Are you looking for a fast, free VPN with decent security features? Browsec claims to provide speeds up to 100 Mbps and a secure browsing experience. So, I put Browsec through a series of tests. Does it stand up to its claims? Yes, but with some caveats.
Browsec is a lightweight VPN that works through an extension on your desktop’s browser, with a customer base of approximately 8 million users worldwide and more than 4 million downloads and 25,000 reviews on Chrome. You can also add it to Firefox or Opera, and it has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices available on the Play Store or App Store.
Looking for a good VPN to keep you safe while browsing isn’t always easy, but my testing showed that Browsec provides decent connection speeds and security. However, the legal concerns and the fact that it is based in Russia shatter some of the promises regarding privacy.
After performing a series of tests, I can say Browsec VPN is easy to use, but streaming Netflix US and other platforms weren't possible even on the premium servers.
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
- It works with BBC iPlayer and Funimation. However, Browsec can’t unblock Netflix US. Check out my streaming tests here.
- Browsec provides fast speeds on premium servers. I had a great experience with the download and upload speeds on the premium servers, but the free ones were throttled. Take a look at my speed tests.
- Present in 40 locations with 1,000 servers. The free version only has access to 4 servers and locations, but the paid version bumps it up to 40 locations. Check out my server coverage test.
- It features 256-bit AES encryption with excellent security. However, only IPSec and HTTP protocols are available. My testing showed Browsec shielded my IP address and didn’t leak any WebRTC data. Check my results below.
- It works with 5 devices. But it will register every browser extension as a device. Using Browsec on 2 browsers on the same device will count as 2 devices. Check out my tests below.
- 7-day money-back guarantee. You need to give reasons for your refund, but Browsec delivers on its 7-day money-back claims.
- Browsec doesn’t allow torrenting. It doesn’t support P2P but has an automatic kill switch. Check out my torrenting results below.
- Easy to use and install. Browsec has a simple one-click installation process and an easy-to-use UI.
Browsec Features — Updated in January 20225.5
|📆 Money Back Guarantee||7|
|📝 Does VPN keep logs?||Yes|
|🖥 Number of servers||1000|
|💻 Number of devices per license||5|
|🛡 Kill switch||Yes|
|🗺 Based in country||Russian Federation|
|📥 Supports torrenting||Yes|
I don’t think streaming is Browsec’s strong suit as the decrease in speed makes for a bad experience with buffering, and many websites block it.
However, it was great to see that even the free servers could unblock BBC iPlayer and Funimation during my tests. The paid servers performed better because I managed to stream without any buffering issues. However, I couldn't unblock Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max with neither free nor paid servers.
Unblocked: BBC iPlayer and Funimation
Browsec can unblock BBC iPlayer and Funimation, but the streaming can take a while on the free version due to slow speeds.
The premium UK server performed the best and provided a great streaming experience without any buffering.
Browsec also helped me unblock Funimation and Hotstar. However, the slow speeds and a lot of buffering kept me from enjoying my favorite shows.
Blocked By: HBO Max, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video
I was disappointed as Browsec couldn't unblock websites such as Disney+ and Hulu, even with the paid premium servers. Disney+ didn't load and displayed a black screen.
HBO Max didn't fare well either. I connected to the US server, loaded up the webpage, and got a black screen. The same thing happened when I tried streaming Amazon Prime Video.
Netflix US doesn’t work with Browsec as the webpage loads up but just pushes a “Remind Me” button when the show becomes available in your region.
Even as I tried accessing Netflix Japan, I couldn't get around to Netflix's error messages. I experienced the same issue when I tried Belgium, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, and a few other countries.
Browsec claims speeds of up to 100 Mbps with any premium servers, and my test results were great. The free ones, however, were super slow.
My baseline results were 77.2 Mbps and 72.90 Mbps download and upload speeds with a ping of 4 ms.
I connected to 3 different servers and noticed a massive difference between the free and the premium servers. The free server dropped to 1.75 Mbps and 1.55 Mbps download and upload speeds. That was devastating as it decreased by over 90%, which is painfully slow even for browsing.
To my surprise, the premium server performed well and increased my download speeds to 87.14 Mbps. But the slow 11.85 Mbps upload speeds didn't meet the stage of my average upload speeds. The pings in both the free and premium servers were disappointing.
I also tried connecting to the Singapore server, and it was a big disaster. The speeds dropped by a lot, and the overall browsing experience turned slow.
