TigerVPN Review (2019): Almost There

TigerVPN was founded in 2011 in Slovakia. It’s a friendly-looking, socially-conscious VPN service that actually donates 2% of its profits to animal charities. Given the generally dodgy reputation of VPNs, this makes a nice change of pace. Its prices are above average, but it prides itself on usability and seems to have higher user reviews. Is it worth the money? We put it to the test.

PROS

  • Record server numbers
  • 6 connections allowed
  • 2 kill switches
  • Specialist servers
  • Some very cheap prices

CONS

  • Slightly faster speeds
  • 94 countries
  • Record Netflix access
  • Full access torrenting
  • Easy-to-use app

Speed & Expectations

Rerouting your connection through a second server and encrypting all the data can understandably slow things down. We put tigerVPN’s speed to the test by measuring these three indicators:

  1. Download speed: The rate at which data is transferred from the server to your device. This is measured in megabytes per second (mbps) and a higher number is better.

  2. Upload speed: The rate at which data is transferred to the server from your device. This is also measured in megabytes per second (mbps) and a higher number is better.

  3. Ping (or latency): Tested by “pinging” the server, it’s the amount of time it takes for it to receive and process your request. This is measured in milliseconds (ms) and a lower number is better.

First we set a baseline by measuring speeds on our default connection, a 100mbps internet connection in Chicago, IL.

Then we tested each metric on various tigerVPN servers, running each test 5 times to make results more empirical.

TigerVPN speed test results

These are the results of our baseline test:

So the average baseline score was:

  • Download: 80.1mbps
  • Upload: 12.0mbps
  • Ping: 11.6ms

Next we ran our tests on a tigerVPN United States server:

US averages of the 5 different speed tests were:

  • Download: 41.6mbps (48.1% slower)
  • Upload: 11.6mbps (3.2% slower)
  • Ping: 12.6ms (8.6% longer)

(You would expect these to give the fastest results since it’s the closest server location).

Next we tested Europe:

Europe’s averages were:

  • Download: 25.3mbps (68.4% slower)
  • Upload: 10.3mbps (14.1% slower)
  • Ping: 115.4ms (894.8% longer)

Here’s Asia:

Asia’s averages were:

  • Download: 25.7mbps (67.9% slower)
  • Upload: 9.6mbps (20.2% slower)
  • Ping: 218.8ms (1786.2% longer)

Next, South America:

South America’s averages were:

  • Download: 35.7mbps (55.4% slower)
  • Upload: 10mbps (16.5% slower)
  • Ping: 139.8ms (1105.2% longer)

Finally, we tested Africa:

Africa’s averages were:

  • Download: 22.4mbps (72% slower)
  • Upload: 7mbps (41.6% slower)
  • Ping: 279.4ms (2308.6% longer)

Next up, we compared these results against other VPNs.

First up, let’s take a look at download speeds:

VPNUSEuropeAsiaS.AmericaAfrica
Tiger VPN-48%-68%-68%-55%-72%
VPN Unlimited-27%-77%-79%-64%-61%
Cyberghost-35%-59%-71%-56%-68%
Torguard-37%-58%-81%-60%-67%
ProtonVPN-35%-50%-56%-77%-54%
PureVPN-26%-68%-94%-32%-89%
Trust.Zone-14%-99%-80%-66%-82%
AVG Secure VPN-56%-87%-69%-75%-68%
Hoxx VPN-12%-96%-93%n/a-68%
VPNSecure-68%-93%-98%-61%-77%
IPVanish-36%-54%-72%-76%n/a
NordVPN-40%-99%-69%-58%-75%
ExpressVPN-71%-58%-64%-95%-67%
Avast-45%-63%-72%-66%-77%
Windscribe-44%-57%-80%-98%-73%
Average-39.6%-72.4%-76.4%-67.1%-71.3%

Download speeds are above average in Asia and South America, just above average in Europe, just below average in Africa, and below average in the US.

