Celo VPN Review (2022): No Logs But Too Many Limitations
Celo VPN is a relatively lesser-known VPN provider based in Australia. It promises no logs, great security, and high speeds to help browse the net anonymously.
To see how it holds up against other providers, we’ve decided to give Celo VPN a full review. We tested everything from speed and safety to features and user-friendliness. Keep reading below to check out our findings and see how Celo compares to other top VPN providers.
Celo VPN Short Review
|Does not keep logs of users’ online activity||Inconsistent speeds|
|Good customer service||Complicated to set up and use|
|Solid security protocols||Pricier than other options|
|Accepts cryptocurrencies||Small server network|
|Doesn’t unblock Netflix and other streaming sites|
Celo VPN is owned and operated by Celo Net Pty Ltd in Australia. It offers OpenVPN clients for Windows and macOS. While it can be set up on Android, iOS, Linux, and other systems through a manual setup process, doing so is not very user-friendly. Unlike most popular VPNs, you cannot simply go to the Play Store or App Store on your mobile device to download the Celo VPN app.
We tested Celo VPN on Windows and macOS and found it equally complicated to use on both these platforms. Moreover, it yielded inconsistent speeds, has a rather restricted server network, and couldn’t unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix.
On the plus side, it offers ample security and privacy, though a kill switch is only available on Windows 7 and 10. The customer service is very responsive and you’ll probably be reaching out to them a lot because of how difficult it is to figure out the app.
With a price tag of about $5 per month for a yearly plan, Celo is not the cheapest VPN and doesn’t have much to offer the average user. You can take advantage of a 10-day money-back guarantee to try out the service and get a refund if you’re not satisfied.
- Torrenting allowed
- Zero logs
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is Celo VPN?
Speed is an important factor to consider when choosing a VPN because nobody likes lags and interruptions while browsing. We score Celo 5/10 on speed due to the following observations:
- The speeds were pretty inconsistent and varied across servers.
- We noticed that webpages and videos took longer to load which hindered everyday use.
Speed test results Celo VPN
We used the website speedtest.net and our results for different servers are summarized in the table below. Please keep in mind that speeds can depend on many factors like your geographical location and the time of day. So our results are just a general point of reference.
|Server||Download (MBPS)||% Download||Upload (MBPS)||% Upload||Ping (MS)|
|US (New York)||16.11||17.0%||90.44||95.3%||171|
As you can see, we got the best speeds with the nearest server to us which is in the Netherlands. For other locations, although upload speeds were quite consistent, the big drops in download speed significantly impacted daily use. This makes Celo VPN’s performance quite disappointing compared to other VPNs like Surfshark and CyberGhost which offer much better speeds on servers across the world.
Speed during daily use
When connected to the nearest server, Celo VPN worked well enough without any lags in loading pages or streaming videos. But the moment we changed to other servers, there were plenty of delays when browsing, and videos kept stopping to buffer.
Of course, it’s too slow for gaming too. We, therefore, recommend you explore other options for a good daily-use VPN like Surfshark or CyberGhost.
Safety – How Secure is Celo VPN?
The prime purpose of a VPN is to keep you safe online. Celo VPN scores 6/10 in this area because it provides several key security features but is yet somewhat limited. We’ve explained this further below. Here are our main takeaways:
- It uses AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard protocols, along with some additional ones.
- It does not keep logs of users’ online activity.
- It has a kill switch, but only in its Windows app.
- To create a Celo VPN account, you need to provide a name, email address, and payment information.
On paper, Celo VPN offers multiple protocols. These include WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), and IKEv2. However, you can only download the OpenVPN clients for your devices. This means that the app by default uses the OpenVPN protocol. For each server, you can choose to connect via either TCP or UDP. Usually, UDP offers faster speeds.
If you want to switch protocols, you have to open a support ticket and tell the customer support team which server location you wish to connect to. This is quite a time-consuming and inconvenient process. Most other VPN providers let you easily switch the protocol from the settings menu in their apps.
Additionally, Celo VPN also offers the V2Ray/VMEss protocols and SOCKS5 proxy. These are handy for advanced users, but might be somewhat difficult for the average person to set up.
Logging and privacy
Celo VPN does not keep logs of your online activity. So they won’t record what sites you visit, your search history, or anything you stream and download. They only collect your email address and payment information when you place an order.
