Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research and checking into possibly changing out my Pritunl VPN server I created nearly three years ago. I mean, it’s still performing really well. However, since it’s hosted on a Digital Ocean server, I can’t use it for Netflix and the like (since I am usually abroad for work.)
Netflix and other streaming services have pretty much mapped all Digital Ocean IP addresses by now and just block access from them all. Still, the VPN works great for many other purposes, and as far as performance, reliability, and security are concerned, is totally rock solid. No DNS leaks and extremely fast – yep, that’s Pritunl. Anyway, when I want to stream Netflix, I just switch over to my trusty Express VPN account, which never fails me when I need to binge some video.
But, anyway, like I was saying, I have been doing some research into other Free VPN options and came across VPN Gate. VPN Gate is a collection of free VPN servers hosted by a community of like-minded users all over the world. The great thing about VPN Gate is that you can connect to any server on the network for free without jumping through a lot of hoops; just download the client and connect. It really is about that easy. So, let’s take a look at VPN and review some of its pros and cons.
Installing VPN Gate
I won’t discuss the details of installing VPN Gate very much because it’s just really simple. In a nutshell, though, just go to the VPN Gate website choose your operating system, download the client and follow the prompts for installing. Then, just select a server and connect. That’s basically it. I will include some screenshots of the installation process, though – just in case you need a few visual aids.
Go to the VPN Gate website and download the client software.
Install the VPN Gate Client
Select a VPN Server and Connect
Performance and Security
I must admit that I performed only really basic and rudimentary testing of the VPN Gate network. However, based on my initial testing, I didn’t think long, drawn-out tests were either warranted or necessary. I can sum up my overall impression of VPN Gate with just a couple of sentences.
Well, depending on which server you connect to, performance is either pretty darn good or terrible. I tried several different servers and performance varied considerably. Here are some screenshots to illustrate my point.
Please note that I am currently in Taiwan doing some work for a client. In the temporary apartment, I am residing in, I am using a 20Mbps connection, which is pretty stable and consistent.
First Try (USA Server): Complete Fail
Try a New Server (Japan): Big Difference!
Try Another US Server: Much Better!
With regards to security, VPN Gate doesn’t do very well at all. First and foremost, DNS with VPN Gate leaks like a sieve. So, if you need a real secure VPN connection, better stick with more professional solutions like a personal Pritunl VPN server or an Express VPN account. Here are some shots of the leaks.
Overall, I guess that VPN Gate is not too bad. Not too bad at all when you consider that it’s absolutely free and is so easy to use. Finding a fast server may take a few tries, but there are fast ones available. Security, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. I wouldn’t use this for anything critical or important. Regular browsing and perhaps watching YouTube restricted content. But, besides that, I don’t think it’s a very viable option. Oh, it doesn’t play nice with Netflix. I tried and Netflix US choked immediately.
Still, though, if you need something quick and easy, to help you access geo-restricted content, or just want to go incognito for a bit, VPN Gate is an okay option. The mere fact that such a solution exists, though, is really cool, and I appreciate the idea and concept more than you know. I do know that VPN Gate has helped thousands of people behind government-controlled firewalls access freedom and content in the real world. And, for that, I say kudos to VPN Gate.
So, try out VPN Gate if you have a few minutes and let me know what you think in the comments.
If you want a VPN that works everywhere and with everything, check out Express VPN. Click here to use my referral code and we both receive a free month of service when you sign up!
Until next time, peace!