Browsec VPN Review: Is It A Good VPN Option?
|Price||$2.99/mo on a 2-Year Plan|
|Servers||600+ Servers in 43 Locations|
|Logs||Stores Logging Information|
|Encryption||Proxy Service (No Encryption)|
|Works in China||No|
|Compatibility||Android, Apple, Chrome, Firefox|
In this Browsec VPN review, we’ll go through all the factors, such as jurisdiction, security, leak testing, pricing, streaming, speed, and more, to help you get the full picture before using this VPN and trusting it with your sensitive information.
Browsec is a proxy add-on/extension for browsers, which makes it easier to access geo-restricted content around the globe. With a customer base expanding to 3,000,000, the proxy/VPN tends to be quite popular.
Operated by Browsec LLC, the service even offers a dedicated VPN application for Android and iOS users. However, since it is Russian-based, there is little uncertainty about the security and anonymity it delivers.
Sadly, It also misses out on offering a lot of important features. There are no desktop apps for Windows or Mac OS, it doesn’t support Torrenting, doesn’t have fast speeds or a kill switch. Customer support is still done through the outdated ticketing method.
To top it all off, there is no support for OpenVPN, and neither is it based in a safe jurisdiction. If you don’t want to compromise on these shortcomings, your next best alternative course of action would be to go for a feature-rich, reliable and best VPN like ExpressVPN.
Pros And Cons
- Decent server network
- Unblocks BBC iPlayer
- Affordable plans
- Free version available
- Browser extensions available for Edge, Chrome, Opera, Firefox
- Desktop clients not available
- Absence of advanced features
- Doesn’t support torrenting
- Stores user information
- Limited support options
Browsec VPN: Rating Parameters & Key Findings
- Jurisdiction: Where is Browsec Based?
- Logging Policy: Does Browsec VPN Keep Logs?
- Security: Is Browsec VPN safe?
- Leaks: Does Browsec VPN Leak Your WebRTC/DNS/IP Address?
- Servers: How Many Servers Does Browsec VPN Have?
- Streaming: Does Browsec VPN Unblock Netflix and Other VoDs?
- Speed: How Fast are Browsec Servers?
- Compatibility: Can I Use Browsec on All My Devices?
- Pricing: How Much Does Browsec Cost Exactly?
- Torrenting: Is Browsec VPN Good for Torrenting?
- Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say about Browsec?
- China: Does Browsec VPN work in China?
- User-Friendly: Is Browsec VPN Easy to Use?
- Tor: Does Browsec VPN work with Tor Browser?
- Gaming: Is Browsec VPN good for Gaming?
Browsec has its headquarters in Russia, a place notorious for its problematic data retention laws that force ISPs and software companies to track internet activity. And this information was hard to come by, as we had to do a lot of digging before finding out where Browsec operates from.
Despite not being a member of any surveillance alliances, Russia is not the friendliest location for VPNs. This is mainly due to its data retention laws. These laws not only force local and international companies to log user information, but it also has to be shared with intelligence organizations.
Additionally, the Stable Runet legislation gives the local ISPs access to kill switches that would disconnect the entire Russian network in case of a cyberattack on the Russian Federation. All of this combined makes it clear that the VPN is not based in a safe jurisdiction at all!
The unfortunate fact is that Browsec may still disclose your personal information if required to do so by law. But some privacy policies do this pretty frequently, and in many cases, it depends on the laws of the home country.
Security: Is Browsec safe?
Browsec does not come across as a reliable option as far as security goes.
Encryption and Protocol
Browsec has two tunneling protocols:
- IPsec using AES 256 (military-grade encryption)
- HTTP Proxy
Although their IPsec default is much more secure than outdated protocols like PPTP, it is not as robust as OpenVPN.
The browser add-ons from Browsec use HTTP Proxy. Due to its lightweight design, it is simpler to access while maintaining a TLS protocol’s level of encryption.
In the event that a VPN’s server network goes down, a kill switch enables it to disconnect you from the internet. This stops you from accidentally placing yourself in a vulnerable position when using the internet.
I enquired about Browsec’s kill-switch functionality with the customer service team. They responded as follows:
A kill switch is ideal on all app-based VPN networks, such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN. However, since you’re using Browsec on a browser to connect, you don’t need one because the browser will automatically close if your connection is lost.
