One of the most popular free VPN downloads for smartphones, VPN Proxy Master scores well on ease of use but is disturbingly poor when it comes to security. So there’s no reason to give this provider anything but a failing grade.
VPN Proxy Master is a Singapore-based Virtual Private Network for smartphones and Mac. Offering a degree of encryption and a very simple app, it comes across as superficially appealing – especially for entry-level users. But scratch the surface and this free provider starts to look a lot less attractive. In fact, given the risk of malware and logging, there are good reasons to judge that this provider is simply unsafe to use. Add in poor speeds and unblocking, and the picture isn’t pleasant. But don’t rush to judgment. Our VPN Proxy Master review will provide a fuller assessment of where this provider succeeds and fails.
Security and privacy
Security is the logical place to start this VPN Proxy Master review, as there’s really nothing more important about a VPN. The sole reason to install a Virtual Private Network is to ensure privacy, and without solid encryption, protocols, and leak protection, that’s not going to happen. Here are the basic security features you’ll encounter with VPN Proxy Master:
- Miltary grade encryption
- Double VPN
- Zero logging policy
- Auto detection of public wifi connections
At first glance, those features look fine, especially for a “totally free” VPN. Much of the time, smartphone VPNs offer very limited encryption, and double VPN is a very unusual (and welcome) addition. So credit to Proxy Master for including it. However, what’s missing here? For one thing, there’s no mention of protocols, so we don’t know for sure how secure your VPN tunnels will be. There’s nothing about how the VPN protects against WebRTC/IPv6/DNS leaks, and there’s no kill switch. Those are significant omissions that we shouldn’t overlook when answering the question is VPN proxy master safe?
Nevertheless, security is a decent start, and a good foundation to build a competitive free smartphone VPN.
Does VPN Proxy Master keep logs?
Short answer: probably.
According to its Google Play listing, VPN Proxy Master doesn’t log any information at all, which is good to see. However, this kind of claim is often highly qualified by privacy statements, and a lot of information can be harvested “under the hood” despite “zero logging” claims. So we can’t take it at face value.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prove whether the VPN keeps logs, as the developers haven’t decided to include a privacy statement on the download site or the iTunes and Google Play listings. That’s a huge omission that should raise suspicions.
Even worse, a little research indicates that the VPN was developed by a Singapore-based company called Innovative Connecting. IC isn’t a specialist VPN provider. Instead, business listings describe its specialty as “data analytics, processing, and related activities.” So, it’s a digital marketing operation, with all that entails – including collecting customer data to sell to third parties.
The Singapore jurisdiction may not be a huge red flag. The country isn’t known for intelligence sharing with the USA, but it is a relatively repressive place when it comes to digital censorship. So there are some worries there are as well. Overall, things aren’t looking good.
Check out our list of Best VPNs No Log.
Speed and performance
If you can achieve a solid connection speed with a free smartphone VPN, that’s a major plus.
When we carried out a speed test for this VPN Proxy Master review, the results were mixed. While we had no problems connecting to European servers from the USA, speeds dropped massively compared to our local service, with 40-50% declines in some cases. In others, we hardly registered a download speed at all. If you stick to local or regional servers, speeds hold up, at least to facilitate emails and general browsing. But streams and fast downloads were not really happening for us when we assessed VPN Proxy Master.
On the plus side, there’s no throttling and all customers enjoy unlimited bandwidth, which isn’t the case with many free VPNs. Users can also switch between servers whenever they wish, with no financial penalty. But these generous features can’t really outweigh the basic speed problems we encountered.
VPN Proxy Master offers a few servers, but doesn’t have a particularly wide reach. That’s nothing unusual for a free VPN, so we can’t hold it against the developers.
For the record, users can access servers in 7 countries: Singapore, the USA, the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, India, and Germany.
The Google Play listing is highly misleading on this issue, suggesting that customers can access “2,000+” servers in the VPN’s “server clusters.”
There’s absolutely no evidence that this is true, so it’s a pretty outrageous claim.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
While ease of use can’t rescue an insecure and slow VPN, it might help users with very relaxed attitudes towards privacy who need a lightweight smartphone VPN. So here’s a list of the platforms that VPN Proxy Master currently supports:
So there’s no service for PC, but there is one for Mac users – a very strange marketing decision. The Mac version is available as a direct download from the VPN’s website, while smartphone versions can be obtained from the iTunes Store or Google Play.
