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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

WARP Review 2024 — Is It Really Free & Safe?

Our Score: 4.4/10
Ranked 249th out of 305 VPNs
Doris Muthuri Published on 26th January 2024 Fact-checked by Matthew Amos Senior Writer

Cloudflare’s WARP is a VPN add-on for its 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver (a free app that handles your DNS queries to make your connection faster). WARP essentially protects your traffic with encryption, while 1.1.1.1 optimizes your DNS to give you a faster connection. But can this hybrid approach reliably protect you online?

I tested everything WARP offers, including its speeds, security features, customer support, gaming capabilities, and more. I also thoroughly explored its privacy policy to see if it’s as trustworthy as the top VPNs.

Overall, I can’t recommend the free WARP service or its premium version WARP+. Speeds are slow and can’t keep you safe while you’re streaming. The Windows app isn’t very stable, and its customer support is nonexistent. If you want a fast and easy way to stay safe online, I recommend you try one of our top-rated VPNs from this list.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Pros

Cons

Warp by Cloudflare Features — 2024 Update

4.4
💸 Price 0 USD/month
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 310+
🛡 Kill switch No
🗺 Based in country United States
🛠 Support Support page is mostly down
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Inconsistent Performance

4.0

WARP only works with a few services, but I wouldn’t rely on it. Cloudflare did not design WARP with streaming in mind, and you’re better off using a premium VPN if you’re a heavy duty binge-watcher. It also doesn’t allow you to switch servers manually, which can cause some issues.

We made use of an international team of testers to see if WARP worked with the services they can legally watch from their respective regions. While you can theoretically use a service like WARP to access content that’s not available where you live, please be aware this would most likely go against copyright laws and a platform's terms of service. We do not support this.

Important. WARP claims it won’t track any of your online activities. That means it’s up to you to use it responsibly and to comply with copyright laws. We don’t condone any illegal activities.

Works With: Netflix and Max

From my and my global testing teams' locations, our local Netflix worked well while connected to WARP. We could stream in high quality without any annoying buffering.

Screenshot of Netflix player streaming Scott Pilgrim Takes Off while connected to WARPWe could even skip through videos without any additional load times or buffering

From my location in the US, I also found you can use WARP for securely streaming Max (formerly HBO Max).

Screenshot of Max player streaming Big Bang Theory while connected to WARPThe video loaded quickly, and it only took a few seconds to resolve into HD

However, I’d be a bit cautious about depending on WARP to always work this smoothly. It’s common that you’ll have to switch nearby servers to optimize your streaming connection, and that isn’t an option with WARP.

Doesn’t Work With: Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video

You won’t be able to watch Hulu securely from the US with WARP. Unfortunately, customer support was inaccessible during our tests, so we couldn’t reach out for assistance.

Screenshot of Hulu displaying an error message when we tried to login while connected to WARPI received this error message even though I was in the US testing a US server

Disney+ loaded indefinitely, and Amazon Prime Video detected WARP and prevented us from watching content from our respective countries in the US, Canada, and the UK. To stay safe while you watch all of the platforms available in your country, check out our list of the best VPNs for streaming.

Speed — Consistently Causes Decreases

4.0

WARP slows down your speeds significantly. WARP was mainly designed for browsing, so it’s possible the developers didn’t prioritize speed.

I looked into 3 factors while testing its speeds:

  • Download speed (in Megabytes per second — Mbps) is how fast you receive data, which is useful for streaming and loading websites.
  • Upload speed (in Mbps) is how fast you send data, which is needed for uploading videos or posting online.
  • Ping (in milliseconds — ms) measures the time data takes to travel, and it’s essential for gamers.

To make fair and accurate comparisons, we try to conduct all our speed tests from one location in the UK using the same internet connection. Our tester's speeds were cut in half when connecting to WARP servers.

Screenshot of Ookla speed tests done with no VPN connected and while connected to WARPThe upload speed and ping rate were subject to even larger drops

I also tested WARP from my location in Nairobi, and my speeds dropped by 71%. It’s normal for speeds to fall by about 20% on nearby servers because your data has to be rerouted. However, a 70% drop in speeds is quite disappointing. Many of the top VPNs will lower your speeds much less, even on servers on the other side of the world.

