- Easy to Install: It is a one click install for the extensions as well as the mobile applications. The client is good to go right after the installation if the user is already subscribed to the service.
- Fast Speeds: The speed for the fastest server is as good as the original speed on the service. The users can expect a fast and reliable connection on the network.
- 36 Server Locations: With so many server locations, the users can easily bypass a lot of the geo restrictions, and the traffic density should also not cause any trouble with so many server locations in place
- Data-logging: The service provider has mentioned that there will be logging of some personal information while using the service. The details of this collected data is not discussed which leaves the user unsure about the product.
- Customer Support: The customer services are not the best one for the product. You may have to wait for long hours for the reply, and then also may end up with irrelevant responses.
Connection Established! – UI When Connected in Browser
Browsec LLC is a company based in Russia,
and their VPN service Browsec is primarily focused on browser extensions for
Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The service is also available for mobile
applications on Play Store and App Store.
There is not much information about the
company or the product on the internet, and the Russian jurisdiction adds up to
The huge userbase of the product on Chrome
and Play Store indicates that the product is catering to the needs of the
In this review we will try to find out some
of the unknown and unheard facts about the product out of all this haziness
around the product.
We will also try to analyze if the product
is truly a VPN service or just a proxy service to change the IP address and by
pass certain geo restrictions.
Some Server Options
Having a lot of servers in the VPN network
has a lot of advantages as well. It provides the user with more access options,
reduces the traffic density on each server, and helps in bypassing a lot more
geo restrictions as well.
More number of servers also mean that the
user is more likely to be located close to a server, and hence he/she will get
better speeds even after connecting with the network.
When it comes to Browsec, they have 36
servers in their network which are can be accessed by the premium subscription
customers. However, these are only virtual servers if you are using the browser
extensions and can help only with the masking of the IP and thus help bypass
the geo restrictions.
Most of the server locations are in Europe,
and the rest are scattered across North America, Asia, and Middle East.
Bandwidth and Speed
One of the major reasons for the popularity
of Browsec is the speed that it provides to the user after connecting to the
The speeds on the browser extensions are
easy to attain as there is no encryption involved, and there is merely masking
of the IP address. The users can experience almost the same speed before and
after connection if they are using the browser extensions on the desktop.
On the other hand, the high speeds achieved
on the Browsec mobile applications is very impressive.
Speed is Excellent
We did the speed test for the mobile VPN
service, and the results were very encouraging. We achieved speeds around 95%
of the original speeds for the geographically closest server.
The speed is as good as the initial speed,
and the uses should not face speed issues while connected to the network.
The speeds for the far away located servers
was equally impressive, and the user can make the most out of his/her high-speed
internet plan while connected to the network.
Winning the trust of the users is generally
one of the major concerns of the VPN services, and that is why they try to
safekeep the user’s personal information and privacy on the internet. Most of
their privacy policies also reflect the same.
But it seems that we have got an exception
in the form of Browsec. The company does not seems interested in protecting the
user’s data at all.
They have declared that they take no
responsibility if any of the user’s personal data is leaked or mishandled while
he/she is using the service.
They do collect user’s personal information
as well. They were not specific at all as to what is this personal information.
The data which can be possibly logged can be anything from the user’s personal
IP address to the user’s activity on the internet while using the service.
The fact that the company comes under the
Russian jurisdiction, does not helps at all since it is a communist nation, and
sharing of information under a communist regime is not a far fledged notion by
Apart from the logging of this data while
using the service, there is always some data collection when the person
subscribes to the service. This data will generally include the email address
of the user, the transaction details, and the location of the user.
When the person visits the website of the
service provider, there will be some cookies and data analytics services
involved which will again store some information about the user and his/her
The data collected by the analytics service
may not be personal data and it is generally to improve the services being
provided by analyzing the customer behavior.
However, there is minimal information about
the data which is being collected on the website, and the users need to be
cautious while vising the official website of the service.
Permissions Asked While Installing
In order to operate smoothly, the mobile
applications generally ask for some permissions from the users before the
These permissions can be regarding the
usage of network, access to contacts, permissions to change settings etc. The
VPN applications also need some permissions, and the user grants all the
required permissions to the app when he/she downloads it.
The fact worth noticing here is that VPN
apps are intended towards safekeeping user’s internet traffic and data. To do that
the app will require access to all the user’s internet traffic and data.
The app can reroute and encrypt user’s data
only after getting these permissions.
However, not many users will bother to make
sure that the service is not rerouting the traffic through some third-party
servers, which may log user’s personal information.
The users can’t be blamed at large as many
of them don’t have the knowledge or expertise to do such investigations.
But there have been instances when it was
found that VPN apps were found indulged in activities such as selling the
customer’s data to third parties and sometimes even injecting the user’s
devices with malware.
