We all know that government agencies have stepped up their game as far as their surveillance programs go.
Add to that the fact that a ton of marketing agencies are now following your every move while you are surfing the web.
Some of us want our privacy back.
A few of us even want to protect ourselves against hackers and other cybercriminals.
To solve problems like the ones we have mentioned above, we have VPN services.
VPN services are there to protect users and their online data.
One of the up and coming VPN services is ColanderVPN.
And by the end of this review, you will know for sure if ColanderVPN is really worth your time.
You’ll also know if it provides you with enough security to keep government agencies, marketing companies, and hackers off your back.
ColanderVPN Full Review
ColanderVPN is essentially a new VPN service that provides users with the privacy they need.
Or at least that’s what the company says it is there to do.
The company operates out of Ukraine.
According to many experts in the field of politics, Ukraine has a repressive regime.
And to help users bypass government internet restrictions, the creators of this VPN service have worked hard for the last couple of years.
According to official sources, the people behind ColanderVPN are very adept at coming up with solutions to online privacy and anonymity.
Our research shows that ColanderVPN has enough features to bypass even the Great Firewall of China.
That is the reason why it can provide internet freedom to so many people who are living in China.
ColanderVPN offers its services in three main languages.
They are as follows,
Read our full review to find out if there is something more that ColanderVPN offers to protect your online privacy.
Unlike some of the other VPN service providers we have reviewed, ColanderVPN doesn’t offer different features for different packages.
It offers the same features for all its packages.
The only difference between the three packages it offers is the subscription period.
Users can avail a huge discount on the default price if they sign up for around a year.
The yearly package does drive the price down to a reasonably decent level.
The strange thing about the pricing model is that ColanderVPN uses US dollars as its currency of business.
Now, why is that strange?
That is strange because the company is based in Eastern Europe.
If a user signs up with ColanderVPN for a period of one year, then the subscription package price comes down to around $1.97 per month.
As you can probably tell, this price makes ColanderVPN amongst the most economical VPN, Virtual Private Network, services in the market today.
Of course, a lot of online users find paying upfront and for such a long period slightly daunting.
And that is okay.
ColanderVPN also has a solution for those kind of online users.
The company provides all subscribers a full 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
Hence, users who worry about taking a risk while signing up for a VPN service, can breathe a sigh of relief.
You don’t have to commit to ColanderVPN to use its service.
If you find that you don’t want to use the service anymore after 30 days of use, then you can request the company for your money-back guarantee.
ColanderVPN now offers two packages.
One is the monthly package which costs users $5 per month.
And the other is the yearly package which costs users around $2.96 per month.
What About Free Trial?
ColanderVPN does offer a free trial.
But it lasts only 24 hours.
The free trial does offer users access to the full service even though it is only for a day.
In other words, users who don’t want to commit their money from the start have the opportunity to test out the service before committing.
At the time of writing this review, ColanderVPN offered payment methods such as,
- Credit cards
- Debit cards such as Visa and Mastercard
The company uses Stripe as its system of choice when it comes to processing these payments.
And yes, ColanderVPN doesn’t offer Bitcoin as a payment method.
It also doesn’t accept PayPal.
That is a real bummer for people who want total privacy from the beginning to the end of the sign-up process.
As mentioned before, ColanderVPN operates out of Eastern Europe.
That means, this VPN service provider doesn’t have to give any attention to spy agencies.
In other words, those watchful eyes of the NSA and other British secret services.
ColanderVPN allows users to install the company’s connection software on any and all of their devices.
But the company does restrict the number of simultaneously connected devices to just three.
That isn’t a great number by any means, but it isn’t bad either.
Besides, you can always install the company’s VPN client on your router.
Once you do that, the VPN-enabled router will automatically cover all of your devices which are connected to the same network.
So in short, with one license of ColanderVPN, you can protect three of your devices.
Or more if you use ColanderVPN with your router.
If you go to the company’s official website you can see a list of all the features the company offers to its customers.
