Urban VPN is a free virtual private network service based in the USA, claiming to be 100% free, 100% fast & 100% anonymous. However, we found it to be quite chaotic, inconsistent, and unreliable. Also, it’s a P2P (peer-to-peer) network, which means you're piggybacking off the extra bandwidth of other Urban VPN users, which is an approach not widely used in the global VPN industry.
The website of Urban VPN is light on details about its features. The information we found was all over the place. For example, it claims to have servers in 80+ locations worldwide, but when we checked the apps, we saw a different number on each app - about 60 on average.
Urban VPN's apps are also barebones, with nothing more than a list of locations (and that's only available on mobile apps). You won't find any fancy bells and whistles like auto-connect options, different protocol options, custom DNS, split tunneling, or double VPN. The apps surprisingly don't even have a "settings" page.
With that being said, the outdated website and disorganized app design are the least of our concerns regarding the service. As part of our review process, we thoroughly tested Urban VPN and discovered that it only offers basic security and privacy features. Of course, it is not the safest VPN option on the market, but it could be a choice if you want to temporarily access blocked content.
Before we dive deeper, let's take a look at some of the basic facts about this VPN provider.
|Jurisdiction||USA (5-Eyes Alliance)|
|Logs||Confirmed data logging|
|Servers||80+ server locations|
|Supported Devices||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Web browsers|
|Features||DNS/IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling, ad-blocker, and anti-mining|
|Supports||Streaming (Prime Video), torrenting, and gaming|
|Customer Support||Email support|
|Price||Free / $4.99/month for premium|
|Our Score||3.0 out of 10|
In this review, readers can expect a comprehensive analysis of Urban VPN's performance in terms of reputation, security, ease of use, and value. We will take a close look at all its features and assess how well they perform in real-world scenarios. Let’s get on with it.
We suggest staying away from Urban VPN and going for ExpressVPN, the cream of the crop when it comes to today’s VPN services. But if you want to shop around, check out our guide on the best VPN services, where you'll have plenty of options to choose from.
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
Urban Cyber Security Inc. is located in Manhattan (New York), under the jurisdiction of the United States. As the US is a member of the 5-Eyes Alliance, it’s considered an undesirable location for VPN service providers. Our Score: 3/10
Urban VPN has been around since 2018 and keeps its headquarters location under wraps, but after turning a few stones, we discovered they're based in New York, specifically on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Urban VPN claims on its website that it follows a strict no-logs policy and does not monitor user activity. However, it operates within the jurisdiction of the United States, so it’s subject to the laws and regulations of the country. This means that, in certain circumstances, the government can access user data if required for a legal investigation.
It is worth noting that the USA's participation in the 5-Eyes Alliance may result in increased susceptibility of user data to government surveillance. If you put privacy and security first, this may be a red flag, and you might want to use a VPN that operates outside of the jurisdiction of international intelligence alliances.
Urban VPN’s selling point is being free. While it is pushing the "free" angle, it's crystal-clear what users are giving up in return. When it comes down to it, Urban VPN seems to do the trick for everyday tasks, but it's not a home run for serious users.
Is Urban VPN Safe?
No, Urban VPN is not safe. Primarily because it is based in the US. The US is a member of the 5-Eyes Alliance, which is a group of countries that share intelligence data.
This means the US government could potentially get access to sensitive data, even though Urban VPN claims they don't keep any logs of user activity and have a strict no-logs policy.
The fact that it falls under the jurisdiction of the US government, which makes it a suspect for data breaches and cyber-attacks.
On the other hand, the company states on its site that free services only employ the P2P network, which is an old networking system that's vulnerable to basic cyber attacks. We also found out that Urban VPN's extensions aren't reliable at encrypting your connection. To truly hide your IP, desktop apps are a better option.
The only silver lining for Urban VPN is that you don't have to sign up or give out any personal information when downloading this free VPN. In short, Urban VPN is only good for basic needs, but for those who are looking for a more secure VPN service provider, it's better to look for other options.
Does Urban VPN Keep Logs?
Yes, Urban VPN does keep logs of its user’s data.
