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Shellfire VPN Review 2022

Last updated: January 19, 2023
Average:(average: 4 out of 5. Total: 1)
William Sams

William Sams

Shellfire VPN was founded back in 2002, but even after 20 years, it still hasn't progressed and possesses some major security and usability issues that make it unsuitable for meeting user needs.

Shellfire VPN review

Jurisdiction Germany
Price $4.86/mo. (On a 2-Year Plan)
Servers Servers in 38 Countries
Logs Does Not Store Logs
Encryption AES 256-Bit
Unblocks Netflix No
Torrenting No
Works in China No
Recommended  No
Website https://www.shellfire.net/
Compatibility Android, Apple, Desktop

In this Shellfire VPN review, I will be discussing all the factors such as speed, security, streaming, torrenting, pricing, and more to make decision-making easier for you while purchasing this VPN provider.

Most users are willing to pay top money for a VPN service that can unblock the internet in China. Despite having this illustrious feature, this VPN provider comes across as thoroughly unexceptional.

The problems start with its operations being based out of Germany, a country that is actively involved in mass surveillance alliances and is the furthest place a truly secure VPN would be operating from.

While Shellfire unblocks BBC iPlayer only, it lacks proper support for torrents, has a limited server list, and most of all, it is completely hush about its logging practices.

On the surface, Shellfire appears to be a decent VPN service, but it actually has quite a few issues. The speeds are best described as average, and the user interface is clumsy. Its free tier and router with a private VPN, however, are things I liked.

Nonetheless, I would recommend users opt for the best VPN service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN that can offer blazing fast speed, strong security, and good streaming support.

Shellfire VPN Review: Pros and Cons


  1. Free version available
  2. Works with BBC iPlayer
  3. 14-day refund policy
  4. 128 and 256-bit AES encryption
  5. Proprietary router


  1. Doesn’t work with Netflix
  2. Complex UI
  3. Can use on 1 device only
  4. Unstable connections
  5. Pricey subscription plans

Shellfire VPN Review: Rating Parameters & Key Findings

  1. Jurisdiction: Where Does Shellfire Operate From?
  2. Security: Can Shellfire VPN Keep You Safe Online?
  3. Leaks: Does Shellfire VPN Leak Your IP/DNS/WebRTC?
  4. Servers: How Many Servers Does Shellfire Have?
  5. Streaming: Does Shellfire Unblock Netflix and Other VoDs?
  6. Speed: How Fast are Shellfire VPN Servers?
  7. Compatibility: Can I Use Shellfire On All My Devices?
  8. Pricing: How Much Does Shellfire VPN Cost Exactly?
  9. Torrenting: Does Shellfire VPN Support Torrents?
  10. Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say About Shellfire VPN?
  11. China: Does Shellfire VPN Work in China?
  12. User-Friendly: Is Shellfire VPN Easy to Use?

Jurisdiction: Where Does Shellfire Operate From?

Shellfire operates out of Germany. While Germany’s adoption of the privacy-friendly GDPR legislation should’ve alleviated customer concerns about their safety online, certain loopholes meant that users were still vulnerable to surveillance online.

These concerns are not entirely unfounded considering Germany’s active role in the 14 Eyes alliance as well as their past collaborations with the NSA and CIA committing mass surveillance.

In addition to the aforementioned problem, the German intelligence service (BND) closely collaborates with GCHQ and the NSA and actively monitors German citizens.

As a result, Germany is typically not thought of as the best place to base a VPN service that focuses on privacy. Due to the country’s reputation for having strict privacy rules, there is some disagreement regarding the matter.

Security: Can Shellfire VPN Keep You Safe Online?

Is Shellfire VPN safe? No, the service is far from being a safe or reliable VPN option. While the logging policy on its own is enough to repel users concerned about their digital privacy, the service does itself no favors by being based out of Germany.

Additionally, as our virus test found out, the service’s installation files aren’t safe either.