Even after paying for the premium service, I couldn’t switch over to WARP+ to test its speeds. As I stated before, support was inaccessible. So, this was quite disappointing. Even if WARP+ is faster, I can’t recommend it knowing you may face these same issues.

If you’re looking for a VPN with excellent speeds for all your online activities, check out this list of the fastest VPNs.

Gaming — Too Slow for Lag-Free Play

3.0

My gaming experience with WARP wasn’t great. The ping was 165ms (even though I was on the closest server). This is not optimal for gaming as it’s recommended you have a ping rate of 85ms or less for smooth gameplay. I tried playing a simple online Minecraft game but experienced immense lag, and the game became unplayable.

A snapshot of a Minecraft game while connected to WARPIt took more than 30 seconds to load an online game with Minecraft

I also tried playing Valorant, but the game took more than 1 minute to load. After it started, the lag made it impossible to play. However, there are many VPNs you can use for seamless online play. I recommend you check out these options that are perfect for online gaming.

Server Network — Wide Coverage but You Can’t Switch Servers

5.0

WARP has a solid global server network of 310 servers in 120 countries, but you can only use the closest ones. However, the wide coverage does give you a better chance of finding a server nearby. I was also happy I could connect to my server almost instantly, and my connection was very stable.

Asia gets the most servers with 50+. Below is a breakdown of the other regions WARP has servers in:

Africa (20+ locations) Middle East (10+ locations)
Latin America & the Caribbean (35+ locations) North America (45+ locations)
Europe (45+ locations) Oceania (5+ locations)

On the plus side, Cloudflare claims to own and operate all of its servers. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach out to support to find out if it uses physical or virtual servers. Virtual servers aren’t necessarily unsafe, but they can affect speeds.

One of the main appeals of a VPN (or DNS service) is being able to connect to tons of worldwide locations. If you want a vast selection of IPs, look into our list of VPNs with some of the best server networks.

Security — Unreliable and Missing Important Features

4.0

WARP offers barebone security features. 1.1.1.1 is a third-party DNS service meant to increase privacy and improve load times on your browser. In short, your DNS queries often go to your ISP, which might use that info to track your activity. So, using a third-party service like 1.1.1.1 prevents this. It also increases speeds with improved routing technology.

But, 1.1.1.1 didn’t protect you from everyone else looking to spy on your data. That’s where the WARP add-on comes into play. It turns 1.1.1.1 into a VPN with encryption. However,
I’m a bit disappointed that it doesn’t tell you which encryption level it uses (like AES-256 for example).

It’s also missing crucial features like a kill switch, which blocks your internet connection if your VPN suddenly disconnects. WARP never revealed my location during my leak tests, but it admits on its site that there are some situations where your IP could be revealed. On a positive note, I appreciate that it comes with a family feature that allows you to block all adult content (1.1.1.1 for Families).

Protocols

WARP uses a version of the WireGuard protocol called BoringTun. It claims this offers the security and efficiency of WireGuard, while ensuring smooth operation on platforms like macOS and Windows. WireGuard is known for its solid security and speeds, but I do wish WARP gave you a choice of multiple protocols like all the top VPNs do.

Split-Tunneling

Split tunneling allows you to specify which apps or websites use the VPN connection and which access the internet directly. This can be helpful if you want to encrypt your browser while still using apps like Office 365 through your normal connection, so you don’t run into issues.

IP/DNS leak protection

I never experienced any leaks while testing WARP. Normally, we like to test 20 servers or more, but this obviously wasn’t a possibility with WARP since you can't switch servers. Do be warned that your IP may leak if you use 1.1.1.1 alone. While it does enable fast browsing speeds, I recommend only going online with an encrypted connection.

However, I was concerned when I found out that WARP may reveal your IP at times. According to information on the website, some sites need your real location data to provide their services. This is why some of them might still access your IP.

A screenshot showing Cloudflare privacy policy stating that some website can see your dataMany users have complained about WARP revealing their IP, which the company hasn’t denied

On Cloudflare’s own community website, I saw many photos of individuals showing their real IP address being revealed while connected to WARP. Representatives from the company claimed in the forum that this has been solved, but I must admit this makes me a little uneasy.

