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Thunder VPN Review

 40% 
(1 User reviews)
Thunder VPN screenshot
Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

Callum oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his advice about VPNs has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio

Ask Callum about Thunder VPN

Our Verdict

2.42.4/10
How is this calculated?

Our overall rating is reached by combining several subcategories. The subcategories are weighted as follows:

  • Logging & Jurisdiction: 30%
  • Speed & Reliability: 25%
  • Security & Features: 20%
  • Streaming: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Ease of Use: 5%
  • Support: 5%

See our full methodology in how we review VPNs.

Thunder VPN is a free VPN that suffers from slow speeds and an invasive logging policy. Its encryption is unsafe and the VPN doesn’t work to unblock Netflix. Thunder VPN’s app might be free, but it comes with risk to your privacy.

Ranked #59 out of 68

Thunder VPN Category Ratings

  • 1.91.9/10
  • 3.63.6/10
  • 33.0/10
  • 1.81.8/10
  • 55.0/10
  • 11.0/10
  • 1.71.7/10
  • 6.16.1/10
  • 11.0/10

Thunder VPN Pros & Cons

Pros

  1. Unlimited bandwidth
  2. Simple, friendly app
  3. Works with BBC iPlayer
  4. Comes with a split tunneling feature

Cons

  1. Invasive logging policy
  2. Outdated encryption
  3. No kill switch
  4. Extremely slow speeds
  5. No torrenting support
  6. Will not beat censorship

With over 10 million installs on Google’s Play Store, Thunder VPN must be held to account and reviewed by an expert assessor. That’s what we’ll do in this Thunder VPN review.

Thunder VPN is a free, Android-only VPN that offers unlimited free bandwidth. Sadly, it’s also one of the worst VPNs we’ve reviewed.

The VPN service performed badly in almost every category we tested including checks for speed, security, and streaming quality.

We recorded massive speed losses on all of Thunder VPN’s available servers.

Additionally, the VPN does not unblock US Netflix and it does not support torrenting. We did have some small success streaming BBC iPlayer, though.

The VPN’s invasive logging policy includes the collection of your IP address, which means any activity can be traced directly back to your identity.

Combined with outdated SSL encryption and a lack of key security features, like a VPN kill switch, it’s clear this is not a VPN you should trust with your data.

Want a secure free VPN? Read our ProtonVPN Free review

OUR ADVICE

For a safer and unrestricted experience, consider using IPVanish. Try IPVanish risk-free for 30 days or read our full IPVanish review.

Thunder VPN Key Data

Data CapNone
Speed2Mbps
Logging PolicyIntrusive Logging
Data LeaksNo
JurisdictionUS (Five-Eyes member)
ServersNot disclosed
IP AddressesNot disclosed
Countries8
US NetflixNo
TorrentingNo
Works in ChinaNo
SupportEmail
Official WebsiteThunder.free-signal.com

Secretive company that logs data

Logging & Jurisdiction

33.0/10
How is this calculated?

We dissect the logging and privacy policies of every VPN. A VPN should never log:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

A base of operations outside of 14-Eyes or EU jurisdiction is preferable.

Thunder VPN collects too much information about its users, including when you use the service, how much data you use, what device you're using and your ISP. This isn't as bad as it once was (Thunder VPN used to collect original IP addresses), but it's still more information logged than necessary or justifiable.

Thunder VPN is owned by the app developer Signal Lab. They are also behind Secure VPN – another popular free app.

Signal Lab actually doesn’t have a company website, but has threadbare sites for its apps. There isn’t much to learn from any of these.

The only reference to itself as a company is a link to an (unprofessional) gmail address.

The corporate structure behind Thunder VPN is shrouded in mystery.

Its corporate address is listed as a US address in Arkansas (but the zip code is actually based in California).

But this address is for payment processes only. Our independent research discovered that Thunder VPN are, in fact, “independent developers from Hong Kong.”

And yet, there are no companies called Signal Lab currently registered in Hong Kong.

Where the VPN company is incorporated, as they are obliged to follow the laws of that country or region.

This lack of transparency is a cause for concern. When you use a VPN, you are trusting them to protect your data and secure your privacy; you are essentially handing your data to it. Not knowing who is behind it should give you pause before you sign up.

Logging Policy

Thunder VPN claims a “strict no-logging policy” on its Google Play Store listing, and reiterates this claim on its FAQ. A no logs policy implies not storing online activity details of users, including their IP address.

But Thunder VPN is not a no-logs VPN. Its privacy policy is actually found in its terms of service and it’s only 272 words long.

