EarthVPN comes with a good number of advantageous features. Their own client for example, is one of the simplest designs, aimed at immediate use and connection. The in-client functionalities are relatively basic; apart from selecting the country and also a desired location, you can also enable an auto-reconnect or a kill switch function. It is worth noting though that these two cancel each other out, as the kill switch disables all internet traffic once it is activated, rendering any type of reconnection impossible. Once you select one, the other one becomes unavailable – it is good to know that Earth VPN pays attention to these small details. We would have like to see some other basic features, such as auto-connecting or the client being launched when booting your computer, but these are currently not included. Also, once you connected, you cannot access the client screen at all. All you get is an IP address as information.
There is some rish-rash surrounding EarthVPN’s official OS client. What you should be always paying attention to is the safety protocol you connect with. Out of the four available (PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN) only the first three are available via the official client. Still, OpenVPN is listed nevertheless to inform you that it requires a separate open-source client. Setting that connection up is a bit more difficult and time-consuming, as next to the separate software you also need to initiate EarthVPN’s configuration files in order to access their network. Of course, the EarthVPN’s website provides ample amount of help and even arranges your downloads in a single .zip file.
EarthVPN’s service has everything you need to safely browse the web while enjoying full freedom and no restrictions whatsoever. Those users who are in for some more advanced VPN action are not left in the cold; various upgrades are available and can easily be added to your VPN depending on your needs. Both dynamic and static port forwarding with a dedicated IP address are offered with customizations by EarthVPN’s technical staff depending on the ideal setup for your usage.
EarthVPN provides access through 304 gateways, 151 locations and 32 servers. This is not a bad statistic; they belong to the upper half of VPN providers in this regard. You can connect up to 3 different devices to the same IP address, however this restricted locally, meaning that you must establish these connections in the same place, or at least in close vicinity. There is however a package available separately from regular pricing models that allows you to add one additional device without the localized restriction.
The weakness of EarthVPN is speed. While connections are stable and bandwidth is unlimited, service is not very fast and worsens significantly with distance. It is a shame, but for smaller distances it gets the job done, although EarthVPN still disappears in the crowd when it comes to speed. Our test of connecting to their VPN server located in China is a testament to this.
There is a good amount of specific information to clarify regarding privacy protection. PPTP comes with an MPPE 128bit encryption and with or without compression and MS-CHAPv2 authentication. This is secure, but sits only in the middle range. OpenVPN uses AES cipher with 128-bit and optional extra 256-bit encryption, 160-bit SHA1 hash algorithm, TLSv1/SSLv3 DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA control channel, and 2048-bit RSA. Therefore there are options to choose from if you decide to download the open-source client. OpenVPN thus is the safest, but speed results worsen as you opt for more secure and secure encryptions.
L2TP uses standardized IPSec protocol using either 3DES or AES encryption algorithms and 256-bit encryption key. This is probably the most balanced privacy setting. SSTP is available with 2048-bit SSL/TLS authentication certificates and 256-bit encryption. We recommend this setting for bypassing data restriction obstacles. And finally, SOCKS proxy is also supported; it wields and AES cipher with 128-bit encryption, but 256-bit protection is also available. EarthVPN also provides general P2P usage through its offshore servers.
OS, Device Support
EarthVPN is available on most of today’s popular devices. Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP are all supported. Mac OSX and Ubuntu Linux are similarly favored and are available on all safety protocols: PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, EarthVPN’s own client software, SSTP and even SOCKS proxy. On a further positive note, the official website’s guides are visibly separated based on these solutions, providing great accessibility and easy navigation for setting your network up.
Mobile and other devices are also supported, however manual setups of the different protocols are required on all mobile devices since EarthVPN doesn’t have any mobile applications yet. Android-ran machines, the iPhone and iPad and finally, DD-WRT routers are the ones supported. Indirectly you can set up connections to Apple TV, Boxee Box, Roku, SmartTVs, Xbox, PlayStation and Chromecast with the DD-WRT router. EarthVPN has an active partnership with FlashRouters to offer a number of flashed routers supporting different protocols that are ready to be used with EarthVPN out of the box. In terms of device support EarthVPN is certainly on top of things.
Now if you summarize the above services and think about costs, you would be right to expect mildly hefty monthly fees, with potential discount if you invested for longer durations. We are happy to report though that EarthVPN’s price-value ratio is one of the best on the market. There is one single plan available for a mere $3.99 per month with monthly payments, and paying for it annually brings down the price to just $3.33 per month. Considering the quality of VPN you get, this is really good and EarthVPN is right to take pride in it, if they do. And even if you decide otherwise and want to cancel your purchase, you get a 7-day, full refund timer with the plan you go for.
The only downside to this pricing policy is the lack of a free trial. Still, you can view the 7-day refund as a trial opportunity, as it is a risk-free undertaking. Purchases are done on a no-contract and the avoidance of retaining billing information. This is done by generating a unique transaction key for each payment, making them impossible to track. There are also additional services available to purchase for $1.99 every month – these are not included in the standard plan. This includes adding an additional device to connect with, next to the three you already can, upgrading your OpenVPN connection with the mentioned 256-bit encryption, getting a static IP address and permission to use SSH Tunnel/SOCKS proxy. Therefore some extra content is available separately, but this takes away little from the great prices EarthVPN has to offer. Payment options are the following: Bitcoin or PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Alipay, Unionpay and Webmoney.
Since OpenVPN-based connections require a separate client on OS, and because of the mere fact that you could have two clients if you wanted to swap between safety protocols, good customer service is essential and is in demand. EarthVPN’s preferred form of contact is e-mail. We conducted test inquiries from private addresses and met with varying results. While one of our emails was replied to relatively quickly (23 minutes), the other two were less successful in finding associates: it took EarthVPN staff 3 and a half hours and 5 hours to reply, respectively. There are also official Twitter and Facebbok sites for EarthVPN, however they haven’t been updated in over half a year. EarthVPN’s website is what we like to call a fair one. It is structured well, has a helpful FAQ and also provides picture-based guides on setting up clients and services.
With one of the best prices on the market, EarthVPN gives a lot for the money you throw at them. Multiple and reliable security options and servers, and good feature selection are valid points to consider. The desktop clients are easy in use and give you plenty of control options and protocols to adapt your connection depending on which websites or services you’re trying to access. There are some sour segments of EarthVPN’s planet, where you might not get properly assisted as a customer, or progress would be slow with low-ish speeds. It’s a pity there’s not a free trial for those who are curious to give the service a spin, but the low $3.99 month-to-month price tag combined with the 7-day money back guarantee would make it a shame not to try it.
- Good value for money
- Helpful guides
- Complete service
- Security options
- Speed issues
- Mixed customer service
- Confusing two client system