About the Company
VPNGate is a free, non-commercial VPN service. The service is rather called an Academic Experiment Project. It has been developed by the University of Tsukuba, Japan. The service was launched with the aim to research a good distributed VPN system. It is also a side-project of SoftEther VPN, which is free and open source multi-protocol program, developed by the same University. VPNGate servers around the world are run by volunteers.
VPNGate doesn’t offer many features apart from the basic ones a VPN should offer. Here’s a comprehensive VPN Gate review to help you make firm decision.
During the process of testing the VPNGate service, we saw that 4000+ servers were online. However, most of them were from South Korea, Japan, United States and UK. Servers from Europe were either slow or unreachable. There was, however, a US server that gave us a whopping 12.93Mbps!
There are no pricing plans available for VPNGate because it is FREE. There are no packages, no nothing, just a basic free VPN service that provides users security, anonymity and freedom to access desired content. According to the official VPNGate website, the service will always remain free as the purpose behind the creation of this VPN is not ‘profits’ but for research purposes only.
Furthermore, if VPNGate will turn into a paid service, the Japanese government will make interference in to the operations. In order to avoid this scenario, VPNGate has decided to always keep the service free. So if you are concerned about the money factor then throw away all your worries out the windows now!
Since the VPN service from VPNGate is absolutely free for everyone, there are no supported payment methods, and the need of payment support will never rise.
Protocol Support & Encryption
VPNGate is a SoftEther VPN system. It provides high security through 256-bit AES encryption with RSA 4096-bit key encryption along with SHA-1 hashing. This applies to all the connecting methods with SoftEther VPN servers. Check out full details here.
The compatibility is pretty good. The VPN supports all the major devices and operating systems including Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android. VPNGate has custom client for Windows available in English, Chinese and Japanese languages. Users get to connect to the VPNGate network using SofEther VPN client and VPNGate Plugin, which offers better throughput than OpenVPN, SSTP or L2TP. The installation process is very simple and all it requires is downloading, unzipping and installation.
Other platforms connect with OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols using ‘legacy’ clients, which however, are not mentioned on VPNGate website. We assume that all devices capable of using the aforementioned protocols can connect to the VPNGate network as well. Please note that the Windows users have got OpenVPN, SSTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols to go online.
VPNGate doesn’t mention anywhere whether it supports P2P or not. Apparently, the VPN provider does not encourage P2P filesharing, however, doesn’t block it as well. In simple words, you should be able to use P2P platforms on VPNGate without any problems.
VPNGate does not offer multi-device connections. This means that with one VPNGate account, you can connect on one device. Since the service is free, you can get as many accounts as you want and set them up on all of your devices with ease to use simultaneously.
Money Back Guarantee: The Money back guarantee doesn’t apply on VPNGate as it’s a free service.
Logs policy: As part of their anti-abuse policy, the developers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan clearly mention that they do keep connection logs. However, they don’t keep the usage logs, which are the ones containing information about user’s activities. These logs are kept for three or more months, depending on different factors and in even of a wrongdoing, the VPN service will not hesitate handing over the logs to the authorities. So the smarter thing to do is to use the VPN service carefully.
The customer support is almost non-existent. Here’s what we analyzed:
- No live chat feature
- Forum is there but pretty much empty
- FAQs are helpful
- May reply to a tweet through their Twitter profile which hasn’t been updated since 10 June.
Innovative Features or Special Add-Ons
There are no innovative or special Add-Ons that VPNGate offers. All the following could be offered by VPNGate but aren’t, and we cannot blame the provider as the service is free:
Dedicated IPs – No
Internet Kill Switch – No
Streaming Booster – No
Online Gaming Support – No
NAT Firewall – No
Web Protection – No
Anti Malware Protection – No
Encrypted Email – No
Stealth Browser – No
DDoS Attack Protection – No
Here are the Pros:
- It’s free!
- It’s open source
- The service will work just fine if right servers are selected for different purposes
- Mirror sites and daily email updates are sent to the users to break government firewalls
- Limited features
- P2P is allowed but not mentioned anywhere
- Very limited amount of European servers, which also happen to be slower than other servers specially from Asia and US
- Connection to the servers drops too often at times
- Logs policy might put some users in trouble with the authorities
VPNGate has got its issues. You might face speed issues, connections dropping etc. but since the service is free you cannot complain about it can you? Since the VPN service relies on its volunteers, we cannot ask for more. The service is mainly for the piracy-law and geo-restriction unblocking and does get the job done. If you are already using another VPN service that doesn’t offer multi-logins, you can configure VPNGate on other devices as a secondary VPN service.