This is a very short privacy policy, but it shows that Thunder VPN logs far more personal data than any privacy-conscious VPN user should be comfortable with.

Thunder VPN collects:

  • ISP (Internet Service Provider)
  • Device OS version
  • Device manufacturer and model>
  • Language of the device
  • App identifier
  • App version
  • Times when connected the service
  • Total amount of data transferred per day

It then follows all of this, as if not enough, with “etc.”

This ambiguous and opaque approach to the collection of personal data and private information is unacceptable.

The privacy policy states: “We store this to be able to deliver the best possible network experience to you.” We see this as a justification from VPN services regularly, and it’s a shame many use it as an excuse for illegitimate data logging.

This policy is actually better than it once was. Thunder VPN used to collect your originating IP address and choice of servers, but has since stopped listing this in its privacy policy. That’s a step in the right direction.

But to be clear: there is no excuse for logging this amount of data. There is no detail about deletion policies, metadata, retention period or anything else.

When we tasked ThunderVPN with an explanation, they told us that they “keep it for one month for analysis.” This directly contradicts its marketing claims and prior assurance.

In short, Thunder VPN does log your data and it is not a good choice for privacy-focused users.

Like most VPN providers who collect data, Thunder VPN claims that this is done in the name of a ‘better service,’ but we recommend using a VPN service that doesn’t log your activity.

SSL encryption & no kill switch

Security & Features

1.71.7/10
How is this calculated?

Top-rated VPNs offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a functional kill switch. We also consider additional security features and the global spread of VPN servers.

Thunder VPN isn't very transparent about how it protects your data, but we know it uses the SSL protocol, a very weak level of protocol. We didn't record any leaks, but we also found no evidence of a kill switch in operation. This is a vulnerable, outdated VPN.

Protocols
  1. SSL VPN
Encryption
  1. Undisclosed
Security
  1. None
Advanced features
  1. None

There is very little information about the security measures and VPN protocols used to protect user data by Thunder VPN.

The FAQ page of Thunder VPN’s website (since removed) reads, “we use SSL to encrypt your internet data.”

That may sound impressive, but SSL (Standard Layer Security) is an outdated and weak level of protection made in 1995.

The industry-standard VPN encryption protocol is now OpenVPN or WireGuard, with the AES-256 cipher. But this is not available within Thunder VPN’s apps.

Surprisingly, the VPN passed our IP and DNS leak tests, which is one positive among many negatives.

It also has an ‘App Filter’ – a version of split tunneling so that you can choose which of your Android apps get encrypted and which don’t.

In short, Thunder VPN is not safe to use. Its encryption is weak, it lacks a VPN kill switch, and it has an invasive logging policy that involves the collection of your connection data.

There are no additional security features on offer either. If you’re looking to secure your connection or protect your privacy, Thunder VPN is not a safe option.

OUR ADVICE

Using a secure VPN is of paramount importance. IPVanish VPN is highly secure and it comes with a 30-day hassle-free refund policy.

One of the slowest VPN services we’ve tested

Speed & Reliability

1.81.8/10
How is this calculated?

Speed ratings are calculated using upload speeds, download speeds, and ping (latency).

We test average speeds regularly using a dedicated 100Mbps connection in London, UK. Local download speed is considered the most important factor.

Thunder VPN is a very slow VPN service. On same-country connections alone, we recorded a speed loss of up to 96%, which is abysmal. Long-distance connections are just as bad; you're lucky to get over 2Mbps download speeds on average. This VPN will make your internet too slow.

We recorded massive speed losses when using ThunderVPN on all of its available servers.

Here are the results of our most recent speed tests:

Local Speed Test results before using Thunder VPN:

  • Download Speed: 52.2Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 54.3Mbps
  • Ping: 4ms

Local Speed Test results with Thunder VPN:

  • Download Speed: 1.93Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 34.06Mbps
  • Ping: 10ms

Download speed loss when Thunder VPN is running: 96%

This amount of speed loss on local connections is quite terrible.

Average download speeds of 1.93Mbps when connecting to a nearby VPN server is nowhere near fast enough for reliable streaming, torrenting, or even casual browsing.

From our testing lab in the UK, we measured ThunderVPN’s average speeds connecting out to various locations worldwide.

These were the results:

  • USA:
    • Download: 1.93Mbps
    • Upload: 32.66Mbps
  • Germany:
    • Download: 1.94Mbps
    • Upload: 44.70Mbps

As shown above, ThunderVPN performed consistently bad in our speed tests. We recommend trying out one of these fast VPNs, instead.

