Making use of a VPN almost always cuts your internet speeds, which is no real surprise given the overheads of all that encryption.
Speedify aims to fight against this issue by spreading your internet traffic across any available internet connections: Ethernet, a tethered mobile, Wi-Fi and more. If one connection type is slow, Speedify will seamlessly move some of your traffic to another, maximising your bandwidth. All this happens in the background, entirely transparent to your applications, which should carry on working just as they always did (except faster, hopefully).
You don't need multiple connections to use the service, it works just fine with one – although obviously in this case, you won't get the same channel bonding advantages. However, the company still claims its other connection technologies could help improve speeds.
- Want to try Speedify? Check out the website here
Speedify provides clients for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. This keeps setup relatively easy, and ratings of around four stars on both app stores suggest the apps are doing something right.
The company sells itself more on performance than the VPN side, and doesn't highlight the number of servers it has, or where they're located. But there is a list to be found if you hunt for it, and the service boasts over 30 servers in more than 20 countries across America, Europe and Asia (Australia and Brazil are a bonus).
Speedify's commercial plans are reasonably priced at around $9 (£7) for a single month, dropping to an effective $4.17 (£3.20) per month on the annual plan.
The service also has a free plan which offers 4GB of data for the first month, then a monthly 1GB. That won't last for long, but it's more than you'll get with many providers, and enough to tell whether Speedify will work for you. If your requirements are simple – getting a safer way to check for emails on insecure hotel Wi-Fi, say – you might not need anything else at all.
- Here are the best free VPN services and links to download them
"TL;DR: We DO NOT log what you do or what sites you visit through the Speedify service."
Nicely done. If only every VPN provider was so keen on clear communications.
The good news carries on as you read. The company doesn't log the IP addresses you access through the service, or the data you send and receive. Session logging is limited to connection time, bandwidth used and session length. Registration isn't required to use the service, so if you're on the free plan you don't have to worry about this at all.
Where there are issues, Speedify explains them in detail, and what you can do. For example, the clients use an error reporting service which may send your IP address along with other error details. This is on by default, but at least the company tells you about it, and provides a client option to turn it off.
Signing up for Speedify is simple and hassle-free, especially if you're sampling the free plan. We downloaded the Windows client, ran the installer, and it set itself up fully in a matter of seconds. An opening screen offered a ‘1GB Free’ button. We clicked this, the program automatically connected to a local UK server, and we were online – there was nothing else to do.
The client does its best to keep UI clutter to a minimum, which leaves it looking and feeling more like an app than a full desktop program. Our initial server list started with only two locations, UK and Belgium, with others available via a ‘More...’ link. Not all of these support P2P, so a separate ‘Connect to P2P server’ option is available for torrents.
There are a very small number of settings. Most are basic on/off switches (Connect at Startup, Encrypted), but there is a more interesting Redundant Mode which sends all traffic across all available connections to improve reliability. This will hugely increase your data usage and means you won't benefit from any channel bonding speedups, but it you're after ultra-reliability it might be worth the trade-off.
Speedify's most important options cover its rules for connection handling. By default the system uses Wi-Fi whenever it's available, for example, but you can tell it to use other connection types first, or only to use Wi-Fi when other connections are unavailable, or even disable Wi-Fi support altogether – it's your call.
Privacy protection seemed reliable, whatever we did. Choosing a new server always switched our IP to that location, and there were no DNS or WebRTC leaks to give away our true identity.
In our tests*, performance on a single connection was very acceptable, with Speedify typically giving us up to 30Mbps download speeds on UK connections, around 20Mbps for the nearest US servers. We saw no huge improvement from channel bonding with a tethered mobile – maybe a 10% speed increase on average – but that's still very welcome, and you may see even better results.
Speedify's channel bonding didn't make a huge speed difference to us, but if your VPN needs are simple and speed is a priority, give it a try anyway. If nothing else, the 1GB per month free plan could be handy for occasional use.
*Our testing included evaluating general performance (browsing, streaming video). We also used speedtest.net to measure latency, upload and download speeds, and then tested immediately again with the VPN turned off, to check for any difference (over several rounds of testing). We then compared these results to other VPN services we've reviewed. Of course, do note that VPN performance is difficult to measure as there are so many variables.