The only concern is the provider’s location in Australia, a country that’s part of the 5 Eyes alliance. Member countries — namely the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — have agreed to share intelligence information for the sake of “world peace.” Although this is not something that most users should be worried about, we recommend that you exercise caution when browsing with Celo VPN.
For ultimate safety and security, you should go for a VPN that’s located in a privacy-friendly region with no data retention laws. For example, NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, while Surfshark is based in the Netherlands.
A kill switch is an important safety feature in a VPN. If the secure VPN connection drops, it automatically “kills” your internet connection. This prevents sensitive information like your IP address from accidentally “leaking” through when the VPN is disconnected. Celo VPN only offers a kill switch on Windows 7 and 10. It’s not available on Windows 8, macOS, Android, or iOS.
Furthermore, there is no way to control the kill switch from within the app. The Celo VPN website has instructions to enable the kill switch at the OS level from the Network Settings section. But this can be quite daunting for most users who might not want to tinker with such technicalities on their system.
What information does Celo VPN need?
Creating a Celo VPN account requires your name, email address, and payment information. You can set up your own username and password during the signup process. You can pay using PayPal, credit cards, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. If you use crypto, you can buy a VPN anonymously.
Usability – How User-Friendly is Celo VPN?
We were pretty disappointed by Celo VPN’s lack of user-friendliness. It’s quite technical and complicated to figure out, which is why we give it just 4/10 on usability. Here are our main observations:
- The website is well-designed but the installation process is long and complicated compared to most other VPN installations.
- The app has a rather strange and dated user interface that will be difficult for beginners to figure out.
- The VPN service is more expensive than most other VPN providers. It accepts credit cards, cryptocurrency, and PayPal.
- The customer service is quite prompt and helpful but the app’s overall complexity means most users will have to repeatedly reach out for support. This can be quite frustrating and inconvenient.
Celo VPN website and installation process
The Celo VPN website is well laid out and has plenty of information about the service. The homepage features a call to action to sign up for a plan or check out the features of the VPN.
Once you click on “Sign Up Now,” you are taken to the “Pricing” page. Here, you can follow the steps below to download and install the Celo VPN app:
- Select a plan and click “Sign Up Now.”
- On the next page, review your order details and click the green “Checkout” button. If you want to pay by PayPal, you can click the “PayPal Check Out” button.
- Now, enter your name, email address, and billing address if paying by credit card.
- Scroll down and set your username and password.
- Scroll further down, select your method of payment, and click on “Complete Order.”
- You will now be logged into the Celo VPN website, where you can download the VPN client for your device. Click on “Downloads” to see all the available clients.
- Clicking on a client name will initiate the download.
- Once you’ve downloaded the file, open it and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation on your device.
Celo VPN appearance and ease-of-use
We tested Celo VPN’s OpenVPN client on both macOS and Windows. On both operating systems, the app has a rather strange interface that can be difficult to make sense of, especially if you’re not technically inclined.
On macOS, the app icon appears in the top menu bar, and on Windows, it appears in the taskbar as shown in the screenshots below.
Additionally, on macOS, the following home screen gives you access to various settings.
To connect to the VPN, you can click on a country name and then choose a server. The app will need you to log in each time you connect to a server. We found this quite annoying and inconvenient.
Once you select a server, you can click on “Settings” to see various configuration options. As you can see below, it looks quite complex and is not very user-friendly.
Additionally, you can click the other buttons like “Appearance” and “Preferences” or “Utilities” to customize how the app looks and runs on your system.
There is not much explanation about the different settings which makes Celo VPN complicated to use, especially for beginners. That’s why we recommend going for other VPNs like NordVPN or Surfshark that are a breeze to set up and use.
Pricing and payment methods
Celo VPN does not have a free plan or free trial but it offers a 10-day money-back guarantee on all its plans. So, you can sign up and then get a refund if you want to within 10 days. Here are the subscription options:
- Monthly plan for $6.00 per month
- Quarterly plan for $16.50 ($5.50 per month)
- Six-month plan for $32.00 ($5.33 per month)
- Annual plan for $58.00 ($4.83 per month)
As you can see, the annual plan is the cheapest option. But it is still pricy compared to most other VPNs, including leading providers like Surfshark, NordVPN, and CyberGhost.
Celo accepts PayPal, credit cards, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The advantage of VPNs that accept crypto is greater anonymity as you do not need to provide personally-identifiable financial information.
Celo VPN’s customer service team can be contacted by opening a support ticket from the client area of the website. Unfortunately, there’s no live chat support. We reached out to customer service about our confusion using the VPN on macOS.
