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 #118 (at the time of the roll, SuperVPN)
Written Oct 4, 2016
Signing up for the service: I now realize how lucky I was to have had a couple of reviews in a row with good websites. Whether those past sites that were reviewed were rich with usable content or elegant in their simplicity, those past services struck a chord with me. Right after pulling up the SuperVPN website, I realized what a mess it is. There were dozens of links at the bottom of the page that were obvious SEO manipulation attempts (Private VPN Service, Anonymous VPN, VoIP VPN Service, Skype VPN Service, iPhone VPN Service, iPad VPN Service, etc). The page also had a cacophony of pointless “Share” and “Follow” buttons. I could go on and on about this website, but let’s just say it was an unmitigated disaster and leave it at that.
There are six plans available for purchase, each one more confusing than the last. My favorite part of their comparison – “Trial Account” – “No” all the way across. WHY EVEN HAVE THE FIELD THEN? OpenVPN was also difficult to find as they call it “SSL VPN”. Registration required an email address, which is not ideal for privacy, and worse, sets a MAX of 8 characters in a user’s password. Registration for the site is redundant to registration for the service – as when you finish with the first, it redirects you to a page to fill out for the second, which requires a manual order form be filled out, almost as though it weren’t the 21st century. This forms asks for full name, address, email address, and phone number. This is so wrong for a VPN company.
On the order form, there is the typical field with a host of icons representing forms of payment accepted by the service – including PayPal. Except, when you fill the form out, PayPal isn’t an option. This service looks so shady and unprofessional to me, I won’t be entering any real information or a credit card number – so I attempted to contact support using the live chat tool on the site to ask how one might pay using PayPal (See below for how this turned out).
Eventually, I was given my original login credentials by email. Signing up was a nightmare.
Configuring the service:
Setting up the configs was a little bit annoying as well. Once downloaded, I had to manually break out the cert files prior to connecting.
After connecting, I looked through the log and found:
“WARNING: No server certificate verification method has been enabled”.
It appeared that, like a few reviews in the past, the config files I downloaded were not set up to verify the server certificate (to know for certain it’s connecting to the actual server and not one in disguise). The cause of which, was that the files contained no lines to accomplish this task, which typically appears in one of the the following forms. This is insecure, and they denied any problem or wrongdoing further down as you will see.
Speed & Stability tests: Speeds were generally poor and/or unstable. When the international servers actually established a connection, speeds were fair.
|Speed Tests – SuperVPN – Desktop|
|No VPN||Trial 1||9||ms||95.19||mbps||11.91||mbps|
|Comp to Bench||+104||ms||7.34%||25.55%|
|Comp to Bench||+297||ms||15.64%||22.50%|
|Hong Kong||Trial 1||0||ms||0.00||mbps||0.00||mbps|
|Comp to Bench||-9||ms||0.00%||0.00%|
|Comp to Bench||+320||ms||10.50%||28.82%|
|Speed Tests – SuperVPN – Mobile|
|No VPN||Trial 1||11||ms||74.61||mbps||14.28||mbps|
|Comp to Bench||+102||ms||35.28%||91.45%|
|Comp to Bench||+332||ms||4.37%||48.15%|
|Hong Kong||Trial 1||0||ms||0.00||mbps||0.00||mbps|
|Comp to Bench||-11||ms||0.00%||0.00%|
|Comp to Bench||+373||ms||3.82%||55.26%|
Some very odd anomalies here – namely that Hong Kong didn’t even manage to keep a connection and failed on both Desktop and Mobile. The USA server had a faster speed on my mobile session for some reason on Mobile than on Desktop. All tests run with TCP.
Mobile – Switzerland – Desktop – Trial 1 also failed to pass the speed test.
Getting support: I reached out to support to ask the question mentioned above, that was, how a customer is supposed to pay with PayPal. To do this, I clicked on the “VPN Chat Support” button on the website, which presumably would open a live chat dialogue wherein I could ask. However, instead, it linked me to an email support page, where I had to enter my email address and ask a question where someone would contact me back. Come to find out that live chat is available during normal business hours on normal business days only. This is fair in theory, but I wish that they’d have an indicator on the widget showing that it is live or not – like every live chat tool I’ve ever seen. They responded the next day asking which plan I wanted and that I would receive a direct pay link via email. This seemed a lot like a routine deflection that they may be used to giving to people who ask. Eventually, they responded with a direct payment link (not very professional) and after that, account info to download config files.
Getting a refund: Citing the poor speeds and inconsistent connection, I asked the support team for a refund, and what I got was surprising:
Your Internet speed depends from your ISP also the important factor of speed is ping latency (your distance from selected VPN server). We could cancel your account but Plimus won’t return your money since everything is working great from our side. This rule is legitimated by Plimus fair usage policy since there are many customers who try to use our services for couple of hours and then try to refund money and do the same with the next VPN provider. We are sorry for the inconvenience this caused you andwe [sic] thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Obviously given that the closest server to me was the slowest (of the ones that actually worked), I cited a litany of other reasons you’d find in this review, and asked again to give them every possible reason to grant the refund.
