WHAT’S IN THIS REVIEW?
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The fastest car in the world is useless if you can’t reach your destination. With Speedify, you can certainly rev the engine impressively, but the bridge is up for the majority of online streaming services.
Speedify’s VPN is appropriately named, and they even offer a Streaming Mode to prioritize traffic on your network. The problem is that it doesn’t actually unblock any online streaming services, so you won’t be able to watch U.S. Netflix outside of the country.
It’s the biggest drawback for a service that actually does have quite a lot to offer. As far as a VPN service goes, it’s still strong in our book. Read on in this Speedify VPN review to find out exactly what we thought of the service while testing.
Speedify is one of the fastest VPN providers I’ve reviewed recently, living up to their name thanks to a blisteringly connection to their servers. There’s a free tier that can mask up to 2GB of data per month, along with a number of additional benefits that we’ll get into below.
It’s not the largest VPN by any means, despite originally being envisioned as a channel bonding service. Streaming limitations and a few minor issues hold it back from achieving a higher score, but it’s still very usable and comes in at an attractive price point.
Based in the United States, Speedify is owned by CEO Alex Gizis, with the VPN falling under the Connectify umbrella. Originally envisioned as channel bonding software, Speedify was first released in 2014.
They added encryption on all supported platforms in 2016, turning it into a mobile virtual private network. Speedify still uses channel bonding as of 2021, allowing for faster connection speeds in theory.
The VPN has positioned itself as a privacy/anti-censorship advocate, with their website saying:
“We believe in a free and open Internet for all. Access to the Internet should be considered a basic human right and we will continue our fight to secure these protections for everyone.”
Sounds good, right? There is one elephant in the room, which they sidestep neatly. Their About Us page continues;
“Additionally, in some countries outside the US, Internet freedom and privacy are non-existent. Popular websites are blocked and private information is far from secure.”
That’s undeniably true, but what about the U.S., since Speedify is located in Philadelphia? It’s not a great place to base a VPN service due to government agencies and lax privacy laws.
It’s something to consider if securing your personal data is the most important reason behind your decision to use a VPN.
They do offer free software to counter censorship in countries across the globe, but I’d be more worried about the enemy within if you’re wary of government surveillance.
Pros & Cons
To make things easier, we’ve carefully tallied the most important pros and cons we found while using Speedify to help you in your decision-making process.
For Speedify, the pros do outweigh the cons in our assessment. In particular, here’s what we liked most:
- Numerous additional privacy features
- Blazing fast speeds from nearby servers
- Supports P2P activities from some locations
- Decent free trial version
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Channel bonding
- Custom VPN protocol
- Up to 5 simultaneous connections
- Competitive pricing, especially on its longer-term plans
- Frequent promotional deals for steeper discounts
Despite the many perks Speedify offers, no VPN is absolutely perfect. We gathered everything that might raise concern for a user shopping around:
- No capacity to unblock streaming websites
- Based in the U.S. (Five Eyes)
- Free version only offers 2GB of data per month
- No third-party audit for logging claims
- Lack of Wireguard support
- Limited compatibility with platforms and devices
Speedify has a number of notable features that separate it from the majority of VPNs on the market. We’ll give a rundown of the main ones below.
By default, Speedify operates in Streaming Mode, which automatically identifies audio and video streams. It also:
- Prioritizes streaming traffic over other types of web traffic to provide QoS (quality of service).
- Monitors how much bandwidth your stream requires, and records statistics on how each of your internet connections is performing.
- Dynamically chooses the best way to send and receive traffic seamlessly over each available Internet connection. It enables redundancy if necessary to protect you against excessive packet loss.
The feature was added in 2020. It’ll be useful if you have slower speeds and want to avoid stuttering Zoom meetings or lagging games.
Speedify’s Channel Bonding tech will allow you to “securely use multiple internet connections at the same time for increased bandwidth, lower latency, and better reliability.”
A remnant from before the service became a VPN, it’s another handy feature if you suffer from high latency. On the other hand, it probably won’t be of much use to the average user, especially given the connection speeds I was able to achieve with their servers.
Regardless, it’s an interesting functionality and another notable perk that you won’t find elsewhere.
A free version of Speedify is available, although they only offer 2GB of data per month. You won’t have to make an account to try the service, even if 2GB is only going to be good for minimal use.
It’s easy to download and setup, and unlike most free VPN versions, you get access to all of the features seen in the premium version.
They also store personal data, including your IP and connection timestamps “to enforce their terms.” This may raise a few eyebrows for privacy sticklers. In any case, it’s a good way to test the service without having to commit in full.
Speedify’s dedicated speed servers are only available for teams, so they’re of no use to the average commercial user. It would be nice to see them offering dedicated servers for everyone at a later date, even if it would be in the form of a paid extra.
