DotVPN Review 2024: Is It Any Good?

Our Score
3.0
STAY AWAY!
Ranked 76th out of 83 VPNs
Ranked 76th out of 83 VPNs
Our Score
3.0
dotvpn.com
Updated on: February 22, 2024
Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Steven Feeney
Steven Feeney
Published on: February 22, 2024

DotVPN Review: Quick Expert Summary

DotVPN doesn’t protect your data and privacy, and you should avoid it at all costs. There are much better options on the market today, including our top-rated VPNs like ExpressVPN.

What’s most alarming about DotVPN is that it leaks your IP address, which means websites you visit will know where you live. Another serious flaw is that DotVPN doesn’t have a kill switch, so your data is vulnerable to leaking onto the web if your VPN connection drops without your knowledge.

And unfortunately, the drawbacks don’t end there. DotVPN logs your IP address (temporarily), doesn’t work with most streaming services, doesn’t allow torrenting, and its native apps are no longer available (there’s only a Chrome browser extension). Plus, its server network is small, its ad blocker doesn’t always work, its customer support is lousy, and it only allows 5 simultaneous connections.

DotVPN has a free plan and paid monthly and yearly plans that are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — but only if you use less than 10 GB of data and make fewer than 100 total connections.

🏅 Overall Rank #76 out of 83 VPNs
🌍 Number of Servers 700+
📱 Number of Devices 5
💸 Starting Price $1.60 / month
 🎁 Free Plan
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days (as long as you use less than 10 GB and 100 connections)

DotVPN Full Review

DotVPN Full Review

I tested and researched DotVPN to see how it matched up to some of the top VPNs on the market, and frankly, it fell well short. Although it uses a high level of encryption (128-bit AES), has good speeds, and sometimes works with Netflix, these are the only good things about it.

When it comes to security, DotVPN doesn’t protect you from IP address leaks, there’s no kill switch, there are no advanced security features, there’s no split-tunneling, and the privacy policy implies that it stores your connection information and will share it with Hong Kong authorities if asked! And, a couple of included extras like the ad blocker and speed test don’t work all that well.

What’s more, DotVPN doesn’t allow torrenting, doesn’t work with Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer, its mobile apps are no longer available, there are no desktop apps (only a browser extension for Chrome), and customer support is minimal and unresponsive.

All in all, I can’t recommend using DotVPN due to its privacy and security vulnerabilities, as well as a wide range of other drawbacks.

DotVPN Features

DotVPN has 128-bit AES encryption, which isn’t as secure as 256-bit AES encryption, but it’s still very secure — and you also get a 4096-bit key (a commonly used encryption cipher). DotVPN claims to use 128-bit AES because it’s faster (which it should be since it involves less encryption). However, DotVPN also claims that 256-bit AES encryption has known vulnerabilities, but there’s no evidence to back this up.

DotVPN’s privacy policy leaves a lot to be desired and interpreted. Nowhere does it say if the VPN logs the websites you visit or the files you download, and it states that your IP address is stored for 24 hours — even though this isn’t a long time, there’s no reason a VPN should store your IP address at all! Even more troubling, the privacy policy implies that it stores your connection information and will make it available to the authorities in Hong Kong if asked, which is a huge red flag! All of the providers listed in our top 10 VPNs in 2024 have strict no-logs policies, and many of them have had their no-logs policies independently confirmed via audits, court documents, or transparency reports.

DotVPN is also missing a kill switch, which shuts down your internet connection if the VPN connection is lost — this keeps your data from leaking onto the internet. So, if your DotVPN connection drops and you aren’t aware of it, all of your data is vulnerable to being exposed on the web. ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access both have kill switches for most of the major operating systems.

DotVPN doesn’t list what leak protections it has, so I ran leak tests on a server in each of DotVPN’s 30 server locations. My test results consistently showed DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. This means my IP address was constantly exposed online, which is a major problem for a VPN.

When it comes to protocols, DotVPN uses SSL-proxy, which provides decent security for browsers. This is good enough for DotVPN’s sole Chrome browser extension (there are no desktop apps). DotVPN uses IPsec for the iOS app and OpenVPN for the Android app, but the apps are no longer available.

There are a few extra features available on the Chrome browser extensions, including:

DotVPN Features

  • Ad blocker. DotVPN includes an ad blocker, but it didn’t always work in my tests — I still encountered banner ads on many of the websites I visited. If you’re looking for a very good ad blocker, check out Private Internet Access, which has PIA MACE, the best ad blocker on the market.
  • Bandwidth saver. DotVPN says this feature can reduce up to 30% of your data traffic. This might be useful for those who get limited bandwidth from their ISP. I found that I got a slight increase in speeds while this was toggled on.
  • Tracking blocker. This feature prevents websites you visit from sharing cookies with other websites, which lets ads follow you around. DotVPN tracking blocker worked only some of the time in my tests.
  • Analytics blocker. This feature is supposed to block websites you visit from sending your browsing and shopping data to analytic services like Google Analytics.

