Sitelock VPN Review 2023: Is it worth the cost?
Sitelock is a security company that has been around since 2004. The company majors in website security (which they are quite good at), but they now have a VPN. If you are in the process of choosing a VPN, this Sitelock VPN review will put one of the options in focus.
Pros & Cons
Sitelock VPN comes from SiteLock, the well-respected website security company. The VPN service was launched in 2019, and it seems to offer excellent levels of privacy and security.
Here’s a quick overview of the VPN:
- 1,100+ servers in 49 countries and 77 locations
- Apps for Windows, macOS, Android, & iOS
- Works in highly censored countries
- Doesn’t keep any logs
- Allows torrenting
After the launch, Sitelock announced that protecting websites will still remain their primary goal, and this is reflected on the website, which contains minimal information about the VPN.
Don’t worry though; this Sitelock VPN review will tell you everything you need to about the VPN. We’ll look at all aspects of the VPN, from streaming capabilities to encryption standards used. Read through, and you’ll be able to determine whether to use the VPN or not.
What can Sitelock VPN do?
The extra capabilities provided by a VPN have become even more important today as geo-restrictions, VPN blocks, and online controls continue to grow.
Streaming: Does Sitelock VPN work with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other services?
Sitelock VPN works with Netflix. During our tests, we were able to access Netflix US using several US-based servers.
However, you won’t be able to access any other Netflix library.
Sitelock VPN can also access several US-based services such as Disney+ and HBO Now, although most non-US sites such as BBC iPlayer and DAZN are blocked.
Overall, this is quite a mixed experience, and so Sitelock VPN doesn’t make it to our list of the best VPNs for streaming.
Does Sitelock VPN support torrenting?
Yes, Sitelock VPN supports torrenting. The VPN doesn’t mention it on the website, but we tested the VPN and found that you can use it to download torrent files. The fact that the VPN keeps zero logs and provides a kill switch also makes it a suitable torrenting option.
Does Sitelock VPN work in China?
Sitelock VPN offers OpenVPN Scramble, a feature that uses XOR encryption algorithm to disguise VPN traffic. The technology is usually effective in bypassing deep packet inspection (dpi) blocking, so you can expect Sitelock VPN to bypass most censorship blocks.
However, the Great Firewall of China (GFW) requires regular maintenance as the rules are updated frequently. If you plan to visit the country, we suggest that you go with ExpressVPN. The VPN is well equipped and maintained to provide consistent access from China. It also has a .onion domain and several mirror sites that facilitate access from China.
Is Sitelock VPN Secure?
Yes, Sitelock VPN is secure.
Sitelock VPN is owned is owned by Sitelock LLC, a company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. This means that the VPN operates under the laws of the US.
Although US laws don’t require VPNs to keep logs, the country conducts mass surveillance on its citizens. This has seen tens of US-based VPNs being subpoenaed to provide details about the activities of their users. And in most cases, these companies are served with gag orders that force them not to talk about it.
For this reason, a US-based VPN is not the most ideal for privacy, although some have beaten the authorities several times by keeping zero logs of user activities.
SiteLock guarantees a strict no-logs policy for VPN Services, meaning that your activities using VPN Services are provided by automated technical process, are not monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or passed to any third party. We do not store connection time stamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses, or other data.
As part of our Sitelock VPN review assessment on privacy, we conducted several leak tests to see if the VPN leaks any user information. We used multiple random servers and tested for IP leaks, DNS leaks, and WebRTC leaks during the tests, and we were glad to see that Sitelock VPN doesn’t leak any user information.
Sitelock VPN takes security seriously as it uses high security standards. The VPN encrypts data using 256-bit AES encryption, the recommended security standard. However, it also allows users to lower the encryption standard to 128-bit AES encryption, which comes in handy if you want to maximize speeds.
In terms of protocols, the VPN offers several variations:
- Windows – OpenVPN & IKEv2
- macOS – IKEv2
- Android – OpenVPN
- iOS – IKEv2 & IPSec
All apps support the capability to choose between AES-256 and AES-128.
Sitelock VPN Features
Sitelock VPN offers several features that enhance both privacy/ security and functionality.
A kill switch is a privacy and security feature that protects users from accidental exposure. This type of exposure happens when the VPN disconnects unexpectedly, meaning the user is no longer protected. A kill switch prevents this by ensuring that no application can connect to the internet when the VPN is down.
Unlike most VPNs, the Sitelock VPN kill switch jumps into action immediately after it is activated (not when the VPN disconnects accidentally). This means that if you activate the feature, you won’t be able to use your internet unless you connect to the VPN. Note that the kill switch allows the VPN to connect to a server.
