RogueVPN Review (Used to be VPNGhost)

Disclaimer: The below review is my opinion, which I will try to provide as many examples for and as much evidence as possible to support.  Readers can learn more about how I conduct my reviews, my methodology, etc – here.  More information on review badges here.

This review’s roll was #135 (at the time of the roll, RogueVPN).

NOTE: VPNGhost changed their name to RogueVPN in Q4 of 2016.

 

Last Updated Nov 5, 2016

Signing up for the service: When signing up for service with RogueVPN, I noticed that their site worked very differently than almost any service I’d used before – and not in a good way.  I selected my plan and started going through the steps to pay for the service.  But when I was finished, I hadn’t been given login credentials or any account information at all.  Then I noticed a statement on the page:

“After a successful payment, you will receive your account information via email right away. No waiting, everything is instant.”

I received an email activation link, but even after activation, I never received account info of any kind.  I signed up for a free trial account after that, thinking that it might prompt me for an order number or something it could match things up to in their system, but this was not the case.  I sent an email to their support team, which you can read more about below.

website-bad

 

Configuring the service: When I finally got the files downloaded, I began getting the connections set up.  The first thing I noticed was that all of the ovpn files had their certs put inline, which is typical for a mobile connection (for instance, the Android OpenVPN app handles all of that just fine), but Network Manager needs separate cert and key files to operate properly.  In Android, I got an error telling me the connection was refused, and even when I broke out the certs and keys into their own files to configure everything in Linux, it wouldn’t connect there either.  I contacted support yet again for help.

broken

 

RogueVPN posted a message on their site a couple of days previous to starting my review.  They mentioned they were having some server issues, and updated this post a couple of days after I began my review, saying they were resolved and I could download the new config files to presumably resolve the issues I was having.  I downloaded the new set of files and was finally able to create the VPN tunnel (but I still had to break out certs and keys manually, which is very inconvenient for desktop).

 

Speed & Stability tests: All tests performed using beta.speedtest.net (html5) or the speedtest.net app.  Connecting using UDP, Default encryption was AES-256.

 

Speed Tests – RogueVPN – Desktop
    Latency Download Upload
No VPN Trial 1 9 ms 96.54 mbps 11.96 mbps
Trial 2 18 ms 96.96 mbps 12.29 mbps
Trial 3 25 ms 97.49 mbps 12.33 mbps
Average 17 ms 97.00 mbps 12.19 mbps
               
US West Trial 1 109 ms 56.56 mbps 9.44 mbps
Trial 2 109 ms 0.00 mbps 9.30 mbps
Trial 3 109 ms 54.16 mbps 8.48 mbps
Average 109 ms 36.91 mbps 9.07 mbps
Comp to Bench +92 ms 38.05% 74.41%
               
UK Trial 1 282 ms 7.43 mbps 2.68 mbps
Trial 2 281 ms 7.36 mbps 3.82 mbps
Trial 3 278 ms 8.96 mbps 4.81 mbps
Average 280 ms 7.92 mbps 3.77 mbps
Comp to Bench +263 ms 8.16% 30.92%
               
Hong Kong Trial 1 0 ms 0.00 mbps 0.00 mbps
Trial 2 0 ms 0.00 mbps 0.00 mbps
Trial 3 0 ms 0.00 mbps 0.00 mbps
Average 0 ms 0.00 mbps 0.00 mbps
Comp to Bench -17 ms 0.00% 0.00%
               
Australia Trial 1 470 ms 10.89 mbps 2.81 mbps
Trial 2 480 ms 0.00 mbps 1.07 mbps
Trial 3 471 ms 9.69 mbps 1.13 mbps
Average 474 ms 6.86 mbps 1.67 mbps
Comp to Bench +456 ms 7.07% 13.70%

 

Speed Tests – RogueVPN – Mobile
    Latency Download Upload
No VPN Trial 1 17 ms 73.89 mbps 14.22 mbps
Trial 2 27 ms 74.55 mbps 14.57 mbps
Trial 3 11 ms 74.81 mbps 14.44 mbps
Average 18 ms 74.42 mbps 14.41 mbps
               
US West Trial 1 110 ms 9.63 mbps 12.58 mbps
Trial 2 112 ms 8.05 mbps 12.67 mbps
Trial 3 111 ms 9.90 mbps 12.43 mbps
Average 111 ms 9.19 mbps 12.56 mbps
Comp to Bench +93 ms 12.35% 87.16%
               
UK Trial 1 279 ms 6.80 mbps 7.15 mbps
Trial 2 286 ms 2.65 mbps 8.96 mbps
Trial 3 279 ms 7.71 mbps 8.29 mbps
Average 281 ms 5.72 mbps 8.13 mbps
Comp to Bench +263 ms 7.69% 56.44%
               
Hong Kong Trial 1 346 ms 2.37 mbps 4.32 mbps
Trial 2 407 ms 2.44 mbps 3.02 mbps
Trial 3 406 ms 1.93 mbps 3.75 mbps
Average 386 ms 2.25 mbps 3.70 mbps
Comp to Bench +368 ms 3.02% 25.65%
               
Australia Trial 1 481 ms 1.52 mbps 3.60 mbps
Trial 2 481 ms 1.54 mbps 4.98 mbps
Trial 3 612 ms 1.35 mbps 4.06 mbps
Average 525 ms 1.47 mbps 4.21 mbps
Comp to Bench +506 ms 1.98% 29.24%

 

Note that Desktop – US West – Trial 2 and Desktop – Australia – Trial 2’s download tests failed, so the 0.00mbps figure is correct for each.  Also note that Hong Kong would not connect on desktop, so 0’s in those fields are also intentional (I double checked that certs were properly selected in Network Manager as well).  On top of this, there were some hiccups in the tests.  Servers tested were consistently spotty and slow.

