FastestVPN Review 2021 — Is It Safe & Can It Unblock Netflix?

Author Image Carli Fish
Carli Fish | Cybersecurity Researcher
Updated on 14th February 2021

When I tested FastestVPN’s first iteration, I was left unimpressed with its bare-bones apps and lack of security features. So can its latest overhaul change my mind?

The answer is: yes and no. FastestVPN has undoubtedly made a lot of improvements to its service, including better security features and increased protocol support.

However, the VPN is still plagued by a range of reliability issues that make it frustrating to use. It’s by no means a terrible service; there are just better and more reliable VPNs out there for a similar price.

As for whether FastestVPN is really the fastest VPN… well, you’ll have to read my full review to find out.

Try FastestVPN Risk-Free For 15 Days!

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Try FastestVPN Today!

FastestVPN Features — Updated in March 2021

Number of countries with servers 31
Number of servers 350
Number of IP addresses 350
Does VPN keep logs? No
Does VPN include a kill switch? Yes
Number of devices per license 15

Streaming — Unblocks Netflix, but Not Much Else

Unblocked: Netflix, HBO Max

FastestVPN unblocked Netflix in the US, UK, and Canada, and HBO Max during my tests. I had to try a few different US servers to get Netflix US working, which was a bit annoying and time-consuming. However, I was eventually able to find a server that let me stream an episode of Emily in Paris.

When I tried the FastestVPN with Netflix UK and Netflix Canada, it could unblock them both on the first try with no problems.

Screenshot of FastestVPN unblocking Netflix US.

Streaming with FastestVPN was mostly smooth and easy. I experienced some buffering with Netflix US, but it was minimal, and my episode started playing within about 5 seconds.

The VPN’s performance with HBO Max was slightly worse, and I did have to wait about 20 seconds for my episode of “Divorce” to start streaming. Once it had loaded, the episode played with no further interruptions, and I was happy with the video’s streaming quality.

I was worried FastestVPN’s relatively small server network might prevent me from accessing different Netflix libraries. Its server list proved me wrong; the VPN has servers in all of the countries with the most popular Netflix libraries. That includes France, Australia, Japan, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Blocked By: BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, ESPN, Hotstar, Hulu

Sadly, I can’t recommend FastestVPN for streaming anything else. I tested the VPN with several other streaming providers, and it couldn’t unblock any of them.

A screenshot showing FastestVPN being blocked by Hulu's anti-proxy and VPN software.

 

If you want a VPN that can reliably unblock streaming sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+, I’d recommend checking out our guide to the best VPNs for streaming movies instead.

Get 95% off this Black Friday/Cyber Monday!

Get great discounts now from FastestVPN!

95% Off

Get it now!

Money-Back Guarantee: 15 Days

Start Saving NOW!

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 4 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 very fast, FastestVPN’s speeds are not consistent at all.

I started by testing my base connection, so I could see how the VPN affected my speeds.

Without a VPN (UK):

  • Ping: 28
  • Download Speed: 275.88 Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 36.52 Mbps

FastestVPN has a Smart Connection feature, which is supposed to connect you to the best and fastest server for your location. It connected me to a server in the Czech Republic, which gave me the following results:

Using FastestVPN’s Smart Connect (Czech Republic)

  • Ping: 55
  • Download Speeds: 94.89 Mbps
  • Upload Speeds: 34.63 Mbps

That might seem like a huge drop from my base connection speed, but 94.89 Mbps is actually very fast for a VPN. For context: you only need 25 Mbps to stream Netflix in its highest quality settings (Ultra HD).

Next, I tested a local server in the UK to make sure I could use the VPN to browse privately in my own country. The UK server was a little slower than the Smart Connect server (even though it was in the same country as me) but was still fast enough for streaming and most other online activities.

Local Server (UK)

  • Ping: 22
  • Download Speeds: 62.41 Mbps
  • Upload Speeds: 35.02 Mbps

Speeds on US servers were similarly fast if a little inconsistent. Here are the results from two US servers, one in Dallas and one in Charlotte.

US Server (Dallas)

  • Ping: 133
  • Download Speeds: 97.61 Mbps
  • Upload Speeds: 29.96 Mbps

US Server (Charlotte)

  • Ping: 123
  • Download Speeds: 35.91 Mbps
  • Upload Speeds: 33.04 Mbps

Despite being technically closer to me, the US server in Charlotte reduced my speeds by 87%, while the Dallas server gave me a super fast download speed of 97.61.