My download speeds dropped to 5.38 Mbps, and my upload speeds dropped to 1.74 Mbps. Here is a complete list of all the servers I tested Browsec with:
|Server||Download Speeds||Upload Speeds|
|Unprotected||77.22 Mbps||72.90 Mbps|
|US (Free Server)||53.22 Mbps (31% loss)||11.72 Mbps (83% loss)|
|UK (Free Server)||52.66 Mbps (32% loss)||8.18 Mbps (88% loss)|
|Netherlands (Free Server)||1.75 Mbps (97% loss)||1.55 Mbps (97% loss)|
|Singapore (Free Server)||5.38 Mbps (93% loss)||1.74 Mbps (96% loss)|
|Japan||22.79 Mbps (70% loss)||3.72 Mbps (94% loss)|
|Chile||1.65 Mbps (98% loss)||1.08 Mbps (98% loss)|
Are Browsec's Speeds Fast Enough For Gaming? Yes
I would recommend staying away from gaming if you’re on the free servers. However, with a premium account, gaming is possible. Since Browsec is a browser extension, you can play online browser games. I tried out a diep.io match, but I had to use the faster US server to play it smoothly.
Also, if you are a serious gamer with triple-AAA PC titles, then Browsec won’t even work for you.
Browsec provides amazing premium servers but limits its free servers. The free version is limited to 4 locations, and the premium bumps it up to 40 locations.
The free VPN is limited to pre-selected servers in the US, the UK, Singapore, and the Netherlands.
On the other hand, paid users can access all the Browsec servers worldwide. The premium servers have locations such as Australia, India, France, South Africa, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Spain. But even with a premium subscription, certain regions such as South America are entirely excluded, and Asia is only partially covered. Also, most of these servers are virtual, meaning you might experience slower speeds.
All the servers are available to use on Android, but you need to create an account first before accessing them.
Browsec provides solid security and encrypts all your data using AES-256 encryption. The only difference is that mobile devices use IPSec/IKEv2 protocol, and browser extensions use HTTP Proxy over TLS. I also ran a test with the Virus Total tool to check if Browsec had any malicious files, which is crucial, especially when using a free VPN.
I've seen my fair share of free VPNs carrying malware, but Browsec didn't have any. I also ran a DNS leak test to see if Browsec was leaking anything.
Running the IP leak test revealed that my IP was indeed hidden, and there was no WebRTC leak. The superb score continues as the DNS leak test was also negative. So, it's great to see that Browsec will keep your data secure and safe without the fear of hackers getting into your device, even while using public WiFi.
I also looked at the mobile app permissions. That is necessary as most mobile VPNs don't have a great reputation for protecting your data.
Browsec doesn’t offer a kill switch, but it does have split tunneling, which you can access through its “Smart Settings.” Split tunneling can increase your speeds and provide greater privacy by making a list of websites you want to visit with the VPN on and without the VPN. Essentially, this feature lets you route some of your traffic through an encrypted VPN, while other sites can have direct access to the internet.
All you need to do is click on the “Smart Settings” tab and then enter the URLs of the site that you want the VPN to be active on.
While Browsec is generally safe to use, it has some privacy concerns. Browsec states it does collect data but doesn’t use or sell it to third-party services. While it’s not based in any of the 14 Eyes countries, it’s still based in Russia, which has its own concerning factor. Interestingly, there is no About page on its website to find more info on the company itself.
Browsec admits it can hand over if required by the law. That’s the case with many VPNs, even more expensive ones. It would be nice to see an independent logging audit done of the VPN, though. That would help clear up how much personal data is actually collected.
On the bright side, it does have an automatic kill switch. If you lose your VPN connection, you automatically disconnect from the internet, so your data is protected.
Browsec is limited to a browser extension with no desktop app. Because of that, it won't work with torrent clients. If P2P file sharing and torrenting are essential to you, pass on Browsec and use other VPNs I found safe for torrenting.
Does Browsec VPN Work in China? No
Unfortunately, Browsec doesn’t work in China. I confirmed this by asking its customer support.
Like most VPNs, Browsec, too, won't be able to bypass the "Great Firewall." A Hong Kong server may allow some local coverage, but it is unlikely to work smoothly.
Simultaneous Device Connections — Free Allows for Unlimited Connections, Premium Works On 5 Devices or Browsers
You can install the Browsec VPN extension on as many devices as you want, but this just works with the free version. Also, you don’t need an account to start using the free version.
However, if you have a premium account, it only works on 5 browsers at a time. The extension worked great, and I ran it back to back on 3 devices to see if it would strain the performance. It worked flawlessly as I didn't see any performance loss.
Device Compatibility — Works on Browsers and Smartphones
Browsec is specifically made as an extension or plugin for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Opera Browser. However, it’s not available on Safari, which instantly removes a massive chunk of users. Since it runs on browsers only, Browsec is not compatible with Amazon Fire Stick, Kodi, and Roku.
As it doesn’t have a native desktop app other than mobile, you won’t be able to use it with PC games or other apps that don’t need a browser to run.
According to its website, the Browsec team is also working to develop a Mac-compatible app.