Last update: 01.18.2019.
While there are many privacy solutions that focus effectively on desktop functionality, there are only a few good VPN services which specialize in mobile platforms. Today we bring you a review of VPN Monster, a specialized mobile VPN solution with phenomenal ease-of-use.
For this VPN Monster review, we’ll cover the security and functionality of VPN Monster, as well as the legal ramifications and special details that go along with using it effectively.
First off for our VPN Monster review: some details. VPN Monster is able to provide an encrypted connection through the OpenVPN protocol. Unfortunately, they don’t talk much about the types of encryption they use, so it’s hard to judge just how secure the service actually is. More on this later.
Another thing we noticed right away when using VPN Monster’s Android client, is that it causes unbearable slowdowns in download and upload speeds. This is unfortunate, but, again, we’ll go more in depth on this topic later on in our VPN Monster review.
There are some other red flags, as well. The VPN makes no mention of its effectiveness in unblocking Netflix, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to access the service in restricted countries like China.
That being said, in order to get a more in-depth look at what this VPN has to offer, we’re going to dive right into the details and continue with our VPN Monster review.
Is VPN Monster safe to use?
There are always caveats to VPN services that support mobile platforms. Since this one only seems to be available through the Play Store, it’s unlikely that it will hit many of the benchmarks we usually set aside for judging the effectiveness of a mobile VPN.
Case in point, the company makes no mention about the type of encryption that they use. Another important thing to note is that the client features no kill switch functionality. This is always a red flag when we encounter it, but since there isn’t a whole lot of negative VPN Monster reviews about the actual security features of this service, it’s likely that the encryption standard is at least up-to-par.
When we tested the service for leaks for our VPN Monster review, we were pleasantly surprised to notice that the VPN doesn’t leak IP, DNS, or any other trouble area where leaks are common in a lot of mobile VPN services. So that it a huge plus, it means that your identifying info and activity won’t be leaked to any sources as you browse.
Although we can never be sure of their encryption standards, this fact can definitely put some of our security concerns to rest.
For protocols, VPN Monster uses the industry standard OpenVPN protocol. This protocol is widely used and considered perfectly secure. No red flags here for our VPN Monster review.
Moving on to the legal ramifications. The company doesn’t provide any information on where their company is actually located, so it’s difficult to judge the legal problems that you may encounter when using the service. In order to be safe, it’s probably best to assume that the company is based within the 14 Eyes jurisdiction.
So, apparently, the information collected is mainly for the purpose of ensuring proper service. That being said, the company purports to have a strict no-logging policy. Although they do collect this information for functionality purposes, and they will comply with LEA data requests, they claim to not have any logs of their customer data.
While this is all well and good, every single company seems to make this claim. Other than the red flags in the screenshots provided, however, there doesn’t seem to be much shady activity or press surrounding this VPN. So even though it’s probably better to err on the side of caution, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about when using this VPN service.
Speed & performance
One area where this service definitely seems to underperform is the speed category. Although things like download and upload speed aren’t as important on a mobile browser as they are for a desktop VPN solution, it’s still one of the main areas where performance is expected from a VPN.
The fact that VPN Monster isn’t able to deliver in this category for their mobile client is telling. The security might be okay, but the trade-off is that you will take a huge hit to speed. If you’re only using the service to avoid wifi scraping or similar attacks, the slowdown shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
How to download, install, and use VPN Monster
Since the app is available on the Google Play store, it’s extremely easy to install and use. Your mobile OS will handle all the technical rigamarole for you, and all you need to do is hit the download button.
Once the app is downloaded and installed, you can run the app in order to start privatizing your browsing:
Simply hit the big circular button in order to start connecting. If the app connects successfully, the little monster will get a big smile on his face, and let you know that you’re now connected and browsing securely. At this point, you can close the app and let it run in the background to continue privatizing your traffic.
In terms of usability, it’s hard to beat an app like this. One-touch VPN activation is a huge plus for a VPN that you’ll probably be using on-the-go. Overall, the app has excellent ease-of-use, although the settings and customization are a little lacking.
Apps & extensions
This is a mobile VPN. Although it provides very easy-to-use encryption for mobile connections, there is no way to use the service on a desktop OS, or any other devices for that matter. Its support even for mobile devices is limited only to Android.
Still, the ease-of-use and relative stability of the app makes it a good option for people who need some extra security on their Android devices.
Versatility: Is VPN Monster good for Netflix and China?
For some of the extra features that we usually go over for the more accomplished VPN services, we usually go over whether or not the service is effective for unblocking Netflix, or if the service is available in China.
Since this is a mobile-only VPN service, and the app is only available through official channels, it is unfortunately not available in China. The company actually warns users about this on their page, noting that the app is disabled in the Chinese app store.
You still might be able to download an illicit version of the app from a third-party website, but it is unlikely that the app will connect from China.
For Netflix, as well, the prognosis is not good. The company provides no information on their encryption, and are rather limited compared to many other VPN services for their server diversity. The app is also not useful for hiding peer to peer file sharing activity and thus is not effective for torrenting.
Since the company offers its services in the form of an Android app, their support avenues are relatively limited. You can only really contact the support team through email, or by posting on their social media pages. Although this is very limited, the company does offer regular discount contests and free giveaways that center around their social media campaign, so it’s good to know that they are effective in that respect.
Their actual support team has very good reviews. Many of the customers note that the team responded quickly to their complaints, both on social media and through email. This is a nice little upside, as it means you shouldn’t have to wait long or jump through any stupid hoops in order to get the support team’s attention.
Our own request for support to answer a few questions about their service went unanswered for an extended period of time, although it’s possible that the company prioritizes actual support needs.
How much does VPN Monster cost? Well, luckily enough for small-time VPN users, the application is actually free-to-use. The app sets up an automatic free trial when you sign up, and will automatically renew if you do not cancel, so it’s important to remember this if you only intend to use the free version.
There doesn’t seem to be any information anywhere on the actual prices for their plans. However, the company allows users to opt-in for free VIP service if they make posts on social media linking to the service.
There are some users who claim that the monthly fee is around $12. This drops down to around $4 if you go with a 12-month subscription (referred to as “Super VIP”).
These prices are pretty standard, even a little bit pricey considering you’re only paying for a mobile VPN with unknown encryption standards.
Bottom line of our VPN Monster review
From what it seems, this VPN is only really useful if you’re strapped for cash, and only need support for limited mobile platforms. The limitations in terms of customizability, security features, and device support are all very huge drawbacks when you consider the price of their VIP service.
The lack of transparency is also a huge drawback, it’s hard to get gung-ho about a VPN service when you have no idea what kind of encryption they use. If you’re the type that isn’t picky about the privacy, and you just need a simple, free solution for safeguarding your phone while you brose in public, then this may be the VPN for you.
If your requirements are more stringent, however, it’s definitely a good idea to keep looking.