 

Getting support: As I mentioned above, I never received any login info after signing up for the service, so I reached out to RogueVPN’s support team via email.  The website had a Live Chat option, but it was offline at the time (evening time in western US).  The next day I received an email asking for some paypal information – then was told I’d have to have my free account deleted and recreated.  They emailed me back shortly after, indicating that they fixed the issue and I should be good to download .ovpn files.  Once done, I was able to log in and download as I was told.  My experience was just short of them earning a “Silent” stamp of shame, but because the issue was mainly due to a poor registration system, I gave RogueVPN the “Broken” stamp above.

 

Getting a refund: RogueVPN has a “No refunds” policy.  Sometimes companies will make exceptions even though they specifically say they won’t grant any, so I asked just in case to see what they’d say, citing the poor experience getting connected.  After waiting for a couple of days, I never heard back either way – I’m assuming that’s a big, “no”.

 

Concerns in Terms & Conditions / Privacy Policy:

While not the longest terms, there are some things you’ll definitely want to look out for here.

 

RogueVPN does not offer refunds once the order is confirmed and the product is delivered.

No refunds, never a good thing.

 

“We do not warrant, either expressly or by implication, the accuracy of any materials or information provided through the Site or Service, We expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied.”

So, anything implied or outright stated could be an outright lie… so, what if THIS statement was an outright lie…  would that mean that everything stated or implied on the site is the unadulterated truth?  But then, this statement wouldn’t be true, so, how could-

 

We may impose usage or service limits, suspend service, or block certain kinds of usage in our sole discretion to protect users or the Service.

Mmm hmm… pretty vague there…  What kinds of usage?  How would that be determined?  How would that be tracked?

 

RogueVPN does not as a matter of ordinary practice actively monitor user sessions for inappropriate behavior, nor do we maintain logs of customers’ Internet activities.

So… as a matter of un-ordinary practice, you might?  That’s a pretty noncommittal way of promising nothing in particular.

 

RogueVPN shall not be liable and shall not have responsibility of any kind to any user for any loss or damage that you incur in the event of: any act or omission of any third party involved in making the Site or Service or the data contained therein available to you

So, this coupled with the “nothing we say matters or may not even be true” clause above basically means they can do whatever they want to you and they’re covered.

 

A RogueVPN lifetime subscription plan allows you to access our service at the time or [sic] your purchase for as long as those services are available. You may not assign lifetime subscription plans to any other person. RogueVPN makes no warranties or representations as to the expected lifetime of the RogueVPN services, and in purchasing a lifetime plan, you acknowledge and agree that the RogueVPN lifetime service could change [sic] or terminate [sic] in the future.

Lifetime subscriptions are almost never a good idea to sign up for, and here’s why…

 

[Regarding Business Private Servers]  The Service may be subject to unavailability for a variety of factors beyond our control… and may be interrupted, refused, limited or curtailed.

Under what conditions and for what purpose(s)?

 

We are committed to your privacy as it’s your human right, RogueVPN in no way collects or logs ANY data at all with users connected to our VPN.

After being told that anything written on the site expressly or implied basically amounts to a hill of beans, I’m not sure how seriously I’d take the implicit or explicit conviction and/or dedication of this statement.

obtuse

 

Final thoughts: RogueVPN falls right in line with a host of other subpar VPN services.  Their registration and account creation system was clearly ill-thought out, their configuration is not user friendly for someone wanting to create a manual Linux connection.  Their support took a long time to get back to me with anything useful, and their terms were littered with questionable clauses.  I would not recommend anyone use this service, it feels very much like a beta stage product and is consistently poor in almost every regard.

pile-of-junk

 

FROM THE VPN COMPARISON CHART
CATEGORY VPN SERVICE RogueVPN
JURISDICTION Based In (Country) Canada
Fourteen Eyes? Five
Enemy of the Internet No
LOGGING Logs Traffic
Logs DNS Requests
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
ACTIVISM Anonymous Payment Method Email
Accepts Bitcoin Yes
PGP Key Available No
Meets PrivacyTools IO Criteria No
LEAK PROTECTION 1st Party DNS Servers No
IPv6 Supported / Blocked No
  Offers OpenVPN Yes
OBFUSCATION Supports Multihop
Supports TCP Port 443
Supports Obfsproxy
Supports SOCKS
Supports SSL Tunnel
Supports SSH Tunnel
Other Proprietary Protocols
PORT BLOCKING Auth SMTP
P2P Some
SPEEDS US Server Average % 38.05
Int’l Server Average % 14.87
SERVERS Dedicated or Virtual
SECURITY Default Data Encryption AES-256
Strongest Data Encryption AES-256
Weakest Handshake Encryption
Strongest Handshake Encryption
AVAILABILITY # of Connections 2
# of Countries 15
# of Servers 19
Linux Support (Manual) Partial
WEBSITE # of Persistent Cookies 1
# of External Trackers 2
# of Proprietary APIs 5
Server SSL Rating A
SSL Cert issued to Self
PRICING $ / Month (Annual Pricing) 2.95
$ / Connection / Month 1.48
Free Trial Yes
Refund Period (Days) 0
ETHICS Contradictory Logging Policies
Falsely Claims 100% Effective
Incentivizes Social Media Spam
POLICIES Forbids Spam No
Requires Ethical Copy No
Requires Full Disclosure No
AFFILIATES Practice Ethical Copy
Give Full Disclosure No

 

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