SecurityKISS is an Irish VPN with such a strong focus on ease of use that it's built into the company name (KISS = ‘Keep it Smart & Simple’ – or indeed ‘Keep it Simple, Stupid’). So it's a little odd that the company also has one of the most complicated pricing structures around: five plans, all with different features, and each available for 1, 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions.
It all starts with the free Green plan. This is limited to only four countries (US, UK, Germany, Netherlands), 300MB per day traffic, no streaming or email client access and speeds may be capped. But SecurityKISS doesn't require any registration or passwords, so it might occasionally be useful for very basic tasks.
- Want to try SecurityKISS? Check out the website here
The next three plans also have bandwidth limits, if more generous ones (20GB, 30GB, 50GB/month). There are more servers, some in not-so-common locations (Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong), but we also noticed one or two odd restrictions. The cheapest commercial plan still restricts access to email clients (Outlook, Thunderbird etc) and the bottom two plans can't be shared over multiple devices.
SecurityKISS offers two plans roughly comparable to other services. Both have around 70 servers in 16 countries, OpenVPN compatibility and unlimited speeds. Jadeite is limited to 50GB/month and costs €5.99 a month (£5.16, $6.44, AU$8.52), €4.49 equivalent (£3.87, $4.83, AU$6.36) if you pay for a year. Emerald drops the bandwidth restriction but ups the price to €9.99 for one month (£8.60, $10.74, AU$14.16), €7.49 monthly (£6.45, $8.05, AU$10.60) when you sign up for a full year.
SecurityKISS has surprisingly brief contract pages which try to address the points you need to know, while also keeping tedious legal jargon to the absolute minimum.
The company clearly states that it doesn't "monitor, record or store logs for any connection activity". It does record more session-related data than usual, though, including date, time and duration of the VPN connection, bandwidth used and the "user IP address". These details are apparently automatically deleted after 10 days.
SecurityKISS doesn't keep any personal information about you other than your email address, if you've provided it.
The company states that it won't release any details about anyone or their account unless legally required, but also points out that this has never happened before.
While scanning the small-print we noticed a very strict clause on pornography. Every VPN bans child pornography, of course, but SecurityKISS says you mustn't "access or transmit pornography" of any type, ever, at all. Everyone has their own views on what's acceptable, but we think VPNs prohibiting perfectly legal activities is a step too far.
On the plus side, there's a welcome cancellation clause. If you decide to cancel your membership at any time, the company will calculate any remaining balance proportionally and refund it to your account.
SecurityKISS can be used without registration, unusually – download, install and you're ready to go immediately. It seems like a convenient system, but there are some unexpected issues, too.
Every Windows client is different, for instance, with its own identifier. As a result, Windows SmartScreen and Avira both warned us that this was a file they'd never seen before. We bypassed the alerts without issue, but be ready for this if you try the client yourself.
Connecting to the SecurityKISS free account is as easy as downloading and running the client, with no password or anything else required.
The client is very basic. There's one unusual touch in the ability to select the connection mode at the same time as the server (TCP443, UDP5000, UDP5353), but even this has a clunky interface, and there are no special features or functions.
Upgrading to a paid account is as simple as clicking a link and working through the payment process. Credit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin are all accepted.
Service costs are relatively high, but our speed tests* suggest it might be worth the cash. UK-UK connections were consistently around 30Mbps (close to what we’d normally get with no VPN). Our UK-Los Angeles test also delivered 30Mbps, surprisingly, so we tried a few other US servers. They were all slower, even when geographically much closer, but still delivered 15Mbps at a minimum – very impressive.
The SecurityKISS Windows client is feeble and the company logs a little more session data than usual, but performance was amongst the best we've tested. This VPN is well worth a try, particularly if you can live with the Jadeite plan's 50GB bandwidth limit, which cuts the price considerably.
*Our testing included evaluating general performance (browsing, streaming video). We also used speedtest.net to measure latency, upload and download speeds, and then tested immediately again with the VPN turned off, to check for any difference (over several rounds of testing). We then compared these results to other VPN services we've reviewed. Of course, do note that VPN performance is difficult to measure as there are so many variables.