KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for Android) Review & Rating

To keep your information safe and your privacy protected, even on an Android device, you need a virtual private network or VPN. The KeepSolid VPN Unlimited app secures your web traffic from prying eyes and offers several advanced tools to keep you safe.

The service stands out with an excellent mobile interface, a robust network of international servers, and even blocks ads. All that, offered at an exceedingly reasonable price. It joins Private Internet Access, with its unmatched network size, and the versatile, powerful NordVPN as Editors’ Choice winners for Android VPN apps.

What Is a VPN

When you’re connected wirelessly to your home router, you can be reasonably certain that it’s safe. Out in the wild, it’s a different story.

It’s very difficult to tell if you’re actually connected to the Starbucks Wi-Fi, or to a malicious network being run by a data-hungry scammer. With a VPN, you can be assured that no matter where you go, and no matter what networks you connect to, your data is always secure.

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for Android) Review & Rating

That’s because the VPN software creates an encrypted tunnel to a server the company controls, meaning that anyone snooping on your traffic will see only unreadable ciphertext.

Once you’re online, advertisers can track your movements between websites with sophisticated cookies and trackers embedded in ads, associating your traffic with your known IP address.

But with a VPN, you can rest assured that your privacy is respected. That’s because instead of seeing the actual IP address of your mobile device, the advertisers only see the IP address of the VPN server to which you’re connected.

When you’re connected to a cellular network, the situation is a little different. The 3G and LTE bands are encrypted and considered fairly safe.

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for Android) Review & Rating

But a dedicated hacker can use a Femtocell, basically a portable cell tower, to offer up an unsecured 2G network and then jam the higher bands, forcing you to fail over to the unsecured network.

A VPN can help protect against this kind of sophisticated attacks, too, though it’s worth noting that the chance of coming up against such a sophisticated cell hacker is very small. They’re far less common than the garden-variety Wi-Fi snooper.

A virtual private network can protect you against both types of attackers, however, and protect your privacy against corporate and government spies. That’s why you need a VPN.
Pricing and Features

A month-long subscription with VPN Unlimited costs only $8.99.

That price has risen in the last few months, but it is still below average and quite affordable as VPNs go. You can opt for a longer subscription, paying $39.99 an entire year, and even a 100-year plan for $499 (currently on sale for $149), if you plan on doing some serious web browsing over the next century.

Those are the plans listed on the site, but you have a lot more flexibility once you create an account with KeepSolid. There is, for example, a three-month subscription for $16.99 and a one-week subscription for $3.99. I really like KeepSolid’s pricing, especially the super-short plans.

It’s perfect for when you’re travelling abroad, where you’re likely to be subject to all kinds of attacks via public and hotel Wi-FI, for example. These prices have also risen steadily, but are still competitive with those of other services.

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for Android) Review & Rating

It is possible to pay even less for a VPN. TunnelBear, for example, offers an excellent free VPN option. With a free account, you get 500MB of data across all your TunnelBear devices and can earn additional data by Tweeting about the company. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other free VPN services for Android.

If you already use KeepSolid VPN Unlimited on your desktop, don’t worry; you don’t have to pay extra for mobile devices. They do, however, count toward your five simultaneous connections.

That’s an average number of devices for a VPN subscription, and it’s surprising how fast these add up. If you need more devices on your plan, you can add one for 99 cents per month, five for $4.99 per month, or 10 devices for $9.99. These prices have also crept upward as of late, but many services don’t even offer additional device slots. Purchasing is a snap and can be done from within the app.

You can also opt to buy a static IP address or a personal VPN server in the location of your choice.

You also get access to the service’s 1,200 servers across 80 global locations. That’s not as many as Editors’ Choice winner NordVPN, which boasts hundreds of servers, or the thousands of servers available with Private Internet Access, but it’s not bad.

While companies often spin servers up and down as needed, these are important figures to keep in mind. The more servers a company offers, the less likely it is that you’ll have to share precious bandwidth with other users on the same server.

The more server locations there are, the more likely it is you’ll find one nearby. A good rule of thumb is that the closer the server is to your actual location, the better speed and performance you’ll have.

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for Android) Review & Rating

Not to mention that many server locations give you more options when spoofing your location.

The rest of the desktop app’s features are in play in this mobile app, including an optional static IP and a personal VPN server. Not all VPNs allow Torrenting, but you can also use BitTorrent on select KeepSolid servers. Why you would do that on an Android device is beyond me, however.

If you’re travelling (or living) in a country with restrictive information policies, you can also use KeepSolid Wise, a feature that trades speed for a stealthier connection that disguises your VPN connection as normal HTTPS traffic. This feature is available on Android and is best used when connecting in countries that frown on the use of VPNs.

