VPN Unlimited review
When it comes to picking your first or a new virtual private network (VPN) service, there are at least a handful of options you could go with. NordVPN and ExpressVPN are the two VPN sticks by which all others are measured, offering a straightforward user experience with decent pricing and plenty of servers.
Meanwhile, other services like VPN Unlimited are forced to compete on other metrics, and the big one for KeepSolid’s VPN is the rare option to purchase a lifetime subscription.
- Lifetime subscription for five devices
- Great user-friendly onboarding
- Awesome for international streaming
- Fast Australian server
- Server (singular) above was not a typo
- Not a lot of other servers worldwide, either
- Not many countries to choose from
- Incompatible with Kayo and Stan
Our top five VPNs
- Hotspot Shield
VPN Unlimited prices and plans
It’s typical for VPN providers to offer monthly and yearly plans. Measured on these metrics, TunnelBear is equal third with IPVanish and TunnelBear for identical monthly pricing, but it drops to sixth for annual pricing of the dozen-ish VPNs we’ve reviewed. Uniquely, VPN Unlimited offers a lifetime plan, which is something that other VPN providers may only offer on a flash-sale basis.
|Plan||Monthly price||Upfront price||See plan|
|One-month plan||US$9.99||US$9.99||View plan|
|One-year plan||US$4.99||US$59.99||View plan|
|Lifetime plan||US$1.66 (averaged over 10 years)||US$199.99||View plan|
Data effective 1/7/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
For this review, I picked up the lifetime plan which, at the time, was slashed to US$99.99. While that’s a fantastic price for a lifetime VPN subscription, there is a catch. On the pro side, VPN Unlimited offers an unrestricted seven-day trial. On the con side, the VPN Unlimited lifetime plan only has a seven-day money-back guarantee, unlike the monthly or annual alternatives, which have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Provider||Price||VPN standout feature||See plan|
|VPN Unlimited||US$9.99/mth||Lifetime subscription for five devices||View plan|
|NordVPN||US$11.95/mth||User-friendly, speedy connection||View plan|
|ExpressVPN||US$12.95/mth||Blocks ads of your choice on all devices||View plan|
|Hotspot Shield||US$12.99/mth||Incredibly fast performance||View plan|
|CyberGhost||AU$18.49/mth||Stacks of servers||View plan|
|PureVPN||US$10.95/mth||Loads of supported countries||View plan|
Data effective 1/7/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
VPN Unlimited connectivity and user experience
VPN Unlimited has one of the best and most user-friendly VPN onboarding experiences. Once you’re signed up, VPN Unlimited prompts you to select the device you’re looking to install the service on, then you can read a manual or follow the steps. The bulk of my tests were via the VPN Unlimited Windows software, and there’s also a Windows Store app for PC users if you prefer. For the most part, the Android app is identical to the Windows experience.
What was less impressive was a pop-up during my first connection that prompted me to rate the connection I’d only just started. Hmm. There were other initial hiccups, too, including a disconnection shortly after the first time I connected, followed by an elongated connection time. When it works normally, though, VPN Unlimited takes about five seconds to connect and disconnects immediately. Unfortunately, switching servers did tend to interrupt real-time internet services like music streaming.
There is a small window between disconnection and your ability to reconnect, so you’re better off switching servers while you’re still connected. Switching servers is incredibly straightforward: just click on the name of the server, then pick from all servers, torrent or streaming tabs. There is a favourites tab, but be warned that it’s easy to accidentally click the server name rather than the star, so you’ll reconnect rather than favourite (single click is convenient for server switching, but less so for favouriting).
VPN Unlimited is incredibly light on servers at 500+ across 80+ locations. At the time of review, my count had it at 57 countries spread across 76 core locations, five of which are torrenting servers, with an additional 11 servers for streaming (albeit all of them are in those 76 locations).
Outside of those initial connection hiccups, the most impressive thing about VPN Unlimited was how well it worked as a background companion. I accidentally left it on for three virtual meetings, totalling more than a couple of hours, and there weren’t any connection issues or noticeable delays. VPN Unlimited also plays nice with my usual day-to-day software, including Slack, Outlook and a handful of PC gaming platforms.
VPN Unlimited number of devices
By default, a basic VPN Unlimited subscription allows for five simultaneous connections. You can, however, pay an extra fee for one device, five devices or 10 devices. These additional device add-ons are charged monthly (US$0.99, US$2.99 and US$5.99) or annually (US$9.99, US$29.99 and US$59.99), depending on your plan, but you can also add five more devices to a lifetime subscription for US$9.99.
VPN Unlimited is supported on a wide range of devices, too:
- MacOS (version 10.11 and higher)
- Windows (XP SP3 and higher)
- Linux (Debian 9, Ubuntu 16.04 and Mint 18)
- iOS (version 11.0 and higher)
- Android (version 4.1 and higher)
- Windows Phone (version 8.1 Update 1 and higher)
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire
- Google Chromecast
Handily, there’s easily accessible download links and, where applicable, VPN Unlimited installation guides for these devices and platforms on the VPN Unlimited website. More advanced users can also manually install VPN Unlimited on compatible routers and network-attached storage devices.
