Super fast service primarily targeted for mobile; Speedify VPN
VPNs and speed rarely go hand-in-hand. To the contrary, VPNs are known for slowing down connections for a very good reason. Slower speeds are just the price of added privacy and security, but Speedify promises something different. Instead of slowing down connection speed, Speedify VPN aims to improve it, at least on mobile devices.
What We Like
- Very fast on mobile
- Sets itself up automatically
- Free version is nice to try
- The interface is well designed and very convenient
- The combined connection feature has great potential
What We Don’t Like
- Operating system support is limited
- They keep logs and tracking data
- It uses weaker than standard encryption
- Does not have DNS servers and defaults to Google
- Runs slower on desktops
- Pricier than most
This unique VPN service has developed its own connection protocol that allows it to combine internet connections from multiple sources and use the added bandwidth to improve your speed, or at least try to.
The ground-up VPN rebuild behind Speedify also let the developers explore different encryption methods that provide strong protection without bogging you down.
Setup Process: Instant and automatic
The Speedify setup is about as simple a process as you can find. The service makes its clients readily available on its website, and you can find the mobile apps in both the App Store and the Google Play Store.
When you install one of the apps, on either mobile or desktop, you’ll get a brief introduction to Speedify. You are then dropped right into the app’s home screen. There’s something that sets Speedify apart here, in that you’re already connected at this point.
Speedify offers a free account with a bandwidth cap. As soon as the app starts, it’ll find the fastest server near you and get you running with a free account. There is absolutely zero configuration necessary to try Speedify.
If you do choose to sign up for a Speedify account, you can select the account option below the server on the app’s home screen. Enter your e-mail and password. The account section of the home screen will then let you know that you’re signed in with an unlimited account.
Unfortunately, people looking for a VPN to support a wide range of devices will be disappointed. Speedify doesn’t support many platforms. Only Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android have client apps, and that’s the end of the story. Because Speedify has its own proprietary VPN protocol, there’s no other way to connect.
From the main app screen, it’s easy to see everything you need to know about your VPN connection.
Design: Modern, bright, and mobile friendly
Speedify’s desktop and mobile app share an identical design. The project is new, and it’s clear why they chose to handle it that way. The app looks good. It’s simple, clean, and modern, without compromising too much functionality.
Speedify VPN uses clear labels and easily distinguished icons to help guide users around the app. Even picking it up for the first time, it doesn’t take long to find your way around and get to important functions, like server selection and the Internet kill switch.
From the main app screen, it’s easy to see everything you need to know about your VPN connection. At a glance, you can see how you’re connected to the Internet, which VPN server you’re using, and the speed of your connection over the past few minutes.
The interface is bright, colorful, and friendly.
Performance: Great mobile speed
Speed is right in the service’s name, so you’d expect optimal performance. The actual picture is a little more mixed.
On mobile, the performance was fantastic. In testing, the app wasn’t able to improve connection speed by combining Wi-Fi and cellular. Our Wi-Fi connection tested at right around 324 Mbps, while the app tested our cellular connection speed at 3.0 Mbps. It then reported that the cellular connection would not be bonded because the Wi-Fi was fast enough on its own.
If your Wi-Fi is slower, then the app will bond the connections together to provide the highest download and upload speeds possible.
On desktop, we found Speedify VPN to be one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested. We clocked it at 344 Mbps down on our 1 Gbps connection, which is right in line with the fasted VPNs out there.
Streaming: No Netflix or iPlayer
We were able to stream Hulu and Amazon Prime when connected to U.S. servers, but we weren’t able to get Netflix or BBC iPlayer working on any servers at all. With that kind of a mixed bag, it seems likely that streaming service access through Speedify fluctuates as their servers are discovered and blocked.
Speedify isn’t an ideal service for privacy-minded individuals; it’s far from it. Even though the service doesn’t log browsing data, they do log just about everything else.
Speedify VPN does log your contact information, identifying device information, and connection information, including your IP address. So, even though they’re not specifically tracking which sites you visit, they know who you are, where you are, what device you’re using, and what your real IP is. Speedify is based out of the US, a Five Eyes country, so you should have no real expectation of privacy when using Speedify VPN.
On top of all that, Speedify relies on Google Analytics for its website and does use tracking cookies. Both Google and Speedify are then tracking you on their site. Again, this is not a service for privacy.
