ClearVPN’s free plan is compelling, especially if you’re just getting started with VPNs and are interested in the additional privacy and security rather than connecting to servers worldwide. Those benefits come at the expense of a slightly slower connection, but in most cases, you’ll hardly notice.
The premium plan is also worth considering. It’s not the cheapest VPN service, but it’s easy to use, offers servers in 17 countries, and connects to Netflix reliably. However, premium lacks some security features other services have, such as a double VPN and a malware blocker.
If you’re considering using a VPN service for the first time, ClearVPN is the easiest way to begin. As your needs grow, take some time to look through our VPN roundup for Mac, Netflix, Fire TV to learn which suits you best.
What I Like: Generous free plan. Easy to use. Shortcuts to common tasks. Reliable Netflix streaming.
What I Don’t Like: The Premium plan does not have a malware blocker or a double VPN service. Some servers are sometimes slow.
Does ClearVPN keep logs?
No, ClearVPN never keeps logs of your online activity while you are using its free and premium services.
Is it safe to use ClearVPN?
Yes, it is completely safe to use ClearVPN. In fact, using a VPN service is safer than not using one.
How much does ClearVPN cost?
ClearVPN is free to use. But, if you want access to servers in different countries and faster streaming servers, it costs $5/month for a monthly subscription, $4/month ($12 billed every 3 months) for a 3-month subscription, or $3.50/month ($12 billed every 6 months) for a 6-month subscription.
Table of Contents
Why Trust Me for This Review
My name is Adrian Try. I’ve watched the internet grow over the last few decades, and with it, the challenges of overcoming security risks. A VPN is a great first defense against threats.
Over the last year, I’ve installed, tested, and compared a dozen different VPN services. I subscribed to ClearVPN and installed it on my iMac.
Detailed Review of ClearVPN
ClearVPN protects your privacy and security online. In this article, I’ll list its features in the following four sections — Privacy through Online Anonymity, Security through Strong Encryption, Access Sites that Have Been Blocked Locally, and Access Streaming Services that Have Been Blocked by the Provider. Read on to get my personal take on ClearVPN.
1. Privacy through Online Anonymity
Your internet presence is more visible than you realize. Every time you connect to a new website, a packet of information is sent containing your system information and IP address. It lets others know where you are in the world, the operating system and web browser you use, and more. That’s not very private!
- Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) knows every website you visit. They log this information and may sell anonymous versions to third parties such as advertisers.
- Every website you visit knows and probably logs your IP address and system information.
- Advertisers track the websites you visit to send you more relevant ads and keep detailed logs. Facebook does the same.
- When you are on your work network, your employer can keep a log of every website you visit and when you accessed it.
- Governments and hackers also keep detailed logs of your online activities, including much of the data you transmit and receive.
ClearVPN’s free plan—enhances your privacy by making you anonymous. After connecting to a VPN server, the sites you visit will see the server’s IP address and location, not your own computer’s. Your ISP, employer, and government will no longer be able to track you. But there’s a major “but”– your VPN provider can (if they choose to store your data). Thankfully, ClearVPN does not store anything.
That said, ClearVPN has a strict “no-logs” policy. This means the company never stores your online activity, data, IP address, personal information, etc. That’s reassuring.
My personal take: There’s no such thing as guaranteed security, but using a VPN service is an excellent first step. ClearVPN is a service offered by a reputable company that has acceptable privacy practices clearly outlined in its policies.
2. Security through Strong Encryption
If you use public Wi-Fi, such as at a coffee shop, your security may be compromised.
- Other users on the network can intercept and log the data you send using packet-sniffing software. That may include sensitive information such as your passwords.
- They can also redirect you to fake websites where they can steal your passwords and accounts.
- You may unwittingly connect to a fake hotspot that doesn’t belong to the coffee shop at all. Anyone can set up a hotspot. Once you join, they can easily log all your online activities.
ClearVPN uses strong encryption to make you more secure. It creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server so the data you send and receive can’t be read by others.
