Arethusa VPN is a provider that was originally founded in 2010 and supports both the OpenVPN and the PPTP protocols, and has servers in more than 7 countries. The service is offered by Black Lagoon Internet Limited, which is a company that is based in Seychelles. Their goal was to offer affordable VPN plans from a wide range of different countries and make the process as simple as possible.
Installation and Configuration
Arethusa does not offer much in the way of help installing and configuring your software. They do have some information on their “Help” page, but even that just redirects to a forum where users can ask questions, where they have their documentation available. Of course, if you are an advanced user, this documentation should be enough to help you out, as it provides step by step directions and also screenshots to help to walk you thorugh the process. For new users their documentation navigation might be a little more difficult to follow. Luckily, there are numerous OpenVPN guides available online that go into more depth than the guides that are provided on their “Help,” page, so you can always seek those out if you need to.
Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of Arethusa, which for the most part is a no-frills VPN provider, is their low subscription costs. They make their premium plans available for 5 Euros a month, which is substantially lower than you will find with many other services available online. They also make available a free trial plan that allows for 1 GB monthly bandwidth limits. While this will not be enough to use consistently, but should provide you with enough usage to properly evaluate them as a service provider. You do not need an account to use the free trial server, which is based in Ukraine. They also limit their trial account to only browsing – meaning that you can not use it to transfer files in any way, and you would be required to sign up for a premium account to receive that functionality. All in all, Arethusa provides excellent services for the price, and while they may not go the extra mile with documentation, they do offer an excellent price for their services when compared to the competition.
Speed, Reliability and Bandwidth
There are no restrictions for either bandwidth or speed on any of the plans that are offered by Arethusa. This means that you can utilize the servers provided by their service for a wide range of uses including getting around corporate blockers for websites like Facebook and Youtube, making VOIP calls, or getting around the GEOIP blocking and restrictions from popular websites like Netflix and Hulu, allowing you to watch your favorite content that otherwise would have been blocked in your home region.
Arethusa has also set aside a number of servers that can be used for peer 2 peer programs, meaning that you will be able to use some of the servers for downloading Bittorrent files and the like. Arethusa provides great servers in terms of speed, reliability, and bandwidth, which has helped their no-frills approach to gain some traction within the industry.
Currently Arethusa has servers that are available in 7 different countries, giving you access to a wide range of IP ranges. These countries include the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ukraine, Luxembourg and the United States. If you plan on using these servers to download files, it is important that you understand that only servers are permitted for peer 2 peer networks. The company currently does not offer any servers in the Asian Pacific or South American markets, but they do offer servers in enough countries to make them an enticing option for individuals that are looking to get around corporate blocks (for websites like Facebook and YouTube), getting around GEOIP blocking (websites like Netflix that restrict certain content for you based on your location) or simply browsing various websites anonymously. In all, the seven server locations are more than enough for your average user, but Arethusa may not be an attractive option for users in South American or Asian Pacific Countries.
There is a limited amount of support from Arethusa, which is one of the most disappointing aspects of their service. Their main form of support seems to be through their forum, which contains their documentation and is not all that active. They do have a ticket based system for subscribers, but their pre-sales support seems to be non-existent for many. The support staff does respond in a reasonable amount of time, but they seem to be missing all of the bells and whistles that other companies have added in recent years to help them to stand out from the competition.
Overall, Arethusa is just an average provider. Their ‘no-fills’ approach might make them a light weight, quick option for professional users, but it also makes them less desirable to new users. Their documentation is a bit confusing, and the fact that most of their support is run through their forum looks unprofessional. However, they do offer servers in 7 different countries, and a decent speed for each of those servers.
In all, Arethusa is a VPN provider without all of the bells and whistles. This can be scary for new users, but veterans who know how to setup and configure a VPN should be more than happy with the service that they are rendered. They are great for getting around some corporate blocks, dealing with GEOIP restriction or are simply looking for a more private browsing experience.
Arethusa might not go the extra mile, but they do provide a solid basic service that is useful. Those new to VPN services might want to go elsewhere, but VPN veterans may like the streamlined approach Arethusa brings to the table.