All about our plans, features, prices, orders you could ask before purchasing. About security, as we claimed on our site you and all our customers get 100% anonymity and security from our servers with 4096 bits encryption. Nobody ever had problems with password length.
Hong Kong server works perfectly fine, we are sending you in the attachment config file.
As we said there is rule legitimated by Plimus fair usage policy since there are many customers who try to use our services for couple of hours, then try to refund money and do the same with the next VPN provider.
If you want we will cancel the account and there will be no further payments.
SuperVPN clearly intends to blockade people with legitimate concerns from obtaining refunds. Steer. Clear.
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.
Any more detail you want to provide here? This is kind of a big deal…
We are absolutely committed to safeguarding our users’ privacy and your security is of utmost importance to us… There are hundreds of good reasons for being anonymous and we respect them fully.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen this claim crop up in VPN service’s terms, only to be immediately dashed by some admission of a grievous violation of user privacy-
We only log access attempts to our servers (for security and troubleshooting), session durations and bandwidth used.
Son of a gun.
Acceptable means of payment are major credit cards and PayPal.
Sure would be nice if I didn’t have to email support and have them manually send me a payment link…
Our software and service are continuously tested on all major operating systems. However, in case there are significant problems with your VPN package and you are still not able to connect even with the help of our highly professional customer support, we will refund 100% of your money within 15 days of your purchase. Requests made later than the 15 day purchase date will be denied. This rule is legitimated by SWREG’s fair usage policy in order to prevent any abuses.
SuperVPN strictly enforces their refund policy (no refunds if the problem is not directly their fault, you can prove its their fault, and you feel like going 15 rounds with their one-response-a-day tech support reps. It’s very doubtful a user will actually see anything other than a long winded response about how they’re right and you’re wrong. This is a joke.
Final thoughts: When I press the roll button on the random number generator to select a service for review, I get anxious. Will I get a service that actually gives a crap, or will I get one of the many many, worthless piles of junk that infest this industry? After rolling and looking up what I’d be rolling here, I almost knew what I’d be walking into with SuperVPN based on my comparison research, and boy did I call it.
From the moment you start the journey of subscribing to their service, you are bombarded with an insulting and confusing website and un-user-friendly nonsense at every turn. Actually getting to a point where their service was usable was an ordeal. Their support team was ultimately unhelpful and obviously doing the bare minimum to maintain the guise that they are an actual company. Their servers were slow (if they worked at all) and when notified of a poor experience, their reps were more concerned with denying the request outright than following up in an attempt to improve the situation.
Simply put, SuperVPN doesn’t belong in this industry. They are unprofessional in almost every aspect, and a sorry excuse for a service that claims to keep its users safe and secure. They are not worthy of your time or attention, and are quite simply, a pile of junk.
|FROM THE VPN COMPARISON CHART|
|JURISDICTION||Based In (Country)||USA|
|Enemy of the Internet||Yes|
|Logs DNS Requests||No|
|Logs IP Address||Yes|
|ACTIVISM||Anonymous Payment Method|
|PGP Key Available||No|
|Meets PrivacyTools IO Criteria||No|
|LEAK PROTECTION||1st Party DNS Servers||No|
|IPv6 Supported / Blocked||No|
|Supports TCP Port 443|
|Supports SSL Tunnel||Yes|
|Supports SSH Tunnel|
|Other Proprietary Protocols|
|PORT BLOCKING||Auth SMTP|
|SPEEDS||US Server Average %||7.34|
|Int’l Server Average %||8.71|
|SERVERS||Dedicated or Virtual|
|SECURITY||Default Data Encryption|
|Strongest Data Encryption|
|Weakest Handshake Encryption|
|Strongest Handshake Encryption|
|AVAILABILITY||# of Connections||5|
|# of Countries||45|
|# of Servers||475|
|Linux Support (Manual)||Yes|
|WEBSITE||# of Persistent Cookies||0|
|# of External Trackers||0|
|# of Proprietary APIs||3|
|Server SSL Rating||F|
|SSL Cert issued to||Self|
|PRICING||$ / Month (Annual Pricing)||20|
|$ / Connection / Month||4|
|Refund Period (Days)||15|
|ETHICS||Contradictory Logging Policies|
|Falsely Claims 100% Effective||Yes|
|Incentivizes Social Media Spam|
|Requires Ethical Copy|
|Requires Full Disclosure|
|AFFILIATES||Practice Ethical Copy|
|Give Full Disclosure|
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