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SnowdenVPN Review 2021 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying

Author Image Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru | Cybersecurity Researcher
Updated on 2nd December 2021

SnowdenVPN claims to be focused on businesses and promises to offer the highest levels of security as well as super-fast speeds.

I tested the service from installation and setup through to speed tests, stream tests, and a deep-dive into the company’s HQ and privacy policy.

There were some things I liked, such as its unique pay-as-you-go system and personal servers. However, it’s let down by time-consuming manual setup, a small server network, and a lack of key features you usually get with the best VPNs.

Also, It claims to be a secure service for businesses, but the VPN has some fairly concerning red flags when it comes to privacy. Read on to find out what I discovered.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

SnowdenVPN Features — Updated in December 2021

💸 Price 0USD/month
Does VPN keep logs? No
🗺 Based in country Russian Federation
🛠 Support Live Chat Support
📥 Supports torrenting No

Streaming — Limited Capabilities

SnowdenVPN unblocked a couple of streaming services — but not many.

I was able to access my Disney+ and BBC iPlayer accounts with servers in Amsterdam and London, but it took me a while to find connections that worked.

The VPN doesn’t offer any servers in the US at all. This means that you won’t be able to watch any US streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max.

Since it’s a business-oriented VPN, SnowdenVPN is focused on providing security solutions for companies — not on unblocking international TV. If streaming is your main focus, I recommend you take a look at these streaming VPNs that can unblock hundreds of platforms instead.

Speeds — Unlimited Bandwidth

SnowdenVPN promises super-fast speeds, but it didn’t quite live up to the promise.

I was excited by the VPN’s claim it would give me speeds of up to 1 Gbps. While this sounds like a very good deal, it’s not always the case. I detected an average 20% drop from my base speeds, which is decent enough for a small VPN.

One good feature is that you can establish your own server — no one else will be able to connect to it, so you don’t have to worry about slowdowns due to server crowding.

Server Network — Small, but Reliable

SnowdenVPN has servers in 9 countries, but the actual number is unknown. According to the support agent I spoke with, SnowdenVPN uses virtual servers from Digital Ocean and Hertzner — he couldn’t tell me the exact number, though.

Virtual servers are fine when they work, but they don’t always give you the best performance. I prefer using VPNs with physical servers in centers managed by the VPN team — to protect against any third-party snooping.

Most of the locations are in Europe — the UK, Netherlands, Finland, and Germany. You’ll also find servers in Canada, Singapore, and India. You’ll find one location in each of these countries, except for Germany, which has 3 locations.

It’s easy enough to choose the server you want. I found a server list in my Dashboard and established a connection from there.

Security — Missing Some Features

SnowdenVPN has decent encryption and protocols but lacks important security features.

While testing the VPN, I was able to choose from the OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols. I opted to use OpenVPN. It’s the industry standard for VPNs, and it guarantees a good level of security and fast speeds.

L2TP/IPSec is considered to be a secure protocol, but it can be slow. The data is transferred twice (once through L2TP, and once through IPSec where it’s also encrypted. However, it’s easier to crack than OpenVPN. If someone breaks through the first level (L2TP), they can intercept your data.

I couldn’t find any information about SnowdenVPN’s encryption level at first, but the support team told me the VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption. This is the strongest level of encryption available nowadays, and it would take a few hundred years for someone to crack it.

Since there are no native apps, you don’t get additional features like a kill switch. A kill switch is important as it shuts down your internet if the connection fails. This way, you can’t be accidentally exposed to the websites and apps you visit. Not having one puts you at risk.

SnowdenVPN justifies the lack of native apps with security concerns. If the VPN runs through open-source software, it’s supposedly safer than closed source software. However, I’ve used plenty of secure VPN apps before that kept me safe and gave me additional security measures.

Overall, I can’t say that SnowdenVPN’s security is the best out there. The VPN has decent protocols and encryption but the lack of features can be a letdown.

Privacy — Russia HQ is a Red Flag

SnowdenVPN is based in Russia, which is concerning. Most prominent VPNs withdrew their Russian servers in 2017 when the government banned VPNs that wouldn’t comply with the country’s censorship and surveillance laws.

The fact that SnowdenVPN operates in Russia is therefore worrying. There’s a chance the VPN could be forced to hand over your data if requested by government officials.

Theoretically, this shouldn’t be an issue as the VPN claims not to store any logs — but I found out this isn’t technically true.

It does in fact store some of your data, such as:

  • Personal information — it keeps your name, email, and payment information when you sign up for a new account.
  • Summary statistics — it measures and stores the total sum of data transferred by a user. Bandwidth is unlimited, but if one user pushes more traffic than thousands of others combined, SnowdenVPN may contact the user and investigate.
  • Diagnostics and crash reports — every time the VPN malfunctions, SnowdenVPN receives some reports. You can disable these.
  • MediaStreamer data — SnowdenVPN records the IP address that’s registered with the MediaStreamer, but it claims not to store it.

It doesn’t store browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries. Plus, your IP address, the VPN address you’re connected to and the session duration are not recorded.

That means the information stored shouldn’t be able to identify you, but it’s still a bit too much logging for my liking. I prefer truly zero-log VPNs. Without any independent audits, we can only take SnowdenVPN’s word that it doesn’t log other data.

In my opinion, the partial logging paired with the Russian HQ make SnowdenVPN a privacy concern.

