The greatest strength of Noodle is their wide variety of packages. You can choose from four – alternatively five – plans, which offer different benefits and perks. You can start off with a free account that lasts for 30 hours of use. You have access to PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, OpenVPN, Cisco VPN protocols, but the bandwidth is limited to 150MB. This is only a taste giver, and cannot be used for anything besides jumping from site to site anonymously. The OpenVPN/Cisco plan comes with a multi login of three devices, so you can share it with your co-workers as you wish. As the title suggests, you only get these two protocols and nothing more. Still, the unlimited bandwidth and the 18 possible virtual locations provide good value for its price.
Just like the rest of the packages, the Static package comes with Noodle’s very own app that you can install to set the ideal protocol. The Static account can be shared among five devices, promises 19+ locations and 83 servers, and allows P2P to be run on the servers of England, France, Netherlands and Canada. The Dedicated package shares the wide variety of supported protocols – OpenVPN, Cisco VPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec in particular – and offers 16 locations you can multi-login with 5 devices. The most possibilities are offered by the Dynamic package: you get to choose from 60+ countries, more than 330 servers and over 46,000 IPs.
A satisfying variety of VPN protocols are present, which could appease the need of almost every user. There is the well-known OpenVPN, generally available option for any platform, but the most preferred by desktop users. The L2TP and PPTP protocols are known to serve the mobile users very well; the first one focusing more on safety, while the latter is about speed above security. Cisco VPN is a relatively new solution in the private network world, but it gained a reputation among smaller businesses and administrators. Lastly, Kerio VPN works with the award-winning Kerio Control UTM firewall, which prevents any harmful network threat from sabotaging your browsing. Be advised, that not every protocol is included with every package.
A stuffed list of countries and hundreds of servers around the globe are the backbone of a solid VPN service. NoodleVPN performs well in this field, but it should be mentioned that not every packages has the same amount of locations. Only the Dynamic package possesses all the available countries and servers. You can camp in more than 60 virtual locations, which is a great number. You can choose from the USA, UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Australia among others. Our speed tests revealed a drastic speed drop when connected to England via OpenVPN – it didn’t even want to connect to other protocols. However, a more distant location in the USA rewarded us with a much better numbers, although it was still under the expected results.
OS, Device Support
As you should expect from a serious VPN provider, all currently popular operation systems are backed up by a proper client. This includes Windows 7 and 8, Mac OS X, Android and iOS. The list might cater to casual users who seek a convenient solution for tunneling their traffic, but the lack of support for systems like Linux is a painful flaw. Furthermore, Noodle only developed its own software for Windows, and offers public source VPN programs, like OpenVPN, as an alternative solution for the other systems. Unfortunately, the app is available with selected plans only.
Although the setup process and system configuration are guided with a step-by-step tutorial, it’s hard to figure out by people who never used a VPN before. This isn’t helped by the fact that you aren’t directed cautiously to your preferred client, but instead need to look it up in the “Setup VPN menu”. To the site’s credit, the page is well sorted out, but only for people who know the difference between the protocols and systems.
NoodleVPN supports both major smartphone operating systems, but they put more emphasis on Android, mentioning the configuration info for iOS devices in just one case, while dedicating four topics for Android users. This is coupled by the fact that Apple owners can only access PPTP and L2TP protocols, while those with an Android phone can enjoy the added benefits of the Cisco and OpenVPN services. This is particularly discriminating, as OpenVPN is available for iOS systems as well.
A rich and flexible service offering is awaiting those who are willing to subscribe to NoodleVPN. Even though a free trial account is available, it only lasts for 30 hours, while also limiting the number of countries you can connect to. The four actual paid membership plans come with a variety of benefits, depending on the price. Cisco VPN and OpenVPN fall under the same price tag, and they are the least expensive, thanks to the narrowed down protocols. It costs only $3 per month, $8 for three months or $16 for half a year. Static has a larger range of protocols and features, thus it has an increased fee as well: it charges you $5, $15 and $27 when billed monthly, quarterly or semi-annually.
With the Dedicated plan, there is no clear indication of the price, as it changes according to the location you bind yourself to. The one-month fee usually ranges between $9 and $11. Lastly, there’s the Dynamic plan, the most advanced offer in NoodleVPN’s purse. You get the most benefits from this one, for a fixed $10.40 per month. On a side note, it should be mentioned that in a bizarre fashion, NoodleVPN allows only digital payment methods, such as PerfectMoney, Bitcoin or WebMoney to be used for purchases. No credit cards are allowed, and they don’t offer PayPal as an option when checking out, even though they claim otherwise on the front page.
The website of NoodleVPN leaves a lot to be desired. The homepage has a nice design, with colorful promises about their features. But as you venture through the subpages, you’ll find the overall esthetic bland and unintuitive. There is no general indication towards your first steps after the registration, and the site often redirects you to its blog to describe info like the setup for your VPN client. Additionally, there are some serious inconsistences about the features. For example, all their plans have a different info sheet, and comparing key differences is nearly impossible. On the plus side, they have separate sections for sales and troubleshooting, and their team can be contacted for either of these 24/7. NoodleVPN is present at Facebook and Twitter too, but their most recent posts are more than a year old.
NoodleVPN surely is an interesting choice for a Virtual Private Network service. They work with a high encryption system that ensures high security, and their wide list of protocols, which includes extras like Cisco VPN or Kerio VPN, is more than welcomed. The four payment plans are tailored to fit the needs of a versatile group of people. However, it’s hard to trust their promises, as their statements are constantly contradicted by the details on the actual detailed sheets. The freemium account is close to useless due for the severe limitations and it only lasts for 30 hours. Navigating on the site is inconvenient and sometimes puzzling, and some info is only displayed on their blog. Although NoodleVPN could serve well those who know what they looking for, they should still contact the customer support before the purchase.
- Huge list of countries
- 4+1 different packages
- Wide variety of protocols
- Incoherent website
- Lack or misleading information
- No extra features