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SymlexVPN Review 2022 — Keep This in Mind Before Buying
SymlexVPN claims to have recently overhauled its app for iOS users, fixing existing bugs and improving the overall user experience. I wanted to test to see if the improvements had made it a VPN worth using, and find out whether it lives up to its claims.
The answer is: yes and no. SymlexVPN has made improvements to its service, including better connectivity and improved security features. However, I found there were inconsistencies between its website claims and my user experience, and it isn’t as transparent as I like it to be.
I couldn’t unblock any streaming platforms with SymlexVPN, which is a major letdown. Since it provides fast speeds, it could have been a great option for watching international TV. While some identified the VPN and blocked my access, others couldn’t see that my location was changed at all.
I tried to access Disney+ using servers in my home country and, for testing purposes, a US server, but I could not manage to get past its blocks. All I got was a black screen and I couldn’t even access the login screen.
HBO Max couldn’t see that my location was changed, so it blocked my access.
SymlexVPN couldn’t bypass HBO Max’s geoblocks
Amazon Prime noticed that I was using a VPN and blocked my access, while Hulu didn’t even allow me to log in.
When I tried to access Netflix, I couldn’t see the “Top 10” reel, meaning that the VPN managed to hide my location, but couldn’t assign me a new one.
Switching to a UK server, I tried accessing BBC iPlayer. However, it didn’t allow me to stream anything, as it couldn’t see my location was changed.
I was blocked by BBC iPlayer while connected to SymlexVPN
Speeds — Impressive, but Only on Long-Distance Servers
Symlex gave me good speeds when I tested long-distance servers. I had more than enough to stream in HD, and found that my general speed sometimes increased, meaning that I wasn’t throttled.
I had fast speeds while connected to SymlexVPN’s servers
I started off with a base speed of 64.2 Mbps download, 27.5 Mbps upload, and a ping of 3ms. The first server I tested was in the UK, where my download speed reached 67.8 Mbs — a 5% increase, upload 22.6 Mbps, and ping stood at 49 ms. This is a great result and I couldn’t even tell I was connected to a VPN.
On the US server, my speed dropped by under 1%, down to 63.7 Mbps, while upload took a bigger hit — 9.12 Mbps, which is a 66% decrease. While the upload dropped considerably, I could still engage in any of my usual online activities without interruptions.
The last server I tested was a local one, where I experienced a 50% drop in download and a 65% decrease in upload. This is a little counterintuitive, as local servers usually provide the best speeds because the data doesn’t have to travel too much. This makes me wonder if SymlexVPN’s servers are virtual.
67.8 Mbps (5% increase)
22.6 Mbps (17% decrease)
63.7 Mbps (1% decrease)
9.12 Mbps (66% decrease)
31.9 Mbps (50% decrease)
9.73 Mbps (65% decrease)
It’s normal for your speeds to slow down a little when you use a VPN, since your data has to travel to the server location and go through the encryption process. However, it shouldn’t slow you down by more than 20%. This means that SymlexVPN is on the right track here.
SymlexVPN has a very small network of servers, spanning just 60 countries — making it one of the smallest VPNs I’ve tested. A small bank of servers means overcrowding is likely, leading to congestion and slow connection speeds.
That said, I didn’t have too many issues with connectivity during my testing process. One of its US servers repeatedly connected and disconnected, which was frustrating and made me nervous about its security protocols. However, many of its servers across Europe and Asia connected quickly and I didn’t experience any drops.
The server network is small, but in most of my tests I found it to be reliable. I’d still recommend choosing a provider with a larger network of servers to avoid issues with overcrowding in future.
Security — Vague Features
SymlexVPN has good security features, but they’re not clearly explained.
here’s no information regarding the encryption level and protocols on the website. Instead, you get vague explanations assuring you that your data is safe. I wanted to know if there was a kill-switch or other protective features in use, so I contacted the customer support team to ask. They emailed me back and confirmed that SymlexVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption with DTLS support, and has a kill switch function in both the Android and iOS app. I was happy to hear this, but found it unusual that this isn’t specifically stated on the website.
Its protocols are strong, using reputable tunneling such as HTTPS, SSH, DNS, Wireguard, OpenVPN, OneConnect, and AnyConnect.
I ran a couple of IP and DNS leaks tests to see if SymlexVPN can successfully hide my personal data, and I had great results.
I didn’t identify any IP and DNS leaks on SymlexVPN’s servers
IP and DNS leaks can expose your IP address and browsing data to the websites you visit and your ISP (internet service provider). Therefore, I can say that SymlexVPN did a very good job at hiding my location, identity, and traffic.
