Encrypt.Me – Keeps Logs and is Strictly Not Suitable For Torrenting!
|Server Count||132 Servers in 25 Countries|
|Logs||Keeps Logs for 16 Days|
|Price||$99.99 (1 Year Plan)|
|Protocols||OpenVPN, StrongSwan, IPSec, IKev2, IKev1|
|Bypasses China Firewall||No|
Encrypt.me was previously known as Cloak VPN until it was bought out by StackPath, a powerful firm operating in the online security arena.
StackPath states that its mission is to keep the internet safe by offering a secure edge platform and having a VPN does make sense for the firm to serve its purpose.
So is Encrypt.Me which costs a hefty $99.99/Year any good?
StockPath has high credibility in the industry, especially among product developers, so I had my expectations high from its VPN service, expecting it to deliver a top of the line service, but was I disappointed or what!
The provider has some big gaping holes that make it an unworthy service to subscribing to in this competitive industry.
To take a deeper look at them, we’ve undertaken this comprehensive Encrypt.me Review, in which we put the service to multiple, VPN related litmus tests including its security performance, streaming support, etc
Let’s go over it!
Encrypt.Me IP Leak Review
If your DNS or WebRTC is leaking even if your VPN is on, then you can be found out by anyone including your ISP.
Say you got connected to a provider’s server in Tokyo, but if your VPN has DNS or WebRTC leaks, your ISP, hackers, your government and anyone else trying to find you, will succeed eventually and that too, quite easily.
While it might not seem like such a big deal, an IP leak from such avenues can wreak havoc on people who are using the internet for sensitive activities like a journalist operating in a repressive regime like China or Iran.
We make a VPN connection from provider pass through at least 7 different IP leak tests, which include checks for both DNS and WebRTC leaks.
If the provider is leaking on even one of them, we give it a major downgrade and it always lands in our Not-recommended VPNs list.
So did Encrpt.Me ace them all?
- https://www.dnsleaktest.com/: Clear
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/: Clear
- https://ipx.ac/run: Clear
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/: Clear
- https://ipleak.net/: Clear
- https://ipleak.org/: Clear
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc: Clear
Yes, it sure did.
Encrypt.Me App Security Review
We ran a thorough check on Virustotal.com to ascertain the legitimacy of Encrypt.Me’s client app files.
The provider’s Windows app passed through unscathed on this test with nothing being detected on the site’s 70 malware tests.
So, it can be safely be said that the provider doesn’t have any sort of malicious malware in its apps.
Encrypt.Me Logging Policy Review
Here’s what I found, when I dug deep into Encrypt.Me’s logging policy:
“When you use Encrypt.me to secure your connection, we collect:
- The number of bytes sent and received
- The length of time connected
- The IP address connected from and the (virtual) IP we assign
- The source port of the outgoing connection with start and end times
We keep this information for at most sixteen (16) days, after which we permanently delete it.
We call this information your “personal session information” and it is the most sensitive data we collect. We treat it that way. After at most sixteen days, we permanently delete your personal session information.”
This shows that Encrypt.Me not just logs sensitive data like your personal IP address but also keeps it for a period of 16 days.
Encrypt.Me’s logging policy reveals that this VPN is not safe to use at all, because if you do use it, the data to identify you and your location is stored by the provider and can be released to government agencies through a gag order.
A serious thumbs down to Encrypt.Me for this.
Encrypt.Me Jurisdiction Review
Encrypt.Me is based in the United States, one of the most unsafe locations for a VPN.
The country is a member of the 5 Eyes alliance, which implies that at least 5 countries, including the US, can easily prompt StackPath to release your IP data when required, and StackPath will have to comply.
So, with your IP logs resting with the provider for over 2 weeks, the authorities have ample time to get to you.
This jurisdiction and the problematic logging policy alone make Encrypt.Me not worthy of being used by any individual looking to secure its privacy online.
Encrypt.Me Encryption and Protocol Support Review
The provider’s name conveys the message that its to be used for encrypting your personal internet connections, so what standards does it use to encrypt your data?
Encrypt.Me deploys the industry-standard AES-256 military-grade encryption cipher.
This encryption level is the safest cipher out there through which your data can be secure in transit since it is unbreakable even if you deploy a thousand supercomputers to launch a brute force attack.
As far as protocols are concerned, Encrypt.Me has different protocols for different OS.
For iOS devices, Encrypt.Me offers the IPSec protocol, Mac and Android users get OpenVPN protocol support, while Windows users are protected through a protocol named StrongSwan, a highly powerful protocol run on open source technology and one that can accommodate IKEv1 and IKEv2 protocols.
The non-presence of OpenVPN for all operating systems that the provider supports is troubling since its the most secure protocol out there that secures VPN server connections with SSH keys.
IPSec and IkeV2 protocols are safe, but not as much as OpenVPN. Encrypt.Me has seriously failed to match industry standards on the security front and limited support to OpenVPN protocol is an extension of the same problem permeating throughout the service.
Encrypt.Me Pricing Review
Encrypt.Me has just these two pricing plans:
- Monthly Plan: $9.99 billed once
- Yearly Plan: $99.99 billed once
So are these plans reasonable in return for the value you will get out of the services that this provider offers?
I wont say so!
That’s because, a lot of other bigger providers are offering even better features than Encrypt.me and that too, for a far lesser price tag.
Surfshark, a leading industry provider with no security flaws like Encrypt.Me and with a far larger server network than this provider will cost you just $1.99/month on its best plan. This is less than half the price for the double the time of subscription than Encrypt.Me.