Next, how did upload speeds compare?

VPNUSEuropeAsiaS.AmericaAfrica
Tiger VPN-3%-14%-20%-17%-42%
VPN Unlimited-13%-39%-85%-19%-56%
Cyberghost-8%-16%-92%-37%-48%
Torguard-9%-20%-35%-22%-41%
ProtonVPN-2%-15%-20%-41%-29%
PureVPN13%2.5%-54%-11%-72%
Trust.Zone-13%-45%-67%-28%-84%
AVG Secure VPN-19%-58%-75%-80%-77%
Hoxx VPN-5%-90%-24%n/a-51%
VPNSecure-9%-19%-92%-26%-56%
IPVanish-5%-19%-84%-22%n/a
NordVPN-13%-46%-26%-16%-70%
ExpressVPN-9%-24%-34%-72%-42%
Avast-13%-42%-78%-70%-77%
Windscribe-6%-17%-52%-97%-53%
Average-7.6%-30.8%-55.9%-39.9%-57%

Upload speeds are above average in all locations.

And finally latency:

VPNUSEuropeAsiaS.AmericaAfrica
Tiger VPN9%895%1786%1105%2309%
VPN Unlimited33%935%3946%1411%2535%
Cyberghost27%1085%2344%1352%2415%
Torguard7%1036%2023%1384%2502%
ProtonVPN17%810%1840%1185%2017%
PureVPN-23%708%489%1018%1823%
Trust.Zone104%1206%2438%1396%2750%
AVG Secure VPN1021%1111%2419%3560%3336%
Hoxx VPN566%1098%2470%n/a2794%
VPNSecure281%1051%2519%1530%2917%
IPVanish240%1038%4144%1424%n/a
NordVPN34%1278%2328%1560%2696%
ExpressVPN98%965%2122%1545%2461%
Avast33%1133%2465%1556%2815%
Windscribe310%1018%1904%2042%2782%
Average183.8%1024.5%2349.1%1576.3%2582.3%

Latency speeds are again above average in all locations, particularly in the US with just a 9% difference.

Speed (Summary)

Tiger VPN has above average speeds overall, particularly upload and latency.

Performance & Features

In this section we compare the most common features amongst VPNs.

Number of servers: 300

How many active servers are available to connect to across all countries, regardless of their physical location.

This is just about respectable, but definitely can’t compete with the top VPN’s that offer between 1,000-6,000, such as PIA’s 3,160.

Number of countries: numbers: 42

How many countries the total number of servers cover, regardless of how many are located in a single country.

This is middle of the pack, however it’s surprisingly well spread-out, especially in Asia and South America, with 4 South American countries included. They even have servers in oppressive Russia and Turkey. Here’s the full list of locations.

Number of connections allowed: 2-5

How many devices can be connected to a server (or number of servers) based on a single VPN account or subscription.

tigerVPN unusually offers between 2 and 5 connections depending on the length of time you commit. 5 connections is the average across VPNs, so tigerVPN comes in a bit low here.

Torrenting allowed: All servers.

Whether you can download and share files on a peer-to-peer or P2P network as opposed to a single server.

Great news for torrentors: tigerVPN allows torrenting on all of its servers, and seems fairly torrent-friendly.

They do nicely ask you to use a few specific servers in countries that are more pro-torrenting, but don’t actually enforce this.

Kill switch available: No.

Whether the VPN software can disable your connection to the network in the event you disconnect from the VPN server. This prevents your IP address from being exposed.

Unfortunately, tigerVPN doesn’t have any kill switch capabilities on any platforms, a great disappointment. A lot of competitors have them on at least one platform, such as NordVPN.

Performance and Features (Summary)

tigerVPN is adequate but definitely doesn’t overwhelm with its features. It has a respectable number of servers in a medium number of countries, but there’s no kill switch. You also have to commit to a year to get the average 5 connections. On the plus side, torrenting is full access.

