An extension of MindGeek's PornHub empire, VPNHub is quick and reliable, but it's expensive and is locked to a client that's only available for mainstream desktop and smartphone operating systems.
- Wide range of endpoint countries
- Typically fast performance
- Excellent for streaming
- More expensive than most rivals
- Doesn't support less common devices & operating systems
- Free version only works on Android and iOS
- Review Price: £68.36
- Free smartphone version
- Five simultaneous connections
- Supports IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
- UK price: £11.40 per month, £68.36 per year, £97.60 per two years, £102.40 per three years; free tier for mobile users
- US price: $13.99 per month, $83.88 per year, $119.76 per two years, $125.64 per three years; free tier for mobile users
VPNHub is a virtual private network (VPN) service from AppAtomic, a subsidiary of MindGeek, the company behind the Pornhub online adult entertainment empire.
Privacy is, in online culture terms, a logical extension of the desire to get your rocks off without someone peering over your virtual shoulder, so it’s a fairly logical business move, particularly as MindGeek is a developer and proponent of geo-locking age verification systems for use in the UK, campaigning for their introduction after the government cancelled its plans for such a system.
Related: Best VPN
VPNHub – Features and usability
Although VPNHub is one of the newest entrants to the industry and has a very bare-bones website and online user interface, its desktop client is easy to use, and it offers a decent range of features.
AppAtomic states that it connects no traffic logs of user activity when connected to its VPN, although it’s neither been put to the test in court or had an independent audit carried out to confirm its privacy credentials.
You can choose from a selection of endpoints in over 70 territories, including a number of less common endpoint locations such as Cyprus, Costa Rica, Taiwan and the Philippines. By default, the VPN tunnel will automatically attempt to reconnect if it goes down for any reason. You can also enable a kill switch to prevent any traffic from being sent when the VPN connection goes down. This is particularly important for the privacy-conscious and those on insecure public internet hotspots.
The application can be configured to start and connect when you log in to your computer, while more unusual options include a Scramble feature that attempts to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN from your ISP or anyone else who might be looking at your traffic.
You can also view logs and switch between the default IKEv2 protocol and my preferred, highly secure OpenVPN protocol – I typically stick with defaults for testing and have done so in this case.
VPNHub – Performance
Average HTTP download speeds for the entire April 2020 VPN group test, measured from a test system in London with a fast internet connection, were 65.63Mbps from UK endpoints, 71.37Mbps for the Netherlands and 51.15Mbps from the US. The test setup is built for stability in the face of current pressures on global internet and VPN infrastructure.
This test setup, built for stability in the face of increased online traffic, has given us slightly slower performance across the board than my previous cloud-based test infrastructure, which was designed to prioritise raw speed. Even taking this into account, Webroot’s service has suffered a massive drop compared to both its own previous speed test scores, my reference scores and the average of all the VPNs tests.
VPNHub matched or exceeded the system’s non-VPN’d reference speed in several tests and was among the fastest services overall. Its slowest result, 42.4Mbps HTTP from the US, is nonetheless fast enough for even 4K streaming. It’s always been a fast service, but under current conditions, this is particularly remarkable.
And its streaming performance in region-shifting tests means that you can reliably put yourself in another country to watch TV or watch local streaming services while securely behind a VPN.
Related: What is a VPN?
Should you buy VPNHub?
While you can often expect to pay for performance, VPNHub is conspicuously expensive. Subscriptions work out at £11.40 per month or £68.36 per year, going down to a more competitive average of £2.84 if you spend £102.40 on a three-year subscription – more than NordVPN and much more than Private Internet Access and Windscribe, all of which have better security pedigrees and similarly quick performance.
A seven-day free trial is available but, unlike most VPN providers, VPNHub demands your payment information upfront and will automatically bill you after seven days if you don’t cancel your subscription, so it’s got more in common with services that offer a money-back guarantee.
VPNHub also has an unlimited free tier, but this is, disappointingly, only available on smartphones. Desktop users have to subscribe to VPNHub Premium, and even that only works under Windows and macOS, so if you want a VPN to use on your router, NAS or Linux desktop PC, this isn’t it.
No OpenVPN profiles or configuration instructions are available for other devices, making VPNHub an option that’s strictly for mainstream customers.
If you are one of those mainstream customers and want raw speed as well as excellent streaming performance, look no further. VPNHub’s performance, features and service are all very good, within certain limitations. However, it’s not for a user with more sophisticated requirements, and we’re also not keen on free trials that demand payment information upfront.
It’s a great option right now, although Private Internet Access is faster and less than half the price, while Windscribe is a cheap and quick option for streaming fans, particularly for US endpoints.
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