When I tested FastestVPN's first iteration, I wasn't impressed. It wasn't great for streaming, and its security features were lacking. So can its latest overhaul change my mind?
Yes. FastestVPN has undoubtedly improved, including better unblocking capabilities, security options, and increased protocol support.
However, the VPN still has a few issues that need attention. It’s a good service, but there are better and more reliable VPNs for a similar price.
And is FastestVPN really the fastest VPN? You’ll find everything you need to know in my full review.
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Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
- Unblocks popular streaming platforms. I could access various Netflix libraries (including the US, India, and Japan) as well as Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer.
- Torrent support on nearly all servers. Only servers in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and India are unsuitable for P2P traffic.
- Simple, user-friendly apps with great compatibility. The VPN supports almost every device and platform.
- Works in China. However, you need to configure the VPN manually first — which can be tricky.
- 24/7 Live Chat support. The customer service team was prompt and helpful, but they couldn’t answer all of my questions.
FastestVPN Features — 2023 Update
Money Back Guarantee
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Number of devices per license
Based in country
24/7 Live Chat Support
Streaming — Unblocks All Popular Platforms
Unblocked: 9 Different Netflix libraries, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more
There are 10 streaming servers to unblock content from the US, the UK, India, Italy, Japan, and Canada. Each of these let me unblock full Netflix libraries, which impressed me. Many VPNs can only unblock Netflix Originals. This is a version of the platform that only has content Netflix owns.
In addition, FastestVPN unblocked Netflix South Korea, Portugal, and Switzerland during my tests. I could easily find a server that let me stream an episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead (US server) or Terrace House (Japan Server), and many other region-specific programs.
I only had issues with a few servers. I experienced some buffering with Netflix US, but it was minimal. However, my connection was poor when I tested the Streaming India 1 server. It took about 15 seconds for my video to load before it played back in poor quality, On the Zurich 1 server from Switzerland, I waited a minute for an episode of Castlevania to load before turning it off.
It only took a few seconds to load movies and shows
When I tried FastestVPN with Disney+, I could access it on the first try with no problems.
Every video I tested streamed in the highest quality available
The VPN’s performance with HBO Max was slightly worse, and I had to wait about 20 seconds for my Pennyworth episode to start streaming. Once it loaded, the episode played without further interruptions, and I was happy with the video’s streaming quality.
I recommend using the US streaming server for the best video quality
Overall, FastestVPN is great at unblocking streaming platforms. It passed every test I threw at it. I tried several other streaming providers and could watch all of them — Ellie and Natasia on BBC iPlayer and Aashiqana on Disney+ Hotstar. Plus, I could watch live sports after I unblocked YouTube TV.
It even reliably unblocked streaming sites like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, which are notorious for their anti-VPN technologies.
I only had to wait a few seconds to load an HD video that played back without buffering
Unfortunately, its slow speeds caused issues with Hulu. For example, I could only watch videos in poor quality. It took 20 seconds or more for videos to load, and even longer for the browsing menu to appear.
I watched for over 30 minutes, and the quality was bad the whole time
So, I can’t recommend using FastestVPN for a seamless streaming experience. Even though it helps you access all the top platforms, its inconsistent connections and slow servers make the streaming quality hit-or-miss. For a better experience watching movies and shows safely, I recommend checking out our guide to the best VPNs for streaming.
Speeds — Inconsistent Speeds That Get Worse Over Long Distances
It turns out that FastestVPN is not the fastest VPN after all. I speed-tested servers in 5 countries at varying distances from my location to see how the VPN’s speeds hold up across its network. My results showed that, while some servers are okay, FastestVPN’s speeds are not consistent at all. This surprised me because it has upgraded to 10 Gbps servers.
I started by testing my base connection, so I could see how the VPN affected my speeds.
Without a VPN (Austin, Texas):
- Ping: 18
- Download Speed: 294.98 Mbps
- Upload Speed: 251.56 Mbps
Ping refers to the time (in milliseconds) it takes for you to get a response from the website or server you’re accessing; it can be affected by physical distance. The smaller the number, the less distance your traffic has to travel and the faster your speeds, which is important for online gaming.
