Who needs a VPN router for their homes anyway?
Vilfo sent me a review unit in the and they expect shipping to begin in . While some of the issues I highlight throughout this review may be excused as “beta-quality bugs”, the overall impression is that it’s nowhere near ready.
Spotty-to-unusable Wi-Fi weeks before release shows that there’s much left to do on the Vilfo. I’d also expect customers will be confused and upset when they take home their new 430 USD router and it can’t do 2,4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi simultaneously. It’s something people should rightfully expect to just work.
The security flaws I found in the Vilfo would have been inexcusable in your average router firmware. To find these type of issues and design flaws in a product designed for enhanced privacy and security is alarming.
The router fails to deliver a reliable way to bypass geographical blocking because of the way DNS is configured. It also fails to deliver real privacy; not only because of the way DNS is configured — but because it shares information about you and your network with third-party companies.
The use of third-party trackers and built-in customer support chat function in the web administration interface clearly shows that the Vilfo isn’t built for the privacy conscious. But seriously: who other than a security or privacy minded customer would be buying a VPN gateway for their homes?
Vilfo is a 5-person company, yet they expect to staff a live chat customer support system built-in to the product in all time zones? That level of service costs. A lot. It might help explain the disparity between the Vilfo’s 430 USD price tag and the 185 USD retail cost for its components.
You can get a generic VPN capable Wi-Fi router starting at 20 USD on Amazon. Vilfo’s raw performance is better, but I doubt it’s 409 USD better.
I unfortunately didn’t have enough time with the Vilfo to run performance benchmarks or look too closely at its main VPN features. Vilfo wanted their router back “as soon as possible” when I started raising concerns over security and privacy issues and the crashing Wi-Fi drivers.
Oh, well. The search for a great router continues.