SuperVPN Free VPN Client seems to be a popular choice for Android users looking to encrypt their internet traffic without spending a penny, but we have huge reservations about the app’s ability to protect its users’ privacy.
Speeds are just fast enough for HD streaming, but access to Netflix is blocked and watching BBC iPlayer won’t be possible for those living outside of the UK. The app is also only available for Android devices.
This product is one of many that featured in our investigation into the legitimacy of free VPNs. The results we found were worrying – you can read more about it here.
Speed & Reliability
SuperVPN Free VPN Client promises unlimited bandwidth and unrestricted speeds, but instead offers very mediocre performance. Speeds are fast enough for general browsing and HD streaming at a push, but gamers and torrenters should look elsewhere.
Download speeds were consistently low across the four server locations, peaking at a disappointing 26Mbps connecting out to the US from Europe (we test from London) and struggling to reach 20Mbps on all other servers. These speeds will be fast enough for most everyday users, but aren’t a patch on what many other providers offer.
SuperVPN is definitely not a good choice for gamers due to its sluggish latency, with the lowest ping time we recorded coming in at 28ms in France. Some of our top-tier providers boast latency of under 1ms, so there are definitely better options out there.
Connection times were pretty standard, taking about 8-12 seconds in total. However, the lack of a kill switch feature means that during this time your internet traffic isn’t encrypted and your IP address is exposed, a definite security flaw. We also experienced very unreliable performance with speed results differing dramatically on the same server from one test to another, just seconds apart.
While we found uploads to be better than downloads, they still weren’t all that impressive compared to many paid apps, peaking at 55Mbps in France. Combined with a lack of privacy features and transparency surrounding encryption and logging, we wouldn’t recommend using SuperVPN for any P2P activities.
Overall, SuperVPN offers unimpressive performance accross its server network, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering it’s free. Downloads are just about fast enough for HD streaming, but high latency and unimpressive uploads prevent us from recommending it to gamers and torrenters.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
SuperVPN Free VPN Client offers just four server countries: Germany, France, US and Canada. While these are very popular locations, those living in Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America will find performance to be almost unusable connecting out to such a distance.
There is no information surrounding the number of individual servers and IP addresses that SuperVPN maintains, so we aren’t convinced that there are many and it’s likely that you’ll experience congestion at peak times.
If you choose to upgrade to VIP access, you can access servers in the UK and Japan too, but considering some paid VPNs offer up to 190 countries for as little as $3.50 a month, it’s hard to justify paying SuperVPN’s cheapest monthly cost of $4.33 for a total of six locations and none of the privacy extras. An ideal alternative would be NordVPN.
Platforms & Devices
SuperVPN Free VPN Client is only compatible with Android devices, so those looking to protect their desktop computers, iOS smartphones, or any other devices should definitely look elsewhere. There are no setup instructions for the Android app, but downloading it from the Google Play Store is pretty self-explanatory.
Streaming & Torrenting
We don’t recommend SuperVPN Free VPN Client for anyone wishing to stream shows on popular services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer. Although speeds are fast enough for HD streaming, we found access to Netflix blocked on the US server, and since there is no city-level server choice within the US we had no option but to give up.
Unless you pay for VIP access, you can’t select the UK server, but you can still access it if you are physically in the UK by selecting the ‘Global’ server. This means that watching BBC iPlayer is automatically ruled out for most users of the free app. We were able to watch BBC iPlayer through the ‘Global’ server, but we doubt how long this will last considering the BBC has recently been cracking down on VPN providers. Many paid VPN apps offer dedicated streaming servers to make access as hassle-free as possible. You can see our top picks for streaming here.
There is no mention of torrenting on SuperVPN’s Google Play Store profile, but due to a lack of extra security features and an intrusive logging policy, we wouldn’t recommend SuperVPN for P2P activities.
Encryption & Security
SuperVPN Free VPN Client claims to encrypt your data using the ‘most secure VPN solution’, but the lack of transparency surrounding the protocol and encryption it uses makes us skeptical of the level of privacy it offers.
That there are no security features to speak of, advanced or otherwise, doesn’t go any way to make up for this. We were especially disappointed to find that it doesn’t even include a kill switch, a feature that blocks internet traffic should the VPN connection drop at any point. The fact that SuperVPN is missing this means that your IP address could potentially be exposed to your ISP or other third parties while you’re browsing or accessing sensitive information. This is made worse by the fact that SuperVPN doesn’t even maintain its own DNS servers, meaning that your web traffic is routed through third-party servers even when you’re connected to the VPN. Online privacy should be a priority for all, and SuperVPN just doesn’t offer you that.