- 1 Month: $9.99/mo.
- 12 Months: $5.99/mo. ($71.88 upfront)
- 3 Years: $2.99/mo. ($107.64 upfront)
They’re not exactly giving it away for free, but Speedify is one of the cheaper providers on the market when all is said and done. Their one-month plan comes in at $9.99 and can be used on up to five devices.
The longer the contract, the cheaper the deal. So, 12 months is $5.99/mo., two years is $3.99/mo., and three years is $2.99/mo. (In any case, you have to pay the entire amount upfront.)
However, Speedify is known for offering great promotional discounts throughout the year that brings their longest plan to a new low. When visiting the site, a pop-up ad offered up to 85% savings on Speedify’s 3-year plans.
After clicking into it, the discount took 50% off the Individual 3-Year Plan, which brought the total cost to $53.82 from 107.64. That equates to just $1.50/mo., which blows most top-rated VPNs out of the water.
They also offer a Family Plan that gives the user and four others separate accounts and can be used on 5 devices simultaneously. Again, it’s affordable, with one month priced at $14.99, while 12 months is $8.95/mo. or two years for $6.00/mo.
Lastly, the Teams Plans allow for a large number of users where you can add a dedicated server. It’s $5.99 per user per month for the first year.
If you’re on the fence, there is an insurance policy so to speak. Speedify offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that can be redeemed as long as you haven’t been suspended for Terms of Service violations.
However, they note that “no partial refunds will be awarded for the service period during which the user cancels the subscription; users will not be issued a refund for any portion of the current service month, but auto-renewal of their subscription will be canceled and no further charges will be owed for subsequent service months.”
Overall, Speedify is a great option if you’re working within a tight budget.
Speedify’s logging policy seems fair at first glance. Their website states:
“Speedify has a strict no-log VPN policy: we do not log what you do, what sites you visit, or what services you use while using the Speedify VPN service. Furthermore, Speedify will not rent or disclose your personal information to other companies.”
- We have no record of the websites that you visit. We do not retain any of the data that you send or receive while using our services.
- All of that information vanishes from our systems as soon as it is transmitted
- The personal information that we receive from you when communicating using Speedify is automatically deleted after six months.
- Our backend servers and databases are encrypted and firewalled. Those servers are located in the United States in physically secure facilities with restricted access.
- We do not provide any personal information to third parties.
- We do not provide governments with access to our data (unless we are required to by law).
“When you use Speedify to communicate over the Internet we receive your IP address and Device ID. We also record at what time each connection begins, how long each connection lasts, and the amount of data used.”
That’s a considerable amount of data for the company to be logging and recording, especially as they claim to be a privacy-focused provider.
Connection logs are unnecessary, while it’s unclear why they would need your IP address. In any case, there are better options on the market if you’re looking for an airtight logging policy. We’d opt for any of the VPNs that have been independently audited, such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or VyprVPN.
According to their website, Speedify’s public servers typically offer up to 200-300 Mbps speeds, but they “can vary based on the location of the server, the hosting provider, the performance of the server, and how well you can reach the server.”
My normal connection speeds are slightly faster than the cap mentioned above, so I expected decent results from their VPN. I used Speedify’s built-in speed test at first, which gave an accurate enough reading:
First up for testing were their U.K. servers, which are located in London.
Results were brilliant for the most part, with the download speed coming in at just over 284 Mbps. It’s at the upper end of the 200-300 Mbps estimation, and comparable to some of the fastest providers I’ve tested in recent months.
The ping was slightly higher than expected, but it was still good enough for tasks such as gaming and 4K streaming.
Next up were their U.S. servers, so I connected to the optimal location in the country.
Ping was up into the low hundreds, but that’s to be expected if everything is working as it should be. However, speeds went down to 111 Mbps, which is less than a third of the baseline number.
It’s undoubtedly a nifty VPN, especially when connecting to servers found nearby. However, results will vary depending on where you’re planning to connect to.
For example, here are results while I selected Australia, found on the other side of the world in relation to the U.K. where I’m based:
Ping is up to a devastating 321, while the download speed is less than 50 Mbps.
Yes, Speedify does have access to lightning-fast servers. No, they’re not consistent, and it’s dependent on the strength of their server network. At least you’ll be able to use the trial version to test it out for yourself.
Server Locations & Network
Speedify doesn’t have the largest list of locations to connect to, but it’s substantial. It has roughly 500 servers split across 35 countries. The current list of compatible regions is as follows:
- North America: USA, Canada
- South America: Brazil
- Europe: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK
- Asia/Oceania: Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, UAE
- Africa: South Africa
It’s not an ideal option for users located in the Middle East or Africa, and the same is true for South America. As with many providers, Speedify has focused on the U.S. and Europe, so you may have to look elsewhere for a more comprehensive VPN.
