Green VPN stands out in the Play Store purely because of how small the download is and how much the app offers without asking anything in return. It seems, however, that Green VPN quietly logs nearly everything you do.
It’s not one of the most-downloaded VPNs on the Play Store, but Green VPN has been getting consistently positive ratings – thus far it has been rated by over 1,000 Android users.
The app is completely free, however, it seems to be a classic case of you “being the product” in that the goal is to log and sell your data. The fact that the VPN collects information about you instead of making you any safer is a testament to that motto.
Any Android-only VPN is limited by its very nature. Green VPN, however, at least has the essential security features:
- “Military-grade” encryption
- OpenVPN (UDP/TCP)
- Double VPN (multi-hop) available on VIP servers
- No superfluous app permissions
However, our tests showed that the Settings bar repeatedly failed to load or launch, something other users have encountered as well. Whether this is a glitch in certain models of phones or intentional, it’s clear that there’s a lack of basics such as DNS leak protection or a kill switch (albeit Android has the native Always-On VPN feature).
What’s worse is that we ran some tests found that many servers simply didn’t mask out our IP address at all, which is inarguably the very point of using a VPN in the first place. This is a vulnerability that seems malicious at worst and a very inexcusable oversight at best.
Does Green VPN keep logs?
In a word: yes. Almost all types of logs.
Green VPN initially claims that it does not collect any data or information that you do not willingly enter into a form. This includes voluntary questionnaires or any personally identifying information that is required of you for a particular aspect of the service (denying it will simply limit your access).
However, the nickname, phone number, and even the avatar or profile picture that you use while signing up is considered fair game by them to log and store.
Going further, however, it’s clear that the app logs your IP address, physical location, device information, and both traffic and connection logs.
This is a clear no-no for a VPN – don’t use it for anything sensitive.
Speed and performance
We found Green VPN to have poor speeds, even for a free VPN: there was a sudden and obvious drop in download speed and upload speed regardless of the server (although nearby servers were significantly better).
While there is an “Accelerate” option on the list of servers, clicking on this didn’t seem to achieve anything. Perhaps a “placebo” of sorts for the technologically-gullible.
Another issue is the connection speed: it took around half of a minute to actually get anything going.
The servers do list their relative speed next to their names, but this seems to be highly arbitrary.
Ease of use and multi-platform support
Green VPN is available only on Android – no service for PC or macOS and iOS.
The Green VPN app is as bare-bones as could be, with a single on/off slider button being all that you can toggle. The Settings tab doesn’t work, and neither do the Accelerate or VIP buttons (or so it seems).
Worst of all, the app hasn’t been updated in more than half a year, and the change log is vague – perhaps this isn’t a high-priority product even for the developers themselves.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
The streaming giants of the modern age – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Fire, Kodi, and the BBC iPlayer – are all equally notorious for region-restricted content (known as geo-blocking). In other words, certain TV shows and films are available in one country and not in another).
The best VPNs out there can get you past all these blocks by digitally changing your location. Some of the smaller VPNs can also do the same but, regrettably, Green VPN is not one of them, and couldn’t get us past the geo-restrictions of Netflix.
Green VPN review: P2P and torrenting
Green VPN doesn’t offer anything special for securing torrenting on a P2P connection. Even if it did, the speeds being limited make Green VPN undesirable to use even in a place where torrent security is otherwise guaranteed.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere with Green VPN
You might have already heard of the Great Firewall of China: a ploy by the Chinese government not only to insulate the Internet and its content but also block tools for bypassing the censorship measures.
While there is evidence to suggest that Green VPN was in fact created to be able to work in China, we would not recommend it because it is reportedly a Chinese app. Last year Green VPN was seemingly banned by the Chinese government and had stopped functioning. While that’s no longer the case, one wonders what the cost of this has been.
Green VPN’s customer support is virtually non-existent. No live support or FAQ.
The Play Store mentions an email ID, but we were unable to receive any response, even a week. Apart from their Play Store page, they don’t seem to have any presence anywhere at all.
This tips the scales further out of Green VPN’s favor.
Green VPN is a free VPN that sustains itself through ads. There is no “free trial” or need for a refund policy – yet, after using their services, it seems that you’d feel entitled to some sort of money back guarantee just for the time wasted in trying to get the app to work.
Green VPN is an app we would stay away from. There are free VPNs out there that either offer way more or collect way less of your data.