First, let start with a overview, for those who don’t want to read the whole review. PandaPow is a VPN provider, based in Hong Kong, they have VPN servers all over the world, and “PandaPow WiFi” is the name of their VPN router.
- Price: $99 USD / year (You get the router for free, you pay for the VPN).
- Shipped from: China / Hong Kong and they even offer free delivery within China and Hong Kong. The shipping fee to the rest of the world is $20 USD.
- The admin interface is similar to the admin interface on a normal router.
- Easy setup, with a clear user guide
- Works right away, and it activates the first time you connect the VPN.
PandaPow WiFi In Depth Review:
Let’s start with the unboxing of PandaPow WiFi. The device comes in a nice box with the PandaPow logo on it:
After we open the box we will immediately find the PandaPow WiFi VPN router device, it looks pretty slick:
The device comes with a USB port, Ethernet port, Micro USB (for charging) and a ON/OFF button, see below:
Functions of all the ports:
- Ethernet port: Connect PandaPow WiFi to your existing router with this port.
- USB port: For 3G USB modem. It is also possible to connect a USB cable to charge another device such as a Smartphone (using the PandaPow WiFi as a power bank).
- Reset button (The user guide says to only press this one if PandaPow Support has asked you to do that), so it’s best not to touch the reset button.
- Micro USB port: Used for charging the device
Except the PandaPow WiFi device, the box also contains a user guide that is filled with useful information such as screen shots of the admin interface other things:
There is also a USB-cable used for charging the device as well as a wall socket adapter and a short Ethernet cable.
Setting up PandaPow WiFi
Settings the device was pretty easy, and it is well documented in the user manual. The first thing you are going to want to do is to plug in the battery in the device, and connect the charger. Then you have three ways to connect PandaPow WiFi to the Internet:
- With the Ethernet cable (connecting to your existing router that has Internet)
- Connecting to your existing router via WiFi
- Using a 3G USB modem
The best way is probably to use the Ethernet cable (or WiFi if you want to keep PandaPow WiFi pretty far away from your normal router).
When all is set up and the device is on, your will find a new WiFi network which is the PandaPow WiFi network (check the PandaPow box to see the name of the WiFi and password). Once you are connected, the admin interface looks like this:
- On the home tab you can switch the VPN on and off, click on the country to change it, click on the server to change it. The test button is a speed test, so you can test the speed from your location to the PandaPow servers, which is a very nice feature.
- From the About tab you can find more information and update the firmware if you need, by default it will update automatically at night if there is a new update.
- On the VPN tab you can change all the VPN settings such as country, server, port etc.
- On the Internet tab you choose the way you want to connect PandaPow WiFi to the Internet.
- On the WiFi tab you can change the name and password of the PandaPow WiFi network.
- On the filter tab, you can choose to filter the VPN. For more information about that, please see this page.
Our impression here is that the admin interface is very simple and easy to use, and if you are not sure about what you are doing, you can always refer to the user guide or contact PandaPow Support, they usually answer fast and are very helpful from what we have seen.
Trying the device
We started with the built in speed test, which is more accurate if you disconnect the VPN first. We tried ALL countries and ALL servers from a 100 mbps connection in China (Topway). We found that Hong Kong was the best option, and multiple servers got full score on the speed test, while other countries such as Japan and USA seemed OK too. They have a few servers in Europe that we have not tried yet, but we will try them all if we have the time later on.
We connected the VPN to one of the Hong Kong servers, and everything seemed to work right away, HD Youtube videos, Netflix etc worked perfect without buffer on a Mac. I know what you are thinking now, connect to Hong Kong and use Netflix? Yes, PandaPow has some how enabled Netflix through their servers in Asia as well, that’s pretty sweet considering that if you are in China, it’s usually best to connect to a country close by, to get better speed. Hulu and other sites work as well, we have seen updates about this on their Facebook and their blog.
Next up we connected our Xbox One and Apple TV to PandaPow WiFi, and Netflix worked flawlessly on those devices as well. We didn’t try to play any games yet, but since we could login to Xbox Live, it should not be a problem.
As of mid 2016, then we are writing this, PandaPow have servers these countries:
- USA (Many servers all over the country)
- Canada (Toronto)
- U.K (London)
- Netherlands (Amsterdam)
- Sweden (Stockholm)
- Germany (Frankfurt)
- France (Paris)
- Hong Kong
- Japan (Tokyo)
- Australia (Sydney)
Our rating of PandaPow WiFi: 9/10
- The price $99 USD / year, and the router is for free. ($99 USD is less than what many other VPN companies charge for a year of “normal” VPN). They also have a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
- User friendly, you don’t need to be a techie!
- The delivery was fast, just 2 days. (Will be a bit longer if you don’t live in China or Hong Kong).
- Good VPN Speed
- Good and friendly customer service
- The only thing we can think of is although they have many servers, they don’t have servers in very many countries, but they keep adding more servers, which is a good sign.
Should you buy PandaPow WiFi? Our answer is yes. If you are looking for a VPN router, you probably know what you want to use it for, and a bonus is that all the internet traffic is encrypted!
If you want to try PandaPow first, they also have a “Classic” VPN, you can buy a single month for only $9 USD to try them out before you buy the VPN router.
For more information check our their pricing page.
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Do you have any suggestions for other VPN routers that we should try out, and possibly review? Contact us and let us know!