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Stream Via Review 2021 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying

Author Image Ernest Sheptalo
Ernest Sheptalo | Cybersecurity Researcher

With more people adopting VPN services to unblock their favorite shows and protect privacy, vendors have to make sure that their offerings are up to the task. VPN suppliers have to be competitive in terms of speed and have enough unique features to stand against the industry leaders. So where does StreamVia – a UK-based VPN service provider sit in all of this?

The VPN has been on my radar for months now, ever since it opened its doors back in 2010. I will take a look at features, ease of use, and pricing. I’ll also be covering reliability, support, and speeds, so there’s a lot of ground to cover before deeming it one of the best VPNs.

Will StreamVia match industry veterans? Or will it fall short? Find out in this in-depth review.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

StreamVia Features — Updated in 2021

Price $20.96/month
Money Back Guarantee 3
Does VPN keep logs? Yes
Number of servers 18
Number of devices per license 5
Kill switch No
Based in country United Kingdom
Supports torrenting No

Streaming — Great, But There’s Room for Improvement

StreamVia unlocks every major streaming platform out there, including popular on-demand video streaming options such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and BBC iPlayer — however, bandwidth is an issue. You can also use your Kodi streaming setup too since there is support for all the necessary libraries. If you are having trouble viewing any of these, the vendor offers a nice troubleshoot section where you can find various solutions.

The streaming quality is decent, but there are occasional stutters and macro blocking if the highest video quality is selected. There’s just not enough bandwidth speed required by high bitrate video content. This is further exacerbated if you are viewing content from Asian markets.

To mitigate the bandwidth limitation, the company offers a feature called SmartStream DNS. While not exactly a VPN feature and more of a proxy system, the solution allows for enhanced unblocking and is available in all three plans. Before you use it, make sure it works in your country.

Speeds — Varies Per Connection But Overall Passable

Overall good, but not all connections are equal. I tested a bunch of UK-based addresses and got a solid 70 to 72 Mbps connection speed. However, that wasn’t always the case, as the VPN offers different connectivity options that vary in performance.

On the first server, I got a 14 to 28Mbps speed range, and on the second one, I only managed to get around 5.70Mbps. If I’d had to guess, I assume that the first server has the most bandwidth of the entire service line.

The company doesn’t limit your speeds if you are using the service to do downloads, VoIP, movie streaming, and gaming. You can also do some light and more crucially, legal P2P activities using its Netherlands servers. So much so that you can rest assured knowing that your torrenting sessions are hidden from ISPs.

Are StreamVia’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? Not Really.

Suitable but with limitations. If you are looking to play League of Legends, World of Warcraft, or even CS: Go, those speeds are more than enough. However, the ping can jump from time to time which can result in a subpar experience.

Another problem is that the vendor doesn’t support P2P connections that means you won’t be able to use your Nintendo Switch, PS5, or Xbox Series S/X to play online as most games on consoles use peer-to-peer (P2P) connections.

Games such as Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and Splatoon 2 will not work, but in rare instances, when a game uses a dedicated server, you will be able to play it. To reiterate, games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty War Zone will work, but Smash, Mario Kart, and Splatoon are out of the question.

Server Network — Limited, But What’s There It’s Good

All connections are pretty solid with little to no latency. Being a UK-based service, it offers a nice selection of UK IPs, but you will be limited on an international scale. You only get 18 countries to pick from, including popular choices such as the US, China, and Australia.

What’s cool about the service is that you can rent a UK cellular IP address. For websites, you’ll appear as a 4G/LTE user from the UK, meaning you will be very resistant to blocks. You can also get access to an equally equipped router, mobile SIM card, and dynamic IP address that you can take control of. All of this comes with a 100 GB data cap.

The company also offers a DNS connection for better streaming. If messing with tech isn’t your thing, you can order a pre-configured router that you can use to share your VPN connection with other connected devices.

Security — Standard Features

Support for OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and StealthVPN is present. The company openly states that it keeps track of the username you’ve used to access the service, the time you started using their VPN, the IP you used to connect, the amount of data you requested/transmitted, and the individual ports you’ve requested. All connections StreamVia offers use 256-bit encryption so there’s no need to be worried that your data will be compromised due to an exploitable connection.

Privacy — Questionable Log Policy

All personal information such as what sites you’ve visited, what queries you’ve input, and what resources you’ve requested is not stored. Furthermore, all data that had to travel during your browsing is encrypted and impossible to crack. That is to say, it uses military-grade protection, but the caveat is that there is no outside confirmation.

