Tuesday, February 16, 2021

RA4W VPN

RA4W VPN is a provider of VPN services that has amassed an install base of 35,000 clients. Although its server network is limited, it offers decent speeds at some very affordable prices.

Price

This provider’s cheapest offering is the two-year plan, which costs $2.08/month (charged at $49.99 every two years) and supports up to 2 simultaneous VPN connections.

Its most expensive, the 1-month option, only supports 1 connection at a time and costs $4.99/month, which is still more affordable than many of its competitors.

RA4W lets you pay via PayPal, credit/debit cards, or CoinPayments (BTC, LTC, BCH, DASH, ETH, XMR, XRP).

Unfortunately, it offers no free trial nor money-back guarantee, so if you’re unsure about whether you’re going to like this provider, you should consider the one-month subscription first.

RA4W

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives

RA4W may be a solid and affordable VPN, but there are better alternatives on the market. If you don’t mind paying for a truly exceptional platform with everything expect from a VPN and more, we would suggest the best VPN there is: ExpressVPN.

If you are restricted by budget, NordVPN is another great option that has user-friendly clients for all the major platforms, and thousands of servers scattered all over the world. And if you're looking for an even more wallet-friendly option, then look no further than CyberGhost or Surfshark, whcih each have their own advantages.

Streaming

From what we could deduce during our tests, RA4W VPN does not unblock geo-restricted content on popular streaming platforms such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. If access to such content is a priority for you, then we recommend you pick out another VPN service.

About the company

We couldn’t find much on the website and customer support was silent on the matter, but it seems that RA4W is based in Nevada, US. The provider offers access to an undisclosed number of servers (we counted 30 on the website and inside the customized client) in over 20 countries, including Latvia, Japan, Hong Kong, Romania, South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, and others.

RA4W

(Image credit: Future)

Privacy and encryption

RA4W relies on the OpenVPN connection protocol “to provide the ideal solution for extending private network services while maintaining military grade security”. 

The use of P2P and torrenting clients is allowed on some servers - primarily in Russia and Romania - but strictly forbidden on others, including all US locations, Sydney, Frankfurt, Espoo, Hong Kong, Pune, Tokyo, Warsaw, Singapore, Zurich, London and Johannesburg.

The vendor’s Privacy Policy isn’t very long, but it states that RA4W doesn’t “monitor or log any content of the VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnels themselves”.

Support

RA4W has a customized OpenVPN GUI client for Windows but can also be enabled on Android, iOS, Mac, Linux and routers (DD-WRT, Tomato, AsusWRT), with the help of the manual instruction guides provided in a PDF document on the website.

Contacting support is possible via a ticket or email, but so far our email message has been ignored. Help is also available in the Knowledge Base but you won’t be able to access it unless you sign up.

Speed and experience

RA4W isn’t the easiest or the most practical VPN platform on the market. It doesn’t have its own user-friendly clients, so you’ll need to carefully follow the instructions provided on the website. 

If you’re using Windows, you’ll need to enter your credentials when you’re connecting to a server for the first time and you’ll have to disconnect the active server before you can connect to another. However, the Windows configuration is available for download and its nice download speeds make up for the lack of ease of use.

On an 85.03Mbps testing connection, the server in Prague delivered a solid 21.55Mbps, while the one in London gave us 23.55Mbps. Across the pond, in New Jersey, speeds faltered, which is to be expected for servers so far away from our physical location (although some competitors have done significantly better): 9.39Mbps. 

Finally, we decided to take on a bigger challenge in the form of Seoul and the results for this location were as expected once again, at 5.80Mbps. We’ve seen worse, but we’ve also seen much better.

Verdict

Due to its lack of native apps, RA4W isn’t terribly practical or easy to use, especially if you’re a beginner. It also has some other problems that make it inferior to the biggest services in the industry, such as limited server infrastructure, lack of geo-unblocking capabilities, and the absence of a free trial option or any sort of a money-back guarantee.

However, this doesn’t mean that RA4W isn’t a decent VPN. It is great for preserving your online privacy, torrenting on a limited number of servers, and delivers some very acceptable download speeds - all at a measly $2.08 per month. Its support for a wide range of cryptocurrencies is another advantage in our book, as it allows for a perfect level of anonymity when paying for the service.

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