Download and upload speed is measured in megabits per second and refers to how quickly (or slowly) data takes to travel to or from your device. The higher the download speed, the faster you’ll be able to browse, stream, and torrent. Fast upload speeds are important for posting on social media, video calls, and putting videos on YouTube.
Here are the results from 2 US servers, Streaming USA and St. Louis 1.
- Ping: 69
- Download Speeds: 123.84 Mbps
- Upload Speeds: 66.25 Mbps
US Server (St. Louis):
- Ping: 108
- Download Speeds: 24.66 Mbps
- Upload Speeds: 53.65 Mbps
The US streaming server reduced my speeds by 58%. I performed a leak test that showed me it's located in New York. That's only about 2,800 km away from me. Most top-rated VPNs will only lower my speeds by 10-15% at that distance. But download rates of 123 Mbps are still more than fast enough for all online activities from torrenting to streaming (you only need 25 Mbps to watch Netflix in Ultra HD).
The St. Louis server is only 1,400 km away, but it dropped my speeds by 92%. That's a huge drop, so it makes sense why I had some streaming issues. Most VPNs get slower as the servers get farther away, but with FastestVPN, it's tough to predict. It could be overcrowding that makes some servers super slow. Unfortunately, it doesn't give you any way to see how crowded servers are.
I expected the Double VPN feature to give me the worst speeds, but the server in Japan was the slowest
Misawa, Japan is around 10,000 km away. This server gave me the worst results by far:
Streaming Japan (Misawa):
- Ping: 231
- Download Speeds: 6.73 Mbps
- Upload Speeds: 10.85 Mbps
Japan is on the other side of the world from me, so I’d expect the distance to slow me down somewhat — but 6.73 Mbps is barely fast enough to browse the internet, let alone stream or torrent. If you want a VPN that barely reduces your speeds at any distance, check out this list of the fastest VPNs.
Are FastestVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No
FastestVPN wasn't fast enough to play Rogue Legacy 2. It's not the fastest game around, but I still experienced significant lag even on the Dallas server, which is close to where I live. You want a ping below 100 ms at the minimum to play online games. This makes sure that the character reacts to your inputs quickly enough for you to enjoy the game. My ping was below 100 ms, but there was still too much lag to get anywhere in the game.
When I changed the VPN location to Australia, the game server wouldn’t even load. I’d expect a slower connection since Australia is on the other side of the world from me, but I’ve tested other VPNs with Australian servers that aren’t this slow.
Because of these speed inconsistencies, I can’t recommend FastestVPN for playing games online. I’d suggest trying one of the best VPNs for gaming as an alternative.
Server Network — Small Network With Unreliable Connections
FastestVPN has 500 servers in 41 countries — making it one of the smallest VPNs I’ve tested. Having so few servers means overcrowding is a big risk — leading to congestion and slow connection speeds for you.
What’s even more disappointing is that the VPN’s website claims to have more servers in more countries. It was only when I counted the servers available to me in the FastestVPN app that I realized the number on their website was incorrect. Many VPNs claim to have more servers than they actually provide, but it makes me trust a service less when I feel it’s misleading. Coverage is quite good across Europe and Asia, but South America is almost left out entirely (there are only 3 servers in Brazil). There are no locations in Africa at all.
The best coverage is in the US, with 14 server locations ranging from the east coast to the west. You can tap and hold any server to add it to your favorites list. Overall, I appreciated how easy it was to move between the 3 server types (regular, streaming, and double VPN).
Once you pick your server type, you choose a city by clicking the little orange arrow
There’s also a server available in Russia. This is a rare find; many VPNs shut down their Russian servers after Roskomnadzor (Russia’s censorship agency) started to demand access to all VPN servers within Russian borders. It seems FastestVPN is small enough to slip under the radar.
Sadly, I was never able to connect to FastestVPN’s Russian server. I tried several times but couldn’t get the server to work for me — so I couldn’t test whether it worked with Russian geoblocked sites.
