Unlike many other VPN reviews, this begins with a product that that wasn’t a VPN service. Disconnect as it was known later offers the very best free tracker protection of any browser extension you can find and has done so for years, it was also a favorite of the New York Times in 2016.
Disconnect.me reviews praised this free and open-source add-on as it stopped trackers dead and made your internet experience faster. You could whitelist sites, and see sites connecting to the one you were visiting in a visual form.
In our Disconnect software review, we see a few changes in the operations of the company.
- Tracker prevention
- Privacy on iOS and Mac
- Protecting browsers and apps
- Speeding up internet
Plans and Pricing
Besides the browser extensions that are free for all devices, and run on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS browsers. You have a second option for iOS devices that protects browsers and apps.
Yearly $11.99 Billed $50 per year
Once you move up to the Disconnect Premium plan, it is here where you can make use of all the features and VPN services. The company also only accepts credit card payments.
Disconnect VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee no questions asked. There is no free trial, yet when you install the app; it does offer in-app purchases.
When you look at the privacy and security, you will see the app uses AES 256-bit encryption for the data. They also use 2048-bit DH for key exchange and the support of perfect forward secrecy (PFS).
There is no kill switch in the app, so if you lose connection, you could potentially have your device IP exposed.
While the company doesn’t review user data, they do retain basic information including the number of page views, browser types of the visitors, operating systems, and clickable links to arrive or leave the main site.
There is no personal info collected such as IP address, geo-location. All the company may require is a valid email address for communication purposes. It doesn’t retain any connection logs, so it is secure in that department.
One of the downsides being the company is based inside the USA, which is a founder of the 5-eyes coalition.
Ease of Use
The app is straightforward to use, as there are limited things you can do from the interface. The main screen shows you if you are connected or disconnected. Beyond that, you can choose a server location, and content to block or allow to your device.
Nearly every Disconnect VPN review says much the same, and new VPN users or the more tech-savvy easily use it.
You can have 3 unique devices for simultaneous connections on one subscription. All these need to be iOS or macOS devices.
You have two apps, and both will work on iOS or mac only. One is the free tracking prevention for your device, while the second is the Premium that offers VPN protection.
When you go to sign-up, you can select the monthly or the annual payment. Following this, you add basic personal info such as:
- Name (optional)
- Email (optional)
- Address (optional)
- Sate, Zip
- Card Number
Adding an email is preferable, as they need to send an activation code.
Setting up the app is just like any other iOS or Mac app. Install it in the regular fashion, and to be sure the app is working, it displays if you are connected or not.
When running on iOS, you don’t need to keep the app open for protection, and it will display VPN along the top of the screen.
In this Disconnect premium review, it was a shame to see a lack of advanced physical features. The main draw being the much-loved malvertising blocker that can stop anything that it deems as malicious or that is designed to track you and ruin your online privacy. Such tracking avoidance is device-wide.
Therefore, there are no worries about needing to turn anything on or off; when connecting to an app outside your browser.
The app does offer a stats dashboard, and here you can see what has been blocked, and the data savings it has made. All these are real-time, which is quite fun and scary to watch.
Once connected, your IP address is thoroughly hidden, and once you connect to any public Wi-Fi, you have full automatic protection.
You will see that the tracker technology works against invasive trackers via setting a DNS against any known tracking domains.
Once you install the iOS Pro and the iOS Premium all-in-one VPN app from the app store, these will supersede the need for the browser extension that is free for any user.
The extension is available for
- Samsung Browser
Disconnect reviews often point out that the network is much smaller than many of the best VPN’s. While they state on the website, they have servers inside the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
You may find it hard to locate the numbers of VPN servers and countries supported. However, if you check in the Apple Store, you can see they claim they span over 80 countries and have server locations that total 180.
While it still doesn’t declare the number of servers, you can presume the numbers are small. Notwithstanding, the speeds are not what you expect from the best VPN; however, they are respectable for most activities on an Apple device.
The company claim that with the blocking they carry out, your page loading is around 30% faster than usual as well as safer. Much of this we can vouch for in testing.
Disconnect may not be the fastest VPN there is, and it may lack on features. You can forgive this to a degree as many other larger VPN’s offer the same sorts of service levels.
Unfortunately, customer support is one area that ought to be able to cope with user requests. Disconnect Premium doesn’t have any aside from a FAQ page and email support.
The FAQ’s cover the three products the company offers, yet the subject matter is not very in-depth to allow users to fix any issues. In some areas, the information also appears to be out of date as it covers devices the apps don’t.
When emailing, this was nothing special, and there was a delay before receiving answers.
Disconnect makes no claims as to how they bypass any restrictions to access any streaming sites. Because of this, they cannot unblock Netflix or any other significant streaming platform that puts up any geo-restrictions.
As there are only servers in the US, UK and Japan, the regions covered are minimal in comparison to a top-level VPN review of another provider.
In the same way, as the VPN fails for streaming, it fails in the same manner for downloading torrent files.
While it isn’t actively mentioned on the website, there is no doubt that the company doesn’t actively encourage torrenting across its network.
With just a limited number of servers in the network and the fact it doesn’t prevent IP or DNS leaks, then torrenting on this service is best forgotten to remain safe.
Read our guide and get the best VPN for torrenting.
When going through everything for this review, there was more found from way back when the service was full of promise. The impact it could have made was huge, and even Google was up in arms as the apps could prevent the ad revenue Google could make.
However, it is very different now, and the company has cut back on many of their services, hence apps that you can only get for Apple devices.
It does come with some strict policy terms, yet these are stronger than the secure aspect of the apps. Any user who just wants the very best for tracking prevention, then for the money, this can be a great option.
However, selecting the VPN version of the app may be a bit too much, as it doesn’t offer much more to sway you in that direction.
What’s the Bottom Line?
A well-made app full of promise, and will attract a limited audience with its limited range of features