Urban VPN states that it uses this information to improve the service, troubleshoot issues, and prevent fraudulent activity, which is just a fancy way of saying they keep track of what you're doing on its service. They also use this information for marketing and advertising purposes and share it with third-party partners for analytics and research.
On top of that, Urban VPN is based in the United States, which means the government can potentially request user data if necessary. Also, Urban VPN never agreed to allow a third party to audit its infrastructure, which is always a bad sign.
Now, this might not be a big deal for some folks, but for those who value their privacy and want to keep their online activities under wraps, it's definitely something to keep in mind.
Supported Platforms & Devices
Urban VPN is supported on most major platforms but doesn’t make it clear if it works on routers or other types of devices (like media streaming devices). Our Score: 5/10
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, macOS.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS.|
|Web Browser||Chrome, Edge, Firefox.|
Urban VPN has apps for the most popular desktop and mobile platforms. Besides this, they also have Web browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. But keep in mind that the browser extensions are proxies - they’ll hide your IP address but won’t encrypt your traffic (unfortunately, we can’t guarantee the provider’s VPN service will do that either).
What’s more, Urban VPN doesn’t mention if it works on routers or other devices, as the support reps didn’t answer our questions about this. However, since free VPN services typically don’t support routers, we believe Urban VPN doesn’t work on those devices.
Installation & Initial Configuration
Even though it has a very messy website, getting to Urban VPN’s installation file is relatively easy. You’ll also get to download it from various app stores. Our Score: 7/10
Getting started with Urban VPN is easy enough - if you manage to handle its website without issues. Even though the website is heavily optimized for search engines (instead of being optimized for humans), you should be able to navigate to Urban VPN’s download page.
In terms of installing Urban VPN, you’ll get an installation file on Windows only. If you use a platform like macOS, iOS, or Android, you’ll need to turn to your device’s app store. That means the application will download and install on its own.
The first time you open Urban VPN, you’ll need a second or two to understand what you’re seeing. As explained below, this VPN has a very hectic and outdated interface.
Urban VPN lacks both essential and extra security features. It's perhaps the least capable VPN service available on the global market. Our Score: 3/10
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||Unspecified|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
|Unlimited Bandwidth||YES (premium only)|
|Unlimited Data||YES (premium only)|
Urban VPN doesn't say if they have industry-standard features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and data leak protection. We asked the support reps about this, but they didn't reply. We also ran leak tests on servers in 5 countries and didn't see any leaks - that said, we can't guarantee that this VPN provides leak protection.
There’s no mention of what protocols this VPN uses. We saw some users saying Urban VPN might use the OpenVPN protocol, but there’s no way to verify that. Any reliable VPN should be transparent enough to say which protocols it uses. The fact that Urban VPN doesn’t do that is quite alarming.
Urban VPN has a feature called 'Safe Browsing' on Android that notifies you when you’re visiting malicious sites. But it doesn't block malicious websites, so you’re still at risk when you’re surfing the internet. When it comes to extra features, you can use anti-malware and ad-blocking extensions for Web browsers. However, those come as separate extensions.
As you can see, Urban VPN is an incredibly limited VPN service. It doesn’t do a particularly good job of even covering the basics. So, talking about more advanced or unique features is pointless.
Server Count & Infrastructure
Urban VPN has a relatively large network (with different numbers of locations on Windows and macOS), but doesn’t show the server ping or load or say whether its servers are P2P-friendly. Our Score: 6/10
Urban VPN has 4,600+ servers in 60+ countries. But it’s annoying how the Windows and macOS apps have different server locations - on Windows, you only get 50+ countries, and on Mac, you get 60+ countries.
Also, there are big differences between Urban VPN’s Android and iOS app. While many locations are unlocked on Android even for free users, you get only a handful of locations on iOS (Australia, Poland, Spain, Thailand, and the UK).
The VPN also doesn’t show the server ping (how long it takes for your Internet signal to travel from your device to the VPN server) or server load (how many people are actively connected to a VPN server) inside its apps. That’s a shame because those metrics make it easier to find VPN servers with fast speeds.