Some of them include,
- Zero logging
- Fast VPN servers
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- P2P allowed
- Torrenting allowed
- Advanced encryption 2048 bit
- OpenVPN protocol available along with PPTP and L2TP
- No NAT
- 99.99 percent uptime.
Our research shows that the feature page of ColanderVPN doesn’t give users the correct information as far as its VPN server locations are concerned.
The official page indicates that ColanderVPN operates its VPN servers in four different countries.
While the full list of VPN servers on the official website says that the company operates them in more than 12 countries.
The one thing that caught our eye when looking at ColanderVPN’s feature is that the company allows torrent downloading.
But the company does a good job of mentioning that ColanderVPN wouldn’t allow online activities which a specific country has outright banned.
The company mentions other similar facts in its terms of service page too.
ColanderVPN also takes care to mention the fact that the company has a strict policy against hackers.
That is hackers who want to use their service to launch cyber attacks such as DDoS, Distributed Denial of Service.
All VPN service providers make use of two types of encryption.
We’re talking about their basic setup here.
Usually, VPN services use a symmetrical key system to encrypt the main session.
What does that mean?
That means both sides of any connection need to possess the same kind of key in order to decrypt and encrypt the packets that come and go via the connection.
Almost all VPN service providers use techniques such as public key encryption for such purposes or phase.
The session establishment process at ColanderVPN makes use of 2048 bit TLS, Transport Layer Security, encryption systems.
Is that good enough?
In most cases yes.
But here is the problem:
The company aggressively promotes its VPN services for people who want to bypass internet restrictions in countries such as China.
For that purpose, this encryption standard is not enough.
The company would do well to increase the online security of its session establishment phase.
And it can start to do that by using a 4096-bit key.
Needless to say, all the major VPN players in the industry are quickly moving forward with ever stronger public key encryption methods.
Because most of these VPN service providers know that the Chinese government people are hard at work in trying to crack the 2048-bit Transport Layer Security, TLS, encryption.
According to some media reports, they have already cracked the RSA encryption which makes use of 1024-bit encryption keys.
While we are on the top, let’s talk a bit more about the main session as far as ColanderVPN VPN connection is concerned.
The company offers all its customers the OpenVPN methodology for their online security.
ColanderVPN also offers the PPTP, or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol along with L2TP, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, VPN protocols.
As always, we think that OpenVPN is the best option for any regular VPN user.
Because it has become the standard in the VPN industry.
And the industry now trusts and recognizes this security system.
ColanderVPN also implements AES, or Advanced Encryption Standard, encryption along with a 256-bit key.
When compared to OpenVPN protocol, PPTP isn’t that secure of a VPN protocol.
In any case, the official ColanderVPN implementation makes use of a 128-bit key for its encryption phase.
As indicated earlier the PPTP, or Point to Point Tunneling Protocol isn’t as secure as OpenVPN.
Nevertheless, if you want to use it then you can.
ColanderVPN makes use of a 128-bit key for encryption as far as is PPTP implementation is concerned.
For the L2TP protocol, Colander VPN makes use of a 256-bit encryption.
This protocol basically follows the standard of IPSec, or Internet Protocol Security.
Users should also know that the L2TP methodology is best for users who want to use a VPN service on their mobile device.
Because it is quick.
And consumes fewer resources.
It saves battery as well.
While Colander has a good number of features on offer, it doesn’t require one advanced feature which we think is an absolute must for all modern VPN service providers.
That feature is the kill switch feature.
Sometimes experts in the field call the kill switch feature as VPN firewall.
This Kill Switch feature makes use of a system which blocks all types of access to the online world via the internet when the user has lost connection to the VPN client.
This is an extremely useful feature and would increase the likelihood of more people signing up for ColanderVPN rather than its competitors.
Remember that the Kill Switch feature provides the necessary backup protection which people living in countries such as China and Iran can’t do without.
They have to remain untraceable throughout the duration of their internet activities.
