Trust.Zone is a simple and straightforward VPN which delivers the core privacy basics for a very reasonable price.
There are 93 servers in 31 countries, for instance. You get P2P support everywhere, with no limits on speed or data transfer. A Windows client keeps setup hassles to a minimum, OpenVPN and L2TP support enables using the service almost anywhere (including compatible routers), and there's support for three simultaneous connections.
The service is distinctly short on more advanced features. Port forwarding? Disabled for ‘security reasons’ and ‘safety of users’. WebRTC leaks? It's suggested you permanently disable the feature in your browser.
The price looks good, though, particularly at the moment. A single month is a reasonable $6.99 (£5.60, AU$9.10), and as we write that effectively drops to $3.33 (£2.65, AU$4.35) if you subscribe for a year.
Trust.Zone also offers a free 3-day test period and a 10-day refund period. This restricts you to 1GB of data transfer, but that's enough to run basic connection tests. It's also good to see Trust.Zone is honest enough to highlight the 1GB condition, and not bury it in the small print.
This won't quite be the full story. The company restricts its free plan to 1GB of traffic, so at a minimum this requires recording the total bandwidth used. And enforcing a three connection limit means there must be a stored record of connections associated to your account. But none of these need to be kept long-term, and even if they were, can't in themselves be used to determine what you were doing online.
Trust.Zone states that its website uses Google Analytics and its own cookies. It's a privacy issue, but a minor one, and most other VPNs do something very similar.
We browsed the rest of the Trust.Zone small print but didn't spot any unwelcome clauses, and in fact one of the usual annoyances was missing. We couldn't find any sign of a ‘use the system too much and you're in trouble’ policy.
- We’ve rounded up the best free VPN services of 2018
Getting started with Trust.Zone is straightforward. Provide and confirm your email address, log in to the site and a single Setup VPN page gives you configuration details for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, DD-WRT, Xbox 360, PlayStation, Smart TVs and more.
There's also a Manual setup section with logins, ovpn links, certificate files and more. It's unusual to have everything crammed onto a single page, but better than scouring the website trying to find whatever you need.
We opted to install the Windows OpenVPN-compatible client. This handled all the setup complexities for us, and was exceptionally easy-to-use. We quickly had the program auto-connecting to our preferred server on launch, and switching was as simple as clicking the Servers button and choosing an option from the list.
The client isn't as good with low-level configurability – you're able to choose a VPN port, but not a protocol, for instance – but it works well for beginners, and experts can always switch to the regular OpenVPN client if they prefer.
What you're unlikely to get with any client, unfortunately, is much in the way of performance. In our tests*, we found European servers peaked at around 15Mbps download speeds, and were often less. The US east coast server gave us 10 to 25Mbps, apparently depending on the time of day, and speeds tailed off as we moved further away. Connecting to Singapore gave us 10Mbps, and it was barely possible to connect to New Zealand at all.
Disappointing speeds aside, the client did at least protect our privacy well. Testing showed it allocated IPs in the locations we requested and reliably prevented WebRTC and DNS leaks.
Trust.Zone had disappointing results in our performance tests, and is distinctly short on advanced features. But it's also cheap and easy-to-use, especially the Windows client. If that's what you need, the 1GB trial is a risk-free way to try it for yourself.
*Our testing included evaluating general performance (browsing, streaming video). We also used speedtest.net to measure latency, upload and download speeds, and then tested immediately again with the VPN turned off, to check for any difference (over several rounds of testing). We then compared these results to other VPN services we've reviewed. Of course, do note that VPN performance is difficult to measure as there are so many variables.