Privacy & Security

Security levels actually vary massively across VPNs. Here we look at all the aspects this entails to see how safe your data really is with tigerVPN.

First let’s look at the technical aspects:

Protocols/Encryption: OpenVPN, IPSec L2TP, PPTP protocols with AES-256 encryption

tigerVPN sticks mostly to the OpenVPN protocol, which is extremely secure and which many prefer as it is open-source and so has been thoroughly tested for vulnerabilities.

The iOS app uses IPSec.

Other protocols have to be setup manually, which isn’t ideal. A lot of other VPNs offer more automatic protocol choice.

It also uses military-grade AES-256 encryption, so no problems there.

DNS leaks: None found.

IP leaks: None found.

WebRTC leaks: None.

Viruses/Malware: None found.

We found no leaks, viruses or malware in our testing.

Legal issues

Jurisdiction: Slovakia. Slovakia is outside of 14-eyes, which is great. It is part of the EU, however it’s been pretty firm in saying no to mandatory EU data retention laws, so I’d say it’s a pretty good location overall.

Logging policy: Some logs.

tigerVPN is adamant it doesn’t record any logs.

However, it’s privacy policy actually says it collects a range of information including:

  • VPN protocol and version
  • Operating system
  • app version
  • traffic statistic
  • connection session (server location)
  • favorite servers [optional]
  • debug information [optional]

And it keeps this data for 6 months – a long time.

First up, I like the level of transparency in this policy. It doesn’t shy away from giving the details. It goes into great detail about what is collected and why.

Also, just to be clear this isn’t anything major like connection times, IP address or browsing history.

It does say they’re not able to single out any individual data, due to many users using the same servers at the same time.

They also don’t have a transparency report or independent audit, although they’ve never been the subject of any controversy.

Privacy and Security Summary

tigerVPN has great encryption and protocols, and no leaks or viruses. It’s based in Slovakia, which is outside 14-eyes, and although it’s in the EU it seems to resist any invasive data laws. Its logs policy collects some minimal information, but it says they can’t distinguish individual users, so this isn’t really a concern.

Usability

This section looks at the following aspects:

  • Streaming/Geo-spoofing
  • Compatibility
  • Overall UI/UX

Streaming/Geo-spoofing

Since the great Netflix block of 2016, Netflix access is incredibly patchy across VPNs. So we tested tigerVPN against all major streaming services in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

  • Netflix: Partially Undetected. We were able to access Netflix in 3 countries: USA (Denver and Los Angeles servers), Spain (Madrid) and Italy (Milan).
  • Hulu: Partially Undetected. Hulu worked on the Denver and Los Angeles servers.
  • YouTube: Undetected. YouTube worked fine on all servers.
  • Kodi: Undetected. Kodi worked fine with tigerVPN.

Compatibility

What devices can you actually use tigerVPN on?

We tested everything from Tor, iOS devices, Android devices, Smart TV’s, Amazon Firestick, Mac, Windows, to routers:

  • Tor browser: Supported. Tor works fine in conjunction with tigerVPN for maximum anonymity.
  • iOS (iPad, iPhone): Supported. tigerVPN has a fully-functional iOS app.
  • Android: Supported. tigerVPN also has an Android app.
  • Smart TV’s: Not Supported. tigerVPN doesn’t support Smart TVs.
  • Amazon Firestick: Not Supported. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t support Firesticks either.
  • Windows: Supported.
  • Mac: Supported.
  • Routers: Partially Supported. tigerVPN don’t offer much router support, though users have configured Tomato and DD-WRT routers. They’ve recently published a DD WRT guide.

Overall UX/UI

Finally, we thoroughly tested out tigerVPN’s apps to see what the user experience was like.

The interface is small, which is good, but also white in color, which is hard to distinguish from a lot of backgrounds.

It’s probably the simplest interface I’ve tested. It shows the server list straightaway, with a radio button indicating you’re not yet connected.