But encrypting and decrypting your data takes time. Your web traffic will be slower when using a VPN service than when not. Another factor affecting internet speed is the distance between the server and your computer. Connecting to one nearby will make little difference speed-wise, but joining one on the other side of the planet may be noticeably slower.
How much slower does ClearVPN make your connection? Here are the details from my own experience.
I normally measure my download speed using Speedtest.net, but ClearVPN seems to block it. So, I used Google’s speed test tool instead.
First, I tested my 100 Mbps network’s naked speed (when not using a VPN):
- 102.4 Mbps at the beginning of testing (without using ClearVPN)
- 98.2 Mbps at the end of testing (without using ClearVPN)
Next, I tested the server closest to me (the Australian server). This is typically the fastest one.
- Free plan 81.8 Mbps (using ClearVPN)
- Premium plan 77.7 Mbps (using ClearVPN)
These results don’t show that the free plan is faster than the premium plan, just that the connection speed varies a little over time. Those speeds are quite fast; I probably wouldn’t notice whether I’m connected to ClearVPN or not.
Then I connected to servers around the world. I expected these to be slower than the Australian server and tested most of them a few times throughout the morning.
|VPN network speed (on an Australian 100 Mbps plan)
Despite the slower speeds, even the slowest connections were still quite useful. The Netherlands connection was only 17.3 Mbps. Google called it fast, though, explaining, “Your Internet connection should be able to handle multiple devices streaming HD videos at the same time.”
Even the 5.67 Mbps Ireland connection was usable. Google called it slow: “Your Internet connection should be able to handle one device at a time streaming a video. If multiple devices are using this connection at the same time, you may run into some congestion.”
For more information about the speeds required to stream different media types, refer to our detailed guide on the best VPN for Netflix.
My personal take: ClearVPN will make you more secure online without any complex setup. Other VPNs offer additional security features but require more configuration.
A feature called DynamicFlow automatically connects you to the faster server after analyzing the network status. Our maximum download speed with ClearVPN was 81.1 Mbps, and our average across all our tests was 21.9 Mbps. How does that compare with other VPN services? It’s not the fastest, but it is quite competitive.
Here is how ClearVPN’s speeds compare to other popular VPN services
|Best Server Speed
|Average Server Speed
|Speedify (two connections)
|Speedify (one connection)
|HMA VPN (adjusted)
|Avast SecureLine VPN
My personal take: Dynamic flow is a great feature that ensures your getting the fastest possible speed while you’re connected to ClearVPN. This feature entirely eliminates bogged-down loading entirely.
4. Access Sites Blocked by Local Network
Your school or employer can restrict access to certain sites on their networks. It’s their network, and they’re in control. They may block content that’s inappropriate for children or not safe for work; they might block social network sites due to concerns about lost productivity. Governments may censor content from other countries. VPN services tunnel through these blocks.
But there may be consequences. Consuming inappropriate content at work may end in a loss of employment, and bypassing government firewalls can result in steep fines and other repercussions, so exercise due care.
My personal take: Getting blocked by a local network’s firewall can be frustrating. Thankfully, ClearVPN can easily bypass these blocks and get you to the sites you need to access.
5. Access Streaming Services that Have Region Blocks
While governments and employers may try to stop you from getting to certain websites, some content providers like Netflix offer TV shows, movies, etc., that differ depending on the county you are in. This is due to licensing deals. For example, Netflix may only pay a television company to license a TV show for US subscribers. So, if you log on in Canada, the show won’t be available to you.
But, when you connect to a ClearVPN server in the US (while you are in Canada or another county), it appears that you’re actually located there. As such, you’ll be able to view the US Netflix content without actually being in the US physically. That is because Clear VPN “tricks” Netflix into thinking you’re in the US. Because of this, Netflix now tries to block VPNs as well—but they’re more successful with some services than others. That said, I tested ClearVPN with Netflix and had zero issues.
