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 again in 2022 and now offers more than 350 servers in over 35 countries. The service also makes some big privacy claims and provides some interesting features.
This isn’t the first time I have reviewed FastestVPN. And the last time I did, it was a bit of a mixed bag. There was some good, but there was a lot to be desired. Speed, protocol selection, and streaming could be improved. So for this review, on top of finding answers to the “classic” questions, most of us have when assessing a VPN provider, I was also curious to see if there was any improvement on those fronts. I wanted to know the following:
- 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 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.
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 it still manages to support Linux and routers. Its pricing is also very competitive. The marketing on its website ticks many of the right boxes for the privacy-conscious and those looking for “convenience features,” such as working with streaming sites – though I was only able to access Netflix and nothing else – so there is no improvement there. FastestVPN supports many VPN protocols, and they got rid of the weaker protocols they previously supported – good stuff. And its speeds were much better this time around, as well. All in all, it’s a good service that just got better, but it still falls short of the more prominent players.
FastestVPN Key data
|OVERALL RANK: #49 of 76 VPNs|
|Average Speed*:||121 Mbps|
|Video Streaming Support:||4K UHD|
|Other Streaming Services:||AmazonPrime Video|
|Encryption Type:||256-bit AES|
|Log Policy:||No logging|
|Protocols:||OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, SSTP,|
|Value for Money||
|Lowest Monthly Cost:||$0.66|
|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
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 24/7 live chat support
- 15-day money-back guarantee
- Many substantial improvements were brought to the service since our last review
- Lacks WireGuard support
- Does not work with streaming sites other than Netflix US and Amazon Prime Video
- 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?
Like the first time we testest FastestVPN’s speeds, it’s not the fastest VPN we’ve tested.
But its speeds aren’t bad. And they massively improved since the last time we tested its speeds.
Taking the average of all the locations and times tested, we get 121 Mbps.
I performed the speed tests on servers in North America, Europe, and Asia to get a nice geographic sampling. And the results were quite good. I’m not even sure what “the fastest VPN” means, but FastestVPN’s speeds are nonetheless good.
Here are the average speeds per region:
- North America (where I’m located): 204 Mbps
- Asia: 61 Mbps
- Europe: 99 Mbps
I used OpenVPN over UDP to perform all of the speed tests. FastestVPN used to support OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP, and SSTP – a Windows-based SSL VPN protocol. It has since (thankfully) dropped support for PPTP. That protocol has been obsolete for years now, and nobody should be using it. L2TP support is stated on its website, but I didn’t see the protocol in any of the apps.
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.
See also: Fastest VPNs
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. We’d also like to see WireGuard support here.
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.
As I mentioned, FastestVPN supports routers. Here’s the list of routers supported by FastestVPN:
That’s not a bad list. Though obvious omissions are pfSense and OPNsense. By 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 supports streaming and even provides a sublist of dedicated streaming servers in its app. But it has thankfully toned down its streaming support marketing. And that’s a good thing. The last time I tested the service, I could only access Netflix US. No other Netflix libraries worked. I tried France, Germany, and the UK. No dice. And it was the same this time around regarding Netflix support.
Testing further, I was able to access Amazon Prime Video, as well, using a US streaming server. But that was it. Disney+ and BBC iPlayer didn’t work, despite having selected a dedicated streaming server in the appropriate region.
And in my last review, I recommended they dum down their streaming marketing, and they did. You can see in the screenshot above that it promotes working with Netflix US. So now you know what to expect.
Streaming Netflix US and Amazon Prime Video 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?
So FastestVPN sort of supports split tunneling – and it has a special twist.
It provides a feature called Smart Tunneling. With Smart Tunneling, you create a list of domains that will be routed through the VPN tunnel even when the VPN app isn’t running at all. This isn’t split tunneling as we know it, where you can selectively route specific apps through either the VPN or your “regular” ISP connection. When the FastestVPN app is running, all your device’s traffic is routed through the VPN tunnel.
But with Smart Tunneling, you can be sure that certain domains are always routed through the VPN tunnel, regardless of whether or not you have the app running and are explicitly connected to a VPN server.
While “classic” split tunneling support would still be welcome, I think FastestVPN’s Smart Tunneling feature is actually quite cool.
The downside, however, is that the feature was only available on mobile. Hopefully, FastestVPN will make the feature available to other platforms in the future.
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.
It then goes on to detail what it does collect:
FastestVPN does run its own no-logs, in-tunnel DNS servers – which is the standard in the commercial VPN space.
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.
