VirtualShield VPN Full Review: Shield Your Privacy
With many VPN companies starting around, it becomes hard to tell when a new shining star is born, as it might be overshadowed by the giants of the industry. So is this the case regarding VirtualShield?
Let's find out together with our detailed review and analysis.
This thorough review will discuss VirtualShield's features, abilities, security protocols, and customer support. We want to highlight their server coverage and speed, security measures, and subscription plans.
In this section, we checked how VirtualShield fares against its competitors in terms of speed tests, number of servers, their geographic distribution, and their fastest available protocol.
1. Speed tests
VirtualShield was found to be surprisingly faster than expected from a service with a low number of servers. It scores above average when looking at the speed despite having only 20 servers. This makes it a good choice for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. VirtualShield makes sure you won't feel any lags or speed drops.
2. Number of servers and geographic distribution
Short explanation: VirtualShield has 20 servers distributed over 12 countries.
Long explanation: The Majority of VirtualShield's servers are located in the US, which eases unblocking streaming platforms such as; Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Despite the small number of servers, their speed was surprisingly high relatively, showing that these are high-quality servers.
3. Fastest available protocol
Short explanation: OpenVPN (UDP) is the fastest available protocol by VirtualShield (recommended to use).
Long explanation: Virtualshield provides mainly 2 types of protocols; these are the OpenVPN in its two forms (UDP and TCP) and L2TP. Both UDP and TCP are OpenVPN protocols, but they use different ports; UDP is faster than TCP, while TCP can help with data packet loss retransmission.
Security and Privacy
One of the main reasons a person might use a VPN is because they want to secure their VPN connection; that's partly why many antivirus companies try to add sometimes incomplete VPN products to their plans.
The most important features regarding security and privacy include:
1. Encryption and protocols
VirtualShield provides AES 256-bit encryption, which secures all traffic sent through its servers. Governments and militaries use this type of encryption worldwide to protect their private data and sensitive information.
Most typical VPNs offer the traditional OpenVPN and IKEv2 security protocols; however, VirtualShield also offers WireGuard and Shadowsocks protocols.
Are you new to VPNs?
For VirtualShield, use OpenVPN UDP for speed, use OpenVPN protocol for security, use OpenVPN TCP protocol to bypass geo-censorship (obfuscation).
Pro mode: The protocols available for VirtualShield include:
|Protocol||L2TP||OpenVPN TCP||OpenVPN UDP|
|Platform||Windows,macOS, iOS, Linux, FreeBSD, and BlackBerry devices||All platforms||All platforms|
|Security and encryption||It doesn't provide encryption on its own, typically coupled with IPsec||AES encryption (most secure)||AES encryption (most secure)|
|Firewall||UDP ports 500 and 4500, and ESP IP Protocol 50||Uses 443 port||Uses 1194 port|
|Speed||Generally slow (typically involves double-layered encryption)||Generally fast (Faster than L2TP)||Generally fast (faster than TCP)|
2. Logs policy
Short explanation: VirtualShield has a no activity logs policy.
Long explanation: When it comes to privacy, VirtualShield offers a no activity logs policy, which ensures that your browsing history, IP address, are never tracked, saved, or shared with any third parties. However, they do register your billing information.
3. Kill switch
Short explanation: VirtualShield has a fully functional kill switch feature.
Long explanation: VirtualShield offers a kill switch if your connection ever drops; the kill switch blocks all internet traffic until you've safely reconnected to the VPN server. This feature works on all major platforms such as; Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS.
4. RAM-based servers
Short explanation: VirtualShield lacks RAM-based servers.
Long explanation: A RAM-based server differs from the usual servers that run on SSD because they delete their content with every reboot, which adds to their security and privacy.
Even though this sounds like a really essential function and a must-have feature in all VPNs, however; you'd be surprised to know that most VPNs on the market operate their servers on standard hard drives, which keep your data until it's manually erased from the drives.
5. Based country
Short explanation: VirtualShield is based in the US.
Long explanation: The company's headquarters are located in the US, which is inside the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.
This is a negative point for VirtualShield, as VPN companies based inside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance are considered a possible security threat as these countries are known to spy on their citizens and share information internally. (Read more on the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance).
6. Warrant canary
Short explanation: VirtualShield lacks a warrant canary system.
Long explanation: A warrant canary is an indirect method to warn customers of governmental attempts to subpoena where the presence of the warrant on the company’s official website means the local government hasn’t tried anything yet.
In the event the warrant canary is removed from the company’s page, it means they were asked to provide info.
VirtualShield in Practice
In terms of the applications of VPN in the real world, we dive further into how VirtualShield fares against the rest in the following categories:
VirtualShield showed it could unblock some popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney +.
