PandaVPN Review & Test 2020 – Is This VPN Safe to Use?

Carli Fish | Cybersecurity Researcher
Updated on 17th August 2020

PandaVPN – not to be confused with Panda Security’s Panda VPN – is a small VPN with a surprisingly large server network, covering some 60+ countries around the world. However, I did notice that they had servers in China and Russia — and this was a red flag for me.

VPN servers in Russia and China can come under the scrutiny of government and authorities, meaning user data is never really private nor protected. Knowing that PandaVPN operates in these countries led me to question if this VPN is really safe to use.

I knew I had to dig a little deeper to find out more about this little-known VPN. So I went through its background, features, and policies to uncover exactly how it worked and how safe it really is.

Short on Time? Here’s a 1-Min Summary of My Results

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Streaming — Doesn’t Work With Most Major Platforms Like Netflix

PandaVPN claims to be able to unblock all major streaming platforms, but real user reviews online say otherwise. I personally couldn’t get the VPN to connect at all so I cannot guarantee it will work for you. If you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, you might want to try other providers that have been proven to work.

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Server Network — Surprisingly Large Network for a Small VPN

PandaVPN has server locations in 60+ countries, including the US, UK, Russia, and China. It’s hard to find VPNs with servers in China and Russia so this might be a bonus point if you’re looking to access content that’s geo-restricted to those countries.

That being said, there’s a reason why lots of VPNs don’t have servers in China and Russia. Servers in those countries are subject to anti-privacy legislation, so can’t guarantee your privacy and safety. It’s safer to use a server in a neighbouring country if you want full anonymity.

I was able to choose Smart Connect to find the best server for my location, or manually choose from the list of countries or streaming-optimized servers. PandaVPN also has one game proxy server in Japan that gives you access to Japanese gaming servers.

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Security & Privacy — Zero Logs but Unclear Origins

PandaVPN’s privacy agreement states that the VPN has a strict no logs policy and does not log or store any of your identifying information. I wasn’t even required to input my email address when signing up for the service. Instead, PandaVPN generates a random account number for you. This is great for maintaining your privacy and did go some way towards allaying my concerns over the VPN’s Chinese and Russian servers – if a VPN doesn’t store any information about you, it has nothing to hand over to a government agency or anyone else. Sadly, you can’t pay for the VPN using cryptocurrency, which would have added another level of security to the payment process.

PandaVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption – the highest level possible – to lock down your traffic against hackers or snoopers. It claims to use a kill switch too, which should cut off your internet if you lose connection to the VPN (to prevent any of your information from becoming exposed). However, it’s unclear which of its apps have the kill switch feature. I could not see any security settings on the macOS app that I tested.

PandaVPN’s website says that it’s based in the Seychelles – outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. However, during my research I noticed some users expressing concern that the VPN actually originates from China or Hong Kong. I did some digging and found that the company’s GitHub commits are logged in Chinese. On Twitter, on the other hand, the company claims to be American – with their HQ in the US. Both China and America are famously anti-privacy countries so the confusion over the VPN’s origin raises some red flags. It calls into question the trustworthiness of PandaVPN’s logging policy.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Not as Generous as Others

PandaVPN gives you 3 simultaneous device connections. I was disappointed with this as it’s not as generous as many other VPNs, which usually offer at least five or more.

Having just 3 simultaneous connections does limit how much you can use the VPN – especially if you live in a large household where several people might want to connect at the same time.

You can add additional device connections but only if you have to pay for additional licenses.

Device Compatibility — Most Major Platforms Covered

PandaVPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. It also has an app for Android TV.

I was disappointed to see no games console support and no router support – especially as the VPN has a gaming-optimized server.

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Features Details
Number of countries with servers 15
Number of servers 500
Number of IP addresses 500
Does VPN keep logs? No
Does VPN include a kill switch? Yes
Number of devices per license 3

Ease of Use

5.3

I found PandaVPN quite easy to use. The download and installation process was very quick and straightforward. I was able to download the VPN directly from the PandaVPN website.

I also liked the VPN’s Smart Connect and Auto Connect features, which make using the service very easy. Manually choosing your server is a bit more difficult; it took me a while to find the server list on the app and I didn’t find the interface particularly intuitive or clear.

Compare PandaVPN with the top alternative VPNs

Pricing

1.3
1 Year
$3.99 /month
3 Months
$6.99 /month
1 Month
$9.99 /month

PandaVPN isn’t the most expensive VPN I’ve tried, but it’s not the cheapest either. It has a good range of affordable subscription prices, with monthly payments significantly decreasing if you choose a longer-term plan.

You can currently pay for PandaVPN using credit card, PayPal, Alipay, or Paymentwall. I would have liked to have seen the option to pay with a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, as it gives you more privacy. Payments are covered by a 7-day money-back guarantee – much shorter than the 30 days offered by most premium services.There is also a 3-day free trial but this is only available on PandaVPN’s Android and iOS mobile apps.

Overall, I don’t think PandaVPN gives you good value for money. I’ve used many VPNs that have been much more powerful and reliable but cost less than PandaVPN.

Reliability & Support

3.3

I did not find PandaVPN to be a reliable or stable VPN. I couldn’t use it to access the streaming sites I tried and I experienced lots of dropouts and downtime where the VPN wouldn’t work at all.

PandaVPN’s customer support was disappointing as well. There’s no 24/7 live chat available so you can only contact them via email — which is a really slow way to get help. I sent them an email requesting a refund on my subscription and didn’t get a reply. After 3 days I tried to contact them via Twitter but didn’t get any response. It took a whole week before an agent emailed me back to confirm that my refund had been being processed.

There is a Help Centre on the PandaVPN website but it just consists of a limited list of FAQs with no tutorials or guides to help you troubleshoot.

The Bottom Line

I wouldn’t recommend using PandaVPN. While it does have some affordable pricing options and its apps are fairly straightforward and easy to use, it simply doesn’t offer the reliability that other VPNs can give you for the same price or less.

Despite the VPN’s impressive server network, my results found the service to be patchy and unreliable. It was incapable of bypassing geoblocks on most of the major streaming providers I tested.

I also found its customer support disappointing. It was very difficult to get in touch with the team and I have yet to get confirmation that my refund is being processed.

Lastly, I would be very wary of trusting the VPN’s no-logs policy as it’s unclear where the service is based and who it’s run by. If it is based or run from China or the US, this could be a cause for concern when it comes to protecting your privacy and safety online.

Common FAQs

🥇 Is PandaVPN good?

I wouldn’t recommend PandaVPN as I found its reliability and support below-par. The lack of transparency behind its origins also worries me a little. For that price, you’d be able to find another basic VPN with better performance and privacy standards.

💰 Can I use PandaVPN for free?

PandaVPN has a 3-day free trial but only on its mobile apps. You can’t get the free trial if you’re using the VPN on your desktop, laptop, or Android TV.

📍 Where is PandaVPN based?

PandaVPN says that its HQ is in the privacy-friendly Seychelles. However, there is some confusion about the truth of this statement. On Twitter, the company claims to be based in the US. Other evidence suggests that the VPN originates in China. There isn’t much transparency surrounding this which makes me trust the VPN a little less.

🔒 Is PandaVPN safe to use?

PandaVPN uses the highest level of encryption and has a strict zero-logs policy that is designed to protect your privacy online.

However, because there is a lack of transparency around where PandaVPN is based, it’s not clear that these features can be trusted. I would be careful when using the VPN and opt for another more secure service if you’re concerned about online safety and anonymity.

Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 7
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 3

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