Today we’re taking a look at an interesting VPN option. Onavo Protect, or Protect Free VPN+Data Manager on the Google Play Store, is a VPN associated with Facebook that works primarily on Android, but is moving soon to be active on iOS as well. It’s not really a PC VPN, so we didn’t think it necessary to review it like we do with other VPNs on this site.
In that sense, this will be a mini VPN review for a “mini VPN”! In this Onavo Protect VPN review, I’ll take a look at a few different categories like pricing, security, usability, and other features that can make or break this VPN. At the end of the day, does Onavo Protect offer better features than other more full featured VPNs that we’ve looked at like TorGuard, IPVanish, and Private Internet Access? Let’s find out!
Onavo Protect is completely free! Good right? Well, not necessarily.
I think a good choice for users is to have a paid and free plan, but unfortunately, usually these VPNs that offer these plans aren’t very good. Onavo is similar in that it does provide an upgrade plan according to their FAQ. However,I couldn’t find any option to upgrade on the app, or even information about it on the page.
With free VPNs this Onavo VPN, or Protect Free VPN+Data Manager on the Google Play Store, usually a bulk of their time is spent on attracting customers due to their “free” nature, which means they don’t put enough time into making a paid product worth using. Windscribe VPN, Hotspot VPN, and other free VPN providers usually make their entire service based on the idea of a “great deal”, and most of the time these services just can’t compete with VPNs that have more users paying and thus a better product.
Every once in awhile, you can find something worth using, which is sorta the case with Windscribe, but If you’re familiar with video games, you might compared free video games to paid ones. Usually the paid ones have the best experiences whereas free games are limited and bogged down by micro-transactions and other flaws.
For Onavo, I wouldn’t expect any different. I’ve already taken a look at a ton of free VPNs on the Android App store on my YouTube channel, and nearly every one feels like the exact same app (often made by the same company) with the same features and limited use cases.
So what does Onavo VPN do for your Android or iOS phone? Well the main way that Onavo gets users is through a “protect” symbol on the Facebook app. Soon that feature will come to iOS as well. Onavo VPN promises to keep users safer on the internet by adding encryption, providing alerts with lots of data usage, as well as limiting apps to Wi-Fi. Most of these features are automatic when you use the app, and there really isn’t anything to the app besides turning the connection on and off.
The app seems more useful to me in that it can monitor how internet is being used on your phone, but other features like that already exist within Android phones. My phone has a a data saver feature enabled that shows me how much data I’m using so why do I need Onavo VPN?
Security / Policies
One of the main reasons to use this app is to protect yourself on the internet from company’s monitoring your data and tracking you. You will “encrypt” yourself and stay private. However, since the app states VERY clearly that “As part of providing these features, Onavo may collect your mobile data traffic. This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analyzing your use of websites, apps and data. Because we’re part of Facebook, we also use this info to improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and services people value, and build better experiences,” what is even the point of using it?
Facebook is one of the biggest data collectors in existence, and it’s one of the reasons we use VPNs in the first place! By using a VPN to encrypt your information and then simultaneously give away all that information to Facebook is a huge oxymoron. Suffice to say, if you want to keep your information private with Onavo VPN, then you’re wasting your time! Sure you’re getting a “free product”, but in doing so, you are making yourself and your data “free” to Facebook and Onavo VPN.
Maybe they should pay us to use Onavo VPN. Then I would be interested!
Should you use Onavo Protect VPN – “Protect Free VPN”? Well, probably not. If you’re using Facebook, then all of your data is in their hands anyway, so there isn’t really much point to making ALL of your data on your entire phone be their data as well. If you want real safety and security, you’ll need a VPN that doesn’t keep logs or track your data for their own benefits. This means you need a PAID VPN like I mentioned before. Find some great alternatives to Onavo VPN, down below in the chart!