FreeVPN Free VPN Proxy is a Chrome extension which gives a free limitless bandwidth proxy to – the developer claims – ‘unblock any web site’.
The add-on affords a small however extensively unfold community, with places in Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States. Which may not be sufficient to unblock any web site, nevertheless it’s nonetheless extra selection than you may see with a number of the competitors.
There is not any particular setup required. You do not have to register, hand over your e mail deal with or another private particulars, and there is not any login required. All it’s important to do is select your server from an inventory, click on Join once you’re prepared, Disconnect once you’re carried out; it could not be a lot simpler.
The developer’s website additionally affords VPN apps for Home windows, Mac, Android and iOS, and we’ll discuss a bit of extra about these later, however for this assessment we’ll concentrate on the Chrome extension.
FreeVPN Free VPN Proxy works by redirecting your web visitors by way of an HTTPS connection, stopping native snoopers from intercepting your knowledge once you hook up with public Wi-Fi hotspots or different probably insecure networks.
This does not assure your anonymity, in fact, as a result of your visitors is being redirected by way of a server chosen by the developer. May this be logging your on-line actions?
The extension’s Chrome retailer web page claims that ‘no log is saved from any customers’. That is an encouraging begin, however we’d usually attempt to confirm this by checking a supplier’s privateness coverage, and Free VPN Proxy would not have one, at the very least so far as we might see.
This is not uncommon with proxy apps and extensions, nevertheless it’s nonetheless price looking for out extra in regards to the developer, when it comes to discovering how competent and reliable the corporate may be. We headed off to FreeVPN Free VPN Proxy’s web site, www.freevpn.pw, to try to discover out extra, however have been shortly dissatisfied.
The positioning was very primary: little greater than a single net web page with descriptions of particular person VPN apps. It included hyperlinks to put in the Android app and Chrome extension exterior of the app retailer, a really dangerous concept when it comes to safety. And moderately than HTTPS obtain hyperlinks pointing to the identical area (www.freevpn.pw/freevpn.apk), the location makes use of HTTP hyperlinks pointing to reveal IP addresses referring to a separate web site (http://1*four.1*5.2*four.37/dl/freevpn.apk), leaving us with no concept what we may be downloading, or from the place.
The confusion continued after we tried to seek out out who was behind the location. Though the web site was www.freevpn.pw, the copyright and e mail message factors to Tigervpns (not TigerVPN, a completely authentic industrial VPN service from Slovakia). A caption refers to Tigervpns (UK), and a Tigervpns Ltd Facebook page refers to FreeVPN Free VPN Proxy as a brand new service it has constructed. However there is not any point out of the rest the corporate does, and the 2 firm domains – tigervpns.com and tigervpn.co – do not host any web site.
Having a developer that’s a part of a UK restricted firm sounds reassuring, however we wished to seek out out extra. Searching Firms Home revealed that Tigervpns Ltd is registered as a UK firm, however the director and shareholder is called as Jiazeng Wang from Shanghai, China, and as we write Firms Home lists it as ‘non-trading’ and apparently based mostly at an lodging deal with.
Possibly there’s a good cause for this. Maybe the developer wished to do one thing with the corporate and simply by no means obtained round to it. However it’s additionally doable that the corporate is getting used to make it seem that the VPN has a UK enterprise behind it, moderately than being the product of a person from China.
Trying to find references to Tigervpns.com revealed that the developer can also be behind the Chrome extension Free VPN Proxy by HideMe (to not be confused with Cover.me, a completely authentic industrial VPN supplier).
HideMe claims to have a web site at www.hideme.io. This was useless throughout testing, however checking Archive.org confirmed that in 2017 HideMe was saying it had ‘invented a brand new VPN protocol that works nice in areas the place conventional VPNs are blocked.’ Mysteriously, the agency doesn’t appear to clarify what that is, or why it doesn’t point out it within the app retailer pages, or why it isn’t boasting about this breakthrough on safety information web sites.
Put all this collectively and the upshot is that we appear to have somebody in China organising a UK firm, apparently doing nothing with it, however utilizing its title and UK origin to push VPN merchandise below a number of manufacturers, generally with very implausible claims.
There is not any try to clarify this to customers, no web site with an in depth again story, and no apparent cause why this service is being given away without cost. None of that proves something malicious is going on, nevertheless it suggests to us that this is not a developer who in any manner deserves your belief.
Putting in FreeVPN Free VPN Proxy for Chrome works very like another extension: faucet Add To Chrome, wait just a few seconds and a brand new icon seems on the deal with bar.
Tapping the icon brings up a easy field with a flag top-left indicating the present server location, a Join button and a hyperlink to the freevpn.pw web site.
We clicked Join and watched as – nothing occurred. There was no error message, no change within the interface in any respect. Searching the Chrome retailer critiques confirmed many different customers saying the identical factor, and a few providing very dangerous recommendation on the right way to repair the issue (flip off net safety in your antivirus, disable your advert blocker).
We disabled all our extensions anyway, and that did make a distinction. Clicking Join now appeared to make a connection, though the browser complained that it could not entry any websites.
Additional testing confirmed the issue was with the default Canada server, which gave the impression to be useless. It wasn’t the one one: we have been additionally unable to entry the Netherlands and United Kingdom servers. The one accessible places have been Germany, Singapore and United States.
Searching from the working servers produced inconsistent outcomes. Most web sites displayed appropriately, however some have been incomplete or not formatted appropriately, and some did not show in any respect. The place there have been issues, hitting Ctrl+R to refresh the web page would normally repair the problem, although, indicating an intermittent fault like a connection high quality downside moderately than something extra elementary.
Working efficiency checks on SpeedTest.internet and Quick.com pointed to comparable points, with speeds various from 200Kbps as much as 50Mbps over very brief intervals, and with some checks often timing out altogether.
This did not cease us finishing up many widespread duties, and for instance we have been capable of stream HD video with out concern, as apparently the participant might buffer sufficient knowledge through the excessive efficiency intervals to make up for any velocity drops. However general, FreeVPN triggered a big variety of shopping points, and it is not one thing we’d need to use long-term.
Working our web site unblocking checks confirmed that the proxy allowed us to entry protected YouTube and Comedy Central content material whereas linked to the US server, however Netflix noticed what we have been doing and refused to stream content material.
We’d usually check whether or not the service gave us entry to BBC iPlayer, however as we weren’t in a position to hook up with the UK server, this wasn’t doable.
To spherical off the assessment we ran our common leak checks. All of the servers we might entry appropriately allotted us IP addresses within the promised places, and there have been no DNS or WebRTC leaks that may give snoopers any clues to our actual identification.
That is an unimpressive proxy app from a developer who provides no cause to belief him, and loads of the reason why you should not. For those who’re even barely involved about privateness or anonymity, use one thing else.