Psiphon Review

Last updated: January 18, 2023

Psiphon is a free service that does exactly what it says on the cover. Namely, it’s good at unblocking websites. However, users with greater needs should subscribe to one of the best VPNs on the market.

Alternative VPN options:
1. NordVPN
9.6 / 10
2. Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.

Psiphon is a VPN service that has been in operation since 2008. It started as a project at the Citizen Lab, University of Toronto. From there, it grew to become a commercial VPN service, helping millions restore their internet freedom.

Psiphon operates out of Canada (5 Eyes alliance member), but unlike most VPNs, it doesn’t promise you internet privacy or anonymity. Rather, it is meant to be a circumnavigation tool – something it does very well.

In this Psiphon review, we’ll explore the VPN in detail and help you decide whether it fits your needs.

If you’d like to save time and get the best tool for unblocking content, give NordVPN a go. It seamlessly changes your location and unlocks foreign websites while keeping your identity completely masked.

Experience top speeds and privacy with NordVPN

Psiphon seems appealing with its lack of cost and potential benefits. However, the service’s connection speeds and lackluster privacy will disappoint you. Don’t undermine your online experience; go for NordVPN, the #1 VPN on the market.

9.6 /10
Industry-leading connectivity
Excellent digital security
Audited zero-logs policy

Security features

Compared to most of the top premium VPNs, Psiphon doesn’t offer many security features. Here’s a list:

  • Encryption (unspecified)
  • SSH and L2TP/IPSec protocols
  • Obfuscation technology (stealth protocol)
  • Split tunneling
  • Self-owned DNS servers

The default SSH protocol is not very secure: organizations such as the NSA are known to be able to decrypt SSH traffic. This means the protocol may not be good enough for sending sensitive content. It is, however, sufficient for bypassing censorship.

Psiphon also provides the option to use L2TP/IPSec, which is more secure, but reportedly also vulnerable.

Obfuscation technology is one of the main features of Psiphon VPN. It disguises VPN traffic to make it appear just like regular VPN traffic, making it possible to avoid Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Sadly, this feature is only offered under the default SSH protocol.

Psiphon offers a split tunneling feature that will allow you to choose which apps will go through the VPN tunnel, and which will not. This means that you can access such sites without having your traffic encrypted or your speed reduced.

We were glad to see that Psiphon doesn’t have any DNS leaks. All your DNS traffic is safely redirected to secure servers.

Does Psiphon keep logs?

Psiphon is not good at providing security or privacy. The provider is open about this:

Psiphon is designed to provide you with open access to online content. Psiphon does not increase your online privacy, and should not be considered or used as an online security tool.

Although the VPN encrypts your traffic, Psiphon records and stores logs, which are then analyzed to increase performance. Moreover, Psiphon shares your data with advertising companies, something that undermines the whole idea of privacy.

Best Psiphon alternatives

Looking for a VPN that will keep you anonymous and protected while surfing the world wide web? Look into NordVPN and Surfshark VPN, the most reliable alternatives to Psiphon.

Apps and extensions

Psiphon provides apps for the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • Android
  • iOS

The Android app has a Pro version that you can upgrade and a limited access regular one. The mobile apps can be downloaded from the various stores, while the Windows client is available via the website.

download psiphon vpn

For this Psiphon review, we decided to test out the Windows and Android VPN apps.

Psiphon Windows

The Psiphon Windows client is a lightweight program that installs within seconds. After the automatic setup, it launches and connects you to the nearest server.

Psiphon for windows

You can also choose a country from the available options.

psiphon server country selection

On the Settings button, you’ll find some options to customize your VPN. If you’re using a proxy network, you need to set it up under “local proxy.” However, the main feature here is the L2TP/IPsec option, which can tunnel all your computer traffic, rather than only the apps that use Windows’ local HTTP and SOCKS settings.

psiphone mode selection

Each option is well explained, which is great for ease of use.

Psiphon Android

We tested both Psiphon Android apps for this review, and they are very similar. They all use ads and only work in SSH mode.

psiphon pro for android     psiphon pro for android

The major difference in Psiphon Pro is that it provides an option to upgrade the speed (over the 2 Mb/s limit), and this is the only place you get the option.

The other options let you check your usage stats as well as choose a connection country.

psiphon pro connection country   psiphon pro connection country

Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms

Psiphon is able to unblock most websites, but it can’t be relied on for streaming as it doesn’t work with some of the major streaming services (like Netflix and BBC iPlayer).

For streaming, you can check out our list of the best VPNs for Netflix.

Customer support

The two options for customer support are:

  • FAQ
  • Email

Being primarily a free service, Psiphon VPN doesn’t offer much support. There’s no live chat or phone assistance like you would find with most VPNs, but there’s an email you can always contact. You should, however, not expect a quick answer.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the FAQ section of the website to see if your queries have already been answered.


Psiphon for Windows is entirely free and there’s nothing you need to pay to use it. This does not apply for Android.

On the Google Play Store, Psiphon has two different apps, Psiphon and the incredibly expensive Psiphon Pro. The former can’t be upgraded, whereas the Pro version gives you an option to remove the 2 Mb/s limit placed on the free version of the VPN.

You can subscribe to one of the exorbitant Psiphon Pro monthly plans:

  • Basic: $4.99/month
  • Unlimited: $10.99/month

All these subscriptions have a 30-day money-back guarantee, and so you can still cancel your subscription and avoid charges.

You can also buy passes for the Maximum Speed package. These do not require credit cards and can be bought with Google Play gift cards.

  • 7-day pass: $3.29
  • 30-day pass: $10.99
  • 360-day pass: $79.99 ($6.66/month)

Bottom line

Psiphon is decent at unblocking websites. However, being a free VPN, it has quite a number of shortcomings. You won’t be able to rely on this tool for privacy or anonymity, and you will also have to contend with the speed limits they impose on their network.

You might have to look elsewhere if you are interested in streaming, torrenting, security, or privacy. We recommend getting NordVPN, our top VPN service in 2023.


  • Free (Pro version available for Android users)
  • Unblocks most websites
  • Easy to use apps
  • No account required
  • 21 free locations
  • You can have app sent to your email (if the website is blocked)


  • Average speeds
  • No privacy (keeps & shares logs)
  • Not secure
  • Doesn't allow Netflix
  • Not good for torrenting
 4.7 / 10
Total score
$3.29 / month
Minimum Price
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Wallis Attwell

    What a strange choice for the company to not provide security or privacy. It seems like other top-name VPNs can do everything Psiphon does while delivering on the security front too!

  2. Jeph Kine

    Psiphon has huge industry experience and that is expected to count favorably in the market place. Though their level of popularity is yet to measure up with the industry experience they possess. It is worth giving the platform a try though.

  3. Dano Stein

    If psiphon unblocks several websites, then psiphon will most likely be my next choice of VPN, I enjoy the fact that the VPN is also free for several locations with an easy to use app that will make the process easy for me.

  4. Dano Stein

    If psiphon unblocks several websites, then psiphon will most likely be my next choice of VPN, I enjoy the fact that the VPN is also free for several locations with an easy to use app that will make the process

  5. 7even

    I can’t understand how some VPNs still keep and share logs! I mean, come on! We’re in 2019! These guys are so slow that I can’t imagine who would ever stay with them for more than a few days or a month!

Table of Contents:
Check top VPNs
Thanks for your opinion!
Your comment will be checked for spam and approved as soon as possible.