So I would definitely say that Encrypt.Me is losing its appeal majorly on the pricing front.
You cant offer lesser service at a higher price than your competition.
The provider has some other plans that you can opt for as well. Like its “Passes” plan, which has a weekly subscription plan being offered at $3.99 billed once. This is meant for those who are going out on a trip abroad and need to protect themselves for just a week or two.
You can also get a subscription to the family deal, which offers both monthly and yearly packages. In this family plan, you can create up to 5 accounts and each one person can sign up with unlimited devices.
Getting the family plan for a month will cost you $12.99 while getting the family yearly plan will cost you $149.99 billed once.
There is also a mini-monthly plan on offer for $2.99/month but it maxes out at 5GB if you exceed 5 GB of bandwidth before the month turns over.
Overall, these plans are confusing with varying time lengths and prices and restrictions, making them difficult to understand for newbies.
But $99.99 for a year’s worth of Encrypt.Me subscription is not suitable or valuable at all.
Encrypt.Me Free Trial Review
Encrypt.Me’s which will allow you to use its service for 14 days for free, zero strings attached.
This free trial policy is by far, among the best and the most friendly ones I’ve come across the industry till now!
Just enter a few details and you can use the service for a good 2 weeks. If the service didn’t have the flaws that we found out about in this review, then this trial could’ve been recommended to you for taking out this VPN for a test drive.
Encrypt.Me Payment Methods Review
Now for another downside to the provider. Encrypt.Me accepts only credit card payments.
No other payment mode is accommodated, not even Bitcoin, so the choice is really restrictive here.
Encrypt.Me Client App Review
Encrypt.Me offers a dedicated app for the following devices:
This client app repository extends native support to all popular OS like Mac and Android which is great in terms of offering easy compatibility to users.
But the highlight of Encrypt.Me’s app repository is that there is a dedicated app offered for FireTV devices. This makes this VPN service streaming friendly to a high extent as Firestick is a niche device for this task.
Many users now look for providers with apps for this particular platform to unblock geo-restricted sites with as much ease as they get on other mainstream devices.
Windows app is still in beta mode, which implies that the app is there to use but still needs some more coding tweaks and twists before it becomes stable.
The rest of the apps are also there and they are super user-friendly. No complicated actions to perform at all!
But the most peculiar part here is that their apps are not like the apps we usually see in the industry.
No flashy Connect buttons, no optimized location windows with flags and all, no nothing. Just a simple list of locations that you can click on from the top right and the connection gets initiated.
Encrypt.Me Server Review
The weakest point of Encrypt.Me is its server spread.
It server park only has 132 servers available in 25 countries currently.
The number of servers is low but the low number of countries in which servers are available is bigger issues since server proximity can affect speeds drastically.
The farther a server is from you, the higher your lag will be. Spill in the low number of servers and overcrowding becomes another major issue for speeds.
For e.g. Encrypt.Me will often be plagued with slow speeds to those who live in regions like South Asia where servers are not nearby.
North America, Canada and Europe get the majority of servers with some of them located in Far East Asia and Down under as well.
Industry top guns like NordVPN has a server park exceeding 5500+ servers as of now, which is gigantic as compared to the one offered by Encrypt.Me and NordVPN is priced cheaper as well, making Encrypt.Me a not-so-good choice if you are looking for server park diversity and fast, stable speeds.
Encrypt.Me Netflix Unblocking Review
Encrypt.Me can unblock Netflix US.
And be mindful here, as this is not an easy thing to do.
Netflix stopped VPNs connecting to its site in 2016 and since then, hundreds of VPNs have lost the war against it.
A VPN that can still unblock Netflix has a stellar server network that stays ahead of Netflix’s vicious VPN ban that sniffs out VPN servers quite easily.
When I tested the provider on the site, I found that 2 of its US servers work to unblock Netflix US easily.
The same servers also managed to unblock another geo-restricted streaming site in the US i.e. Hulu, making Enrypt.Me a good choice if you want a VPN for streaming.
Encrypt.Me Torrenting Review
Encrypt.Me also offers Torrenting, but its not full blow support.
The provider explicitly tells its users that it wont protect them in case they indulge in anything illegal so even if you unknowingly download a copyrighted file from P2P networks, Encrypt.Me will not have your back.
It also keeps your personal IP address for 16 days, thus allowing it to divulge your real location to copyright trolls or media houses when it gets a request from them.
Not recommended for Torrenting at all.
Encrypt.Me Support Review
Live chat is the norm in the industry as far as offering customer support is concerned. It’s fast, super convenient and ultra-facilitative.
So does, Encrypt.me offer it?
It does have a sort of live-chat window but you don’t get to talk to a support executive right away.
You first need to enter your personal details, device, and problem and then you will get a reply to it after a couple of hours.
So I cannot term this as live chat support.
It’s slow compared to that, and I really recommend the provider to do away with the cumbersome process to make its service as bit more modern.
Is Encrypt.Me Recommended?
Encrypt.Me is not recommended by us because it has some very big flaws that are too big to ignore.
The problematic logging policy and the US jurisdiction make it an unsafe service to subscribe to.
It also doesn’t offer live chat support and isn’t suitable for Torrenting along with a hefty price tag of $99 for year’s worth of subscription. Not suitable at all as there are far better and much cheaper alternatives available to it.
If you want to check out the next best alternative to this, then read this SurfShark Review.