Urban VPN is a free service established in the United States that claims to be fast, completely free, and anonymous. However, we discovered it to be highly chaotic, inconsistent, and untrustworthy. It’s also a P2P (peer-to-peer) network, which means you’re riding on the extra bandwidth of other Urban VPN customers, which is a novel technique in the worldwide VPN sector.
The Urban VPN website is short on information regarding its services. The information we discovered was scattered. For example, it claims to have servers in 80 or more locations throughout the world, but when we investigated the applications, we found a different figure — roughly 60 on average — for each app.
Urban VPN’s applications are similarly barebones, with little more than a list of locations (accessible exclusively on mobile apps). There are no fancy extras like auto-connect, multiple protocol choices, custom DNS, split tunneling, or double VPN. Surprisingly, the applications lack a “settings” tab.
That being said, the service’s old website and jumbled app design are the least of our problems. We extensively evaluated Urban VPN as part of our evaluation process and determined that it only provides minimal security and privacy features. Of course, it is not the most secure VPN on the market, but it might be a viable solution if you need to temporarily access banned content.
User Experience and Device Support for Urban VPN
When you go to the Products page, you’ll find VPNs for this, VPNs for that, and other such things, but let’s be honest: Urban VPN just supports four basic platforms. Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS are among them. Surprisingly, the company provides Firefox and Chrome browser extensions.
While I don’t generally discuss Chrome VPNs or similar proxy extensions, I must remark that Urban VPN’s extensions act as an “extended hand” for its desktop programs. Because the desktop software—and mobile, for that matter—is lacking in features, the extension provides a few extras.
More on that later in our urban VPN review. It is now critical to state the number of concurrent connections. The good news is that it is not restricted to a specific number because the provider does not need account setup and therefore cannot keep track of or limit the number of devices connected at the same time.
This means you may download and use it on as many devices as you like at the same time with no impact on pricing, performance, or anything else.
Is the urban VPN secure?
Urban VPN is not secure. Firstly, since it is based in the United States, The United States is a member of the Five Eyes Alliance, a collection of countries that exchange intelligence data.
This implies that the US government might possibly gain access to sensitive data, despite the fact that VPN claims to retain no logs of user activity and has a rigorous no-logging policy.
Because it is under the authority of the US government, it is a target for data breaches and cyberattacks.
On the other hand, according to the company’s website, free services only use the P2P network, which is an antiquated networking method that is vulnerable to simple cyber assaults. We also discovered that Urban VPN’s extensions are ineffective at encrypting your connection. Desktop programs are a better alternative for properly concealing your IP address.
The one saving grace of VPN is that you do not need to sign up or provide any personal information to get this free VPN. In conclusion, Urban VPN is only enough for basic purposes; individuals seeking a more secure VPN service provider should go elsewhere.
How fast is Urban VPN?
Speed is a critical consideration for any VPN. When VPNs initially became available, users were primarily interested in their capacity to build a secure and anonymous connection. Nowadays, a fast enough streaming speed to watch Netflix, for example, is essential. That is why we thoroughly speed-test all of the VPNs we review. The speed test results of Urban VPN are presented here, along with some explanations.
Please keep in mind that we generally utilize speedtest.net for all of our speed tests because it is one of the finest and most reliable speed tests available. We were, however, unable to accurately test the speed of the local Urban VPN server in this manner. Speed testing a distant server using speedtest.net did not appear to function either. This is one of the numerous peculiarities of Urban VPN and its servers that will be discussed further in this post. We ended up choosing speedof.me, another well-rated speed testing service.
Without an urban VPN, speed suffers
First, we’ll demonstrate our internet connection speed without using a VPN. We use this as a comparison to check how much Urban VPN slows down our connection compared to our normal speed.
The speed of a local server
The speed test results using a local urban VPN server are shown below.
On the surface, this is not a horrible outcome. We lost less than 30% of our download speed when we used the local Urban VPN server instead of our usual speed.
Surprisingly, the upload speed rose marginally. We’re not sure how this happened, but many Internet Service Providers “throttle” your speed to protect the rest of the network. You can get around this by using a VPN. However, we are unsure if this is what occurred here.
Finally, the latency (delay in milliseconds) has not changed.
These are obviously not awful results, especially for a fully free VPN. Nonetheless, as described later in this post, we must note that Urban VPN’s speeds are not particularly consistent and vary greatly. We also detected far lower speeds than those listed above. However, we believe it is crucial to give certain VPNs the benefit of the doubt because a speed test is affected by a variety of things, not just the VPN. That is why, with everyday use in mind, we perform dozens of tests and select the one we feel is the most representative.
Is personal information logged by Urban VPN?
It certainly does.
It automatically gathers data to which you voluntarily consent. Using the Urban VPN Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and/or Android software allows the provider to log data.
Urban VPN states that it “may share, sell, or otherwise commercially exploit the aggregated coded data” it obtains.
When it comes to data retention, this VPN provider does not retain its users’ non-personal and personal data indefinitely.
When you deactivate its program from your smartphone, it will promptly destroy the online identifiers linked to you. The firm immediately anonymizes the online surfing data it collects.
You can’t contact the VPN staff unless you provide some contact information. However, the firm will delete it once your request has been completed.
Urban VPN will retain technical data (such as your approximate geographical position) for as long as it is required to serve you.
On its website, the firm features a Do Not Sell page. It allegedly allows users to opt out of data sharing on the Urban VPN mobile client.
Unfortunately, it does not function.
The only definite method to prevent your data from being sold is to uninstall all Urban VPN desktop and mobile apps.
What information is required by Urban VPN?
To open a VPN account, you must normally provide certain personal information. To further secure your privacy, however, submit as little information as possible.
Surprisingly, Urban VPN performs admirably in this regard: you don’t have to reveal anything! The service is free, and you do not need to create an account or input personal information like an email address to use it. As you can see under “Urban VPN Installation,” it is basically a question of downloading the program, installing it, and you’re ready to go.
Is Urban VPN a free service?
On the surface, Urban VPN is a 100% free service that requires no signup.
On the other hand, its free version is like a nosy neighbor, tracking your browser history, logging your IP address, and sharing your bandwidth with other free users.
There is no customer service, and the features are subject to assault. It’s as dependable as a used automobile, and connection speeds are slower than dial-up.
It is a newcomer to the free VPN market, having debuted in 2018. Many VPN providers utilize their free version as bait to entice users to pay for a subscription. Urban VPN is playing the same game with its mobile consumers, but its subscription plans on the desktop apps are inconsistent.