Speedify is like the infant of VPN companies.
Is Speedify more like a proxy, is this a true full-blown VPN provider?
We’re going to take a deep look into their software in this data-backed Speedify VPN review.
Connectify, out of Philadelphia, only started the service back in 2014. But despite that short timeframe, they’re already up to over 200 servers in 35 countries.
And they’ve taken on a few ambitious projects, including creating their own protocol called “Channel Bonding.”
So what’s the verdict?
|LOG FILES:||No Logging Policy|
|LOCATIONS:||28 countries, 1000+ servers|
|NETFLIX:||Available in Netherlands only|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||ChaCha 256-Bit Encryption; Channel Bonding|
|COST:||$8.99 a month / $49.99 a year. 30-day money back guarantee.|
Speedify is ambitious if nothing else.
They raise the bar high by kicking off with their own protocol option. Then, they keep it going by loading up on extra features.
Here’s a quick look at what they’ve done right in the last few years.
1. They Created their Own VPN Protocol
Let’s be honest with each other for a second:
Most VPNs offer the same stuff.
Encryption standards and tunneling protocol options are fairly standard.
But Speedify doesn’t wait long to veer off course.
They only offer one VPN protocol option. And it’s their own creation called “Channel Bonding.”
What is it?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a new Tinder feature. So don’t get too excited.
Instead, Channel Bonding lets you use multiple Internet connections at one time.
That means you can combine your WiFi, mobile data, Bluetooth, and wired connections all at the same time to speed everything up.
Then, the Speedify app connects to their ‘Speed Servers’ in the cloud to spread out all the data transferred across your various Internet connections.
Channel bonding also ensures that if you lose one of your Internet connections during an important upload or download, your transfer will keep on transferring.
(Ok, so kinda like Tinder after all.)
2. Very Strong ChaCha 256-Bit Encryption
Once again, Speedify impressed us by upgrading your encryption standards, too.
The whole concept behind ChaCha is extremely technical, but let’s just say you don’t have to worry about hackers breaking in. This is probably Speedify’s biggest selling point.
3. Access to Over 200+ Servers
Some VPN companies that have been around for decades still only offer a few dozen servers.
The problem with low server counts is twofold:
- Servers can get overloaded with users all vying for the same limited resources, and performance might suffer as a result.
- You might be forced to connect to a server a LONG way away from your physical location, which again, will cause a drag on performance.
4. The Tor Browser Works
Tor is an Internet browser and it stands for The Onion Router.
It’s primarily used to anonymize your web activity, running your web traffic through “Tor Relays.”
These are just servers run by thousands of volunteers across the world.
At each relay, your traffic is rerouted so often that it becomes impossible to tell where the origin point is (or where you’re physically sitting).
The Tor browser “runs over the top of Speedify,” according to the company. This is a nice perk, because while Tor boosts privacy, it doesn’t help with security.
5. Extremely Simple to Use
When you first open Speedify, it will connect to the server you were last on. Connection is extremely fast and easy.
If for any reason you need to change the server, click on the “Connected” section with the yellow padlock. This opens up the server list with a vast number of server options.
As you can see, some states and countries have more than one server location.
So you can either just choose the state or country, or you can get really granular and choose a particular server in that state or country.
And that’s about it!
6. Kill Switch Included for an Extra Layer of Protection
When connecting to Speedify, it temporarily cuts off your Internet connection while it finds the VPN server.
However, it also cuts off your connection when transferring between different servers or if you lose your Speedify VPN connection.
That’s a good thing, believe it or not.
The purpose of the kill switch is to stop your actual IP address from being temporarily revealed while the Speedify connection is dropped.
Your IP may be revealed for a split-second but that is more than enough for anyone who may be tracking you, such as a government. So it’s yet another layer of privacy protection for hiding you actual IP.
7. You Can Hire a Dedicated Server
A dedicated server means you don’t have to share resources with other people.
You can be selfish and hoard everything for yourself, instead.
This might be overkill if you’re just looking for basic uses, like getting around firewalls and geo-blocks. Having a dedicated server is not cheap.
However, it’s worth it for professional streamers.
For example, if you need to live stream events on social media for work, you’ll require a ton of bandwidth. Having a dedicated server means that no other users would be hogging the bandwidth when you needed it.