DotVPN Privacy & Security

DotVPN has a sketchy privacy policy — it claims to be a zero-logging service, but its privacy policy states that it will turn over your connection information to the Hong Kong Court if ordered to do so! This implies that DotVPN is storing connection information like sites visited, timestamps, and length of visit. When I contacted its customer support for an explanation, I never received a reply. This is a major strike against DotVPN protecting your privacy.

In addition, DotVPN clearly states that it stores your IP address for 24 hours from the last time you used the service. This is unacceptable, as there’s no reason for a VPN to store your IP address for any length of time, even if just for 24 minutes.

Instead, I prefer VPNs that have clear, strict, and transparent no-logs policies that don’t log your IP address and browsing history. Many top VPNs like ExpressVPN have had their no-logs policies independently audited and confirmed.

DotVPN Privacy & Security

DotVPN is based in Hong Kong, which is outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of countries that share intelligence data). However, with Hong Kong’s new draconian security laws and mainland China’s crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong (which is controlled by China), there is a good chance that Chinese authorities might compel DotVPN to turn over your data, which it apparently collects.

Overall, DotVPN’s privacy policy implies that it collects user browsing traffic, it logs IP addresses, and it will hand over user data to the Hong Kong Court if requested.

DotVPN Speed & Performance

I ran speed tests on servers based in the 30 countries offered by DotVPN using the Chrome browser extension. The local servers gave me surprisingly great speeds and the distant servers were decent.

First, I ran a speed test without the VPN connected to find my baseline speeds. Then, using the auto-connect feature, I connected to a server in the UK (my home country). Here were my speeds:

DotVPN Speed & Performance

And here were my speeds while connected to the US:

DotVPN Speed & Performance

Overall, I was impressed with DotVPN’s speeds, particularly on servers that were nearby.

The local servers actually increased my speeds by about 24%, and I had similar experiences connected to servers in other European countries like Ireland and France. Web browsing was rapid and videos started right away without any buffering.

I experienced drops of about 78% when connected to servers in the US or Japan — websites took a few seconds to load and videos took up to 8 seconds to start but played pretty smoothly once they began.

However, DotVPN is nowhere near as fast as the fastest VPNs on the market.

DotVPN Servers & IP Addresses

DotVPN has 700+ servers in 30 countries (Canada, Germany, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the UK, and the US). This is a small network when compared to some of the top VPNs like ExpressVPN (servers in 105 countries) or CyberGhost VPN (100 countries).

I like how DotVPN displays the ping (the amount of time it takes an internet signal to travel from your device to the VPN server) for each server location. This makes it easy to connect to the fastest server, which is usually the one closest to you, but not always.

If you’re looking to share files, look elsewhere. DotVPN doesn’t allow torrenting on any of its servers — consider ExpressVPN for the best P2P experience.

Overall, DotVPN’s network is smaller than many of its competitors and it doesn’t support torrenting.

DotVPN Streaming & Torrenting

DotVPN isn’t good for streaming — it’s not compatible with the majority of streaming sites, including Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. That said, DotVPN sometimes works with Netflix.

If you’re looking for the best streaming VPN, I recommend ExpressVPN — it provides lightning-fast speeds and works with all of the top streaming services.

DotVPN Streaming & Torrenting

DotVPN doesn’t allow torrenting on any of its servers. If you need a good VPN for torrenting, I recommend ExpressVPN, which allows P2P traffic on all servers.

Overall, DotVPN doesn’t work with the most popular streaming services (other than Netflix), and torrenting isn’t allowed on any of its servers.

DotVPN Plans & Pricing

DotVPN has a free plan, as well as monthly and yearly premium plans. Each plan only allows 5 simultaneous connections, which is below the industry average of 6–10 connections — ExpressVPN allows 8 connections, and Private Internet Access allows unlimited connections.

The free plan includes unlimited data, but it throttles your speeds and doesn’t allow video or audio streaming. If you’re only in the market for a free VPN, I recommend Proton VPN, which has unlimited data, fast speeds, and excellent security features.

Upgrading to DotVPN’s premium plans, which start at $1.60 / month, unlocks access to all of the servers, faster speeds, streaming support, and all of the features. While DotVPN’s prices are reasonable, it doesn’t offer the same value as the top VPNs on the market in 2024.

DotVPN accepts credit/debit cards and PayPal, but that’s it. I’m disappointed that it doesn’t accept even a few cryptocurrencies, which most top VPNs do.

DotVPN backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee, but your traffic must not exceed 10 GB or you can’t have more than 100 connections in order to get a refund.

DotVPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

DotVPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

DotVPN has only a browser extension for Chrome and no native mobile or desktop apps. Its website says it has apps for iOS and Android, but they’re no longer available in their respective app stores. The website also has download links for Firefox and Opera extensions, but these are no longer functional. The lack of native apps and more extensions severely limits the usefulness of DotVPN.

The Chrome browser extension, for what it’s worth, is easy to install and use. To install it, go to the 3-dot icon in the upper-right corner of Chrome. Then go to Extensions and Visit the Chrome Web Store and download it there. To get easy access to the extension after installing it, go back to the 3-dot icon, select Extensions, and select Manage Extensions. Then enter “DotVPN” in the search bar, click on Details on the DotVPN card and toggle on Pin to toolbar. It will then appear in the Chrome toolbar in the top right.