Shellfire VPN Logging Policy

Shellfire VPN is worryingly ambiguous about its exact logging policy. Reading the company’s privacy policy as well as its Terms of Service, there is an ominous absence of any information about its logging practices.

The only information that the service does provide about what personal information Shellfire stores includes the user’s name, email address as well as some other contact information.

This lack of transparency about their practices raises serious questions about their seriousness regarding keeping no logs.

Most VPN providers usually advertise their logging policy as an effective way to show their pro-privacy stance. Shellfire’s silence may be a sign of something sinister going on behind the scenes.


The encryption depends on the server you select. Each server’s name in the server list is accompanied by a star rating for “security.”

Two-star servers utilize AES-128, three-star servers use 192-bit encryption, and five-star servers use 256-bit encryption.

VPN Protocols

OpenVPN is currently regarded as the industry standard for VPN privacy, with WireGuard swiftly coming up.

Together, these protocols, plus AES-256 encryption, create a strong basis for online privacy and security. We couldn’t detect any DNS or IP leaks throughout our testing, which is to be expected given this potent combination.

But Shellfire VPN falls short of going above and above by not providing WireGuard or a proprietary protocol.

Kill Switch

It should be noted that the service lacks a kill switch feature that would disable your internet access if your VPN connection were to suddenly disappear. It is disappointing that Shellfire does not support this, as it is a popular feature among top VPNs.

Shellfire VPN Virus Test

I wanted to see if the service or the installation files themselves had any hidden viruses at all.

I scanned the service using Virus Total and as you can see, no security vendors have flagged the Shellfire URL as malicious.

VirusTotal Shellfire

Leaks: Does Shellfire VPN Leak Your IP/DNS/WebRTC?

As with most VPN providers, I wanted to see how secure their protocols are in terms of ensuring there are no IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks taking place. Using ipleak.net, I conducted the Shellfire VPN test for leaks and got the following result:


As users can see, the service is NOT free from leaks at all. The app leaked my DNS and WebRTC. Users will not be safe online at all using this service.

Servers: How Many Servers Does Shellfire VPN Have?

Shellfire servers

Shellfire offers users access to server locations spread across 38 countries covering 6 continents. The Shellfire VPN server list covers all major locations including the US, UK, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, and more.

In most cases, services that have such a low count of servers usually compensate with some unique features that make users negate the importance of server count.

However, this was not the case here, as the service comes across as terrible at worst and mediocre at best.

Streaming: Does Shellfire Unblock Netflix and Other VoDs?

I was particularly disappointed to see that Shellfire is unable to properly unblock Netflix. To give it a fair chance, I tried connecting to multiple servers but did not manage to unblock Netflix through any of them.

However, you can access US streaming services like Hulu, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and Crunchyroll through Shellfire’s Windows client.

When I contacted the company’s customer support, we learned that while Netflix is not now available, BBC iPlayer is perfectly functional.

Speed: How Fast are Shellfire VPN Servers?

Shellfire does not offer an extensive range of servers in terms of location. I put it through the standard speed test using a 100 Mbps connection. I connected to 5 random servers in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia. Here are the results:

Test 1: US

Test 1: US

Test 2: UK

Test 2: UK

Test 3: Canada

Test 3: Canada

Test 4: Germany

Test 4: Germany

Test 5: France

Test 5: France

Test 6: Australia

Test 6: Australia

Server Download Upload Ping
US 32.52 Mbps 28.73 Mbps 189 ms
UK 31.09 Mbps 25.93 Mbps 112 ms
Canada 41.65 Mbps 36.53 Mbps 284 ms
Germany 29.12 Mbps 31.03 Mbps 320 ms
France 47.74 Mbps 35.48 Mbps 292 ms
Australia 30.59 Mbps 29.02 Mbps 298 ms
Average 35.45 Mbps 31.12 Mbps 249.16 ms

Compatibility: Can I Use Shellfire VPN On All My Devices?

In comparison to some of its rivals, Shellfire provides more support for all popular devices.