What About Logging?
ColanderVPN has a bit of a rare setup as far as logging information is concerned.
We say that because the company actually keeps all its account information distinct and separate from its Virtual Private Network service company.
What does that mean for the end user?
It means that if the company wants to then it can only identify its users via their email account and username.
As mentioned before, ColanderVPN uses another company by the name of Stipe to handle all its payment processing stuff.
Stripe, as a company, does not pass personal information onto ColanderVPN.
This basically ensures that ColanderVPN is unable to identify any of activities that its users are taking part in while connected to the company’s servers.
If you are one of those users who wants to avoid giving out his/her email address when the sign-up process begins, then you can easily provide ColanderVPN a disposable email address.
There are many reputed websites that allow you to create temporary email accounts.
You can go there, create one and then use it as your contact email address.
If you run into any security issues while using ColanderVPN, then you can easily break the actual chain of identification by closing down the email account you provided to the company at sign-up.
There is not a single VPN service on the planet that does not keep some information on its users.
VPN companies have their obligations as well.
In other words, they must track their users to keep a record of their sessions when they are connected to the internet via the company’s VPN servers.
Remember, a VPN service basically stands right in the middle of its customer and the customer’s target online web server.
If the VPN server is to work properly then it has to keep a track of the incoming replies that it needs to forward to each of its customers.
With that said, it is true that ColanderVPN does not engage in retaining any information on the details of its users and their activities.
That is, once they have terminated their connection session with the company’s VPN server.
What About the Official Website?
The developers behind the official ColanderVPN website have designed it really well.
The website also looks attractive because of its color theme.
Moreover, it seems to us that the company has put in a lot of thought to the design of its logo as well.
In other words, the ColanderVPN logo manages to give off a great look.
As mentioned before, the colors on the official website’s theme also do a good job of taking a cue from the company’s emblem.
The official website has a top menu along with a footer with quick links on each page.
That makes navigation very easy for customers.
ColanderVPN offers its official website to users in three different languages.
The supported languages include English, Ukrainian, and Russian.
Remember that the people who are behind this company don’t use English as their first language.
And this fact is quite evident when you visit the site as it contains broken English sentences along with minor spelling mistakes.
ColanderVPN offers all its users customer support via a chat box that exists right at the bottom corner of the website.
Or bottom right corner to be more precise.
This is the company’s primary support desk.
The company also offers a live chat service as a form of customer support.
But you can only avail it from 9:00 to 23:00 UTC + 2 Eastern European Time.
If you go to the official website and click on the tab for customer support, the website will open up a nice message window for you.
You can use this message window to send your queries to the company.
The company will send you the reply for your question on the email address that you provide in the chat window.
As mentioned before, if you want to take advantage of other forms of customer support then you should click the appropriate tab from the top menu.
ColanderVPN also has a troubleshooting section on its site.
But it’s not sufficiently extensive.
There is a Send Inquiry button in there and when you click it while surfing the support screen, the website will take you to a standard web form.
This is where you can enter your query or your question about the service.
ColanderVPN will, once again, send all responses to your questions to the exact email address that you provide to the company at the top of the standard form.
Installation And User Interface
We have already mentioned that you should use the free trial offer from ColanderVPN.
Remember, this free trial allows users to have full access to ColanderVPN VPN service.
So sign up for the free trial first.
Feel out the VPN service.
And then think about investing your money.
The only thing you need to take care of is your timing.
Since the free trial only lasts for 24 hours, you must sign up for the free trial on a day where you don’t have much else to accomplish.
The company will require you to provide them an email address to register for the free trial.
But it won’t ask for any more details such as personal information and credit card number.
Some users may worry about some actor tracing them via the free trial.
The solution to that problem is the same as before.
Just create a new email address that you can dispose off later and then use that while signing up for the free trial.
VPN Client User Interface
This is perhaps the area where ColanderVPN loses a lot of marks.
The company doesn’t have dedicated apps for different platforms.