As with the desktop version, the Android app uses the OpenVPN protocol.

I appreciate it when services embrace this newer open-source protocol, which gets frequent updates as needed. Some companies offer one set of protocols with the desktop app and a different set with the mobile version, an approach I don’t favour.

Recently, KeepSolid added a collection of new features. The Censorship Test automatically detects if any of a set list of sites is blocked on your network, and you have the option to send the results to KeepSolid in exchange for an extra day added to your subscription for free.

The DNS Firewall is actually a collection of tools, including malware detection, tracker blocking, and ad blocking.

I’m really glad to see these features included, but don’t mistake them for perfect protection. Instead of scanning for threats, these are blacklists maintained by KeepSolid. It’s a good start but hardly complete protection.

When I reviewed the company’s VPN service for PC, a company representative confirmed KeepSolid’s zero-logging policy. That means it retains little information about users, ensuring your privacy. The company is also located in New York, meaning that it’s not subject to specific data retention laws. Also, KeepSolid does not inject ads into your web browsing experience, as some less-reputable VPNs have been known to do in the not-so-distant past.

Hands-On With KeepSolid VPN Unlimited

KeepSolid sticks with its clean, minimalist desktop design for its Android app. At the centre is a map, showing your current location. Tap the green bar at the top and you can select the server of your choice, although the app recommends what it thinks is best based on your location and the traffic already flowing through its other servers.

I particularly like that the app shows you which servers are the most crowded, and which allow torrenting. You can search for servers at the top, and favourite servers for later use.

The app feels quite snappy on my Pixel XL, and I am impressed with how smooth the overall experience is. KeepSolid’s app reminds me of NordVPN quite a bit, with its large map at the centre.

But there are a few things I prefer about NordVPN, such as specialized servers for connecting to Tor, and double encryption.

KeepSolid has added a specialized video streaming server, which I appreciate. I am especially that I was able to use Netflix while VPN Unlimited was active. That’s great, because of many streaming services like Netflix block VPN usage.

A toggle switch at the bottom of the screen switches the VPN on and off. You can also do this from a panel in the notifications pull-down menu. When connected, the Android OS shows a little key next to the time at the top of the screen.

By default, the app always reconnects if it loses communication with the VPN server.

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for Android) Review & Rating

But you can choose to have it not reconnect, only reconnect when you’re using Wi-Fi, or only reconnect when you’re using an unsecured network. That kind of granular control is great when you’re on a mobile device.

It’s a feature I like, and I am disappointed that I have yet to see it become commonplace among VPN apps.

If lots of settings and features are what you need in a VPN, KeepSolid will get you most of the way there, but Private Internet Access has still more going on. With that service, you can select which apps must use the VPN and which don’t have to, giving you total control of how your data moves. TunnelBear VPN also offers this feature.

Speed Tests

No matter which VPN service you choose, it will have an impact on internet connection performance. Generally, it’s not a good one, although my work testing desktop VPN apps have revealed that the fastest VPNs can sometimes improve performance.

When I test mobile VPN apps, I aim for a best-case scenario. First I deactivate mobile data, and then I connect to our super-fast FiOS Wi-Fi network. That’s because a Wi-Fi network offers more repeatable test results than a cellular network can and because insecure or malicious Wi-Fi networks are a much more prevalent threat than complex cellular attacks.

I then compare the average results with the VPN enabled to the average results without the VPN and work out the percent change.

I measure the speeds using the Ookla app. (Note that Ookla is owned by Ziff Davis, which also owns PCMag.)

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for Android) Review & Rating

In my testing, I found that VPN Unlimited increased latency by 131.3 percent. That might seem like a lot, but we’re talking milliseconds here. TorGuard had the smallest impact on latency I’ve yet seen, increasing it by only 12.5 percent.

In the download test, VPN Unlimited reduced speeds by 35.32 percent. That’s an improvement over the last time I tested KeepSolid’s Android app. It’s also the second-best score I’ve recorded so far. It still trails Private Internet Access, which showed a remarkable 10.3 degradation in download speeds.
In my testing, I found that with KeepSolid, upload speeds fell 18.8 percent.

That’s one of the best scores for this test, but still behind Spotflux VPN, which actually improved upload speeds in my testing.

An Excellent Choice

Along with its core VPN technology, KeepSolid VPN Unlimited comes with a few other tricks up its sleeve to keep you safe.

It also performed well in my speed tests and offers a robust global infrastructure to secure your web traffic no matter where you are. Best of all, it has the most comprehensive and flexible pricing of any VPN I’ve yet reviewed, making it an excellent purchase. For all that, it takes an Editors’ Choice award for Android VPN, along with NordVPN and Private Internet Access.


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