12VPN is a small Hong Kong based service that provides tough encryption, fast support, unlimited device connections, and 14-day money-back guarantee.
12VPN is a very small VPN company that doesn’t have that many servers. However, although they are small they do have some interesting features that many of you will be interested in. They offer some great security and even include the newly developed Softether protocol. Their speeds are very quick and you switch and connect to server exceptionally fast.
They are based in Hong Kong and were first seen in 2007. Because they are based in Hong Kong, their P2P policies are quite tight and they don’t allow that activity on their servers. Nonetheless, this is still a VPN company you could invest in if you don’t like being roped in by the larger companies in the industry.
- Tough encryptions
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- NAT firewall
- 14-day money back guarantee
- Fast connection speeds
- Low server/country count
- No P2P
- Strong Protocols but they’re uncommon
- Basic customer support
**Official website: 12vpn.net
12VPN is a small company based in Hong Kong. They only have 31 servers but are one of the few services that provide the Softether protocol. They are a fast service and provide a NAT firewall with every plan.
Pricing and Packages
Although 12VPN is quite a small VPN service, their pricing is quite high. Their cheapest plan starts off at $5.99 a month, which is actually very high considering that this VPN service doesn’t have a big network and is a relatively smaller player in a big industry.
Even though they’re a smaller service, however, they do not offer different features depending on the plan you choose. When I review smaller services, I tend to see them trying to get consumers to purchase the more expensive option with enticing features and gimmicks. 12VPN keeps it simple and only bases the price of commitment, just like many other VPN services tend to do.
If you want the best deal, you’re going to have to opt-in for their annual plan which starts at $5.99/month. As I have mentioned above, this is quite expensive and I have seen a lot cheaper, even with larger companies. Their second most expensive plan is the bi-monthly plan, priced at $8.99/month, with their most expensive plan (the monthly plan) coming in at $10.99/month.
Their prices are a little steep for my liking and I think a service of this caliber should be lowing them a bit to encourage new buyers. The larger, more extensive companies don’t offer prices much higher than these and if I were you, I would prefer to go with a larger and more reputable company.
A good VPN service should offer a range of payment gateways for their customers when purchasing the service. The whole point of a VPN is to keep things private and secure on the internet, and their gateways for payment should reflect that. With 12VPN, the payment options are impressive and they let you choose a range of methods.
As with all VPNs, they allow you to use credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express) and also allow for PayPal payment. As well as the basics, they have special options for Chinese users and also allow for Bitcoin payments. When you see Bitcoin payments, you know the company cares about privacy, because this method of payment is almost completely anonymous. Overall, I was pleased with the payment options 12VPN provided.
Setup and User-Friendliness
When I was setting up the VPN and the associated client, I had a lot of options to choose from and they might have confused a newbie. So, to make things easier for you, when you go to download their client, choose the 12VPN GUI. The other options are for Chrome, Firefox, and Softether (which has its own client).
When I was downloading their GUI, it took about 5 minutes and was very easy to set up. Just follow the installation wizard, choose a directory and the client will appear on your desktop shortcuts. Usually, the client starts automatically but I waited long enough and started the app manually.
The client is very basic and nothing to jump with joy about. In fact, I thought it was rather ugly compared to other services. When you first log into the client, you are greeted with a basic connect screen. The client will allow you to choose your location in the drop-down menu and connect when you’re ready. The client connects very fast and will show you your download/upload speed, as well as your assigned IP.
When you want to manipulate the settings, you need to click the three lines left of the locations box. Select preference and here, you will be able to change some of the options. The first tab lets you change the start-up options for the client and lets you mess with the logging option (whether they’re sent to the provider, etc.). The second tab lets you add proxies and also lets you change the network detection options. Aside from those two tabs, that’s about it.
Overall, the client is very basic and doesn’t really add a lot of value. It does exactly what it says it does on the tin. Allows you to connect to their servers quickly and effectively.
Locations and Speed
As I have said in the intro, the locations for their servers is quite small when you compare them to larger services. They only support 15 locations and have 31 servers in total (including their China-optimized servers).
This is very small and wouldn’t be a great option if you wanted to stream or torrent. On the note of torrenting, 12VPN doesn’t allow it. This is common with Chinese service providers as they want to stay off the grid. In my experience, they seem to be built to work for the Chinese specifically because of the harsh censorship laws that plague their country.
The compatibility options for 12VPN are quite impressive and they are one of the few VPN providers that allow for unlimited connections for one account. As for the actual devices themselves, 12VPN supports the industry standards, including Windows, Mac, IOS and Android. They also have clients for Chrome, Firefox, Softether (its own client) and your router. With the unlimited connection element of this VPN, you should completed covered.
The customer support for 12VPN is lacking severely. Although they were very fast to answer my questions, their actual setup is very basic and there is a lot of room for improvement.
Their support page is made up of one page and their FAQ page is very basic. If you need to ask them a question, you will have to send it to their email, which can be a bit of a pain.
There is no ticket system or live chat, which is something that’s becoming a bit of a norm when you consider other providers. However, although the support is lacking on the technical side, their response speed was very fast.
Security and Privacy
Now for the important bit, the security and privacy. 12VPN uses some tough encryption when you are connected to their servers and they are sure to stop you from being compromised.
Although these protocols are strong, they are not the standard protocols you’d see and this could confuse new users. However, there is nothing to worry about as these protocols can encrypt your network with 256-bit AES which is currently the strongest encryption available.
As for the protocols themselves, they are as follows: SSTP (like OpenVPN but for Windows only), OpenConnect and OpenWEB. They are very similar to the OpenVPN protocol and work brilliantly to protect your network.
As we have mentioned before, this is one of the few providers that support the use of Softether, which has been found to be better and faster than OpenVPN. The issue here is you will have to set up this protocol yourself using the instructions provided.
In addition, 12VPN does not keep any logs and you can even make sure that your connection logs are not sent to the provider. The only issue we had is that there is no kill switch on the client. However, a NAT firewall is included in all plans so that will help when you’re receiving unregistered inbound connections.
Free Trial and Refund Policy
Unfortunately, 12VPN doesn’t support any free trial but you can always try their support and see if you can get one. They do, however, 14-day money-back guarantee which allows you to try out the VPN for two weeks to see if it is the right one for. If you don’t like it, you can get your money back no problem.
12VPN is a small but fairly decent service. They have a very small server network with only 15 countries available. By the looks of things, they are specifically targeting the Chinese audience who need a way to escape the harsh laws that surround China.
As for the other features in their service, they do allow for unlimited connections, which is a nice feature, and they also have a tough security base to protect you when you’re using the internet. Their prices are a little steep for a service of their size and their customer support is a little old. However, if you’re looking for a basic VPN without the bells and whistles, 12VPN is for you.