Instead of custom-built apps, users will have to download the OpenVPN GUI app.
That comes for free thankfully.
The OpenVPN GUI app is a well-reputed app.
Many people trust the OpenVPN organization which is behind the OpenVPN GUI app.
ColanderVPN provides users with the link to the OpenVPN GUI app download file.
After you have downloaded that, you will have to download another file from the ColanderVPN site.
This file is called the configuration file.
You need this file before you can actually go ahead and use the application.
After you have done, you will need to check your account details.
You can do that by going to the official website of ColanderVPN and then clicking on the accounts details tab.
There is where the website will provide you with your password.
The username of your ColanderVPN account is actually the same one that you used when you created your account.
Remember that the password you created when you opened your account is only applicable when you want to access the client area of the official website.
As far as the app goes, you’ll need a different password for that.
To find this “second” password, make your way to the account details page on the official website.
When you get to the page, you should see the VPN password field hidden.
Click on the icon that appears at the end of this field to make your password visible.
There isn’t much to say about the OpenVPN GUI app.
It is basic.
And it doesn’t give you any sort of an indication if you are connected to a VPN server or not.
With that said, once you have connected to the VPN and it is operating, the system tray icon will change its color to green.
To utilize all the available options you will have to do a bit of more work.
Don’t worry about the work though.
It will also give you an official link to the company’s configuration files.
All you have to do is to download these configuration files and then copy them to your OpenVPN directory.
After that, your VPN app should allow you to connect.
Remember that the file available on the official website only allows you access to the company’s Canadian VPN server.
If you want to connect to another server, you will have to download another configuration file for that server.
To do that, first, go to your accounts area.
And then click on the option that says Servers tab.
That will enable your access to all other configuration files.
Remember, if you want to have access to all 13 VPN server locations then you will have to download the configuration file for each one of them.
Once you have downloaded them to your computer machine, all you have to do is to move them to your config directory of your OpenVPN home directory location.
This is usually on your C drive.
After you have placed the config files in the right location, you can easily choose your preferred VPN server location.
To do that right-click on the system tray icon.
When you have moved your mouse pointer to one of the countries available as options, the app will open up a secondary menu.
From the secondary menu, you will have to click on Connect in order to actually connect to a VPN server.
The other thing you need to know is that the first time you actually connect to and access a country, the app will require you to log in again with your login credentials.
Moreover, the app system does not remember the user’s log-in information details from one country to the other.
If you want to change the language of the app, you will again have to right-click on the OpenVPN GUI app system tray icon.
From there you will have to select the option that says Settings.
This option is easily accessible from the pop-up menu.
When you have opened the Settings menu then you need to click the down arrow that appears at the end of the option that says Language.
Doing so will enable you to see the comprehensive list of available languages.
After you have pressed OK, the language of your app will change to the one that you just chose.
The language of your right-click system tray menu will also change accordingly.
The Sign-Up Process
Needless to say, you should give some serious thought to subscribing with ColanderVPN if you find the service satisfactory while using it via the free trial option.
If you want to do so, then you should first head back to your accounts area.
From there, the official VPN website, you need to click on the option that says Extend Account.
This option should be visible in your account details window.
After that, the website will require you to choose the length of your subscription plan.
Do that and then subscribe.
The subsequent windows will also show you the pricing of each package.
After you have chosen your package, the screen will show you the payment options available.
The thing to note here is that the graphic that actually shows you the payment cards option isn’t really an active button.
To move forward you will have to click the button that says Checkout.
Doing so will allow the official website to open up a new overlay window.
This is where the website will require you to input your credit card details or debit card details.
When you have completed the payment then the company will send you an email notification.
The notification will inform you that the company has activated your subscription.
The actual speed of any given VPN service provider will heavily depend on the internet connection of the user.
If you have a slow internet connection then the performance of the VPN service will be slower.
Good VPN service providers actually manage to secure and then re-route their VPN connection without damaging performance too much.
