Bright VPN is a free service that promises premium features. Its parent company is Bright Data, one of the leading names in the data and proxy industry.
Like most free VPNs, it has a catch. But, on the bright side, the vendor is transparent about its policy.
Namely, in exchange for the service, you have to allow Bright Data to access the Web from your IP address and collect public information.
So, is the service adept enough to justify this? We’ll cover this and much more in our Bright VPN review, so read on!
|Number of servers||1550||Support|
|Operating systems||Windows||Number of connections||10|
|Kill switch||No||Split tunneling||No|
Although Bright VPN advertises it’s just as efficient as the best-paid services, its features aren’t up to par.
It lacks essential tools, like a kill switch and split tunneling, and advanced security measures, such as DNS leak protection.
On the bright side, according to the website, these tools are coming soon.
But for now, let’s focus on the current state:
If you use a wide range of devices, you’ll want a VPN compatible with them.
As of now, Bright VPN is only available for Windows.
There’s also an app for LG Smart TV.
Mac, Linux, and mobile users are out of luck. However, native apps might be released soon.
Number of connections
Bright VPN is a free service that you can install on up to ten devices.
Considering the limited range of platforms it supports, you can effectively only use it on other computers that run Windows.
You can also get an add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Opera browsers.
We tested the one for Firefox.
It basically serves as a remote controller for the desktop app.
In fact, it can only work when the desktop app is running in the background, which defeats its purpose.
It has the same layout and features, too. You can expand the list of locations and open up the side menu with the settings in the upper left corner.
All in all, it’s not a very useful addition since it can’t work independently.
A VPN’s server distribution is vital, especially if you want to unblock specific websites.
Overall, Bright VPN has decent server coverage. Its website states that it offers 1550 servers in 120 countries.
However, the app tells another story. It lets you connect to 40 countries across Europe, North America, South America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.
That includes servers in:
- The UK
- The US
The total number of servers can’t be verified. Furthermore, it’s not possible to connect to specific locations within a country.
Bright VPN speed
It’s time to test Bright VPN’s connection speed!
Our starting download speed was 9.7 MBps. In general, you can expect 10% to 20% slower speeds with a VPN.
First, we connected to a server in France.
It dropped to 6.5 MBps, which is a 32.9% decrease compared to the base speed. The ping also significantly increased.
Surprisingly, connecting to the US server led to much better results — only 8.2%.
However, the download speed for Australia dropped by a whopping 50.5%.
The ping dramatically increased, as well.
Besides the US server, Bright VPN’s performance is below industry standards.
Your choice of VPN protocols determines the level of your security. Namely, the protocols generate the keys that encrypt and decrypt the data flowing through the secure tunnel.
Outdated and faulty VPN protocols can’t reliably protect your data.
So, how does Bright VPN fare in this department?
It only supports IKEv2.
IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Version 2) is one of the newest protocols. It’s a bit slower than OpenVPN, but still quite fast.
As for security, it encrypts with high-end ciphers and 256-bit encryption algorithms. It’s a much safer option than L2TP/IPsec.
Additionally, it’s one of the best protocols for mobile devices (which Bright VPN currently doesn’t support). It’s stable and won’t disrupt your VPN connection when switching between WiFi networks.
The biggest downside is that it uses UDP Port 500, which some firewalls block. It would be better to have another protocol to switch to in case IKEv2 gets blocked.
Still, IKEv2 paired with AES-256 is an excellent combination.
This encryption standard is used by the National Security Agency and industries that need the highest level of security.
It uses the SPN (Substitution Permutation Network) algorithm to generate round keys to encrypt data.
Overall, there are so many encryption rounds that it’s practically impenetrable.
Bright VPN is based in the US, which is a member of the Five Eyes, a mass surveillance and intelligence-sharing agreement with the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
All of these countries agree to share information whenever it’s mutually beneficial.
That means your data won’t be protected from your local government’s eyes.
