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Lucas Novac

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Published: June 27, 2024

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Phone Guardian Safe Mobile VPN Review – Is It Safe in 2024

Although it isn’t a mainstay in the VPN industry, Phone Guardian VPN provides basic VPN services and is mainly made for mobile users. To safeguard user data even when connected to public Wi-Fi, it highlights its dedication to data encryption. We took a more profound look at Phone Guardian VPN to determine whether it’s worth considering as a VPN alternative.

After testing, we discovered that Phone Guardian needs to improve in numerous areas. It needs some essential features normally found in real VPNs, such as IP masking and a worldwide server network. Moreover, it won’t cut it if you want to use it to torrent, stream, or get around geo-restrictions.

Pros
  • Completely free service
  • Beautiful and interactive interface
  • Simple mobile installation process
Cons
  • Not suitable for streaming
  • No servers to connect to
  • Limited device compatibility
  • No customer support

Try out Phone Guardian VPN—it’s free and a wonderful beginning step if you’re researching basic mobile security. Because there is zero financial risk, you can easily give it a try.

VPN Features

Max, a black and white husky mascot of Phone Guardian VPN
Meet Max, the friendly husky mascot of Phone Guardian VPN

Although Phone Guardian claims to be a VPN program, it functions in a way that is entirely different from the norm. Though it’s free, it doesn’t have all the capabilities you’d expect from a VPN, like hiding your IP address and encrypting all of your internet traffic. In its place, it prioritizes app data encryption while using an unprotected Wi-Fi network.

Phone Guardian can’t mask your IP address, which is a major drawback. The hazards that consumers face as a result of this include being targeted by hackers, having their location tracked by websites and ads, and having trouble accessing local content when traveling overseas. For customers concerned about their privacy, Phone Guardian loses some of its effectiveness due to the absence of this functionality, which is standard for most VPNs.

Additionally, because Phone Guardian does not alter your IP address, it is unable to circumvent internet filtering. Users in nations with severe internet regulations or those who need to bypass geo-restrictions will not find it acceptable for their needs.

Free VPN services can have poor privacy and sluggish connections, which is another reason to be concerned. There is a serious privacy concern with data.ai’s (formerly App Annie) Phone Guardian, since it gathers and analyzes information about app use and market trends. Phone Guardian’s data privacy strategy is not as strong as that of premium VPNs that follow a strict no-logs policy. This means that data collecting may still be accessible internally, even if not shared, and the service may charge users for this.

Phone Guardian provides basic functionality with no frills. While it does offer some rudimentary monitoring of app use and background activities, most new smartphones already have these capabilities built in, so a VPN isn’t really necessary. On the other hand, premium VPNs come with extra convenient features like split-tunneling, ad blocking, and enhanced security protocols.

Privacy and Logging

For those who are really concerned about privacy, Phone Guardian’s privacy restrictions may not be suitable, in contrast to other VPNs that do not keep any records. Users’ personal information, such as app and web surfing patterns, is collected, which might compromise their privacy. Data gathering continues even when the opt-out option is used.

Phone Guardian Website Data Privacy Notice
The detailed data privacy notice from Phone Guardian

More precisely, it keeps track of:

  • Your IP address
  • Your website visit time, date, and timezone
  • Visited URL details and access status
  • Data volume per request
  • The origin site, or “referrer URL”

The data you provide to Phone Guardian is at risk due to their privacy policy. In addition, the parent firm of Phone Guardian, data.ai, is a business that provides data. There are already privacy problems, and this only worsens them. A further drawback of VPNs is that they do not change your IP address, which leaves you vulnerable to geotargeted advertisements and targeted assaults.

The fact that Phone Guardian VPN is situated in the US raises some additional concerns. The United States may share personal information with its allies in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as part of the Five Eyes Alliance, an intelligence-sharing partnership.

Speed Tests – How Fast is Phone Guardian VPN

We will now evaluate this VPN service based on its speed. We could only test the speed on an iPhone since the service is only available as a mobile app. Here, we’ll take a close look at how a virtual private network (VPN) influences a mobile device’s Internet connection.

Mobile Test

 Internet speed test results without using Phone Guardian VPN
Results of a mobile internet speed test before activating the Phone Guardian VPN

The screenshot shows the results of the internet speed test conducted without using Phone Guardian VPN service. Here are the results:

  • Download Mbps: 64.6 Mbps.
  • Upload Mbps: 33.6 Mbps. 
  • Ping: 19 ms. 
  • Jitter: 53 ms. 

These results represent typical mobile internet performance and serve as baseline values for comparison with performance after a VPN is enabled to assess how a VPN affects internet connection speeds.

 Internet speed test with Phone Guardian VPN active
The results of an internet speed test conducted using Phone Guardian VPN

Below are the results of the Internet speed test using Phone Guardian VPN service. Comparison with the previous results without using VPN shows significant changes:

  • Download speed: 13.0 Mbps. 
  • Upload Mbps: 24.0 Mbps.
  • Ping: 496 ms.
  • Jitter: 71 ms.

Using Phone Guardian’s VPN service drastically influenced the speed of the Internet connection. The download speed plummeted more than four times, ping rose more than 25 times, which may drastically slow down and impair the Internet connection. These findings may be attributable to traffic encryption, the usage of distant servers, or other variables relating to VPN performance. These changes make utilizing a VPN less desirable for activities that demand high bandwidth or low latency, such as video streaming, gaming, or video conferencing.

