Celo may not be ideal for novice users but it unblocks some of the major streaming channels and websites, offers support for P2P traffic, and includes an ad/malware blocker with all of its plans.
Includes an ad/malware blocker
Advanced privacy-oriented mechanisms
8 simultaneous connections
Unblocks Netflix US & UK
Lacks native apps
Small server network
Sluggish customer support
Doesn’t unblock BBC iPlayer
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Celo is a provider of VPN services whose “name comes from the Latin to hide, conceal, or keep secret”, and that is what it offers, along with an ad/malware blocker included in all of its plans. It does, however, have some shortcomings, like the lack of native clients, which is why one of the solutions from our best VPN buyers guide may be more suitable, especially for the less tech-savvy users.
This isn’t a cheap provider but, all things considered, it isn’t overly expensive either. Four pricing options are available, starting with the 1-month at $7/month, followed with the 3-month plan at $6/month, the 6-month option at $5.83/month, and finally, the annual subscription charged the equivalent of $5.50/month annually.
Regardless of which option you opted for, you’ll be getting a 10-day money-back guarantee if you’re not 100% happy with the service. Payments can be sent via PayPal, credit/debit cards, and a whole list of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Monero, Dogecoin, and many more. Do note, however, that due to the glitch on the website you cannot see or update your cart.
As many as eight simultaneous connections are possible with this platform, which is quite a high number in this industry, considering most of the competition supports either three or five. A 2-day free trial is available to all who want to take this platform for a spin but you’ll need to contact the customer support to get it.
Since Celo doesn’t have native clients for all platforms, chances are, you might find a bit too complex to install and use. Other VPN providers that regularly top the VPN lists, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark or CyberGhost, all have native clients for all the major platforms which makes them a lot easier to work with, especially if you’re a beginner, therefore a better choice for your VPN needs.
Celo has specific US and UK streaming servers for TV/movie content, which are built into its OpenVPN client, therefore it unblocks VOD services like Netflix (US and UK libraries) Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, that may be unavailable in certain areas. However, BBC iPlayer is currently successful in blocking this VPN's IP addresses.
About the company
The provider operates out of New South Wales, Australia, and its terms and conditions are governed by this state. It operates 18 dedicated servers across 12 countries, including Japan, Romania, Singapore, and US.
Privacy and encryption
Celo uses state-of-the-art methods and tools to protect your privacy, including a 2048-bit, AES-256 encryption, with ShadowSocks and SOCKS5 proxies that can easily get around firewalls.
It also deploys VPN protocols with proven track record in the business - WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), and IKEv2, as well as the new protocol called V2Ray/vMess. The cherry on top is its obfuscated SSH tunneling.
The company also uses port forwarding that gives you access to your own private app for any P2P activity via clients like Usenet, utorrent, Deluge, Vuze, qBittorrent, etc. although not all servers are torrent/P2P friendly.
Celo claims to be a 100% no-logs VPN, and that it only collects information from you when you register in order to quickly process your transactions and follow up with them after correspondence, as well as the date and time you logged into the client area. This information is not sold, traded, or otherwise transferred to third-parties. That said, there isn’t any independent confirmation of its no-logs claims. Also, the company’s location in one of the countries that are part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance warrants caution.
Other than the Windows and Mac apps based on OpenVPN, Celo doesn’t have any other native clients, but supports installation of its platform via config files and third-party tools like OpenVPN Connect, Redhat, HomeBrew, MacPorts, Distro, etc. This way, the VPN can be enabled on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, ChromeOS, Kodi, and NAS devices like Synology, QNAP, etc.
This isn’t ideal for people who aren’t familiar with such a system, but nevertheless, setup guides are available on the website, along with other useful material such as troubleshooting help, FAQ, and protocol details. If you still need assistance, you can contact customer support using email, web form, or online chat, although we waited for quite some time to get a response via the latter, due to the differences in time zones and the fact that they don’t have 24/7 support.
Speed and experience
If you’re using the Celo Windows client, you probably won’t have any problems. However, since there are no native apps for other devices, you might need to use the provider’s support center for getting around.
We first ran our test on a server in London, UK, which got us some amazing download speeds - 56Mbps on a 65Mbps testing connection. We then switched to a server that we expected would be a bigger challenge considering the distance - Atlanta, US. However, the speeds were still on a very good level - 19Mbps. Finally, we wanted to see how a server in Singapore would behave, and it didn’t disappoint much - reaching a very good, yet expectedly slower, 10Mbps.
If you need ultimate privacy and security, with very good speeds, Celo might just be the solution. It not only deploys advanced security methods but it also throws in support for torrenting and some geo-restricted services.
However, it doesn’t have many servers or clients for all platforms, which is why ExpressVPN is a better choice for all VPN requirements and levels of VPN expertise.
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.