Security Features: Speed at the expense of security
Security is also not a major focus of Speedify VPN. On most newer devices, the service utilizes AES128-GCM encryption. On older devices, they use ChaCha encryption, which as the potential to be very strong, but Speedify VPN doesn’t specify the level of encryption used.
AES128-GCM is strong, but it doesn’t measure up to the competition. Most other VPN providers rely on a form of AES256, which is a military-grade encryption standard. Speedify VPN does offer a VPN kill switch on desktop, but the mobile app doesn’t contain the option.
In testing, Speedify didn’t leak DNS information, but something even more puzzling came up. Speedify doesn’t own DNS servers. In fact, they use external DNS providers, and their default choice is Google. Did we mention this isn’t a service for the privacy-minded individual? Sending your private DNS queries straight to one of the biggest collectors of personal data doesn’t seem to fit with protection anonymity.
Taking these factors into account, even though Speedify does support P2P on one of their servers, actually using it seems like a major risk.
Torrenting: Full support with a kill switch
Speedify VPN allows the use of peer-to-peer connections on their service, so you can take advantage of their blazing speed to grab your torrents with all possible haste. The only issue is that they’re located in the US, and they log a limited amount of data, so it’s possible that a copyright holder could track you down with enough work. Stick to legal content, and you’ll be fine.
Ad Blocking: No built-in ad blocker
Speedify doesn’t have a built-in ad blocker, although its sister app Connectify does offer that functionality. The issue is that there is no built-in DNS-level ad blocker here, so you have to worry about the relatively slim chance of your information leaking out through an ad tracker request or malware.
Customer Service: Ticket system
When you visit the Speedify support site, you are directed to choose between mobile or desktop. The site then presents you with a wealth of troubleshooting information and frequently asked questions. If you look carefully, you’ll also find a contact link. This link opens up a form that serves as your entry into Speedify’s ticket-based customer service system, which is the only way you can contact them for support.
Price: On the pricey end
Speedify VPN offers a few tiers in its pricing model. The elephant in the room is obviously its free tier that allows you to connect without an account completely for free. That account does come with a data cap, so it’s not ideal for long term use, and that’s probably exactly what Speedify is banking on.
Speedify’s individual plan only allows one connection at a time, and at its price point, that seems fairly restrictive, considering what competing services in a similar price range offer.
Finally, Speedify’s family plan lets you connect up to five devices simultaneously. That’s more in line with top VPN services, but the monthly price comes in at the high end of the spectrum.
They know who you are, where you are, what device you’re using, and what your real IP is.
Competition: Speedify vs ExpressVPN
Speedify’s top priority may be its performance on mobile devices, but its pricing model puts it in direct competition with major players in the VPN space, like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Since ExpressVPN is known for having some of the best speeds and excellent mobile support, it seems like the best direct comparison at a similar price point.
ExpressVPN may not be quite as fast as Speedify VPN, but it offers much stronger encryption and all-around better privacy and security. ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, a much stronger privacy jurisdiction, and adheres to a much stricter no-logging policy. ExpressVPN owns its own DNS servers, helping to guard against leaks and stop tracking via DNS.
When it comes to apps and support, ExpressVPN covers a much wider range of devices. Their mobile apps are top-notch with a full set of options to protect yourself and control your connection. Their split-tunneling feature lets you choose which apps on your mobile device, which is excellent for stubborn apps that refuse VPN connections.
On the pricing front, ExpressVPN’s monthly plan is actually less expensive than Speedify’s family plan and offers the same five connections, so it’s really clear who the real winner is here.
Great for speed, not for privacy.
Speedify’s name says it all. Performance is their prime goal. The mobile app is well designed, easy to use, and it achieves a high level of performance with little to no configuration. For privacy and security, though, there are plenty of better services, and they’ve been around longer and earned a reputation for their security practices. Speedify’s encryption is lacking, and their DNS configuration is downright baffling from a privacy standpoint. So if you’re looking for privacy or a good P2P service, avoid Speedify VPN. It’s simply not built for that.
- Product Name: Speedify
- Price: $8.99
- Speed (Fastest Observed): 344 Mbps (Tested on a 1Gbps connection)
- Operating Systems: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
- Devices: 10 devices at a time
- Server Locations: 38 Countries
- Number of Servers: 50
- Streaming: Yes, tested Hulu, Amazon Prime (no Netflix or iPlayer)
- Torrenting: Yes, with kill switch
- Encryption: AES128-GCM, proprietary protocol
- Log Files: Some logging
- Jurisdiction: USA (Five Eyes)