Privacy — No-Logs Policy and Outside of the 5-Eyes Alliance
Symlex is clear about its no-logs policy, assuring users that it doesn’t collect any data. It states it will only take the minimum personal details from its subscribers, such as email addresses and payment details, but also encourages the use of Bitcoin if you wish to remain as anonymous as possible.
Your data won’t be completely protected with SymlexVPN
Simultaneous Device Connections — Up to 5
You get 5 simultaneous device connections with this VPN when you sign up to any of its plans. However, as it is still a mobile-only app, I didn’t see as much benefit having multiple device connections in my household.
Device Compatibility — Limited
SymlexVPN is only compatible with Android, iOS and Windows devices.
I was a little confused about its compatibility as the website contradicts itself. On it’s home screen and in the FAQs it states that it is strictly mobile only, catering to Android and iOS devices. However, it does have an app page that appears to give the option to download for Mac, Windows, and Linux. I tried to download the macOS apps, but it didn’t work for me.
When I messaged support, I was told that the macOS app is not released yet, so I was left with the mobile one. While it’s not a bad thing for a VPN to be mobile-only, I was disappointed when I couldn’t access the macOS download page at all.
You’ll only be able to use SimlexVPN on mobile devices and Windows
You can easily download the app to your mobile via the Google Play or App store, but be warned that there is some smallprint regarding its refund policy if you purchase your subscription from the App Store.
Torrenting — Supports P2P File Sharing and Torrents
You can torrent with SymlexVPN and it fully supports P2P file sharing. I would recommend running anti-virus if you do choose to use this VPN to torrent, as it does not provide malware protection or pop-up blocking.
It does boast a kill switch, so in the event that the VPN fails you will be disconnected from the internet immediately, keeping you safe from data privacy issues.
Does SymlexVPN Work in China?
SymlexVPN’s support team told me that the VPN works in China. However, you need to install the app before you arrive, or download the APK and install it once you’re in China.
You can use SymlexVPN in China
Installation & Apps
Set-Up & Installation — Easy-to-Use Apps
After you buy your subscription, you can use the credentials to log in the app and connect to any of its servers. There is a “change location” button which you can use to switch the location. While it doesn’t offer a smart connect feature that automatically finds the optimal server, you can add the ones that performed best for you in the favorites list.
When you find the location you need, click on the big button in the middle and wait a couple of seconds for the connection to establish.
In the settings menu, you can activate the kill switch and notifications that will inform and protect you if the connection fails.
You’ll easily find any settings you need in SymlexVPN’s apps
Overall, SymlexVPN’s apps are intuitive and you shouldn’t have any problems setting them up.
SymlexVPN accepts AmEx, Mastercard, and Visa credit card payments, but it does not have an option to pay by PayPal in my country. However, if you want to use mobile banking payments, including Bitcoin transfer, it does accept bKash and DBBL’s Rocket payment.
I was interested in its refund policy — if you don’t like the VPN, you can request a refund within 72 hours. This is a lot less than other VPNs offer, but you can get an idea of how the service works in these 3 days. All other refunds will be “considered, at the sole discretion of the company.”
Additionally, if you purchase the VPN through the App store you are excluded from the 72-hour free trial and money-back guarantee and would need to make any refund requests via the App store itself.
Reliability & Support
SymlexVPN’s support is slow and the options are limited. You can contact it through WhatsApp, send an email, or read through the FAQs.
Due to the website’s vague description of its security features, I wanted to find out exactly which encryption SymlexVPN uses. I emailed customer support to ask about the type of encryption and whether it has a kill switch, and was pleased to have an answer to my question just after 12 hours.
I had a harder time getting an answer when I asked if its VPN worked in China. I waited for a week with no response. But, once I sent a second email, I had an answer within 2 days.
If you have an urgent query about the VPN not working, you may not get answers quickly
Unlike other providers, it doesn’t offer 24/7 chat support, so if you have an emergency with your VPN you may have to wait a while before you get the answers you need via email.
Although SymlexVPN’s 24-month plan works out pretty cheap, it is a big commitment for a VPN with a small server network and evident connectivity issues. If you want to try it out in the short term, the cost is premium, and the money-back guarantee if it doesn’t work is not guaranteed.
Yes, it is likely to slow your speeds down. Strangely, I had huge speed drops when I tested its local servers. But when I tested servers that were farthest from my location, my speeds increased significantly. This was an unusual outcome, as it is usually local servers that give you the best speeds.