Symlex VPN review

A so-so performer with some very low prices

Symlex VPN
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

Symlex VPN didn’t leave much of an impression on us. It has very basic apps, poor speeds, and limited features that just might be enough for a very modest user who still wants to be able to watch some US-only Netflix content. But all things considered, Symlex VPN does have a lot of potential if it addresses its shortcomings.

Pros

  • +

    Very affordable

  • +

    Unblocks US Netflix

  • +

    Supports torrenting

  • +

    Excellent customer support

  • +

    Multiple contact options

Cons

  • -

    Poor speeds

  • -

    Limited options and features

  • -

    Doesn’t accept PayPal

  • -

    Doesn’t unblock BBC iPlayer

  • -

    Inconsistency in information

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Symlex VPN is a simple VPN (opens in new tab) platform whose features and capabilities we put to the test so potential customers would know what they’re getting themselves into if they decide to pay for its services. Here’s what we discovered. 

Price 

Symlex VPN is cheap - period. If you’re willing to trust the provider for two whole years, you can get it for only $1.44/month. Even the monthly plan, which typically ranges between $10 and $12 per month is exceptionally cheap - only $4.50.

Payment options include credit cards and mobile payments, but sadly no PayPal.

The provider doesn’t have a free trial but its website does list a 72-hour money-back guarantee. That said, the Refund Policy (opens in new tab) we found on the website states that this period is actually 7 days, so we asked the provider for clarification - and it’s actually an entire week - still shorter than many but better than just 3 days.

With a Premium subscription, you can use the VPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously. Do note that the more devices you have connected, the lower the speeds.

Symlex VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives 

Symlex VPN is far cry from the industry’s best performers: ExpressVPN (opens in new tab), NordVPN (opens in new tab), Surfshark (opens in new tab), or CyberGhost (opens in new tab) - just to name a few. While all of them are typically more expensive, they all offer much, much more. Their features include support for a wide range of devices (including routers), BBC iPlayer unblocking capabilities, superior speeds, plenty of options, and, most importantly, have been audited by third parties which confirmed their platforms don’t keep logs and have advanced privacy and security. 

Streaming 

In terms of unlocking popular streaming content otherwise unavailable in your current location, Smylex had mixed success. It wouldn’t unlock BBC iPlayer despite being connected to a server in the UK, but we got access to the entire American-exclusive library on Netflix when connected to a US server. Sadly, the VPN cuts off a lot of the basic speed so the quality may be questionable for slower connections.

About the company

Symlex’s website is very awkward to get around, but we managed to find some of the information we were looking for. During the checkout process, we were shown the amount in Bangladeshi currency and the VPN is owned by the company called Kolpolok with headquarters in Bangladesh. That said, the Android app’s page on Google Play states the location of the developer as South Africa. When asked for clarification, customer support told us the VPN was registered in both countries. According to the website, Symlex has 100+ servers in 22+ countries (40+ locations).

Symlex VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Privacy and encryption

The mobile apps have a kill switch (off by default), which cuts off the internet access if the VPN connection is compromised. There’s also the split tunneling option which disables the VPN for selected apps.

We were told by customer support that torrenting and P2P traffic are supported on specific servers.

Symlex VPN uses the strong AES-256/128 bit encryption, along with OpenConnect SSL VPN, HTTP, OpenVPN, and SSH protocols.

The provider’s Privacy Policy (opens in new tab) lists that it doesn’t collect or log browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries when connected to its VPN servers. It does collect information related to which apps and app versions you have activated for the sake of potential troubleshooting.

However, we have no way of confirming any of this before an outside auditor examines the platform and issues a public report on its findings.

Support

Although the provider’s FAQ section claims it only supports iOS and Android, we downloaded the Windows app from the website, which was exceptionally modest, with absolutely no features or settings other than choosing a location to connect to. However, the Android app was slightly better, with two very important options - split tunneling and a kill switch.

At the moment of writing, the Symlex iOS app (opens in new tab) had only one rating on the App Store - 4 stars out of 5. Its version history shows the app is regularly updated. The Android app, on the other hand, has been rated by 2,595 users, and its rating was lower than the iOS app’s - 3.5 stars. At the moment of writing, the app had been installed over 100,00 times and was last updated one month before this review was written.

A refreshing change was the list of emails and contact phone numbers for customer support, sales, and billing, listed right there on the website. We tested the email route and got a response in a couple of hours.

The provider has plenty of options for contacting its customer support, including WhatsApp phone numbers, email, social media channels, and Messenger-based chat on the website. Information is also available on the website - in the form of an FAQ section (opens in new tab) and blog. 

Symlex VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Speed and experience

The Windows and Android apps were very simple and modest, which also made them straightforward enough to navigate without problems. That said, the app showed our account status as “Free” even though we paid for the monthly plan fair and square.

On an 82.80Mbps testing connection, we connected to a server in Bulgaria, which is rather close to our own physical location in Europe, but the speeds were disappointing - only 7.27Mbps. For the UK, the situation was slightly better - 10Mbps. The US server delivered a pathetic 4.04Mbps. Each time, the VPN would connect in a couple of seconds, maximum.

Verdict

Symlex has its good sides - it’s tremendously cheap, unblocks US content on Netflix, supports torrenting, and its super-friendly customer support is available on multiple fronts. However, that’s as far as its positives go.

In terms of negatives, it’s very slow, has only basic apps and only for Windows, iOS, and Android, doesn’t unblock BBC iPlayer, doesn’t accept PayPal for payment, and its money-back policy is very short. Also, the information differs in several places on the website. 

If you’re looking for something better and don’t mind paying for it, then we suggest checking out one of the top VPN providers such as ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.