Started in 2016, Generous VPN (opens in new tab) is an Amsterdam-based VPN (opens in new tab) project that operates under an interesting model - offering a free service that is supported by premium users who pay to get access to its extra features. Specifically, one such paying customer supports 50 free users.
According to its creator, Mentor Palokaj, the philosophy behind this approach is that there are two VPN user types: the first is for those who need to get past government controls, and the second type are ordinary users who want an additional security option.
Generous VPN was created primarily with the first type of user in mind as those who are politically repressed often can’t afford a VPN, or don’t even have a credit card. This is why its user base is divided into two subgroups:
- You can sign up for Generous VPN here (opens in new tab).
Generous VPN is primarily a free anonymity service. However, you can purchase a premium version for €24/year ($28, an equivalent of $2.33/month), with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Switching to a paying version of the platform will throw some extras into the mix - a built-in ad blocker, high-powered connection with extra downloading-friendly features like a SOCKS5 proxy, as well as higher encryption standards. One premium user supports 50 free users.
Accepted payment methods include PayPal and credit cards and one account can support unlimited simultaneous connections.
As detailed in the Terms of Service (opens in new tab), both the free and paid version entail a fair use policy, which means that Generous VPN will throttle or terminate your account if you surpass the reasonable usage limit. For the free service, the reasonable usage limit “is subjective to the judgement of Generous VPN.” If you have a paid account, this limit is set at 1TB per month (1024 GB) of data.
Generous VPN provides a solid free service and an even better premium one, but if you want a superior VPN experience you’ll have to look elsewhere. One of the places where you might start is Surfshark (opens in new tab). It isn’t free but is among the cheapest anonymity providers on the market. With it, you’ll get access to thousands of servers, content from some of today’s most popular streaming channels, intuitive native apps for all the major platforms, and more.
If you don’t feel like Surfshark is the right match, there are plenty of other fish in the sea, such as CyberGhost (opens in new tab) with its 45-day money-back guarantee and equally good VPN platform (if not even better). However, if you don’t mind paying more for a truly perfect experience, ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) or NordVPN (opens in new tab) should be your platform of choice.
Due to various reasons, today’s popular Video-On-Demand (VOD) services may not offer its content (entirely or partially) in certain areas of the world. These services include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more.
This is why many netizens turn to VPNs to help them bypass these restrictions and allow them to stream their favorite video content. Unfortunately, not many VPNs can provide this type of service, and Generous VPN is one of them, at least when these popular platforms are in question, as it only has servers in the Netherlands.
That said, you’ll have success with streaming content available only in the Netherlands.
About the company
This VPN is owned by MMOH, a company registered in the Netherlands, run by a Dutch citizen called Mentor Palokaj (opens in new tab). It has only one server, in one country - the Netherlands.
Privacy and encryption
Generous VPN uses the CBC Blowfish encryption (opens in new tab) to protect your privacy if you’re using its freemium version, while the premium users can instead choose the stronger, AES-128 or AES-256 encryption algorithm. Torrenting is allowed and the employed encryption algorithms are strong enough to keep you safe from snoopers during such activities.
Generous VPN doesn’t have any native apps except for Android (opens in new tab). This app has been installed over 1,000 times and has a rating of 4.2 stars (out of 5), as judged by 33 users. It was last updated on May 24, 2019.
However, this doesn’t mean that the VPN can’t be installed and used on other platforms. As soon as you confirm your email address, you’ll receive (apart from the Google Play link) the manual installation links for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There’s one regular and one alternative configuration file, which you can also download directly from the email message.
The provider offers its service on these platforms through third-party software like OpenVPN (opens in new tab) and TunnelBlick. Other devices may be supported in theory, although, according to the website, they “have not been as extensively tested”.
If you were hoping for a rich support section and knowledgebase as seen with other VPNs, you’ll be disappointed. The only information can be found on the homepage, about page, and the Google Play page, and it is rather scarce.
If you need answers, you can try your luck by sending an email. There are no other paths of communication available, so you might need to arm yourself with patience. However, when you do get a response, it’ll be as detailed and informative as possible.
Speed and experience
The provider’s Android app is super-simple and intuitive, so simple, in fact, that even a beginner can use it with ease. That slightly changes, however, when you need to install and use it on other supported platforms for which you need the manual installation instructions. Luckily, the instructions are provided in the welcome email, as well as on the website, so there shouldn't be that much trouble.
Once we started testing Generous VPN’s download speeds, we were actually quite surprising. Our speed tests showed a solid 15Mbps on a 33Mbps testing connection, which, in all honesty, was faster than we expected of a free VPN. Still, this server is in the Netherlands, which is on the same continent as us, and some competitors may deliver better speeds from the same location.
Considering it is free, Generous VPN is a solid VPN platform. It will get you privacy (opens in new tab) for browsing and torrenting on whatever number of devices you need, and even some very good speeds. However, it will fail short where premium services such as ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) outperform, as in the number of servers, features, extras, and the capability to unblock popular streaming services. Apart from these problems, Generous VPN is an excellent free anonymity service.
- You can sign up for Generous VPN here (opens in new tab).
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