FrootVPN Review

Pros:


  • The client provides the
    facility of using multiple protocols which are OpenVPN-TCP, OpenVPN-UDP, L2TP,
    and PPTP. This offers the facility to the
    user to maintain a proper balance between the security and speed according to
    the requirement. If one requires high speed, he can use PPTP, but if security
    is the main concern, TCP and UDP protocols are available.
  • They have added a customizable
    kill switch which allows the user to select the particular applications whose
    internet traffic he wishes to stop when the internet connection drops. By this,
    you can avoid any unnecessary stoppage in the data exchange.
  • The client may not have any
    advanced server selection or sorting options, but
    still, it provides one with the option to create his favorite server list. That
    helps to connect to the server directly that renders high speed. All you need
    to do is to identify the server and click on the star symbol present after the
    location name.
  • You can also identify the
    servers in which P2P connection is not allowed. For that, you need to open the
    client area > Server Info. The servers which are
    marked with no entry symbol on BitTorrent icon are the ones on which you
    should not conduct P2P file sharing.
  • The client area provides a speed test which can be conducted just by
    clicking on the “Diagnostics” tab. For checking server ping and load, you can
    visit the server page present on the website.
  • The price is comparatively cheaper than most of the other VPN providers.
    Where the other VPN providers charge above $10, FrootVPN only changes $4.99. If
    you purchase the annual plan, you just
    need to pay $2.99 which is a suitable price for the service it provides.
  • They do not keep any logs
    according to their privacy policy. “No logs” includes timestamps and bandwidth usage. This
    allows the user to use the application freely
    without worrying about the PII.
  • One can pay anonymously by
    using cryptocurrencies. The provider offers the option to the user to pay using
    ten plus cryptocurrencies.
  • Although they don’t offer a
    free trial, they provide a thirty-day money-back guarantee by which you can
    claim the refund if the client doesn’t fulfill your requirement for which you
    have purchased it.

Cons

  • Even though they claim to have
    an ultra-high speed, the speed experienced by us was very less in comparison to
    the original speed. Even the distance between our system and the server was not
    more than four hundred kilometers.
  • They need to add many more features
    which could aid the user experience by increasing the functionality of the
    application.
  • Unfortunately, if you wish to
    improve your browsing experience, FrootVPN won’t be helpful as it doesn’t have
    any browser extension even for the mainstream browsers such as Chrome and
    Firefox. Also, there are no settings related to blocking ads or malicious
    websites.
  • The location could be an issue
    as the company which owns FrootVPN is located in Sweden which is one of the
    “Fourteen Eyes” countries.
  • Although they have servers in
    twenty-five plus countries, they need to add more servers for some prominent
    locations such as the United States where only six server locations are added.
  • They provide live chat support,
    but it is not too consistent as many
    times executives are shown to be busy at this moment, and users are simply
    asked to drop or leave a message.

Overview

Main Screen

FrootVPN may not be as juicy as the other
VPN providers which are placed in the same basket.

However, what’s sure is that the FrootVPN
has tried to put its seeds (servers) all over the world.

The unfortunate fact is FrootVPN’s parent
company is headquartered in Sweden which
is one of the Fourteen Eyes and has active participation in surveillance
programs.

FrootVPN claims to keep no logs, and other
than username, password, and email,
nothing is stored. But because it’s Sweden, one can’t conclude that the data
retention laws would be in the favor of
citizens.

If we talk about the client, it’s very simple, but this simplicity
might have taken away the user control, and flexibility to make the changes.

Speed delivered by the VPN is also a major
issue, and a well-elaborated review about the speed is provided in the bandwidth and speed section.

Servers

There are around twenty-three server
locations in the whole Europe in thirteen
countries. Out of these thirteen countries, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain,
Poland, and Italy have multiple server locations. It’s surprising that there
are no multiple locations for the Netherlands as it is one of the prominent
countries whose servers are required for
unblocking the gaming platforms.

Another continent where one can find huge
VPN userbase is North America. Here, they have selected multiple countries for
server locations: The United States, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica, but then there
are only six server locations in the United States
which may not be enough to handle the complete userbase. They need to add more
servers here. Otherwise, the users of the
United States would experience a lower speed.

The server placement in Asia is relatively
good in comparison to that of other continents. They have their servers in
eight countries which efficiently covers all the parts except the central. It
is because they do not have any servers in China and its neighboring western countries, that’s why this product may not be suitable
for Chinese users.

They have no servers in Africa like the
other VPN providers as the userbase in this continent is not that huge in
comparison to other continents.

However, for Oceania, they need to add more
servers. The countries, Australia and New Zealand are part of Fourteen Eyes,
and so, there must be a huge potential userbase. With just two server locations,
the userbase cannot be satisfied as the load on the servers will be more, and
that will lower down the speed.

Surprisingly, they have placed their servers
in South America also which is not the main target of any other VPN provider.
Other providers first establish their servers in North America and Europe and then move down to South America.
However, as they have their servers here,
it would be helpful for the United States and southern countries of North America. This
has provided them the option to connect to the servers which are geographically
close to them, and at the same time, doesn’t have a high load.

If we talk about the client, you would only
find a list of servers simply placed according to the alphabetical order. There
is no other sorting option which is required to be
added so that the user can easily identify the most efficient server for
his location.

