ActiVPN styles itself as “the most secure way to access the internet” — but is it?
I investigated every aspect of the VPN to see if there were any other redeeming features. I ran speed tests, checked its unblocking abilities, tried out its server network, and evaluated its complex manual setup guides.
Read my full review to find out why my experience didn’t get any better (and why I’d recommend you use an actually secure VPN over this one).
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
- Consistent IP leaks. My Your personal data is not secure. See my full privacy breakdown.
- Inconsistent speeds. Some server speeds were good but others slowed me down completely. Finding the right server is tedious and frustrating. Click here to view my test results on various servers.
- Small, unreliable server network. Not only is the network sparse, lots of the servers I tested couldn’t even connect. Check out my complete rundown of the network.
- Limited unblocking capabilities. ActiVPN couldn’t unblock all the streaming services I tested, but it still worked with Netflix, HBO Max, ESPN+, and Peacock TV.
- Manual setup required. The setup process is frustrating and the guides don’t help at all.
- No money-back guarantee. ActiVPN is relatively expensive and you get no safety net when purchasing.
ActiVPN Features — Updated in 2021
|📝 Does VPN keep logs?||Partially|
|🖥 Number of servers||60|
|💻 Number of devices per license||5|
|🛡 Kill switch||Yes|
|🗺 Based in country||France|
|🛠 Support||Ticketing System|
|📥 Supports torrenting||Yes|
ActiVPN was detected by about half of the streaming platforms I tested. I was able to unblock Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock TV, and ESPN. Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu all blocked me from accessing their content immediately.
Besides that, the speeds weren’t very consistent either — sometimes I could stream in HD, other times I’d have to wait a couple of seconds for the video to load.
Unblocked: Netflix, HBO Max, ESPN+, and Peacock
I successfully unblocked Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock TV, and ESPN with ActiVPN. However, the speeds weren’t consistent enough for HD streaming.
Blocked By: Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu
Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+ were impossible to access. Each platform detected the VPN and blocked me immediately.
I don’t see ActiVPN as a reliable choice for streaming. Instead, you can take a look at one of these VPNs for streaming that are sure to bypass most geoblocks.
My connection speeds varied wildly from server to server. A handful of servers gave me decent speeds but most slowed me down significantly.
After a lot of frustrating trial and error, I noticed that ActiVPN’s website lists its servers and how many people are currently using them. It gave me a slightly better idea of which servers would be congested and slow but I still didn’t have much luck determining the best server for my needs.
I started by measuring my base speed in New Orleans, where I had 591 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload, and a ping of 11 ms. The best performing server was the Canadian one, where my speed only dropped by 7%. However, on the San Jose location, I noticed a 50% decrease, while the Romanian one slowed me down by 71%.
If my base speed was slower, these slowdowns would have prevented me from being able to stream or even browse properly.
Because of its unreliable speeds, I can’t recommend ActiVPN as a fast service. If that’s what you’re looking for, check out these tried and tested VPNs that are sure to provide you with the fastest speeds.
Are ActiVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? Not Really
I could play Rocket League using ActiVPN, but the ping was a little high. This was especially disappointing as the VPN’s website markets the service as “low ping” and ideal for gaming.
My speeds also varied quite a bit between servers, and it was hard to find a server that allowed me to establish a reliable connection. The resulting latency made it pretty hard for me to keep up in multiplayer matches.
The VPN also claims that it has DDoS protection on all its servers, making it even more suitable for gamers. However, it leaked my IP address and DNS request in every test, so it won’t even keep you safe from hackers and malicious opponents.
I can’t recommend ActiVPN for gaming. Instead, I recommend checking out these gaming VPNs for the best experience.
ActiVPN claims to have 60 servers in 30 countries, but it’s actually far less.
I tested 20 servers in several different countries and half of the servers I tested failed to connect entirely. Instead, I got the error message “Host does not exist” when trying to connect.
Another quarter or so of the catalog would not accept my user credentials — I had to log in every time I wanted to switch the server. This only left me with a handful of servers that I could connect to.
I was at least pleased to see that the VPN has some servers in rare locations like Russia and Cuba. But, since they don’t work, they were no use to me.
It was frustrating having to go server by server and finding that so few of them worked. Even if every single one functioned properly, this would be a slim server list compared to other VPNs in the same price bracket.
My real IP address was leaked on every test that I performed. No matter which server I was on, a simple check showed that my information was not being completely encrypted. This occurred despite ActiVPN’s claim of having AES-CBC 256 + PKI RSA 2048 bit encryption, along with the OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP protocols.
There are no other security features, either. Most disappointingly: no kill switch. A kill switch automatically cuts off your traffic if your VPN connection goes down. Not having one meant my data was at even more risk of leaked to the websites I visit or intercepted by hackers on public networks.
All in all, I did not feel safe when using ActiVPN. You’re constantly at risk for IP, DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks, which can expose your identity. I’d definitely recommend taking a look at our list of VPNs with strong security features instead.
None of this inspires confidence in ActiVPN’s ability to safeguard your privacy. There is no guarantee anywhere that the VPN isn’t logging or selling your information.
Another random link on ActiVPN’s website, “Legals”, showed me that it’s also based in France. This is bad news for your privacy. France is a key member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance — an international intelligence-sharing pact. So the VPN could even hand over your information to the government.
Given the lack of security I identified during my tests, I recommend you avoid taking the risk entirely. Try one of these top no-logs VPNs instead.
Torrenting — No Dedicated P2P Servers
There are no dedicated torrenting servers, but ActiVPN doesn’t say it’s against torrenting either. In fact, it doesn’t say anything about torrenting at all.
However, I do not recommend torrenting due to the IP leaks. It may be possible for your ISP to detect torrenting activity even while using this VPN, and hackers can easily track you down.
Even if you could torrent safely with ActiVPN, the unreliable server networks and inconsistent speeds would make it too frustrating.
If you’re looking for a service allowing safe P2P transfers, take a look at these VPNs for torrenting.
Does ActiVPN Work in China? Not Recommended
I reached out to the support team to see if this VPN would be viable for use in China, but I never heard back from them.
However, even if you could get ActiVPN working in China, I don’t recommend it. Consistent IP leaks and unreliable connections make this a downright dangerous VPN to use behind the Great Firewall. There are much better options if you need to use a VPN in China.
Simultaneous Device Connections — 5 Supported
You can connect up to 5 devices at a time, but installation on any device will require some technical knowledge. It’s not as easy as downloading the VPN and signing in to your existing account.
Getting 5 separate devices connected successfully may take hours, as the lengthy installation process varies for each device.
Device Compatibility — Compatible with Most Devices
ActiVPN has no native apps, so it can be installed on any device that supports the use of OpenVPN. This includes macOS, Android, Windows, Linux, iOS, routers, and gaming consoles (Xbox and PlayStation).
I definitely don’t recommend it if you’re new to VPNs, though. Setup is tricky and requires some technical knowledge, especially since the website’s guides are confusing and — in some places — completely incorrect.