SkyVPN is one of the worst VPNs available and it should be avoided under all circumstances. Although its free plan is attractive, SkyVPN is an untrustworthy service that logs your IP address and other personally-identifiable data. It also fails to unblock Netflix and it's not safe for torrenting.
We want all the VPNs we review to reach for the sky, but they often fall short.
SkyVPN is shooting in that direction with the promise of “access to a real free world.”
Does it soar, or fall flat on its face?
Look no further than this SkyVPN review to find out, and discover the honest answers to the questions people are asking, like:
- Is SkyVPN safe & trustworthy?
- Does SkyVPN work with Netflix?
- Is SkyVPN free?
- How do you use SkyVPN?
- Can you torrent with SkyVPN?
While you can subscribe to a premium version of SkyVPN, we will be reviewing the far more popular free version. Read on for an overview of the most important bits.
Looking for a free VPN? Read our detailed guide of the best free VPNs in 2020 here.
SkyVPN Pros & Cons
SkyVPN Key Summary
|Speed||9Mbps London to Frankfurt|
|Logging Policy||Intrusive Logging|
|IP Addresses||Not disclosed|
|Works in China||No|
Who is SkyVPN?
About & Logging
SkyVPN, Inc. is based in Hong Kong with obscure, hidden links to Chinese ownership.
SkyVPN don’t exactly advertise this information, we had to do our own independent research.
This research revealed that SkyVPN Inc. is owned by Tengzhan Hongkong Limited (騰展香港有限公司), which refers to itself as SkyVPN Inc, Secure Sentry Communications, and Dingtone, depending on where you look.
Its corporate address is registered at Rm 2103 Futura Plaza 111 How Ming St, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong.
The Tengzhan Group acquired Dingtone in 2015, according to this Chinese language disclosure document as there is no other reference in English language media.
Tengzhen Hong Kong Ltd incorporated in December of that year with You Xiumie (游秀妹) as director and sole shareholder.
None of this is easily available to find. There is nothing on SkyVPN’s website that alludes to its ownership or corporate history anywhere.
You can’t trust this VPN service. The Chinese government could potentially demand logs and information on any of its users whenever it pleased, and SkyVPN would have to cooperate.
SkyVPN has a sky-high list of logs.
SkyVPN collects all this data:
- Aggregate bandwidth usage
- Temporary usage data
- Real-time analysis of internet and data traffic, including originating IP and destination IP
- Cookies, tracking pixels, and related technologies for targeted ads
- Email address and contact details
- Information on support requests
- “Certain information” from your device
- Device make and model
- Mobile web browser type and version
- IP address
- Mac address
- Operating system
- Location information
- Mobile Country Code information
- List of applications installed on your device
- “Other technical data” from your device
Despite all that SkyVPN claims that unlike many VPNs that track you, “SkyVPN never does like that.” [sic]
SkyVPN is also quite open about how:
“Ads appearing on SkyVPN Software or any of our websites may be delivered to users by advertising partners, who may set cookies.”
We always raise an eyebrow when we read unspecific thing like “other technical data” and “certain information” which can include anything – a lack of specifics is never good.
One thing SkyVPN is specific about is how it will hand over your data to whichever court asks for it.
Painfully slow speeds
Speed & Reliability
We consistently lost over 90% of our download speed using SkyVPN, wherever we connected to.
SkyVPN is terrible, whether you’re connecting locally or to distant locations.
Local Speed Test Results
Before using SkyVPN:
When connected to SkyVPN:
- Download speeds without SkyVPN: 94.16 Mbps
- Download speeds with SkyVPN: 9.01 Mbps
- Our download speed loss when connected to SkyVPN: 90%
We put all of our VPNs through the same scientific speed testing, and work out the average speed results that you can expect from different parts of the globe. These are the speeds you can expect to get from these locations:
- USA: 9 Mbps (download) & 9 Mbps (upload)
- Germany: 9 Mbps (download) & 9 Mbps (upload)
- Singapore: 8 Mbps (download) & 7 Mbps (upload)
- Australia: 8 Mbps (download) & 3 Mbps (upload)
SkyVPN can’t manage more than 10 Mbps in download speeds – it’s one of the worst sets of speeds we’ve ever seen.
Surprisingly decent desktop server list
SkyVPN has one US server to connect to when using the ‘Basic’ version on Mobile, including both iOS and Android. You have to pay for more.
