We don’t want to waste your time, so we’ll be blunt: do not use Yoga VPN. Even if it had the best performance in the world (it’s actually pretty awful) or superb customer support (it’s non-existent), this VPN is 100% not to be trusted. It takes an unspecified, but expansive, amount of your data, retains it indefinitely and stores it in China and Hong Kong.
Yes, there’s a good list of servers, and yes it’s quick and easy to use, but ultimately you’re more at risk using it than simply not using a VPN at all, and that’s unforgivable. Download something, anything, else.
Speed & Reliability
Yoga VPN’s speeds are consistently appalling – even connecting to a local London server, where we’re based, it couldn’t deliver any better than 2.5Mbps on both uploads and downloads. The ping was an unimpressive 20ms.
Results from further afield fared no better – Germany, the US, and France all delivered download and upload speeds of between 2 and 3Mbps. Surprisingly it was Canada that delivered the best speeds: a still-unimpressive 8Mbps down and 3Mbps up, with a predictably laggy 105ms ping time.
Speed test results were also erratic, with the download rate usually starting at anywhere between 60 and 120Mbps before immediately falling all the way down to the figures listed above. This is likely related to the fact that P2P traffic is banned on Yoga VPN, which unfortunately makes conducting an accurate speed test almost impossible. All we can do is report the speeds that it permitted during testing.
Compare this to a free VPN like Windscribe, with its reliable and speedy download figures, and Yoga VPN looks even worse. If you’re curious about how we test VPN speeds then click the link to read all about How We Review VPNs.
Yoga VPN’s server selection operates on an unconventional, unique system the likes of which we haven’t encountered in any other VPN. The total server list is split into three tiers – Tier 1 only offers you five servers in five different countries. Tier 2 ups that to 15 total servers, including some regional choices (such as West Coast US vs East Coast US). Tier 3 has a fairly impressive 27 distinct servers, with names that include specific city locations (such as US – Miami or France – Paris).
The catch here is that there’s a ‘cost’ to accessing each server, and the price increases as you ascend the tiers. You pay for access via an in-app currency called Points. The upside is that there’s no way to exchange real currency for these Points, and you get given a random allocation in the form of a gift every day. The downside is that you likely won’t be able to afford a Tier 3 server all day every day.
Tier 1 has the choice of Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US. Tier 2 has additional servers in all of those locations, plus multiple choices in the Netherlands and Singapore. Tier 3 has additional options in all of the Tier 1 and 2 countries, plus single servers in farther-flung locations like Australia, Finland, Indonesia, India, Japan, and even Russia. The total lack of South American options is a let-down, though.
Platforms & Devices
A mobile-only VPN, Yoga VPN is available for both Android and iOS so should have you covered whatever your choice of handset.
This does mean that you’ll have to pick up a different VPN if you want to protect the rest of your devices (or your home network at large). In fact, even if you’re looking for a mobile-only VPN, we’d recommend you try a different provider. ExpressVPN is one of the best in the business, with excellent apps for both iOS and Android – and a reputation to match.
Streaming & Torrenting
We were pleasantly surprised to find that Yoga VPN works with BBC iPlayer, the Tier 1 UK server granting us access to the service quickly and painlessly. It also maintained a smooth Full-HD stream with little time spent buffering. We found Netflix to be accessible through the Tier 1 US server sometimes. Torrenting is disallowed throughout the network.
Encryption & Security
We would love to be able to clarify to you exactly what lengths Yoga VPN goes to to protect its users, and the various technologies and protocols it employs, but unfortunately it doesn’t make a single mention of them in any of its materials.
There’s not even a vague promise of security or an allusion to the standards it adheres to. This is one of the most opaque VPNs we’ve ever had the misfortune of reviewing.
The one promise that Yoga VPN makes is in regards to DNS leaks: specifically that it guards against them. Our latest tests confirm this feature to be working, but it’s just one positive in a sea of negatives.
- DNS Leak Blocking
Yoga VPN splits user data into two categories: personal and non-personal. Personal information, such as your real name, date of birth and contact details will never be stored or shared.
‘Non-personal’ information, on the other hand, is fair game. And the sheer amount of information covered by that umbrella term is terrifying. Not only will it perform a full autopsy on your smartphone, taking what it likes, it will also collect what is simply referred to as ‘logs’. That one, vague statement should be enough to turn you away from this VPN for good. If that weren’t enough, it will willingly hand over your data to any ‘legal requirement or enforceable governmental request’ should it be asked, too.
Fortunately, we conducted some research into its origins ourselves and discovered that it’s based in Hong Kong, with strong links to mainland China – possibly the last country on Earth you’d want your VPN to be located in. Combine that with the sheer amount of data it scrapes and you should be running in the opposite direction as fast as possible.
For a trustworthy free VPN that will help you elude Chinese censorship, not sell you out to its instigators, we recommend Hide.me.
Ease of Use
You can’t go too far wrong when setting up and using Yoga VPN. Like so many mobile-only VPNs it only has a handful of options for you to interact with. Just open the app, navigate to the ‘VPN’ screen, then tap the giant ‘Go’ button to connect.
There’s a ‘Switch Region’ button underneath it that allows you to select your server and, if you’re on Android, a ‘Proxy Setting’ button next to that which allows you to choose which apps are covered by the VPN and which aren’t.
The ‘Points’ tab is where things get a little confusing, as its this virtual currency that dictates which servers you can use and for how long. Under this tab are a number of ways to gain coins quicker than your regularly scheduled allotment, including watching an advertisement or inviting friends.
You can find Yoga VPN on the Google Play or iOS App Stores. Once downloaded you just open the app, agree to let the VPN protect your internet connection (plus a variety of other intrusive permissions) and you’re set.
The cherry on top of one thoroughly unappealing VPN cake, the customer support for Yoga VPN is useless to the point that we question its existence. Your only means of contact is a Gmail support address: when we tried to use it we didn’t get a response.
The Bottom Line
- Easy to use
- Surprisingly robust list of locations
- Quick to connect
- No idea how it protects your privacy
- Keeps full usage logs
- Based in China
- No support
- Slow downloads with no P2P allowed
What starts off as a fairly promising VPN on the surface thanks to quick, easy connections and a varied server list quickly deteriorates into one of the most unseemly VPNs we’ve come across.
It is 100% not to be trusted, and under no circumstances can we recommend it. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it may well be worse than having no VPN at all – it will store your data, potentially funnel it through a pyramid of shady Chinese organizations, and then hand it over to any authority that comes knocking for it.