But all of that doesn’t mean that the company doesn’t collect some information from you. In fact, it keeps tabs on the following:

What data is collected For what purpose
  • Your username;
  • The company monitors the use of the network to ensure better service and technical purposes;
  • Time and date when you connected and disconnected from the service;
  • To prevent and protect their services from fraudulent activities (i.e credit card tampering);
  • How much data you’ve transmitted through their service;
  • To prevent and detect network abuse (i.e spamming, illicit activity, and file sharing);
  • The IP address that you’ve used to connect to the service;
  • Ports of the server you’ve used;
  • The IP address of the VPN server you used;

StreamVia ensures its users that it keeps data 14-days tops, after the date, it deletes it. Only in rare cases such as violations of the End User Agreement (this includes the Acceptable Use Policy too) the company will keep the data you’ve generated for more than 14-days.

If your goal is to use StreamVia solely for the SmartStream DNS feature, you are sharing the following data:

  • Your username;
  • Time and date when you connected and disconnected from the service;
  • The IP address you’ve used to connect to the service (for server authorization purposes);

As with the VPN service, it deletes SmartStream DNS data daily. All current SmartStream DNS data is stored for as long as your account is active. That is to say, it does not keep historical data, and current updates overwrite the previous ones. Only if you violate, as you might have guessed, the End User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy the company will store your data longer.

Torrenting — Not Accepted on Any Servers

StreamVia has a strict no-torrent policy. The VPN provider blocks all P2P connections as part of their policy. This limitation means you won’t be able to download stuff from Usenet sites. P2P is required for torrent clients to work correctly. Regardless if you use uTorrent, Bittorrent, Azureus, Vuze, Popcorn Time, Usenet, or Deluge, the vendor will block the connections on all of its servers.

It even goes as far as stating it’ll terminate your account if someone reports you torrenting. This block is probably in place due to strict anti-piracy law in the UK, but torrenting isn’t always about piracy. Some people use torrents to efficiently send out large files. With this block, such a task becomes impossible.

Granted, you can use the Netherlands server to share only legal content (i.e not copyrighted material) through Usenet clients but expect sub-par speeds. This block is also the reason why console gaming is out of the question.

Does StreamVia Work in China? Yes, and With Decent Results

It works but, only through VPN options. What this means is you won’t be able to enjoy bonus bandwidth when watching Chinese shows. Still, the connection was good enough, and my team didn’t experience any stutters or time skips.

You can also expect the service to work in China, Egypt, Iran, UAE, and Mainland Turkey but only if you use VPN service and not SmartStream DNS.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Up to 5 Max

You can connect 5 concurrent devices but keep in mind that the speeds will be shared, including the 2TB fair usage limit. You’ll get a static IP address but only in the later plans. If you are planning to share this VPN with your entire household, you will run out of data really fast as an hour of FullHD video will eat around 1,5 Gb of data. Each tier offers a set number of connections:

  • UK Residential VPN (Shared IP) – Up to 2 devices;
  • UK Residential VPN (Dedicated IP) – Up to 5 devices;
  • SmartStream DNS – Up to 5 devices;

Device Compatibility — Good Variety

Device compatibility is good, but you need to be patient. What I mean is that your device should have an option to add manual connections. Or be able to install some sort of OpenVPN program.

Most Android and iOS-based devices allow you to add custom connections without an app, and they do have the option to sideload OpenVPN. Naturally, this also includes PCs, Macs, but not 9th generation gaming consoles. In full, you can hook StreamVia to the following list of devices:

  • Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • iPhone, iPad, Android
  • DDWRT routers, and Chrome OS

If you plan on using this VPN on your console, you’ll have to add the connection through the system menu on the console itself by adding a specific DNS address. Not the easiest way, but it gets the job done.

Ease of Use

8.0

Set-Up & Installation — Fairly Easy

No dedicated app is offered, but written guides are super easy to follow. Setting up StreamVia isn’t hard, but you need to be patient and attentive as you’ll have to follow a written guide in their help section to configure the connection.

Still, it would be nice if the vendor provided its users with a robust application. This outdated connection method is less than optimal, and I would have preferred if there was a one-click-connect app for every platform, including mobile. Yet, as things stand, connecting shouldn’t be a problem once you’ve configured everything.

Compare Stream Via with the top alternative VPNs

9.9
9.5
9.3
9.3

Pricing

8.7
UK Residential Proxy - Mobile IP
$20.96 /month
UK Residential VPN - BT Shared IP
$34.95 /month
UK Residential VPN - BT Dedicated IP
$76.87 /month

The vendor offers four different plans for you to pick. Each has its own share of limitations and benefits so let’s start with the first and the cheapest one, the UK Residential VPN – Shared IP version.