VPN Unlimited speeds
Whenever you connect to a VPN service, you can expect download and upload speeds to go down while latency will go up. Closer VPN servers to your location should result in less of an impact on your internet connection, but it also depends on the quality of the VPN servers. Either way, a good VPN service will have an acceptable impact on download and upload speeds as well as latency.
|VPN server||Download speed||Upload speed||Latency|
|US VPN (auto, Los Angeles)||78.80Mbps|
|US VPN (manual, Los Angeles)||79.18Mbps|
|UK VPN (London)||38.37Mbps|
Any VPN service that can provide single-digit changes to download and upload speed gets a big tick, and despite only having one location in Australia to choose from (Sydney), VPN Unlimited offers great speeds and near-identical latency. The best-case speeds to the nearest US servers (Los Angeles) resulted in okay speed changes, which aren’t as flash as speedster Hotspot Shield or Mullvad VPN, but they’re still okay. Connections to the UK, on the other hand, are noticeably slow, particularly in terms of download speeds.
VPN Unlimited streaming
VPN Unlimited works well for torrenting if you use the dedicate torrenting servers, with the only disclaimer being that there aren’t any locations close to Australia. The table below shows the results of my tests with how well VPN Unlimited works with streaming services, which tend to have a knack for sniffing out VPNs, with two services from Australia, four from the US and one from the UK.
|Service||VPN Unlimited compatible?||Buffering speed|
|Stan (including Stan Sport)||No||N/A|
It’s a shame that VPN Unlimited doesn’t work with local services like Kayo and Stan, otherwise it would be wholly recommendable as a solid all-round streaming VPN. Still, given the current lack of global travel, this is a less important feature for Australians abroad seeking a reliable VPN service to watch their at-home services. If you want a VPN to stream popular international streaming services, VPN Unlimited is well worth a look. The service has the following dedicated streaming servers (note that HBO Now worked for all of my US streaming tests), most of which are based in San Francisco:
- Amazon Prime Video (San Francisco)
- BBC iPlayer (Hampshire)
- Disney+ (San Francisco)
- HBO Now (San Francisco)
- Hotstar (Bangalore)
- Hulu (San Francisco)
- Netflix (San Francisco)
- Popcornflix (San Francisco)
- Rai.tv (Milan)
- Sony Crackle (San Francisco)
- Streaming (San Francisco)
If you’re wondering how VPN Unlimited might work with your NBN connection, the table below should give you an idea. It uses the 15% best-case change to download speed percentages for VPN Unlimited US servers and the 59% for the UK server. The initial columns are dedicated to using those percentages to give a ballpark idea of how VPN Unlimited should perform on all NBN speed tiers, while the right ones show you how many streams you can expect to run on popular 4K streaming services: two from the US and one from the UK. Note that Netflix only allows for a max of four streams per account, whereas Hulu and BBC iPlayer can technically allow for unlimited.
|NBN speed tier||Average NBN TEDS||VPN Unlimited TEDS||Netflix 4K|
|Too slow||Too slow||Too slow|
|Too slow||1 stream||Too slow|
|1 stream||2 streams||1 stream|
|3 streams||4 streams||3 streams|
|4+ streams||11 streams||7 streams|
|4+ streams||18 streams||12 streams|
VPN Unlimited extras
VPN Unlimited has extras, but some of them like MonoDefense come with an extra cost component. It doesn’t help that VPN Unlimited judges you on this whenever you connect by displaying a MonoDefense status at the top of the screen. In terms of included extras, VPN Unlimited lets you switch connection protocols, plus there’s a kill switch and a Smart DNS service. You can also add trusted networks if you want to run VPN Unlimited in automated-connection mode when you’re out and about, so your home network, for example, can be exempt from connecting to the VPN service automatically.
Strangely, there are features limited by platform. You can opt to stop DNS leaks on PC but not on Android, while Android has an app-exceptions feature (split tunnelling) that’s not available on Windows.
VPN Unlimited vs NordVPN
NordVPN is the current gold standard for VPN services, both in terms of it being a popular household name and it’s our number-one pick. For price, VPN Unlimited wins out on the monthly fee, loses out on the annual comparison, but comes back strong with the unmatchable value of its lifetime subscription. VPN Ultimate does offer a seven-day trial, but NordVPN has a more consistent 30-day money-back guarantee.
While VPN Unlimited’s user interface is functional, NordVPN’s is a lot more user-friendly. Similarly, NordVPN wins out in the base numbers comparisons with more servers (5,400 vs 500+) in more locations (59 countries vs 57 locations) and with six simultaneous connections instead of VPN Unlimited’s base five.
Both VPN services have a Smart DNS and 24/7 tech support, but NordVPN has a clear zero-logging policy whereas VPN Unlimited says it keeps no logs, but then details where it does keep user information. On one hand, this level of transparency is commendable but, on the other, it muddies the zero-log waters.
NordVPN is better for streaming than VPN Unlimited, if only because it allows access to Stan (as well as the other services tested above), but both are blocked by Kayo. NordVPN also has faster download speeds for Australian servers with comparable upload speed and latency changes next to VPN Unlimited. While NordVPN has slightly better latency, VPN Unlimited has marginally better download speeds but significantly faster upload speeds.
If you’re weighing up between the two VPN services, NordVPN is our pick.
Should I buy VPN Unlimited?
VPN Unlimited is a solid VPN service that’s worth a look. If you want a buy-and-forget option and don’t mind splashing out on a lifetime subscription (especially during a flash sale), VPN Unlimited will serve you well. That is, as long as you aren’t put off by a lack of servers and global locations as well as no Kayo and Stan streaming while connected.