In Depth

UltraVPN Review: A Versatile VPN For Almost Anyone (2022)

UltraVPN markets itself as a fast, secure, and anonymous virtual private network service. It comes with a built-in password manager and dark web scanning capabilities. UltraVPN presents itself as a one-stop solution for browsing the Internet privately and securely.

UltraVPN makes this service available to users at a lower price than many competing services, while also promising better performance.

That sets the bar high for a relatively new VPN service. For this review of UltraVPN, we took time to test its capabilities and find out whether it delivers. Let’s take a quick look at some of the insights we were able to glean from using the service.

UltraVPN 1-minute review

  • Consistently fast and reliable. UltraVPN delivers impressive upload and download speeds. It can easily support multiple devices without a noticeable drop in speed.
  • Robust security included. The VPN service is protected by military-grade encryption. Additionally, users benefit from built-in malware and phishing detection. 
  • Excellent for streaming. Unblocking streaming platforms is easy with UltraVPN. It’s a reliable tool for gaining access to blacklisted streaming sites.
  • Easy to install and use. The software runs on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Installation is simple and the user interface is intuitive.
  • Affordably priced. UltraVPN provides great value for its price, which is lower than many competing services. It’s an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on features.
  • 30-day money back guarantee. UltraVPN offers a risk-free onboarding process to new users. The company has a no-questions-asked refund policy for all new users.
  • Prompt, professional support. There are separate contact forms for billing and technical support. UltraVPN’s team responds quickly to support requests.

How much does UltraVPN cost?

UltraVPN is one of the more affordable full-featured VPNs on the market. All three of its plans share the same approach to privacy, security, and usability. The length of the subscription is the only thing that varies between the plans.

UltraVPN’s monthly subscription is the most expensive. Users who pay for two full years in advance, though, get a steep discount:

  • One month: $7.99/month
  • One year: $4.99/month (one-time payment of $59.88) 
  • Two years: $2.99/month (one-time payment of $71.76)

ultravpn pricing page

The company’s payment processing service supports five currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, and AUD. This helps reduce the added expense of currency conversion, common among global VPN service providers. Users can pay via credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Unlike some VPN services, UltraVPN does not accept cryptocurrency payments. 

The subscriptions actually cover several extra tools. This bundle includes the PassWatch password manager and a Dark Web Scan tool. UltraVPN offers these services for free on top of its VPN solution, increasing the value of its offering from the start.

overview of extra features pass watch and dark web scan

These are features that other VPN services may charge for. The value of these offerings adds to the user experience, making UltraVPN’s offer a premium experience despite its affordable pricing structure.

30-day money-back guarantee

While UltraVPN does not offer a free trial, its 30-day money-back guarantee works the same way. Anyone who buys a monthly subscription from the company can request an immediate refund within the first 30 days. 

Many software-as-a-service providers make the money-back guarantee process complicated. UltraVPN sticks to its hassle-free refund policy. If you’re unhappy with UltraVPN for any reason and cancel your subscription in the first 30 days, UltraVPN will process the refund without delay. Its support team will confirm the cancellation and issue payment without asking any questions, exactly as promised.

Essentially, UltraVPN doesn’t need a free trial policy at all. Anyone can sign up for its service without risk. The company stands behind its product, and for good reason.

Let’s dive into some of its features and capabilities to find out why.

UltraVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve reviewed

UltraVPN sets high expectations by promising best-in-class server performance. Speed is one of the most important factors when using a VPN. Maintaining fast speeds for a large number of users is a complex technical problem.

Most VPN providers solve that problem by scaling their server network. The more servers the network has, the better it can distribute workloads to ensure good performance. That’s why most VPN providers invest in server capacity in multiple territories around the world. The larger the network, the better the performance.

UltraVPN takes a different approach. The company’s server network is quite small in comparison to major competitors. Instead of taking the scaling approach, UltraVPN focuses on optimizing its server technology and architecture. The result is a small, reliable server network that can nonetheless compete with larger VPN providers thanks to its efficiency.

world map showing ultravpns server locations in review

The servers themselves are located around the world. UltraVPN maintains servers on every populated continent, covering most of the world’s sub-regions.

UltraVPN maintains a number of servers in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. It has servers located in countries like Canada, South Africa, and France, as well as UK servers.

However, its global coverage is not uniform. UltraVPN does not have many servers in Central Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. 

The servers closest to these regions are in Greece, Singapore, and Russia. UltraVPN does show India on its server map, but explains that connections to the subcontinent go through Singapore.

Benchmark connection test results

UltraVPN delivers a consistently fast connection to both nearby servers and distant ones. During our review of UltraVPN, it completed downloads at around 75% our baseline connection speed on average. For server connections located nearby, the rate was closer to 85%. 

