Last update: 04.12.2019.

Overview

Thunder VPN is a newcomer Android VPN/proxy that will not leave a mark in history as the most secure VPN solution. Read our Thunder VPN review now to find out what’s so funny about this service.

First off, we find Thunder VPN a bit shady. We know very little about it, its features, its developers. Simply, there’s not much information anywhere. The official VPN website is ridiculously short-spoken. It’s one of the simplest VPN sites we’ve ever seen. What we know about its developers is that the company is called Signal Lab.

Signal Laboratories, Inc. (SigLabs) is an engineering organization. It focuses on research and development. Its workers are former SpaceX and Google employees. They seem to be based out of California, which would mean they fall under US jurisdiction.

The company website doesn’t even mention Thunder VPN or its twin, Secure VPN. So much for transparency.

The company website doesn’t even mention Thunder VPN or its twin, Secure VPN.

Yet, this Android VPN tool can boast of having 5+ million downloads from the Google Play store. Although, interestingly enough, the same number is indicated for Secure VPN – makes you wonder.

The main reason for the popularity of this VPN must be that it’s free.

The main reason for the popularity of this VPN must be that it’s free. Thunder VPN might be a good choice for browsing restricted content or streaming BBC iPlayer. But, if you’re a journalist, activist, or privacy-conscious user, you don’t want to use a free VPN service.

Is Thunder VPN safe to use?

This is all you will learn on their website when it comes to their security features:

Thunder VPN security and privacy features

As you can see, this list is not full of security and privacy features. Instead, there are a number of typos and some broken grammar.

The only source of information about the security features is the FAQ. Of course, you won’t find it on the website. You need to access it via the Android app. From this FAQ we have learned that Thunder VPN uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), an outdated protocol, for establishing an encrypted link between you and your destination.

Since there’s no kill switch, our Thunder VPN review team wasn’t surprised to find DNS leaks.

Since there’s no kill switch, our Thunder VPN review team wasn’t surprised to find DNS leaks. Again, this is something we’d like to avoid.

But even if Thunder VPN seems to have terrible security and privacy, you can still try to use it to access geo-restricted sites or stream videos. However, only do so if you’re not concerned about your anonymity.

Does Thunder VPN keep logs?

Thunder has one of the shortest legal documents we’ve ever read. In fact, the Usage Policy and Privacy Policy are included in one Terms of Service document. When you read the first line of the Privacy Policy section, you may feel like you are indeed protected.

“We are committed to your privacy and do not collect or log traffic data or browsing activity from individual users connected to our VPN.”

But never be satisfied with what you hear, i.e., “no logging” claims. Read on to learn more.

“When you register on the Site you will be asked to provide certain personal information, including your billing and e-mail address and payment information.”

Okay, so, first of all, you cannot register on the site, and you don’t need to provide any information when installing the Thunder VPN Android app. Is it possible that the Privacy Policy was prepared for the future when it becomes a paid service? Only time will tell, since there’s no customer support to ask.

Then, the legal document informs you that “you may access and change your personal information by logging into the Site.” Once again, there’s no way to log in anywhere on the website, or rather, webpage.

But this is not all. It gets worse, much worse. Do you remember that they state that no traffic logs are collected? So how about this list of sensitive data they “may collect” when you use the app:

  • IP address
  • Internet Service Provider
  • OS version
  • language of the device
  • app identifier
  • app version
  • independent device identifier
  • ad identifier
  • device manufacturer and model
  • email address
  • the time zone
  • the network state
  • times when connected to the VPN service
  • choice of server location
  • the total amount of data transferred per day

This isn’t really what you’d expect from a VPN. This feels more like when you’re not using a VPN to protect your privacy. And it couldn’t be any other way because the app shows personalized third-party adds.

Speed and performance

On the positive side, we were impressed with the fast connection times. In 2-3 seconds you can basically connect to any of the 9 servers. That’s pretty good.

On the negative side though, we must tell you that our VPN speed tests weren’t that impressive. Before launching Thunder, we had these baseline speeds:

speed baseline

  • Download speed: 46 Mbps
  • Upload speed: 43 Mbps

Then, we connected to most of the servers to see if one would break the pattern of almost identical low speeds. Here’s what we found.

