FastestVPN is a relatively new player in the VPN space. The Cayman Islands-based VPN provider started in 2016 with a small number of servers and features. It overhauled its service in 2020 and now offers over 350 servers in 31 countries. The service also makes some big privacy claims and provides some interesting features.
I wasn’t very familiar with FastestVPN before this review, so I was curious to see how well it would compare to the big players in the VPN market. I wanted to answer the “classic” questions most of us have when assessing a VPN provider:
- How fast is FastestVPN? (with a name like that, it better not be too slow).
- Does FastestVPN work with streaming sites, like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, etc.?
- How private and secure is FastestVPN?
- Does the service work in China?
- How does FastestVPN compare to the well-established VPN providers?
Those questions, and more, will be answered in this review. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, I’ve summarized my thoughts below. For the whole story, read the full review.
FastestVPN has been around since 2016. It now provides over 350 servers in 31 countries and makes native apps for only the most popular platforms, but still manages to support Linux and routers. Its pricing is also pretty good. The marketing on its website ticks many of the right boxes for the privacy-conscious as well and those looking for “convenience features”, such as working with streaming sites – though I was only able to access Netflix and nothing else. FastestVPN supports many VPN protocols, including some weak ones we’d like to see disappear. And its speeds were decent. All in all, it’s a good service but falls just short of the bigger players.
FastestVPN Key data
|OVERALL RANK: #31 of 46 VPNs|
|Average Speed*:||32 Mbps|
|Video Streaming Support:||4K UHD|
|Other Streaming Services:||No|
|Encryption Type:||256-bit AES|
|Log Policy:||No logging|
|Protocols:||OpenVPN, IPsec, L2TP, SSTP, PPTP|
|Value for Money||
|Lowest Monthly Cost:||$1.11|
|Money Back Guarantee:||15-day money-back guarantee|
FastestVPN pros and cons
- Good speeds
- Ads & malware blocker
- Kill switch
- Works with Netflix US
- No-logging policy
- Works in China
- Ten simultaneous connections
- 24/7 live chat support
- 15-day money-back guarantee
- Supports some weak VPN protocols
- Does not work with streaming sites other than Netflix US
- Claims to support split tunneling but doesn’t
- Uninformative website
- Need third-party apps for the service to work in China
- Monthly plan is expensive
Speed: Is FastestVPN the fastest VPN?
No. It’s not the fastest VPN we’ve tested.
But its speeds aren’t bad.
Taking the average of all the locations and times tested, we get 32 Mbps.
I performed the speed tests on servers in North America, Europe, and Asia to get a nice geographic sampling. And the results were good. But by no means is it the “fastest VPN” – whatever that means. As far as I know, there’s no independent body measuring VPN speeds and discerning awards… But the speeds are nonetheless good.
Here are the average speeds per region:
- North America (where I’m located): 55 Mbps
- Asia: 16 Mbps
- Europe: 26 Mbps
I used OpenVPN over UDP to perform all of the speed tests. FastestVPN also supports IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP, and SSTP. I would stay away from PPTP and even L2TP at this stage. And I would favor OpenVPN over SSTP, more because of its reputation than any security issues.
FastestVPN also supports routers. So I was able to configure an OpenVPN connection on my router and connect my gaming console to FastestVPN’s network.
Online gaming was fast and smooth. I didn’t experience any lagging or disconnects. I didn’t “feel” the VPN. To get low latency, I connected to a nearby server, which is recommended for online gaming.
Apps: What devices does FastestVPN support?
FastestVPN provides native apps for the following platforms:
- Amazon FireStick
- Chrome browser extension
- Firefox browser extension
That’s alright. But it also supports routers, which, once configured, can connect any device to the VPN network. FastestVPN enjoys touting a long list of supported devices, as seen in the image above. But do note that three-quarters of those listed are only supported through your router. That’s still OK if a tiny bit misleading…
Configuring a VPN connection on your router has some advantages, one of which is enabling you to bypass the limit on simultaneous connections (10 with FastestVPN). Your router’s VPN connection only counts as one device, regardless of how many devices are accessing the VPN through it.
The Windows client is simple enough to use. It shouldn’t be intimidating, even for new users.
There’s a simple Settings page with a few options, namely the kill switch.
One thing I didn’t like is that OpenVPN is not listed as a protocol in the app. You need to deduce that TCP is OpenVPN over TCP and that UDP is OpenVPN over UDP. Simply adding the word OpenVPN next to these options could go a long way to making this clearer – particularly to new users.
FastestVPN blocks ads and malware. This is enabled by default, and there’s no setting to toggle it on or off.
FastestVPN also provides Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, which do connect you to the VPN, but which will only affect your browser’s traffic rather than being system-wide.