Compatible devices

You can either manually set up the VPN on your computer or download Shellfire VPN app that is compatible with the device you are using. Shellfire VPN download files are available for iOS and Android, both on their app stores.

With this service, you may effortlessly connect to the VPN’s network using any Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS device as well as DD-WRT routers.

For other platforms like Linux, there are manual setup instructions and configuration files as well. Unfortunately, the VPN cannot presently be configured as a browser extension or work with SmartTVs or Kindle devices.

Pricing: How Much Does Shellfire VPN Cost Exactly?

Shellfire does not offer anything extraordinarily affordable. While it offers the traditional three different payment plans, users may not see it as quite a budget-friendly option.

Shellfire VPN Pricing

Shellfire VPN price starts from $7.99 per month – $86.80 every 2 years. Here are the details:

Shellfire Pricing

  • Monthly ($7.99 per month)
  • Yearly ($4.86 per month/$58.36 one-time)
  • 2-Year ($3.62 per month/$86.80 one-time)

Shellfire VPN Refund Policy

Shellfire VPN does not offer a traditional free trial, but it does offer a free tier and a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Even though this is substantially shorter than the 30-day industry standard, it is still encouraging to have a guarantee.

If you request a refund within 14 days of your purchase because you’re not satisfied with the service, you’ll get your money back. The risk-free money-back guarantee comes with no questions asked.

Shellfire VPN Payment Methods

Shellfire payment methods

Users can make payments via traditional methods such as their VISA/Mastercard credit cards. Additionally, the service also offers support for PayPal, making it easier for users to make flexible payments.

Support for Bitcoins, Ethereum, and 50+ more coins means that users can gain anonymity in terms of their digital transactions as well.

Shellfire VPN Cancel Subscription

Step 1: Sign in to your VPN account.

Step 2: Click on the tab “Manage.”

Step 3: Click on “Cancel Subscription.”

Torrenting: Does Shellfire VPN Support Torrents?

Although Shellfire VPN’s servers in Finland, the Netherlands, and Canada permit torrenting, it is not recommended for torrenters.

This is because Shellfire lacks a kill switch, which is essential for torrenting, and offers insufficient privacy. If the VPN connection is ever lost, unless you have a kill switch, you can reveal your IP address and online activities to your ISP.

In addition, my tests revealed poor P2P speeds, which fell from 20 Mbps without the VPN to just 4 Mbps when using Shellfire.

If you want to use a VPN for torrenting, you should look at ExpressVPN. It is the best option for downloading torrent files securely because of its strong encryption, quick download rates, and unrestricted P2P communication.

Trustworthiness: What Do Users Say About Shellfire VPN?

Unfortunately, there’s no Trustpilot rating for Shellfire VPN. While it is fine for a service not to have a Trustpilot page, it does reflect rather poorly on its reputation as a reliable VPN service.

However, users on Reddit were much more vocal about the service based on their own experiences with the service.

Shellfire VPN Reddit Review

Users on Reddit explained their issues with the service leaking their session data. The users said they had concluded that the service is not worth trusting when it comes to securing all their data.


Similarly, users questioned the service’s ability to properly unblock Netflix and other sites despite claiming to do so.


This does not reflect well when it comes to believing some of the other claims that Shellfire makes.

Shellfire VPN Customer Support

Shellfire’s customer support severely underwhelms and leaves a lot to be desired. The lack of a 24/7 dedicated live chat support is immediately evident and it does not quite match the provider’s promise of “always being there for the customers”.

The website is not smooth to navigate. The dedicated sections have several issues ranging from font size to the color of the font itself. In the absence of a 24/7 chat, users have to send emails to the service and provide their own email and contact info to the service.

China: Does Shellfire VPN Work in China?

It’s a welcome surprise that the business claims to provide respectable support for unblocking content in China. Online sources claim that Chinese users can use Shellfire, yet I was unable to verify this personally because I don’t reside in China.

I also received no response to the email I wrote to the customer support team asking about its potential use in China.