Its website isn’t the most informative out there. And in updating its service, it doesn’t seem to have updated its entire website. Depending on where you click, you land on a mix of new and visibly older pages. Hopefully, FastestVPN is working on updating the rest of its website.
Moving on to leak tests, FastestVPN did not exhibit any 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 ad and malware blocking. It’s always on by default. But it works.
FastestVPN provides access to over 350 servers located in over 35 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. It must be chains of third parties managing the beast of a network.
In my book, 350 servers are more than enough.
FastestVPN also provides access to a few “Double VPN” servers. A double VPN is just that, you connect to a first VPN server that then connects to a second VPN server before going out to the internet. It enhances your privacy and makes you harder to track. The double VPN servers are accessed from the Server Selection page in the app (the main page) under the D-VPN header. At the time of writing, FastestVPN offers three Double VPN chains:
- UK via USA
- USA via Netherlands
- France via UK
In my testing, all three worked well. But remember that connecting to two servers in this manner adds overhead to your connection, which inevitably translates to a slowdown. So it’s a tradeoff between performance and privacy.
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 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 second experience (above), in which I enquired about whether or not the service worked in China, was just fine. My questions were answered promptly and politely.
However – and this is really something FastestVPN needs to fix – when I initially purchased my subscription, it didn’t show up in any of FastestVPN’s apps – even though I was properly logged in. I had to contact Support to get my account activated. So I used FastestVPN’s live chat, and the representative I fell upon was incredibly unhelpful and impolite. The responses were somewhat nonsensical, and they were few and far between. It took me roughly an hour to get something that should never have happened sorted out.
The rep asked me for information I didn’t have, then told me they couldn’t help me. When I asked if they could check my account’s status using my email, they ignored me and repeated the initial questions they had already asked. Finally, the rep asked me for my email to check my account’s status – as if I had never asked…
Finally, I got my account details by email. It was pretty ridiculous. One employee doesn’t represent the entire company, though. And the second rep I spoke to about connecting from China was excellent.
FastestVPN’s Support section on its website was also recently updated. It used to just be an FAQ. There was no way to search for any content. It now includes a search field you can use to find answers to common questions. Good stuff here too.
FastestVPN’s Support section on its website was also recently update. Its used to just be an FAQ. There was no way to search for any content. You can search through to find answers to common questions. Good stuff here too.
FastestVPN offers three subscription terms:
- One month: $10
- Three years: $25.00 – works out to $0.70/month
- Five years: $40.00 – works out to $0.66/month
Aside from the monthly price, which is a bit high, these prices are excellent. In fact, $0.66/month is one of the lowest prices I’ve seen for any VPN service. Mind you, to get that price, you’ll need to commit to a five-year term. But it’s still a very low price.
Each subscription will allow you to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously and comes with a 15-day money-back guarantee.
At this time, FastestVPN is also running a promotion where signing-up will get you three extra months of VPN service for free, a free one-year subscription with 2 TBs of online storage from Internxt, and access to it PasswordHulk password manager. It’s a gimmick, but at least it’s a free one.
Do I recommend FastestVPN?
Well… more than last time.
But reputation, in the commercial VPN space, is everything and FastestVPN still feels amateurish. And while I don’t want to come down too hard on the company because of one bad Support rep, it still imparts the feeling that it’s just not as professional an operation as NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
On the streaming front, I was only able to unblock Netflix US and Amazon Prime Video. 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.
Despite all its improvements, there still aren’t enough compelling reasons to choose FastestVPN over its competition – even if its five-year term is priced extremely competitively. But in time, that could change. A few more iterations with substantial improvements, and we may well be able to recommend FastestVPN in good faith one day.
So do I recommend FastestVPN? Not today, but hopefully, yes, in the not-too-distant future. I still want to commend FastestVPN for its improvements. A lot of smaller VPN providers stagnate. Not FastestVPN.
Check out some of our recommended VPN providers below.
Surfshark is another provider worth looking at. It’s one of the cheapest VPN services 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.
|Website||FastestVPN.com||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||Average Speed (Mbps)||32 Mbps||196 Mbps||189 Mbps||OpenVPN data encryption||256 AES||256-bit AES||256-bit AES||Kill Switch||Allows Torrenting||Connection logs||may collect some information||Effectively none||Unblocks Netflix US||Unblocks Prime Video||Unblocks Hulu||Unblocks BBC iPlayer||Lowest monthly cost||$1.11||$3.19||$2.30||Money back guarantee||15 days||30 days||30 days||Overall rating||2.5||9.7||9.6|
|Best deal (per month)||$1.11|
$1.11/mo for the 3 year plan
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