I’ve never understood the use of browser extensions, to be honest.
As I mentioned, FastestVPN supports routers, which is good for the same reasons listed in the “Apps” section.
On an unrelated note, I like how the first step listed in FastestVPN’s router mini setup guide above, is to sign-up to FastestVPN…
Here’s the list of routers supported by FastestVPN:
That’s not a bad list. Though obvious omissions are pfSense and OPNsense. Taking the DD-WRT instructions and adapting them, I was able to configure a connection on pfSense.
You can have a look at our guide on VPN routers, if you’d like more information on the subject.
FastestVPN certainly makes a big splash about streaming support. It even calls out services it claims to work with. However, the reality is a bit different.
I was indeed able to access Netflix US with the VPN, but that’s it. No other Netflix libraries worked. I tried France, Germany, and the UK. No dice.
It was the same thing when I tried to access Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. None of them worked. Perhaps Fastest VPN should reduce, ever so slightly, its streaming marketing claims. It’s not really helping…
Still, streaming Netflix US was fast and smooth, with no buffering or freeze-ups.
Here are our recommended VPNs for streaming, if you’d like more information on the topic.
Does FastestVPN allow torrenting?
Yes, it does. FastestVPN allows torrenting on all of its servers. There are no hoops to jump through, no special settings to enable, and no specific set of servers to connect to. Simply connect the VPN, launch your torrent client and knock yourself out.
In my tests, torrenting over FastestVPN’s network was fast. I had the kill switch enabled, but I didn’t get disconnected during my tests—all good on the torrenting front.
Does FastestVPN support split tunneling?
Although this question should be easy to answer, especially given the above screenshot, it’s not.
FastestVPN claims to support split tunneling – a feature it calls Smart Tunneling. However, I found no way to configure this, either in the app or on my My Account page on FastestVPN’s website.
No company should advertise features it doesn’t actually support… That I would have to write this in a review is pretty ridiculous in itself. Not good.
Find out more about our recommended VPNs for split tunneling, if you’re looking for a VPN provider that supports the feature.
Security, privacy, and logging
The first thing we find is this:
So FastestVPN states that it won’t collect your browsing history or DNS requests. OK.
It then goes on to detail what it does collect:
It claims to collect nothing more than your email. And then it admits to using analytics on its website, for its live chat, and possibly in its VPN client. But that isn’t clear.
In terms of encryption, all FastestVPN tells us is AES-256. No mention of the control channel, key exchange, hash algorithms, or perfect forward secrecy. Though it does take the time to mention that this is “military-grade” encryption. Thanks, FastestVPN…
On the plus side, FastestVPN does run its own no-logs, in-tunnel DNS servers – which is the standard in the commercial VPN space.
Moving on to IP address leak tests, FastestVPN did not exhibit IP or DNS leaks.
IP address test – without VPN
IP address test – with VPN
DNS Test – without VPN
DNS Test – with VPN
Ads & malware blocker
FastestVPN provides an ad and malware blocker – which is nice.
FastestVPN’s ad and malware blocker works through DNS-blackholing. What this does is reference your DNS requests against a blacklist of known ads and malware domains. If your DNS requests match any entries on the list, they’re dropped. If not, they go through.
This is a nice feature to have, and it makes the internet less obnoxious. But it also provides another layer of security. Online ads, like malware, are a vector for attacks on your devices. Getting rid of them can only be good for you and your device (and your brain).
However, as mentioned above, there’s no way to disable this. It’s always on by default. But it works.
FastestVPN provides access to over 350 servers located in over 40 countries.
I know that’s less than some providers with networks comprising tens of thousands of servers. I prefer it when a VPN provider has a more modest network. It just feels to me like a company with tens of thousands of servers can’t really be in control of its network. It must be chains of third parties managing the beast of a network.
In my book, 350 servers are more than enough.
Does FastestVPN work in China?
I was unable to find any information about whether or not FastestVPN worked in China. No mention of it in the limited Support section of its website or its FAQ. So I decided to write to its customer service department and ask one of its representatives.
Support comes in the form of an online chat, which is available 24/7. It only took a few minutes before my question was answered, stating that, yes, FastestVPN does indeed work in China. However, to connect from China, you need to use a third-party client. This will either be the native OpenVPN Windows client or the native Windows OpenConnect client (SSTP).
And from what I gathered from the setup guides, TCP is the way to go to maximize your chances of successfully connecting from China.
It’s a shame this can’t be achieved in the FastestVPN’s client apps, but it’s better than nothing.
However, looking at other reviews online, many claim that FastestVPN doesn’t work in China. So it may be worth finding a VPN that definitely works in China.
How is FastestVPN’s customer service?
