You should also be aware that it appears to be virtually identical to two other VPNs we’ve reviewed – Turbo VPN and VPN Proxy Master. While there is no mention of a relationship on the websites, Facebook pages or Google Play Store listings of the products we noticed that they share very similar interfaces and nearly identical privacy policies. We’d strongly advise you avoid all three.
Speed & Reliability
Snap VPN’s speeds were completely erratic during our testing, making it a very hard sell no matter where you are in the world. Predictably, the best connection speeds we saw were when connected to the UK server, as we’re based in London. 34Mbps down and 34Mbps up is enough to ensure you maintain a consistent, buffer-free HD stream.
The connection across the Atlantic to Canada was the next best, with a respectable 26Mbps down and 30Mbps up, although that speed came with the caveat of a ludicrous 133ms ping time, meaning anyone looking to use the connection to game on North American servers will find it all but useless.
Those speeds take a serious tumble when connecting to either of its US servers – one West Coast, the other East. We clocked 5Mbps download speeds paired with 17Mbps up, not to mention an even laggier 174ms ping.
It was when connecting to Singapore, Snap VPN’s sole Asian server, that we really began to question its credentials. The first two tests logged an impressive 22Mbps down and 28Mbps up. Those numbers fell to 14Mbps down and 15Mbps up over the next two tests. Then on the following three tests the download speed seized up to a glacial 0.4Mbps – complemented by a 300ms ping.
You may get lucky with Snap VPN and find its speeds serviceable where you are, but we simply couldn’t rely on it to give us a dependable connection. In fact, we very nearly weren’t able to test its speeds at all – the VPN connection kept cutting out mid-way through the test, leading us to believe that it doesn’t look too kindly upon P2P traffic.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
If you’re using the free version of Snap VPN, as we were, you’ll find the choice of servers lacking. Western Europeans are catered to nicely, with servers in the UK, Netherlands and Germany, but if you’re located any further east than that you’ll likely be relying upon the Singaporean server.
The inclusion of India is nice, and there’s a choice of either New York or San Francisco within the US, with Canada completing the list. That means no servers in South America, Africa or Australia. We also don’t know just how many individual servers are in operation in each of these locations, nor how many total IP addresses are used. This means that you may find your speeds struggling as potentially millions of other users all clamor for the same IP address at the same time.
If you live in a region not catered to by Snap VPN’s limited offering then you should strongly consider using a different VPN – we recommend you take a look at TunnelBear, which is free and provides access to 22 server locations.
Platforms & Devices
Snap VPN is currently only available for Android mobile operating system. There seems to have been an iOS version available in the past, but it’s been absent from the App Store since early 2018.
What this means is that it can only protect (and we use that term loosely, based on what we’ve seen) devices running Android, like your smartphone or tablet. Anything else you access the web from will remain vulnerable, while iPhone or iPad owners will have no choice but to use a different VPN. We recommend Windscribe, whatever your preferred OS.
Streaming & Torrenting
We’re not just suggesting you don’t use Snap VPN for streaming and torrenting – we’re telling you that you can’t. There’s no BBC iPlayer access through the UK server, while we weren’t able to access Netflix through any of the app’s location options.
As for torrenting, we were unable to browse to any of the public domain torrent websites we would usually use for testing. It’s likely that they’re blocked by Snap VPN, as within its Google Play Store listing it requests that users don’t torrent or use P2P services or they risk being banned.
Either way, this is one service that’s totally useless to both torrenters and streamers.
Encryption & Security
Up until this point Snap VPN has been a poor, but not irredeemable, VPN. This is where it crosses the point of no return. We really can’t guarantee you’ll get any sort of meaningful encryption or security while using it.
If a VPN is truly as safe as it should be, though, it will likely be open and upfront with you. The scarcity of any technical data and the unaccountability of the provider leads us to strongly suspect that Snap VPN will leave you exposed and unprotected.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
“For policy reason [sic], this service is not available in Mainland of China”, states Snap VPN on its Google Play Store listing. That’s really the be-all and end-all of it – if you want to subvert China’s Great Firewall you’ll have to use another VPN. Click the link to see our top five best VPNs for China.
We can’t guarantee it will work in other heavily censored countries, either, as OpenVPN (the protocol Snap VPN claims to use) is usually the first to be banned.
Snap VPN’s logging policy is potentially the biggest red flag amongst a sea of alarming shortcomings. It proclaims, in emboldened text, that it is a ‘no-log network’ – before listing the following exceptions, all of which it may collect:
- Browser and OS information
- ISP and true IP address
- IMEI number
- Email address
- Timestamps and session start/stop times
- Whether you are using WiFi or cellular data
- Information on your device’s hard drive, CPU and battery
If that list looks scary to you, that’s because it is. These are the exact specifics that VPNs are supposed to anonymize and keep safe, not scrape for themselves. Snap VPN says that it will never monitor the websites you visit or log the IP that it assigns to you, but that’s really the bare minimum for any VPN. With all this other information being harvested you’re seriously exposing yourself to all manner of dangers.
The bad news just keeps coming: Snap VPN is incorporated in Singapore. This is a nation which not only takes an aggressive approach towards censorship and online monitoring of its own people, but also has been known to cooperate with other countries when it comes to online snooping.
Ease of Use
One of the few bright spots to Snap VPN is how simple it is to use – although a great deal of that is owed to the limited, shallow nature of the product.
You can connect and disconnect with a single tap, although you should be prepared for a bombardment of ads in between each step.
The Bottom Line
- Easy to use
- Claims to use OpenVPN
- Useless customer support
- No torrenting, no streaming
- No customizable settings or extra features
- Inconsistent speeds
Snap VPN is a VPN in name only, and we would never recommend it to anyone – even if it is free. It’s untrustworthy, feature-poor and, in a market with so many terrific alternatives, there’s simply no need for you to take a chance on it.
The one positive – its simple, lightweight interface – is to be expected from a product so totally lacking in features or complexity. You’re limited to some very erratic servers with no useful option for those in Africa, South America or Australia, and there’s every chance that if the government comes knocking on Snap VPN’s door it will hand over all of your data without putting up a fight.