The best thing to mention about HashtagVPN is that their services come with unlimited bandwidth. Since they lack their own desktop clients, we were forced to use a dialing software provided for Windows while connecting any other supported device requires manual configuration. The dialing software could be viewed as a semi-client; software that gets the job done, it connects you to a server, but otherwise lacks the depth and functionalities of an actual client. In comparison, fewer settings are available, and the only main function is establishing the connection itself.
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We were left with a mixed feeling after the closer examination HashtagVPN’s features. Our impression was that the list of features is not that extensive. HashtagVPN mainly advertises how they can provide you with access to the best streaming entertainment. This mainly includes some of the TV channels and streaming services of the United Kingdom and the United States. Even though this is a great addition, it is the only significant edge of HashtagVPN on the market. It must be noted though, that there are other VPN providers also granting access to similar content, but on a more widespread scale.
Even though it is a safety protocol, it must also be mentioned that with any HashtagVPN service there comes a built-in NAT firewall as a bonus benefit – all uncomfortable incoming traffic will be blocked with the help of this feature. Usage is very safe already and even more so with this preinstalled protection layer.
The company only offers servers across 9 countries. This is a small, small number, although it is safe to assume that HashtagVPN does not lease servers instance and prefers quality to quantity in terms of network size. Sadly we found out that connection in general is poor around HashtagVPN’s yard; many servers were either down or could not connect at all. And even in Amsterdam, we could not help but frown at the speeds produced. P2P via torrent is supported, but only on the server that produced actual testing results, the Amsterdam one.
Amsterdam Speed Test
HashtagVPN’s main asset is security. Your data is taken into good care by their 2048 bit SSL based encryption. This is stronger than bank and military-grade protection – even if your data is caught by some means (even Deep Packet Inspections struggle tremendously), it will be impossible to decipher. HashtagVPN uses three protocols to deliver service. PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN solutions are possible; all of them result in a different balance of speed and security. In order of their listing, they come with 128-bit, 256-bit and 2048-bit encryptions, respectively. Their function is to protect your activities, transactions and passwords from being monitored. And with a unique twist, service also includes a NAT firewall.
OS, Device Support
HashtagVPN is compatible with the vast majority of today’s popular operating systems and devices. Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP, the Mac OSX, Linux and Chromebook are the supported OS. Devices include the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android machines, DD-WRT and Boxee Box – this is a quite extensive list. The bad news is that none of the above come with an available client. There are guides available for all of them, however this does not console us: the lack of any client is a huge disadvantage. A separate dialing software is available for downloading that lets you connect to their services. Sadly, it behaves hauntingly similar to a payphone: it automatically disconnect after 10 minutes of leaving the software idle.
HashtagVPN is more of a basic VPN provider, but its pricing is also in line with its more basic offering as service costs consistently less than most of the competition’s offers. There is one package on sale for three different durations. The one-month plan costs $6.99 monthly; the biannual duration fares at $5.99 per monthly and their best offer is the annual one, $3.33 per month. Even if you make a subscription, you can decide to otherwise and terminate it if you signal it to HashtagVPN within 3 days of your purchase. Or even better, there is a 14-day trial version available in case you are bias about deciding.
Before making any purchase, you should also take into account that HashtagVPN accepts the following payment methods: PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Bitcoin, American Express and interestingly JCB (Japan Credit Bureau).
HashtagVPN’s preferred forms of conducting support is through email using a ticket system. There is an absence of a live chat option. Our test inquiries produced mixed results, which is a black spot. With no clients to facilitate general VPN activity, your main source of reliability is probably going to the FAQ section. Thankfully, this is a place to report positively on: all helpful content is well organized and informative, and there is a separate section for error codes. The company isn’t very active on Facebook and Twitter, and lacks a live chat. Nevertheless, next to general information, their expansive FAQ also helps in resolving common problems.
With such great website design, creative visual solutions you would expect service to be similarly catchy and witty. Instead, what you receive is a light slap, reminding you not to judge a book by its cover. HashtagVPN has potential, but it lacks a number of the basics to compete with some of the greater VPN providers out there. There aren’t any desktop clients that make it convenient to connect to their VPN servers, instead you need to use their setup guides to configure your VPN connections yourself. Their server network doesn’t offer the reliability and uptimes you should expect from a quality VPN company. All in all, HashtagVPN is a secure service that does the trick, and its low price tag of as low as $3.33 per month is adapted to its basic offerings.
- High security
- NAT Firewall
- Low prices
- Widespread device support
- Low customer service
- Total lack of clients
- Overall tackiness
- Speed and server problems