12VPN makes some bold claims. Can it really keep you secure and bypass geo-restrictions? And what about the speeds? I put 12VPN through every test possible, so you don’t need to.
Want to know if 12VPN can unblock Netflix, or if it’s good for torrenting? You’re in the right place.
Spoiler: 12VPN is good, but it’s not great. It has some impressive features, but it falls short in a lot of areas. For the ultimate all-in-one package, I’d recommend ExpressVPN instead, because it guarantees speed, reliability, and security.
Streaming – Can 12VPN Unblock Netflix?
Yes, but only if you watch Netflix US or UK. 12VPN can’t unblock libraries from other regions because its servers’ IP addresses are blocked.
12VPN uses SmartDNS technology designed to bypass geoblocks easily, especially streaming sites. And it does deliver, to an extent, but I expected more from a VPN with SmartDNS.
I tried a number of other streaming sites, too:
- BBC iPlayer: No. BBC iPlayer knew straight away that I was using a VPN.
- Hulu: Yes.
- HBO GO: Yes.
- Disney+: Yes, I could easily access Disney+.
- NBC: Yes.
If you want a VPN that can access any Netflix library, plus all of the sites listed above, I recommend ExpressVPN instead.
Speeds – How Fast is 12VPN?
First, it helps if you know my base speed without a VPN. I started with a download speed of 5.20 Mbps and an upload speed of 0.55 Mbps.
I connected to a server in France, since this is closest to my location in the UK. Since my data didn’t have to travel far, I expected minimal speed loss – and 12VPN delivered!
As you can see, my download speed barely decreased at all, which is impressive. My upload speed was slow to begin with, and it decreased by 80%. This made it irritatingly slow to upload large files to my emails and make video calls on Skype.
I then connected to a US server to see how far I could push my speeds.
Again, my download speed was above 5 Mbps, so I was able to stream Netflix US in high definition.
My upload speed dropped to zero, so video calling was impossible. My ping also increased to 396 ms. If you’re a gamer, 12VPN might cause you to lose your game with poor reaction times.
12VPN’s Server List
You have just over 51 servers in 20 locations to choose from. While they’re spread around the globe, it’s hardly worldwide server coverage.
12VPN has servers in China, though, and you don’t see that very often. Most VPNs don’t work in China.
12VPN’s server locations include:
|US||New Zealand||Austria||and the Netherlands|
Is 12VPN Good For Torrenting?
12VPN allows torrenting, but only on the Swedish server. It’s better than no torrenting at all, but just one out of 30 servers means you risk servers becoming overloaded with users. And that means slow speeds while you’re downloading and sharing files.
If you’re looking for a VPN for P2P sharing, try ExpressVPN instead.
How Secure is 12VPN?
12VPN uses 256-bit encryption to secure your traffic. This level of encryption is near-impossible to break. There’s no risk of hackers or your ISP getting their hands on any of your information or your browsing activity.
There are a number of security protocols to choose from – OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and SSTP. If you aren’t sure which one is right for you, read our guide to help you decide. Or, just go with my recommendation, which is OpenVPN. You’re guaranteed maximum security with minimal impact on your speed and performance with this protocol.
Does 12VPN Keep Logs?
12VPN doesn’t keep any logs. It doesn’t keep any information regarding your device, the websites you visit, or even your email address.
It does store cookies in your browser, but these are only to give you access to your own data and settings, not to track you. These cookies remember your username and password so you can log in to the site easily.
It’s based in Hong Kong, which is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This means that 12VPN is not required to give any of your information to the government.
Does 12VPN Have a Kill Switch?
Yes, but it’s well-hidden within the app, and there’s a catch. The kill switch is only available if you use the OpenVPN protocol.
I don’t like that the kill switch isn’t automatically enabled within the app. If you’re a VPN newbie, you might not even know that you need to turn this on for maximum anonymity.
But, I do like that you can select a connection failure notification to appear, so you know if your connection has been interrupted and can stop it yourself if you’re not using OpenVPN.
Does 12VPN Have an Ad Blocker?
No, there’s no ad blocker. If you’re streaming on YouTube, for example, you’re still going to see ads. Same with social media and other sites you visit.
It’s compatible with 3rd party ad blockers, though. You can install an ad blocker to your browser and use 12VPN at the same time. Check out our review of the best ad blockers to find one for you.
Does 12VPN Work in China?
Yes, 12VPN works in China. It also has servers within China, which is rare, especially for a VPN of this size. So, it works on the reverse too if you need to access geo-restricted China-based content.
Although 12VPN uses high-level encryption, it doesn’t have extra security features like obfuscation, which is important in China. The kill switch can only be used with OpenVPN, too, so you run the risk of being leaked if you use any other security protocol. I don’t recommend it for China, even though it works there.
Is 12VPN Compatible With my Device?
12VPN works with most popular devices, including:
- Certain routers
There are also browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. If you don’t want to encrypt all of your traffic, browser extensions offer a flexible solution. Only your browser’s data goes through the VPN. This means you can still use your other apps as usual, but they aren’t secure.
Is 12VPN Easy to Use?
The app is dull, small, and not great to look at, but it functions just fine.
It’s easy to find and connect to a server, and I like that you can see your new IP address in the app, too.
From the dashboard, you can alter your settings and activate the kill switch. You can also select for the VPN to launch on startup if you want to use a VPN every time you use your device.
12VPN Customer Service
There’s no live chat, but you can use the ticketing system to get in touch with 12VPN.
I used it several times and received a response within the first two hours. You can reply via an email chain, too, which I like, and you can see your messages in the dashboard when you log in.
Pricing and Plans
You can choose a one-month, six-month, or one-year plan with 12VPN. As with most providers, it gets cheaper the longer you sign up.
I think 12VPN’s pricing is quite steep, considering its lack of features. Other than the basics, you don’t get much for your money.
You have a 14-day money-back guarantee, though, so you can try it out first to see if you agree. But there’s no free plan on offer.
Another thing you should know: the 14-day money-back guarantee is only valid if you’ve used less than 5GB bandwidth. 12VPN is clever at hiding this deep in its terms and conditions, so beware. If you go over, there’s no refund.
|Money Back Guarantee||14|
|Does VPN keep logs?||No|
|Number of servers||51|
|Number of devices per license||6|
|Based in country||Netherlands|