Are you looking for an Unbiased UTunnel Review 2023, Don’t Worry, I got you covered.
Post the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in the workforce around the world preferring to work remotely from homes or co-working spaces instead of offices. Added to the mix are companies of all sizes moving their resource networks to the cloud.
With things within the workspace scenario evolving, traditional hardware-based VPNs remained just the same. They are not designed to secure cloud-based resources. Also, they have limitations in terms of deployment complexity and are difficult and expensive to scale in accordance with changing business needs.
Cloud VPN and Zero Trust networking solutions are the right candidates to secure current business networks and applications. UTunnel VPN is a fully-featured business VPN solution that provides organizations with quick and easy VPN server deployment and management along with Zero Trust Application Access(ZTAA).
It is robust and versatile and provides organizations with much-needed protection from cyber threats and attacks by enabling secure and controlled network and application access.
Table of Contents
What Is UTunnel VPN?
UTunnel VPN is a cloud-based VPN as a Service (VPNaaS) and Zero Trust networking solution designed to cater to small and medium-sized businesses that want to keep their network safe and provide secure remote access to their hybrid workforce. Even though UTunnel is designed as a business VPN solution, personal users can also use it to set up their own private VPN servers for improved privacy compared to public VPN servers.
Being a VPNaaS, UTunnel supports automated cloud VPN deployment with its integrations with popular cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, Kamatera, Hetzner, and UpCloud. The server deployment process is super simple using this option. All you need to do is select your preferred cloud provider, and data center location from 30+ locations globally, and instance type in just a few clicks.
UTunnel also supports deploying your VPN server on an on-premise server or any cloud VPS with its on-premise/Bring Your Own Server (BYOS) option. This option is also fast, and simple and requires you to run less than 5 commands to deploy your VPN server. This is geared toward the more technologically inclined customers who need much deeper controls over their VPN server.
Once you have your UTunnel servers deployed and have configured access to applications from these servers, you can further streamline your network access control using UTunnel’s OneClick access.
This solution uses Zero Trust principles, letting you provide segmented access to network applications for users without requiring them to connect to the entire network via the VPN.
What sets UTunnel to stand apart from its competitors is its affordable pricing while offering a wide range of networking and security features along with a 14-day risk-free testing period without any commitment. UTunnel comes in two plans – a basic plan which lets you deploy and manage your VPN with limited features and a standard plan with advanced business-centric features.
Anyone can effortlessly deploy and manage a VPN server, configure the server settings, and manage the VPN users using UTunnel’s interactive web console.
UTunnel Features and Functionalities
UTunnel’s VPN solution provides flexible networking features that allow you to build and manage dedicated VPN servers to be used with your business network. And its core features include:
- Easy Configuration – UTunnel VPN’s quick and hassle-free VPN server setup process enables even novice users to deploy a VPN with a few clicks. Users can make use of the help articles to guide them through the configuration process. In case you need any assistance, expert technical support is available whenever you need it.
- Seamless Cloud Integration – UTunnel provides an impeccable cloud VPN deployment experience for its users by partnering with prominent cloud providers like Linode, DigitalOcean, Vultr, Hetzner, UpCloud, and Kamatera. Just by selecting your preferred cloud provider and a location from 30+ global locations, the user can easily set up their own cloud VPN in a few minutes.
- BYOS Option for Technology-savvy Users – For those technophile business owners who are particular about the devices they use, UTunnel allows the option of ‘Bring Your Own Server’ to set up an on-premise server. The server can be any device installed with Ubuntu 20.04 and has a static IP address. The user can also bring in cloud servers provided by cloud providers like Azure, AWS, GCP, Oracle, etc. to set up their cloud VPN server.
- Zero Trust Application Access via OneClick Apps – You can Deploy your UTunnel server on your VPC or on-premise network and enable secure, clientless, and single-click access to those applications using UTunnel’s OneClick Access solution. Zero Trust Access segments the users’ access within your network infrastructure helping to reduce attack surfaces and prevent lateral movement of threats.
- Easy-to-use Organization Account – Another important feature of UTunnel is the organization account. An organization account allows the management of VPN users, teams, VPN servers, etc. an easy job. With the creation of an organization account, UTunnel lets the user enjoy essential business features like Single Sign On, site-to-site tunneling, automatic user provisioning, etc.
- Advanced Site-to-Site Connectivity – Site-to-site tunneling feature allows your business’s main office to stay connected with remote offices, internal resource networks, and virtual private cloud resources, as if they are part of a single network, and communicate with each other simultaneously.
- Split Tunneling – The split tunneling feature comes in handy when the VPN is used for secure remote access. This feature allows the user to route certain data traffic to the destined IP address or network while the rest is routed straight through the internet, hence avoiding unnecessary data traffic through the VPN.
- Custom DNS – UTunnel comes with its own DNS server, but users are given the option to modify the DNS configuration with just a few clicks and add custom DNS servers instead. This is again a useful feature in the business context.
That accounts for the main features of UTunnel’s VPNaaS solution. We found these features competent enough to meet the dynamic VPN requirements of small and medium business owners.