The ‘Recommended’ bar at the top is actually a ‘quick connect’ button. Click this and you’ll automatically be connected to its recommended server.

You can’t select individual servers unfortunately, you can only select the city.

Confusingly, servers are listed alphabetically in city order. Most do it by country. You’ve therefore got to be good at your geography to use this one.

This means, for example, all the US servers are spread out instead of being next to each other. Very weird and very hard to navigate.

Even worse, country names are abbreviated, e.g. Singapore is SG. This makes it even harder to scan the list for your country. Fortunately flags are on the left.

There’s an option in settings to ‘not sort by city order’. However, this then sorts the servers in a seemingly random order I couldn’t make sense of.

There’s no other sorting or filtering options, or load indicators, but there is a nice search bar.

However, since countries are abbreviated, it’s hard to search for countries. For example, searching for ‘Singapore’ would give you nothing as it’s listed as ‘SG’.

There’s also an annoying fade out on the server list, which looks fancy but makes it hard to see.

Once you click a server, it connects and the radio button flicks to on. Connection times were very short.

Once connected, there’s zero stats such as connection time or speeds, which keeps things simple and uncluttered.

You can easily change servers with just one click, no prior disconnection needed.

There’s also a favorites option. Simply click the heart. These are listed in the favorites tab for easy access.

There’s no special streaming servers. Torrenting is allowed on all servers.

Settings are, predictably, minimal.

There are literally only 6 settings available. OpenVPN is the only protocol available, but you can choose to change to TCP from UDP.

There’s also the previously mentioned ‘sorting’ option, show favorites by default, and only 2 start-up options.

There’s no kill switch, auto-connect settings, split tunneling, dns or IPv6 leak protection, etc.

However, under ‘Troubleshooting’ you can check the status of the VPN.

This takes you to a very useful web page which shows any service announcements and the status of all servers.

And that’s it! Such a simple little app.

The mobile app (we tested Android) is identical to the desktop version, so there’s zero learning curve. Another plus for usability.

Your favorites also automatically sync across all your devices, which is amazing. Very few VPNs do this.

The only difference was there’s even less settings; just three.

Basically it doesn’t include the startup options.

Usability (Summary)

tigerVPN surprisingly has pretty great Netflix access with 3 countries covered: the US, Italy and Spain. Hulu also worked fine. It has all the basic compatibility but nothing special (no Linux, Smart TVs or Firesticks) and limited router support.

It’s apps are extremely simple and easy to use, aside from annoyingly being listed in city order. However, they are incredibly basic with very few options.

Pricing & Refunds

tigerVPN has 1 month, 6 month or 1 year payment options.

The 1 month price is very expensive at $11.99. The 1 year option is closer to average, but it’s still above average.

It’s a shame they don’t offer a longer 2 year option for further discounts.

Unlike most VPNs, Tiger employs the old incentive trick to try and get you to sign up for longer. 1 month just gets you a paltry 2 connections, whilst 1 year gets you 5. Since 5 is the average across VPNs, this doesn’t really sit well with us.

You also get two bonus products with the yearly option: StickyPassword premium, an excellently-rated password manager worth $29.99 a year, and Shimo VPN, a VPN client for Mac, worth $49.

The password manager may come in useful, but Shimo is pretty useless if you don’t own a Mac. Still, it’s a clever marketing tactic.

If you don’t go for the yearly plan, you can at least upgrade your number of connections through what they call ‘Karma Points’. You accrue points by doing things like following them on social media, and getting up to 5 connections is reasonably achievable.

Every app comes with a 3-day trial, which is nice. They don’t really advertise this, but you’re given the option as soon as you download. The trial is full access with 2 connections allowed, which is generous as most VPNs only allow 1.

After this, there’s also a 7 day money-back guarantee.

There’s some fine print to this though: you have to purchase directly through the website (and this doesn’t include redeeming a licence key purchased from another website).