Indeed, connection issues dogged most of my testing process. Many times I waited over a minute for servers to load. Eventually, I'd have to exit out of the app and reopen it to connect to a server. This happened with servers all over the world. That's too bad because, when it's working, servers connect superfast (in around 5 seconds).
FastestVPN’s support team recommends switching security protocols if you have connection issues (which suggests that this is a common complaint). A live support agent told me to log out and connect to TCP or UDP instead of setting the protocol to automatic. This seemed to work temporarily, but the problem always came back. To get reliable connections on tons of servers around the world, read this list of great VPNs with huge server networks.
Security — Impressive Safety Measures Protect You Online
FastestVPN provides many sophisticated security features. Overall, I was impressed — especially with the ad blocker and the additional protection of a NAT firewall. There are 3 double VPN servers you can connect to that increase your security with extra encryption. I was impressed that these didn't give me significantly slower speeds than the normal locations. However, as I dug deeper, I found out that lots of the features aren't available on every device. Also, it doesn't work with the Tor network either.
FastestVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption on all of its apps. That’s the highest encryption level you can get (it’s also known as “military-grade encryption").
256-bit encryption means that your internet traffic is essentially impossible to decipher when you’re connected to the VPN. So no one can monitor or track your online activity.
FastestVPN supports WireGuard, IKEv2, IPsec, TCP, UDP, L2TP, and PPTP protocols. The Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac apps all come with IKEv2, TCP, UDP, and WireGuard. To use IPSec, L2TP, or PPTP, you'll have to set them up manually. You can do the same with OpenVPN. I prefer using OpenVPN for its great mix of speed and security, so I was pleased to see that FastestVPN’s website has a range of tutorials for setting up OpenVPN with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux.
However, I would prefer to see OpenVPN as an existing protocol option; it’s annoying to go through the manual setup process to use it when so many other VPNs include the protocol as a default option. If you're looking for the fastest protocol on desktop, then it's PPTP for Windows and IKEv2 for Mac.
When I last tested FastestVPN, its apps automatically defaulted to PPTP. Now both my macOS and Android apps defaulted to IKEv2 instead. This is a welcome improvement; PPTP is an outdated protocol that is easily cracked, so I would never trust it to protect my privacy. IKEv2 is a much more secure option.
I didn’t experience any leaks using FastestVPN. My IP address was successfully masked on all 6 servers I tested.
It also comes with IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection
FastestVPN offers its own private DNS servers to help keep your activity as safe as possible. It’s reassuring to confirm that your connection is using a VPN's private servers, so I appreciate this. I'm confident FastestVPN can successfully mask your real IP.
FastestVPN equips all of its apps with a kill switch. This is an important feature that cuts off your internet connection should you become disconnected from the VPN. The kill switch prevents any of your identifying information or online activity from being accidentally revealed to your ISP during the disconnection.
FastestVPN enabled the kill switch on my macOS app automatically. In fact, there was no option to disable it — but I wouldn’t want to anyway.
However, when I tried to enable the kill switch on my Android app, I got a notification saying the feature wasn’t compatible with IKEv2. That means you can only use the kill switch on Android if you change to the TCP or UDP protocol, which is a bit disappointing as neither protocol is as good as IKEv2 or OpenVPN for speed and security.
All FastestVPN servers include a built-in NAT firewall. The firewall acts as a barrier between your network and the rest of the internet, blocking any unwanted or malicious traffic from being sent to your device.
Only a handful of VPNs offer a NAT firewall, so this is a bonus when it comes to safeguarding your device against hackers and cyber threats.
Ad Blocker and Malware Protection
FastestVPN has a built-in blocker for ads. I tested the adblocker on several social media sites and YouTube, and it successfully got rid of ads for me every time.
Not all VPNs include an ad blocker, so this is great news when it comes to preventing annoying pop-ups and protecting your device from the malicious links sometimes hidden in ads.
