Browsec VPN review

A competent VPN at an excellent price

Browsec
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

Browsec’s super-competitive pricing and high download speeds, accompanied by strong unblocking capabilities, have earned this provider high marks, despite its lack of desktop clients and torrenting support.

Pros

  • +

    Affordable

  • +

    Solid speeds

  • +

    Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer

  • +

    Solid server network

Cons

  • -

    No desktop clients

  • -

    Doesn’t support torrenting

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Browsec (opens in new tab) is a VPN (opens in new tab) provider that offers services to an 8 million-strong customer base, predominantly via mobile apps and desktop browser extensions.

Price

When we say a VPN service is “free”, this usually includes some drawbacks. In Browsec’s case, drawbacks include a small pool of server locations and low connection speeds.

The Premium version is much better, however, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg; only $1.99/month if you choose the two-year subscription plan. 

Other subscription options are pretty affordable as well, with the monthly package costing only $3.99/month and the annual $2.49/month, which are among the lowest rates in the industry.

There’s also a risk-free money-back guarantee if you’re not entirely satisfied with the service. We tested the policy and received a refund with no issues.

Payments for the Premium version are accepted via PayPal and credit/debit cards, and you can run the VPN connection on up to 5 devices at the same time.

Browsec

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives

The closest competitor to Browsec VPN in terms of pricing is Surfshark (opens in new tab), but the latter also offers user-friendly clients for all major platforms. There’s also Windscribe (opens in new tab), which has a free plan that includes 10GB of VPN traffic per month with no restrictions on speeds.

If, however, you don’t mind paying more, then we would recommend either NordVPN (opens in new tab) or ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), both of which are very capable platforms with gorgeous desktop apps, manual configuration options for non-mainstream platforms, torrenting support, 30-day money-back guarantees and more.

Streaming

Even though this isn’t explicitly stated on the website, our experience has shown that Browsec VPN can unblock geographically restricted content on Netflix (UK and US) and BBC iPlayer. Since this is one of the reasons why many VPN users seek out a service such as this one, this gives Browsec additional points in our book.

About the company

The provider is headquartered in Russia and offers access to 1,000+ servers in 40+ countries, including Australia, Iceland, India and many others.

Privacy and encryption

To protect your online privacy, Browsec deploys IPSec/IKEv2 connection protocol with AES-256 encryption on mobile and HTTP Proxy over TLS with AES-256 encryption when using its browser extensions. Despite these strong security and privacy mechanisms, torrenting isn’t supported as Browsec currently operates via browser extensions and mobile apps only.

The Privacy Policy (opens in new tab) isn’t a long document, but it does let the reader know what type of information is logged when using the provider’s services. This includes the automatic recording of “some information from your web browser additional/or client software”, to provide the continuous delivery of its services. However, as the provider assures us, “the information does not identify the user personally. Browsec uses such information in the aggregate for various purposes, including the monitoring of the service”.

We’d still love to see an independent report published on what information is and isn’t logged, as some of competitors have already done.

Browsec

(Image credit: Future)

Support

Browsec is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices, for which it has mobile apps and browser extensions you can install via Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Edge.

At the time of writing, its Chrome extension (opens in new tab) had been installed by more than 4 million users and 24,993 of them have given it an average of 4.5 stars (out of 5). The Firefox extension (opens in new tab) has been installed by 341,853 users, which scored 4.1 stars. 

The Opera add-on (opens in new tab) has a rating of 4.4 stars as judged by 394 users, while the Edge add-on (opens in new tab) has a median score of 4 stars, but has been rated by only 75 users.

Browsec’s Android app (opens in new tab) had been downloaded by over a million users, socring 4.5 stars, while the iOS app (opens in new tab) has an even better score: 4.7 as judged by over 8,000 users.

If you run into any obstacles while installing or using this platform or you’re just generally inquisitive, there’s an FAQ (opens in new tab) section on the website you may be interested in, but do note that it’s rather limited.

However, if you’d rather talk to someone on the team, you can reach out to them via a contact form (opens in new tab), online chat (not live, though), email (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab). Our email inquiry was answered on the first working day after we sent it.

Speed and experience

As soon as we made our payment, our account was instantly activated. We had no problems setting up the platform and were able to establish quick connections. 

We tested the service on an 83.72Mbps connection and got solid results from most server locations. The server in the Netherlands hailed a decent 23.96Mbps, while another in the UK performed even better: 35.84Mbps. The results were a bit disappointing for the US (New Jersey), which only managed to deliver 6.46Mbps, even less than India (10.19Mbps).

The upload speeds remained pretty much unchanged from the original connection.

Verdict

Even though it has much work to do before it reaches the level of the industry giants, Browsec is a pretty good solution for users who either want a free or really cheap VPN service without compromising much.

The paid option provides strong privacy, solid download speeds and geo-unblocking capabilities, with the free version cutting the number of servers and download speeds. The only main attribute missing is high-quality desktop clients and support for the non-mainstream platforms.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.