FastestVPN review

Perhaps not as fast as the name suggests, but it sure is cheap

FastestVPN logo displayed on a laptop
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Pros

  • +

    Super affordable longer commitment prices

  • +

    Ad and malware blocking

  • +

    10 connections at once

  • +

    Free cloud storage and password manager

Cons

  • -

    Unreliable streaming unblocking

  • -

    Below average speeds

  • -

    Weak support

  • -

    Lacking privacy policy detail

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FastestVPN is based in the Cayman Islands, which immediately jumps out as a positive for security and privacy. Then, when you take a look at the low pricing options, the newcomer starts to appeal even more. But drill down into this best VPN hopeful's service and not everything is quite so positive.

While the name suggests speed, FastestVPN won't give the competition much to worry about, and that privacy we'd hoped for is not as impressive as you might expect, with very little to support it.

However, it does offer some of the most affordable pricing plans out there so if, by the end of this review, you're still sure this can serve your needs, then it could represent a good option for your budget.

If you want to skip to a certain section of our FastestVPN review, then use the nav bar up top. If you just want to read it all as God (well, Tom's Guide) intended, just keep scrolling.

FastestVPN 1-minute review

FastestVPN is not as its name suggests. CheapestVPN might have been a more suitable title. Go for longer term plans and you're going to be paying some of the lowest VPN prices out there right now – going down to a minuscule $1.11 a month on the 3-year plan. But what for?

Speed is lacking, and the competition blows this out of the water in terms of top-end power. But if you have a limited line anyway, or aren't too fussed about speed, then this may be enough with its middling performance using OpenVPN or IKEv2.

There certainly are enough apps for most with Windows, Mac, Android and iOS all covered, as well as Chrome and Firefox extensions available. You also get ad and malware blocking plus P2P support for torrents, plus DNS leak protection and a kill switch.

What you don't get is streaming access in most cases. It failed to unblock the big names like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and more – even when using the helpful 24/7 live chat support to try and find a way.

FastestVPN on paper

Number of servers: Undisclosed
Number of countries:
40
Platforms supported:
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox
Simultaneous connections:
10
Split tunneling:
Yes
Kill switch:
Yes
Supported protocols:
OpenVPN, IKEv2
Country of registration:
Cayman Islands
Support:
24/7 live chat, email

FastestVPN review - pricing

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FastestVPN price: how much is it, and is there a FastestVPN free trial?

This is where FastestVPN does really well in terms of appeal. If you're on a budget and simply want the cheapest service then this has you covered. Well, presuming you're willing to commit for longer to get those lower prices.

Prices start at the rolling monthly option which sits at $10 per month – pretty standard stuff then. 

Jump up to the annual plan and you're looking at big savings with a low $2.50 per month price.

Go for the three year plan, though, and you'll pay a super low $1.11 per month equivalent for the service.

Dig around and those prices can get even lower. If you can find the discounts, you can get those three years for as low as $0.70 per month. There's also a five year plan which works out as cheap as $0.66 per month, found at the bottom of the site on the 'VPN Deal' page. That's just $40 up front, undercutting the likes of CyberGhost, for example, which charges $51.48 for 3 years.

There are also offers which throw in extra features, like a 2TB cloud storage and password manager bundled, worth over $10 per month when bought direct.

You can pay using a card, via PayPal or with cryptocurrency. There is also a money-back guarantee of 15 days allowing you to try before you buy. This is shorter than most which offer 30 days, but should be enough to get a feel for the product.

How private is FastestVPN, and does it keep logs?

FastestVPN ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to security, so you can expect DNS leak protection and kill switches as standard. 

However, dig a little deeper and you'll discover disconcerting features like Bugsnag reporting built into the app, which could give away data. You also are asked for a name and email address at sign-up – which you could fake – but asking is not as privacy focused as we'd like. Very few VPNs ask for no details, though (IVPN and Mullvad being a couple).

When it comes to logging, the company says it is a no-logging service. It says on the company's website: "...we do not track or log your information except some necessary data such as username, password and login attempts that you make to our server in order to counter abuse of multi-login feature and troubleshooting any server-end errors."

The company says it does not store your logs in any way. This is all good stuff, yet there is no security or logging audit to actually back up those claims. So you're left to trust that what you're being told is the truth.

FastestVPN on a range of devices

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How fast is FastestVPN?

