Banana VPN Review
Internet users use Virtual Private Network (VPN) services for various purposes, from enjoying unrestricted internet access to protecting themselves from online threats. A VPN service provider should be able to meet all of its users’ needs and provide them with the best service possible.
Even though the company was established over a decade ago, back in 2007, BananaVPN still remains quite an unpopular name in the VPN industry. Could this be because of poor services and features, or simply a lack of competitive skills? Let’s find out.
Is My Privacy Protected with Banana VPN?
First and foremost, BananaVPN makes it clear that their users’ privacy is important to them. “ None of the information you provide will ever be used for any purpose other than to provide you with the services that you have purchased ”, is the company’s statement on protecting their users’ privacy.
BananaVPN also doesn’t log user activities, which includes your emails, DNS lookups, the sites you visit, and more. The company only logs, as they quoted on their page, “ access attempts to our servers (for security and troubleshooting), session durations and bandwidth used ”. This information is usually stored for two weeks and although this is not the perfect outcome, we appreciate that they were transparent on the issue, unlike many other VPN services who track these things but without a proper warning.
The company also states that they do not share the personal information of users with other companies, “ except with partners who assist in providing services (like payment processing, fraud checks) or products associated with the Banana VPN sites ”. This is something most VPN services do and it’s usually not such a big issue, however it depends largely on how you feel about having some of your personal information shared.
Also, similar to any other VPN service, BananaVPN also accepts that they “ may disclose your personal information if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary… ”. Again, this is not that unusual, although it’s not ideal for VPN users, or the potential ones.
However, there are instances when the VPN service might require your credit card or ID for identity confirmation. Despite their reassuring that they delete these information immediately, it does concern us in terms of privacy. Also, BananaVPN does not offer a kill switch feature, which is another drawback in this aspect.
All things considered, the level of privacy offered by BananaVPN is pretty decent but not the best one out there, meaning there is place for improvement.
How Much is Banana VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
There is no dedicated page where the VPN service lists down it pricing plans. You need to click on their Buy now link on the top right corner of the website’s main page in order to know how much the VPN service costs.
BananaVPN offers three different plans: monthly, semi-annual, and annual. The monthly plan is priced at $14.99 per month, the semi-annual or 6 months plan is priced at $60, and the annual plan at $100. Despite being allowed to cancel your subscription at any time, as you can see, BananaVPN is certainly not one of the most affordable services available out there.
The VPN service doesn’t offer a free trial, but you can get 100% refund during the first seven days of your subscription purchase. In addition, there are a couple coupon codes offered by the VPN itself to avail discounts.
When it comes to payment methods, BananaVPN accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, Diners Club, and Carte Bleue. The fact that the VPN service doesn’t accept payments via services like PayPal or support anonymous payment options like Bitcoin is a drawback.
Banana VPN Speed Test
Like any VPN service provider, BananaVPN also brags about its features, especially the speed delivered by its servers. Though the company claims to deliver “ unbeatable speed ”, it’s rarely the case with a VPN, especially when it comes to choosing from a limited number of VPN servers.
This, however, depends on the server you choose, and when we tested the service, the speed was fast enough to access the most commonly used websites and services, such as Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, and more. Also, since the VPN service does not have limits on uploads and downloads, we were happy with this feature combined with the speed and quality of the same.
However, BananaVPN does not allow P2P or torrenting which is a huge disadvantage. Therefore, if your purpose for using a VPN is mainly this, you might want to consider looking for a different VPN service.
How is Customer Service at Banana VPN?
BananaVPN offers customer support via an online contact form, email and chat box. Though there is an option to chat, the service is not available 24/7, which is unfortunate. Also, support via email is available only between 8 am to 10 pm - GMT UK time zone.
There is FAQ page on the website that has answers to some of the commonly asked questions; however, we didn’t find it to be comprehensive and there were a lot of topics or categories that weren’t addressed. All in all, the service is not the best, although this is something that has to be among the priorities as well.
When you open BananaVPN website you will see a space that’s quite basic in almost all aspects. The design is rather simple, with no animations or other fancy content, and there are only a few menu options available at the top of the main page, such as FAQ, Contact, and Buy now. There are a few other links at the bottom, and overall, the company lays out only the basic information that users always look for. Nothing fancy.
The VPN is designed to work on iPad, iPhone, Mac OS X, Windows PC, and iTouch devices, in addition to Windows Mobile, Nokia S60, and Android 2.1+.
When it comes to BananaVPN’s network, there isn’t much you can expect because the company has only 15 VPN servers spread across the UK, Washington, Texas, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Canada, France, Switzerland, and Netherlands. This number is significantly low when compared to the other VPN services, including some of the new entries.
The features you get to enjoy using BananaVPN include: using Skype from anywhere around the world, accessing blocked websites, accessing UK/US websites from abroad, no download or upload limits, online security and anonymity, access to different protocols, and great privacy. As it can be seen, features offered by BananaVPN are just the standard ones you would get from any VPN service provider. Therefore, if you are a seasoned VPN users, you may find these limited features unsatisfactory. For a company that has been that long on the market, we expected something more advanced, for sure.
Is Banana VPN Safe?
We will keep it short here. In terms of security BananaVPN supports PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and SSTP protocols, for the reasons that they are easy to setup, offer better performance, and do not require additional software. However, the level of encryption used by the VPN service is only 128-bit, which is not the highest in VPN standards. Recently more and more VPN companies start using AES 256-bit encryption, which is the most secure one and almost unbreakable. Therefore, this may not be the most secure VPN service you can find. But, if you are looking to use a VPN only for some basic activities, you can still consider using BananaVPN.
Taking everything into consideration, BananaVPN is just another average VPN service provider. While the VPN delivers decent speeds despite the limited number of servers it operates, it fails to excel in all other aspects, especially when it comes to security and customer service. It might explain why it hasn’t reached the top VPN charts all of these years. But, if you are looking for a basic VPN service for your basic needs, this could be it.