TigerVPN

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TigerVPN is an interesting Slovakian-based service with a host of appealing functions and features.

The company offers 63 locations in an impressive 43 countries, for instance. And it isn’t simply reselling cheap servers from someone else: TigerVPN says it runs its own network, DNS servers and infrastructure, coding everything itself.

The company offers native apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac, which should in theory make it easier to set up. But if you know what you’re doing, OpenVPN compatibility means it’ll be highly configurable, and work immediately with popular third-party clients and on any networking hardware.

P2P support is also available if you need it, and the company allows from two to five simultaneous connections to the service of any type.

The pricing structure is a little complicated, as the plans vary in features as well as duration. But essentially there are only three you’ll care about: a 500MB/month free plan with limited speeds; a €5.99 (£5.20, $6.40, AU$8.50) monthly plan with unlimited bandwidth and speed; and a €3.99 (£3.45, $4.30, AU$5.65) a month (equivalent) one-year plan which lifts the number of connections from two to five, and throws in a password manager and Mac VPN manager, too.

Privacy

Check TigerVPN’s feature list and its views on user monitoring seem very clear: “Zero Log Policy. What you do with our service is not our concern. Our VPN was built to purge data once received. Period!”

Turn to the small-print and it’s not quite as straightforward. The company doesn’t collect or log “traffic data or browsing activity from individual users”, but it does record some session data: the dates (not times) when you connect, the choice of server location and the bandwidth used that day.

Another familiar clause states that TigerVPN doesn’t as a matter of practice “actively monitor user sessions” or “maintain direct logs of customers’ internet activities”, but reserves the right to investigate “matters we consider to be violations of these terms.”

TigerVPN’s small-print is particularly strong on ‘fair use’. You may get a warning if you’re ‘damaging’ the company (generating more costs than your subscription). You mustn’t do anything which “restricts or inhibits any other subscriber from using or enjoying the service”, which could mean using high levels of bandwidth. And the company reserves the right to “impose usage or service limits, suspend service, or block certain kinds of usage in our sole discretion to protect users or the service.”

Performance

Signing up with TigerVPN was easy. We worked through the usual email-password-payment sequence, and arrived at an excellent web console with app download links, connection information, account details and more.

Installing the Windows client proved just as straightforward, and within a couple of minutes we were looking at its appealing world map. A ‘recommended’ button connects to the fastest server automatically, or you can click and drag on the map to view a location, and click again to select it and connect.

Performance in our tests* was well above average. Our UK-UK local server test saw latency and download speeds consistently in the mid-30Mbps, within 10% of our regular rates. This inevitably tailed off with the UK-Los Angeles test, but even there we managed 15Mbps downloads or more, and switching to a New York server got us up to 30Mbps again.

Experienced users might be a little disappointed with the Windows client, as it doesn’t offer many advanced settings. You can switch from OpenVPN to L2TP, choose a UDP or TCP connection, and that’s about it. But this does at least keep the client streamlined for networking beginners, and experts can always use the extremely configurable OpenVPN client instead.

Final verdict

When the biggest issue with a VPN is that it ‘only’ offers two simultaneous connections with the monthly plan (five if you pay annually), you know it’s doing a lot right. If you can live with the above restriction, TigerVPN is easy-to-use, offers lots of locations and great performance – check it out for yourself.

*Our testing included evaluating general performance (browsing, streaming video). We also used speedtest.net to measure latency, upload and download speeds, and then tested immediately again with the VPN turned off, to check for any difference (over several rounds of testing). We then compared these results to other VPN services we’ve reviewed. Of course, do note that VPN performance is difficult to measure as there are so many variables.

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