At least you have the option to filter the
favorite servers to which you can directly connect from the favorite server
list. For generating the list, you need to click on the star symbol placed
after the server name.

When you visit the client area, you can
have a look at the servers where P2P sharing
is allowed. One must not connect to any P2P restricted servers as it may cause
the legal issues.

Connection Time Analysis

Trial No.Time taken to establish a connection (Seconds)
Average Time In Seconds15.76
115.43
216.02
315.85
414.18
514.82
616.15
7Connection Failed
816.25
917.53
1015.57

The seventh trial can be exempted because the connection failure has not occurred after this trial whenever attempts to establish connection has been made. Sometimes the failure may occur due to late server response which is because of high load on the server. Weather conditions can also be responsible for that.

As you can see in the image below, the error states that the client is unable to establish the connection to the remote server. It this case, one way to establish a connection is to reconnect it. If the error still arrives then try to change the server. If the error appears even after changing the server, that means the issue is with the client and path, not with the server. It would be better to select “Open support ticket” option and inform the provider about the issue. Or else you can “Send logs to help desk,” and by using the connection information, the developers can work to eliminate the issue,

Connection Time Error

When the connection time is considered, it is not as low as many other
VPN providers even though the distance between our location and the server is
lesser than many other cases.

The average delivered is 15.76 seconds
which is acceptable but should be improved.

Same for the precision as the range is
higher than three seconds. If the provider wants to deliver a consistent
connection time, the range should be low.

According to the server placement, it is
very unlikely that the users would experience a lower connection time than
this. There are not many users in our country, and the server location was also
at a distance of less than four hundred
kilometers. In Europe’s and North America’s case, the distance maybe less, but then load would be more because
of a greater number of users.

Bandwidth and Speed

Speed Before and After

FrootVPN needs to work on delivering better
speed, and the speed they provide should be considered as a serious limitation
of their application.

As we have already discussed that since the
server is not located at a huge distance,
we were expecting a high speed.

However, the speed experienced was one of
the lowest speeds provided by any VPN service.

For the original download speed of 9.13
Mbps and upload speed of 7.52 Mbps, only 0.55 Mbps download speed,and 0.28 upload speed was obtained after the VPN connection.

In the case of download speed, 94%
reduction was recorded, and for upload speed,
97% reduction was recorded.

Because of this much reduction, the speed
is not even suitable for browsing purpose.

However, the user can utilize the bandwidth without any limitations.

Security

Kill Switch Option

On their website, it is mentioned that they
use strong encryption which has 2048-bit key length. However, via email, we have got the information that now
they use AES 256-bit key encryption which is the most important requirement to
have high security.

This high-grade encryption is provided with different protocols, and the
best one is OpenVPN (TCP and UDP). If this encryption is combined with OpenVPN protocol, then it’s tough to break it
through brute force.

Also, they have added a custom kill switch in which we can select particular
application whose internet traffic we need to block when connecting and
disconnecting to the VPN.

This feature helps to avoid any unwanted
interruption while using any application.

User Interface and Experience

UI for v 4.10

The user interface isn’t acceptable. There
are very less features related to client behavior and functionality.

One can start the client when the system
starts, and auto-connect with the VPN if the connection drops. No other than these
features are provided related to
connectivity.

The kill switch is the only security
feature that renders some user control by its custom options.

One can change the language of the client
by selecting among the different languages provided: English, German, Russian,
Swedish, French, and Spanish. This helps
the user to utilize and understand the VPN client easily.

The overall user experience could be improved by making the live chat consistent.
Servers must be upgraded so that they
could provide higher speed in comparison to the current speed.

Also, some server sorting and filtering
options are required to be added for the user’s benefit while selecting the
server.

Platforms and Devices

They offer a direct client for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. You can also
configure the application in the routers which provides the possibility of
connecting to VPN through it. However, router installation guide (OpenVPN) is only provided for WW-DRT on the website. If
you are willing to use PPTP (not recommended), then you can install FrootVPN on
Mikroticrouter also.

They render OpenVPN configuration files for
all the mainstream platforms. However, for Chromebook the only PPTP is available.

You can also use it with Synology NAS, but
then again OpenVPN configuration is not available, and you need to configure it
with PPTP which has serious security issues.

Customer Support

Their live chat is inconsistent, and while we were using it, the agent
disappeared in the middle of a conversation
which is unacceptable. After that, the message box directed us to leave a
message, and with its help a ticket was generated.

The customer support replied to the query
via email in one-two hours. Time taken by the FrootVPN’s email support is
lesser than the other VPN providers, but still, consistent live chat would
provide instant help to the users, and solve the issues at the same time

Conclusion

FrootVPN requires a lot of development in
every aspect. They should start with developing a consistent live chat and high
speed. After that, the number of
platforms should be increased by adding
extensions and setups for Linux derivatives.

They also need to add many more features to
the client, so that a user can avail the product as a complete privacy tool.

However, one can buy it with just five
dollars per month, and if he purchases the annual plan, it will be three
dollars per month. You can use VPN technology at the lowest price by purchasing
FrootVPN. However, with this fact, you need to accept the limitations which come along with the product.

Kim Martin Administrator
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