performs the encryption/ decryption of data and you should not notice a huge difference between your PC’s performance with or without the VPN service running. We’re using our PC’s task manager to get an indication of the CPU percentage used by VPNhub. When the VPN is running but we didn’t connect to one of the servers offered yet, VPNhub takes up the amount of memory you’d expect from a running application, but no CPU power.
To get a good idea of how much of PC’s resources are consumed by an active VPN service, let’s first look at a PC’s performance while the VPN is not active. We can create a benchmark measurement by checking the up- and download speed. We used three services (speedtest.net, meter.net, and fast.com) and all three reported similar numbers, which leads us to believe the measurements are accurate. Our download speed is approx. 37 Mbps (Megabit per second), while our upload speed measures at approx. 42 Mbps, with a PING (reaction time of the connection; the lower the value, the faster the connection) of approx. 2 ms (milliseconds) and a jitter of 14 ms (jitter is the variation between reaction times; a low jitter score (lower than 30 ms) indicates more reliable and consistent reaction times).
We checked to check the up- and download speed with the VPN service activated, to determine the difference. We used the same three services for measuring the speed, and again they report similar numbers. Our VPN activated download speed is approx. 36 Mbps, while our upload speed is still a bit higher, approx. 39 Mbps. In other words, activating VPNhub does not have a huge impact on our PC’s performance at all. Up- and download speeds do not drop significantly when activating VPNhub.
3. Connection Stability
The stability of a VPN connection depends on several different factors:
- Device influence: a VPN connection can be interrupted based on the device’s power management.
- Mobile network influence: the stability of a VPN connection largely depends on a direct, uninterrupted connection between your VPN server location and your own device.
- Wireless network influence: using an overloaded WiFi connection, or an old, outdated router can impact the VPN’s stability.
- Distance VPN server – device: generally speaking, it’s wise to connect to a RAS close by to keep latency low. The lower the latency, the faster the data stream.
- Distance + extra distance: if you choose a RAS far away from your physical location, the internet activity has to travel all the way back to your location. Calling on specific content from another physical location adds more latency to the process, impacting the stability of the VPN connection.
With a network of over 75 servers spread over 49 countries, VPNhub offers most users the option to connect to a server close to them, which will help to keep latency to a minimum. Other factors, like the quality of the available internet connection and your device’s power management, are factors you can easily anticipate on to limit potential problems. In general, VPNhub shows a high level of connection stability, even when connecting to servers far away from our location. Connection stability is one of the core features of a VPN service and VPNhub scores points by offering users a very stable service. In case an outside factor does compromise the stability and the signal is interrupted, VPNhub can suspend your internet connection immediately with the Kill Switch option, or you can set the system to reconnect automatically with the purpose of keeping downtime to a minimum.
4. Platforms/Devices Accessibility
VPNhub is available for Windows and Mac, and for Android and iOS on mobile devices, which means it covers the dominant platforms of today, and with it the majority of users. Apps for Android & iOS are free, but to be able to use VPNhub on a PC/ laptop or iMac or Macbook requires you to purchase a Premium subscription. If you have a Premium subscription, you can install and use VPNhub on up to 3 devices.
5. Value for Money?
Even if a VPN service offers many features and options and contains all kinds of nifty little extras, in the end, it still depends on a lot of external factors for its overall quality level. VPNhub focuses on the simplicity and usability of its product but does offer a few extra features. We already talked about the Kill Switch option and the auto-reconnect functionality for when the VPN connection is interrupted. On top of that, VPNhub can also help you choose the best connection, in case the server location is not crucial.
Choice of server
A VPN service can be used for different reasons. Sometimes, you want to choose to connect to a server located in a specific location, for example, because a certain website or service is blocked for your location. Could be for something as simple as a YouTube video, which often gets blocked in certain areas. Generally, the main reason for using a VPN is to safeguard your anonymity, your internet activity, and your personal information. When that is the case, you want your VPN connection to be as close in quality to your regular internet connection, because why settle for less. VPNhub offers the option to connect to the “Best Available” server, which saves you the trouble of looking for the best connection. Granted, most of the time the best option would be the server closest to your location, but there are other factors than just physical proximity that influence the quality of a connection. In any case, VPNhub will choose the best available option for you.
The more stable the VPN, the better your privacy is protected, your anonymity guaranteed and your internet activity is hidden. VPNhub offers a very stable VPN service and combined with their state of the art encryption protocol and their ‘safety net’ features, they definitely provide good value for money with their product.
VPNhub excels in simplicity. Everything about the service is simple, which is definitely a benefit for most users. On the other hand, VPNhub works hard to expand the width of its service by adding servers and countries to the list of available connections. This is the core of the service and doesn’t have an impact on the easy to work with the setup of the service. Basically, you’re done in a few seconds setting things up in the first two tabs of the app (General and Connection). Then, you choose the location to connect to and your VPN connection is running. You can set the service to reconnect automatically in case the connection is interrupted or use the Kill Switch to turn off the internet connection completely in case of a VPN connection failure. The simplicity and focus on core features is definitely the strength of VPNhub, and taking into consideration the high-quality performance it has shown during the test, it’s a service that could be interesting to a lot of users.
Plans & Pricing
The plans offered by VPNhub are very clear cut: there is a free plan and a paid, premium plan. The free plan is only valid for the mobile versions of the service – you can download the iOS app and the Android app from their respective stores. The free plan offers unlimited bandwidth on both iOS and Android mobile devices, but are still limited when compared to the app version you can use when you purchase the Premium plan that you need to be able to use VPNhub on your PC or Mac. The free plan only offers one server to connect to, compared to the more than 70 servers you can access with the Premium plan.
A premium subscription comes at $14.99 per month, or at $7.99 per month when you opt to pay for a full year in advance. VPNhub offers you the option to try out the Premium plan for free for a 7-day period.
For support purposes, VPNhub offers two options: FAQ section that answers questions about the product but offers little help when you encounter a technical issue with the product. When you need assistance to cope with a technical issue, or any other issues that are not covered by the FAQ section, you can contact VPNhub’s Support team via email. They can be reached 24/7 but realistically, you’ll only receive an answer during VPNhub’s office hours. VPNhub is a new player on the VPN market, so we do expect the service will be expanding its support options in the future.