Scramble is an obfuscation feature that is useful for users living or staying in countries with high censorship levels. These countries usually use advanced firewalls to prevent the use of VPNs by blocking all VPN traffic.
Scramble helps avoid VPN blocking by replacing OpenVPN bits to hide the protocol’s distinctive signature. This is accomplished using the XOR cipher, which has already been proven successful against most government blocks.
Auto reconnection is a useful feature that allows your VPN to stay connected. The feature helps reconnect the VPN when you lose your VPN connection. For example, if the VPN disconnects due to a loss of internet connection, it will automatically reconnect you’re your internet is back. Auto reconnection is especially important when you are using the kill switch or when you simply want to stay connected.
Sitelock VPN Server Network
Sitelock VPN has a server network that consists of 1,100+ servers in 49 countries and 77 locations. Although it’s not among the largest, this is a decent server network that can serve users quite well.
The Sitelock VPN servers are well distributed, and you can connect to the Americas, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa. The servers are not listed according to regions on the app, but they can be sorted using alphabetical order (for both countries and cities).
All servers offer unlimited bandwidth and server switches.
Pricing & Plans
Sitelock VPN provides three plans, starting with a 1-month plan. The VPN then offers discounts on longer plans, allowing you to save up to 40% on the monthly plan. Here’s an overview of the three plans:
- 1-month plan: Costs $9.99 a month, billed every 30 days.
- 1-year plan: Costs $5.99 a month, billed as $71.88 every 12 months.
- 2-year plan: Costs $3.99 a month, billed $95.75 every 24 months.
The VPN refers to every subscription as a single license, but it allows you to simultaneously use the subscription on up to 5 devices.
Overall, the VPN’s 1-month plan is priced on the higher end of mid-range VPNs. The 1-year plan is a little more expensive compared to other VPNs, while the 2-year plan is averagely priced.
Supported payment methods
Sitelock VPN only allows payments through credit/ debit cards. This is a huge disappointment as most users prefer to use PayPal as they don’t have to give out their card details, and they can easily cancel the pre-approved payment easily. The lack of Bitcoin support can also be a problem for users who prefer to pay for a VPN anonymously.
Does Sitelock VPN have a free trial?
No, Sitelock VPN does not provide a free trial. The only way you can test out the VPN is by subscribing to the monthly plan.
Does Sitelock VPN have a money-back guarantee?
No, Sitelock VPN does not have any money-back guarantee. However, the VPN allows users to request a refund within 30 days, but they also state that any refund is at Sitelock’s discretion only. This means that to get a refund, you have to prove that the service doesn’t work as expected.
Getting started with Sitelock VPN
Sitelock is known for its cloud-based website protection solutions and its website majors on that. The website has just a single page that talks about the VPN, so you can expect not to find much information about the product.
The VPN page has a pricing section with "Buy Now" buttons. After selecting a plan, you can then click buy now, and it will direct you to the subscription. There, you will be required to create an account by providing your name, email address, and phone number (it doesn't have to be real). From there, you can then provide your payment details and create a password after you receive a confirmation email.
The process ends there for pretty much every other VPN, but Sitelock VPN requires an extra step. The Sitelock credentials you have created can be used to log in to your account on the web, but they won’t work on the VPN. You will need to activate your VPN subscription by logging in to your account, clicking VPN, and providing a username and a password.
To make the process easier, you can use the same details you used while creating your account. From there, click “Activate,” and your account should then start working.
Which devices & platforms does Sitelock VPN support?
Sitelock VPN supports the most popular devices and platforms. These include:
You can’t install the VPN manually on any device as Sitelock doesn't provide files for manual configuration. This is a bit of a disappointment as there are many devices that do not have an app, but most users should still feel sorted with the four apps provided.
Ease of use
As part of our Sitelock VPN review, we installed the VPN on Windows, Android, and iOS to assess its functionality and ease of use.
Desktop App (Windows)
To download the Sitelock VPN Windows setup file, you need to log in to the website first. You can then select “VPN” among the services and products offered by Sitelock and click the Windows button. The file is about 17 MBs in size, and it should install within a few minutes. From there, you can log in using your license (not account) details.
After logging in, we noticed that the Windows app is identical to that of VPNHub (check out our review), although the kill switch feature works differently. The main screen features a non-functional map sketch, a server selection button, and a connection button.
