Welcome back to Top Dog Apps and another one of our VPN reviews. As you may have realized if you have even a passing interest in VPNs, there are so many new services coming on the market that it is hard to choose a good one. This is where we hope to help! Today we are reviewing a service called Panda VPN, to let you know if it is worth your VPN bucks!!
Before we start, for those of you that have no idea what a VPN is, it’s a Virtual Private Network. Basically, most people use it to hide their identity online and/or to access entertainment services outside of the country they live in.
What is Panda VPN?
Panda VPN is…..funnily enough…a VPN service!! According to its website, this service is based in the Seychelles. Although this sounds sketchy for regular business, its better for VPNs to be based in locations that won’t force the company to hand over personal details of customers. Seychelles fits that bill well!
To be honest, when looking at Panda VPN feature wise, they don’t really stand out in any way. With so many VPN services, they don’t really do any special.
Here is the main features they detail on their website:
- Geo unblock streaming media (such as Netflix and Hulu)
- Hide your identity online with a virtual IP address from Panda VPN
- Encrypt your data when tunneling through the Panda servers
- Available on Windows/ Mac/ iOS/ Android/ Linux/ Android TV
- No logs policy
- Servers in 64 countries
- No bandwidth or traffic limit up to 10Gbps
You see what I mean now, nothing too groundbreaking here!
How Much Does Panda VPN Cost?
When you sign up for one month, Panda VPN costs a pretty high $9.99 for that month. This then goes down to $6.99 if you pay for 3 months and $3.99 if you pay for 12 months. Decent prices, but certainly not the cheapest around.
What Do We Like About Panda VPN?
In my experience, Panda have some pretty decent servers in terms of speed. The only issue I had was when downloading files on certain servers the connection would reset from time to time, slowing down the speed of that download.
I have a set of typical speed tests I run when reviewing VPNs. I will compare the results of this service to that of my current gold standard recommendation Pure VPN. These are the results for Panda:
My Speed Meter Tests
I usually connect to two server locations, Washington and Sanfrancisco. When connected to these locations I will run a typical speedtest to London and Los Angeles. Here are the results when compared to Pure VPN.
|Server Name||SpeedTest to London||Speedtest to Los Angeles|
|Panda VPN (Washington)||26.5Mbps Down & 2 Upload||26.1Mbps Down & 1.8 Upload|
|Pure VPN (Washington)||84.6Mbps Down & 3.2 Upload||52.3Mbps Down & 1.8 Upload|
|Panda VPN (San Fran)||37.3Mbps Down & 2.4 Upload||54Mbps Down & 2.8 Upload|
|Pure VPN (San Fran)||32.5Mbps Down & 2.3 Upload||47.1Mbps Down & 4.4 Upload|
As you can see, the Washington server for Panda is significantly slower than Pure VPN, although the San Fran server is on par and slightly faster in some aspects. Although, both servers have a good speed for doing most streaming and downloading activities.
The 1GB File Test
I like to do a real world test by downloading the same 1GB file. This helps me to see how consistent the speed of a server is rather than just the headline rate.
The Washington Panda server downloaded the file in 5 minutes compared to 3 minutes for the same location for Pure VPN.
The San Fran Panda server downloaded the file in 3 minutes and 30 seconds compared to 2 minutes and 41 seconds for the same location Pure VPN server.
Overall, the Pure VPN servers downloaded the file much faster and with much less hiccups.
Good UI and Design
I like the design and user interface that Panda use on all of their applications. The Windows and Android apps were the ones I used the most, and both look sleek and modern. I could find all the settings I needed quickly and easily. Panda certainly have some good UI designers, which is good to see.
Good Amount of Servers
Panda VPN do live up to their claim of having a lot of servers. I was impressed with the amount of servers they have in a wide variety of locations.
The only downside for me is, maybe the speed of the servers may vary (as you saw with my speed tests above).
A minor gripe is that they have grouped servers by different uses, such as different applications and uses you may need the VPN for. In my opinion, this just over-complicates the search for a server and would ne confusing for a lot of users.
No Bandwidth Limits
Panda doesn’t limit your bandwidth in any way, which means this service is great for heavy users with the need for a VPN.
Panda have apps for all the major platforms and all of the ones I tested worked well.
Good Payment Options
It is good to see that you can pay with trusted payment methods such as Paypal. It gives me a better feeling about the trustworthiness of the service.
“We do not collect logs of your activity, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries. Also, we never store connection logs, meaning no logs of your IP address, connection timestamp, or session duration.”
I like how Panda give you the option to use a digital account number if you don’t wish to use your own email address. This adds an extra layer of privacy for people that are worried about that sort of thing.
What Don’t We Like About Panda VPN?
Not That Cheap
The thing that baffles me about many of these lesser known VPN outfits is how a lot of them price their services. As you can see above, Panda goes for the typical $9.99/6.99/3.99 price point for the month/3 month and one year commitment levels.
Compare that with my current Gold Standard service Pure VPN, and you will see it is very similar. Pure VPN is a much more established and respected VPN provider, so I don’t get how Panda think they can compete when they are pricing so close to them.
Only 3 Connections
You can only connect to your account with three simultaneous connections. Pure VPN offer up to 10, and you will find most of the good competitors will also offer much more than 3 connections at one time.
Not Much Help
The help articles basically boil down to one frequently asked questions section on the website. And the support email is a Gmail one. Not only is this not a lot of help articles when compared to more established competitors, but having a Gmail email just decreases my confidence in the company overall.
Free Trial Only on Mobile
Yes, Panda VPN have a free trial, but only for 3 days and only accessible on mobile platforms. I don’t know why they can’t offer such a trial over all of their platforms, frankly.
7 Day Refund Period
I am happy that they have a refund period but 7 days seems way too short to me. Pure VPN currently have a 31 day money back guarantee. It doesn’t show me that they have confidence in their service if they only offer such a short refund period.
Should You Subscribe to Panda VPN?
As you can hopefully see from this review, Panda VPN is a solid (if a little boring) service. But the problem I always have is why would you go for such a service when an established player such as Pure VPN is very similarly priced.
Panda don’t offer anything special and have a much less generous refund period, as well as nothing like the 24/7 support you can get from competitors such as Pure VPN.
Whilst the servers are decent, I still find that the Pure servers are more consistently blazingly fast across the board. Clearly they are a bigger company and can afford a better server standard and capacity.
Frankly, I would never recommend them at this point. If you are after a quality VPN, I would still go for Pure VPN every day of the week. If you want to find out for yourself ,you can check out the Pure VPN official website HERE.