Tunnelr VPN Review
Tunnelr VPN is a US-based service that has been on the market for a few years. It was interesting to see that they do not mention their operation base location anywhere, and the only information about that was in their certificates and domain.
Is My Privacy Protected with Tunnelr VPN?
Tunnelr seems to have good privacy measures. However, the website isn’t totally clear on exactly what information is stored. One thing that is well communicated is the fact that Tunnelr doesn’t keep payment details. All payments are processed by another company and so all information that is on your bank account, such as your address, does not get through to Tunnelr. This shuts down one channel that prosecutors could use to track you to your door.
The website doesn’t explicitly state that the service does not record your IP address and save that as an identifier in its logs. If the service keeps such logs, then a subpoena for their records would deliver a route for prosecutors to trace you. This is because your IP address really belongs to your ISP, and that company will give up the records of who was using which IP address at what time, along with the customer’s name and address.
How Much is Tunnelr VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
Tunnelr has one package, but offers it in three subscription periods. The price for the service works out cheaper per month if you sign up for a longer period. However, you have to pay for the whole subscription period up front.
The company offers a free trial, which is unavoidable. You cannot pay for the service until you have signed up for the free trial, which only lasts for two and a half hours.
Payment is handled by a third-party company, called stripe.com. This means that Tunnelr doesn’t have to keep any personal details of customers on its computers. The system accepts payment through credit cards and PayPal. The promotional details about the VPN declare that you can pay with Bitcoin. However, this option does not appear when you actually subscribe.
You get an allowance of five concurrent connections. However, account sharing is not allowed.
Tunnelr VPN Speed Test
With Tunnelr VPN speeds were reduced by about 10%, which isn’t bad, but I think there is room for improvement. I also noticed a lot of DNS leaks, which is kind of a deal-breaker considering that the VPN isn’t really performing on other aspects either.
How is Customer Service at Tunnelr VPN?
- Two-and-a-half-hour free trial
- Allowance of five simultaneous connections
- OpenVPN, L2TP, SSH Tunnel, and PPTP protocols
- No logs
- Accepts PayPal as well as credit cards
- No data throughput limits
- P2P allowed
- Works on Windows, Mac OS X, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux
- Can install on routers and set-top boxes
The server locations of the service only include a presence in five countries. There are six server locations in the United States: Atlanta, Dallas, Newark, New York (which is actually in New Jersey), Seattle, and San Francisco. There are two locations in the UK.
Since there is no stand-alone application, there are quite a few features missing (such as auto-reconnect or kill-switch). This applies to all services that provide only configuration files, because they depend on the open-source solutions, which even though are efficient, are also quite poor in the features department.
Tunnelr VPN claims to have a “robust assortment of exit locations”, although I failed to see that in real life. They only have 15 servers available. One positive aspect would be that Netflix actually works, as advertised, at the time of this review.
Is Tunnelr VPN Safe?
Tunnelr claims the title of being the world’s “premier OpenSSH provider.” However, the SSH protocol is not as secure as SSL. Also, the method for implementing the system through Tunnelr is complicated and doesn’t provide an easy-to-use interface. Therefore, it is better to use OpenVPN with this provider. OpenVPN uses OpenSSL for its security operations. SSL operates at a lower level than SSH, which means that it is harder to trick – there are fewer service levels on the computer that could be hijacked between the network card and the security application. The L2TP implementation of Tunnelr is actually more secure than its OpenVPN service.
Tunnelr doesn’t use AES in its OpenVPN. Instead, it uses Blowfish. Some people are suspicious of AES because it was created for the US government. They worry that AES might have a secret backdoor that enables the secret services to get into all encrypted messages. Blowfish is a good alternative cipher for those who would rather avoid AES.
Blowfish is fine. However, it is not as fine as AES. The main security feature of any encryption cipher lies in the length of its encryption key. The longer the key the harder it is to crack by running a program that tries every possible key combination. Some argue that a 128-bit key is long enough and would take too long to crack on the fly. Nominally, Tunnelr uses a 128-bit key for Blowfish in its OpenVPN system. However, doubts are raised by the connection log files of the service. These issue warning messages that arise during the connection procedure. These warnings state that a key of less than 128 bits is insecure. They suggest that Tunnelr is using a key of 64 bits. This is very insecure and way below the level of security offered by just about every other VPN service in the world.
Tunnelr has a reasonable price, but it would not be suitable for those in countries such as France, Spain, Canada, or Australia if they want to get into home TV while abroad. Given the location of the VPN’s operational base and the apparently small crew that runs it, there wouldn’t be much protection for those who want to download with torrents. Tunnelr is pocket-friendly but that’s about it, no other perks.