We had some very high hopes for BulletVPN as it has intuitive and nicely designed apps, supports torrenting, unblocks today’s popular geo-locked VOD programs, doesn’t cost much, and has a very generous refund policy, but we were left a bit disappointed with its very low speeds. Other than that problem, it’s a great little VPN.
Supports a wide range of devices
Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Netflix
30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee
Not many servers
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BulletVPN is the provider of VPN services that aims to protect your privacy online and help you bypass Internet blocks to access content unavailable in your area. It features apps for all the major devices and supports manual installation on others, offers a no-questions-asked refund guarantee, unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and lets you use P2P clients. However, its download speeds leave much to be desired.
If you want to subscribe to this provider’s services, the most expensive (yet cheaper than some) and the shortest option would be to take the 1-month plan at $10.98/month. The mid-range plan is billed every year and equals $7.50/month ($89.98/year). Finally, the cheapest option, in the long run, is to commit for three years and pay $118.58 per billing term ($3.29/month), making it one of the least expensive VPNs in the industry.
The provider supports up to 6 simultaneous connections, which is enough to cover your entire household, and more if you install the service on a supported router. There’s a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee if things don’t work out. This is a good option to test out the service as there’s no free trial on the table.
Customers can pay for the service using PayPal, credit/debit cards, or even Bitcoin (Bitpay) which provides the highest level of privacy in payment processing but doesn’t support recurring payments.
BulletVPN is a decent albeit slow service, which still has a lot of work ahead of it, if it aims to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the industry’s superstars, including Surfshark, CyberGhost, NordVPN, and the most famous of them all - the peerless ExpressVPN.
This VPN service unblocks today’s popular geographically restricted streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer but may be too slow for HD streaming.
About the company
BulletVPN is the product of Nixworks OU, based in Tallinn, Estonia. It has 150 servers in 54 countries, which isn’t a lot, considering there are VPNs out there with thousands of servers, but they’re well scattered across the planet, in countries like Isle of Man, Russia, Moldova, Serbia, Chile, Taiwan, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and others.
Privacy and encryption
This VPN provider works through several connection protocols - PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2. All of its servers also support Wireguard, which guarantees secure connections, “as well as the ability to break into the internet in High-level Censorship countries that implement Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).” However, it currently isn’t available with any of the provider’s apps, and you’ll have to contact its team for help with setting it up manually.
BulletVPN’s apps have an integrated kill switch that, when activated, shuts down your entire Internet access in case the VPN connection drops, preventing anyone from getting your private information.
This VPN also has BulletShield, an additional security measure that restricts your device’s ability to access the Internet unless you’re connected through one of its VPN servers. BulletVPN argues that BulletShield is a necessary addition because the kill switch isn’t enough to protect you “since it only deals with server-side disconnections”. BulletShield, on the other hand, disables your Internet connection entirely and limits access to the Internet through the VPN server.
BulletVPN’s no-logging policy is strict in terms of keeping logs of the websites you visit or what you do on those sites, but it does log a substantial amount of other information. This includes connection logs - connecting/disconnecting times, connection duration, and the amount of bandwidth you used.
This provider supports P2P apps, although not all of its servers are P2P-friendly. You can get the list of compatible servers by contacting customer support.
This VPN vendor features user-friendly native apps for all the major platforms - Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Fire TV. Its iOS app has a pretty good rating on the App Store - 4.4 stars (out of 5) as rated by 77 users. It was last updated on January 31, 2017. The Android version, on the other hand, has so far had poorer results - 3.3 stars (out of 5), rated by 199 users. It was downloaded by over 10,000 users and was last updated on September 13, 2019.
BulletVPN can also be manually configured on all supported devices which, in addition to the above-mentioned, include Apple TV, Roku, Smart TV, Playstation 3/4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. These support only its SmartDNS service, which doesn’t encrypt your traffic but is basically a proxy service used to unblock certain online content.
If, however, you want to cover all these devices with a full VPN and circumvent the 6-device limit on simultaneous connections, you can do so by manually installing it on a router.
The website has detailed instructions on equipping every supported device with BulletVPN, be it with its handy native clients or manually through different VPN protocols. These instructions can be found in the provider’s searchable support section, which also comprises answers to most commonly asked questions and troubleshooting articles, if you ever run into any problems with the service.
If you don’t succeed in finding a solution to your problem or you want to ask a question that isn’t covered in the support section, you can contact the customer support directly via online chat, email, or web form where you can describe your problem or general question. There’s even a live chat option on the website.
Speed and experience
The installation process went as smoothly as they come, with the website directing us to its download section the moment it processed our payment. All the servers are neatly organized inside the app and you can even build your favorites list. However, switching servers requires disconnecting from the active one before you can choose and connect to a different server.
We first tested a server in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on a 60Mbps testing connection and it gave us a low 5.28Mbps download speed. Wondering if this is an anomaly, we tested another server in the same location, but it again showed almost the same result - 5.71Mbps.
Not expecting much, we connected to a server in Frankfurt, Germany. This time around, we did get a somewhat better speed, 7.77Mbps, which is still rather low considering the server is relatively near our physical location. Finally, we decided to go a bit further - to Miami, the US, but the results were again disappointing - only 2.35Mbps. Taipei, Taiwan, hailed a measly 1.77Mbps.
BulletVPN gave the impression of a capable and powerful VPN service, with all the industry-standard features, and then some, at least at first. It unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer, supports torrenting, supports a wide array of devices, and isn’t too expensive. However, actual testing has shown that it fails to deliver what the industry giants such as such as ExpressVPN can - high speeds.
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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.