Some VPNs offer longer trials and moneyback guarantees, but this is fairly good overall.

tigerVPN has a wide variety of payment options, including card, Paypal, and Bitcoin. Other cryptocurrencies aren’t available though.

No add-ons are available. Unusually, tigerVPN doesn’t do dedicated IPs, so those looking to purchase one should pick a different service.

The checkout process was easy and simple, and we were up and running in minutes.

Pricing (Summary)

tigerVPN offers 1 month, 6 month or 1 year options, ranging from expensive to above average. You get 2-5 connections depending on how long you commit, and two bonus products if you sign up for a year. There’s a free 3 day trial and a 7 day money-back guarantee. Payment options are quite varied including Bitcoin.

Support

tigerVPN has live chat, email and a ticketing system. However, a huge downside is it’s not 24/7, unlike a lot of VPNs. Their working hours are Monday to Friday 8 AM to 6 PM GMT+2.

This means they’re not even available on weekends. The time zone is also extremely inconvenient for users based in the US or Asia.

Basically, this really isn’t up to par for a VPN, which everyone knows has a global user base.

The live chat icon always appears on their website, but when you actually click on it, it says they’re back ‘later today’, without giving you a time.

If you try and message, a bot responds, again with no time frame. However, if you’re logged in at the time and they have your email address, they will email you the answer later.

Alternatively, you can just email them directly at [email protected].

Even when live chat is available, they take an age to respond.

Infact, they freely admit they ‘typically respond in less than an hour’. An hour! Most other live chat services we’ve tested respond within a few minutes.

To be fair when they do finally respond (usually through email by the time they do), they’re helpful and to the point, if a bit brief.

Moving onto their knowledgebase. This is hidden away in the footer of their site. It’s divided into 3 sections: troubleshooting, manual setup guides and general questions. There’s also a nice search bar which works well.

There’s also a ‘talk to a human’ section, which just has one rather snarky article telling users to login first. It doesn’t provide any information about opening hours. In fact I couldn’t find this information anywhere, which isn’t very helpful.

There aren’t any setup guides for their apps, though I guess it is pretty straightforward.

The general questions section has 22 articles, which is a fair amount, though definitely not the most comprehensive we’ve seen. However it covers all the basics like encryption and protocols, torrenting and Netflix, refunds and trials.

For Netflix, they say they update a google doc spreadsheet with unblocked servers.

A couple of these were correct, but it says it didn’t work on any US servers, whereas we played Netflix just fine on 2 US servers. It also says it works on 2 Brazil servers, but these didn’t work for us.

The troubleshooting section has just 10 articles.

I was shocked by the language of these articles, which assumes high technical level knowledge of VPNs. For example when talking about their ‘TCP overide’ option on their apps, they assume you know what ports are. They don’t make an attempt to simplify it for beginners, their target audience.

A lot of fixes are also very technical, such as recommending changing the MTU value if websites don’t load. This is also a very extreme solution and shouldn’t be used as a first port of call.

They also have download links to older versions of their apps (Windows etc) in this section, which is an odd place to have it.

The manual setup guides section focus on manual protocols for its existing apps (Windows, Mac, iOs and Android).

Apart from that, there’s only manual setup guides for Linux and Chromebook. Nothing for Smart TVs, etc. There’s one guide for DD WRT routers, but no other brands. This is a shame as many other VPNs offer manual workarounds for a variety of platforms and devices, which would be very handy for beginners who don’t have much technical knowledge.

As mentioned they also have a status page which shows if any servers are down or there’s any service announcements, which is very useful.

Support (Summary)

tigerVPN support includes live chat, a ticketing system and email, but these are only available Monday-Friday 9-5 GMT+2, and response times during live chat hours are still slow. Staff are helpful though. The knowledgebase is medium level compared to others, however it doesn’t have many manual setup guides for other devices.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

What did other reviewers think of tigerVPN? We summarise other reviews on the internet.

Like us reviewers weren’t overly impressed with the server selection, with some calling it medium size and some small compared to the VPN giants. However, one assured users that server numbers were steadily growing.