Here is a screenshot from the Browsec VPN help center:
Leaks: Does Browsec VPN Leak Your WebRTC/DNS/IP Address?
As the results below indicate, Browsec does a decent enough job to ensure that your IP, DNS, and WebRTC information does not get exposed in any form.
We conducted 3 different tests to see whether the Browsec VPN was leaking any info about our IP address at all. To begin with, we used ipleak.net to conduct a simple test:
We can state this with complete assurance that our original IP was not exposed. Similarly, in a DNS leak test, the data we received showed that the data was secure indeed.
In the end, a final WebRTC leak test was carried out that yielded the following result. Once again, this indicates that the VPN does offer protection even on the browser level.
Despite this, if you are using the service on a browser through its add-on, it is recommended that you block your WebRTC and Flash Player to keep your IP protected.
It’s definitely a handicap, but you can’t leave things open for even the smallest of vulnerabilities when it comes to your security.
Servers: How Many Servers Does Browsec VPN Have?
Users on a free plan will gain access to just 4 servers. However, when users opt for the premium plans, they’ll gain access to all servers that Browsec has to offer in 42 countries.
If you are on the free plan, you will get access to these 4 server locations:
- United Kingdom
- United States
But if you shift to the premium plan by buying out its subscription, you will unlock these 42 more server locations:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
- United States (West)
While the number of servers is quite low at 42 as compared to providers like ExpressVPN, which currently offers more than 3000 servers, Browsec’s servers are well spread out across the globe.
There are servers in places like Turkey, Singapore, India and South Africa, which means that users from across the globe can get connected to servers that are physically close to them.
However, the provider’s server network cannot compete with bigger providers like Surfshark, NordVPN or ExpressVPN, which offer thousands of servers. So despite offering a lot of promise, BrowsecVPN still falls short.
Streaming: Does Browsec VPN Unblock Netflix and Other VoDs?
Because of the unpleasant experience with buffering caused by the speed reduction and the fact that many websites block it, I don’t think streaming is Browsec’s strong point.
However, it was fantastic to see that during my experiments, BBC iPlayer and Funimation could be unblocked by even the free servers.
I was able to stream without any buffering issues on the premium servers, which meant that they performed better. I was unable to access Netflix, Disney+, or HBO Max using either free or premium servers, though.
Unblocked: BBC iPlayer and Funimation
BBC iPlayer and Funimation can be unblocked using Browsec. However, the free version’s slow streaming makes this difficult.
The premium UK server delivered the finest performance and buffer-free streaming.
I was also able to access Hotstar and Funimation, thanks to Browsec. However, I was unable to fully enjoy my favorite episodes due to the sluggish speeds and significant buffering.
Blocked By: HBO Max, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video
Even with the premium servers, Browsec was unable to unblock websites like Disney+ and Hulu.
Furthermore, HBO Max struggled too. The website loaded when I established a connection to the US server, but then the screen went dark. I attempted to stream Amazon Prime Video, but the same thing occurred.
While the website loads, Netflix US does not function with Browsec; instead, it simply displays a “Remind Me” button when the show becomes available in your area.
Speed: Does Browsec Deliver Fast Speeds?
Not really! Browsec only offers access to 4 servers unless you sign up for the premium version, which would give you access to 600+ servers in 43 countries.
I wanted to test exactly how speedy are these 4 free servers. Using a 100 Mbps connection, I put these servers up for a speed test to see how they’d perform.
Test 1: US
Test 2: UK
Test 3: Netherlands
Test 4: Singapore
|US||41.72 Mbps||33.84 Mbps||34 ms|
|UK||27.26 Mbps||21.93 Mbps||21 ms|
|Netherlands||30.76 Mbps||19.91 Mbps||125 ms|
|Singapore||25.57 Mbps||21.83 Mbps||98 ms|
|Average||31.32 Mbps||24.37 Mbps||69.5 ms|
Compatibility: Can I Use Browsec on All Devices?
Yes, the service supports a good range of devices and platforms. You can use the browser extension on any personal computer that has Google Chrome, Opera Browser, or Mozilla Firefox installed.
The service also offers a dedicated application for Android and iOS mobile devices. However, we would definitely like to see a customized VPN client for Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and other platforms.