Its desktop app, however, is much better, with a surprisingly decent 18 servers available.
These nations include:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
For a free VPN, this is a surprisingly diverse and encompassing server list, with representatives from South America, Asia, North America, the Middle East, and Europe.
Without city-level server choice, you’re stuck with one server to cover large land masses like Canada, Australia and the US, though, and it doesn’t tell you where exactly the servers are based.
We checked and Canada’s server is in Toronto, New Jersey represents the US, and Brisbane is Australia’s. If you’re not near these places and want to use a SkyVPN local connection, your speeds are going to be even worse than the ones we recorded.
Doesn’t work for streaming
Streaming & Torrenting
We tested on the single UK server for BBC iPlayer and found it doesn’t unblock the streaming service.
SkyVPN also fails to unblock any of Netflix’s global libraries.
Fans of Netflix or BBC iPlayer shouldn’t waste their time with SkyVPN.
That’s especially the case with SkyVPN’s one-server mobile app. It has no UK server and the single US one doesn’t unblock Netflix.
You can torrent over SkyVPN, which may be its saving grace.
However, it struggles to do even that competently, as the extremely poor speeds make it a massive drag, if not impossible.
It also explicitly states in SkyVPN’s Terms of Service that P2P activity is not permitted on some servers, including:
Therefore you shouldn’t attempt it as you’ll be violating the Usage Policy and could be suspended from using the service.
Torrenting is yet another activity we simply can’t recommend SkyVPN for.
Won’t beat censorship
It’s highly unlikely that SkyVPN will work to bypass any censorship, whether in Russia, UAE, Turkey, or anywhere else.
You can especially forget about China: SkyVPN against the most sophisticated censorship apparatus in the world? There’s no chance.
SkyVPN has no obfuscation features to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, and we don’t even know what security protocol it uses — because it won’t tell us.
If you need a VPN to combat censorship, we have VPN recommendations for these censorious parts of the world:
Available on popular devices
Platforms & Devices
SkyVPN is available on Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android devices.
It was originally designed just for mobile, but was later adapted for desktop, which becomes very apparent when you compare the two versions of the app.
On the free plan it’s only possible to use the VPN on one device at a time, so if you’re looking to protect multiple devices simultaneously you’re out of luck.
Reveals nothing about its technology
Encryption & Security
Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.
SkyVPN don’t reveal hardly any details about encryption or security anywhere on its website or app.
Don’t make the same mistake as its millions of users – this is our biggest concern yet.
SkyVPN talks about “military grade” encryption and we did find mention of the claim it uses 256-bit AES encryption, which is a positive as this is a strong encryption.
But there’s no information regarding SkyVPN’s chosen VPN protocol, so we have no idea whether it’s OpenVPN, IKEv2, or possibly something far less secure, such as PPTP.
If you’re not sure what these terms mean, feel free to consult our glossary.
We’ve messaged SkyVPN multiple times to ask, but have received no response.
There’s no VPN kill switch, so if the SkyVPN connection was to drop without you noticing your true IP address would be exposed to anyone who wanted to see it.
Simple, but cheap & sparse
Ease of Use
How to Install & Set Up SkyVPN
SkyVPN’s app is simple, but it looks cheap. The images and text are low-resolution.
SkyVPN even claims to have no pop-up ads, which is blatantly false – the free version is packed with them.
Testing our speeds, it wasn’t long before we were told that our “data has been used up” and that we had to upgrade to VIP.
However, if you close that window you can, in fact, reconnect again and continue to use SkyVPN for free.
It’s simple, with a standard ‘Connect’ button in the middle of the screen and the server list just above, but SkyVPN is so basic it’s essentially stripped of anything useful.
Barely any help available
SkyVPN comes with an extremely limited FAQ and an email address for support.
And its answers to the questions are bad.
We contacted SkyVPN’s support email address multiple times to test how quick and helpful it was, but received no response.
Do We Recommend SkyVPN?
The Bottom Line
SkyVPN is one of the worst VPNs we’ve tested. Avoid it, whatever you do.
Shady ownership, really bad speeds, awful logging policy, no streaming access — there’s nothing it does well at all.
Consider one of our VPN recommendations below instead.
Alternatives to SkyVPN
Windscribe has a free version of its app that gets at least some things right. If you don't want to pay, turn your attention to this service which is our #1 free VPN recommendation. Read Windscribe review