Reliable Security & Privacy
To ensure end-to-end data security for its users, UTunnel supports 256-bit encryption utilizing OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec tunneling protocols. UTunnel also provides its users with more security and privacy features such as:
- Multi-factor Authentication – This offers an extra layer of security, letting users authenticate themselves with an email OTP or TOTP from an authentication app before logging in to their UTunnel account and VPN client apps.
- Single-Sign-On – UTunnel’s integrations with SSO providers like Okta, Onelogin, Azure ID, Google Workspace, etc. lets you manage all your employees at one place and let them login easily across different SaaS apps.
- Role-based Access Control – Efficiently manage users & user groups and restrict their level of access based on their roles.
- Access Policies – UTunnel allows admins to set up VPN access policies that would enable them to control access to the VPN based on the client devices’ OS, and even lets you manage a list of trusted devices, from which VPN connections are allowed.
- Device Filtering – A very useful security feature that allows the server admin to decide which individual devices can connect to the VPN server. Any new devices would need approval from the admin.
- User logs & stats – Though the logs are disabled as the default option, businesses could enable it to monitor their network activity. The user’s login and connection activity will be available to be monitored.
These flexible security & privacy features of UTunnel VPN are designed to offer organizations the much-required cybersecurity to safeguard their data resources.
How Good Is UTunnel – Speed & Performance
We tested UTunnel’s VPN speed with a few locations and found the speeds were within reasonable limits.
Consumer VPN providers run their own VPN servers and in that case, testing the speed is relevant to check their performance. But, UTunnel is not a VPN provider, but rather a VPN solution, letting you deploy your own VPN servers. So, in this case, It’s you who creates and manages your VPN server, hence dictating the performance.
Based on our tests, we can assure you that UTunnel will give you optimal network performance for the choice of the VPN server you make. The network speeds would vary upon the following factors:
- The distance between the user’s physical location and the VPN server
- VPN protocols
- Encryption strength
- VPN Server bandwidth
- Server Specs: CPU/RAM
- User’s internet speed
The performance won’t be much affected if the user and VPN server are at the same location. As the distance between the server and the user increases the speed would also start going downwards.
Even though UTunnel supports both OpenVPN (TCP, UDP) and IKEv2/IPSec, IKEv2 gives the best speed along with security.
UTunnel: UI & Ease Of Use
UTunnel boasts a sleek and compact dashboard that presents information in a clutter-free style. Details like bandwidth graphs, CPU and memory usage, logs, and sessions are aesthetically showcased on the dashboard screen for the user’s perusal.
The user interface is easy to use and lets you manage your VPN server configuration, VPN users and user groups, site-to-site tunnels etc. UTunnel’s web console is designed to allow people with little to no technical knowledge to easily navigate the settings and use its functionalities without a hitch.
UTunnel Pricing Plans
UTunnel VPN is offering subscriptions at two price plans; Basic for $5.00/month & Standard for $7.50/month.
The Basic plan is for users who just want to set up a VPN server but do not want to go deeper into the server configuration or management. It offers basic features like static IP address, multiple protocol support, custom VPN protocol, and port, VPN obfuscation, manual VPN connections, etc.
The Standard plan is for business users who want additional controls and business-centric features. This plan sports extra features like site-to-site VPN tunneling, split routing/tunneling, device filtering, access policies, external/custom DNS server, etc
You can choose either of the plans above, then go for an integrated cloud server or on-premise server depending on your preferences. In the case of the cloud option, the cost of the VPN gateway will be additionally billed together with your user licensing cost and starts from $5 per month. If you choose the on-premise option, you will be using your own physical server or a cloud VPS to set up your VPN server. In this case, you pay only for VPN user licensing.
You can use the Price Calculator provided on the UTunnel VPN pricing page which gives you an insight into the subscription based on your requirements. Also, UTunnel is providing a 14-day free trial for those who are bringing their own device(on-premise) and a 14-day money-back guarantee for those who are choosing an integrated cloud VPN server. So, either way, you get a 14 days testing period, which is fair.
VPN Client Applications
UTunnel is offering its VPN client applications for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. So, all your devices can stay secure by easily connecting to your VPN servers.
UTunnel’s VPN client apps for all platforms boast a sleek and minimal design with a simple and compact user interface that allows easy navigation and configuration of the service. Both the mobile and desktop VPN client applications are easy to use.
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Conclusion: UTunnel Review 2023
UTunnel VPN, in a nutshell, is a very practical VPN solution available at an affordable price, keeping small and medium businesses in mind. It simplifies the daunting task of setting up a VPN server and configuring it, allowing business owners to easily secure their network and data resources from the threat of malicious interceptions.
The integrated cloud option from UTunnel provides one of the easiest ways to set up a dedicated VPN server in the market. The on-premise or bring-your-own server(BYOS) option offers more flexibility to power users looking to easily set up a VPN on their own server, offering them complete control.
One thing that would have made this VPN solution more tempting is Zero Trust Network Access and that shouldn’t let you turn down UTunnel. We have received information from them that they are introducing ZTNA very soon as a part of their solution.
With affordable and flexible pricing and ease of deployment, UTunnel VPN is a customer-centric VPN solution that is tailor-made for the security and network demands of SMBs. So, if you’re a business looking to set up a VPN, UTunnel could be the right choice!