To check a VPN service provider for speed you can go to sites like,
Remember that one has to perform a test without the VPN service and then another one with the VPN service turned on.
Then you have to repeat the process.
After that, you have to repeat it again for different servers.
Choose a good mix of servers.
Usually, the servers which are closest to you physically as the fastest.
After that, VPN service providers try to make sure that their VPN servers located in the US and the UK perform the best.
So test them.
Then average out the results for both cases (one where you don’t use a VPN and the other where you do).
That will show you the difference in speed.
And the difference in speed shows you how much your VPN service provider slows down your internet connection.
Our research shows that ColanderVPN will slow down your internet connection.
But the company’s Canadian and US servers will only do so to a small extent.
You won’t notice too much variation in your downloading speeds.
Our research shows that ColanderVPN might just enhance your upload speed.
And the UK server will do the same as well.
What About IP Leaks?
A good VPN service provider will always protect you against Internet Protocol leaks.
Our research shows that while connected to the company’s UK server, we did not detect any IP leaks.
Expect ColanderVPN to protect you against DNS (Domain Name System) leaks as well as WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) leaks as well.
Currently, you can install ColanderVPN VPN service on platforms such as Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 10.
These implementations enable users to make use of L2TP, PPTP, and OpenVPN.
ColanderVPN offers the same for Mac OS X and Android devices.
Users who want to install ColanderVPN service on their iPads or iPhones can only use L2TP and OpenVPN.
Windows mobile users have it even rougher as they can only use PPTP on their Windows smartphones as far as ColanderVPN is concerned.
ColanderVPN also offers an OpenVPN version of their service that makes use of IPsec as the default encryption for all Linux users.
Ubuntu users can avail L2TP as well as OpenVPN.
Users who want to install this VPN service on their routers can do so on Mikrotik routers.
ColanderVPN also works with Synology network attached storage.
This can easily load PPTP on all their devices.
- More than sufficient privacy measures
- Multiple language support
- Low price
- Works in China
- No Bitcoin
- No PayPal
- Lack of advanced features such as double VPN or kill switch
- Manual setup which is always a pain
If you sign up for ColanderVPN for long enough a period, you can avail its huge discount.
Then it becomes one of the cheapest VPN service provider you are likely to come across.
The VPN service itself is competent enough.
Its main focus is on user privacy.
Combine that with a low price and you have a recipe for success.
But that low price comes at a cost.
That cost is:
Lack of features
Compare ColanderVPN with one of the heavyweights of the VPN industry such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN and you’ll see why ColanderVPN is as cheap as it is.
The other downside is that users have to set up the VPN client on their own.
Technophobes will find that task impossible.
The VPN system itself isn’t user-friendly.
At least not when we compare it to some of the best VPN service providers in the market today.
There is no doubt that ColanderVPN will put off many potential customers because of the difficulty of setting up their service.
There is no kill switch.
And that is a major fault for anyone who is serious about doing his/her work with complete privacy.
The lack of kill switch hurts ColanderVPN more than other VPN service providers.
Because this VPN service works in China and wants to recruit more users from that region.
Along with that, the company should make an effort to use a stronger encryption key for session establishment.
With all the faults that are present in this VPN service, the fact is that Russian people don’t have a lot of options when it comes to VPN services.
Almost all VPN services try to cater English speaking customers.
And that includes VPN service providers who present their official websites in languages other than English.
Ukrainians and Russians also get to enjoy ColanderVPN support desk.
That shouldn’t lead us away from the fact that ColanderVPN has a very basic app.
But even that basic app offers users the ability to use it in different languages.
And perhaps this is why some people would rate ColanderVPN ahead of many other VPN service providers which might offer a better VPN service.
It is true that even some of the best-built custom apps don’t have multiple language features.
But in the end, the quality of your VPN service matters the most.
Not accessibility options.
- no logs
- free trial
- 30-day money back guarantee
- allows simultaneous connections
- basic app
- low number of servers
- encryption could be stronger
- low number of features