We received an email response within a couple of hours and the customer support agent helped us with everything we needed. They even followed up later to make sure that things were going right.
We appreciated the prompt and helpful service. But we think that given how complex this VPN service is to use, most users will need to keep reaching out to customer support multiple times. This may be inconvenient and time-consuming when you have an urgent query.
Server Network Celo VPN
Servers are the backbone of a VPN service because they determine the speeds and features you can use. We give Celo VPN servers a score of 4/10 due to the following reasons.
- It has a small server network of just over 20 servers in 15 countries.
- It does not currently offer a dedicated IP feature.
Number of servers and locations
Celo VPN has just 23 servers in 15 countries. This is no match for most leading VPN services, which offer thousands of servers across the world. Here’s a list of the Celo VPN’s server locations:
- North America: Canada and the United States
- Europe: France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
- Asia & Australia: Australia, India, Japan, and Singapore.
There are no specialized servers for streaming or torrenting but all of them support P2P file sharing.
Dedicated IP address
A dedicated IP address is a VPN feature that lets you have the same anonymous IP address when you connect to the VPN. This has advantages like greater speed but can also have drawbacks like reduced anonymity because you are not randomly assigned a new IP address each time you use the VPN.
Celo VPN does not currently offer this feature so if it’s something you’d like, you can opt for other providers like CyberGhost or NordVPN.
Celo VPN’s Options
Apart from safe and anonymous browsing, a VPN can help you unblock geographically restricted content such as Netflix and other streaming services. It also enables secure torrenting. Here’s what you need to know about Celo VPN in this regard:
- Celo VPN does not unblock Netflix or other streaming services.
- It supports P2P file sharing but speeds are inconsistent.
- Additional options include the SOCKS5 proxy and a built-in ad and malware blocker.
Celo VPN and streaming sites like Netflix
We cannot recommend Celo VPN for watching Netflix as this VPN provider cannot unblock any streaming sites, nor does it claim to.
So, if you’re looking to bypass geographical restrictions and stream Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and more, you can opt for another provider like Surfshark or NordVPN which are capable of unblocking many streaming services. This can be really helpful when you’re traveling and want to keep up with your favorite content on streaming services back home.
Celo VPN and torrents
Celo VPN supports P2P file sharing and has instructions on its webpage on how to optimize torrenting using the service. However, we think the speeds are inconsistent so it may not be the best VPN for torrenting. Celo VPN also offers Port Forwarding or an obfuscated SSH tunnel to enhance P2P activity. You’ll need to contact customer support to set this up, though.
Celo VPN supports proxies on a wide range of devices. This is highly effective to spoof your location but does not offer the privacy benefits of a VPN. The Celo VPN website has instructions about how to set up proxies but it can be quite complicated for most users. NordVPN is another great VPN that offers this option at a lower price and with more features.
Ad and malware blocker
Celo VPN boasts a built-in ad and malware blocker that automatically activates when you connect to the VPN. However, it doesn’t seem to be very effective as we still saw plenty of ads when browsing using the VPN. So, we recommend you use a reliable adblocker instead.
Our Experience With Celo VPN
To conclude, our Celo VPN review reveals that the service lacks performance and user-friendliness. The server network is limited and speeds are inconsistent. Moreover, it doesn’t help with unblocking streaming services. On the plus side, it offers good security and does not keep logs of sensitive information.
The customer support is good but given how complicated the app is, we do not recommend Celo VPN. Instead, we suggest you use either Surfshark or NordVPN which are both easier, faster, more feature-rich, and cheaper. Alternatively, you can also try some free VPNs that provide good security and speed.
Got a question about Celo VPN? We’ve got you covered in the FAQ section below. Just click on a question to see the answer.
Yes, Celo VPN is quite safe as it uses AES-256 bit encryption and secure protocols. By default, it uses the OpenVPN protocol that offers good speed and security. Celo VPN does not keep logs of your online activity. Read our full review to know more about this provider.
No, Celo VPN cannot unblock any geographically restricted streaming services. For this, we recommend you use other VPNs that can unblock Netflix such as Surfshark, CyberGhost, NordVPN, and others.
Celo VPN is based in Australia. Although it is a no-logs VPN, Australia is part of the 5 Eyes intelligence alliance, so you should be cautious of using this service. It’s advisable to use a VPN located in privacy-friendly regions such as Panama, the Netherlands, or the British Virgin Islands like our top 5 best VPN providers are.
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