Started back in 2002, Shellfire is one of the longest-running VPN services on the market. Does their longevity
indicate an amazing product? Let’s see what reviewers have to say.
If you don’t want to shell out any cash, you’re in luck. Shellfire offers a free service tier with a few limitations.
Shellfire caps speeds on free plans 1mbps and you can only connect to American or German servers.
If you don’t want to deal with speed caps and want access to the full range of servers, you must pay for the premium
plans. Shellfire’s prices are near the averages for most VPNs.
Shellfire offers clients for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can manually configure Linux and routers to use the
VPN as well.
Sadly, there are no browser extensions.
Ease of Use
The client is straightforward and easy-to-use. You can choose from a list of servers with indicators of the current
speeds available. This means you can always connect to a fast server and keep your connection running smoothly.
Unfortunately, critics discovered that the client did not work well with antivirus software. Some flagged it as a
trojan. They had to uninstall the antivirus program to run Shellfire without issues. Even after uninstalling, Windows
itself warns users about the program as it changes some configuration files.
Once installed, reviewers were let down by the user interface with some comparing it to Windows 95.
Even when paying for the premium plan, you only receive 1 connection per account. This means if you want to access
your client on your desktop but are logged into it on your phone, you need to disconnect or sign up for a new account
for each device you want to protect.
Considering many competitors allow you connect to 5 or more connections -- and some are even unlimited -- this is a
serious drawback to the service.
Shellfire lacks many security features. It doesn’t include a killswitch -- a now-common feature with most VPNs -- or
split tunneling. However, there are a handful of useful features, including:
- Unlimited bandwidth on select servers
- P2P support (in Finland only)
- OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec protocol support
- Military-grade encryption
Privacy and Logging
Shellfire is located in Germany -- a country with some of the strongest privacy protection laws in the world. However,
the German Intelligence Service actively monitors German citizens and cooperates closely with GCHQ and the NSA. That
doesn’t mean it’s a horrible place for a VPN to be located, but it’s not ideal.
seems to back up these claims overall.
Experts also found no IP leaks in their testing. So your connection should be secure from snooping Internet providers
and other parties.
All VPNs will slow down your connection. It’s just a matter of how much. Shellfire provided reviewers with moderate --
though sometimes inconsistent -- speeds. Reviewers also could not access any of the geo-locked content on major
streaming services such as Netflix, BBC, or Amazon.
If something goes wrong with the VPN, you don’t have too many options. Reviewers were unable to reach a representative
through the on-site live chat feature. Instead, experts had to use email. Responses took roughly 36 hours.
Making matters worse, there are no forums or phone numbers for you to call. You can check out the knowledge base, but
it only answers very basic VPN questions.
Shellfire might have been around since 2002, but it seems like their service hasn’t evolved since then. With its dated
interface, lack of features, and average speed, it’s not a VPN most reviewers would recommend.
Cloudwards states, “Many VPNs make the design choice to sacrifice features in favor of a more streamlined and
user-friendly experience. Shellfire VPN has neither of those aspects…”
Best VPN adds, “The service seems to be weak, laid back and one that needs serious improvement.”