BroVPN (opens in new tab) is a relatively new service that provides its users with a P2P network/VPN hybrid. Essentially this means that the company combines traditional VPN architecture with Peer to Peer (P2P) network technology which routes your traffic through other peers or nodes on its network instead of through its servers.
BroVPN explains in an FAQ page (opens in new tab) that this allows it to provide its customers with excellent service at a minimal base price. The company also argues that using real peers to route traffic provides greater anonymity and privacy than using proxy servers and that this makes its service harder to detect and block.
- Want to try BroVPN? Check out the website here (opens in new tab)
BroVPN offers both a free and premium subscription though there are limits and restrictions with both plans. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at both subscriptions and what they offer so you can decide if the company’s P2P network/VPN hybrid is the right choice for you.
BroVPN is entirely free to use if you sign up for the service’s free subscription. However, there are certainly some limits with the free plan. For starters you speed is limited to just 4 Mbps and to put this in perspective, this is just slightly faster than browsing the web on a 3G network.
You’re also limited to just one location at a time within the app and have to login to your account on the company’s webpage in order to switch between the service’s eight VPN servers.
Upgrading to BroVPN’s premium subscription removes the 4Mbps limit and increases it to 20Mbps. While not much of an upgrade, this small boost will help improve load times when browsing. You also get access to all of the service’s locations and move from a shared channel to a dedicated channel. However, prices are quite high for what you get in terms of features and performance. The monthly plan costs $10 per month but signing up for six months can lower the price to $7 billed monthly. There is also an annual plan which costs $59 for the year or just $5 per month.
If you’re looking for a free VPN or just a service for basic tasks such as web browsing or unlocking sites, then BroVPN might suffice. However, if you want a larger network, better app support or even cheaper prices, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.
For those that need access to a large network with servers in more countries, ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries while NordVPN (opens in new tab) has over 5,300 servers in 59 countries. If you sign up for either of these companies’ monthly plans, you’ll only be paying a few dollars more than you would for BroVPN but you’ll be getting so much more for your money.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind signing up for a longer contract, Cyberghost (opens in new tab) and Surfshark (opens in new tab) are both great options. Cyberghost costs just $2.75 per month with a three year plan and Surfshark is actually even cheaper at just $1.99 per month on a two year plan.
Regardless of whether you sign up for BroVPN’s free plan with a 4Mbps speed limit or its paid plan with a 20Mbps speed limit, streaming content online is likely going to be frustrating as Netflix requires a 5Mbps connection to stream HD content and Hulu recommends a minimum download speed of 6 Mbps to do so. To stream Netflix content in 4K you’ll need at least a 25Mbps connection to do so which is currently impossible with BroVPN’s speed limits.
However, we decided to see if BroVPN could give us access to a number of popular streaming sites to be sure. Unfortunately in our tests, the service was unable to give us access to US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu or HBO Now. If accessing streaming sites is one of the main reasons you’re considering getting a VPN, then you should check out some of the providers in our best streaming VPN (opens in new tab) guide instead.
About the company
BroVPN is a relatively new VPN provider and the company was first incorporated in 2017. While its website doesn’t feature an ‘About the company’ section, based on its payment systems and language support, it is clear that the service is based in Russia. Speaking of BroVPN’s website, it recently received a design overhaul and while there is a blog with news about the company and helpful articles dealing with a number of VPN related topics, the last post was published in November of last year.
Compared to the providers on our list of the best VPN (opens in new tab) services, BroVPN is a relatively small operation with only 16 servers spread out across 8 countries including the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Poland, France, Finland, Canada and the US. The service does allow you to connect an unlimited number of devices with your plan though.
Privacy and encryption
Both BroVPN’s paid and free VPN services support several different types of VPN protocol including IPSec, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP and PPTP. In a blog post (opens in new tab) on its site, the company points out that while SEcure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) was created by Microsoft was not intended for use in VPNs, it has become increasingly popular with both its paid and free users.
When it comes to keeping logs on users’ activity online, BroVPN explains in its FAQ that “we also do not collect, store or sell your personal identification information and we will never do it”. While the company doesn’t keep logs on its users, it is very aware of what you do while connected to its service. BroVPN warns that its service isn’t for cybercriminals since the company is able to see the real origin and purpose of each request made while a user is connected, saying:
“BroVPN networks are not attractive to people or organizations with malicious intent because we can see the real origin and purpose of each request, if the cyber criminal used the BroVPN network, the information about the criminal can be passed on to the authorities. Some VPNs do not see both ends of the connection and are therefore much more attractive for criminal purposes.”
BroVPN offers support for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. However, while we were easily able to find the company’s app in the Google Play Store, we were unable to find it in Apple’s App Store.
After signing up for the service, you’ll be redirected to BroVPN’s dashboard where you’ll be able to download its native client for the operating system you’re currently using and you can also find your credentials here in case you forgot to write them down during sign up. You can also sign up for BroVPN’s premium service from the dashboard as well.
If you run into any problems downloading BroVPN’s apps or setting up its service, you can contact the company directly by email or on Telegram. We sent the company an email asking a question about the pricing of its paid plan and we received a reply in less than a few hours. However, we would like to see BroVPN implement a live chat feature on its website in the future but being as it is a relatively new VPN service, this might not be possible yet.
Speed and experience
Signing up for BroVPN and downloading its Windows client was a breeze and we had the company’s VPN service up and running in no time at all. However, we did run into difficulties when we tried to upgrade its free plan to the premium one.
BroVPN uses the Russian payment processing system Interkassa to handle its payments and while you can pay by credit card, WebMoney and with a number of different cryptocurrencies including Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and more, when we tried signing up with two different credit cards, our payments were unsuccessful multiple times. We did contact BroVPN’s customer support to inquire about using a different payment method but we never heard back from the company.
Since we could only test out BroVPN’s free service, our speeds were limited to just 4Mbps. In our speed tests, the service’s speed limit never allowed us to reach a download speed of over 4Mbps even on our 500Mbps connection and our average speed was around 3.86Mbps. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the company was upfront about its speed limits but don’t expect to download large files or stream 4K video with BroVPN’s free plan. The paid plan will likely perform a bit better but your download speeds will still be capped at 20Mbps.
BroVPN’s P2P network/VPN hybrid is certainly interesting and we like how the company offers a free VPN service without ads. However, its speed limits, especially on its paid plan which costs $10 per month, are hard to ignore. While using a VPN can lower your download speeds somewhat, sacrificing almost all of your available bandwidth to use BroVPN’s service just isn’t worth it. Not to mention the fact that the company’s clients look quite outdated and offer few additional features. Signing up for BroVPN may be worth it if you need quick access to a free VPN but there are far better options out there.
If you’re looking for an excellent VPN service that costs only a few dollars more than BroVPN, we recommend checking out ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) instead.
- Also check out our complete list of the best VPN services