The most distant connections suffered greater reductions in speed, but still performed surprisingly well. UltraVPN connected to servers on the other side of the planet without dropping below half our baseline connection speed.

That means that with a 100 Mbps download speed in the United States, you should be able to access VPN servers in Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore without dipping below 50 Mbps.

In the speed tests for this UltraVPN review, it delivered excellent results even when balancing simultaneous connections. Additionally, the service successfully managed five connections without throttling speed.

Good gaming performance

The connection is fast enough to play demanding AAA multiplayer games online without lag. It’s important to note that upload and download speed are not the only factors that contribute to a smooth online gaming experience. You also need a connection with low latency, which many VPNs struggle with.

Latency is best measured by the ping rate. This measures the amount of time it takes for information to travel from your device to the target server and back. Since games are interactive, the ping rate offers a better measure of overall performance than upload and download speeds.

While reviewing UltraVPN, we tested several recent AAA game titles published by different developers. We usually obtained a ping rate of under 100ms. This rate is good enough to ensure lag-free gameplay for most titles. It’s not suitable for high-stakes gaming competitions, though – professional players typically demand ping rates of between 20 and 50ms.

Both in-game performance and ping rates are influenced by a wide range of factors. Some gaming servers respond better to VPN connections than others. You may find that certain games work well while others do not. You might find that the closest server doesn’t necessarily provide the best gaming experience. Take your time to review UltraVPNs performance during your first 30 days to ensure a lag-free gaming experience.

Streaming without compromise

Streaming ultra high-quality video content soaks up significant server resources. This content is more demanding than most games. Streaming through a VPN requires high download speeds and excellent bandwidth.

UltraVPN has enough resources to stream high-quality video without causing blurry digital artifacts. Its highly optimized servers allow users to explore streaming libraries in other territories without noticeable slowdown.

We tested UltraVPN with a wide range of streaming platforms from multiple countries. The service was able to access streamed content without significant buffering or lag. In most cases, the experience was completely identical to streaming content without a VPN.

Some of the stricter streaming platforms required multiple attempts with different VPN servers. However, the process of switching servers is fast and painless.

How secure is UltraVPN?

UltraVPN prides itself on providing users with a secure web experience backed by military-grade 256-bit encryption. That means an attacker would have to try 2²⁵⁶ different combinations to break the protocol. In decimal format, that enormous number has more than 75 zeros behind it. 

It would take millions of years for the world’s most powerful supercomputers to break this encryption. From a technical standpoint, UltraVPN’s encryption is impossible to break and will likely stay that way for centuries.

UltraVPN’s security features go beyond encryption, however. The service also offers a robust set of security solutions that prevent data leaks, cyberattacks, and phishing.

Kill Switch functionality prevents data leaks

VPNs can only protect users when properly connected. If that connection drops and your device attempts to use its default Internet connection, you run the risk of exposing your identity. 

UltraVPN’s Kill Switch protects against this scenario. If the VPN connection breaks for any reason, the VPN service will automatically disconnect your device from the Internet. That way, there is no risk of accidentally sending out unencrypted data.

While reviewing UltraVPN, we tested the Kill Switch in multiple scenarios and found it works as advertised. Our devices went offline the moment the VPN connection was interrupted. 

Built-in malware and phishing detection

VPNs can be a useful tool for browsing unsafe websites. However, not all VPNs are equally capable of protecting users against sophisticated attacks. This requires constant vigilance and significant resources.

UltraVPN can protect you from malicious websites and phishing attempts. The service’s built-in malware detection solution warns users when incoming files meet known threat signatures. These signatures are updated by threat intelligence feeds on a daily basis, providing up-to-date information on the latest cybercrime trends.

Similarly, UltraVPN’s detection algorithms are well-tailored to catching spoofed websites. These often indicate phishing attempts. Imposters might publish a lookalike login page for a website and skim your credentials. They could then use that information to impersonate you.

A bare-bones VPN isn’t enough to protect against every kind of malware and phishing attack. However, the detection capabilities built into UltraVPN provide better protection than unsecured browsers. That could be the edge you need to recognize a spoofed website or malicious download. 

Note that UltraVPN does not include an ad blocker. Its built-in security tools may block ads that contain suspicious content, but it won’t prevent pop-ups and other ads from appearing. 

Split-tunneling lets you enable direct connections

In some cases, you may want to access certain websites and platforms using your real IP address. This is usually the case when using a LAN-connected device at work. You may also want to use your real IP address on some websites while hiding your IP address from others. Many VPNs don’t allow you to do this at the same time.

