Software Title: Elephant VPN/DNS
Download Link: http://www.elephantvpn.com/en/free/12-free-vpn.html
Contact Them: https://www.elephantvpn.com/en/contact-us
License: Free up to 300mb a month/Then Slowed down to browsing speed / Sub @ $6.99 USD a month
In December 2014 we did a full month’s promotion for this new start up company.
They contacted us asking for help to get them noticed, but we had no spots left open, as everything was taken right up to the end of 2016. But I decided to drop another company’s VPN solution at the last second. As when I tested it out, they was completely useless to say the least, their services didn’t even work correctly. So I contacted Elephant back and arranged to help them after all over the month of December 2014.
It’s took me a while to get around to doing this review, continue reading and you will completely understand why.
Choosing a VPN is not just about paying money out to a company. Then hoping that their service actually works the way you would expect it too. No, choosing a VPN service should be no different than choosing an ISP. You don’t only need to know if it works, but more so, how they handle support.
So this review is going to start right from the beginning, from that first moment you clicked checkout! This review isn’t going to be all songs and praises like my previous reviews. In-fact I’m quite shocked, just how bad some parts of this company actually is. And how they’ve kept their business going this long.
Starting with their website, it looks quite professional at first glance. My opinion is that this company has paid out some hard cash to impress it’s users. When digging into the website, and start to browse around looking for further information, the first thing you will notice is their “Setup / How-To”
This is VERY well laid out, as they have completely covered everything that needs to be covered. Every word, image they used to reference something is exactly as shown or stated. (There’s nothing worse than trying to read a tutorial how to do something, and the person who’s wrote the tutorial has decided to use different terms/phrases to what you’re actually looking at on your own screen.)
So props to the How/To Section! After buying a subscription, you will have ZERO trouble following the information on how to set up connections on various devices/computers/phones/laptops/Consoles/Smart TV’s etc.
10/10 for who ever took the time to write out that HELP/HOW TO section. I’m quite surprised and impressed!
Now here’s where everything just falls into complete Chaos.
Instead of having something simple, like 1 single page where it lists all their different services. They actually have scrolling images with all kinds of names that sound completely the same. Below is a screen shot example, of just how confusing this really is.
What the hell? The reason it took so long to even get around to writing this review, is simply they give me a coupon code to test their services out. This was for VPN/EleDNS. Well lets play a little game here shall we, while reading this review. Pick out which package below, you think VPN + DNS is?
Website – NO Support Ticket System?
Trying to contact them, to quickly ask them for help on which package to pick, I noticed theirs no LiveChat! What kind of a company has no live support chat in this day and age? So I looked for some kind of support ticket system. I couldn’t find any support ticket system. Just an e-mail address, so once an e-mail was sent, I then had no way of knowing if it’s been responded too or not. I then have to wait nearly 3 days to get an e-mail back with a new code. Still no further along as they told me this was for EleGold.
On trying to enter the coupon code, I notice in their confusing array of mind blowing services and options. Surprise, Surprise there’s no Shopping Cart? There’s just a subscribe button. Well this subscribe button, wanted my credit card/paypal info. Well that’s not going to happen. I’m not paying money for a trial to do some review work.
Review on actually subscribing to their Services
10/10 – Something they actually have right! As soon as clicking subscribe to their SmartDNS systems. They instantly send you a lovely formatted HTML e-mail. This contains, the username/password and DNS IP Address. With clear links to their “howto/Setup” guides to help you setup various multiple devices around your home.
There’s 1 Extra step, you need to register you’re IP address with their DNS systems. But this was very easy to do. It’s just a simple link to their website, on that page, you enter the username /password they provided you with. Their script automatically detects and adds your WAN IP. I must say I really like this and how easy they’ve made this process.
The same goes for their VPN Services! As soon as clicking subscribe to Their VPN Package, they instantly send you a lovely formatted HTML e-mail. Again contains PPTP/L2TP/OpenVPN settings. With a clear link to their “howto/Setup” guide to help you setup various multiple devices around your home.
Now up to this part everything is very well presented and easy for the end user to understand.