OUR ADVICE

ThunderVPN’s speeds are atrociously slow. Try using Hotspot Shield, the fastest VPN of 2021, virtually free for 45 days.

Unblocks BBC iPlayer only

Streaming

1.91.9/10
How is this calculated?

Streaming is rated by the number of different services unlocked, how many regional libraries are viewable, and how consistently the VPN can access them.

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, DAZN, and Amazon Prime Video are all tested on a weekly basis.

Thunder VPN works with BBC iPlayer and has done for some time. This makes it a quick and free solution to British TV blocks. But it won't work with any other streaming sites, including Netflix or HBO Max.

Thunder VPN works well with BBC iPlayer, and has done so for a while to its credit.

It’s free UK server presents no issues; there is barely any buffer time required and the content streams at good quality. This is good news for fans of the streaming service.

But Thunder VPN has made no progress in unblocking US Netflix, or any other service.

Both its US East and US West servers fail to bypass the streaming service’s proxy detection. As a result, Thunder VPN will not work to stream Netflix content from other international libraries.

If you need a VPN to watch geo-blocked video content, head over to our list of the top VPNs for streaming.

OUR ADVICE

As of writing, the absolute best streaming VPN is ExpressVPN. It unblocks US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, DAZN, HBO Max and more.

You can use ExpressVPN for free by making the most of its 30-day risk-free refund guarantee.

Too unsafe for torrenting

Torrenting

3.63.6/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the average download bitrate of every VPN using a bespoke torrenting setup.

Testing also factors in the percentage of servers which permit P2P, plus useful features like port forwarding.

Thunder VPN is too slow to share files with and it's too unsafe; there is no kill switch and its encryption protocol is out of date. More so, Thunder VPN warn against using its service for sharing copyrighted material, promising to hold you accountable for any breaches of this use policy.

Thunder VPN make the point in its terms of service that there are certain activities that can lead to a termination of your account, including “Uploading, downloading, posting, reproducing, or distribution of any content protected by copyright.”

This means that you should be careful not to torrent copyrighted material when using the service. If you do, Thunder VPN states:

“You may be held responsible for any and all damages incurred by Thunder VPN , including any amounts charged by any outside entity due to said violation(s).”

It’s unlikely you’ll be tempted when using Thunder VPN, as it’s slow and lacking security features.

The Thunder VPN app claims to work for torrenting, on services like BitTorrent, but that wasn’t the case when we tested it. These free VPNs will work, though.

Fake IPs and small server list

Server Locations

55.0/10
How is this calculated?

The global spread and coverage of the VPN server network is the most important factor here.

We also consider the number of city-level servers, plus how many IP addresses are maintained.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

Thunder VPN has eight available countries to connect to. This isn't terrible for an entirely free service, but it's still quite limiting, especially as the options are entirely within Europe and North America.

Globe with a blue flag
8Countries
Image of a city landscape
10Cities
Image of a pink marker
Undisclosed number ofIP Addresses

Thunder VPN used to have nine available countries, including Japan, but this has since been dropped to eight.

Perhaps its removal was best because whenever we connected to Japan we would register IP addresses in other countries.

Either way, ThunderVPN makes no effort to serve Asian users. The furthest Eastern point of connection is Germany.

This is a heavily Euro-centric list, leaving almost everyone else beside by the wayside.

Except for North America. The US has options for East, West, and South, but not specific cities. It’s good that Thunder VPN has introduced a Southern option.

We’ve experienced fake connections in other countries, though. For example, The Netherlands would constantly connects us to a French IP. They seemed to have sorted this out since our original criticisms, but ThunderVPN isn’t the most reliable.

These are the available nations as they appear in the app:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
  • United States 

This isn’t a bad offering for a free service, but it’s still limiting.

OUR ADVICE

Want access to more servers and server locations? Private Internet Access has 29,643 servers in 78 countries.

Try PIA VPN virtually free by maximizing its 30-day no-questions-asked refund policy.

Needs obfuscation technology

Bypassing Censorship

11.0/10
How is this calculated?

Our remote-access server in Shanghai, China routinely tests if a VPN can beat restrictions and access a free, open internet. Obfuscation technologies and nearby servers are also a contributing factor.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

Thunder VPN won't work anywhere were internet censorship is happening. It comes with no obfuscation tools to get around web blocks and it's too unsafe and slow as a service anyway. Avoid this service if you're looking for a freer internet.

Thunder VPN comes with no obfuscation tools — the thing required to beat sophisticated censorship regimes.

There’s little chance that Thunder VPN is going to work in China, UAE, Russia, Turkey or anywhere else where censorship is rife.