If you decide to go the route of the dedicated server, paying annually would be cheaper in the long term.
8. Good Customer Support
Speedify offers both email and social media for quick customer support queries.
There is also a Knowledge Base you can check out before emailing them. But there is no live chat.
Fortunately, even their email support is pretty quick.
When you email Customer Support, you get an autoresponder reply stating their hours of operation are Eastern Standard Time.
But it only took their team around 90 minutes to get back to me.
Here’s what I asked:
- What VPN protocols do you support? What about OpenVPN?
- Do you give discounts for teams? It is not so clear on the site.
- Does Speedify work with routers, Tor, gaming consoles, and SmartTV’s?
- Do you offer a money-back guarantee?
They replied to everything, except about Tor.
So I wrote back for clarification on the Tor issue and got back the following response 15 minutes later that Tor and Speedify work together on top of one another.
In other words, just switch Speedify on, then start using Tor.
Pretty helpful overall!
9. Reasonable Pricing
Speedify’s month-to-month option comes in at $8.99 a month.
That’s in-line with the ~$7-10 monthly pricing range we’ve seen.
However, moving forward with the annual option will save you a ton at only $49.99 a year.
You can also buy a dedicated server for around a hundred bucks a month.
All major credit and debit cards are accepted. So are PayPal and Amazon Pay. There doesn’t seem to be any support for cryptocurrencies or cash payments.
They split up plans into Starter, Individual, and Team options. The Starter is slightly limited on monthly data, but the others are all-in, featuring everything we’ve covered so far.
And all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Speedify delivered a ton of interesting features at a reasonable price.
We were mostly happy with our experience.
Unfortunately, a few potential deal breakers did pop up. Here’s a summary of the biggest issues.
1. Inside 5 Eyes Jurisdiction
Speedify was created in one of the original U.S. colonies.
Interesting for history buffs. Not so interesting for privacy ones.
That means it’s firmly under the jurisdiction of the National Security Agency and the Five Eyes Security Agreement.
Speedify says on their website that they comply with all lawful court orders. Spoiler Alert:
They do keep some identifying data, such as financial information and Google Analytics information, on users.
On the plus side, they process all payments through a third-party company. Fastspring is a subscription billing service in California.
So if your top VPN priority is for privacy and security, an American company probably shouldn’t be your first choice.
2. DNS Leaks Found
A ‘leak’ is when your browsing habits are revealed, despite being connected to a VPN service.
In theory, this should never happen. However, in practice, it’s more common than you’d think.
Speedify is a perfect (bad) example.
- https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
Next, we tested DNS leaks and found five!
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
- http://dnsleak.com/ (1 leaks found!)
We also ran the VPN installation files through VirusTotal for good measure. That came back completely clean, thankfully.
The fact both DNS and WebRTC leaks were found is troubling, to say the least.
3. US Servers are Slow
The simplest way to test VPN performance is to measure your connection speed without a VPN, then repeat when connected to their servers.
So that’s exactly what we did.
We started with 86.89 Mbps download and 33.72 Mbps upload speeds.
Then, we connected to a Speedify EU server and saw respectable results.
EU Server (Netherlands):
- Ping: 30
- Download: 61.77 Mbps (28.9% slower)
- Upload: 26.40 Mbps (21.7% slower)
Next, we connected to a US server in Miami. And that’s where things fell off a cliff.
US Server (Miami):
- Ping: 132
- Download: 38.57 Mbps (55.6% slower)
- Upload: 6.04 Mbps (82.9% slower)
This combined performance makes Speedify solidly average, ranking 31st out of 78 VPNs.
4. Minor Logging
Once you get beneath all of the “no log” claims on a VPN website, you’ll quickly realize that they all log something.
It just depends on what, exactly.
Speedify emphasizes that no logs are kept at all.
- The time and network location from which an initial Speedify connection was made.
- The amount of data transferred.
- The duration of the Speedify connection.
- Bandwidth statistics (but this can be switched off by the user).
- When you place an order or contact support, you will be asked to enter your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, or credit card information.
- Google Analytics information.
- The service uses Raygun.io for “error tracking”. But the user can switch this off if they want.
5. Limited Device Compatibility as of May 2019
Speedify works with Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android.
As of February 2019, they don’t currently support routers or Linux. But they told us that they’re working on this compatibility as we speak.