The extension is easy to use, and you get a fun interface, which displays a picture from each server location; for example, the French server has an image of the Eiffel Tower. Each server location shows you the ping, so you can select the location with the fastest connection (if it’s not the one closest to you). You can sort servers by region to quickly get to the server location you want. The Settings panel also gives you options to toggle on the ad, tracking, and analytics blockers.

Overall, DotVPN is lacking mobile apps, desktop apps, and, except for Chrome, browser extensions, which severely limits this VPN’s usefulness. The Chrome extension is easy to download and use, however. If you’re looking for a VPN for mobile, see our list of the best VPNs for Android or our list of the best VPNs for iOS.

DotVPN Customer Support

DotVPN Customer Support

DotVPN’s customer support is awful — it’s limited to very basic online guides and email support, and there’s no 24/7 live chat.

The email support is a joke. I sent 10 different email messages but never received a response. Competitors like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access respond to all emails, reply within 6 hours, and always include helpful information.

DotVPN’s website has a “help center” that’s set up like a FAQ, but it provides limited help. There are a few general guides and a troubleshooting section that admits and mostly apologizes for its poor performance!

Is DotVPN Good Enough in 2024?

DotVPN has some significant security and privacy issues — for example, it leaks your IP address, lacks a kill switch, and appears to have a policy of collecting your browsing history. All of this puts your data and personal information at risk, which is why I don’t recommend using DotVPN for any reason at all.

You can find excellent alternatives on our list of the top VPNs in 2024.

DotVPN has many other problems. It records your IP address for 24 hours after each VPN session, it’s not good for streaming (but it sometimes works with Netflix), it doesn’t support P2P traffic, it’s missing native apps, and only works as a Chrome extension. In addition, its ad blocker doesn’t block many ads, its customer support is basically nonexistent, you only get 5 connections, and the 30-day money-back guarantee is only valid if you don’t exceed 10 GB.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does DotVPN work with Netflix?

DotVPN doesn’t consistently work with Netflix. It only works with the streaming site about 25% of the time. Also, DotVPN isn’t compatible with other top streaming services like Disney+, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer.

If you want a VPN that works with Netflix all of the time, I recommend ExpressVPN, which has lightning-fast speeds, is super easy to use, and also works with 100+ other streaming apps.

Is DotVPN secure?

Not really. Unfortunately, DotVPN has some major security and privacy issues. It doesn’t have a kill switch (this means you’re vulnerable to data leaks if the VPN connection drops), it constantly leaked my IP address, and it stores your IP address for 24 hours.

For a secure VPN experience, I recommend ExpressVPN, which includes all of the industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, a strict (and verified) no-logs policy, and full leak protection. It also comes with advanced security features like RAM-only servers (none of the data is stored on the hard drive and all of it is erased each time the server is reset) and perfect forward secrecy (changes your encryption key to prevent past or future keys from getting compromised).

What browsers does DotVPN work with?

DotVPN has only a browser extension for Chrome; the extensions for Firefox and Opera displayed on its website no longer work. The Chrome extension is intuitive and easy to install, with a visually pleasing interface. Unfortunately, many of the features it comes with don’t work as they should — for example, the ad blocker doesn’t block many ads.

ExpressVPN is my top recommendation for browser extensions. It has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, and the extensions come with WebRTC leak protection, are feature-rich (and all of the features work as expected), and are very easy to install and use.

Is DotVPN free?

DotVPN has a free version. Free users get unlimited data and access to all 30 of DotVPN’s server locations, but you need to upgrade to DotVPN’s monthly or yearly plans to get faster speeds and audio/video streaming.

For very budget-conscious users who are only looking for a free VPN, Proton VPN offers the best free plan out there — it has unlimited data, fast speeds, and high-end security features.

DotVPN Products & Pricing

Free
$0.00 / month
36-month plan
$1.60 / month
30 Days Money Back
12-month plan
$2.99 / month
30 Days Money Back
Bottom Line

DotVPN has too many serious security and privacy issues for me to recommend it to anyone — it lacks a kill switch, it leaks your IP address, and it logs your IP address (for 24 hours). Plus, DotVPN is terrible for streaming, it doesn’t allow torrenting, it’s missing native apps, and it works only as a Chrome browser extension. Customer support is basically invisible, you only get 5 connections, and the 30-day money-back guarantee is only available if you don’t exceed 10 GB or 100 server connections. Instead of using DotVPN’s free plan or buying the monthly or yearly plans, I recommend purchasing one of the VPNs that are ranked in our top 10 list for 2024.

The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation and some are co-owned by our parent company. This influence: Rank and manner in which listings are presented. 
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About the Author

About the Author

Steven is a former writer at SafetyDetectives. He's a diligent technology researcher (and enthusiast), as well as an award-winning academic writer. When he's not delving into the world of cybersecurity, he can usually be found writing stories and poetry.

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