UltraVPN uses split-tunneling to allow users to manage direct connections. That means you can exclude certain websites and apps from your VPN tunnel. To set it up, simply enter UltraVPN’s settings, enable the feature, and whitelist the website you want to access.

Does UltraVPN offer a good level of privacy?

Privacy is critical to the VPN experience. Every user has different expectations when it comes to VPN privacy, though. UltraVPN offers multiple types of tunneling protocols and privacy settings. That means you can configure its settings to meet your needs specifically.

UltraVPN offers three types of tunneling protocols:

  • Automatic. This setting automatically detects the right protocol for you. It sets the protocol on its own with no need for further input.
  • Hydra. This is UltraVPN’s proprietary protocol. It offers the best performance and the strongest privacy.
  • IKEv2. This setting is a stable and secure protocol designed for mobile users. It offers speed and reliability even when switching between mobile networks. (Note: UltraVPN does not have IPsec available on Android at the moment.)

UltraVPN doesn’t offer a lot of technical data on its proprietary Hydra protocol. It does suggest that it uses multiple protocol layers as a single technology, though. The multi-headed mythological beast is an inspiration for a strong privacy performance.

Hydra offers the best privacy protection in territories where Internet usage is surveilled. We used it to test UltraVPN’s ability to overcome firewall restrictions in mainland China. Hydra proved itself up for the challenge. Users who live in countries that censor the Internet should be able to unblock content with UltraVPN.

We tested UltraVPN’s privacy capabilities against common vulnerabilities and exploits. Our findings show that UltraVPN protects user data from WiFi leaks, DNS leaks, and WebRTC leaks. We did not discover any vulnerability that would compromise a user’s IP address.

UltraVPN does not store user logs

UltraVPN has a simple, commonsense no-logs policy. It does not store logs, although the company may need to temporarily collect and encrypt minimal connection data in certain cases. It uses randomized device hashes to distinguish between users. That means it cannot link these hashes to VPN activity or user identity.

The company’s privacy policy offers in-depth explanations of how it handles user data at every digital touchpoint. That includes users who browse the UltraVPN websites as well as users who submit technical support requests. UltraVPN helpfully explains exactly what third-party services are involved and describes its own relationship with those services.

UltraVPN’s log policy prevents it from linking an individual app user to a specific IP address. The company does cooperate with lawful requests for data. But, lacking real logging, it usually simply isn’t able to provide useful information to authorities.

UltraVPN is based in the United States, and must follow American regulatory and compliance laws. US authorities have been known to make lawful data requests of VPN providers, but they have no control over the type or quality of data received. UltraVPN’s zero-logs policy prevents authorities from linking activity data to individual users.

Although UltraVPN has been around since 2018, it was acquired by an American security company named Aura in 2020. This company is a subsidiary of a larger security group called Pango. This company is behind popular consumer technologies like Hotspot Shield and Hexatech VPN.

Can UltraVPN unblock Netflix or other streaming sites?

UltraVPN’s website promises unrestricted access to all content. This is a tall order, since major streaming providers constantly update their access control policies. Your experience with UltraVPN may differ from ours.

We were able to unblock most popular streaming platforms using UltraVPN for this review. It unblocked the following platforms during our tests:

  • Netflix
  • Disney+
  • Hulu
  • HBO Max
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Peacock TV
  • Kodi
  • YouTube
  • iTV Hub

In some cases, it took several connection attempts to convince the streaming platform that we were connecting from inside the covered territory. Some streaming providers are stricter than others. HBO Max is known to be particularly hard to beat, but UltraVPN was able to bypass its blocking policy in our review tests.

Amazon Prime was a notable holdout. The platform consistently identified non-US connections made through UltraVPN. Sometimes the streaming platform responded as if there was no VPN at all. It looks like Amazon Prime video content will remain blocked for non-US users for the time being.

UltraVPN works on smartphones, tablets, and PCs. It is not compatible with smart TVs and streaming media devices. To watch unblocked Netflix on a smart TV using UltraVPN, you’ll have to share your screen with the smart TV display.

Note that Netflix doesn’t always allow this functionality, whether you are using a VPN or not. You may have a similar experience with other streaming providers.

If you plan on watching streamed content directly on your VPN-connected device, this problem won’t apply to you. It only impacts users trying to unblock streaming platforms on smart TVs, routers, and USB streaming devices.

Thanks to its fast download speed and reliable tunneling architecture, UltraVPN can support 4K Ultra HD streaming. If your device and Internet connection can support high quality streaming content, this VPN will deliver.

How easy is it to set up and use UltraVPN?

