Celo Review (2018)

Celo Highlights

celo logo
  • Country: Australia
  • Logging:  No (Traffic), Yes (Connection),  N/A (IP address)
  • Bypass VPN Block (DPI): Shadowsocks, SOCKS5, SSH Tunnel, WireGuard
  • Pricing: 5.50$ (per month, in yearly subscription)
  • Allows P2P/ Torrent: Yes
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Live Chat Support: Yes
  • Custom clients/apps: No
  • Alternative website: N/A
  • Trustpilot rating: N/A

My First Impression

Celo is a Australia based VPN company, founded by a team of IT experts. The name of the company comes from a Latin word, which is translated as “to hide, conceal, keep secret”.

The website is nice and easy to find what you are looking for. The design is good and colorful (to be honest I did not like the logo). Like many other VPN company websites Celo has no multi-language website. On the other hand, it is nice to see that Celo has live chat support.

Does CELO VPN keep logs?

Celo gives information about their logging policy on FAQ and ToS pages. On the FAQ page, it is stated that Celo only collects date and time a user logs in. However they give no information about traffic, IP address or connection logs. On the other hand on the ToS information given about logging policy of Celo. Still, the information is not detailed and clear. It is also stated that they may share personal information if that is ordered by a court of competenet jurisdiction, which can be interpreted as “if they can share your info, it means they collect your info”.

So to reiterate Celo does not collect:

  • traffic logs (a.k.a user activity)
  • server logs (unclear)

What does Celo mean by “server logs”? Do they mean IP address logs? Or maybe connection logs? Or maybe both? It is not explained in detail.

 

celo logging policy
Celo Logging Policy
celo logging policy 2
Celo Logging Policy

Does Celo bypass Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) or similar VPN blocking firewalls?

An update regarding SOCKS5:

Even though SOCKS5 proxy can sometimes bypass the DPI, it is not encrypted and not the secure way to go.

Countries like China, Turkey, Russia, etc. implement firewalls that block access to VPN services. As an example, China uses the Great Wall of China (GFW) system to block most VPNs and proxies. Some VPN services use extra protocols so that users in those countries can bypass VPN block.

Celo offers SSH Tunneling, SOCKS5 proxy and Shadowsocks, which are could be useful to bypass deep packet inspection. Even though it seems 3 options are available, not all of the options are available for all platforms. 

SSH Tunnels are available for Ubuntu and Windows. Shadowsocks and SOCKS5 are available on Android, iOS, Linux, macOS and Windows platforms

celo shadowsocks & socks
Celo SOCKS5 & Shadowsocks

Here is how Celo defines obfuscated SSH tunnel:

Obfuscated SSH Tunneling, which is also known as Port Forwarding via SSH, can simply be defined as the process of creating a secure connection in between a remote machine and a local computer through determining the services that can be relayed. This would be an encrypted connection. As a result, it is identified as a useful method available for transmitting information via an unencrypted protocol such as IRC, VNC, HTTP etc.

Obfuscated SSH Tunneling has become extremely popular in countries such as China.

celo ssh tunnel
Celo SSH Tunnel Obfuscation

Thanks to the free trial for 2 days offered by Celo, I can test it with zero cost.

 

Testing Celo

As usual, I test Celo on a Windows 7 64-bit PC, and an Android phone running Android 6.0. I am testing ADSL internet provided by Turkmen Telekom, and cellular internet provided by TMCELL.
 

Celo surprised me from the first test. I usually do not expect standard OpenVPN connection to work in my country, but Celo’s OpenVPN somehow managed to bypass deep packet inspection and access blocked content. However, as OpenVPN connections are usually easily blocked you should not rely only on OpenVPN.

celo test openvpn on widows
Celo OpenVPN Windows test
celo test socks5 proxy windows platform
Celo SOCKS5 Windows test
celo test ssh windows
Celo SSH Tunnel Windows test

Similarly to OpenVPN, both SOCKS5 proxy and SSH Tunnel managed to evade deep packet inspection. While OpenVPN and SOCKS5 work decently, SSH Tunnel slows internet speed significantly. 

The only proxy/protocol that did not pass test on Windows is Shadowsocks. It is a bit surprising, because Shadowsocks is meant for this kind of job.

I ran similar tests on the Android device. Here, OpenVPN connected without problems. Unfortunately, Shadowsocks and SOCKS proxies failed to connect on the mobile device.

Celo Android Test

To sum up, Celo managed to bypass the firewall in Turkmenistan on the Windows (OpenVPN, SOCKS5, SSH) and Android platforms (OpenVPN and Shadowsocks).  

If you are not sure whether Celo is for you or not, I suggest you to try free 48-hour trial, to check whether Celo works in your country. 

 

Is Celo VPN affordable? (Celo’s pricing)

Celo offers monthly, quarterly, semi-anually and anually subscrption options. If you buy anual subscription, then you will be paying $5.50 per month or $1.1 per device if you are using/sharing 5 devices. The price exceeds $1 (per device) threshold by a small amount, but considering that Celo offers three obfuscation protocols/proxies, the pricing is not bad at all. Though, there are better prices in the VPN market.

celo pricing
Celo Pricing

 

Celo accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Payza, and 30 differrent cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

If you want to test Celo,  you can try 48-hour free trial.

Celo offers 10-day money-back-guarantee, if you are not happy with their service. They may not refund, if the payment method does not support refunds.

 

What features are offered by Celo?

– Supported Platforms

BolehVPN supports Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Ubuntu, Android and some routers. 

– Supported Protocols

Celo offers SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN protocols and Shadowsocks, SOCSK5 proxies and SSH Tunnel. 

OpenVPN is supported on all mentioned platforms, excluding Ubuntu. Shadowsocks is available on all platforms expect for routers and Ubuntu. As for SOCKS5, only Firefox and Maxthon web browsers are shown in knowledgebase page. and, SSH Tunnel tutorials show only Windows and Ubuntu tutorials.

– Number of Servers

Celo has 12 servers in 9 countries.

Conclusion

What I liked:

  • No traffic logs
  • Shadowsocks, SOCKS5 and SSH tunnel (bypass DPI)
  • Torrents/P2P allowed
  • Several cryptocurrencies accepted
  • Various platforms supported
  • Live chat support

What I didn’t like:

  • No info about IP address and connection logs
  • Pricing $1.1 per device/month
  • No custom client
  • No live chat support
  • Limited number of servers
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