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Browsec Review 2022 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying

Author Image Husain Parvez'
Husain Parvez | Updated on 29th July 2022 Cybersecurity Researcher

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.

Try Browsec Today!

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Get Browsec For Free!

Browsec Features — Updated in August 2022

5.5
💸 Price 2.99 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 7 Days
📝 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

Streaming — Supports Funimation and BBC iPlayer (But Not Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+)

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.

Screenshot of BBC iPlayer working

I was also able to stream shows from BBC iPlayer using Browsec

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.

Screenshot of Funimation working

Browsec can unblock Funimation with ease

Stream With Browsec Now!

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.

 Screenshot of Amazon Prime Video blocking the VPN

Amazon Prime Video also detects Browsec and restricts me from streaming content

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.

 Screenshot of Netflix US not working on Browsec

I wasn’t able to access Netflix US on the free and premium US servers

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.

Speeds — Fast Speeds, But Only With a Premium Subscription

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.

Screenshot of my baseline network speeds without the VPN

My baseline speed results without being connected to any VPN

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.

Screenshot of the Speed Test on Browsec Free Servers

Browsec slows down the speeds on the free servers

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.

Screenshot of Browsec's Premium Server Tests

The premium US and UK servers work great, but the free ones are slow

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)

Get Browsec Premium!

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.

Screenshot of Browsec while gaming

Games work only on the premium Browsec servers

Play Games With Browsec Premium!

Server Network — 4 Free and 42 Premium Locations

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 42 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.

Screenshot of Browsec with it's 40+ premium server locations

The premium subscription allows you access to 40+ server locations

All the servers are available to use on Android, but you need to create an account first before accessing them.

Screenshot of Browsec servers on the Android app

The Browsec Android app has 40+ premium server locations

Try Browsec Today!

Security — Solid With Strong Encryption

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.

Screenshot of Browsec test with zero malware or viruses.

Browsec has zero malware or viruses as shown with the Virus Total scan

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.

Screenshot of Browsec leak test

A leak test showed that Browsec doesn’t leak any data and spoofs my IP address

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 requires no extra permissions.

The app permissions Browsec requires on Android are acceptable and run in the background

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.

Screenshot of Browsec Split Tunneling Feature

You can use Browsec’s Smart Settings to access the Split Tunneling feature

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.

Stay Safe With Browsec!

Privacy — Risky and Confusing

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.

Screenshot of Browsec's privacy policy

Browsec’s policy claims to collect user data

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.

Screenshot of Browsec data gathering and usage policy

Browsec can share your data if required by the law

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.

Torrenting — No Support For P2P

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.

Response of Browsec's customer support team

A quick query to the customer support team resulted in that Browsec is blocked in China

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.

Use Browsec on All Devices!

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.

Alt Text: Screenshot of Browsec's UI in action

Browsec’s extension running on the Chrome browser

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.

Screenshot of Browsec Mac app in development

Browsec is working on an app for Mac and Safari users

According to its website, the Browsec team is also working to develop a Mac-compatible app.

Get Browsec For Your Device!

Installation & Apps

5.3

Set-Up & Installation — Straightforward

Browsec makes installing the extensions very easy. Google Chrome, Firefox, and other browser extensions have a speedy installation process.

The extension UI seems a little outdated, but the Android and iOS apps have a better-designed UI and work smoothly.

creenshot of Browsec's easy to use interface on the Android app

Browsec has a clean UI with the Android app

As soon as you install the extension, click on the “Protect Me” button, and it will be up and running.

Screenshot of Browsec's one click VPN connection

Browsec can be accessed and connected with a single click

You can also access the settings with a single click, turn off the VPN with the slider, and change servers within seconds.

Install Browsec Now!

Pricing

1.3
2 YEARS
$ 2.99 / month per month
ANNUAL
$ 3.33 / month per month
MONTHLY
$ 6.99 / month per month

There are 3 different plans for the premium Browsec experience. The most affordable plan is $2.99/month with a subscription period of 2 years, which is in the lower range compared to the industry standard.