Browsec VPN Chrome Extension
The Browsec VPN extension proves to be an incredibly popular option for Google Chrome users. From 25,221 reviews in total, the add-on receives a remarkable rating of 4.5 stars on the Chrome Web Store.
The best part here is that the Browsec VPN Chrome extension is lightweight and doesn’t make your browser experience any glitches or major hick-ups. If you are using Browsec VPN’s free version, then don’t expect fast speeds at all while using the extension.
Browsec Add-on Firefox
For users who want to deploy Browsec VPN for the Firefox browser, the add-on is available for free download on the Mozilla app store. While it’s better to use than similar add-ons by providers like Zenmate, don’t expect too much from Browsec VPN on Firefox, especially if you are using it through its free service.
Overall, the reviews and ratings on the Firefox store are positive, which is a good sign since it shows user confidence in the add-on offered by the provider. To get to experience the Browsec Firefox add-on for yourself, you can install it by visiting their provider page on the Mozilla store here.
Browsec for Opera
The Browsec VPN extension also proves to be a popular choice for users of Opera. From 1147 reviews in total, the service manages to receive a high rating of 4.3 stars. This is because it makes it easier to unblock geo-restricted websites and protect your identity from being traceable.
Browsec for iOS
According to our Browsec VPN review, the iOS Browsec app features a beautiful interface and design. The outlook of the app is incredibly user-friendly. All you have to do is select a server and slide the bar to “on” for enabling a secure connection. All traffic passes through an IPSec protocol, which guarantees good anonymity and privacy.
Browsec for Android
Our Browsec VPN review unwinds that the Android application matches the same level of professionalism and user-friendliness as on other devices and browsers. The look and feel are very smooth and we did not encounter any hiccups or bugs. The connectivity also proves to be better than what the browser counterparts offer.
Pricing: How Much Does Browsec Cost Exactly?
The service makes use of a freemium pricing model. This means you can use its browser extension or VPN application for as long as you want on the free plan. However, if you want to leverage better proprietary features, you will have to go for the premium subscription.
The premium subscription will allow you to access all of Browsec’s 43 server locations as compared to being limited to just 4 while being in the free version of the service.
So for users, Browsec’s premium service just adds more locations to your server list. The service divides its premium plan into three options:
- Monthly Subscription: $6.99/month
- Yearly Subscription: $3.33/month ($39.99 billed once)
- Two Year Subscription: $2.99/month ($71.99 billed every 2 years)
At $6.99/month, the monthly deal is priced reasonably as most providers don’t offer plans for monthly subscriptions that at $7 or lower. So, I can term it as a good enough deal.
The yearly subscription will cost you $3.33/month, but if this looks cheap to you, then you need to compare it with Surfshark or even NordVPN, who, at a lesser price, offer a much wider range of features like more dedicated apps, Netflix US unblocking, agile security, Torrenting support among others.
Payment and Refund Methods
PayPal and credit/debit cards are allowed for payments for the Premium version, and you can use the VPN connection on up to 5 devices at once.
While this is incredibly helpful and flexible as far as payments go, the lack of support for cryptocurrency may be a problem for customers.
In recent years, a lot of VPN providers have started accepting payments in Bitcoins and other forms of cryptocurrency to give users an increased layer of digital anonymity.
The service offers a 7-day money-back guarantee if you purchased Browsec but later decide to cancel.
With only one click, you can cancel your membership through your account on their website.
However, in order to get a refund, you must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org from the registered email. To receive a quicker answer, you must also include the date, time, and payment provider used.
Good For Torrenting?
With no desktop application, Browsec is restricted to a browser extension. It won’t function with torrent clients as a result.
Instead, use the best torrenting VPNs that are secure for torrenting instead of Browsec if P2P file sharing and torrenting are vital to you.
Trustworthiness: What do Users Say about Browsec?
To give you a better idea about Browsec VPN, I have provided details about the provider from the perspective of “users” on Trustpilot and Browsec Reddit. These should help with the decision-making process, if you plan on signing up with the provider!
Browsec VPN doesn’t have a good reputation on Trustpilot and the profile is still “unclaimed” on the platform.