It is advisable that the users should at
least go through the various permissions that the app seeks before downloading,
so that the user has information of the risks involved if the app is not a good
one after all.
Browsec seeks permission to have full
network access, inspect network connections, access contacts, prevent phone
from sleeping etc.
Once the user provides full network access
to the application, the service provider can reroute all the user’s traffic at
will through any server. But users also need to understand that it is
impossible to provide a VPN cover without the grant of this permission.
The increase in the popularity of the VPN
services showcases that the users are lot more concerned about their privacy
and online security these days.
And they have a lot of reasons for acting
so concerned as there are so many groups and individuals who are constantly
trying to compromise personal information of the users for their own gains.
Mobile VPNs don’t have the reputation of
being the most secured ones. But, since we spend a lot of our time on these
mobile devices daily, it is of utmost importance that these devices have some
security cover when connected to the internet.
The browser extensions provided by Browsec
are good at masking the IP addresses, but it is not among the safest ways to keep
the data safe when using internet browsers.
The general VPN software do a much better
job of safekeeping the user’s data by having robust encryptions and safer
Browsec uses HTTPS proxy over TLS protocol
for the browser extensions. The proxy service does its job very well, but the users
should not forget that it is just a proxy service and not a full-fledged VPN
Things are merrier if we look at the mobile
applications of Browsec for Android and iOS devices.
They encrypt the data with 256-bit
encryption which is the highest-grade encryption currently available. The users
will not be able to get anything better for encrypting the data.
When it comes to protocol, then Browsec
provides IPSec for mobile applications.
There are no other added security features
to protect the users from malware and other malicious content on the internet.
They have not provided any adblockers as
well, and we saw certain customer reviews which complained a lot about the ad
injecting methods used by Browsec on its free service.
User Interface and Experience
The user interface only reflects what the
product has to offer, and that too happens only if the user interface has been
designed in the correct manner.
The product at hand has not got much
functionality, and the only relevant choice for the users to make in the client
is to choose between the server locations.
There is no option available to change the
protocol or encryption like it is available in case of desktop VPN products.
One feature that might be useful to some of
the users is the ‘Smart Settings’ feature on Browsec.
With the help of this feature, the user can
always either turn on the VPN for selected websites or turn off the VPN for
selected websites or select many websites and use different server locations
for all of them.
Smart Settings in the UI
The only other options for the user are the
toggle switches to use the product for WebRTC connection and change the time
zone according to the preferred server.
The user interface seems does not seems
dynamic at all but that can be attributed to the fact that the product has not
got much in store for the user.
They could have made the product richer by
adding features such as ad blocker and track blockers in the extension. With
the current features and functionality, the user interface can’t cater much to
Platforms and Devices
The product is available for Chrome,
Firefox, and Opera browsers. It is also available on Android and iOS devices.
The product is virtually same for all the
three browsers on which it is available as an extension, and the same goes for
the mobile applications as well.
The users can use the service on 5 devices
simultaneously. However, the extension on every browser is equivalent of one
The users should never face any troubles
while downloading the client on either of the platforms as it a walk in the
park to download such apps and extensions.
A good customer support is essential if the
service wants to project itself as a transparent one. Transparency makes the
users trust the service, and VPN services are a lot dependent on user’s trust.
However, we did not saw much attempts to
come of as a transparent organization from this Russian service provider.
The information about the product on the
official website and in the product descriptions, is very vague and barely even
scratch the surface if one wants to know more about the product.
The FAQ section had only 3 questions which
had two-line answers, and this reflects how non-informative the support section
We tried contacting the service provider in
our quest to know more about the product, and it was not a joy ride at all.
The initial replies we got form the
customer support team after long waits extending up to a whole day, were vague
and irrelevant for what we wanted to know.
After a few more mails and lot more
waiting, we were finally able to dig out some information about the product.
They need to make the support page a lot
more informative. The product descriptions on App Store and Play Store should also
contain more relevant information about the product rather than some vague
The support team is active in the review
section of the Play Store, but it is tough to get to know technical details
The service can improve the customer support
mechanism which would help them gain the ever-essential user’s trust.
The services offered by the provider for
browsers and mobile applications are entirely different.
While the browser extensions are merely
proxy service, the mobile applications are what one can call a true VPN
If we keep this different aside, there are
some common advantages and disadvantages of having the product on both the
The biggest achievement of the service must
be the speeds which it is providing on extensions as well as on the apps.
However, data logging should be the biggest
concern of the users using either of the services of the Browsec. We found no
reason to entrust Browsec with our data during the whole reviewing process.
The users should take enough precautions to
not transmit sensitive information through the network.
The product also lacks additional features
such as ad blocking which many other services are providing.
If they work on gaining the customer’s
trust and become more transparent, it will be easier for us to recommend the
product to the users.