The subscription process is as simple as they get. You can download the UltraVPN app once you sign up for an account and pay for the service. The website will ask for your email address, name, and physical address. This information is kept separate from your device and usage data. 

Whether you pay by card or with PayPal, the process is automatic. The website will redirect you to a download page. Download the app that fits your operating system and open it. The installation process is quick and simple. There are no additional technical steps to take.

UltraVPN supports Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Linux users should note that UltraVPN is not compatible with any Linux distributions. There is no UltraVPN browser extension for Chrome.

Both the Android app and the iOS app are available for free on their respective stores. However, these apps require a valid account to operate. Simply input your login credentials and the app will begin protecting your mobile device.

Before activating UltraVPN for the first time, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with its settings. Most users won’t need to configure anything. The VPN’s Kill Switch is enabled from the start, and most of its default settings are sufficient for private, secure web browsing.

Once UltraVPN is active, it mostly operates in the background. There is no need to pay attention to the VPN while it’s working. You can freely connect and disconnect to global servers in the app as needed.

The mobile app is less powerful than the desktop one

During our review of UltraVPN, we found that works on both mobile and desktop operating systems, but not without some differences. The desktop experience is comprehensive. It includes information on server speeds and connection strength for every option on the server list.

The mobile app does not display this information. That makes it hard to choose the right server directly through the mobile app. You may only discover you connected to a slower server after using it for a few minutes. When you decide to switch to a new server, it’s not always clear which one you should choose.

The favorites list is one way UltraVPN helps alleviate this friction. The iOS app lets users favorite frequently used server locations. If you find a server that works well for a particular use case, you can quickly access it without having to search for it again.

What customer support does UltraVPN offer?

UltraVPN uses Zendesk to connect customers with support staff and manage tickets. The company website offers two main contact categories: Billing Support and Technical Support.

Customers who need support with billing issues can email support staff directly from the website. 

ultravpn homepage screenshot

Support staff responds promptly and professionally to billing issues. When we contacted UltraVPNs billing agents for this review, they appeared to be well-acquainted with the payment policies and VPN payment issues in general.

For technical issues, customers can submit a request from a custom form on the website itself. The only personal data the form asks for you is your email address. You can also include pictures or other attachments so that UltraVPN’s tech support staff can easily review your issue.

The support page on the UltraVPN website also serves Hexatech VPN users. This is another product in the parent company’s catalog, so users should be careful to specify which tool they need support with. Technical support team members appear to be trained on the specific technology they represent. If you get the wrong person, and neither you realizes this, you may not have an easy time solving your issue.

UltraVPN’s technical support does not share a great deal of information about how the VPN works. If you need technical information about how the software implements the IKEv2 or Hydra protocol, it may take multiple tries before you get your answer. Even then, it may not be quite as detailed as you hoped.

However, this is largely in-line with the way security-centric software developers work. After all, hackers could potentially use this information to reverse engineer some of the product’s security features. Few cybersecurity vendors share intimate details about how their software works through support channels.

Live chat is fast and responsive

Both billing and technical support respond to inquiries within 24 hours. You can also use live chat if you don’t want to wait. The UltraVPN website supports live chat on its pricing page. As you go through the process of purchasing a subscription, the live chat button will pop up.

In our UltraVPN review, the service’s live chat operators showed themselves equipped to handle both technical and billing questions. Most of their responses come from the UltraVPN knowledge base and FAQ, which covers the most common issues customers are likely to have. They may escalate issues to senior support technicians or switch to email if the problem persists.

screenshot of faqs at ultravpn website

In general, we recommend using live chat only when time is of the essence. You will usually get a more comprehensive and detailed answer by email. 

Should you buy UltraVPN?

UltraVPN is an excellent choice for users who want a full suite of security and privacy features without paying a premium price. It offers many of the features VPN customers demand without compromising on speed or reliability.

It became clear while reviewing that UltraVPN is designed for multiple scenarios. It’s a great option for casual users who mostly just want to unblock streaming platforms. It is ideal for students and employees working in protected Internet environments. But it’s also a powerful tool for security-conscious users who don’t want to leave a digital footprint online.

Low cost and excellent unblocking capabilities make UltraVPN an ideal choice for accessing geo-restricted content. Plus, this makes it a good choice for people who live in countries that restrict Internet usage. 

The speed and reliability UltraVPN showed in our review tests also mean it’s a good VPN option for professional users. Security professionals and journalists will enjoy the service’s robust security capabilities and ease of use.

On top of that, the money-back guarantee policy protects new users against risk. If you buy UltraVPN and find out it doesn’t work for your use case, you can get your money refunded. All this together makes UltraVPN a top VPN choice for people who need a fast, reliable solution available at low cost.

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