Features and Pricing Summary:
Network: Servers in 46 countries
Software: Windows and Mac
Refund Policy: 30 day guarantee
Retail Price: $10 a month
Discount Price: Save 60% Off
Welcome to our review of SlickVPN. Slick was launched in 2012 in the US, making it one of the more established players in the market. Since those humble beginnings, they have continued to grow and bring some different features to the marketplace. Like many of their competitors, they claim to be the world’s best VPN service, have blazing fast speeds, and take your anonymity seriously. Of course in this review, we plan on testing those claims. Graphically, the website is pleasing and looks very well done. We will discuss the new features momentarily, but first, we will look at pricing.
Pricing & Discounts
Starting at $10, prices for SlickVPN are average for a month of service. For three months of service, the price drops to $6.67. Six months of service drops the price to $5 a month, and their best deal, the yearly price is $4 a month. Some providers charge more for their service, and some charge less. However, at $4 a month, the service is very reasonably priced. In the image below, you can see these prices, plus the core and the block plans. Since there is no mention of what the core plan actually is, we will tell you. When you choose the core plan, you only gain access to specific cities located in 11 out of the 46 countries available. Those countries are the US, UK, Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Lithuania, Hungary, Sweden, Romania, Singapore, and Japan. That list is subject to change. Block simply gives you the option purchase less than a month at a time. SlickVPN offers all new members a 30 day money back guarantee.
For payment options, SlickVPN offers PayPal, MC, AMEX, VISA, DISC, and Bitcoin. PayPal is a good method for users that would like another way to manage their account, and we like seeing Bitcoin as an option. It has the most anonymity of the choices offered.
One thing that sets many VPN providers apart from each other is their list of features. Since SlickVPN’s pricing is average, features are important. Fortunately, they have some nice features that we will take a look at.
One of our favorite features is called the Hydra. What that does is provide what is known as a multi-hop system. Simply put, it provides an extra step in your connection to the internet via the VPN. That provides extra security and further anonymization of your computer information. Under the preferences heading as noted by the red arrow, there are several choices you may make for options, including DNS leak protection, load balancing, and the ability to change servers every 5 minutes. These options are listed on the general tab, and under the networking tab, as noted by the green arrow. You may also set the VPN to connect at startup, and they also have a kill switch feature available. Under the advanced tab, you may enter additional OpenVPN parameters, but we would not advise even going to the tab, unless you have knowledge on how to set them. A majority of users are not ever going to utilize that feature, but if you are inclined to do so, it gives you the option. The last feature is the ability to run 5 simultaneous connections. Providing you are using different protocols, you can have up to 5 devices using the same account at the same time.
The SlickVPN team provides over 200 servers located in 142 cities, within 46 different countries. No matter whether you are using a VPN for privacy protection, gaming, or just streaming videos, SlickVPN has you covered. In the image below, we show the server list.
Depending on your goals, most of the time, you are not going to need to connect to that many different countries, and you can just connect to the closest server. If you do want to connect to a specific server though, the process requires some extra steps, and those steps may seem a bit odd to the average user. We will speak more about that in a moment.
Now that we have established some of the features in this review, we will discuss speeds. VPN performance is one of the big factors you should look at when making a decision about providers. There will always be a slight speed loss while using encryption, simply because the information is being secured. Running our test on SlickVPN, we encountered a 14.5% speed loss, as shown in the image. That said, the acceptable range falls between 10-25% speed loss. Therefore, their encryption loss is normal. For testing purposes, we used 256-bit encryption (OpenVPN UDP), because that offers the best mix of performance and privacy protection. We did not test the Hydra feature.
Security and Privacy
To be able to offer privacy, VPNs use encryption protocols. SlickVPN offers 3 protocols: OpenVPN; PPTP; and IPsec. Only the OpenVPN protocol they offer uses 256-bit encryption, the others use 128-bit. In other words, you would want to use the OpenVPN option whenever possible. In their Windows client, there is no other option, so there is nothing to choose. If you are interested in the other protocols, SlickVPN has guides to set those up individually. Their Hydra feature provides an extra layer of encryption in addition to their 256-bit protocol, but must be setup first.
The website states that support is available 24/7. This is through email, but they do have a place where you may leave a phone number as well. That means you could receive a phone call if you need one. Their help and support section offers great walkthrough guides for setting up your favorite devices to use the VPN.
SlickVPN has specific apps for Windows and Mac, but here are the additional devices that guides are offered for.
- DD-WRT, all versions
- Synology DSM
We are glad to see step by step setup guides for these other devices. It makes setting them up easy, no matter what purpose you plan on using the VPN for. If you have questions on setups for other devices, we are sure that the SlickVPN team will be glad to assist you with getting connected.
Sign Up Process
SlickVPN is fairly easy easy to use, and offers a simple sign up process. Just choose the plan you wish to purchase, select your payment method, fill out your email address and the password you want to use, check the terms and conditions box as noted by the red arrow, and click the “Place Order Now” box. That is all you have to do, and you are all set.
From an information standpoint, it is pleasing to see that SlickVPN requires so little information. We have certainly encountered services that require more. This streamlined approach has become more important in recent years, as users try to keep their data private.
How to Use SlickVPN for Desktop
This is where using the service may get tricky, until you figure out how the interface is designed, and the steps you need to follow to connect. Fortunately, that is what we are here for. To demonstrate how their client works, we will use the Windows platform, but the Mac client should be similar.
- If you only want to use a VPN for privacy, go ahead and click connect in the dashboard section, and the client will automatically connect you to the closest server. However, if you want to be able to choose the location of where you connect, go to the locations heading, noted by the red arrow.
- Create a group as noted by the green arrow, and name it whatever you wish. You may also choose an icon for this group.
- After creating the group, drag and drop servers from the locations section below, and place them in to this group. Be aware that you want to keep them together. That is because no matter how many servers you place in this group, it will only connect to the first one, unless the server fails. Then, it will connect to the others in order. We would not advise mixing and matching countries.
- Since the group is now created with your servers in it, go back to the dashboard heading, and you may select one of the groups you made. Hitting the Auto Group button will allow you to organize the locations, it will also allow you to use the Hydra feature.
- If you are satisfied with the groupings, hit the connect button, and you are set. Don’t forget to select the features you want under preferences.
This unusual style for VPN location grouping is certainly unique to SlickVPN. No matter what kind of group you wish to create, we have provided you with how it works.
For mobile setup, there is no specific software but there are great guides, so the manual setup will be easy.
Favorite features for SlickVPN:
- Good discounts for a year of service
- Good speeds
- DNS leak protection
- Great features like Hydra and the kill switch
- 24 hour support via website comment form
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Great set up tutorials
Things to make SlickVPN better:
- Improve interface and get rid of groups
- Simplify pricing on website
- Offer more methods of payment
- Post an expected turn around time for support
- Develop mobile apps
In conclusion, we find SlickVPN to a be reasonably priced VPN service, especially for the longer periods of time. Their Hyrda feature shows a commitment to protecting the user’s privacy, just as the kill switch does. Once you understand that there are steps to take before connecting, using the interface gets easier. Try out the service. Again, SlickVPN offers new users a 30 day guarantee, which is among the most generous in the industy. That should give you plenty of time to test the service for yourself.