2019's Review of SpyOFF VPN
Four years ago, I was busy job-hunting and connecting with colleagues on LinkedIn, just like everyone else in the corporate world. But when the government blocked it, I couldn’t do it anymore. I was horrified, but that’s how my interest in privacy started.
I’ve tried many VPN services to protect my privacy because I wouldn’t settle for a second-rate one. And you shouldn’t either.
I take a look in this SpyOFF VPN review at what it has on offer.
Let’s analyze together:
Main Points About the Service
|Logging||No logging policy|
|Locations & Servers||40 countries, 1007 third-party servers|
|Torrent and P2P allowed||Yes|
|Simultaneous Connections||No restrictions|
|Router Compatibility||Yes, FlashRouter|
|Live Chat||No Live Chat Support|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome Plugin|
|Free trial:||Yes, 14 days|
|Price:||$7.79 per month|
|Better alternative:||Find it here|
What Should You Consider Before Purchasing a VPN?
There are many VPN providers on the market, SpyOFF being only one of them.
That’s no surprise, given the growth of the cybersecurity industry and the interest of people like you – the people who take their privacy seriously.
If you’re not yet familiar with how a VPN works, we suggest you try a firewall device instead to start with.
Before we figure out whether SpyOFF is the best service for you, let me tell you what I would look for in a VPN and what I believe you should also consider:
Privacy is your inalienable right, and a VPN can help you achieve it online.
When a VPN has a proper no-logging policy, it means they don’t retain records of your online activities. Keeping them private is no less important than your offline ones, given the prevalence of technology of our lives today.
But it’s worth investing a bit of time to make an informed choice about your privacy.
Together with the no-logging policy, a kill switch ensures your online activities are hidden from your ISP and others. This feature is a must when your connection unexpectedly breaks.
Without a kill switch, your VPN connection also drops, leaving you vulnerable and exposing your location. Do you want that?
Of course not! Therefore, a kill switch that instantly severs the connection with the network is a must.
To this day even agencies like the NSA haven’t managed to break the 256-bits encryption. In fact, the NSA itself has endorsed it as “sufficient to protect classified information”. If this encryption level is good enough for them, it’s probably good enough for privacy-conscious people like you.
We, therefore, recommend that you look for a VPN that supports it if you want a strong level of protection.
Dedicated IP Address
Many VPNs provide access to services that are dynamic as opposed to fixed.
That could be an issue if you constantly need to access a server in the same location. A dedicated IP can take care of that problem – it’s a static IP address that doesn’t change over time.
If you, for instance, need to use VPN to access some remote files located on a specific server, look for a VPN subscription that offers a dedicated IP option.
If you live in one of the 14-eye countries, your government has a legal right to authorize surveillance agents to spy on you.
Naturally, you’d prefer your privacy to not be misused that way.
That’s why we recommend choosing a VPN located outside those states – USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and some others.
Introducing SpyOFF – What You Need to Know
SpyOFF is a product of Sareta S.r.l., a small company based in San Marino.
Created in 2015, It claims to offer private browsing and the possibility to enjoy whatever content you want, wherever you may be.
The coverage extends to all your devices that it supports.
The VPN service offers two payment options, all of them having a 14-day free trial.
Such free trials would give you a chance to make a more informed choice about the privacy of your online activities. If you decide that SpyOFF is for you, you have two options:
SpyOFF also offers special deals for veterans.
Spoiler alert – SpyOFF might not necessarily have what you’re looking for in a VPN.
If you, for instance, would prefer 24/7 support and the same security level with less technical “fuss”, NordVPN would perhaps be a better fit for you.
Features & Benefits
Privacy and Security
The SpyOFF’s landing page is, at first glance, quite straightforward and provides a decent user experience (UX) with clean lines, black-white-grey-blue color combo and bite-sized pieces of content that direct you to SpyOFF’s features.
I would’ve appreciated a Search box, but it’s quite easy to navigate without.
The site is secured with an SSL certificate.
SpyOFF uses 256-bits encryption – the strongest, military-grade one – for L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN protocols. PPTP is also on offer, but it’s no longer considered a safe protocol and is not ratified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
The VPN also has a built-in kill switch which you can customize according to your preferences.