If you are looking for a VPN for maximum online security, check out this list of top VPNs that offer kill switches and military-grade encryption.

Privacy — Solid Policy but There Are Some Issues

7.0

WARP has a strong policy, but I do wish it was headquartered elsewhere. It’s under the jurisdiction of a country within the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances. However, a recent audit has confirmed that it follows its privacy policy.

Does WARP Keep Logs? No

WARP claims that it doesn’t log any “user-identifiable data”, and it doesn’t hurt that you don’t need to register to use the service. Cloudflare states that it logs the absolute minimum amount of data necessary to provide the service. However, it does record a bit more than some of the most popular VPNs.

For instance, WARP logs your app installation ID, your average speeds when using the application, and the amount of data transferred through Cloudflare’s network. In addition, it collects information related to request data (source IP, source port, and destination IP), crash logs, and DNS resolver information.

This means it sees your IP address and uses it to find you a nearby server. It claims not to record this information long-term or to ever connect it to your browsing activities. All the information it stores is anonymized.

In its privacy policy, Cloudflare says it will give out personal data if ordered to by a court or if it needs to look into illegal activities or suspected fraud. However, this shouldn’t be a huge concern since it doesn’t store any identifiable data anyway.

Was WARP Audited? Yes

In 2019, Cloudflares's privacy policy was independently audited by the reputable auditing firm KPMG. The auditor confirmed WARP's privacy claims but noted that logs were deleted after 25 hours, and some anonymous data was kept forever. While it doesn’t store any personally identifiable data, it is a little concerning that there’s some information it never deletes.

Based in the US

WARP is based in the United States, a country not known for its strict privacy standards. The US is part of the 5 Eyes Alliance, an agreement between countries to exchange information about suspicious individuals. This means that the government could possibly ask WARP to share data, and it would need to comply. Thankfully, its verified policy makes this less worrying.

Does WARP Work in China? Unsure

I can’t say for sure whether or not Warp works in China. However, on its website, it states that it has a special Cloudflare China Network. The network has data centers across China to help you protect your privacy. For further information, I tried contacting support through the ticketing system and even posting on the forums, but I never received any response.

A screenshot of Cloudflare website stating that WARP works in ChinaWARP doesn’t allow you to switch to a server outside of China

The Chinese government has prohibited many VPNs. However, they target the technology itself and not individual users. My team and I don't support illegal activities, so make sure to read up on the laws before using a VPN there. If you’re looking for a VPN that will work in any country, look at this list of the top VPNs for China.

Torrenting — Not Completely Secure for P2P

3.0

It works with torrenting, but it’s not the best option. WARP does help encrypt your data, which decreases the risk of accessing torrent networks. However, it might leak your IP in the torrent swarm, which can be used to identify you.

It also doesn’t have a kill switch which is crucial when torrenting. You never know who you’re connecting to on these shared networks, so you need maximum security. WARP did let me download a 700MB file in about 11 minutes, which is equivalent to my speed with no VPN connected. However, the security concerns mean I can’t recommend it for P2P.

While torrenting isn't illegal in many countries, downloading copyrighted materials is. We recommend you read up on the rules and regulations of the country you’re in before torrenting and only access files in the public domain. If you need a privacy-friendly VPN to help you torrent, you can find one of the best VPNs for P2P in this list.

Installation & Apps

6.2

Installation & Apps — Easy to Use, but Unstable

WARP has a simple interface across its applications for the most popular operating systems. The appearance is about as streamlined and basic as you can get. It makes it easy to use, but it’s not the most attractive app. I also ran into some major issues using WARP on some devices. On top of that, I was disappointed that it doesn’t support routers and a few other popular devices.

Setup & Installation

WARP has a straightforward and direct installation process. When testing, it took me less than 3 minutes to download and set up the app on my Windows laptop.

Screenshot of the download page on Cloudflare's Website for WARP/1.1.1.1You can also download the app from your mobile device’s app store

However, when I tried to load it the following day, it collapsed and stopped working completely. I tried reinstalling it over and over again, but it wouldn’t work. To be fair, my colleagues never encountered the same issue.

Even worse, I ran into issues when I attempted to upgrade to WARP+. Although I’d paid for it, I could never successfully switch from WARP to WARP+.

