VPN network card | TechRadar
Network card is a supplier of VPN services that use a high level of traffic encryption to ensure the privacy and security of its users on a range of different devices and platforms.
The provider’s cheapest plan is an annual subscription, but it leans slightly on the expensive side. Specifically, it is billed annually at $ 85, which equates to $ 6.99 / month. The other subscription terms are even more expensive.
Accepted payment methods include credit / debit cards, PayPal, WebMoney, Yandex, Bitcoin, Qiwi, Mint, Alipay, and many more.
With a single subscription, you will be able to run a VPN on up to three devices at the same time, although the FAQ states that you can only use one device per connection protocol (e.g. Mac with IKEv2, Android with OpenVPN, Windows with L2TP).
The provider claims to have a 30-day money-back guarantee, but in their FAQ section it specifies that this period is only 7 days after the subscription was activated (it is suspected that someone forgot to update update the site). Either way, our refund was approved after one day of use and we are now waiting for it to be issued.
If you want to preview the capabilities of the provider without paying, you can do so by downloading a Firefox extension, but it will only give you access to one server.
Netmap may have some cool extras, but it’s nothing like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark or CyberGhost, all of which have many features and regularly update their apps and website. These services can also unblock BBC iPlayer and Netflix without any issues (and at a lower price than that).
Despite connecting to a server in the UK, we were unable to unblock BBC iPlayer content as this streaming service has acknowledged that we do not connect from the UK. The same happened when we connected to a server in the US, trying to access Netflix US titles.
About the company
The website doesn’t say anything about the company that operates Netmap VPN, and customer support never bothered to answer our questions about it.
What we managed to extract was the information on the app’s Google Play page, where it lists Vilnius, Lithuania as the location. The information in the App Store lists Centras Netmapa as the company behind the VPN.
Either way, this VPN gives access to 95 servers in 45 countries, including Latvia, Romania, Israel, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, and others.
Confidentiality and encryption
Depending on the platform you configured it on, Netmap uses the IKEv2, OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP / IPSec transfer protocols. L2TP / IPSec and OpenVPN come with 256-bit encryption. There is no information on other protocols, but we assume the encryption is a bit weaker.
Sharing of large files via P2P and torrent clients is allowed.
Netmap indicates that its servers are equipped with outgoing TOR IP and its nodes with Crypto DNS. Additional features include a DoubleVPN and a kill switch in all of its native apps. Firefox and Chrome extensions include a split tunneling option for websites.
While it sounds reassuring, we would like to see independent confirmation of these claims by an external auditor, as has happened with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Netmap offers native apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. It can also be enabled manually on Linux and routers (as well as other supported platforms) using the instructions and the configuration files offered on the website.
IOS and Android apps are not updated particularly frequently. The former has been updated three times in the past two years, while the latter was last updated two years ago.
If you need it, help is available in the modest FAQ section and one blog / news section with interesting reading material on VPN and industry trends. You can also try to contact customer support through live chat, online form, or ticketing system. We have tested the web form method to ask some general questions and are still waiting for an answer. However, our refund request was processed during the day.
Speed and experience
Netmap’s applications are fairly straightforward. If you are using Windows, you will have several options – AutoConnect, Autostart and Kill Switch, as well as selecting VPN servers and creating VPN chains. The application triggers a notification in the taskbar each time the connection is successful (or unsuccessful for that matter).
The only free server that the Mozilla extension allowed us to use was in Sofia, Bulgaria, so we tested it on a 57.81 Mbps connection and from a location in South East Europe. The results were good, although weighing around the average, at 22.37 Mbps. We have seen better, but we have also seen much worse.
After paying for the premium service, we connected to a server in the UK, which got us 18.05 Mbps. This time around, the test connection was also slightly slower – at 40.37 Mbps – meaning the UK VPN location performed pretty well. We also tried a server in the US and it provided a usable speed of 9.95 Mbps.
For our last test, a server in Hong Kong gave us 7Mbps, which is expected for such a distance.
Netmap is not cheap, although it does not come close to the major players in the industry. It lacks content unblocking capabilities when it comes to popular streaming channels, and its mobile apps, website, and online information are in urgent need of an update.
That said, it does have its perks, including a few cool extras that increase the level of privacy, solid speeds, no torrent restrictions, and support for a plethora of payment methods.