Le VPN: A review
[Presented by BestCloudBest.com]
If you are shopping around for a VPN (Virtual Private Network), then you probably want to protect your privacy and security while browsing the Internet. Choosing a VPN can be hard though since there are many to choose from! Le VPN is a well-known name in the market of VPNs.
What are the factors you should consider before buying a VPN subscription? A great VPN should offer privacy, security, speed, compatibility, ease of use, access to geo-restricted content, and secure access to P2P/torrenting service. You should also look for great customer support and a reasonable price.
We have reviewed Le VPN using these criteria. Read on to find out whether it meets your requirements and whether you should a Le VPN subscription.
A bit of background information: The merger of My Private Network with Le VPN
Before we dive deep into the products and services that Le VPN offers, it’s time to discuss a bit of background information. My Private Network was a relatively small VPN, however, it had gained a degree of popularity.
In January 2019, My Private Network merged with Le VPN. Jon Gittoes, the founder of My Private Network explained the reasons for this merger to its customers. The main reason was that My Private Network couldn’t acquire a sufficient number of new customers. It adversely impacted its ability to invest more in its infrastructure, software, and support. This led My Private Network to merge with Le VPN, which is bigger.
The work concerning the merger continued through January 2019. Effective 1st February 2019, Le VPN started to serve the active customers of My Private Network. Le VPN offered a month of free VPN usage to all active customers of My Private Network. My Private Network shut down its services officially effective 1st February 2019.
Features offered by Le VPN
Let’s evaluate the features that Le VPN offers.
Privacy at Le VPN
You probably prioritize privacy, and that’s why you are looking for a VPN. A VPN can protect your privacy if it masks your IP address, encrypts your Internet traffic, and refrains from keeping logs of your online activities.
However, it states that it stores the connection timestamp when users connect to its VPN. Le VPN records the amount of data transmitted during a session.
More importantly, it stores the IP address of its users when they connect to its VPN. The IP address of a user can help to track down a user, and it’s personally identifiable information. We can’t see why Le VPN needs to track the IP address of its users.
Le VPN states that it needs this information to manage the load on its infrastructure, provide better service, and prevent abuse. However, we have seen many VPNs that can provide great services and prevent abuse without logging this information.
The company states that it stores this data for a “certain period of time”, however, it doesn’t define the duration. We don’t consider this as a “no logs” policy.
When you buy a Le VPN subscription, you need to provide your email address, username, password, and IP address. Le VPN might store this registration data for up to 5 years after a user discontinues his/her subscription. Note that Le VPN stores your password in an encrypted form.
The company states that it stores the IP address to prevent spam, fraud, or abuse of its website and VPN service. We have seen many VPNs keeping their infrastructure and services secure without storing the IP address of their users. We find that Le VPN collects far too much information during the user registration process and stores it for far too long.
Le VPN stores the records of communication between its users and its representatives. This could include information concerning customer support requests. We don’t find any privacy concerns with this.
Le VPN doesn’t store your payment information when you buy a subscription. Reputed 3rd party providers handle your payment transactions and they process this data. Le VPN collects site analytics data when you visit its website. This is anonymized and aggregate data. We don’t find any privacy concerns with these.
Le VPN doesn’t sell, rent, or transfer your personal information to 3rd parties. The only exceptions to this are the following:
· If the company receives an order from a competent court to share information about its users, then it will do so.
· If Le VPN finds/suspects that a user is using its VPN for criminal activities, then it will share his/her personal information with relevant 3rd parties.
We don’t find any concern with this since most VPN users are law-abiding people.
You can pay for a Le VPN subscription using Bitcoin, which provides for relative anonymity. Le VPN processes your personal information per applicable laws and it secures your information.
The jurisdiction of Le VPN is Hong Kong. While Hong Kong is part of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), this territory enjoys autonomy. Due to the “One country, two systems” arrangement concerning Hong Kong, the intrusive Internet censorship imposed by China isn’t applicable in Hong Kong. As a result, we consider Hong Kong as a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
Note: There is considerable uncertainty concerning the special status Hong Kong enjoys at the time of writing this review. If the privacy-friendly laws in Hong Kong cease to exist, then the logs that Le VPN keeps might cause privacy concerns to its users.
