CryptoStorm Private Network: Is the Self-Promotion Worth It?
With the fear of losing their privacy, anonymity, and identity online, more internet users are going after VPN services. As a result, more and more VPN service providers are entering the market, many claiming to have a distinct identity. CryptoStorm VPN is one such provider.
CryptoStorm VPN, known as CryptoStorm Private Network, is quite a unique offering in the VPN industry. The company boasts about its services and offerings, but our first impression tends to be quite contrary. Let’s move on to find out more.
Is My Privacy Protected with CryptoStorm?
One unique aspect of CryptoStorm VPN is that the company operates based on what they call Network Tokens. We’ll discuss this further in our Features section. When it comes to privacy, the company mentions that it's this groundbreaking token-based network authentication framework that helps them avoid the disclosure of users’ sensitive data. Via tokens, our network members connect to and make use of cryptostorm with no accounts, subscriptions, or interpersonal connection with us, which leads us to believe that the level of privacy you receive from the service is high. Furthermore, to avoid retaining logs of user activity on the network, the company says that it has modified the core source code of the OpenVPN application to remove physical IP address as an element of our member-session network administration, anywhere in our infrastructure. And when it comes to sharing user data with third parties or the law, CryptoStorm VPN clearly states that they would rather step away from a project rather than see it used to betray our loyalty, which they call their Privacy Seppuku Pledge. While on one hand it seems great that the company has gone a step further to modify the OpenVPN source code to improve their users’ privacy, on the other hand it does bother us to see them as the only company in the industry doing so. We don't know if this method is tried and tested in general, which leaves us concerned, and hence our privacy score.
How Much is CryptoStorm? Is There a Free Trial?
As discussed before, CryptoStorm uses a token-based approach in offering its services. This unusual approach is reflected in its pricing plans as well. Subscriptions for the service can be obtained for as low as one week. Yes, CryptoStorm allows you to sign up for its services for a week, and you will be paying $1.86 for this and get one connection for your subscription.
The other subscription options you have are: one month - $6 for one connection; three months - $16 for two connections; six months - $28 for three connections; one year - $52 for four connections; two years - $94 for four connections. In addition, they also have three other bundles: 5x 1-month bundle at a price of $24, 11x 1-month bundle at a price of $48, and 25x 1-month bundle at a price of $97. The payment methods accepted by are PayPal, Stripe, Bitcoin, and altcoins. There is no mention of a free trial or money back guarantee anywhere, which is highly disappointing, and there isn’t much you can save even with the long-term plans. The only option you have to test the service is to subscribe for the one week plan.
CryptoStorm Speed Test
CryptoStorm Private Network state that they have a powerful global footprint. But, to the contrary, it seems like the service has VPN servers (or what they call exit nodes) only in four countries around the world: the USA, Canada, Iceland, and Germany. With such limited coverage, you obviously can't expect great speeds from a VPN service. But, the service still claims to provide astonishing network speed: so far ahead, it’s scary. Trust us, it's not. Why do they have to put out such false claims when they themselves know that they can't deliver? In fact, the speeds from CryptoStorm’s VPN servers are one of the worst we’ve experienced so far. The service was also not useful to access video streaming websites, including BBC iPlayer and US Netflix.
How is Customer Service at CryptoStorm?
Customer service options offered by CryptoStorm are very limited. As a matter of fact, the VPN service provides support only by email. Well, at least that’s what you’ll see on the main page.
Click on the Contact Forum link at the bottom of the page and you'll be redirected to their forum page where you'll find a Chat link at the top. This takes you to the CryptoStorm IRC chat page where you can ask your questions. Surprisingly, we were satisfied with the answers we received for our questions, and the response was quite prompt as well. In addition, you can contact the service on social media channels; however, don't expect prompt replies.
As usual, let’s start with the website. To be frank, the website is perhaps the most unprofessional we've seen. It's hideous and the most incomprehensible VPN website we've seen so far. The company uses a lot of self-promoting buzzwords, but delivers very little on the same. We found it difficult to navigate around the website. It was hard to find relevant information, and even the forum and FAQ pages were not up to the mark.
The one advantage is that CryptoStorm supports the OpenVPN protocol. Some of the other features that the company offers as mentioned on the website are:
- Performance tuning
- Redundant exitnode clusters
- Anti-leak protection
- DeepDNS system
Not what we would call a great offering. The features are rather sparse and don’t deliver.
Is CryptoStorm Safe?
The only positive in terms of the features offered by CryptoStorm Private Network is that it supports the OpenVPN AES 256-bit encryption standard, which is known to provide the highest security in the industry. Yes, the VPN service claims to provide unmatched security and functionality with its deep DNS system, but we’re not really sure how efficient that is. Also, the service promises anti-leak protection with its DNS and WebRTC leakblock and anti-IP6 protection, but we found a leak during our testing, which means our IP address was visible, and this isn’t the level of security we expect from a VPN service.
What we like about CryptoStorm Private Network is their token-based authentication concept. This is something that we could see spreading through the industry in the future. Aside from that, there aren't a lot of positive things to be said about the service. We hate the whole look of the website. Their network coverage is very limited. The performance is mediocre at best, and security is not up to par. All in all, you might want to look elsewhere for an authentic VPN service.