Just recently I’ve been struggling to find a virtual private network (VPN) service that would allow me to watch TV programming from a Hong Kong based website. For those of you who have no idea what I just said, think about the time you visited some website whether it’s to watch some video or to render some type of services and you were denied because you’re not living in the country the services are provided from. Infuriating right? If you’ve never experienced this road block before, then you’re probably thinking that you don’t need a VPN. Well, that’s not completely true at all. While there are many uses for a VPN, one of which I’ve just listed to bypass location restrictions on website services, a VPN can still be used by any Internet citizen to help protect their data from being viewed either by strangers or their Internet Service Provided (ISP). By creating a virtual “tunnel” between your computer and the VPN server, all data that goes through that tunnel is encrypted and blocked from prying eyes. One of the most efficient uses of a VPN service is when users need to connect to a wireless public Internet hotspot such as those offered in cafes and the airport. Well, one such VPN service I am introducing here is called SunVPN.
SunVPN, like many other VPN service providers, offer you a service to help secure your Internet traffic while also helping you bypass blocked websites either due to a firewall or via location restrictions. What you are purchasing from them is access rights to their actual VPN servers located all around the world. When you connect to a specific VPN server, you are basically establishing a connection to that server located in that country. When you then visit websites, those websites will then believe that you are actually coming in from that VPN server location! Unlike other third-party VPN service providers who promises to give you the most VPN server locations, SunVPN gives you only seven different locations to choose. However, SunVPN promises to give you the maximum speed rather than giving you a whole bunch of VPN servers from 20+ locations only to have them work at a crawling speed. The seven different locations they offer is the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Romania, Singapore and Hong Kong.
One comforting fact for me is that SunVPN claims to own all of their hardware (servers). This is very important because how many other VPN resellers work is that while they claim to give you a VPN server in a certain country, their VPN server is most likely also being hosted on a server that’s being utilized by many other VPN service providers. Company ABC and Company XYZ, while they both claim to give you VPN access to Germany for example, they both are providing you that service on the same server in that country! The only difference is the name of the company. With SunVPN owning their own hardware, that means that their servers is dedicated in providing services to SunVPN customers and SunVPN customers only.
PricingYou can buy VPN services from SunVPN here.
Pricing for SunVPN includes three different options. The good news is that for all three plans, you get access to all of their VPN servers. Their Mobile Plan starts at $9.99. Don’t let the name fool you though. You can definitely choose this plan to give your computer VPN access as well as it’s not just meant for mobile devices. With this plan, you configure SunVPN access via the built-in VPN client on your operating system. With their other two plans at $14.99, users get to also use the popular OpenVPN client. OpenVPN is an open source VPN connection client users can take advantage of in setting up their VPN connections. If you wish to save money, SunVPN gives users the choice to subscribe to either a three month or 12 month plan. All three plans allow for unlimited usage and speed. Therefore, there is no monthly bandwidth cap or speed restrictions. For users who are looking for a VPN service to help hide their torrent downloading and uploading, SunVPN does not allow P2P traffic on their VPN servers. Therefore, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Just like with many other VPN service providers, SunVPN does not offer a trial period. This can be tough on users because without being able to use the service firsthand, how will they know if it will satisfy their needs? For myself, I need SunVPN to be able to reliably stream video content and therefore, while the connection speed does not have to be lightning fast, I do need it to be stable and not disconnect after a couple of minutes of usage. The good news here is that SunVPN offers a generous 30-day money back guarantee! While it takes only a couple of days or so to gauge whether the service meets your needs or not, SunVPN allows you to use the service for a complete month and if you are not satisfied by that time, they will refund your money.
Why Use SunVPN?
If you’ve ever set up a VPN connection in the past, then getting started with SunVPN is no different! You can easily configure a VPN connection to one of SunVPN’s servers either on your smart phone, tablet, PC or Mac computers with relative ease. In fact, they even have a setup guide all primed and ready for your disposal. Here, I will only be going over on how easy it is for me to configure my Windows 7 computer to work over SunVPN.
When you have successfully purchased a service plan from SunVPN, you will receive a download for their customized installer software. This software is not used to actually connect you to the VPN servers but instead will help you create a VPN network connection in Windows 7 instead. You would then use this network connection profile to connect to your VPN server of choice. When you fire up the utility, by default, it will create a VPN profile for each VPN server offered from SunVPN. At the moment, SunVPN offers VPN services in seven different countries so if you choose to go ahead with the default, seven profiles will be created. If you have no need for the other VPN servers, simply uncheck them. Once you have also typed in your username and password, which SunVPN will have created for you, simply click the Create VPN Connections button and that’s it.
To actually connect to a VPN server, I need to connect to the profile. To do so, I just need to click on my network connection icon in the taskbar (lower right corner), select the profile of choice and click on the Connect button.
Speed Test and Video Streaming
First, I will be testing the VPN server in the UK. Many users want to be able to watch the BBC iPlayer but can’t because they don’t reside in the United Kingdom. Well, SunVPN will take care of that for us. Here is my current connection speed:
Here is my connection speed once connected to the SunVPN server in the UK:
As you can see, the speed significantly dropped. However, that is to be expected when you connect to a VPN server across the globe. Remember, all your Internet traffic will now route from your ISP headquarter to the SunVPN server of choice and then finally to the destination. The question is, will I be able to watch BBC iPlayer with no buffers or interruptions? Well, the answer is a definitive yes! In fact, I can even stream the shows in HD without any buffer screens! Very awesome indeed!
Next up is the US VPN server. SunVPN provides three different VPN servers across the US. The closest to my location is the one on the west coast so that’s the one I will connect to. Here is the speed test:
You can see that I get a bit more speed when connected to the US server mainly because it’s much closer to me. Here, I will try Hulu Plus and see how that fares. Once again, I am able to watch the stream on HD quality without any hiccups. So far, everything is working as expected!
For my last test, I will test the Hong Kong VPN server. Like I said in the beginning, my main reason for getting a VPN service in the first place is to connect to a Hong Kong VPN server so I can stream TVB. For many people living in places besides Hong Kong, they always want to stream Chinese dramas and shows but aren’t able to because of location restriction. My parents love TVB and so this is one of the main reason I am looking for a VPN solution in Hong Kong. Here is the speed test:
So far, this is the slowest of the two other VPN servers I’ve connected to. But as long as I am able to reliably stream the video, I would be a satisfied customer. Luckily for me, I am 3 for 3 with SunVPN! Although there is no HD quality for the videos, I am able to switch to the higher resolution of the two without any hiccups once again.
In the End…
At the moment, I am extremely happy with SunVPN. I have tried about 4 different VPN services prior to finding out about SunVPN and have been disappointed with each and every one of them. While many of them would start the video stream, the speed just wasn’t there! I had to deal with constant buffer screens and worst of all, frequent disconnections from the VPN server itself! While all of the other services do offer more VPN server locations than SunVPN, do you really think I care given the situation? Of course not! I just need one that works for my uses and that is what you need to look into as well when deciding on purchasing a VPN solution.
What I can tell you is that if you are looking for a VPN connection to stream videos offered by services such as Netflix or Hulu, SunVPN more than gets the job done. Of course, you’ll also have to take into consideration the local Internet speed you are connecting from. To protect your Internet traffic from being viewed by intruders, SunVPN also offers good encryption so to help you in that aspect. The good news is that there is no contract with SunVPN. If you decide to travel abroad next month for example, you can simply just purchase a one month usage plan with SunVPN. Once that expires, you won’t have to purchase it again until the next time you travel. All in all, I am very happy with SunVPN. Of course, I just started using their services so only time will tell how it will perform down the road.