We don’t consider Le VPN to be a privacy-friendly VPN. It logs the IP address of its VPN users. The company keeps this log for an unspecified duration of time. Le VPN collects the IP address when someone buys a subscription, and stores it for 5 years even after a user discontinues his/her subscription. The company mentions why it records so much information, however, the justification doesn’t sound reasonable.
Is your data secure with Le VPN?
You want to browse the Internet securely, and that’s probably a key reason for you to shop around for a VPN. VPNs that support secure protocols, provide robust encryption and offer advanced security features qualify as security-friendly VPNs.
Le VPN supports OpenVPN, and we like that! OpenVPN is the most secure VPN protocol. This VPN provider supports IPSec, and L2TP/IPSec, which are secure VPN protocols too. While Le VPN supports PPTP, we don’t recommend you use it. This VPN protocol has security vulnerabilities.
Le VPN provides AES-256 encryption. This is military-grade encryption and the strongest that you can find! This VPN prevents IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
Note #1: We looked for a “kill switch”. This security feature blocks the Internet connection if a user experiences a sudden termination of the VPN connection. This prevents hackers from accessing his/her sensitive information when the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. We found that Le VPN provides a limited kill switch. You can turn on a feature in the Le VPN app, which blocks the Internet connection while reconnecting. A kill switch blocks the Internet connection as soon as the VPN connection drops. That’s quite different from blocking it while reconnecting. The Le VPN custom apps are reliable and the company provides a stable VPN connection. This reduces the need for a kill switch. However, a kill switch is a basic feature nowadays for many VPNs. For the price that Le VPN charges, it should offer a full-fledged kill switch.
Note #2: We wanted to check if Le VPN offers PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy). This is an advanced security feature, which regularly changes the encryption key. Even if hackers get hold of the encryption key of a VPN user, they can’t use it for long. PFS will soon change it, therefore, hackers can’t access the sensitive information of VPN users for too long. The Le VPN website doesn’t talk about PFS. We have asked its customer support team whether the company offers this feature, and we are awaiting a response at the time of this review.
Le VPN provides basic security features. However, it’s an expensive VPN. It should offer advanced security features, however, it doesn’t do so.
Where are the servers of Le VPN located?
You want a VPN that offers good speed, and VPNs that invest in a sufficient number of high-quality servers in all key geographies can offer that. Le VPN has servers in 120+ countries. The company shows an interactive map of its server locations. Le VPN has its servers in all key geographies like North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Oceania.
This VPN offers reasonable speed. Note that Le VPN is a well-known VPN, and it supports a large number of users. Depending on the load on a particular server, you could experience a slower speed at times. If you want a VPN that’s consistently fast, then explore other market-leading VPNs.
What platforms are supported by Le VPN?
You might have different kinds of devices, and you would want a VPN that supports all of them. Le VPN supports all key desktop platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux. It offers custom apps for Windows and Mac, which is helpful. The company offers easy-to-use manual configuration guides for Linux.
Among mobile platforms, Le VPN supports Android, iOS, and Windows phones. It provides custom apps for Android and iOS, whereas you need to manually configure this VPN on your Windows phone. Le VPN offers an easy-to-use guide for this.
You can configure this VPN on Chromebook and DD-WRT routers using its manual configuration guides. Le VPN allows 5 simultaneous connections.
We are happy to see that Le VPN supports all key platforms. As far as compatibility is concerned, this VPN is a good choice.
Can you unblock streaming services using Le VPN?
Many Internet users buy a VPN to unblock geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc. These streaming services know that and they aggressively block VPNs. As a result, many VPNs can’t unblock these streaming services.
Le VPN claims to unblock streaming services, however, it doesn’t state which ones it unblocks. The company claims that its “Hybrid VPN” feature unblocks geo-restricted streaming services. This feature involves sending your Internet traffic through a secure VPN tunnel and then directing it through the SmartDNS service provided by Le VPN.