About Safety – How Secure is Phone Guardian VPN?

For further security, particularly while using public Wi-Fi, Phone Guardian provides just the most basic forms of data encryption. But it lacks the security of more sophisticated VPNs. Important for protecting yourself from online surveillance and threats, it will not change or conceal your IP address.

Phone Guardian VPN’s encryption method and protocol are unknown due to a lack of information. Security concerns are heightened by the absence of a server network. More extensive VPN services provide a network of servers globally, ensuring that your data is spread and less likely to be targeted. Without it, Phone Guardian could be even more dangerous to your security.

Another issue with Phone Guardian is that it does not have a “kill switch.” If the VPN connection drops, this crucial feature will cut off your internet access, protecting your data. This functionality is useful, particularly when data security is vital.

Phone Guardian’s unique features include the ability to monitor background apps and track the amount of time spent on each app. Managing app usage could be made easier with these features, which aren’t common in VPNs. Yet, it lacks sophisticated functionality like multi-hop connections, split tunneling, and ad or virus prevention.

Mobile Apps

You can download the Phone Guardian VPN app for either iOS or Android, making it ideal for use on the go. Even consumers without much experience with technology should be able to install and utilize the applications with ease. But other products like PCs, smart TVs, and routers don’t have any support.

The VPN’s limited utility is mostly due to its lack of compatibility for several platforms. The ability to utilize a single VPN connection on all of a user’s devices is crucial in today’s world since most users have many devices that need security.

Phone Guardian VPN mobile app interface 
Phone Guardian VPN application main screen interface

An entertaining and participatory feature of the app is its digital mascot, Max. Engaging in playful interactions with the app’s mascot might lead you to obtain various milestones. While these capabilities are nice, they pale in comparison to the anonymity and security offered by premium VPN services.

“About Achievements” section in the Phone Guardian VPN app 
Phone Guardian VPN boosts your security and rewards you with fun interaction

Performance

Data Privacy Preferences menu in the Phone Guardian VPN app
The Phone Guardian VPN app’s Data Privacy Preferences menu, where users can manage consent for various types of data collection

Users may enhance the program’s performance and user experience by adjusting their data privacy choices in the Phone Guardian VPN app. App Crash Reporting and Analytics, when enabled, allow the app to collect crucial data for troubleshooting performance problems and optimizing settings across many devices. By assisting with market research and evaluating the efficacy of marketing initiatives, the acquired data indirectly influences future app developments. Phone Guardian allows users to opt-in to share data in order to improve its services and maintain the app free from ads. The app’s continued responsiveness to user preferences and demands is guaranteed by this paradigm.

Work in Highly Restricted Countries

Nowhere on the page is there any information about whether this service can be used in countries with severe restrictions. And since the app doesn’t have a proper support service, we couldn’t ask them directly. The only thing mentioned is that even when you’re linked to Phone Guardian’s VPN when abroad, Max will still protect you.

Phone Guardian VPN cannot evade these severe internet restrictions, since it cannot disguise IP addresses. VPNs that operate in China usually have nearby servers, such as Hong Kong, to provide faster and more reliable service. Phone Guardian VPN would have a very hard time providing reliable service to Chinese users without this.

Remember that in China, it is against the law to use a VPN that is not authorized by the government. There have been no reported incidents of Chinese authorities penalizing visitors who use them. China doesn’t go after specific VPN users, but instead uses technical blocking methods to fight VPN use.

Server’s locations

Contrary to what you may expect from a VPN service, Phone Guardian does not cover your IP address. As a result, it cannot connect to servers in multiple countries via various location settings. Because Phone Guardian is mainly concerned with inspecting app traffic and offering encryption on unprotected Wi-Fi networks, rather than facilitating geographical IP migration, it does not provide any location settings.

What Bonuses Does the Paid Version Offer, and How Much Does It Cost?

You won’t pay a cent to use this VPN; the business generates revenue by collecting and selling aggregated data on app use patterns. For market research, they enable users to willingly divulge details on their app use patterns. This paves the way for app makers to incorporate user feedback and enhance their products. To make money from collecting and selling non-personal information, the firm has decided to provide VPN services for free.

About Support

FAQ section on the Phone Guardian VPN support page
The FAQ section of Phone Guardian VPN, offering clear answers to common questions 

As far as VPNs go, Phone Guardian VPN is uncommon in that it does not provide direct help by phone, email, or live chat. Although there is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, it is partially short on explanations and covers just the most fundamental topics. It might be difficult to solve complicated difficulties when there is no community or forum help.

Overall, Phone Guardian VPN could need some work in its customer support department. Help is challenging to get by due to outdated ticketing and chat support, a missing frequently asked questions section, and a lack of user-community tools.

Phone Guardian VPN Review: Final Statement 

Phone Guardian encrypts data on unprotected Wi-Fi networks to provide basic protection for free. Unfortunately, it can’t fully encrypt data or hide your IP address; thus, it can’t be used as a VPN. Compared to premium VPNs, it is less appealing due to potential data sharing and speed problems.

Although Phone Guardian VPN is worth a go, it raises many red flags. Like other free VPNs, it doesn’t provide servers or any of the essential security features. Moreover, there’s the possibility that someone may gather your information and sell it to other parties.