In a Nutshell
- Integrates with ShadowSocks for outbound port randomization
- Niche server pool including some far-flung tropical locations
- Generous 8 device simultaneous connection limit
- Relatively small server pool with less than 50 countries covered
- No Linux app
VPN City at a Glance
Best for: Working around geo-restrictions
Price (or price range): $2.99 per month when subscribed to for 2 years
Location: Servers in 42 cities in 33 countries around the world, including all major US cities.
Netflix: Yes. VPNCity unblocks Netflix
Torrenting: Yes. VPNCity encourages torrenting and imposes no limits on specific applications that the VPN can be used in conjunction with
Logging: VPNCity is a strict no logs provider
Number of Devices: 8 simultaneous connections
Operating Systems: Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android TV. The service also works with the ShadowSocks proxying tool
Browser Extensions: Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox
VPNCity proudly proclaims that it is a “zero logging, zero trace” provider.
According to the latter, VPN City is “provided by an automated process, and your activities while using it are not monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or passed to any third party.” The company states that it keeps “only basic payment information” for each account and does not even store the users’ connecting IP addresses. This is about as robust a guarantee of user privacy that VPN customers can hope to receive.
What about the company’s HQ though? The company is based in Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. Thankfully, China is not party to any of the major signals intelligence collection agreements such as the Five Eyes alliance.
Unfortunately, China is a known human rights abuser which has a poor record at respecting personal privacy. Additionally, Chinese state agencies are known to engage in widespread censorship and monitoring of individual users’ internet activity. On the one hand, the VPN is an obvious choice for an individual living under such a regime. For international users, though, this is a legitimate concern.
VPNCity offers some unique features that set it apart from other providers:
- Automatic WiFi protection: Did you know that connecting to a public WiFi hotspot can put you at substantially higher risk for digital sniffing and other common attack methods favored by cybercriminals? Thankfully, VPNCity users needn’t even worry about having to connect the VPN when they access the internet from such an access point. The automatic connection technology categorizes network connections and automatically engages if it detects that the access point is an unfamiliar location.
- SoftEther support. While most modern VPNs support the IKEv2-IPSEC and OpenVPN protocols, the list of those that are compatible with SoftEther is far shorter. SoftEther is an encryption protocol that is supported on all major mobile and desktop operating systems and delivers high-grade cybersecurity without impairing system performance through significant CPU or memory usage.
VPNCity does not operate a very large server network, but the performance of those servers that it operates is generally excellent.
In order to gauge just how fast the network is, we connected to some critical server locations: Paris, London, and New York. In all cases, we didn’t see more than a 15% drop in our baseline connection speed, which was certainly more than good enough for multimedia and streaming use.
Pricing and Deals
VPNCity offers subscription packages that range in duration from 6 months to 2 years. As usual, the 2-year package is substantially discounted. Given that all plans also include an industry-leading 8 simultaneous connections, this is great value for users with multiple devices to connect, particularly families.
The plans come with a generous 30-day money back guarantee.
VPNCity actively encourages torrenting and has a guide page on its website stating that the service is suitable for users that want to use it to connect to various Peer to Peer (P2P) networks that exchange files using Torrent technology. The company is cognizant that torrenting can be used to distribute illegal material but does not leverage any application-based restrictions to block access to certain programs.
Given VPNCity’s focus on overcoming geo-restrictions, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that it succeeds in unblocking Netflix as well as Hulu, geo-restricted YouTube content, and Amazon Prime.
When we tested out its New York server, we were able to access Netflix’s US version, and other users have reported similar success on different Stateside servers. For those that want a VPN to access Netflix, VPNCity is definitely a VPN that can be given a hearty thumbs up.
Setting up one of VPNCity’s desktop clients is simply a matter of downloading an installation file from the internet.
Setting up a device that connects over the OpenVPN protocol is a little more complicated and involves approving devices from an account management dashboard.
In general, the application is extremely easy to use. A dashboard displays the current connection time and external/public IP while a dropdown menu allows users to quickly connect to different servers.
VPNCity offers smartphone applications for both Android and iOS devices.
The Android application features an easy slide to connect button that allows users to connect to the internet in just one switch. Additionally, the smartphone application features a built-in kill switch which will disable the internet in the event that the VPN connection is lost.
How Does VPNCity Compare?
VPNCity provides 24/7 online chat support via its website. The team can also be reached by email and operates a standard ticket-based support system. Although the team is based in Hong Kong, we found their English—and responsiveness—to both be excellent. There is also a decent offering of self-help resources including setup and troubleshooting guides on their website. Although the addition of a telephone support line would have been a nice addition, we can’t fault their willingness to quickly diagnose customer issues.
Ease of Use
In general, VPNCity works out of the box and has an attractive user interface that is centered around a connection location dropdown and a public IP display. We got both the Windows and Android apps up and running in minutes and monitoring the connection status was quick and easy.
Does VPNCity offer a Linux app?
There is no Linux app available at this time.
How can I use ShadowSocks with VPNCity?
Users need to download Outline for Windows and input their user credentials in order to connect through the ShadowSocks proxy service.
VPNCity is a great choice of VPN for users that place a high priority on being able to access geo-restricted web content such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Its server speed is also impressive and it can be used with ShadowSocks for extra anonymity.