Faceless.me got off to a good start during our review because of the service's generous free offering. However, it is important to note that the free version comes with limited speed and no ability to switch between VPN server locations. Still, as a quick and easy anonymity solution, it deserves some credit.
Our feelings became more mixed once we started exploring the solution in more detail. Speed test results were very variable between different servers, and we had some irritating problems with their iPhone VPN app. We also experienced some loading time-out issues with the provider website itself that gave cause for concern.
It does seem that work is being done to improve the solution, and as it's possible to try it free of charge, we'd refrain from dismissing it completely, but performance really would need to improve for us to give an unqualified recommendation.
- Simultaneous connections 1
- Countries 3
- ProPrivacy.com SpeedTest (average) 7
- Jurisdiction Cyprus
- Connect on startup
- 3 server locations (US, Netherlands, Russia)
- Free option
- No usage logs
- P2P supported
Speed and Performance
As usual, we carried out a number of speed tests using Speedtest.net to assess the performance of the VPN solution.
First, as usual, we needed a benchmark of our test connection, so we ran a speed test whilst disconnected from the VPN. Without VPN, we achieved a download speed of just below 7Mbps.
Then, starting with the server nearest to our physical location, we connected to Faceless.me in the Netherlands and ran a second test in which we reached a download speed of 5.26Mbps.
The overhead of the VPN connection reduced our speed by around 1.5Mbps. Not a bad result, nor the best we've ever seen.
We then connected to Faceless.me's server in Russia and the result was far worse, at 1.46Mbps:
Finally, we connected to the US VPN server and achieved a download speed of 2.58Mbps. While this was a little better than the Russia result, this still represented less than half of our benchmark download speed.
Overall, our tests results were depressingly mixed.
Pricing and Plans
As mentioned in the introduction, Faceless.me is a uniquely generous service, in that the provider offers up to 2GB of VPN traffic completely free of charge and with no sign-up whatsoever. However, as mentioned above, speed is limited on the free service and it's not possible to switch between VPN servers.
For those who want to continue to use the service beyond the free period, or access the extra speed and functionality, the premium package is available in two simple variations.
A three-month unlimited traffic subscription costs $19.95 and six months costs $29.95, working out to $59.90 annually, placing the price of the service towards the low end of average. However, it is worthy of note that if (like us) you are located in Europe, VAT is added onto the price.
Privacy and Security
The fact that Faceless.me allow you to use a limited version of the service with no real sign-up procedure at all means that this could be a great choice for those who want a quick, one-off privacy solution.
Moving onto more technical details, Faceless offers support for PPTP and OpenVPN. Encryption is 1024 bit RSA, according to the support department.
Many users of VPN services are interested in their provider's logging policy. Faceless.me confirm within their FAQs that they take no logs of user activity.
We had high hopes for Faceless.me, and as a FREE VPN service it meets some expectations; 2Gb of completely free and anonymous traffic will be appealing to some.
As a chargeable service, however, Faceless still feels like something of a work in progress. We found the website timeouts disconcerting and had a whole day when our iPhone wouldn't connect due to a password error which later resolved itself. The fact that the provider states that they are still working on areas of the service is reassuring, however.
With some more work, Faceless.me could become a service to recommend. As it stands, it's sadly not quite there.