Le VPN can unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer sometimes. It can’t do this consistently. If you want a VPN that consistently unblocks popular geo-restricted streaming services, then you should explore other leading VPNs.
Are torrents allowed on the network of Le VPN?
P2P/torrenting activities can be tricky! We recommend you to follow applicable laws if you access such services. Some countries ban these services, and you can get into copyrights violations issues even in countries that allow them. Copyrights laws can be complex, and you can get into such issues inadvertently.
Cyber-criminals lurk around P2P/torrenting sites, and they frequently target the users of these services. You need a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs to securely access P2P/torrenting services. This VPN should also offer a full-fledged automatic kill switch. Le VPN logs your IP address and connection timestamp for an unspecific duration, therefore, we don’t find this VPN suitable for secure P2P/torrenting.
Note: Le VPN can’t bypass the “Great Firewall” of China. It doesn’t use the kind of technology solution that can hide the fact of VPN usage. VPN protocols like Stealth VPN can help a VPN provider to bypass the intrusive censorship that the countries like China impose. Le VPN doesn’t use such protocols. It charges as much as a premium VPN does, therefore, we would like it to bypass this kind of censorship.
How much does Le VPN cost?
Le VPN offers 3 pricing plans and all the plans include all features. The pricing plans are as follows:
· Monthly: It costs $9.95/month;
· 6-months: You pay $44.99 every 6 months, therefore, your monthly average cost is $7.50;
· Yearly: You pay $59.40 every year, which means that your monthly average cost is $4.95.
Le VPN offers a free trial for 7 days. You need to enter your credit card information. If you don’t want to subscribe to a paid plan, then you need to cancel the trial within 7 days. Le VPN offers a 7-days money-back guarantee.
You can pay for a Le VPN subscription using popular credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc. You can also pay using PayPal, Qiwi Wallet, etc. This VPN accepts payment by Bitcoin. Reputed 3rd party payment providers process your transactions, therefore, your sensitive information is secure.
For the products and services that Le VPN offers, it’s expensive.
The pros and cons of Le VPN
Le VPN offers the following advantages:
· It offers basic security features that a VPN should have.
· Le VPN supports all key platforms.
· This VPN offers user-friendly custom apps for most of the key platforms.
· Le VPN provides useful guides for manual configuration as well as custom apps.
· This VPN offers a 7-days free trial, where you need to enter your credit card information.
· Le VPN provides a 7-days money-back guarantee.
There are a few limitations of Le VPN too, which are as follows:
· This VPN logs the IP addresses and connection timestamps when users connect to its VPN, moreover, it retains these logs for an unspecified duration.
· It collects the IP address when someone buys a VPN subscription and retains this information for 5 years after the buyer discontinues his/her subscription.
· Le VPN can’t consistently unblock geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
· Le VPN can’t bypass the “Great Firewall” of China.
· While it allows P2P/torrenting on some servers, this VPN isn’t ideal for these activities due to its logging policies.
· Le VPN doesn’t offer 24x7 live chat support, moreover, its support team doesn’t answer questions promptly enough.
· This VPN is expensive.
A few quick facts about Le VPN
We now summarize a few quick facts about Le VPN, which are as follows:
· VTNV Solutions Limited owns and operates Le VPN, and the jurisdiction of this company is Hong Kong.
· Le VPN logs IP addresses and connection timestamps for an unspecified duration.
· This VPN provides all basic security features.
· It can’t unblock Netflix or BBC iPlayer consistently.
· Le VPN has servers in 120+ countries, and it offers reasonable speed.
· This VPN supports all key platforms and provides user-friendly custom apps for most of them.
· Le VPN doesn’t offer 24x7 live chat support.
· It offers a 7-days free trial, however, you need to provide credit card information.
· This VPN provides a 7-days money-back guarantee.
Is Le VPN easy to use?