SpyOFF is located in San Marino – a jurisdiction that doesn’t have laws forcing companies to hand over their user data.
It has its own sovereignty and not included in the 14-eyes countries – which means its government doesn’t legally spy on its residents. In addition, SpyOFF clearly states that it doesn’t retain logs of your online behavior.
The Warrant Canary on its website stating that it has never shared data with authorities is updated every day.
SpyOFF offers over a thousand servers in forty countries in Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas. There are no restrictions on switching between the servers and the IP addresses. SpyOFF, however, doesn’t own these servers.
These numbers may seem modest compared to NordVPN’s 5751 servers in 60 countries, for example.
However, SpyOFF has been on the market for less than half a decade and have done pretty well for themselves in terms of coverage so far.
So, it’s likely that they’ll catch up yet.
Leak Tests – DNS and WebRTC
DNS (dynamic name system) is what connects IP addresses with a URL upon request. A VPN needs to protect you from DNS leaks, otherwise your behavior isn’t protected and is on display to your ISP.
To verify that SpyOFF is as secure as it claims, I ran a DNS and a WebRTC leak test on a Windows laptop.
I’m happy to report that SpyOFF didn’t have any DNS or WebRTC leaks. The tests are even available on their website.
Connection Speed and Performance
When I tested SpyOFF’s server locations in Europe for speed, it was better than when I tried the US servers.
That’s to be expected, since the European servers are closer to me.
However, even those servers have unfortunately left a lot to be desired, especially considering how many of us would like to use it for Netflix or iPlayer.
|Speed before using SpyOff||48 ms||98 Mbps||53 Mbps|
|Connected to Netherlands server||53 ms||49 Mbps (-50%)||37 Mbps (-30%)|
|Connected to USA server||113 ms||17.1 Mbps (-80%)||13.5 Mbps (-73%)|
Dedicated IP Address and Consistent Single Server
SpyOFF doesn’t currently offer dedicated IP service. That could be an issue if you require a single server on a consistent basis.
However, if that aspect is less important for you than the privacy of your online behaviour, I wouldn’t worry about not having a dedicated IP.
Streaming and Torrenting Performance
From my experience, SpyOFF is a hit-and-miss with streaming video content.
Only some servers (USA) allowed me access to Netflix USA.
This makes the service stand out from those who don’t allow any access at all and puts it in the same category as ExpressVPN, for instance.
On the other hand, I could easily access BBC iPlayer using SpyOFF when connected to a European server. However, as I already said, SpyOFF’s offer of speed isn’t the best for steaming.
If you’re a type of user who shares files with other users’ computers and vice versa (a practice known as “torrenting”), a peer-to-peer (P2P) channel is what you need to be looking for in your VPN provider.
SpyOFF does allow P2P activities, with no data transfer limits imposed.
UX & Customer Support
Tired of websites filled with too much “fluffy” content?
Me too. That’s why I appreciated how straightforward the SpyOFF website was.
It has a lot of text content, but it’s very readable and on point.
If SpyOFF is your first VPN, I reckon you’d appreciate the guidelines and the company blog elaborating on its features for better understanding.
You can contact SpyOFF via a ticket-based system and it’s free of charge, but there is no way to know for certain when they’d get back to you.
This could be an issue, particularly if you don’t have a lot of previous experience with VPNs.
Hardware Compatibility – Router
SpyOFF offers its own router created through a collaboration with Flash Routers.
If you choose that option, you’d be able to automatically VPN-proof your entire network since the router is already configured, with little input needed from you.
If you don’t want to purchase the router, you can still get the same results with your own if it can run VPN client software.
You can check that with your provider and if it does work, you don’t have to worry about installing any SpyOFF apps because the network would already be VPN-proof.
Desktop & Mobile Platform Compatibility
SpyOFF is available on most desktop and mobile platforms, such as Windows and macOS, iOS, and Android. Recently, the company has also released a Chrome browser plug-in.
You can access SpyOFF on as many devices as you like, which would definitely make things easier for those of us who like to multi-task and have their privacy protected at the same time.
For some of you who prefer Linux, there’s also an option available, involving a manual set up.