With a name like FastestVPN the speed test section is certainly something we got into with high hopes – but it appears FastestVPN has been hoisted by its own petard. And that's despite being realistic about the limitations of only offering OpenVPN and IKEv2, and no speedy WireGuard support like the competition does.

In the UK, using OpenVPN, connection speeds came back at 220-240Mbps and switching up to IKEv2 that jumped to 300-325Mbps. 

To give some context, other services offering OpenVPN, like Mullvad, hit 490Mbps. And with WireGuard VPNs topping out at 950Mbps, this service sure is lacking for most. That said, if your connection isn't more than a few hundred Mbps, all that extra may be useless to you and a waste of money.

So if that 200-300Mbps speed range is enough, then this could serve you well as it did offer that consistently. Even in UK to Brazil connections, where we'd expect a big speed drop, we were still hitting those 230-250Mbps speeds.

How good is FastestVPN for streaming and torrenting?

If you're looking for a Netflix VPN to stream movies and shows when not in the country where you're registered to use your service then FastestVPN won't be a big help. Despite claiming that it can unblock geo restricted content from around the world, we didn't experience this. 

Real-world testing meant we were rejected from using the likes of BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. So all the major streaming services appear to be out of action at the time of testing.

However, since our testing process, we have heard word that switching to the UDP & TCP protocols can unblock a significant amount of content.

Overall, though, if you want to get a reliable, tried-and-tested VPN for streaming you'll be better served by looking at the likes of CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield, NordVPN, ProtonVPN and Surfshark – all of which unblocked 100% in our recent tests.

FastestVPN review - Windows app

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How good are FastestVPN's desktop apps?

Both the Windows and Mac versions of the FastestVPN clients look great with clear and bright layouts, both of which start out with the same location list down the side and helpful favorites to connect fast.

The Windows app features a big smart-connect button to get you running right away, but this did connect to the last server we had used, rather than the best one at the time. And don't expect figures like server load or latency figures for the servers. Some location names have numbers without clarifying where they are in the country, which isn't so helpful in larger countries.

Settings include split-tunnelling, a kill switch, auto-reconnect if the VPN drops, and OpenVPN TCP or UDP, IKEv2, L2TP and PPTP protocols. All good news, except split-tunnelling which only applied to certain websites as opposed to apps. The kill switch worked but with a brief delay, which isn't as secure as some may like.

The Mac version is very similar but feels less loved, with the last update landing back in 2020. An auto connection to IKEv2 rather than OpenVPN was also a little frustrating as it meant a smaller server selection until you select the other.

How good are FastestVPN's mobile apps?

The iOS app, like the Mac version, has not had a lot of update love, but it does look good and fits the smaller screen well. There are also more settings than on the Mac version with smart tunnelling as its version of split-tunnelling, plus the protocol selections of OpenVPN UDP or TCP, IPSec and IKEv2. Other than that it's a pretty minimal app without many more features to control.

Over on the Android app all looks similar with the colors, location list and layout near identical. Protocol selection includes IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP or TCP and there is a kill switch which you can turn on or off. 

Split tunnelling is also a feature here, allowing you to pick which apps use the VPN and which don't. This is still basic, but covers most needs and works well making it one of the more appealing features of FastestVPN overall.

FastestVPN review - support centre

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What customer support does FastestVPN offer?

The support from FastestVPN is below average with little help on the site itself, populated by a few articles which frankly offer pretty poor advice. At one point it actually suggests turning off your firewall if you have VPN issues – a really inadvisable move for anyone seeking security.

All that said, there is live chat support available, as well as the ability to email any questions and get a reply. The responses to our testing were pretty generic, largely ignoring chunks of what we were asking about. But the agents were trying their best so you do feel looked after, just perhaps not by the most knowledgeable folk.

FastestVPN: Final verdict

FastestVPN is cheap, so if you want to save a buck this is the VPN to help you do that. If your connection is under 200Mbps then the speeds from the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols will do you fine too, and as long as you don't need to unblock any streaming websites and don't mind basic Mac and iOS apps, then this could serve you well enough with the basics of kill switch and split-tunnelling mostly covered off. It's not the best service but for the price it does still offer some useful features. 

However, it can’t truly compete with leading providers such as ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) and Surfshark (opens in new tab), and with the prices of cheaper premium VPNs not much more than FastestVPN, it's difficult to make a compelling argument for the newbie. Things may change next time we review the service, though...

Luke is a freelance writer and editor with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others he writes across Future titles covering health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. He also likes to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.