Torrenting — Allowed

SnowdenVPN allows torrenting on all its servers. However, it doesn’t have extra security features, so it may not be the best option. Since it doesn’t come with a kill switch, you could be exposed to other peers on the network if the VPN fails.

If you’re looking for a VPN to keep you safe during P2P transfers, take a look at these torrenting VPNs.

Does SnowdenVPN Work in China? Yes

SnowdenVPN works in China. The support agent I got in contact with told me that it has no problems accessing the internet safely from China, which sounds great.

However, you need to set it up before you arrive, so you don’t run into any problems.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Unlimited

You can connect an unlimited number of devices under 1 account. However, SnowdenVPN only allows one IP per server. This means that you can create as many servers as you want with your account, but you won’t be able to connect more than 1 IP to it. If all the computers in your home use the same IP address, then you may be able to connect all of them. Otherwise, you’ll need to create a new server.

I was a little disappointed by this, as other VPNs will allow you to connect to thousands of servers from multiple devices, regardless of the IP address. Depending on how many devices you need to connect, the service may be a little expensive.

Device Compatibility — Works With Most Devices, But Manual Setup

SnowdenVPN is compatible with the most popular operating systems, but you need to manually set it up.

You can use it on Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. If you choose the MediaStreamer feature, you can also use it with devices that don’t normally support VPNs, such as smart TVs (Apple TV and Android TV), routers, and gaming consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, etc.)

Ease of Use

5.3

Set-Up & Installation — Manual Configuration

SnowdenVPN requires manual installation on all devices it’s compatible with.

Depending on the protocol you want to use, you have 2 types of setup:

  1. Through OpenVPN — the first step is to download the VPN configuration and OpenVPN client. Then, you need to install the client and import the configuration. After that, you’ll be prompted with a login form where you need to enter your account details and connect.
  2. Through L2TP/IPSec — to set it up this way, you need to access the network settings on your device and set up a new VPN connection. You’ll need your account details and server address, which you can get from your SnowdenVPN dashboard. After that, you just need to connect and you’re done.

There are comprehensive guides in the “Docs” tab on its website, where you can see every step for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS.

The initial process didn’t take longer than 10 minutes. However, every server needs to be configured separately, so that can take some time.

Compare SnowdenVPN With The Top Alternative VPNs

9.9
9.5
9.3
9.3

Pricing

5.3
1 Hour
$0 /month
1 Week
$2.5 /month
1 Month
$10 /month

SnowdenVPN has an unusual pricing scheme, and you only pay for the time you use the VPN. If you only need it for 3 hours, then you’ll pay about $0.08 per session.

You start by funding your account with at least $5. Then, you need to access your Dashboard and create your server. You can choose the number of hours you want the server to run, and pay.

I was a bit disappointed that you can only pay with PayPal. I prefer paying for VPNs with cryptocurrency as it gives you anonymity in your payment. Having no other payment options is also annoying if you don’t have an existing PayPal account.

There’s also no money-back guarantee or a free trial. Although you’re not locked into a contract, you have to spend a minimum of $5 to try the VPN and it’s non-refundable. Other VPNs, running a traditional system, allow you to request a refund in the first 30 days.

Overall, SnowdenVPN offers good value for money. Since you only need to pay for the time you use it, you can end up paying as little as $2 per month. However, the lack of payment options and refund policy was disappointing.

Try SnowdenVPN!

Reliability & Support

3.3

SnowdenVPN offers email and live chat support — but it isn’t always available. When I first tried to get in contact with the support team through live chat, it appeared to be offline. However, I then got an answer in about 10 minutes. The live agent gave me all the information I needed and was very transparent and direct.

Other times, the live chat option didn’t appear on the website at all. Overall though, I was pleased with the experience. The support team is helpful and prompt — when you can get in touch with them.

Get Started With SnowdenVPN!

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

SnowdenVPN promises online safety, and it delivers in some respects. It uses strong encryption and security protocols to safeguard your internet traffic.

However, it’s missing some integral security features offered by other similarly-priced VPNs. It’s also limited by a small server network. With only 9 countries to choose from (and none of them being the US), you won’t be able to access many streaming services.
But the biggest red flag for me is the VPN’s base in Russia and the fact that it’s not a truly zero-log service. I don’t know that I’d trust this business-oriented VPN to keep my business safe.

  • Servers in 9 countries
  • AES-256 encryption with OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Compatible with the most popular operating systems
  • Works in China
  • Get started with SnowdenVPN now

FAQs on SnowdenVPN

Is SnowdenVPN safe?

Unclear. SnowdenVPN uses the highest level of encryption available right now, along with the OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec protocols. However, it’s missing some key security features.

The VPN is based in Russia, too, which can be a red flag. Although it claims not to log any identifying information, I found out SnowdenVPN does store some data — so it’s not guaranteed to protect your privacy.

Can SnowdenVPN unblock Netflix?

Yes, but only in limited countries.

You can unblock Netflix UK, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, and India. However, you won’t be able to access US Netflix.

Will SnowdenVPN slow my speeds down?

Yes, but not more than usual. Since you’re the only person connected to a server at a given time, your connection won’t be crowded with other users. Expect to see a 20-30% drop, but nothing more.

Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 0
Mobile app : Y
Number of devices per license : Unlimited
VPN Plans: snowdenvpn.com

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