A screen shot showing speed test inconsistencies for FastestVPN servers in the US.

However, it wasn’t until I tested FastestVPN’s Australian server that I really saw discrepancies:

Australian Server (Sydney)

  • Ping: 271
  • Download Speeds: 0.91 Mbps
  • Upload Speeds: 0.23 Mbps

Australia is on the other side of the world from me, so I’d expect the distance to slow me down somewhat — but 0.91 Mbps is barely fast enough to browse the internet, let alone stream or torrent. I’ve tested other VPNs for Australia that were much faster, even despite the long distance.

Are FastestVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? Yes, but Only on Some Servers

FastestVPN was fast enough to play Code of War — but only on the US servers I tested. When connected to a server in the US, my game loaded quickly, and I could play with no annoying lag.

A screenshot showing FastestVPN working with online gaming.

However, when I changed the VPN location to Australia, the game server wouldn’t even load.

So that’s good news if you want to game with friends in the US, but bad news if you want to make the most of the time differences to grab games that are released earlier in Australia.

Because of these speed inconsistencies, I can’t recommend FastestVPN as totally reliable for playing games online. I’d suggest trying one of these best VPNs for gaming as an alternative.

Start Gaming With FastestVPN!

Server Network — Small Network, but One Server in Russia

FastestVPN has 350 servers in 31 countries — making it one of the smallest VPNs I’ve tested.

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’s just one server I could see in Brazil). There are no servers in Africa at all.

The best coverage is in the US, with 16 server locations ranging from east coast to west.

There’s also a server available in Russia. This is a rare find; lots of 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.

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. However, as I dug deeper, I found out that lots of the features were device-exclusive.

Encryption

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.

Security Protocols

FastestVPN supports IKEv2, IPSec, TCP, UDP, L2TP, and PPTP protocols — but the support varies across its apps (my macOS app offered IKEV2, IPSec, TCP, UDP, but my Android app only supported IKEv2, TCP, and UDP).

You can also opt to set up OpenVPN manually. 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.

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.

Kill Switch

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.

The kill switch on my macOS app was enabled 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 on my Android device. 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.

NAT Firewall

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 adblocker, 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.

A screenshot showing FastestVPN's adblocker successfully blocking ads on YouTube.

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.

Smart Tunneling

FastestVPN supports Smart Tunneling (split tunneling) but only on iOS and Android.

Split tunneling is a useful feature that lets you choose which traffic you route through your VPN. For example, if I wanted to unblock a different Netflix region with my VPN but get local results on Google, I can choose to whitelist Google and only route Netflix through my VPN.

At the moment, you can only use FastestVPN’s version of split tunneling on its mobile apps. 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 but accessing my online banking app via my ISP as normal (because 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.

Try FastestVPN Today!

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.

Logging Policy

FastestVPN has a strict no-logs policy. I dove into its full Privacy Policy to make sure no red flags were hiding in the small print, and I was happy with what I saw:

A screenshot of FastestVPN's privacy policy and no-logs guarantee.

According to the Privacy Policy, the only information FastestVPN stores is your email address, and that’s deleted as soon as you deactivate your account.

A FastestVPN representative confirmed that Google Analytics, Hotjar, and Livechat are only used on the VPN’s website and have nothing to do with the running of the VPN itself — so they don’t negate the no-logs policy.

Torrenting — P2P-Optimized Servers, but Unreliable Speeds

Nearly all of FastestVPN’s 350 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 (my speed tests showed that these were some of the slowest servers).

The VPN’s no-logs policy, privacy-friendly HQ, and military-grade encryption are all excellent news for torrenting in privacy and anonymity, too.

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.

Start Torrenting With FastestVPN Now!

Does FastestVPN Work in China? Unclear

FastestVPN claims to work in China but only with manual OpenVPN, OpenConnect, or AnyConnect configuration. This can take some technical expertise to set up, which might be tricky if you’re new to VPNs.

There are other VPNs that work in China quickly, reliably, and without complicated configuration.

Get Started With FastestVPN Today!

Ease of Use

8.0

Simultaneous Device Connections — Generous Connection Allowance

You get 10 simultaneous connections with your FastestVPN subscription. I think that’s a generous offering; it was certainly more than enough to cover all the WiFi-enabled devices I have in my household.

