The following is our Lantern VPN review, relevant as of 2020. I have used Lantern (getlantern.org) for well over a year in mainland China, and find that it is vastly better than most VPN’s I’ve used. Here’s a screenshot from my user account (yes, we actually use the products we review here…):
Lantern has vastly better speeds than other VPN’s I’ve used, and is also vastly more reliable. It’s unfortunate that it took me so long to find it. When I first moved to China, I was using Express VPN, a popular VPN you may have heard of. And it was rubbish – connections speeds were abysmal, I felt like I was using dial-up, and connections would often time out. I was surprised such a popular product was that terrible. Lantern, by contrast, has plenty of users (their app has over 5 million downloads on the Google Play store), but you won’t find it advertised so much. After posting on Reddit that I was frustrated with the slow speeds from Express VPN, someone mentioned Lantern, and after trying it I was astonished at how fast and reliable it was. Since then I’ve never looked back.
What kind of speeds do I get on Lantern?
At its best, up to 3-4 MB/s, more than enough to stream YouTube or do everything I need to do. I was getting even faster speeds than when I used broadband in Australia, funnily enough. And it’s consistently fast – very rarely do I run into problems with it. The only time Lantern really fails is during Chinese holidays. During Golden Week, or the Spring Festival, for example, VPN’s get far worse, and there was a period in early 2019 (during Chinese New Years) when Lantern was barely functioning for a period of several days. That was highly frustrating, but was a one-off thing, and all VPN’s will suffer during these holiday periods. Outside of those times, Lantern works like a charm.
And here’s another great thing about Lantern: the price is an absolute bargain. Currently Lantern Pro is available for just $32/year, or less than $3/month – way cheaper than mainstream VPN’s. That is pocket change compared to the value given. You can use the free version until you run out of quota, then upgrade – you won’t regret it.
In terms of support, I am not sure if I can really vouch for Lantern, since the one time I emailed them I didn’t get a response. For that reason, and also because there will be times where it doesn’t work, I will not give it a 5 star review – instead, 4 stars seems fair.
That’ll be it for our Lantern VPN review. Have you used Lantern, and do you feel this review is accurate? If you have anything to add, please comment below.