A clever Zones feature enables having different locations for any or all your browser tabs. No need to manually switch servers any more, as Tenta tabs can each be set to any of the VPN's eleven locations (North America, UK, Amsterdam, Lithuania, Tokyo, Singapore, Australia.)
Tenta's own built-in secure DNS system ensures your ISP (and other snoopers) won't be able to spy on your browsing. And unlike many VPN providers, you don't have to take the company's word about what it's doing. The system is powered by open-source software and you can set up and use Tenta's DNS servers on your other devices, whether you use the browser or not.
- Want to try Tenta Browser? Check out the website here
There are stacks of security features, including integrated Adblock and HTTPS Everywhere, support for privacy-first search engines including DuckDuckGo and StartPage, an encrypted vault for media, fine-tuned control over your browsing history, a built-in QR Code reader and PIN code and fingerprint locks to keep snoopers at bay.
The major restriction with the free Tenta Browser is that the VPN only protects the browser tabs. Upgrading to Tenta Pro gets you a device-wide VPN, where your app traffic will also be protected by the tunnel.
Tenta Pro is priced at $7 a month, dropping to an equivalent $5 if you pay for a year up-front. That's perhaps a little expensive considering it's covering just one device (Private Internet Access' annual plan costs $3.33 to protect five devices), but you do get a seven-day free trial to test it for yourself.
Privacy and logging
The Tenta website makes a clear up-front statement on its VPN logging policy: "Tenta does not log traffic. We do not store your data or the content of any communications on our servers."
That's good, but it's also much the same as you'll hear from everybody else, and it doesn't specifically rule out session and other forms of logging.
The company explains that it does collect some information to monitor service use, for instance, but these are aggregated figures and unrelated to individuals. For example, it records the total number of connected users per minute, and the total of incoming and outgoing traffic for all users, but no IP addresses or other user-specific data.
As Tenta is a browser, it can hold a lot of personal information - browsing and search history, bookmarks, downloaded data, emails and other contact information from an address book - but the policy states that none of this is collected or stored by the company.
Even the data stored on your local device is encrypted using a private key generated by your custom PIN code, also unknown to Tenta. Without the PIN, even someone with access to your device will struggle to break in.
Tenta installed without issue and didn't ask for our email address or any other personal information. On launch, it displayed a simple walkthrough of the most important features, and we were ready to go within a few seconds.
The interface is familiar and looks much like many other browsers. There's an address bar at the top of the screen, a Speed Dial underneath with buttons for your favorite sites, and panels with various other tools and options.
Tapping an icon to the left of the address bar displays your default VPN location (usually set to your nearest server) and connection status. You can choose an alternative location from a list, but it's all very basic, with no sort or filtering options and no information on server load or ping times.
What's interesting about Tenta is your chosen location applies to groups of tabs called Zones, and you can have as many Zones with as many locations as you need. You might have a London Zone, another for US sites, a third with tabs which aren't using the VPN at all, whatever you like. Once you're set up, there may be no need to switch servers any more, as every browser tab is already using your chosen location.
That's just the start. Each Zone also has its own privacy settings, giving you very fine-tuned control over how Tenta works. You can choose your preferred DNS servers, for instance. Whether you want to block ads, or trackers. There's a choice of search engines. And if you're after local privacy, you can have cookies and browser history wiped whenever you turn the VPN on or off, and delete all tabs when the browser closes.
You don't have to use all these features in connection with the VPN, of course, but they do give you some extra options.
You could have a Work Zone which doesn't use the VPN, for instance, has tabs for all your key work sites, and preserves them between sessions.
Meanwhile, a Secret Zone could have tabs for streaming sites or anything else you need, but be set up to close all the tabs and wipe browser history when Tenta closes, leaving no trace of your activity.
Tenta is designed with privacy as its top priority, and the company doesn't make any big claims about its website unblocking abilities.
We tried to access BBC iPlayer from the London server, anyway, but had no success. The site just displayed its usual warning that the content wasn't available in our location.
There was better luck with US-only YouTube content, which we were able to access from all four of Tenta's US locations. That's not a great surprise - YouTube appears to have almost no VPN protection at all - but it shows Tenta can deliver.
And the good news continued, when we found Tenta successfully got us in to US Netflix. We don't know how long this will last - free, unlimited bandwidth VPNs which unblock Netflix are rare - but right now, at least, Tenta could be a very smart choice for your Netflix viewing.
Our speed tests showed Tenta averaging a decent 20Mbps when connected to the UK server. We've seen better - top VPNs will routinely manage 30Mbps or more - but there was more than enough power for most tasks.
UK to US connections managed a very similar 15-20Mbps. That's less than half what you might see from the competition, but again, it's more than enough for browsing, streaming and most of the other tasks you might want to do.
Problems did appear when we made some long-distance connections, with Singapore giving us 2-5Mbps, and Australia around 5-10Mbps. That's usable for collecting emails and basic browsing, but only just. We would happily live with this for the free product - issues are to be expected, if servers are swamped with non-paying customers - but if you're thinking of upgrading to the commercial plan, it might be an issue. Check speeds carefully before you buy.
Tenta is an interesting Android browser with some innovative features, and its unlimited free VPN bandwidth has a lot of appeal. The paid version is overpriced for an Android-only product, and speeds aren't the best, but it's still a must-see for anyone interested in browsing privacy. Go check it out immediately.