With it, you can unblock all UK streaming sites, as well as bypass UK IP blocks but you will be limited to just 2 concurrent connected devices. You’ll also be limited to just the OpenVPN transfer protocol and a hard cap limit of 2TB of data, not to mention a static IP. The second option is the UK Residential VPN – Dedicated IP version and as the name suggests, this one has a dedicated IP address, plus a boosted concurrent device (up to 5).

Each plan gives you a set of connection locations too, namely:

  • All VPN: Access to the entire service line which includes 16 servers/nations;
  • Single VPN: Access to either a US or UK server;
  • VPN Europe: Access to 12 European servers;
  • VPN UK & USA: Access to either a US and UK server;

StreamVia only allows you to purchase its services using a credit/debit card and PayPal. There is no other option outside of these. Worse yet, there is no free trial, and the money-back guarantee policy is very restrictive.

You can request your money back within 3 days. But only unless you didn’t exceed 1GB for Shared, 10Gb for non-residential, and 100Mb of dedicated VPN data. If you went overboard, you won’t be able to request a refund.

Reliability & Support

8.0

Fast but limited support options. StreamVia has a pretty responsive support team, but the help section on its website is quite limiting. You can find a couple of tutorials to set up a connection, and there are quite a few troubleshooting sections. But if you’ve stumbled on a unique problem, you’ll be forced to use the support line.

To contact the support team, you need to use an email or ticket submission form, which is okay but not optimal. Although, I would have preferred a live chat. This omission is baffling. Especially considering that every major VPN vendor that offers its services for similar pricing offers several contact options.

screenshot of StreamVia's support system

It didn’t take long for support to answer our question — 2 mins to be exact

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

StreamVia is offering a nice selection of plans, but there are some glaring feature omissions I didn’t think I’d encounter. But before I get there, here are a few good things I can say about the platform. To start, StreamVia offers residential IP addresses provided by broadband suppliers. Such addresses are less likely to be tested by blocking algorithms as they are often viewed as home internet connections.

The second good thing about the platform is that it is an excellent choice for poker enthusiasts. Whether you like betting or simply enjoy a round of cards, StreamVia has a residential IP address, something betting sites whitelist from the get-go.

As for the bad news, StreamVia does not have a dedicated mobile application. Considering that nowadays you have an app for just about anything, it’s something I would’ve liked to see. More and more people surf the web through their phones, and a dedicated app would make the connection process a breeze.

Still, you can set it up the old fashion way, but such methods are less than optimal. Another weird omission is that it doesn’t have a kill switch. If you suddenly lose your VPN connection, your device will not be disconnected, leaving you exposed to all sorts of snoopers.

If you are looking for a fast and feature-rich VPN provider, there are better options out there. The pricing is steep, and the lack of a dedicated app is a deal-breaker for us, even though download and upload speeds are pretty good and reliable.

FAQs on StreamVia

Is StreamVia safe?

StreamVia is safe. It uses military-grade security mechanisms, meaning your connection and data are protected from theft, logging, and fraud.

Can StreamVia unblock Netflix?

Yes, StreamVia unblocks Netflix. You can pick from 18 different servers to unblock Netflix and other geo-blocked streaming services.

Will StreamVia slow my speeds down?

It’s normal to see a 20% drop in speed when you connect to a VPN, and StreamVia didn’t slow down during my tests.

Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 3
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 5
VPN Plans: www.streamvia.com

Stream Via User Reviews

10.0
Based on 3 reviews in 1 languages
Tim
Great service - 10
Tim

I use this service with a vpn to watch UK TV, Netflix etc. in France. It works very well and the customer service is second to none. Setting up the vpn on my Asus router was no problem and I was able to get personal advice quickly when I needed it. Highly recommended.

Anonymous
Best residential VPN I've found - 10
Anonymous

These guys have the best residential VPN I've found, the IP addresses show as 'home & business' on VPN detectors, rather than 'mixed residential & hosting from other providers, the IPs are from British Telecom (BT). I can accesss, Netflix UK, BBC iPlayer, but most importantly online gambling sites from whilst away from home!

Anonymous
Been using for years, does what it says. - 10
Anonymous

Excellent, prompt support on the rare occasions I’ve needed it. I’ve used it in multiple countries without problem. The online install instructions are detailed and the VPN is easy to set up. I use it on android, windows & in platforms.

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