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Thunder VPN Review

Thunder VPN Header Image

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

Fact-checked by Simon MiglianoAdditional Testing by David Hughes

Our Verdict

How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN service’s Overall Rating by combining the ratings of several testing categories. Each category is weighted as follows:

  • Privacy & Logging Policy: 20%
  • Speed: 20%
  • Security & Technical Features: 15%
  • Streaming: 15%
  • Ease of Use: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Server Locations: 5%
  • Bypassing Web Censorship: 5%
  • Customer Support: 5%

Learn more by reading our VPN testing and review methodology.

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 #42 out of 65 VPNs

Thunder VPN Category Ratings

  • 1.9/10
  • 3.6/10
  • 6.3/10
  • 1.4/10
  • 5.0/10
  • 1.0/10
  • 1.7/10
  • 6.1/10
  • 1.0/10

Thunder VPN Pros & Cons

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Simple, friendly app
  • Works with BBC iPlayer
  • Comes with a split tunneling feature

  • Intrusive logging policy
  • Outdated encryption
  • No kill switch
  • Extremely slow speeds
  • No torrenting support
  • Will not beat censorship

Why Trust Us?

We’re fully independent and have been reviewing VPNs since 2016. Our ratings are based on our own testing results and are unaffected by financial incentives. Learn who we are and how we test VPNs.

Thunder VPN is a completely free Android-only VPN that offers unlimited free bandwidth. The problem is it’s one of the worst VPNs we’ve tested, and not safe to use.

Since we last thoroughly reviewed Thunder VPN, the number of installs on Google’s Play Store has increased from 10 million to over 50 million. This is highly concerning.

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

The VPN’s logging policy has improved, as it no longer collects your IP address, but Thunder VPN still logs too much data, including timestamps and your ISP.

Combined with outdated SSL encryption and a lack of key security features, like a VPN kill switch, Thunder VPN is not a VPN you can trust with your data.

We also recorded huge speed losses on all of Thunder VPN’s servers. Furthermore, the VPN doesn’t unblock US Netflix and it doesn’t support torrenting.

As our Proton VPN free review demonstrates, there are much better free VPNs available for you to use.

EXPERT ADVICE: Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the fastest and most secure VPNs we’ve reviewed. It’s also great at unblocking websites and applications worldwide. Try PIA VPN risk-free for 30 days.

Thunder VPN Key Data

Data CapUnlimited
Download Speed2Mbps
Logging PolicyIntrusive Logging
Data LeaksNo
JurisdictionUS (Five Eyes member)
ServersNot disclosed
IP AddressesNot disclosed
Countries with Servers8
US NetflixNo
Simultaneous Connections5
Works In ChinaNo
SupportEmail Support Only
Official WebsiteThunder.free-signal.com

Privacy & Logging Policy

Secretive Company That Logs Data

How is this calculated?

We analyze and dissect the VPN service’s logging and privacy policy. A VPN should never log and store:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

Headquarters outside of 14 Eyes or EU jurisdictions are also preferable.

Thunder VPN collects a lot of information about its users, including when you use the VPN, how much data you use, what device you're using, and even your ISP. This is an unjustifiable and intrusive amount of data. However, Thunder VPN has stopped collecting user IP addresses, which is a big improvement.

Ranked #33 out of 65 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

We examined Thunder VPN’s privacy policy and can reveal what it logs:

Data TypeLogged by Thunder VPN
Account InformationNo
Browsing ActivityNo
Date of Last ConnectionNo
Device InformationYes
DNS QueriesNo
Individual Bandwidth UsageYes
Individual Connection TimestampsYes
Number of Simultaneous ConnectionsNo
Originating IP AddressNo
VPN Server IPNo
VPN Server LocationNo

Thunder VPN used to log user IP addresses and it was the lowest rated VPN in our privacy assessment.

However, it now claims to have stopped collecting IP addresses. This is a substantial improvement, but it still logs more data than any VPN user should be comfortable with. There is also no detail about deletion policies, metadata, retention period or anything else.

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. But to be clear: there is no excuse for logging this amount of data.

There has also been no third-party audit to verify Thunder VPN’s logging policy claims.

Like most VPN providers who collect data, Thunder VPN claims this is done in the name of a ‘better service.’ We strongly recommend using a no-logs VPN like Private Internet Access, instead.

Who Owns Thunder VPN?

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 on free VPN ownership 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.

Security & Technical Features

SSL Encryption & No Kill Switch

How is this calculated?

A secure VPN must offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a working kill switch.

To calculate this rating, we also factor in additional security settings and features.

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.

Ranked #61 out of 65 VPNs for Security & Technical Features

ProtocolsAvailable in Thunder VPN
EncryptionAvailable in Thunder VPN
SecurityAvailable in Thunder VPN
Diskless ServersNo
DNS Leak BlockingNo
First-party DNSNo
IPv6 Leak BlockingNo
Supports TCP Port 443No
VPN Kill SwitchNo
WebRTC Leak BlockingNo
Advanced FeaturesAvailable in Thunder VPN
Ad BlockerNo
Dedicated IPNo
Double VPNNo
Split TunnelingNo
Static IPNo
Tor over VPN ServerNo
Tracker BlockerNo

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.


One of the Slowest VPNs Tested

How is this calculated?

We calculate the VPN’s speed rating using our download speeds, upload speeds, and ping (latency) measurements.

We regularly test the VPN’s local and international speeds using a dedicated 100Mbps internet connection in New York, USA.

Thunder VPN is a very slow VPN service. On same-country connections alone, we recorded a speed loss of up to 88%, which is terrible. Long-distance connections are just as bad; you're lucky to get over 14Mbps download speeds on average. This VPN will make your internet too slow.