Due to China’s recent crackdowns on VPN providers, we wouldn’t recommend SuperVPN Free VPN Client to those who are mainly going to be connecting out from the country. It offers no obfuscation tools to disguise the fact you’re using a VPN, meaning it’s unlikely to help you bypass the Great Firewall and access restricted content. If you need a VPN for use in China, take a look at our latest recommendations.
The same goes to users in other high-censorship countries. In fact, one user review warned those in the United Arab Emirates that the app wasn’t working there. Even if it wasn’t blocked, the lack of nearby servers would lead to awful performance, making it useless anyway.
SuperVPN’s logging policy is one of the shortest we’ve come across, limited to a few very poorly written lines. Like most VPN providers, it claims to not ‘monitor your traffic’, but does log your original IP address to ensure it’s not ‘blacklisted’, which they claim is for the security of both parties. There is no information given about how long IP addresses are stored for but they do state that all information is kept on servers based in the UK and US, two of the most privacy-unfriendly jurisdictions in the world.
What’s more concerning is the sheer amount of data the app ‘needs’ access to in order to function, including:
- Your device and app history (including sensitive log data)
- Your contacts information
- Your precise location
- Your photos/media/files (it even has permission to modify and delete them)
- Your device ID and call information
While you can manually switch off some of these permissions, it may stop the app from working completely. Other Android VPN apps, such as that of ExpressVPN, maintain an excellent service with just a couple of essential permissions, such as your WiFi connection and startup settings. It’s hard to believe that SuperVPN is using these permissions for the bettering of its product.
According to the Google Play Store, SuperVPN Free VPN Client is based in Singapore, but according to our further research the provided address seems to be a bogus one and the app actually has links to China. If it is actually incorporated where it says it its, Singapore is a country known for high levels of surveillance and government snooping and has also been reported to have partnered with the Five Eyes, a US-led intelligence-sharing alliance.
This is made worse by the fact that SuperVPN is willing to disclose the information it collects about users to law enforcement organizations as well as other third parties (‘technical specialists’). The fact that SuperVPN’s physical servers are located in the privacy-unfriendly UK and US only makes this all the more concerning.
Ease of Use
SuperVPN Free VPN Client is incredibly easy to use since – aside from being able to change server location – it has absolutely no settings whatsoever, which is more of a curse than a blessing in terms of privacy. The main screen contains a big connect button, and beneath that is a glaringly big ad that takes up most of the screen. Intrusive pop-up ads also appear almost every time you try to connect or change servers within the app, which is very interruptive and a big no-no for privacy.
Behind the burger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top right, you will find the server list, which is limited to just four locations for free users. Selecting a server and connecting for the first time is very straightforward, but it’s not possible to switch servers while the VPN is connected. However, the app doesn’t tell you this and still allows you to manually click on another location, all the while displaying ‘connected’ on the main screen, even though your IP address won’t have changed. We only discovered this issue when we checked our IP address on an external website.
Overall, the app is far too simplistic, and intrusive ads hinder the usability.
Downloading and installing the SuperVPN Free VPN Client for Android from the Google Play Store is very straightforward, taking just a matter of minutes. It’s simple enough for VPN newbies, but fails to make you aware of the sheer amount of data you’re letting the app access.
Once you’ve clicked ‘Install’ and opened the app, all that’s left to do is accept the VPN connection request by clicking ‘OK’. You are then free to connect to one the four VPN server locations.
SuperVPN Free VPN Client offers no customer support whatsoever – it doesn’t even have a website. Information about the service is limited to a handful of bullet points on its Google Play Store profile, which claim that the app ‘protect[s] your privacy’, ‘encrypts your internet traffic’, and uses ‘the most secure VPN solution’, but goes no way to explain how it does this or what encryption is used. There are no FAQs or troubleshooting tips, so if you get stuck, don’t bother looking there.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to contact a support team, so if you run into any issues or simply want to ask a question not covered by the extremely lacking Google Play Store description, you’ll be left wanting. There is an email address provided on the Store, but we’re yet to receive an answer to our questions.
The Bottom Line
- Peak local download speeds of up to 26Mbps
- Simple app for Android devices
- Very limited server network
- No access to popular streaming sites
- No transparency surrounding protocol or encryption
- No customer support or online resources