However, when I tried to go onto the SpyOFF webpage using another VPN service, I couldn’t, although all other websites were connecting just fine. This was the case with some servers in Europe, although others did allow access.
But even when I could get onto the webpage, it still showed my status as “Unprotected”, even though I was connected to a VPN and the IP shown was that of the server I was using.
I haven’t noticed such anti-competition restrictions when testing other providers, but it seems that SpyOFF has their own sales tactics which I consider quite misleading.
Other Fan Testimonials
It always helps me to get a second or third opinion on a product before I choose it. Which is why I decided to browse the Internet to see what others think of SpyOFF.
Overall, they were quite positive. Most reviewers were happy with how easy it was to use and how well the Customer service was working.
However, some of them did believe that SpyOFF was too expensive and could offer more features for the fee.
NordVPN offers many more servers than SpyOFF – five times more, to be exact.
It uses the same 256-bits encryption and has a kill switch. It also offers Dedicated IP servers in the US, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. NordVPN is based in Panama – a jurisdiction which is, like San Marino, not a member of 14-eyes states.
It’s pricier than SpyOFF and offers a free trial of only 7 days. It does, however, offer a 3-year option for only $2.99 per month – you pay $107.55 every three years.
And Live Chat customer service is included in that, which is a feature SpyOFF unfortunately lacks.
So, if you’re looking for a long-term investment in your privacy on up to six devices, consider NordVPN as your provider.
ExpressVPN offers the same 256-bits encryption as SpyOFF.
It primarily stands out by offering a split-tunneling option.
With its help, you can cherry-pick your programs and use some via a VPN and others via your usual network. SpyOFF doesn’t offer this – not many providers do.
Their no-logging policy seems to be genuine, judging from the Turkey ambassador case two years ago where the authorities couldn’t ascertain any logs data.
ExpressVPN has an additional layer of protection called the Network Lock kill switch. It works similarly to SpyOFF’s, except it also works whenever your connection drops or when your computer enters sleep mode.
That means that your IP is obscured at all times you’re connected to the Internet.
There is no free trial with ExpressVPN, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The cheapest option is $6.67 per month, for 15 months – slightly pricier than SpyOFF. If you’re a user that prioritizes security and instant customer service above all and work with sensitive data, check out ExpressVPN.
AnonVPN has servers in only eight countries, compared to SpyOFF’s forty.
The company is registered in the USA, which, unlike SpyOFF’s home jurisdiction, is a 14-eye state. It promises a no-logging policy but does collect your e-mail and password. There is no dedicated IP option.
What sets AnonVPN apart is its Cloud Torrenting Service.
Although still in BETA stage, the cloud nonetheless looks quite promising.
The company also offers dedicated torrent servers. AnonVPN cheaper than SpyOFF, with only $1.75 for a 12-month subscription.
So, if you’re just looking for affordable additional security for your torrents, consider AnonVPN as your provider.
Cyberghost is based in Romania which, like San Marino, is not a 14-eye state.
It has three times more servers than SpyOFF, in 60 countries across the EU, the US and Asia. Like SpyOFF, it supports many platforms – even more, if you count fireTV.
And it’s even cheaper than SpyOFF – only $2.71 per month if you choose the 3-year option. The price includes 256-bits encryption and an automatic kill switch
The service has a very user-friendly and fun interface, which doesn’t stop it from being as informative as SpyOFF’s.
Cyberghost unfortunately shares the latter’s tendency to flag false positive unprotected IP addresses when you access their website using a different VPN provider.
But if you want a sleek and secure VPN that allows for complete customization where you can play with all the features, consider Cyberghost.
SpyOFF’s name speaks for itself – it offers to keep off every spy.
The importance of that today can’t be overestimated where we’re flooded with daily news about cyberattacks.
The 256-bits encryption makes SpyOFF a good option for browsing both at home and when using a public Wi-Fi.
If you prefer to browse on your phone or tablet, or both at the same time, it’s also a decent choice.
However, SpyOFF’s servers are not actually theirs, and we have no way of knowing the ins and outs of their arrangements.
While SpyOFF might not retain your information, you can’t be certain the server owners don’t either.