Popular VPN disappears off the face of the Earth

A VPN running on a laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Mark June 2024 in the history books as the end of VPNArea. What we once considered among the best VPNs on the market has seemingly now disappeared with not a bang but a whisper. 

First spotted by some eagle-eyed Reddit users, the company's website still appears in search engines but when clicked on will fail to load. VPNArea's X (formerly Twitter) account has also been silent since June 15th. The company, which is registered in Bulgaria as Offshore Security LTD, has also been silent on its LinkedIn page for over a week.

This is a massive shame, firstly because competition leads to a better product for the end user, but also because VPNArea appears to have vanished without warning. 

Using the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, we can see that the site was working as normal as recently as May this year, 

What can subscribers do? 

The simple answer is to cancel your subscription – if you can. There are plenty of better VPN services now, but even if VPNArea does return just disappearing without a warning shouldn't fill users with confidence. 

VPNArea legal section

(Image credit: VPNArea)

Above is the contact section of VPNArea's now-defunct website. As a first port of call try support@vpnarea.com or billing@vpnarea.com, but if you don't hear back (which I suspect you won't) make sure you cancel your direct debit manually. 

If you're looking for a refund it might be difficult. With businesses like this, there is often little in the way of a bricks-and-mortar headquarters to write to. As mentioned the company was registered in Bulgaria but its servers are stored in Switzerland. 

Want an alternative VPN?

NordVPN on a range of devices

(Image credit: NordVPN)

If you have now found yourself missing a VPN then you might be asking what the best replacement is. Well, we think that NordVPN is the best choice for most people. 

One of the best things about VPNArea was the fact that it didn't collect any data logs from users, and that's also the case with Nord. On top of that, Nord also has servers in 111 countries compared to VPNArea's 55. 

NordVPN is only getting better too. Just this month, it launched its new Threat Protection Pro service that combines elements of antivirus services as well as automatic detection of suspicious URLs, malware and phishing schemes. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer – VPN

Andy is Tom's Guide Staff Writer for VPNs and privacy. Based in the UK, he originally cut his teeth at Tom's Guide as a Trainee Writer (go and click on his articles!) before moving to cover all things Tech and streaming at T3. He's now back at Tom's Guide to keep you safe online, and bring you the latest news in VPN and cybersecurity. 

  • mkelleyrochester
    This is going to be the first of many.. VPNs are quickly becoming obsolete, their uses dwindling.. I can't even use IPTV in my city anymore Even with a VPN.
  • DrHans
    VPNArea really got on my nerves, I couldn't reach important services with my dedicated IP for days! They took my money, but provided me with no support when I was in need. The website worked at the time and I was able to connect to other servers, except my IP. Their support was non-existent, though. I had to switch to another service. But I kept trying to get in touch with them for the refund. At some point, everything vanished - no email notifications, no refund, nothing. Unbelievably criminal. Then I opened a dispute. Judging by the feedback I read on Trustpilot and social media, many other customers are in my situation or similar. So, I tried to learn more about the service.

    Offshore Security LTD, Bulgaria, is the company responsible for VPNArea:
    There is a phone number published on that page, but it's in Bulgaria.

    According to Newsfile, a new director had been appointed in 2022, Wisam Sawalhi:
    Googling both, Sam Sawalhi's LinkedIn profile comes up first, with Offshore Security LTD listed:
    So, this person must be the director. But who is the owner, that remains unknown to me. Curiously enough, Sawalhi also works at Netflix - according to his own LinkedIn profile. Netflix have per-country catalogs and implement geo-blocking, while VPNArea unblock restricted Netflix content with their streaming servers. It seems like Sawalhi works both for the company that implements the restrictions and for the company that gets round them. This is called CONFLICT OF INTEREST, right? Could it be part of the reason VPNArea silently disappeared? Are Netflix aware that an employee of theirs is in conflict of interest, involved in fraudulent business practices?