Cloudflare’s WARP is a VPN add-on for its 184.108.40.206 DNS resolver (a free app that handles your DNS queries to make your connection faster). WARP essentially protects your traffic with encryption, while 220.127.116.11 optimizes your DNS to give you a faster connection. But can this hybrid approach reliably protect you online?
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
Warp by Cloudflare Features — 2024 Update
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Based in country
Support page is mostly down
Streaming — Inconsistent Performance4.0
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.
We 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).
The 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.
I 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 Decreases4.0
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.
The 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 Play3.0
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.
It 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 Servers5.0
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 Features4.0
WARP offers barebone security features. 18.104.22.168 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 22.214.171.124 prevents this. It also increases speeds with improved routing technology.
But, 126.96.36.199 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 188.8.131.52 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 (184.108.40.206 for Families).
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 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 220.127.116.11 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.
Many 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 Issues7.0
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.
Was WARP Audited? Yes
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.
WARP 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 P2P3.0
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
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.
You 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.
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.
This 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.
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