The “Best Available” server option makes the VPN choose the best server for you, and in our tests, it always chose the closest server. You can select a server of your choice by clicking the displayed server. This will give you a list of all the servers displayed in terms of both countries and cities. All servers have a load percentage displayed on the right-hand side, and you can sort all of them in terms of countries (alphabetically), cities (alphabetically), and load (percentage). You can also search for a particular country or city.
To customize your connection, click the settings button on the top right side. This will open several tabs, with “General” and “Connection” being the main ones.
Under General, you can determine how the app behaves when you start your PC, start the app, or press the closing button. You can also activate the kill switch and auto reconnection features.
Under connection, you can choose a protocol of your choice between IKEv2 and OpenVPN. IKEv2 is considered to be secure enough and faster than OpenVPN, so it can be a good option if you want a faster connection.
OpenVPN (UDP or TCP) allows you to choose between AES-128-CBC and AES-256-CBC encryption standards. AES-128 is faster but less secure than AES-256, which is the recommended standard. If you’d like to circumvent censorship restrictions, you can activate Scramble.
Once you are satisfied with the settings, you can then connect to the VPN.
Overall, the Sitelock VPN Windows app is not the most appealing to the eye. The app however does the job as it offers several features and works as expected.
Sitelock VPN provides mobile apps for both Android and iOS. The two apps look quite similar in terms of design, and they also feature the map sketch found in the desktop apps. On the main screen, you can select between AES-256 and AES-128. You can also connect with just a single click, and this will connect you to the best available server depending on your location.
To select a specific server, you can click the server button in the middle. This will give you a server list displayed in terms of cities and countries. The list follows the alphabetical order of cities, but it can also be sorted in terms of countries. You can also select a server by searching its name on the search button.
In terms of customization, the iOS app doesn’t offer much. The only configuration options available are choosing between IKEv2 and IPSec and activating On-demand. The latter helps keep the VPN connected.
The Android app offers several options. You can activate Auto Reconnect, activate Scramble, choose a protocol between UDP and TCP, and select a port between 443 and 1194. The app also provides several startup options:
- Do not automatically connect
- Connect to last connected server
- Connect to fastest server
- Connect to fastest server in country.
The latter allows you to select the country you want.
Overall, the Sitelock VPN mobile apps are well designed, and we didn’t experience any issues during our tests. The ability to choose the encryption level on both apps is much welcome.
How fast is Sitelock VPN?
To give you an idea of the speeds you can expect from Sitelock VPN, we conducted several speed tests. We used the default protocol (IKEv2) and connected to several servers in nearby and distant countries during the tests. All our tests were done on a Windows 10 PC using a stable 50 Mbps connection.
When we connected using the “Best Available” feature, we were connected to a server in the same country. The server gave us speeds that averaged 40 Mbps with an upload of 6 Mbps. Servers in distant countries (different continents) averaged 34 Mbps and 38 Mbps, which was quite impressive.
Using OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption resulted in much slower speeds of about 30 Mbps when connected to a nearby server, but the 128-bit version was remarkable at 37 Mbps.
Overall, Sitelock VPN performs well when it comes to speeds.
Sitelock VPN Customer Support
Sitelock states that they provide 24/7 support to all customers. The support is mainly provided via phone support, and there are solutions, support, and billing phone numbers for users in the US. There’s also an international number that you can call from any country.
If you just have a few inquiries about the VPN, there's a live chat support option. The website asks for your website and phone number, but you don’t have to provide any details. When we contacted them, we got connected to an agent in less than a minute.
However, the representative knew pretty much nothing about the VPN, and they only told us to come back in an hour for a more knowledgeable representative. The website's support page won't be helpful either as it doesn't provide any VPN-related FAQs or troubleshooting guides.
Overall, Sitelock VPN’s support is quite disappointing as the company only focuses on website security.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
? Is Sitelock VPN any good?
Sitelock VPN is a good VPN as it doesn’t keep any logs, supports Netflix US, allows torrenting, and offers several advanced features and functionalities.
⚔️ Is Sitelock VPN Secure?
Sitelock VPN provides superb privacy and security. The VPN doesn’t keep any logs, and it secures data using up to 256-bit AES encryption. It also provides secure protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2.
? Is Sitelock VPN free?
No, Sitelock VPN does not have a free plan or a free trial. To try out the service, you need to subscribe to the VPN’s monthly plan.
Sitelock VPN has been around for two years now, and it one of the VPNs that suffer from being "just another security product." The company doesn't seem to have put much into the VPN since the launch, as the website barely contains any information about the VPN. The representatives don't seem to know much about it either.
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