Founded in 2011, DroidVPN is a small and simple VPN for Android and – theoretically – Windows.
The article below explains how to use Droid VPN. The service website says almost nothing about the capabilities of DroidVPN and, apparently, has not been updated for several months. For example, the last highlighted blog post was almost two years old. The app’s “Release Log” link was broken, and there were only the words “Promotional Links” in one blank column of the website. If a company can’t maintain its own website, can you trust them with your privacy?
We needed to find the path to the server status page in order to find out the location of DroidVPN. There were 28 in total, including 8 free, then 7 in the US, 5 in the Netherlands, 4 in the UK, and more in France, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. P2P is supported on Netherlands servers but is blocked everywhere.
It was already a very small network, but it’s getting worse: 7 servers have been marked as offline.
- Want to try DroidVPN? Check site here
Want to know about protocol support? We were too. Moving on to an old blog post, it turns out that DroidVPN uses its own proprietary VPN protocol. Unfortunately, there is no information about how it works or what level of protection it gives you.
We found a few (mostly disappointing) details. For example, you can connect only one device to the service at a time. Other VPNs usually allow up to five.
The service offers a free data plan, but it limits you to locations in the US and the Netherlands and only allows you to transfer 200MB of data per day by default. Luckily, there are ways to extend this. You can activate an extra 100MB from your control panel and increase your bandwidth by watching videos or completing offers (install and play a game, make an in-app purchase, etc.).
Upgrading to a paid Premium service gives you unlimited bandwidth and access to all servers. The monthly plan costs $4.99, and paying for the year brings the price down to $2.99. That’s a lot for a service with almost no features, and if you’re willing to pay for a two- or three-year subscription, you can subscribe to great providers like CyberGhost and NordVPN for less than $3 a month.
Cash transfer can be a problem as the card is not available. But Bitcoin support will appeal to many, while PayPal and Perfect Money are available to everyone else.
The content isn’t as good, as the company claims it logs “IP addresses, connection time to our service, total amount of data transferred, and transfer speed information.”
DroidVPN goes on to say that if you violate its terms and service, “we will use these trace logs to determine which account is violating. After a lengthy analysis of this data, we will terminate the service and/or take further action.” action “.
While most privacy-conscious VPN providers say that internet action cannot be connected to a specific account, DroidVPN says that it has enough registration to make this possible, at least in some situations. It doesn’t matter for simple tasks, but it’s bad news if you’re looking for true anonymity.
DroidVPN’s Windows client is quite simple and completely text-based (Image credit: DroidVPN)
The DroidVPN Windows client comes as a tiny 1.2MB ZIP file with no installation, which is a very unusual touch that can let you run it from a USB stick on any PC you’re comfortable with.
It looked interesting until we fired up the client and saw how basic it was. The messy interface uses up most of the screen real estate with a high-tech connection log. Places are displayed in a simple text menu. There is no security switch to protect you in the event of a connection drop, and you don’t get any control over DNS options and settings.
The client at least looked easy enough to use: select the server, enter the username and password you created earlier, and hit start. This worked sometimes too, but the client regularly didn’t go through the connection process, and we found that the free version often warned that its servers were full.
Looking for more information, we clicked “Support” in the menu to get a less helpful message that “the feature is currently unavailable.” To make matters worse, the client has been displaying this error for at least 16 months, which is further evidence that DroidVPN is not making much effort to improve or even maintain its service, at least on the Windows side.
The Android app looks much more user-friendly, without the previous low-level details. Clicking on the start button gave us a hint for our username and location, and by default, another click should have connected us. But this is where we ran into connection issues again: sometimes DroidVPN worked, sometimes it didn’t, and the app was frustrating to use.
The highlight of the app is the set of geek-level settings available on the settings page. You can set local and remote ports, define HTTP headers sent (if any) with TCP connections, set MTU size, configure a proxy, and even load and apply settings from an existing file (ECF/DCF).
There are other thoughtful touches that everyone can appreciate. In particular, the application can prevent your CPU or wireless network from sleeping to reduce the chance of the VPN being disconnected. These options reduce battery life, but you can turn them off and it’s good to know they’re available if you need them.
We test the performance of every VPN we test using OpenSpeedTest (Image credit: OpenSpeedTest)
Our performance tests showed good results. The free service averaged 10-14 Mbps, which is enough for simple tasks. The commercial service reached 30Mbps for UK-UK connections, reached 20-24Mbps with US servers, and even the Singapore server peaked at around 18Mbps.
DroidVPN has shown limited site unblocking powers, with the service allowing us to access US-only YouTube and BBC iPlayer, but not allowing us to log into US Netflix.
The review ended on a more positive note, with our latest privacy tests showing that DroidVPN allocates IP addresses in requested locations, correctly blocks DNS leaks, and protects our online activity from potential intruders.
DroidVPN’s useless website, poorly designed Windows app, and frequent connection issues make the company look like an amateur, completely outflanked by a lot of competition. Don’t waste your time, you’ll be better off anywhere.