Even better, FastestVPN gave me the option to add up to 20 further simultaneous connections at $2 each — so you could use the VPN on up to 30 different devices if you don’t mind paying extra. That’s a great option if you want to cover the rest of your household or use the VPN in your office.

Device Compatibility — Compatible With Most Major Devices and Platforms

FastestVPN is compatible with:

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • Android
  • Firestick
  • Chromebook
  • Routers
  • Apple TV
  • Xbox
  • PlayStation
  • Roku
  • pfSense
  • Kodi
  • Synology
  • QNAP
  • VU+ Enigma 2

That’s an impressive list for such a small VPN. I was pleased to see that FastestVPN’s website also offers a thorough list of step-by-step installation and configuration guides for every kind of device it supports — great if you’re new to VPNs and need help getting started.

A screenshot showing FastestVPN's compatible deviecs.

Set-Up & Installation — Easy Setup and Simple, User-Friendly Apps

FastestVPN is very easy to install and set up. All-in-all, it took me just a few minutes from downloading the app to getting started.

There was one issue with my macOS network setup, which kept triggering pop-ups as I installed the VPN. However, FastestVPN’s customer support team was able to provide me with a helpful solution quickly.

Once installed, the FastestVPN app requires little to no setup. In fact, the only settings you can change in the macOS app are the security protocols. All other features are automatically enabled. The Android has the additional split tunneling feature, but that’s easy to set up too.

I prefer having a few more configuration options — but FastestVPN should suit you if you’re looking for a simple VPN with very little setup time.

Get Started With FastestVPN!

Compare FastestVPN with the top alternative VPNs

Pricing

8.0

Pricing

3 Year Plan
$1.11 /month
1 Year Plan
$2.49 /month
1 Month Plan
$10.00 /month

FastestVPN accepts credit card and PayPal payments. It’s disappointing to see that no other payment methods are supported — I would have liked to see cryptocurrency payments available as they give you complete anonymity when you buy a VPN.

The VPN’s monthly plan is fairly mid-range, but it gets significantly more affordable when you opt for a long-term subscription (its 5-year plan sets you back just $1.11/month).

There’s a 15-day money-back guarantee if you want to test the VPN risk-free first. That’s much shorter than the average 30 days you get with most VPNs.

I decided to test the refund process to make sure it was trustworthy. There was no cancelation option in my account settings, and I had to ask via live chat instead.

The FastestVPN representative tried to convince me to stay but agreed to process my request after I declined twice. That being said, I was given a helpful guide to canceling any recurring payments on PayPal. I received a full refund within 16 days, which was a lot slower than I expected.

Overall, there are better VPNs with longer money-back guarantees that I would opt for over FastestVPN.

Reliability & Support

8.0

Reliability & Support

I can’t recommend FastestVPN for reliability. Connection issues dogged most of my testing process, and there were some servers I was simply never able to connect to (Russia, for example). Other servers repeatedly connected and disconnected.

FastestVPN’s support team recommends switching security protocols if you have connection issues (which suggests that this is a common complaint). However, I didn’t want to have to use a slower or less secure protocol just to be able to connect to the VPN.

There’s 24/7 live chat support, which I turned to for help with some other questions, too (with mixed results). The team was always quick to reply to my questions and gave me a helpful solution when I came across an issue with the installation process.

However, when I started questioning the VPN’s security features and privacy policy, the answers took longer to come and became short and vague. It left me feeling like the support team didn’t have VPN experts, which isn’t reassuring when you need help.

A screenshot of a conversation with FastestVPN's 24/7 live chat support.

Try FastestVPN Now!

The Bottom Line

Small Network, But Great for Streaming and Torrenting

Final Verdict

FastestVPN is a cheap and straightforward VPN, but it’s by no means the fastest or most reliable service. It might work for you if you’re looking for an uncomplicated VPN that works with Netflix US or HBO Max. It also has decent security and privacy measures, and I believe it works hard to keep you safe and anonymous online.

However, it can’t unblock any other streaming services, and its inconsistent speeds and connection issues can make it annoying to use.

Because there are so many other VPNs that work with Netflix and other streaming sites (and provide a fast and reliable connection for a similar price), I can’t recommend FastestVPN. Perhaps they should have picked a less contentious name.