If you’re living or travelling to a high censorship country, we highly recommend you use a paid VPN that can beat aggressive web filters.

Read our detailed reviews of Astrill or ExpressVPN, two very reliable VPNs that beat aggressive censorship.

Only Available on Android

Platforms & Devices

How is device compatibility rated?

A quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

This does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Ease of Use rating.

Thunder VPN is only available on Android mobile devices. There is an iOS app with the same name but they are different VPNs. This is obviously extremely limiting. There are no extensions or workarounds of any kind.

Apps

Thunder VPN is available on:

  1. Android Logo
    Android

You’ll have to look elsewhere if you have an iPhone, laptop or desktop computer.

Take a look at our free VPN recommendations for iOS devices, iMacs and Macbooks, and Windows PCs.

There is an identically-named ‘Thunder VPN’ app on the iOS store, but iPhone should users should be aware that it is an unrelated product that we’re not reviewing here.

Functional apps with ads

Ease of Use

6.16.1/10
How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the intuitiveness of setup and everyday use.

Device or platform compatibility and customization options are also a factor.

Thunder VPN has quite a pleasant app, and a very simple one. No one will be confused by it. It's essentially a one-click service. There are pop-ads, though, and nudges to get the premium version that are annoying.

How to Install & Set Up Thunder VPN

The Thunder VPN app has a functional, simple to use design and it’s also pleasing to the eye.

The main page features an adolescent Thor who suddenly jumps into lightning action when you connect to a server.

While this is very far from the god of VPNs, there is a degree of care in design and branding that elevates it above some of the more lazily produced free VPN providers that we see. 

It’s a simple app, but also rudimentary. There are barely any customization or configuration options at all.

You can select an option for automatic connection and toggle notifications, but that’s the extent of it. 

As is the way with free VPNs, there are pop-up ads throughout. It’s more annoying than usual with Thunder VPN, as a lot of ads run for a minimum duration before the option to exit.

It’s usually about five seconds, which doesn’t sound long – but certainly feels it.

It’s also worth mentioning that some customers have reported connections cutting out randomly, or when the phone is asleep.

Added security like a VPN kill switch would help with that flaw, but that’s not an available feature.

Basic customer support

Customer Support

11.0/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is based on our assessment of each VPN’s:

  • Email support
  • Live chat support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all of these, and they often vary in quality and response time.

Thunder VPN has no support in place save for an unprofessional Gmail address hidden away on its website. You can also 'Send feedback' within the app, type into a 'Other questions' section, and then hope for a response. There is a terribly basic FAQ within the app which is close to useless, but support is sorely lacking.

EmailYes
Online ResourcesYes

Thunder VPN support is lacking. There is an FAQ within the app that offers no real value.

There’s also an email for support, but it can’t be found within the app.

Head to the website and you can contact an (unprofessional) Gmail address by clicking ‘Signal Lab’ in the footer, the same one it uses for an identical VPN service called Secure VPN.

Alternatively, in the app you can head to ‘Feedback’ and then describe ‘Other problems,’ typing in your email to generate a ticket. 

The website itself is very basic: a mere landing page with little to discover. It’s more than a lot of other free VPN services provide (many don’t have websites).

But with such little help or information to be gained, you wonder why Thunder VPN even bothered.

Thunder VPN is a risky free VPN

The Bottom Line

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice – and we certainly won’t be using Thunder VPN a second time.

While it isn’t the worst free VPN we’ve tested, it needs a lot of improvements before we can recommend it.

Poor speeds, outdated security, a bad logging policy, and zero customer support are major problems.

The only thing you may want to use Thunder VPN for is to stream BBC iPlayer. But these benefits come with considerable risks to your security and privacy.

If you’re considering using Thunder VPN, we recommend looking elsewhere.

OUR ADVICE

Instead of taking risks using Thunder VPN, use a private and secure free VPN like ProtonVPN Free.

For top speeds and unrestricted access, try for free our best-rated VPN ExpressVPN.

Additional research by David Hughes

Alternatives to Thunder VPN

Windscribe

Windscribe

8.68.6/10

Windscribe's free app is about as good as free services get. If you’re interested in ThunderVPN because you don’t want to crack open the wallet, we’ve got you: Windscribe free is worth a look. Read Windscribe review

Surfshark VPN logo

Surfshark

99.0/10

Paid VPNs are always going to be better, for obvious reasons. Surfshark is a top VPN but costs half of the price of most of its competitors. For this reason, we recommend it as an alternative. Read Surfshark review

About the Author


  • Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent

    Callum oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his advice about VPNs has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio


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