You can also choose between various payment options ranging from credit cards to PayPal. It also has a speedy 7-day money-back guarantee, perfect if you aren’t sure about committing to Browsec VPN.

Screenshot of Browsec's reply for a refund

You need to explain your reason to get a refund from Browsec

The refund went smoothly. However, you need to explain the reason why you are asking for a refund.

Install Browsec for Free Today!

Reliability & Support

3.3

Browsec has a decent support team. While it doesn’t have a live chat feature that some of the other premium names offer, email works fine. I emailed Browsec through its contact page and got my answer in about 2 hours.

If you need basic installation help or troubleshooting issues, you can find helpful info on its Help Center and FAQ page. Compared to other VPNs, Browsec’s FAQ is narrow, answering only 4 basic questions.

Screenshot of Browsec's contact page

Browsec has an easy to use contact page

Compare Browsec With The Top Alternative VPNs

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict – Decent Free VPN with Basic Security Features

Browsec is a decent free VPN if you’re looking for basic security features as it is only limited to browser extensions and mobile apps. Its premium version performed much better in terms of speed. However, I do not recommend using the free account due to the slow connection speeds.

Because it is based in Russia, I don’t recommend it to privacy-oriented users, but its premium account offers better security.

It will help you bypass BBC iPlayer’s geo-restrictions and also unblock streaming sites such as Funimation, but all the other websites block it.

  • 100% free with a free version
  • No cap on data usage
  • Solid speeds with its premium version
  • 40+ location choices for servers for premium users
  • Blocked by most streaming sites

FAQs on Browsec VPN

Is Browsec safe?

Yes, Browsec is safe to use and install. I ran many tests, and Browsec didn’t leak any data.

Can Browsec unblock Netflix?

No. While the extension won’t unblock Netflix US and other countries such as Japan, you can browse the local content. Other websites also block it.

Will Browsec slow my speeds down?

Yes. Almost all VPNs slow down your speed. However, the premium version delivers fantastic speeds with a great browsing experience. Hence, I recommend using the premium servers for streaming and gaming.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: 5

Browsec User Reviews (User reviews are not verified)

7.3
Based on 3 reviews in 1 languages

Write a Review on Browsec

Please rate VPN.

Anonymous
Anonymous
8/10
Not So Bad!

I used Browsec before, and I got the chrome extension, it was pretty good for a free VPN, then I started using Browsec more and more of the time, this was the only free VPN with 256-aes-bit encryption and it was good, better than hola! VPN

Anonymous
Anonymous
6/10
Nice for free usage

I use the Browsec Chrome extension which is free. It is pretty slow and only 4 servers are available (UK, USA, Singapore, Netherlands). Since I use it pretty rarely, e.g. only when I need to search for information or get access to resources that are restricted by location, I do not care much about these things. As a warning, I should tell you that they keep logs, and a couple of years ago user data was leaked from them. So as a paid version, I do not recommend it, but the free version is OK if you know what's up with the extension.

Anonymous
Anonymous
8/10
Good as a free VPN

I agree with what you've written. Been using Browsec for years now. I don't really face much throttling with the free version. And I believe they certainly have a built-in kill switch as I have observed it suddenly pulling off my browser's internet connection even when my internet is perfectly okay. Yet, what I do not like is their vagueness. Earlier, they didn't really have a good explanatory website. While they now have several pages on their site, none of them explicitly explains the key features of this VPN. This isn't only a problem from the cybersecurity point of view but is also a marketing drawback. I could even bear with that (if they're happy with poor marketing, no problem with me as far as I'm getting good services). But I'm really concerned about the data logging thing. They haven't explicitly mentioned a yes or nor for it too. In short, Browsec has certainly good services to offer. But their privacy policy isn't clear. If they address these issues, then no doubt Browse would win the list of free VPNs.

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