|Website||Google Play Store|
Lion VPN, not to be confused with LionVPN, is a mobile-only free VPN product developed by Goattech Studio. Obviously, the difference in the two names can cause some confusion. While you can still run it on Windows if you are willing to use an emulator like Bluestacks, it does not natively support it. The VPN should work just fine on your iOS or Android device.
The Google Play Store lists Lion VPN in the “teen” category, and once you take a look, you will see why. That said, we’ll give them credit for trying to get a younger crowd interested in privacy. However, we generally find “free” VPNs to have issues. VPNs are expensive to run, so if a company says they offer a free service, you should be wary. There is a very distinctive video game feel to the app. Lion VPN has more than 5 million downloads and a user rating on Google Play of 4.5 stars with 28k reviews. In our review, we’ll see what the app has to offer. We’ll also compare it with well-known providers in the community to see how it performs.
How Much Does Lion VPN Cost?
As we mentioned, Lion VPN is free. However, there are premium servers. You access them by doing things in the app. To get “1 VIP connection” is 100 coins. 3 VPN connections will take 280 coins. The last option is 5 VIP connections for 450 coins. Let’s talk about how you earn these coins. As you can see in the image, you can get coins by logging in, spinning the wheel, inviting friends, or watching a video. We would a reasonable payment method to use their product rather than jump through all the hoops to gain coins.
About Lion VPN
Where Does Lion VPN have Servers?
The Lion VPN network is small. Although they have a number of servers in the US, they only support 10 different countries. Here is the list. Keep in mind that Lion VPN offers their “VIP connection” for every server location. For the purpose of our tests, we will use the non VIP version since we don’t have time to earn coins through their gamification system.
- Australia – Sydney
- India – Bangalore
- Canada – Montreal
- France – Strasbourg
- Netherlands – Amsterdam
- Japan – Tokyo
- UK – London
- Germany – Frankfurt
- US – Atlanta, Ashburn, Santa Clara, Fremont, Dallas, New York.
Lion VPN App and Usage
As far as features go, Lion VPN does not offer much of anything. While you can choose which apps you want to use the VPN with, there is no option to change protocols or anything else. Additionally, connecting to servers takes a few moments. Once you decide what server you want to use, click the button. You have the option of boosting the connection speed if you decide to watch a full video ad. We also noticed that some of the ads have no X bubble. Though Google does not like that, they still have it. If you encounter that issue, you can try tapping the back button on the screen’s bottom right side. It is the one that looks like a less than symbol. The only other option is to close out of the app and reopen it.
Does Lion VPN Leak?
The Lion VPN app does not appear to leak. In the image below, we did not see evidence of the service exposing our IP address. Even though the test below shows potential leaks, those requests are from Google, which is considered by many to be a secure DNS.
How is Performance?
Not surprisingly, speeds for the non VIP version are not great. We have a baseline speed of approximately 452 Mbps when we checked a speed test server located in New York City. To test this correctly, we used the same server while connected to Lion VPN. As you can see, we only got a download speed of 12.7 Mbps. That is roughly a 97.1% speed loss. 12.7 Mbps is still ok in some streaming instances, but if your connection is on the slower side, that could cause some problems.
Additionally, we tested several servers in other locations. Our results were:
- Atlanta – 6.91 Mbps – 99.5% speed loss
- Tokyo – 11.9 Mbps – 98.4% speed loss
- London – 13.0 Mbps – 98.2% speed loss
Again, we were unable to determine what protocol Lion VPN uses. Though they have several servers in each location, speed is an issue on the non VIP servers. Even with our fast cable Internet connection, we would not be able to stream some content using this VPN.
Does Lion VPN Unblock Streaming Services? – Netflix and BBC iPlayer Tests
The results of this test surprised us. We expected Lion VPN to fail both tests. Though Netflix failed, we actually got BBC iPlayer to play a show. Since we are not in the UK, that would not have happened otherwise. For the Netflix test, we were connected to a server in Canada. We looked up a Canadian exclusive show, and were not able to find that show listed. That means the Netflix test failed.
Customer service is always important if you have questions. Unfortunately, we were not able to find any customer support at all. The closest thing we found was an email address at the bottom of the Google Play Store page. We are not sure if that will provide support, but that is the only option users appear to have to get in touch with the Lion VPN team.
Lion VPN scores poorly in nearly all of the factors we look for in a provider. That said, it does have a few redeeming factors. Now, we’ll take a look at those factors and talk about some areas in which the VPN could be improved.
- Free VPN access if you’re willing to watch ads and take other actions
- Is able to unblock BBC iPlayer when connected to UK servers
- DNS did not leak (only showed Google DNS servers)
- Allows you to select which apps pass through the VPN tunnel
- Increase the number of server locations and speeds of servers
- Create native apps for Windows and Mac users
- Provide the location of the company to help users with jurisdiction
- Decrease server connection speed time
- Fix Netflix streaming issues
- Improve customer service