However, my testing reveals that the VPN lacks the necessary privacy, potency, or reliability to serve as a censorship-fighting tool.

This application does not offer SoftEther connections or obfuscation technology, which might be used to get around government censorship.

User-Friendly: Is Shellfire VPN Easy to Use?

The process of downloading and installing the app varies depending on the platform, but all were simple.

Shellfire VPN Windows UI

On both my Mac and Windows PCs, I was able to download the software without having to enter any personal data other than a working email address.

I had to wait 25 seconds for the free version to connect. The connection was established after that. You can select the server you want to connect to by clicking on the “Server List” link on the left side of the page.

Once you are connected, the list is greyed out. To get back to the home screen, click the “Connection” button at the top of the menu. To terminate the connection, click “Disconnect.”

If you’d want to switch locations, go back to the server list and click “Reconnect.”

Shellfire VPN Review: Is Shellfire VPN Worth It?

Finishing this Shellfire VPN review, we’ve looked at the service from every aspect.

On the surface, Shellfire appears to be a decent VPN service, but it has a number of issues. The VPN connection is unreliable, the user interface is awkward, and the speeds are mediocre.

However, I liked that it offers a free tier and that the router is equipped with a VPN.

I would not recommend Shellfire VPN as it lacks the features to be your primary VPN service. Its operations out of Germany and its logging policy leave users feeling uneasy and unsure whether this is a reliable service to opt for.

Shellfire VPN Alternatives

Shellfire fails to impress and leave a positive first impression. It cannot be considered fully safe and there are several question marks on its ability to properly deliver the services that it promises. Users can easily go for other VPN providers that represent a much better value for their money.


ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands which is not a member of the 14 Eyes Group. The VPN uses RAM-based servers and a strict no-logs policy assures that no data of the user is stored. ExpressVPN has also been audited by PwC.

The provider boasts a network of 3000+ servers in 94+ countries, covering 160 location from which you can easily unblock and stream on Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more.


NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN where there are flexible data retention laws and the region also falls out of the 14 Eyes Group.

There is a strict no-logs policy in place for NordVPN and the VPN has also been audited by PwC.

NordVPN boasts a massive network of 5600+ servers in 59+ countries, offering blazing fast speed.

The VPN can easily give you access to popular streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more.


Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN that is based in the Netherlands. Netherlands is a member of the 14 Eyes Group but the provider assures users that their data is not logged because of RAM-based servers and a strict no-logs policy which has also been audited by Cure53.

One of the best things about Surfshark is that it doesn’t limit your connection, you can use Surfshark VPN on as many devices as you want.

The VPN offers a mammoth network of 3200+ servers in 65+ countries from which you can easily watch your favorite content on popular streaming services including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, and more.

Shellfire VPN Review: FAQs

Does Shellfire VPN work well?

Shellfire is a decent VPN on the surface. However, it has many other issues. The VPN cannot unblock US Netflix, there are chances of IP and DNS leaks while using the service, and the provider lacks a user-friendly interface.

Is Shellfire VPN a cost-free service?

Yes. Shellfire VPN is free and will never cost you a dime.

Is Shellfire VPN secure?

No. I don’t recommend Shellfire VPN. Despite providing a free version with AES 128-bit and 256-bit encryption, Shellfire VPN could not come up with my expectations on streaming, leak tests, and jurisdiction score.

Does Shellfire VPN maintain logs?

Shellfire keeps no logs of their users’ internet activity. However, the provider is worryingly ambiguous about its exact logging policy.

The only information that the service does provide about what personal information Shellfire stores includes the user’s name, email address as well as some other contact information.

How fast is Shellfire VPN?

Shellfire speed is below average at its best. The VPN is not suitable for torrenting, gaming, or streaming.

Compatible with device: Android, Apple, Desktop, , ,

One Response to Shellfire VPN Review 2022

  1. Luke says:

    It’s free service is not that bad even though it offers 2 servers in Germany and US. The US server won’t unblock netflix and all, but it does help you unblock websites that doesn’t work in third-world countries.

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