Snap VPN is one of 3 VPN products owned by Autumn Breeze PTE. Limited. The others are VPN Robot and Hot VPN. While the company makes it available for Android only, you can use it for Windows/Mac if you use an emulator like BlueStacks. That means it does not have separate software beyond the mobile version. Using BlueStacks, or any other emulator can be trying because they did not design the software to work natively for Windows. The Google Play Store shows it has more than 10 million downloads with a 4.5-star rating. Snap VPN lists itself as an “unlimited free & super fast VPN proxy”. However, thy also offer a premium version. They state that it gives you access to a 10x faster connection, more servers, and the ability to use the service without ads.
As with anything free, there is always a cost. Most often in the VPN community, that cost is your privacy, data, and important information. A common expression is “If something is free, you are the product”. We find that rule to be true in the community, but there are a few exceptions. In this Snap VPN review, we will take a look at the good and bad points of the service. Those include the security, speed, and ability to unblock popular streaming services. We decided to use the premium version.
Pricing and Payment Options
As we mentioned, Snap VPN is free, but they have a premium plan as well. If you look at the image below, you see the prices. For one month of the service, the price is $11.99. If you go with six months, the cost is $23.99. The best price is the 12-month plan. You can get a year of the service for $36.99. Unlike many of the competitors, you only have the option to pay via Google Pay. Unfortunately, there is no way to pay for the service with any alternatives.
About the Company and Jurisdiction
The parent company, Autumn Breeze PTE. Limited registered the company in Singapore. Registration documents show the creators incorporated the company on the 18th of April in 2018. Interestingly, they categorize the company as a data analytics, processing, and related activities venture. That concerns us because it makes it appear that the company’s primary motive may be to gather data.
Servers and Locations
As far as servers go, the selection for Snap VPN is extremely limited. The free version offers 8 locations. However, the premium version offers 16 locations. Of course, you can expect the premium servers to be faster. Here are the server locations they offer:
- USA (San Francisco)
- United Kingdom
- USA (New York)
- Germany (Premium)
- United Kingdom (Premium)
- Singapore (Premium)
- United States (Premium)
- Netherlands (Premium)
- Canada (Premium)
- India (Premium)
- United States (Premium)
Snap VPN Features
There are only a few options in the features section of the Snap VPN app. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
- Protocol Choices – This option allows you to choose between the OpenVPN and IPSec protocols. Though they only offer two different choices, community leaders consider OpenVPN to be the gold standard.
- Split Tunneling – By using this feature, you can choose the apps you want to protect. You can specifically include or exclude apps if you want to.
- Background Connection – This feature allows you to stay connected in the background. When you use this one, you can set it to not disconnect if your screen goes into battery saver mode.
DNS Leak Test
The DNS leak test is one of the procedures we use to test VPNs. Since one of the primary reasons to use a VPN is to protect your privacy, DNS leakage is an issue. In this case, we tested a server in New York. In the image to the right, you can see there were several questionable leaks. Even though it did not reveal our IP address, it still shows that leaks can be an issue. In this case it appears that Snap VPN is using Google DNS servers. You can decide whether or not you are comfortable with that.
Snap VPN Speed Test
Speed tests are important as well when analyzing VPNs. We tested a server in New York on a Samsung Galaxy S10+. Although our speeds are still fast, that is a 62% drop in download performance. That is on the “premium” servers that are supposed to be fastest. For those on the free version, you can expect speeds below 17 Mbps. Depending on server traffic, the results could vary. However, that is still a decent speed. If you are not on a high-speed connection, a 62% drop with the premium version could be significant.
Netflix and BBC Test
Lastly, we come to the tests of Netflix and BBC. Both streaming sites are popular and do their best to block VPN services. In the image below, you can see 3 separate sections. On the left, you see that Snap VPN was unable to access BBC iPlayer. On the right side, you can see it shows the UK version of Netflix. However, we were not able to find UK-specific content. While it still played, it likely used the US version on our Android device. That means it failed to get around the BBC iPlayer and Netflix retrictions.
Snap VPN may be alright if you want to unblock some content in other regions. Even the premium version on the fastest servers showed a significant speed loss. That said, those with higher speed connections should be fine. Now, we will take a look at the good points and opportunities for improvement.
- Split Tunneling
- OpenVPN and IPSec protocols
- Add more native VPN apps instead of just Android
- Increase the number of payment methods
- Improve network performance
- Create a proper website to increase transparency
- Fix BBC & Netflix geo-restriction issues
As you can see, Snap VPN has some positive points along with areas that could use some work. If you also take into account that Autumn Breeze is an analytics company, you can start to see where the trail may lead. We’re skeptical of a data analytics company running a VPN. Their monthly price is also higher than many competitors. The bottom line is, Snap VPN will help you unblock Netflix but is not the best solution for protecting your online privacy.