United States

Thunder VPN speed US

  • Download: 2 Mbps
  • Upload: 17 Mbps
  • Dropoff: 96%

United Kingdom

Thunder VPN speed UK

  • Download: 2 Mbps
  • Upload: 21 Mbps
  • Dropoff: 96%

Germany

Thunder VPN speed Germany

  • Download: 2 Mbps
  • Upload: 18 Mbps
  • Dropoff: 96%

Netherlands

Thunder VPN speed Netherlands

  • Download: 2 Mbps
  • Upload: 16 Mbps
  • Dropoff: 96%

These are terrible speeds; well, at least, the download speeds are. Interestingly the upload speeds were relatively good. Still, you can stream videos from YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and other media centers. You may not get full HD quality since it requires around 5 Mbps download speed. But on a mobile, you may enjoy 720p too.

Apparently, the 5+ million free users can easily overload those 9 servers. But this is usually not the only reason for such speeds.

Ease of use and multiplatform support

Thunder VPN is only available for Android. The app itself is pretty easy to install and use.

After you launch the Android app for the first time, you have to accept the Terms of Service. Then, you need to okay the Connection request. Tap OK.

Thunder VPN connection request

Well, this request reveals that Thunder VPN will “monitor network traffic,” which is not what we read in the policy. But you have to tap OK to move on anyway.

Finally, you get to the Home screen. All you need to do is tap the Connect button to connect to the fastest server for your location.

Thunder VPN connect

If, however, you want to choose any of the 9 server locations, tap the Thunder icon in the upper right corner.

Thunder VPN server list

We do like the idea that you need a single tap to change your location. No need for disconnecting separately. Unfortunately, not all of these 9 locations will provide you with the correct IP. We discovered that while being connected to the Netherlands server, our IP leak test showed a French IP somehow.

Thunder VPN ip address location

The same was true for the Japan server, which results in a Beijing, China IP instead.

However, because it’s a free app, there’s a steady flow of annoying third-party ads after launch, connection, and disconnection mainly.

Thunder VPN third-party adds

You need to be cautious where you tap if you don’t want to load questionable websites or accidentally install potentially useless apps.

Thunder VPN for Netflix

Many VPN providers have failed against Netflix’s VPN-blocking measures – even big names. So it’s no surprise that you can’t stream any Netflix catalog with Thunder VPN. Here’s what you’ll see if you try:

Thunder VPN can't stream netflix

On a more positive note though, we were surprised that this VPN can stream BBC iPlayer.

Thunder VPN can stream BBC iPlayer

Although the download speeds are very low, we also managed to stream YouTube videos on 720p.

If you’re looking for a proper VPN for Netflix, find our best VPN for Netflix picks here.

Thunder VPN for Torrenting

Although it’s supposed to work with BitTorrent, we can’t confirm that it does. Truth be told, even if it miraculously worked with a torrent client, would you really want to seed or leech torrent files with such privacy? Thunder VPN has all your personal information that can identify you and your physical location. And, there’s the thing with logging… do the math.

If you want an anonymous VPN for torrenting, why not check out our best VPN for torrenting list?

Thunder VPN in China?

With the kind of security and anonymity this VPN has, we wouldn’t dare to risk using it anywhere really, least of all China. But, if you’re a resident or traveler beyond the Great Firewall of China, you may want to read about our Best VPN for China picks.

Customer support

Our Thunder VPN review was not able to find any type of customer support whatsoever.

Our Thunder VPN review was not able to find any type of customer support whatsoever. It’s not just that there’s no live chat support on the official website, but there’s no related FAQ page or Help page either.

As we mentioned before, the only FAQs you can read are in the Thunder VPN Android app. Those few questions won’t get you too far though. So, that’s a big downside as you could easily have technical issues when using a VPN. No wonder why market leaders like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have top-class live chat support.

Pricing

This is going to be short. Since this Android VPN proxy app is “free forever,” there are no pricing plans. Of course, you’re “paying” by watching all those third-party ads.

Since this Android VPN proxy app is “free forever,” there are no pricing plans.

And nevertheless, the Terms of Service does talk about registrations, accounts, and payment details. This is still a mystery for us. We’ll update this Thunder VPN review when we find out more.

Conclusion of our Thunder VPN review

In the conclusion of our Thunder VPN review, we must say that we’re still not fans of free VPN software and this tool is a good example why. It’s not just about the annoying and disruptive third-party ads. The level of online security and privacy Thunder VPN offers is ridiculous in 2019. We simply can’t trust this newcomer to take care of our anonymity. And you should think twice too.

Horrible download speeds seasoned with the ability to stream BBC iPlayer. That’s how we could describe this Android VPN proxy. The client itself is as simple as it can get. Maybe too much so, when it comes to tweaking settings.

If you have nothing to lose and want to access geo-blocked content, by all means, try Thunder VPN. Otherwise, forget it and get a proper premium VPN for the best possible protection.