On the other hand, setting up WARP on my Android phone was straightforward. I went to the Play Store, searched for "WARP," and clicked Install. It took less than 2 minutes to complete. WARP was originally only available for mobile devices, so you’ll probably get the best results with those.

Device Compatibility

WARP supports macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS, but that's it. On any other device, you’ll be unable to use it. That means there’s no way to connect smart TVs, streaming devices (like Roku, Fire Stick), or gaming consoles. It also doesn’t offer any browser extensions.

Offering router compatibility could solve these issues because that allows you to encrypt everything on your network. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support routers of any kind. If you want to easily protect all the devices in your household, read up on our list of the best VPNs for routers.

Desktop — Apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux

The desktop apps are all pretty similar. The apps for Mac and Windows are identical.

Screenshot of WARP Windows apps highlighting where to access the settings menusThis will let you access split tunneling, turn on parental controls, and more

On Linux, you’ll have to enter commands through the terminal. This isn’t uncommon, but some VPNs do offer GUIs with their Linux apps.

Android and iPhone (iOS)

The mobile apps are also nearly identical. You just need to download the app and click the connect button to get going.These apps also give you an option to upgrade to WARP+ and pay via the App Store or Google Play Store.

Installing on your phone gives you an offer to refer another user and get 1GB of data as well (WARP+ has data limits).

Simultaneous Device Connections

You can use WARP on an unlimited number of devices. Cloudflare doesn't restrict the number of devices you can use with one account, and it performs well on multiple devices simultaneously. I used it on my phone, laptop, PC, and tablet at the same time, and there was no change in the performance.

Pricing

6.0
WARP
$ / month per month
WARP +
$ 4.99 / month per month

Pricing — A Free Version, but Not Worth Upgrading

WARP is free, but you can also upgrade to WARP+ or WARP unlimited for a fee. Unlike most VPNs, the free plan gives you unlimited data, but WARP+ only offers 10GB per month.

The price is relatively low, but I can’t recommend it. As I alluded to before, I upgraded it on my Android, and the money was successfully deducted from my credit card. However, the app never switched to WARP+. So, I missed out on the allegedly faster speeds, but at least I didn’t have to deal with the data limits.

A snapshot of my Android screen after I paid for WARP+I was obviously frustrated when I wasn’t able to claim my money back

WARP's pricing changes depending on where you are in the world. If you're in North America or Europe, you might pay a bit more compared to South America or Africa. Prices might also vary a bit based on your device's operating system. For example, my colleague in Kenya only paid $0.75 for Android.

You have to pay using the credit/debit card linked to your AppStore account. I should also mention that Cloudflare doesn’t have any official money-back guarantee. If you're looking for a risk-free monthly VPN plan, check out this list of my favorite VPNs.

Reliability & Support

2.0

Reliability and Support — Reaching Support is Very Difficult

It’s almost impossible to reach Cloudflare support. It has a customer page, but you can only send tickets. If you have a free account, you can only submit tickets for billing, account, and registrar issues.

However, even with a premium WARP account, I didn’t find the support very helpful. In the forums, there are many complaints of people never getting a response. In one of the posts, the admin states that after you contact support, you should post your question in the forums. They also suggest providing the ticket number in the question if you hope to get a response.

A snapshot showing a response from Cloudflare community admin response to a questionNone of the threads had any explanation about how to better contact support

To use the forums, you have to create an account. I posted my questions in the forums with the support ticket number, but I still got no answers. If you want direct support, you must be a Cloudflare Business or Enterprise customer and contact them through the dashboard, which isn't an option for basic WARP or WARP+ users.

Cloudflare does offer a decent help center with lots of guides and FAQs that cover most common technical questions. However, the way it neglects its customers is a big negative for me. The best VPNs make it easy to get your questions answered right away with 24/7 live chats, or at the very least, they respond to emails within a day.

Compare Warp by Cloudflare With The Top Alternative VPNs
Our Score: 9.9
Our Score: 9.7
Our Score: 9.5
Our Score: 9.4

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict — Low on Features and Not Very Secure

WARP falls short compared to its competitors. Although it's good for beginners because it’s so easy to use, it has many drawbacks. It has super slow speeds and doesn’t work with any local streaming services. Plus, it lacks any usable form of customer support, and you only get access to 1 server. Even for a free service, this is seriously lacking.

