SPL VPN is getting popular, so I wanted to see if it lives up to the hype. It claims to have strong security features, offers unlimited data, you don’t have to register, and is 100% free. This all sounds great, but is there a catch?
After extensive testing, I cannot recommend SPL VPN because it’s disappointing even for a free VPN. Apart from the lack of settings and features, it isn’t possible to choose a server location. The app randomly selects a server for you every time. SPL VPN’s speeds are also frustratingly slow and its customer service is really poor. They didn’t reply to any of my questions. If you’re looking to save, it’s much better to use a top-tier VPN that’s backed by a money-back guarantee.
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
SPL VPN Features — Updated in January 2023
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Number of devices per license
Based in country
Streaming — Could Only Access Netflix France, but Not Watch Shows2.0
I couldn’t test SPL VPN with popular streaming platforms because it always chose a random server for me. After 20+ attempts at different times and locations, it only connected me to servers in France, which made it almost impossible to access most platforms. My colleague in another country had the same problem, so it wasn’t just me.
Considering I could only connect to French servers, I decided to test SPL VPN with Netflix France. Even though I logged into my account, it didn’t let me watch Netflix France shows like The Chalet or Vampires.
Speeds — Significantly Reduces Speeds2.0
SPL VPN reduced my speeds by more than 90%, which is very poor — even for a free VPN. I could only compare my local non-VPN speeds with SPL VPN’s French servers because of the connection issue I had. My local connection averaged 32.09 Mbps, while the speeds on SPL VPN’s French servers came in at 3.09 Mbps.
Since you need at least 25 Mbps for Ultra HD streaming, I was very disappointed. Loading a basic webpage took over 20 seconds, so SPL VPN even made browsing frustrating. If you want to maintain strong speeds, I recommend you check out this list of the fastest VPNs with money-back guarantees.
Are SPL VPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No0.0
SPL VPN’s servers gave me an average ping rate 600ms+, which made gaming near impossible. The ping rate measures latency and anything below 100ms is considered ideal for gaming. When I tried to play Minecraft on my Android phone, I could barely get the first screen to load after starting gameplay. +
Server Network — Random Connections to French Servers6.0
SPL VPN claims to have over 1,000 servers worldwide. However, a full server list was nowhere to be found on either its website or app. Plus, it’s impossible to test because you’re always assigned a random server. Even when I connected to a server, the app wouldn’t reveal the location, which was super frustrating.
The biggest disappointment was that I could only connect to servers in France after 20+ attempts. I had to go to ipleak.net to reveal my server location each time. My colleague in another country also tried and kept having the same issue. Because of this, I can’t be sure that SPL VPN has 1,000 + servers in its network.
It took me around 5-10 seconds to connect and disconnect to a server each time, which is pretty slow. In addition, I always had to close an annoying pop-up ad during the connection process. There are several free VPNs that don’t have this issue, so I was very disappointed.
Security — Very Basic Security Features7.0
SPL VPN’s website states it will “protect your online traffic”. But, it's not transparent about its security features, so I can’t verify how it protects your traffic. The website mentions it uses the WireGuard protocol and encrypts your data to hide your IP address, but the level of encryption is unknown.
Additionally, you can’t customize your security features because the app has no settings. I decided to test a couple of French servers on ipleak.net to see if there were any IP/DNS leaks. I was surprised that my real IP address was hidden, so SPL VPN at least has some basic security measures in place.
Privacy — No-Logs Policy That Collects Minimal Information9.0
SPL VPN takes privacy seriously
However, the policy states that the VPN will collect 4 types of information, which are personal information, app usage, connection statistics, and anonymous app diagnostics. SPL VPN claims to collect this data to improve the quality of its service, which is common practice for most VPNs.
SPL VPN only collects data that can’t be used to uniquely identify you. Even though its no-logs policy hasn’t been independently audited, I feel that I can trust SPL VPN with my data. However, I couldn’t understand why SPL VPN says it collects personal information like your name and email address when you don’t need to enter these details in the first place. If you want to be extra careful, the VPNs in this list have proven privacy policies that are more clear.
Torrenting — Not a Good Choice for P2P0.0
SPL VPN doesn’t mention torrenting on its website and has no P2P settings or servers on its app. I tried to ask SPL VPN about torrenting and got no response, so I can’t verify if it’s an option. During my tests, it was too slow to make a connection, so it would be unusable for P2P either way. This list will show you the top VPNs for torrenting.
Does SPL VPN Work in China? No
We can assume that SPL VPN doesn’t work in China because it lacks obfuscation settings. Plus, there’s nothing on the SPL VPN website about China. Most VPNs that work in China have obfuscation servers or settings that let you bypass the Great Firewall; SPL VPN has neither. Once again, I didn’t get a reply when I asked SPL VPN about it. So, I can’t confirm, but it’s very unlikely it works in China.
Simultaneous Device Connections — 1
You can only connect 1 device at a time with SPL VPN since it is an Android-only app that doesn’t require an account. If you have 2 or more Android devices, you’ll need to download SPL VPN separately on each one. I’d usually consider this a big drawback, but SPL VPN is an Android-exclusive free VPN, so it’s not a major issue.
Installation & Apps
Device Compatibility — Android Only
SPL VPN is only available on Android. It’s not compatible with any other operating systems — including Windows. This disappoints me because most VPNs are compatible with many platforms.
The Android app is very basic; it only offers a home screen. This screen lets you connect and disconnect to a server. There is a WhatsApp icon on the top right that lets you send messages through that service. There are no additional features or settings, so you can’t customize your connection at all.
I was annoyed by the banner ad at the bottom of the screen
But, the biggest disappointment was that the app was full of ads. There’s always 1 banner ad, and you have to close a pop-up ad every time you connect or disconnect. There are several free VPNs without intrusive ads, so this really hurts SPL VPN for me.
Setup & Installation — Takes Less Than 20 Seconds
I managed to download and install the SPL VPN app on my Android phone in a little under 20 seconds. All I had to do was find the app on Google Play, click the “Install” button, and open the app. The process was especially quick because I didn't need to create an account and enter my personal details. It doesn’t get much better than that, so this is one area where SPL VPN excels.
Reliability & Support
SPL VPN’s customer service is very disappointing; I could never get a response. You can ask questions by sending SPL VPN an email or submitting an online form. When I submitted a ticket, it said my request should have been processed in a few hours. It also stated it would take no longer than 2 business days. However, I didn’t get any reply after 15 days. Out of all the ways SPL VPN let me down, this was the biggest.
I sent another email asking the same questions. After 7 days, I still haven’t got a reply. Additionally, there is a short FAQ, but its answers are very brief. There are only 10 questions in total.