They liked the full torrenting access, although one said it didn’t seem very torrent-friendly on its website.

They all agreed it was secure technically and none found any leaks in their testing. They all approved of the OpenVPN protocol since it’s open-source. However, one complained tigerVPN didn’t support Perfect Forward Secrecy.

They bemoaned the lack of kill switches, except one who said it was available on Windows, which must be either incorrect information or no longer be the case.

One called the logging policy sketchy, however they focused on the fact it stored things like email address and payment information. Most mentioned the fact that it had some logs, but didn’t seem very concerned due to the fact it says you can’t identify individual data.

They called the interface top-of-the-line, with amazing usability. However, they agreed it had almost no settings. Unlike our experience, one called it sluggish.

A lot had inconsistent speed results, with fast local speeds and mixed long-distance speeds. However, one found excellent speeds. A couple had connection issues with a few servers.

Reviewers generally reported less Netflix access than us. One reviewer accessed US Netflix, some accessed other countries but not the US, and some found no access.

Unlike us they praised tigerVPN’s compatibility with its various apps, and one said it had decent manual setup guides for Linux and Chromebooks.

A big difference was reviewers liked the customer support on offer, despite it not being 24/7. They liked the array of options, from live chat to a ticketing system. They said staff responded within minutes and were very knowledgeable and pleasant.

In terms of price, most thought it was above average, particularly the monthly price, though it got better value with longer commitment. However, one said the prices were reasonable.

They appreciated the Bitcoin option, and approved of the trial and 7 day money-back guarantee. One really liked the added extras such as the password manager. However, a few complained about the lack of device connections unless you committed long-term.

One also wasn’t happy that it auto-renewed subscriptions without notifying users.

Overall most rated is as either good or excellent. They concluded it was a very easy-to-use, secure VPN. However, they said it lacked features. Some also said the price was above average, so there were better options for equivalent prices.

What Do Other Reviewers Say (Summary)

Like us reviewers really liked the easy user interface, security and full torrenting access of tigerVPN. They weren’t so keen on the lack of kill switch and features. Unlike us, they praised the customer support, and found less Netflix access than we did. They rated it as good or excellent overall.

Our Verdict

tigerVPN is a secure VPN with great encryption and protocols, no leaks or viruses, and it’s in a good location privacy-wise.

It doesn’t collect anything very significant in terms of logs, and says it can’t distinguish individual users the small amount of data they do collect.

Happily it’s great for both torrentors and streamers, with full torrenting access, Netflix access in 3 countries, and Hulu access.

It has above average speeds as well.

It’s interface is incredibly simple and easy to use, a beginners haven, aside from being listed in city order.

However, its server count, whilst respectable, is low compared to the VPN giants with their thousands of servers in 60+ countries.

Whilst basic device compatibility is there, there’s no additionals such as Linux, smart TV or Firestick, and not great router support.

You also only get 5 connections if you commit to a year; it’s just 2 if you pay monthly, which is incredibly stingy, especially for such a high price.

Support also is only Monday-Friday 9-5 and since they’re based in Europe, this is very inconvenient for non-European users. The live chat is slow even during these hours.

The flipside to the simple app is it’s incredibly spartan, with no advanced features, customization or options available. There’s no auto-connect settings, split tunneling, dns or IPv6 leak protection, etc. You can’t choose your protocol. There’s not even a kill switch.

Advanced users who like more control over their VPN will need to go elsewhere.

To sum up, it’s a simple, basic app with all the security fundamentals there, plus torrenting and streaming access, which makes it ideal for everyone except advanced users.

However, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s expensive to above average. Normally VPNs with this kind of price have a lot more servers and features on offer, great device compatibility, and 24/7 support. How tigerVPN can justify these prices is a mystery.
It’s a good, very usable VPN, but you can get more bang for your buck elsewhere. We therefore give it a rating of 3 out of 5.


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