They also don’t currently support gaming consoles or Smart TVs.
However, there is a workaround.
You can start by running Speedify on one Windows device and share the connection to the rest of the network (network sharing is not possible with a MacOS computer yet).
Once you have shared the connection with the Windows device, you can then share into the WAN port of the router and connect all your other devices to that router.
You can use the same Speedify account on up to five devices at the same time.
6. Does Not Work With Netflix
Back in the day, you could use virtually any VPN to connect to Netflix.
But then Netflix got wise to the game and started blocking proxy servers, due to “licensing agreements.”
It’s like “Whack a Mole” for them. Knock five down, another ten pop up.
Unfortunately for the viewer, it’s a tiring process trying to access another country’s Netflix content.
You constantly have to test (and retest) different server locations, even under the same VPN, to find one that eventually works.
Netflix does not allow you to stream movies while connected to Speedify. You can browse through the available films, and watch episodes that you have previously downloaded, however.
We did run a few of our own tests, though, and found a server in the Netherlands that worked:
- New York blocked
- Chicago blocked
- UK Blocked
- Canada blocked
- Netherlands works
If you need a VPN to stream Netflix, you’re better off with NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
7. Very Limited Torrenting
Most people recognize torrenting as simply a way to illegally download content.
But it also has other legitimate uses, too. Many organizations, like Wikipedia even, will use it to move massive files at a much faster clip.
So is Speedify friendly for P2P? Partly.
Speedify says in their Knowledge Base that torrenting is, on the whole, not allowed.
However, they do make a few servers available for torrenting and Peer to Peer downloads.
You simply have to choose “Connect to P2P Server” in the server list. So you are not given a choice really in what server to use. You are just assigned to one.
Do I Recommend Speedify?
They are in the USA and therefore part of the Five Eyes agreement. They use a third-party payment processor, also in the USA.
They are leaking DNS like a sieve. Their US server speeds were not good.
They don’t currently support Linux, routers, gaming consoles, or SmartTV’s. BitTorrent only works on a few select servers and Netflix doesn’t really work, either.
And to top it all off, their monthly fee is quite high. Therefore, there are a lot of better options from what we’ve reviewed so far.
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1 user reviews for Speedify
My experience with Speedify...
After having the service for a little while now, here are my thoughts:
I don't like the 5 Eyes Agreement compliance either (but at least you get U.S. based support since they're based out of Philly) and find the DNS leaks troubling as well, though the issue seems to be device/app dependent. For example, on my Windows 10 PC I have zero leaks on all test sites, whereas I do have leaks on their Android app, which I have also sideloaded to my Android TV box for use with Kodi while I wait for Google Play Store support to be added. My solution to this (which I hope works as I understand it to, though I'm certainly no expert) is to use Cloudflare's DNS servers in my router config to serve as a backup measure of security as they have the fastest available servers in the country and are very privacy minded as they don't store any detailed info in their logs and delete said logs every 24hrs.
As for overall performance (namely speed) of the service, my experience has not been congruent with yours. I have AT&T gigabit fiber at my house and have found that every other VPN service I've tried has absolutely decimated my speeds (over 90% loss in most cases) and render my expensive ISP service useless. These include but are not limited to: VpyrVPN, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, IPVanish, PureVPN, etc.. Even when using their U.S. based servers, I'm only losing about 10-15% of my normal speeds both up and down, and I'm sorry but if I have to choose between occasional DNS leaks and using a non-logging DNS backup config or reducing my $90/mo gigabit internet connection to a paltry 50 mbps download and 5 mbps upload, I'm choosing the former.
I've spoken with Kevin on their support team about a few other issues I've had and found their customer service to be FAR better than the outsourced queue-card garbage that everyone else on your list seems to use, and with what I believe to be superior overall tech to the competition both in terms of encryption protocols and bandwidth capacity, I have faith that they will resolve these issues in time as they continue to refine their service. If they don't, then I'll jump ship to whoever can do better when the time comes, but as of now, this is the best that I've been able to find. In the spirit of YMMV, I will concede that perhaps other ISP and VPN combo's will work better for other people, but my experience at both my old house with Charter internet and my new house with AT&T fiber has been that all of your top-rated VPN apps are just too slow to be worth bothering with unless performance is a distant, and I do mean distant, second to your security needs.