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SuperVPN Free VPN Client review

100 million plus Android users can't be wrong. Can they?

New Hero
(Image: © SuperSoftTech)

Our Verdict

SuperVPN is fast and free, but we think trust is more important, and this app raises so many red flags that it's impossible to recommend for even the simplest of tasks.

For

  • Unlimited bandwidth for free
  • No registration required
  • Easy to use

Against

  • Anonymous developer
  • Worthless privacy policy
  • Needs sensitive permissions
  • Ads

SuperVPN Free VPN Client is a hugely popular free VPN app for Android. Its Google Play page reports more than 100 million installs, and as we write it has a 4.6 rating from approaching a million users.

You can install and use the app for free, and there are no restrictions for the first 20 days (although you will see lots of ads). After that, VPN sessions are automatically disconnected after 60 minutes. You can start a new session with a tap.

Locations

SuperVPN's free service limits you to eight different locations (Image credit: SuperSoftTech)

The free service limits your locations to France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, UK, Canada and the US. 

A VIP account adds Hong Kong and apparently gets you access to faster servers.

Prices starts at $5 for a single month, falling to $2.86 on the annual plan (which is actually $60 to cover 21 months, as you get nine for free.) That's not bad, but keep in mind that it just covers a single Android device. Surfshark's two-year plan costs $1.99 to cover up to five, and that can include any mix of PCs, Macs, Android and iOS devices.

Privacy

Free VPN apps aren't generally a good choice for privacy as there's usually little data on who runs them, or what they might be doing with your information. Would SuperVPN Free VPN Client be different, we wondered? Ah, no.

The developer is listed as SuperSoftTech, but it doesn't have a website. Its address seems to be on the campus of the National University of Singapore, and the only point of email contact is a Gmail address.

Searching online for that address suggests it belonged to Jinrong Zheng, the developer responsible for LinkVPN and several other apps. A little more searching finds a page about the app, with the goanalyticsapp.gmail.com email, and an address in Beijing.

Privacy Policy

It's obvious that SuperVPN's privacy policy was stolen from another company (Image credit: SuperSoftTech)

There is a privacy policy, but it looks like it's been cobbled together in minutes by someone who isn't a native English speaker, and has just tried to assemble some approximately correct sentences to reassure people.

The author has copied and pasted part of the privacy policy from a legitimate company, for instance, Tutela Technologies, even leaving its name and links in the text. He's tried to tell us all is well - 'We do not monitor your traffic' - but then messed up with the line 'we keep all information on highly secured servers based in United Kingdom and USA.' Oh, it does keep information, then?

Permissions

Like other free VPN apps, SuperVPN asks for access to many sensitive permissions (Image credit: Google)

Taking a closer look at the app, we found SuperVPN Free VPN Client demands some sensitive permissions, including the ability to read your phone status and identity, and read and modify the contents of your storage, as well as carry out regular network tasks (view wifi and network connections, get full network access.)

VirusTotal didn't raise any alerts over the app, but it did highlight some other issues, including multiple URLs relating to Google Analytics, and its Crashlytics crash reporting platform.

None of this is evidence that SuperVPN Free VPN Client is doing anything harmful with your data, but as it's given us precisely no reason to trust it, we'd treat the service with extreme care.

App

The ads displayed by SuperVPN are less intrusive but they still take up almost half the screen (Image credit: SuperSoftTech)

Apps

SuperVPN's lengthy permissions list makes it a little scary to install, but it's our job to take these risks, so we tapped the Install button and the app was ready to go in seconds.

The ads aren't as intrusive as the last time we used the app, where full-screen auto-playing videos would regularly pop up, one after the other. We saw some, but they're more restrained, more as we'd expect from a regular ad-sponsored app: you might open with an embedded text app, maybe a full-screen ad opens when you select some key function, occasionally with a timer, but mostly you're able to dismiss it with a click.

You still have to pay close attention, though, as some of the ads aren't so obvious. We were regularly presented with what looked like a Google Play store page for an app, for instance, and if you're thinking about something else, it would be very easy to click Install.

Look in between the ads and you'll find a very simple VPN client. A Connect button gets you a connection to the nearest location, or a menu enables selecting it manually, and one tap disconnects you when you're done. 

A menu includes a Smart Proxy feature, a simple form of split tunneling which enables choosing which apps use the VPN, and which bypass it and use your regular connection.

There's also a FAQ link which displays a blank page, less-than-helpfully.

Forget about any other options or settings, because there are none; SuperVPN is about simplicity more than features. 

SpeedTest.net

We use a number of different speed tests to gauge the performance of each VPN we review (Image credit: Ookla)

Performance

Our speed tests showed SuperVPN Free VPN client averaging around 20-30Mbps in both the US and UK. That's a fraction of what you should see with a commercial VPN, but it's not bad for a free service, and adequate for streaming, browsing and other simple tasks.

SuperVPN's site unblocking results weren't quite as welcome, with the service failing to get us into BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video or Disney+.

There was one notable success, though, with SuperVPN enabling streaming of US Netflix content from its US location. 

Whatever we might think about its other issues, SuperVPN delivered on our final leak tests. We used IPLeak, Doileak and other sites to analyze our connection, and they couldn't find any giveaway leaks or clues to our real identity.

Final verdict

SuperVPN offers a simple free way to encrypt your internet activities, but its lack of transparency and feeble copy-and-paste privacy policy tell us that this is an app you should not trust. If you don't care about that, well, good luck. If you do, spend the $0.06-$0.20 a day you'll save with SuperVPN to sign up with a real VPN, instead.

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