Streaming & Torrenting
Streaming is a no-go, as their own support page freely admits:
“Unlike other VPN services that can break Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, Peacock, and Amazon Prime, Speedify has the ability to allow you to use these services while being connected to a VPN. Please note that Speedify will not give you capabilities to access other Netflix countries or unblock Disney+, HBO, and Hulu.”
For example, I tested out BBC iPlayer, which didn’t work despite being connected to a UK-based server.
It’s a shame considering the potential speeds they have on offer, and somewhat ironic considering their patented “Streaming Mode.”
Then again, it makes sense given their smaller server network. It’s great if you just want to watch content from your region, but don’t expect it to unblock Netflix.
“BitTorrent is not allowed on most of our Speed Servers, but there are some select servers that allow torrents and other P2P downloads. By clicking on the option Torrent Friendly Server from the Speed Server selection screen, you’ll be connected to an available torrent-friendly server.”
If accessing geo-restricted content is your primary reason for needing a VPN, you may want to look at other streaming VPNs.
CEO Alex Gizis took the opportunity to make a difference, saying:
“At the beginning of February 2021, a military junta deposed the democratically elected members of Myanmar’s ruling party, which led to an accelerated deterioration of internet freedoms, the new authorities ordered telecom operators to regularly switch off the internet and impose sweeping restrictions on websites, services, and apps to stifle free speech. We knew we needed to help preserve internet freedom.”
They committed to providing users in Myanmar with free 50 GB/mo. Speedify accounts, seeing an uptick from fewer than 100 users per day, to 490,000 in a single month.
Speedify has also provided free data to users in Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela to combat government censorship in the past, which must have had an impact on people who saw everything from the internet turned off to highly restricted access.
In the case of Myanmar, an extra 490,000 users in such a short period must have been a strain on resources, and it’s a commendable effort to fight censorship.
For this part, Speedify scores high in our book.
Platforms & Devices
One limitation we did notice was Speedify’s limited compatibility across platforms and devices. Speedify is only available on the following devices:
Each has native app support, but it’s not the most comprehensive list if you’re hoping for exceptional compatibility.
In fact, it’s a basic selection of apps, missing browser support and numerous devices like gaming consoles and routers.
The app itself was great to use, packed with information about the VPN connection and a display of basic usage stats.
It might be a bit overwhelming for newbies, but it’s easy to keep up with how much data you’re using, and the download speeds being achieved at any given time. There’s also a Speedify speed test within the app, which I used in a section above.
The Speedify client app has a clean interface and lots of information about the connection, even if encryption options are slightly lacking.
Encryption & Security
In terms of security, Speedify’s bonding protocol is a custom protocol, while their “encryption and security is based on industry standards and leverages fast hardware acceleration to give the user maximum performance.”
A custom protocol may be the reason why I was able to get amazing speeds while the VPN was on, but that does mean that there’s no WireGuard support.
You’re stuck with their custom protocol option, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it would be great to be able to choose your own.
For newer devices, they use “AES128-GCM encryption, leveraging the hardware instruction support for AES built into modern CPUs.”
It’s a decent setup, but as a proprietary protocol, you’ll only be able to use Speedify via one of the apps mentioned above.
You can set a custom DNS server to use with your VPN connection. Examples include CloudFlare, Quad9, and AdGuard, with explanations for what each one does found within the app.
Overall, its name doesn’t disappoint. Speedify is fast. There’s no denying the power their servers can utilize, even if they don’t have many locations to draw upon. Unfortunately, speed alone won’t matter for the average user, especially if they want to unblock the most popular streaming platforms.
They strongly advocate for privacy, but there’s no third-party audit of their software to be found. This makes it hard to trust Speedify, no matter their protests to the contrary. However, they have helped to combat censorship on multiple occasions, which does count for something.
Nonetheless, it’s a usable app by all means, even if it’s unable to unblock websites such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix. There are also lots of nifty features which help to set it apart from the majority of VPNs, such as channel bonding and a choice of custom DNS servers.
The price puts it firmly within the budget VPN range, but there is a trade-off in terms of entertainment options, as well as their somewhat limited server network.
For anyone impacted by censorship, Speedify provides a worthwhile service, often free of charge. For users that are spoiled with choices, they’ll probably be disappointed by Speedify, especially if they were hoping to use the streaming mode on unblocked websites like Netflix.
It scores good marks for every category, but again, if streaming is of utmost importance to you, it may not be the best fit. All in all, it comes down to your unique user needs and preference.