It states the following:
We do not track nor store logs of your browsing activity, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries.
It does admit to collecting and retaining your IP address, which directly endangers your privacy.
On top of that, it logs data, such as your:
- Outgoing VPN IP server address
- Connection timestamp
- Operating system
- Installed VPN client version and other technical details
All of this data combined can directly identify you. Even though Bright VPN doesn’t claim to be a no-logs service, this is unacceptable.
Additionally, according to the website, external auditors inspect Bright VPN’s code every three months. However, there are no available audit reports.
It also says that Bright VPN complies with multiple security company requirements and data protection laws, including the GDPR and CCPA. Yet, that can’t be verified.
Is Bright VPN safe?
DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks can render your VPN protection useless by revealing your IP address and DNS queries.
They’re a fairly common occurrence, too. It’s wise to run tests periodically, even when using a provider you trust.
And our Bright VPN review wouldn’t be complete without a leak test!
First, we visited ipleak.net without turning the VPN on and got this:
Here’s what happened when we turned on Bright VPN and revisited the site:
As you can see, it didn’t reveal any of our real IP/DNS addresses. That means Bright VPN is leak-free.
Is it good for streaming and torrenting?
Many users primarily rely on a VPN for streaming and torrenting. Bad performance in these areas can be a dealbreaker.
So, let’s see what Bright VPN has to offer!
You’ll want a VPN to watch your favorite shows anywhere.
However, many streaming platforms have hard-to-bypass geo-restrictions and ban VPN use.
Most free providers don’t have sufficient tools and infrastructure to circumvent these blocks.
As for Bright VPN, it was half-successful at it.
More specifically, it managed to unblock foreign Netflix libraries. We could access Netflix US, UK, and Japan with ease.
However, it failed to unlock BBC iPlayer. We connected using the UK server and still got this error message:
Many VPNs outright forbid using their servers for torrenting, and Bright VPN is one of them. It clearly states:
The use of BitTorrent on our network is not allowed, and we are blocking BitTorrent traffic.
That’s unfortunate since most users would appreciate it if it had at least some P2P-enabled servers.
Bright VPN pricing
One of Bright VPN’s most significant selling points is that it’s free. There are no premium or paid options.
But, as always with free VPNs, you should consider why it has a such policy.
Some providers sell their customers’ data to third-party companies to profit.
Bright VPN is transparent about its intentions prior to installation. By installing its app, you become part of the Bright Data Network as a peer.
It’s a large crowdsourcing network consisting of residential and mobile IPs allowing companies and researchers access to public Web data.
So, you’re expected to share your device’s idle resources and IP address in exchange for the free app.
Your IP address will be used to:
- Support academic research
- Help brands track sites selling fake products
- Collect public Web data like product prices and reviews
- Aggregate travel information like flights and hotel prices
Your IP address won’t be misused to:
- Steal, encrypt, or delete sensitive data
- Alter or hijack core computing functions
- Monitor user’s computer activity
- Access illegal sites (Dark Web, porn, etc.)
- Perform DDOS attacks
Additionally, you can see and control which sites are accessed by Bright Data. You can exclude some use cases in the settings, but you must allow at least three.
The app also lets you schedule its data collection and exclude up to six hours.
Here are our final thoughts on the service.
We appreciate that Bright VPN is one of the rare free providers without bandwidth or server limits.
It doesn’t neglect security, either. It uses the highest encryption standards and is data leak-free.
However, Bright VPN can’t guarantee your privacy. Its policy has unveiled some worrying logging practices.
The fact that you have to share your IP address with other users and organizations to collect Web data also doesn’t instill trust.
Furthermore, its speed is sluggish, and it doesn’t have a kill switch or split tunneling.
Overall despite its benefits, it has too many red flags regarding privacy.
That said, you should consider getting a premium VPN (at an affordable price!).
We hope our Bright VPN review helped you make up your mind about it. Good luck!