Ranked #56 out of 65 VPNs for Speed

We tested Thunder VPN’s speeds on all of its available servers. These are the results:

As you can se from our data, we recorded massive speed losses using Thunder VPN.

Average download speeds of 12Mbps when connecting to a nearby VPN server is nowhere near fast enough for reliable streaming, torrenting, or even casual browsing.

We recommend trying out one of these fast VPNs, instead.

EXPERT ADVICE: Thunder VPN’s speeds are atrociously slow, while Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the fastest VPNs available right now. Try PIA VPN risk-free for 30 days.


Unblocks BBC iPlayer Only

How is this calculated?

This rating is calculated by how many different streaming services and regional content libraries the VPN can unblock, and how consistently it can access them.

We test access to Netflix, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more platforms 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.

Ranked #46 out of 65 VPNs for Streaming

We tested Thunder VPN on a number of streaming services. You can see which it worked to unblock in the list below:

Streaming PlatformWorks with Thunder VPN
Amazon Prime VideoNo
BBC iPlayerYes
Channel 4No
Hotstar IndiaNo
Netflix USNo

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, see our list of the top VPNs for streaming.

EXPERT ADVICE: ExpressVPN is the best VPN for unblocking streaming platforms. It unblocks 18 Netflix (including USA), HBO Max, and many more services. Try ExpressVPN for free for 30 days.


Too Slow and Unsafe for Torrenting

How is this calculated?

This rating is determined by the VPN’s torrenting speeds, the percentage of servers that allow P2P file sharing, the service’s privacy and trustworthiness, and useful settings like port forwarding.

For speed specifically, we calculate the VPN’s average download bitrate using our bespoke torrenting setup.

Thunder VPN is too slow and unsafe for torrenting. There is no kill switch, and its encryption protocol is out of date. Thunder VPN even warns against using its service for sharing copyrighted material, promising to hold you accountable for any breaches of this use policy.

Ranked #48 out of 65 VPNs for Torrenting

Thunder VPN’s Terms of Service state that certain activities can lead to an account termination, including “Uploading, downloading, posting, reproducing, or distribution of any content protected by copyright.”

You should therefore be very careful not to torrent copyrighted material when using this VPN. 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).”

Bizarrely, the Thunder VPN app claims to work for torrenting, on services like BitTorrent, but that wasn’t the case when we tested it. The VPN was simply too slow.

Additionally, Thunder VPN lacks critical security features that are necessary for safe torrenting. P2P users must use safe free torrent VPNs for fast and secure file-sharing.

Server Locations

Thunder VPN Uses Fake IPs and Has a Small Server List

How is this calculated?

The key factor for calculating this rating is the global spread and coverage of the VPN’s server network.

We also consider the total number of servers, the number of city-level servers, and the number of IP addresses available.

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.

Ranked #50 out of 65 VPNs for Server Locations

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

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

Japan’s server removal is actually good, because whenever we connected to Japan we would be assigned IP addresses from other countries.

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

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

Except for North America. The US has server locations for East, West, and the recently added South, but not specific cities.

In the past, we experienced several ‘fake’ connections in other countries, though. For instance, The Netherlands server would constantly assign us a French IP address.

While the service seems to have fixed this IP address assignment issue for the time being, time will tell if the problem is permanently resolved.

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 server locations offering for a free VPN service, but it’s still limiting for more frequent VPN users.

Bypassing Web Censorship

Needs Obfuscation Technology

How is this calculated?

We routinely test if the VPN can bypass strict internet restrictions in China using our remote-access server in Shanghai.

Other important factors we consider include obfuscation technologies and the availability of servers in neighboring countries (for faster connections).

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.

Ranked #54 out of 65 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

Thunder VPN doesn’t work in China, simply because it doesn’t come with any VPN obfuscation tools. Chinese censors can therefore easily detect Thunder VPN’s connections.

There’s little chance Thunder VPN will work in other highly-censored countries like the UAE, Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

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

Our Astrill China tests and ExpressVPN obfuscation tests reveal both are highly reliable VPNs that beat Chinese web censorship.

Device & OS Compatibility

Only Available on Android

How is this rated?

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

Our ‘Device & OS Compatibility’ assessment contributes to the Ease of Use rating.

Thunder VPN is only available on Android mobile devices, but you can use it on up to five different 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.


Thunder VPN is available on:

  1. Android

Thunder VPN is only available on Android, but even if it wasn’t, we still wouldn’t recommend it.

To smartphone users we strongly advise using secure Android VPNs and safe iPhone VPN apps, instead.

Beware, there is an identically-named ‘Thunder VPN’ app on the Apple iOS store, however it’s an unrelated VPN product we haven’t reviewed yet.

Ease of Use

Functional Apps With Ads

How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the user-friendliness and intuitiveness of setting up and regularly using the VPN.

We also factor in customization settings, as well as device and OS compatibility (see section above).

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.

Ranked #46 out of 65 VPNs for Ease of Use

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.

Customer Support

Basic Customer Support

How is this calculated?

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

  • Live chat support
  • Email support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all these support options, and they often vary in quality and response times.

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.

Ranked #63 out of 65 VPNs for Customer Support

Customer SupportAvailable in Thunder VPN
24/7 Email SupportNo
24/7 Live Chat SupportNo
Email Support via Online FormNo
Live Chat SupportNo
Online ResourcesYes
Tutorial VideosNo

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.

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.

The Bottom Line

Thunder VPN Is a Risky Free VPN

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.

Alternatives to Thunder VPN




Windscribe's free app is about as good as free services get. If you’re interested in Thunder VPN 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



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