UI/UX Design & Ease of Use
Urban VPN’s mobile and desktop apps are easy to navigate, but they don’t have many features, and the desktop apps are not as good as the mobile apps. Our Score: 3/10
Urban VPN’s desktop and mobile apps are easy to use, and they save your recent locations, so you don’t have to look for those in the country list. But we don’t like that only the mobile apps come with a quick-connect feature, which automatically connects you to the fastest server for your location.
Also, the desktop apps are buggy and not very well optimized - you can’t minimize it or switch to full screen on Windows, only on macOS. And you don’t have any in-app options that let you fine-tune your VPN connection.
For example, there’s no option to enable an automatic connection to a VPN server when starting up the app. Also, the apps don’t have any features, and you can’t choose specific server locations for popular countries (like the US and the UK).
On top of that, the server list is simple and looks like it was made in a hurry. The design is also bad - Urban VPN wants to seem like a hip unblocker, but it just looks outdated and messy.
Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support
Urban VPN can’t really unblock any media streaming sites. Also, its support for torrenting and gaming is very limited. Our Score: 1/10
|Torrenting (P2P) Support||Limited|
Urban VPN doesn’t unblock any of the popular streaming platforms, such as Disney+, Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, or Kodi add-ons like Pluto TV and Sony Crackle. It worked with Amazon Prime Video in our tests, but only 50% of the time.
Therefore, it’s obvious that Urban VPN leaves a lot to be desired in terms of streaming. You’ll have much better luck if you check our guide on the best streaming VPNs.
Also, Urban VPN doesn’t say if they have P2P support or if they provide additional torrenting features like port forwarding (lets you connect to more peers to get faster speeds) or SOCKS5 servers (they hide your IP address but don’t provide encryption, so you get faster speeds). We asked the customer support team about this, but they didn’t reply.
We ran tests on servers in 10+ countries and were able to download torrents. However, we don’t recommend using Urban VPN for torrenting because it doesn’t say if it has a kill switch, which is essential for torrenting because it protects you from IP leaks.
That said, if you plan on using a VPN when downloading torrents, feel free to check our guide to the best VPNs for torrenting, featuring a number of high-end options.
Lastly, don’t expect too much from Urban VPN in terms of gaming. Even though it brings a range of servers, they’re not really optimized for ping and latency. Since you’ll get very unpredictable speeds, your online gaming sessions will be quite limited.
Security & Privacy
Urban VPN logs user data and shares it with affiliates and partners, and also operates on a P2P network, which is dangerous for your privacy. Our Score 1/10
|Data Logged||IP address, browsing data, usage data, connection logs, and more.|
There’s also no independent audit of the no-logs policy to prove the VPN doesn’t collect the user data of paid users.
Urban VPN’s free plan also operates on a P2P network. That means you use other users’ IP addresses to surf the Web, and they use your IP address to do the same. That’s dangerous for your privacy because a malicious actor could use your IP to engage in shady activities.
The VPN claims paid users don’t use the P2P network. But considering that Urban VPN makes exaggerated and unconfirmed claims (like saying they’re the only VPN that allows unlimited connections), there’s no proof that users still don’t use each other's real IP addresses.
Speed & Performance
On average, we experienced a 96.5% slowdown when using Urban VPN. So, you'll easily find an alternative that performs much better. Our Score: 1/10
We ran tests while connected to both nearby and distant servers to determine Urban VPN’s average speeds. Using the image found below, you can check our baseline speed, as well as 6 rounds of speed tests of Urban VPN’s servers in Italy, the UK, the US, Canada, India, and Australia.
Before we check Urban VPN’s results, we have an important note. We typically use Ookla’s Speed Test, the most reliable tool for testing download/upload speeds. However, this tool did not work with Urban VPN. So, we used Google’s speed testing tool instead.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Data||207.50 Mbps||53.8 Mbps||0%|
|Italy||10.00 Mbps||0.08 Mbps||95%|
|UK||5.88 Mbps||8.19 Mbps||97%|
|USA||14.40 Mbps||1.94 Mbps||93%|
|Canada||5.47 Mbps||2.68 Mbps||97%|
|India||1.32 Mbps||1.19 Mbps||99%|
|Australia||4.90 Mbps||0.88 Mbps||98%|
Based on our speed tests, Urban VPN made our Web connection slower by 96.5%. That means Urban VPN is one of the slowest VPN services around. Also, that means you can use it for Web browsing only - and expect an unpleasant experience even in that case.
