Speedify – Faster Internet VPN review
Speedify is an app and service that does a lot of things, the first is to keep your connection up and running when you’re switching from WiFi to cell or vice versa, it can also bond your WiFi and cell connection into either one slightly faster connection, or redundant data streams to ensure reliability. It’s also a VPN for privacy.
There’s a free version you can test, and but it’s the pay version that I’m reviewing.
Here’s what I tested – the Speedify app on Google Play. I spent two months testing it around Nashville, then I took it to CES 2017 as CES is WiFi death in a handbasket. Nothing survives CES. As Speedify requires at least one data connection working in order to function I did survive better than most.
Speedify is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.
This is a VPN. Your connection to the VPN over both channels is encrypted. You can connect to a P2P server in Amsterdam if you’re into torrenting however the US servers will boot you and sometimes will erroneously identify an app as a P2P app and inform you need to go to Amstersam.
According to my rep they log for a week in the US as some people were getting the free accounts and committing acts that kept getting their servers banned from major retailers. According to the info on the Play Store they don’t. What I have in my email as of December was that they log for a week and then delete it.
The first thing that you can set is to always keep cell on. This allows the app to shuffle you onto the cell channel if WiFi is bad. It also means your cell is constantly connected to data even when you’re connected to WiFi, which judging by the reviews some phones have an issue with.
In theory that would provide a seamless transition. In practice this depends on a lot of things – phone, whether the WiFi you’re talking to is dropping packets or just being extremely slow. Also whether you have the thing set up for speed or reliability.
On my HTC 10 the dropping of WiFi caused a brief delay followed by things functioning again. Unfortunately to the average user that’s going to look exactly like what happens when you drop WiFi and switch to cell. If you’re currently downloading a large file or watching a video however you’ll immediately thank the gods that Speedify handled the transition.
There’s a mode that sends exact copies of the data down both pipes cell and WiFi to get your data there.
This appears that you’re slave to the slowest connection, but I’m assuming this is for when your WiFi or cell is *really* right there on the edge of crappiness.
EDIT: I was incorrect, it shoots data down both pipes and takes whatever gets there first. This is evidently very useful for VOIP and calls, which I did not do while in a scenario where I had WiFi and Cell reception.
CES 2017 was a crapshoot, but I’d say it helped about 10%. When you don’t have a carrier that can stand up to 150,000 people suddenly uploading videos and pictures on one tower and you don’t have a solid WiFi there’s not a lot that an app can do. I don’t find this a failing.
Connections are slowed a bit due to the extra hops you have to make to go to the VPN and then to the site or service you’re using. EG Speedtest.net runs slower. I tested it against Betternet and Private Internet access and Speedify was sandwiched in between the two on speed tests, faster on some sites, slower on others.
The only clear time Speedify was a winner against two solid VPNs I use was in my work’s parking lot where there’s a WiFi connection but it’s a crapshoot whether it will work depending on the wind blowing, whether the door is open or not, and if anyone is in the way of the signal.
I also noted that when I was on the West coast Speedify’s network worked fabulously, when I am in Nashville it performs acceptably. The VPN server for my region appears to be in Georgia so local speed tests get to travel down there and back up again.
One of the things I look for in a VPN is something that allows me to configure what apps I want to have on the VPN and what apps I don’t want to have on it.
My example of this is I don’t want my file explorer on the VPN as I’m copying data from the phone to an in-house FTP server. There’s no reason to go out to the internet and come back in taking up 2x the bandwidth that I need to. I also don’t want my security cameras streaming over the VPN simply because that’s double the bandwidth. Many VPNs have this capability (PIA is one of them.) As of this writing there’s no way to tell Speedify that I don’t want App_X being VPN’d.
*NOTE: according to Speedify they don’t VPN local connections. I’m thinking the issue here involves how DNS is being served to my FTP client.
*NOTE2: They claim after reading my review that per app support is coming.