This impressed me because most VPN adblockers are useless against YouTube's ads
Speaking of malicious links, FastestVPN also claims to include built-in malware protection into the VPN. However, its customer support team was pretty vague about how exactly this feature works. Instead, they repeatedly told me that it "added another layer of protection" without explaining what that protection was.
I suspect that — like most VPNs — FastestVPN’s “malware blocker" is more of a malicious website/link detector. Rather than actively blocking malware, these detectors simply keep lists of websites that are known to contain malware — and alert or block you if you attempt to access one.
I didn’t receive any alerts or click on any suspicious links during my tests, so the malware blocker never activated for me.
FastestVPN supports Smart Tunneling (split tunneling) but only on Android.
Split tunneling is a beneficial function that allows you to select which traffic gets directed via your VPN. For instance, if my objective is to unlock a separate Netflix region using my VPN, while still receiving local results on Google, I have the flexibility to exempt Google and route only Netflix's traffic through my VPN.
Rather than selecting websites to whitelist, my FastestVPN Android app let me choose which apps I wanted to run through the VPN and which ones I didn’t. I found this useful for browsing privately on my Brave browser while accessing my online banking app via my ISP as normal. Sometimes using a VPN with my banking app triggers a security alert with my bank. It’s a shame the feature isn’t more widely available on the VPN’s other apps.
Privacy — A Strict No-Logs Policy and a Privacy-Friendly HQ
Who Owns FastestVPN and Is It Safe?
FastestVPN is owned by Fast Technology Ltd., which Pakistani businessman Azneem Bilwani founded. I couldn’t find much about Fast Technology Ltd. online, but it seems Bilwani has a background in IT and digital marketing — currently heading up the Intermarket Securities Limited Group and an IT marketing company called Abtach.
More importantly, I found out that FastestVPN is located in the privacy-friendly Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands is not a part of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance — an international intelligence-sharing community — and it doesn’t have mandatory data retention laws.
That means the VPN is free from any legal obligation to record, store, or hand over any evidence of your online activity to government agencies.
A representative from FastestVPN has clarified that the use of Google Analytics, Hotjar, and Livechat is restricted to the VPN's website and is unrelated to the VPN's actual operations. As such, the representative affirmed that these tools do not infringe upon the no-logs policy.
The representative confirmed that Google Analytics, Hotjar, and Livechat were used only to gather information on how you use the website — not the VPN itself.
In January of 2023, an independent audit found that FastestVPN sticks to its privacy claims. The VPN’s logging policies and infrastructure were investigated by Altis IT, a reputable third-party auditing firm. It confirmed that FastestVPN never stores any information that can be used to identify you or any of your online activities. I’m glad the company took this extra step to prove its policy is legit.
Torrenting — P2P-Optimized Servers, but Unreliable Speeds
Nearly all of FastestVPN’s 500 servers are P2P-optimized. The VPN’s website only suggests you avoid torrenting on its servers in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and India.
The VPN's commitment to a no-logs policy, its base in a location known for respecting privacy, and its use of military-grade encryption collectively enhance privacy and anonymity during torrenting. Furthermore, not having a bandwidth cap is advantageous for sustaining fast speeds.
However, you aren’t guaranteed a smooth torrenting experience across the network because FastestVPN’s speeds are so varied. I was able to torrent easily while connected to the US server in LA, but another server in Australia slowed me down so much that torrenting was impossible.
If you want to guarantee easy and anonymous torrenting, I’d probably pick from our list of the best VPNs for torrenting instead.
Does FastestVPN Work in China? Unclear
FastestVPN claims to work in China but only with manual OpenVPN, OpenConnect, or AnyConnect configuration.
You need to manually configure FastestVPN to get it to work with China’s Great Firewall
Finding VPNs that effectively function in China is a challenging task, making it a noteworthy advantage for FastestVPN. Nonetheless, configuring the VPN manually, as required in this case, can be somewhat complex and may pose difficulties, particularly for individuals who are new to VPNs. To maximize the likelihood of successfully using FastestVPN in China, it is advisable to initially attempt the TCP protocol.
There are other VPNs that work in China quickly, reliably, and without complicated configuration.
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