How successful is ClearVPN’s premium plan at accessing streaming content? I tried to access Netflix content in various countries and was successful every time. All of these countries worked:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Several other VPN services also achieved a 100% success rate, but not all. Here’s how ClearVPN compares with the competition when it comes to successful Netflix access:
- ClearVPN 100% (10 out of 10 servers tested)
- Hola VPN 100% (10 out of 10 servers tested)
- Surfshark 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)
- NordVPN 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)
- HMA VPN 100% (8 out of 8 servers tested)
- CyberGhost 100% (2 out of 2 optimized servers tested)
- Astrill VPN 83% (5 out of 6 servers tested)
- PureVPN 36% (4 out of 11 servers tested)
- ExpressVPN 33% (4 out of 12 servers tested)
- Avast SecureLine VPN 8% (1 out of 12 servers tested)
- Speedify 0% (0 out of 3 servers tested)
However, while ClearVPN gives you access to servers in 17 countries, other services offer far more servers and countries (some with 5,000+ servers).
My personal take: ClearVPN allows you to successfully stream content from 17 countries, making it one of my top choices for streaming regional content on Netflix and other streaming platforms.
Reasons Behind My Ratings
ClearVPN provides solid connection speeds and reliable access to streaming content. Plus, it uses “Dynamic Flow” to automatically connect to the fastest server available to keep your connection speed fast.
However, it doesn’t offer the security features you find with some other services, such as double VPN and malware blocking. These extra encryption/privacy features would be nice to have but are not necessary to maintain your online anonymity, bypass local network restrictions, and access streaming content licensed in other countries.
Compared to other VPN providers, ClearVPN is extremely affordable. Its basic service is free and includes IP/location masking, no-log policy, encryption, and the ability to connect up to six devices.
The Premium version includes the ability to connect to servers in different countries and faster streaming servers. Here is a snapshot of what each level includes:
Premium is inexpensive– only $5/month for a month-to-month subscription. Or you can save money by getting the 3-month ($4/month, $12 billed every 3 months) or 6-month ($3.50/month, $12 billed every 6 months) subscriptions.
Ease of Use: 4.5/5
ClearVPN aims to be easy to set up and use, and it succeeds. It is intuitive and user-friendly. All you have to do is log into your account, choose a server, confirm, then start browsing the web. That said, some tasks require more mouse clicks than similar services.
The ClearVPN Support Page lets you suggest a feature, gives access to the help desk, and allows you to contact support via a web form. Plus, the website has an FAQ section to find answers to most questions you may have. The only downside is that they do not have a live chat.
Alternatives to ClearVPN
- NordVPN is fast, affordable, and reliably streams Netflix content. It’s the winner of our Best VPN for Mac roundup. The app’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, Android TV, and FireTV.
- ExpressVPN is well-known, popular, and somewhat expensive. It won our Best VPN for Mac roundup and has an uncanny knack for tunneling through internet censorship. This one’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, FireTV, and routers.
- Astrill VPN, available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers, is a fast service that offers an ad blocker and TOR-over-VPN.
ClearVPN is a useful VPN service that helps increase your online security, and anonymity and bypass firewalls/local network restrictions. It also helps you bypass regional blocks on streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Max, etc. The free version masks your IP and location, doesn’t log anything you do, has top-tier encryption, and you can connect up to six devices.
The premium plan includes everything the free plan does, plus the ability to connect to other countries and access to dedicated streaming servers. It is affordable ($3.50 to $5/month depending on subscription length) compared to similar services but lacks a double VPN feature and malware blocking. And compared to other services, it doesn’t have as many countries and servers available.
That said, it is one of the best VPN services I’ve used. I can confidently say that it is a great VPN for 99% of people. That said, you may prefer a different VPN service with more servers and countries. However, they tend to cost more than the super-affordable ClearVPN. With hackers, tracking, stolen identities, and other fraudulent activities increasing daily, a good service like ClearVPN is necessary.
So, what do you think about this ClearVPN review? Leave a comment and let us know.