  • AES-256 bit encryption
  • OpenVPN support
  • NAT firewall
  • Ad-blocker
  • High speeds, unlimited bandwidth
  • 15-day money back guarantee
  • 15 simultaneous connections
  • Get started with FastestVPN now

Get FastestVPN Today

FAQs on FastestVPN

🙃 What do I do if FastestVPN won’t connect?

If FastestVPN won’t connect, the easiest solution is to stop the connection process and try again with a different server. At times, I also had to shut down the VPN entirely and restart.

FastestVPN’s support FAQs also suggest trying a different security protocol to fix connection issues. However, this can be a bit annoying as it can force you to use a less secure protocol.

😇 Is FastestVPN safe?

Yes, FastestVPN has strong security measures and a strict no-logs policy to protect your privacy. It’s also based in the privacy-friendly Cayman Islands.

I dug into the VPN’s privacy policy myself and felt satisfied that it really doesn’t log or pass on any of your information. FastestVPN’s customer support team also reassured me that this was the case even with their Russian servers.

😍 Can FastestVPN unblock Netflix?

Yes, but only in the US, UK, and Canada.

That’s a pretty good result for a VPN with such a small network, but there are other similarly-priced VPNs out there that give you access to every Netflix library instead of the handful of Netflix regions FastestVPN could unblock.

😎 Is FastestVPN actually the fastest VPN?

No! I recorded pretty fast speeds on some servers during my tests, but other servers ground my connection to a halt.

Sadly, that means FastestVPN is not the fastest VPN and doesn’t live up to its name.

🤓 Can I use FastestVPN on any device?

Yes, FastestVPN has a really impressive list of compatible devices for such a small VPN. It’s compatible with nearly every major device and platform, even including routers, games consoles, and NAS devices like Synology.

I also like that FastestVPN includes in-depth, step-by-step guides to setup and configuration on every device it supports.

🤗 How do I install FastestVPN?

Simply purchase FastestVPN from its website, then click on the “Install” button when you’re done paying. It really is as easy as that.

In my case, I was redirected to the App Store to download the FastestVPN macOS app — but even that only took a couple of seconds. Once it was downloaded, the VPN app opened quickly and was instantly ready to use.

🤑 Does FastestVPN have a lifetime subscription?

Yes, it does — but I wouldn’t recommend using it. FastestVPN’s lifetime plan is quite hard to find (I had to ask customer support), and its price seems to change depending on the latest deal or offer.

Like most VPN lifetime deals, FastestVPN is not at all clear about what “lifetime” means. If the VPN goes under during your lifetime (which happens a lot with smaller services), you end up paying way more for your subscription than you would with a monthly or yearly plan.

I also find that most VPNs with a lifetime plan offer a worsening service over time. Since you’re tied in for “life,” they have no need to worry about improving their service to retain your membership.

Read more about why Lifetime VPN subscriptions are generally a bad idea.

Try FastestVPN For FREE For 15 Days!

Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 15
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 15

FastestVPN User Reviews

7.0
Based on 65 reviews in 3 languages
Anonymous
Doesn't work now - 2
Anonymous -
Feb 5, 2021

I purchased the lifetime subscription and the service worked pretty well passing the IP leak tests for a couple of months. However, in December 2020 I got an email about a new pro version and of course, now I cant even connect to the VPN. I noticed that I couldn't connect to any of their VPN servers around late December and it is February now and I still can't connect at all. So definitely look elsewhere.

Brendon
One of the best VPNs - 10
Brendon -
Jan 22, 2021

This VPN is one of the best out there. I say this from a usability, security, and price perspective. Their support team is always on hand when there are issues. Sometimes it won't connect to a particular server, usually, because it's too congested (I won't say which server it is - try sign out and back in), but other than that, I'm a happy user. The speeds I get are remarkable! Truly is fast. I have it on constantly on all my devices. I don't regret purchasing this VPN for it's like a cheaper version of ExpressVPN.

Rich
Absolute Rip-Off - 2
Rich -
Jan 15, 2021

Poor, unreliable, connect and lose connectivity. Kind of pointless to have VPN when you can no longer connect. What an absolute rip-off! This is such a disappointment - both the loss of money and the customer betrayal!

Check the top 3 alternative VPNs

Rating: 9.9 / 10

Rating: 9.9 / 10

Rating: 9.5 / 10

Was this review helpful? 0 0
Sorry about that!
(Minimum 10 characters.)
Nord is offering 68% off their VPN for a limited time!