The VPN has a 3.1 rating out of 5 total reviews from which 20% of the users have given it 5 stars, 20% 3 stars, and 60% of the users have given it a 1 star rating.
So it is evident that users are not the biggest fan of this VPN providers.
Reddit is known to be one of the safest and most reliable places to get a hold of actual public opinion without worrying about overt censorship.
Browsec, despite being a free service, does not enjoy a favorable view on the platform. As these comments indicate, users are on the fence because of its lack of transparency as far as logs go.
Similarly, users appear to distrust the service because of its unwillingness to be open about how exactly it uses your data. This, coupled with issues such as frequent ads, speed throttling as well as controversies involving other providers hurt Browsec’s online reputation.
One of the Quorans suggested to go for more “safer” options if you’re worried about accessing websites that are considered as criminal activity in your country.
Another one recommended Private Internet Access as compared to Browsec VPN as the provider can better cater all your online privacy needs.
Browsec Support Information
At first glance, Browsec doesn’t appear to offer a comprehensive knowledge base or FAQ like some VPN providers.
Additionally, they don’t offer live chat.
Fortunately, their email support was quick and informative.
On every page of their website, there is an icon in the lower right corner that you may use to contact their customer service department or visit their feedback page.
You have to provide your email address, query, and any relevant files.
In my situation, it took them just a little over an hour to respond. They answered all of the queries I had in a straightforward manner. They provide more detail in their responses, which lessens the need for more inquiries.
Unfortunately, you cannot use Browsec VPN in China or for China. I got confirmation of this from its customer support.
Browsec won’t be able to get over the “Great Firewall” like the majority of VPNs. Although it is unlikely to function properly, a Hong Kong server might enable some local coverage.
So I would recommend a Browsec alternative VPN that works in China such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Browsec advertises itself as a small, simple-to-use browser extension, and it mostly lives up to this claim.
For the following operating systems, users can download the VPN:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
Starting out couldn’t be any easier. To install Browsec on their browser, users only need to go to the appropriate download pages, click to download the client, and then press the “Protect Me” button. There is no need to modify your browser’s settings for a long time; everything may be done in a few seconds.
It is not possible to use Browsec with TOR or through your router. Their support staff attested to this.
However, if you want to use a VPN with Tor, sign up for the best VPN for Tor.
Good For Gaming?
Does Browsec work for gaming? No. If you’re playing on the free servers, I’d advise against gaming with Browsec VPN. However, gaming is possible with a Browsec premium account.
You can play online browser games because Browsec is a browser extension. I tried playing Ships 3D on Crazy Games, but in order to play it smoothly, I had to use the quicker UK server.
To play your favorite games like PUBG, Overwatch, or Fortnite, get the best VPN for gaming.
Concluding the Browsec VPN review, I would not recommend this VPN provider to users.
Given that it only supports browser extensions and mobile apps, Browsec is a decent free VPN if you’re searching for basic security features.
The speed of its premium edition was significantly faster. Due to the sluggish connection speeds, I do not recommend using the free account.
The fact that it is based in Russia prevents me from recommending it to those who value their privacy, although its premium account provides stronger protection.
Although all other websites prohibit it, it will assist you in getting over the geo-restrictions on BBC iPlayer and unblock streaming services like Funimation.
Nonetheless, I would advise users to opt for a reputable VPN service such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark, as they offer a massive network of servers, high-class encryption, and streaming support for all platforms.
- Free version available
- No data limits
- Decent speed with the premium version
- 40+ location servers
FAQs: Browsec VPN Review
Is Browsec VPN free for Firefox?
Yes. Browsec VPN is free for Firefox and other browsers, including Chrome and Opera. All you have to do is visit the Addons for Firefox page and download Browsec VPN.
Will Browsec slow my speeds down?
Yes. Browsec VPN will slow down your speed. But almost all VPNs slow down your speed because your traffic has to hop through a VPN server before reaching the destination page.
To make sure you don’t face high-speed loss while connected to a VPN, get the best VPN service.
How do I activate Browsec VPN?
- Open the extension in your browser.
- Click on “Start VPN.”
- Choose a server location.
- Enjoy anonymous browsing.
I don’t know why this vpn is so underated. It is very fast for my needs and never seems to disconnect.I usually use it for torrents and streaming.