When you download the VPN, you’ll probably be impressed by how simple installation and setup is. The developers obviously know how to create a professional-looking, stripped-down VPN console, and they make things easy for new users. There’s nothing surprising to see when you download the client. Users can select their server location and connect – nothing more. Some people will appreciate that level of simplicity, while others (us included) would prefer more protocol options and analytic tools.
However, fundamentally, it’s a good-looking, beautifully presented mobile app that will let customers get up and running in no time. And there aren’t too many ads either, which is a bonus for a free smartphone service.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
Sadly, unblocking isn’t an area where VPN Proxy Master will excite VPN downloaders. We had no luck when trying to work around Netflix geo-blocking systems, and the situation was no different regarding Hulu.
We even had difficulties beating the less sophisticated BBC iPlayer geo-restriction barriers. We could beat YouTube filters very reliably, which is handy, but overall there are far better options for streamers who want to maximize their TV show and movie options.
It may be worth noting that review feedback from customers suggests that the premium VPN package has more luck beating geo-blockers than the free VPN. But as far as the free version goes, it’s a wash-out.
Check out our list of Best VPNs for Netflix
P2P and torrenting
Generally speaking, smartphone users rely on secure torrenting a lot less than laptop or desktop users. However, you might want to access P2P-based streaming libraries to access movies or TV archives. If so, this VPN probably won’t be sufficient.
There are no specialist servers, setup to ensure a fast P2P connection. There’s no SOCKS5 proxy or kill switch, and we don’t know much about encryption or logging. When you’re launching torrent downloads, the question is VPN Proxy Master safe really matters, but the lack of information rules out P2P for privacy-conscious users.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
Beating censorship should be a core component of any VPN, and Proxy Master places it at center stage. According to its iTunes listing, this free VPN is the “best VPN for school wifi” while the Google Play listing promises the ability to “access any website.” These huge claims aren’t really backed up by reality.
Tellingly, the user terms which bookend the company’s Google listing even admit that “for policy reasons, this service can not be used in China.” So we aren’t confident that smashing through the Great Firewall is a possibility. In fact, it’s probably not worth risking the wrath of Beijing.
One thing that could work in the VPN’s favor is its Double VPN capability. However, given its very vague privacy documentation and the lack of details about basics like protocols, we can’t recommend this to anyone who wants to beat online surveillance in countries like Belarus or Saudi Arabia.
Check out our list of Best VPNs for China
VPN Proxy Master is pretty typical of free smartphone VPNs, in offering very limited customer support options. Here are the possible ways to get in touch with support:
- The official Facebook page (very rarely updated)
- Indirectly via the developer or payment portals
Sadly, that’s it. There’s no facility for live chat or phone support. Users can’t engage with their peers in forums, and there’s not even an FAQ to deal with basic queries. That’s utterly inadequate from a tool which claims to safeguard user privacy, and a major reason why we can’t recommend this service.
As we stated from the outset of this VPN Proxy Master review, this is a free smartphone VPN. However, that’s actually half true. As with many smartphone providers, users will find that they have the option of upgrading to a premium service when they have the app running. That’s a sly business strategy, but not surprising given the lack of transparency elsewhere.
When you do run the app, the following price points apply:
- Monthly $11.99
- Annual $3.00/month
As you can see, the monthly price is extremely high, and not worth bothering with. You can find much cheaper VPNs elsewhere with far better performance. The annual fee isn’t too bad, but more than companies like NordVPN – so why choose the less reputable supplier? There’s nothing here to entice users to buy.
However, the free version is the core of this product. So most users won’t feel the need to deal with payment methods or the company’s refund policy (which was nowhere to be seen). We also couldn’t find any details about a money-back guarantee, which all good VPNs should offer. More reasons to stay well clear.
The search for a safe and reliable free smartphone VPN continues. VPN Proxy Master gets a few things right. It’ offers genuine encryption and features like Double VPN, and it’s very easy to use on iPhones and Android phones.
But this is a case where the bad certainly outweighs the good. There’s no information about logging or protocols, connection speeds are slow, beating streaming blocks isn’t on the cards, customer support is non-existent, and the service is provided by a marketing company. So why would you use it?