I had two experiences with FastestVPN’s customer support over its 24/7 online chat. My first experience, in which I enquired about whether or not the service worked in China, was just fine. My questions were answered promptly and politely. Although, I did have to ask follow-up questions in order to get all the answers I needed. No big deal here.
However, I contacted FastestVPN’s support a second time because I couldn’t find any settings related to its Smart Tunneling feature. So I asked FastestVPN about it through its online chat. I never got an answer…
Also, FastestVPN’s Support section on its website sorely lacks information. It’s simply an FAQ. There is no way to search for any content. And the FAQ doesn’t contain much, aside from the basic platitudes you can read on any VPN’s website (i.e., Is whatever VPN safe? Yes, it’s super ultra mega safe!). It’s essentially a reprint of its marketing you can find all over the website. So it’s not very informative.
And I’m sorry to say, but this is typical of smaller low-quality VPN providers. If these providers want to be taken seriously as privacy-protecting VPN providers, they need to be more transparent and provide some technical information to their users.
FastestVPN offers three subscription terms:
- One month: $10
- One year: $29.95 – works out to $2.49/month
- Three years: $39.95 – works out to $1.11/month
Aside from the monthly price, which is a bit high, these prices are excellent. In fact, $1.11/month is one of the lowest prices I’ve seen for a VPN service. Mind you, to get that price, you’ll need to commit to a three-year term. But it’s still a very low price.
Each subscription will allow you to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. And if you need more, you can add up to an extra 20 devices at $1 per extra device per month.
At this time, FastestVPN is also running a promotion where signing-up will get you a free one-year subscription with 2 TBs of online storage from Internxt. It’s a gimmick, but at least it’s a free one.
Do I recommend FastestVPN?
Well… no, I don’t.
There are simply too many issues with FastestVPN’s service for me to be able to recommend it in good faith. My privacy & security spidey-sense tingles when I contemplate signing up to FastestVPN… I simply don’t feel the company deserves my trust.
FastestVPN advertises a feature that’s nowhere to be found (Smart Tunneling). And it never provided an answer when I asked it about this. FastestVPN gets no points here.
On the streaming front, I was only able to unblock Netflix US. Nothing else worked. And again, FastestVPN promises more than it can deliver. Its marketing claims it can unblock almost anything. That’s simply not the case.
Then, while FastestVPN will apparently work in China, you’re going to need to download a third-party app and manually configure it. That may be better than it not working at all. But you can easily find a better VPN provider that works in China without requiring third-party clients and manual configurations.
On price, I would say that it’s better to pay a couple of extra dollars a month and actually get some privacy protection than it is to buy the illusion of better privacy in order to save a few bucks.
So what does FastestVPN have going for it?
Its speeds are OK. Nowhere near the speeds that would justify it calling itself “FastestVPN.” It provides 24/7 chat support that will ignore your questions if it makes its reps uncomfortable… And it supports up to 10 simultaneous connections, which is more than most (credit where credit is due).
But despite the short paragraph above, there’s just no way around the fact that you’d be better served by choosing a more established VPN provider. FastestVPN just can’t compete. And such a silly name, to me, undermines its credibility like all those shady VPN providers claiming to offer 100% anonymity and “unbreakable” encryption. It just isn’t so…
Do I recommend FastestVPN? It’s not a bad VPN but with such strong competitors it falls short of being a VPN I can recommend.
I would recommend you sign-up to one of the providers below.
Surfshark is another provider worth looking at. I believe it to be the cheapest VPN service I’ve seen, with subscriptions starting at only $1.99/month. Surfashark only supports secure protocols and works with streaming services. It adheres to its strict no-logging policy and works in China. Surfshark also allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Definitely worth checking out.
ExpressVPN is one of the larger players in the commercial VPN market and benefits from an excellent reputation. Its privacy and security practices are extremely good. All of the VPN servers run from volatile memory (RAM) and are booted from read-only disks. This setup essentially guarantees that no remnant data (logs) can exist on the system’s hard drives, which is great for user privacy. ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than most providers out there, but it’s fast, secure, unblocks streaming sites, and works in China.
How does FastestVPN compare to other VPNs?
Here’s a table comparing FastestVPN to two extremely popular and highly rated VPN providers, NordVPN and Surfshark.
|Average Speed||32 Mbps||115 Mbps||71 Mbps|
|Encryption typeType of encryption e.g. 256 AES||256 AES||256-bit AES||256-bit AES|
|Records identifying logs||may collect some information|
|Unblocks Netflix US|
|Unblocks Amazon Prime|
|Unblocks BBC iPlayer|
|Lowest cost per month||$1.11||$3.30 per month||$2.49 per month|
|Money back guarantee||15 days||30 days||30 days|