Urban VPN doesn’t provide any customer support whatsoever. Our Score: 1/10
|Live Chat Support||NO|
|Email Support||YES (unresponsive)|
Urban VPN’s customer support is practically non-existent. There’s no live chat on their site and the “Contact Us” buttons are grayed out. We contacted them multiple times via email, but they didn’t respond.
Also, Urban VPN doesn’t have any support articles or installation guides. At most, they have a 'Glossary' page that explains a few VPN terms (in a very crude manner). But those are just generic articles and don't offer any specific information about the service.
So, if you’re experiencing problems with their VPN, you'll be left to deal with them alone.
This VPN changes its pricing plans quite often. On top of that, its desktop apps are free at the moment, while its mobile apps use a freemium model. Our Score: 2.5/10
Urban VPN's desktop apps are free-for-all, with no cap on how much data you can use. You can set it up on as many devices as you want, and you're good to go, but the mobile apps have a different story for free users.
When it comes to mobile apps, Urban VPN comes with a limited free tier. On Android, you get all the server locations, but you’re limited to 500 MB of data per day. On iOS, you have no data limitations, but you’re limited to a handful of locations.
To remove those limitations, you’ll need to pay for Urban VPN. This VPN changes its pricing structure very often, so here’s the current situation:
|Per Month||Total Price||Savings|
Since your payments are processed by Apple and Google, you won’t be able to ask Urban VPN for a refund. You’ll need to turn to Apple or Google, which are usually very strict when it comes to issuing refunds (you’ll need to prove you made a purchase by accident).
Is Urban VPN Free?
Urban VPN is a completely free service and requires no registration on the surface.
However, its free version is like a nosy neighbor, tracking your browsing history, recording your IP address, and sharing your bandwidth with other free users.
There's no customer support, and barebones features are vulnerable to attacks. It's as reliable as a used car, and the connection speeds are slower than dial-up connections.
Hitting the scene in 2018, it is a fresh fish in the sea of free VPNs. A lot of VPN companies use their free version as a hook to reel in customers to pay for a subscription. Urban VPN is playing the same game with its mobile users, but they're not being very consistent with their paid plans on the desktop apps.
Do We Recommend Urban VPN?
Overall, we don’t recommend Urban VPN at all. For free users, it uses a P2P network, which is very unsafe. Basically, people around the world can do illegal things on the Internet with your IP address.
Since their claims are also contradictory, we consider Urban VPN a shady service that puts your personal information at risk. Therefore, we strongly recommend avoiding this VPN.
- Completely free with lifetime access.
- Freemium pricing model.
- Cross-platform availability.
- Anti-mining and ad-blocker tools.
- DNS/IPv6 leak protection.
- Unlimited server switching.
- Anti-ISP throttling.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections.
- 7-day free trial on mobile devices.
- No live chat support.
- Confirmed data logging.
- No kill switch.
- Unclear encryption and protocols.
- Data limitations on mobile devices.
- Slow and unreliable performance.
- Can’t unblock websites.
- Outdated interface.
- No fine-tuning at all.
Does Urban VPN Work on Roblox?
Yeah, Urban VPN works on Roblox. However, since it comes with unpredictable speeds, it’s not the best option for gaming. To get the best bang for your buck, we recommend checking out our guide on the best VPN for Roblox.
Is Urban VPN Good for Torrenting?
No, Urban VPN is not good for torrenting. It comes with limited performance, and it’s based in the United States. So, it can share your P2P activity details with anti-piracy agencies.
Is Urban VPN Extension Safe?
No, Urban VPN extensions are not safe. During our tests, we discovered that its extensions aren't the most reliable for hiding IP addresses. If you want to keep your IP hidden, its desktop app is your best bet.