When it comes to Netflix, VirtualShield was able to unblock Netflix US, but not Netflix UK. It had trouble getting past Netflix in other countries, in addition to the relatively low geographic distribution of servers.
Short explanation: VirtualShield allows torrenting.
Long explanation: VirtualShield has excellent server speeds and robust security measures for torrenting but compared to other VPN providers such as NordVPN, your torrenting experience won't be as smooth and easy.
That being said, it's not a bad choice for torrenting. VirtualShield is compatible with the mainstream P2P service providers such as; BitTorrent, qBittorrent, and uTorrent.
If you are looking for an excellent VPN for torrenting, we would recommend NordVPN or ExpressVPN, as they have hundreds of P2P-optimized servers; you'll get both fast speeds and strong encryption; however, VirtualShield prices are much more budget-friendly. (Read our review on The Best VPNs for Torrenting).
Short explanation: VirtualShield doesn't have gaming-specific servers.
Long explanation: When it comes to gaming, the reason why you would want to use a VPN for games is variable, but one thing is clear, which is that no one wants to lag at all. Companies with specialized gaming servers make sure your gaming experience will be smoother than with companies that don’t have specialized gaming servers. (Read more on VPN and Gaming).
4. Dedicated IP servers
Short explanation: VirtualShield doesn’t have dedicated IP servers.
Long explanation: While using a VPN, you would want a dynamic IP (an IP that changes whenever you reconnect to a server). In certain situations, this is not the case. A dedicated server is recommended in the following situations:
- Business security and privacy
- Frequent online payment
- Avoid getting blacklisted
- Avoid CAPTCHAs
If you find yourself as someone who would benefit from a dedicated IP, I recommend you go for NordVPN.
5. Geo-censorship bypass (obfuscation)
VirtualShield offers the ability to access high geo-censorship countries such as China, Turkey, UAE, and others.
6. Split tunneling
Short explanation: VirtualShield lacks the split tunneling feature.
Long explanation: The split tunneling feature allows you to choose specific websites and apps to connect using the VPN connection, which means that in the same session, you can choose which apps go through the VPNs and which would go without.
This is super helpful if you want to use the VPN to hide your online banking information. At the same time, you don't want the VPN to change your location and change your Netflix content by moving you to a different geographical location. Unfortunately, VirtualShield lacks split tunneling.
If you want to enjoy the split tunneling feature, then ExpressVPN is your ideal choice.
7. Tor over VPN
Short explanation: VirtualShield provides Tor over VPN support.
Long explanation: Torrent onion router (Tor) is a P2P program that reroutes your IP through peers and unlocks the .onion domain (dark web). Using a VPN adds an extra layer of anonymity, especially at the entry node, with the addition of data encryption.
VirtualShield works on all major operating systems such as; Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. As well, VirtualShield offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. VirtualShield does so while providing great functionality in multiple languages.
VirtualShield is compatible with:
VirtualShield is available as an extension on:
- Google Chrome
The cherry on the cake is that VirtualShield's app is very intuitive and easy to use, even for beginners without much prior knowledge or experience in VPN. Whether you're using it from your desktop, laptop, or mobile, you'll find it easy to navigate around their app.
1. Supported languages
VirtualShield supports the following languages:
2. Customer support
VirtualShield's customer service is pretty impressive as they have a live chat support team which are responsive, friendly, and very professional. Furthermore, you can also contact VirtualShield on their ticket request system, which is too fast and informative.
VirtualShield provides customer support in the following forms:
- Live chat (07:00 am to 07:00 pm PST)
- Knowledge base
- Email and tickets
Pricing and Payment
VirtualShield has several subscription plans which differ in length, the number of devices, and price. You could get the $4.99 for two years' commitment covering three devices (which is rather on the low side). Alternatively, the Family plan is much better, especially when shared with family or friends, including with the pricing with 15 devices costing $15.99 for a two-year commitment.
No matter which plans you choose, you'll have access to the same premium features.
When it comes to payment methods, VirtualShield offers the following payment options, including; credit cards, PayPal, and ApplePay.
Available payment methods summary:
- Major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
VirtualShield might not be one of the top competitors, but it does provide some decent usage, it's a new company still growing, and although the number of servers is still low, the speed is rather good. As with all new companies, they will continue to grow, providing value to pre-existing customers.
If you are part of a family who all need to use a VPN, or you want to share the family package with your friends, then VirtualShield might be a treat for you. That being said, we must point out that VirtualShield falls behind the other top VPN providers like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, and the main reason is its lack of consistency and accessibility.