Overall, I can’t recommend WARP. The biggest issue to me is the fact that it may leak your IP and doesn’t offer a kill switch. Instead of risking your online security with a free VPN, try a premium VPN with world-class security features to protect your online privacy.

  • 100% free
  • No-logs policy
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • No data caps

FAQs on WARP

Is WARP safe?

No, WARP can not fully protect your data. It lacks crucial security features such as a kill switch which ensures that your data never leaks even when your connection drops unexpectedly. Cloudflare also admits that some websites might still see your IP address when using WARP.

Does WARP keep logs?

WARP does not keep identifiable logs. This means it doesn't collect data that can identify you, and its policy has even been audited by a major independent firm. However, it does record anonymized data that includes details such as your app installation ID, average speeds, and data transferred through Cloudflare's network.

Is WARP free?

Yes, WARP is completely free. You just need to download the software to start using it. However, you can upgrade to a premium subscription — WARP+ — to potentially reach better speeds. Just be aware that its paid service has some tiers that come with data limits.

Does WARP limit data?

No, the free WARP app by Cloudflare doesn't impose a data cap on its users. You can browse, stream, and download without worrying about hitting a data limit. But, it does have a 10GB data limit on its WARP+ plan, which claims to offer better speeds. The WARP unlimited plan costs more but removes this restriction.

Will WARP slow down my speeds?

Yes, WARP can slow down your speeds. This is because your data has to be rerouted, which lowers your speeds no matter what VPN you use. However, WARP will likely slow down your speeds more significantly than the top premium VPNs. We always lost upwards of 50% from our base rates during our tests.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 0
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: Unlimited
We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Warp by Cloudflare User Reviews (User reviews are not verified)
8.6
Based on 19 reviews in 4 languages

Write a Review on Warp by Cloudflare

Please rate VPN.

All Speed Streaming Security Сustomer service
Panzer
Panzer
10/10
Warp+ is the BEST DDOS protection for console gaming!

Booter on Xbox live network has been an issue for me for a long time. I’ve even had times where I’ve had to unplug my router to prevent overheating due to the sheer volume of attack power I was getting hit with. There are some toxic losers that will pay 100s of dollars a month just so they can cut through other gamers VPNs. What I’ve found with warp is that most traffic monitoring software that booters use fail to pull an ip address associated with my connection. I would only recommend this protection if playing on a game where it’s peer to peer rather than a more modernized encrypted server handling all the traffic for the game. For some reason, in games that the traffic is routed peer to peer, having an inferior connection gives you advantages anyway. I have above average base speeds without the vpn so I hardly notice anything when playing on a P2P game. For less than 5 bucks I’m so glad these toxic losers that spend $100s on their illegal botnets get infuriated when they can’t touch my connection. Now when I hear from other players getting hit offline or a recognized booter shows up in the lobby I no longer leave the session in fear, I go after booters now and do them the most dirty in game to get them riled up, then taunt them. when they can’t boot me offline, it’s so incredibly amusing and worth every penny.

Nicolas D.V Schaldemose
Nicolas D.V Schaldemose
10/10
MSFS2020 Download Speed Increase

I only downloaded this because my Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 was downloading with a speed of 5 Mbits which is WAY below what my Connection is After getting WARP my Download Jumped to a whopping: 124.2 Mbits. I was skeptical to get it, Until I read this Review. I have been downloading for 3-4 days straight with no turn-off for the pc due to slow download speed and different bugs with the downloader where files would need deletion and reinstall, but now it's just flying out there and I might get to play today thank you so much <3

Mike Fatovic
Mike Fatovic
8/10
It does what it says it can do. Simple to setup and use

I did a couple of online tests and it didn’t leak your IP or any leaks that I could find. You really can’t beat the price. If you need a secure encrypted connection the app is great, if you’re more concerned about privacy and unblocking content a VPN is better. It’s hard to complain about 0.00 $

About the Author

Doris is a tech writer and a cybersecurity researcher for vpnMentor. She is enthusiastic about educating people about their rights to online freedom and provides actionable ways to protect their data.

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