But just like a rollercoaster their’s UPs and DOWNS!!! Here’s where everything falls apart yet again!
Reviewing Their VPN Services
3/10 – Their VPN Setup on Windows and all other devices is Manual, they have no Elephant Client like all their competition. So you have to pay them money, then spend time actually filling in all the details yourself like you’re some kind of Engineer. For the 80% of the people out there, they would really struggle to do this, even if they have the instructions in front of them.
Come on it’s 2015! If every other provider can offer their own 1 click client, why can’t Elephant? It gets worse! Much worse. There’s only 1 Location they give you for the money! Yes you read this correctly 1 location and that’s in Virginia, in the USA. All other providers for less money, give you multiple switching of VPN’s to different countries! These people give you just 1!
Can it get even worse? Yes I’m sorry yes it can! Their 1 address they provide is blocked on Hulu/Netflix! So you cannot even use this service to access netflix or any of the US based networks lol … What is the point? So we have a VPN we are paying twice as much as anywhere else for, which gives you just 1 location. And that 1 location is blocked and doesn’t work on the major US network channels? WOW just WOW!
As for the Speed of browsing other websites, it’s quite fast! And it does it’s job completely when it comes to bypassing all the 107 blocked websites in the UK. So for that alone it gets 1 mark, now here’s something confusing to say the least.
From their FAQ page it says the following
Do you block any ports, like PtP?
Yes. Due to abuse, we block certain ports, like port 22. Also, we do not allow PtP traffic on certain servers.
Certain Servers? Well that makes no sense, they only provide you 1 server. So are they saying it’s blocked/not blocked? It would be nice if they even got the name right, TtP? I think they mean P2P. So we are still none the wiser if we can use this service for p2p/torrents, after all the main use of a VPN is to watch TV networks in other countries lol
And since this service doesn’t work for that, then the only reason left for using a VPN is to use torrents/p2p safely. Now if their saying they don’t allow P2P on certain servers, and they only provide you 1 server. Then can someone tell me what is the point in them providing / selling you a VPN connection?
Reviewing Their Smart DNS / ELeDNS Services
6/10 – Again just like their VPN on windows, there’s on 1 click on/off install for setting up their EleDNS. You have to manually enter all the information, again the 80% of the people out there, would really struggle to do this. Even if they have the instructions in front of them. What is wrong with company’s in this day and age, that don’t have their own specialized software to do this? It’s a simple .reg file or a .bat file they can turn into a .exe and give out.
And as I explained above, this company is like a roller coaster. As their SmartDNS / EleDNS actually works! I’ve tested it on Netflix US, Pandora US, Turnable, US, and Hulu, Hulu Plus! and other various US Networks.
So their Smart DNS, once you’ve got it completely configured right does work (Hulu/Netflix have not blocked it yet)
My overall Advice to you about the services they offer.
IF you’re looking for a VPN, to access blocked websites, or to browse the Internet generally. Then use their free 300mb trial.. DON’T Download anything while on this trial just use their free VPN, to bypass the site then disconnect when it comes to downloading any contents, 300mb is more than enough a month for simple web browsing.
DO NOT!!! Buy or subscribe to their VPN Gold. It comes with 1 IP Address Location, DOESN’T work on US Networks. And they don’t allow P2P or Torrents, so the whole point of their paid VPN services is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.
HOWEVER! If you’re looking to simply Access USA Networks like Netflix/Pandora/Hulu Plus. Then EleDNS works fine! This company really should step back and take a look at why people need to use a VPN in the first place.
Let me help you out with this Elephant, VPN’s are used to safely browse the Internet access blocked websites and download safely Torrents! Without the ability to download torrents from blocked websites. There’s is no reason what so ever to use their VPN Services.
Their VPN doesn’t work for the major TV Networks & Services like Hulu/Netflix. So my advice to anyone reading this review. Is think really hard first before subscribing, if it’s a subscription to their SmartDNS then by all means go for it! It works well, but if you’re looking for a VPN to access the same networks as with a Smart DNS service, or download torrents or P2P.
Then please use any other service available, as this company clearly doesn’t understand why customers are actually buying VPN’s in the first place.