You will find the Le VPN very easy to navigate. It displays all key menu options prominently, and you can get all the information you want easily. You can buy a Le VPN subscription with a few intuitive steps.
This VPN provides custom apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Le VPN users don’t need to manually configure a VPN connection on these platforms. You can use its useful guides for configuring a VPN connection manually for Linux, routers, and Chromebook.
The Le VPN custom apps are very user-friendly. If you want a user-friendly VPN, then Le VPN certainly does the job.
About the customer service of Le VPN
The “Get Started” page on the Le VPN website provides detailed guides for its apps and configuring a VPN connection manually. Here, you can find guides for all key platforms that Le VPN supports. You can also use its searchable knowledgebase if you need help.
You can open a customer support ticket to get in touch with the Le VPN customer support team. The Le VPN website has a live chat feature, however, it’s not 24x7 live chat support. We used it to ask a few relatively straightforward questions. We are yet to receive a response even though nearly an entire business day has passed.
The Le VPN custom apps and guides are very user-friendly, therefore, you might not need much customer support. If you need customer support, then you need to wait for a while before getting your questions answered. Le VPN lags behind its leading competitors as far as customer support is concerned.
Where is Le VPN based?
The jurisdiction of Le VPN is Hong Kong. While this is part of the Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong enjoys considerable autonomy as part of the “One country, two systems” arrangement. As a result, the intrusive Internet censorship imposed by China isn’t applicable to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a privacy-friendly territory. We have considered it as the ideal jurisdiction for privacy-friendly VPNs. However, there are growing uncertainties concerning the administrative status and autonomy of Hong Kong at the time of writing this review. If Hong Kong loses its autonomy and privacy-friendly laws, then the limited logs maintained by Le VPN can give privacy concerns to its users.
Does Le VPN keep any logs?
It doesn’t track the websites you visit using its VPN service. However, it logs the connection timestamp and IP address of its VPN users. The company states that it logs this data to manage the load on its infrastructure, prevent crimes/abuses, and conduct analysis for administrative purposes.
Le VPN mentions that it stores this data for a certain period of time, however, it doesn’t specify the duration. We find that Le VPN logs too much information, however, it doesn’t have any reasonable justification to do so. We also don’t like the fact that Le VPN doesn’t specify for how long it will keep this log. In our analysis, Le VPN doesn’t qualify as a privacy-friendly VPN.
How can Le VPN protect your privacy?
Le VPN supports OpenVPN, which is the most secure VPN protocol. This VPN supports IPSec and L2TP/IPSec, which are other secure VPN protocols. While Le VPN supports PPTP, you don’t need to use this VPN protocol with known security vulnerabilities.
Le VPN provides the strongest-possible encryption, which is AES-256. This VPN doesn’t allow any IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
As we have explained, Le VPN offers a kill switch. However, it blocks the Internet connection “while reconnecting”. That’s different from blocking the Internet connection as soon as the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
While Le VPN offers basic security, we would like it to offer advanced security features. That will suit a VPN as expensive as Le VPN.
Our short conclusion of Le VPN
Le VPN claims that it keeps no logs, however, it logs IP addresses of its users and connection timestamp. The company keeps these logs for an unspecified duration. It collects the IP address when someone buys a VPN subscription, moreover, it retains this information for 5 years after a subscriber discontinues his/her subscription. We don’t consider this VPN privacy-friendly enough.
Le VPN offers all basic security features, however, it doesn’t offer advanced security features. While it can sometimes unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer, it can’t do that consistently. Le VPN isn’t a good choice for P2P/torrenting since it logs IP addresses and connection timestamps. This VPN has servers in over 120 countries and it offers reasonable speed.
Le VPN supports all key platforms. It provides user-friendly custom apps for most of the key platforms it supports. This VPN offers excellent guides. Its customer support team isn’t prompt in answering questions and this company doesn’t offer a 24x7 live chat support. Le VPN is expensive for the products and services it offers. We don’t consider Le VPN as a good buy. However, you can try its 7-days free trial period and see if it meets your requirements.