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TigerVPN review

An easy-to-use VPN from Slovakia

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Our Verdict

We like its simplicity and the self-managed network, but TigerVPN doesn't quite have the power to compete with the top VPNs.

For

  • Easy-to-use desktop and mobile clients
  • P2P support
  • OpenVPN underneath
  • Free three-day trial

Against

  • Very few features
  • No kill switch
  • Below average speeds on some servers
  • Doesn't unblock US Netflix

TigerVPN is an interesting Slovakian-based VPN service with some appealing functions and features.

The company offers 300 servers spread across 62 locations in 43 countries, for instance. There are much larger networks around, but TigerVPN says it owns runs its own hardware, DNS servers and infrastructure, coding everything itself.

Read more: UltraVPN

The company offers native apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac, making it easy to get started. And OpenVPN compatibility ensures you can also set up the service with other clients and on other platforms.

P2P support is also available if you need it, and the option to pay via Bitcoin helps preserve your privacy.

TigerVPN's monthly plan looks expensive at $13.70 (£10.81) a month, especially as you only get support for just two simultaneous connections.

Paying for a year up-front allows five simultaneous connections, though, and sees the cost to fall to a more reasonable (though still above average) $7.61 (£6).

A three-year plan clearly gives the best value at $3.14 (£2.48) a month, but there are better deals elsewhere. For example, Private Internet Access' annual plan is priced at $3.33 (£2.56) a month, while its two-year plan is a bargain $2.59 (£1.99).

The company doesn't seem to advertise it, but when we downloaded and installed the Windows client, it offered us a free three-day trial. We had to provide our email address and it only allowed us to use a couple of devices simultaneously, but that's still enough to get a good idea of how TigerVPN will work for you.

Website

Privacy and logging

Check TigerVPN's feature list and its views on user monitoring seem very clear: 'Protecting our customers is our most important task. Therefore, TigerVPN does not store any activity logs anywhere - period.'

Turn to the small-print and it's not quite as straightforward. The company doesn't collect or log the sites you visit or the content of the traffic you upload or download, but it does record some session and other details. Here's the full list, taken from the Privacy Policy:

  • VPN protocol and version
  • Operating system
  • App version
  • Traffic statistic
  • Randomized country statistics
  • Connection session (server location)
  • Favorite servers [optional]
  • Debug information [optional]

TigerVPN points out that none of this can link you individually to a particular internet action, though, so the significance of this data is limited.

It's unusual to see a VPN store your favorite locations centrally, but there's a good reason for this, as it allows favorites to be synced with all your devices (set a location on your iPhone, say, and it'll be immediately available on your PC.) That's a neat feature which we'd like to see available more often.

Apps

Signing up with TigerVPN was easy. We worked through the usual email-password-payment sequence, and arrived at an excellent web console with app download links, connection information, account details and more.

Server locations

Installing the Windows client proved just as straightforward, and within a couple of minutes we were looking at its simple interface. This is much like any other VPN app in the world, ever - connection button, list of locations, Favorites pane, Settings box - but it's easy to use, and you'll feel at home right away.

Real-world use works more or less as you'd expect. Double-click a server and it connects; desktop notifications let you know when you're protected, or if the connection drops; you can switch to another server at any time without closing your current connection. We could maybe complain that the client doesn't display your new IP address once you've connected, but it does give you the city and country, and overall that's a very small issue.

Settings

TigerVPN's real weakness is under the hood, as it has almost no further options or settings. You can't switch protocol (it's OpenVPN-only), or auto-connect when you access insecure networks, for instance. There are no connection tweaks beyond the ability to switch from UDP to TCP, and no sign of a kill switch to protect you if the connection drops.

We tried manually closing the OpenVPN process to see what would happen if the VPN connection was lost. A desktop notification warned us immediately, which was good, but the best this could do was tell us manually to reconnect. A more capable client would at a minimum have an option to automatically reconnect itself, and protect your traffic by blocking internet access until the VPN was restored.

Netflix

Netflix

While some VPN providers focus on their privacy benefits, TigerVPN leads on its ability to 'unblock geo restrictions and website filters', which it says allows you to 'kiss censorship and restrictions goodbye and access any website on the planet.'

That sounds great, but it didn't take long to discover that it wasn't true. We tried logging in to TigerVPN's London and Manchester locations, but neither allowed us to access BBC iPlayer, with the site detecting the VPN and warning 'this content is not available in your location.'

Streaming US-only YouTube content is a much easier task, so we weren't surprised to see that TigerVPN achieved it without difficulty, getting us into the site with each of its US servers.

Our good mood didn't last, unfortunately, as we soon discovered that Netflix was blocked from all TigerVPN's US locations. The company reports that you can get in with a few servers - Madrid, Milan, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo - and it keeps a list available for you to check, although bizarrely this is kept in a public Google Docs file, rather than being maintained on TigerVPN's own site.

Performance

Performance

TigerVPN's results in our speed tests got off to a reasonable start, with our nearest UK servers achieving 50-60Mbps on a 75Mbps connection.

US performance was more disappointing, with even our nearest servers giving us only 20-30Mbps.

Long distance connections delivered mixed results, with for example Australia averaging a creditable 20Mbps, but Singapore struggling to 5-10Mbps.

TigerVPN performed much better in our privacy tests, though, with no DNS or WebRTC leaks of any kind, and we found all our test servers were in their advertised locations.

Final verdict

TigerVPN is easy to use, and it's always good to see a provider which manages its own network. The lack of features and weak performance are a concern, though, and overall, it's difficult to see why you should choose TigerVPN ahead of the larger competition.