Why this is important to people who aren’t moving large amounts of data around in network – let’s say you really are interested in privacy. What do you think the chances are that Facebook isn’t actually sending your current IP on a VPN to their servers, or that Google isn’t logging every single IP that checks for mail on your account? You went out and downloaded a DVD screener, the MPAA, RIAA, or the Obama Weather Machine wants to prosecute, what do you think the chances are that they’re not buddies with the people who wrote one of the connected apps on your phone?
Personally defining which apps actually get protected behind a VPN is a big deal for me.
Yo dawg, I heard you like VPNs so I put a VPN in your VPN
One of the things I saw about Speedify that I really liked before I got into testing was the redundancy mode. You might think “wait a second Paul, didn’t you say you’re a bit unsure about why it’s there?” well yes. My initial thought was “oh good, I can get into work’s VPN and make sure data gets there and I don’t leave an incomplete file on my server”.
That would be wrong (at least on the Android device.) Due to Android limitations evidently you’re going to be limited to one VPN. For business use that I have, Speedify, and any other VPN probably, is out.
I’m told I can open a VPN after connecting the Speedify Windows app, however this is not something I tried.
Is it really faster?
Yes and no. If you’ve got a good WiFi connection and a fast internet connection behind it, probably not. If you’ve got an ok connection with an ok internet connection behind it and a good cell network, probably yes then.
Due to the nature of the internet, a VPN might be faster than your ISP to a location, but it also might be slower.
Free to 1GB of usage per month, pay thereafter.
Pricing appears to be about $50 a year, although when I went to their pricing page it claimed I had a coupon for 75% off. You can also pay $8.99 a month. I think those are probably their real prices as it’s comparable with other VPN providers. Evidently this is the direct link to a 75% off in case that one isn’t working.
Are you being paid to review this?
Other than being given a review subscription, not at the moment. However after writing the review I’ve sold out and have an affiliate link which you can choose to use or not use in the event you want to help me pay for my fire/CES expenses. Here’s the affiliate link that says Paul has sold out.
Do I need a VPN? (not Speedify, just in general)
Up until recently I would have said that unless you’re doing something sneaky, probably not. This has changed now that it’s so absurdly cheap to put a device in an area and grab login details by either sniffing WiFi or impersonating a nationwide AP like xfinitywifi or any of the AT&T hotspots.
If you don’t connect to public WiFi and you’re not doing anything duplicitous, probably not. If you’re connecting to any WiFi you don’t control, realize that anyone can easily come in and mimic it and sit in listening on your connection.
Should I get it?
Depends – do you need a VPN?
Does that VPN need to allow torrenting?
Do you often traverse crappy WiFi/Cell?
Do you need to keep a video stream of Paw Patrol running for your kid no matter the WiFi/Cell state? Can your kid not accept buffering, internet connection loss, etc?
Figured I’d throw in the ones I have personally tested this last year (keeping in mind some feature vary such as ability to torrent, logging, ability to anonymously get an account) and the pricing I can spot as of January 17, 2017.
Speedify: $8.99 / $49.99
Private Internet Access: $6.95 / $39.95
Betternet: ($0 / $0) or ($11.99 / $35.88)
Having played with a bunch of VPNs in my time I’ve got to say it’s as good as any, with features that may or may not appeal to you (specifically the dual bonded connections,) and a limitation of not having a per-app VPN setting yet.
If you’re wanting to anonymously commit credit card fraud, threaten the president, attempt a game of thermonuclear war, their one week logging may be problematic for you as my bet is they will give you up if the secret service comes knocking, and there doesn’t appear to be a warrant canary mechanism in place (not that they work).
Give it a try, if you like it, get it.
Full disclosure, you click the give it a try link and buy it within 45 days I get some sort of compensation. You can also go to speedify.com in your browser and I’ll never see a dime of referal money. I will also point out that the referral rates paid on signups are lucrative enough to have me questioning whether one could trust a review of a VPN provider as man, that’s better than the seven cents per thousand ad impressions we’re used to.